In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37,38
Sometimes, from a superficial viewpoint, things appear to just fall into place by chance. But I don’t believe that. I believe You are orchestrating every little detail of our lives. I believe that there is nothing that is done without Your having thought it through and planned it out. And that’s exactly what was going on in this chapter today. And the thing that makes it even more amazing is that You were the One who appointed the celebration of this day in the first place so long ago. And You were the One who appointed the reason for this celebration.
In short, the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, was designed with a purpose. This is a God-ordained holiday where the Jewish people were to construct temporary shelters, tabernacles, and live in them to remember the time in the wilderness. It lasted seven days. Many pilgrims would come to Jerusalem for this celebration and it was a joyous celebration with dancing, singing, and lights. And water was an important matter during this celebration. The Rabbis would teach on every Scripture where water was mentioned.
This is important stuff. Listen to the tradition that was going on at this time. “[G]old pitchers of water were brought from the pool of Siloam to the temple. The Priest would pour out the water over the altar to signify Israel’s gratitude for the rain that had produced the harvest, and would pray for rain in the next year. The priest would recite Isaiah 12:1-3, And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”(A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays)
And here You are, again, where the water is. You’ve been pointing it out over and over. The Samaritan woman heard about Your living waters. And You were just sharing with the Jews that You are the Bread of Life and that any who believe in You shall never thirst. But now, here You are, getting ready to step into a day and celebration that was made for You and that was all about You.
It’s sad that it starts off with Your brothers kind of taunting You to go and show Yourself to the world through Your miracles. But they weren’t sending You for the right reason. They just didn’t believe. So You sent them on without You. Everyone knew that if You went, the Jews would try to kill You. Hmm, nice brothers.
So You didn’t go at their nudging. Their time wasn’t Your Father’s time. But afterward, You went on Your time and Your way. And I suppose it was so bold for You to just appear in the temple that the Jews were probably flabergasted. And how could they grab You and kill You in front of all the people? So in the middle of this feast that You designed, in the middle of people wanting to kill You, You start teaching in the temple. And it’s not just one day. Here You are on the last day which John calls “that great day of the feast.” You stand up in the temple and cry, “If any man thirsts, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” The pool of Siloam is not our salvation. It wasn’t what saved the paralytic man who didn’t have a friend to put him in the water. It was You. The pool was always to point to You. The water being poured out on the altar was to point to You. The day was coming when the “blood of the covenant”, Your blood, would be “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Your life would be poured out for us and as we choose to accept that sacrifice and live within Your sacrificial provision for us, we would be filled with Your Rivers of Living Water through the filling of Your Holy Spirit.
Your brothers didn’t get it. But I think they spoke kind of prophetically. They wanted You to show Yourself to the world in Jerusalem before all the people. And that was Your plan, only according to Your timing. Because when they placed You on the cross later, the whole world is still hearing about it today. You are still showing Yourself to the world. Only You’re not just an extraordinary man. Extraordinary men don’t raise from the dead and fulfill all their promises. But You continually show Yourself to be God.
It’s sad when our shelter, our tabenacle, is something other than You. These religious people were comfortable in their knowledge. They made fun of You for not fulfilling Scripture and joked about people searching it out. But they were the ones who hadn’t sought the facts. Even Isaiah 9:1-2 speaks of Your coming from Galilee of the Gentiles. And why didn’t they check to find out that You had come from Bethlehem? I guess the problem was that they weren’t searching, at least not for the truth, because there You were standing right in front of them, only they couldn’t see You.
Lord, I am so glad that You are constantly putting things in our lives to make Yourself known. That this is all part of Your design. Let me only reside in You as my shelter. Let me only run to You. Let me continually dwell in You. Be my Living Water continually. Lord, I need Your Living Water to flow from me so others can be influenced by You. I need Your Living Water continually flowing in me just to be in You. My life depends upon it. You alone are my sustenance. You alone continually cleanse me from sin, because it has a way of creeping back in. You are my Light and the Light of the world. I am so happy for my new life in You. Every day with You is a glorious adventure, even in the tough times, because every day is with You and You are the Greatest Adventure.
Guard me against not seeing clearly. Guard me against holding preconceived notions or viewing myself as more than anyone else. Keep my attitude under constant check. Continually examine my heart and my thoughts. Thank You for pouring Yourself out for me and for pouring Yourself into me. I can’t live without You.