Water of Life: the Blind man sees
11th November 2009, mgh
This Article: (5 Pages)
2) The Water of the Word
In Ephesians 5:26, Paul in writing to the Ephesians states that all the members of the congregation needed to study the Word of God to create an acceptable attitude to the Lord and an understanding of his requirements for those who believed in him and would faithfully serve him. Paul states:
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (Ephesians 5:26)
He is saying that we are then washed by the Word of God, which reveals God's purpose with man. The spiritual water of the Word is added to our minds and without it we cannot be moulded into a vessel that is usable. The essential moral and spiritual qualities required in the faithful man and woman are revealed in God's written word. The Ephesian congregation needed to study the writings of the Psalms, the Law and the Prophets that were available to them. Jesus (Yeshua) had also given this instruction to his followers during his ministry.
In the following verses from Jeremiah 2, Jeremiah brings Yahweh's condemnation of the nation of Israel before the people.They had forsaken Yahweh and turned to the “broken cisterns”, devoid of water, of false religion, worldliness and political unfaithfulness. Here again the concept of water is used, referring to the ideas gained from false religions, particularly of the worship of idols and false gods. These false religions were useless, offering no hope of salvation, as Yahweh alone is the “fountain of living waters” and provides knowledge of the way of salvation.
Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead.
For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2: 9-13)
Again in Jeremiah, the nation is reminded that Yahweh alone is the “fountain of living waters”, the only one who sustains life.
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. (Jeremiah 17:13)
Jeremiah expands on this image of the potter. Just as the potter destroys a marred and useless vessel, so too will Yahweh destroy those who do not hear and obey his words.
Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it .
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. (Jeremiah 18: 2-6)
Isaiah also uses the image of the water of life. We are asked to consider what we most desire in life. We have been offered the waters without money and without price. Where do we place all our efforts? We are advised to “hearken”, to listen diligently and carefully and then “incline” and hear the words of life, as promised to the faithful such as Abraham and David.
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. (Isaiah 55: 1-3)
Isaiah reveals the joy that awaits the faithful, who listen, hear and obey the word of the Lord.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:11-12)
Owing to the word going forth, the people will be “led forth with peace”. The word is working in the lives of the faithful now, so there will be ultimately peace on earth for them to inherit. There are blessings for those who heed the “word” and they are like a “watered garden”.
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)