Intro: Water is an essential element for the survival of all living things; it protects organs and tissues. Water carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells, brings lubrication to our joints, and helps our kidneys and liver flush all the toxins out of our bodies. As our physical bodies need water from the earth, our spiritual beings need the Living Water [Holy Spirit] from heaven.
In our passage today, Israel is celebrating the Festival of Shelters—a seven day autumn harvest festival held in Jerusalem about six months after Passover. During the first seven days of the Festival, the people erect temporary shelters/tents to symbolize Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness. For those seven festival days, a water ceremony—water is poured over the altar—reminds Israel how God provided springs of water in the desert to sustain their lives. At the climax of the Festival—eighth day—instead of pouring water over the altar, the people pray and asked God to send rain. So, when Jesus shouts to the crowd, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!” he connects himself as the Source of this water for which they are praying.
Drought can be a frequent occurrence in Israel; especially during the autumn months. The rivers and springs do not run all year round, so the people would pray for rainfall that could be caught in their cisterns/wells. Jesus wanted the people to know the Source of Living Water—the Holy Spirit—whom he promised to send from heaven. Spiritual drought is a real condition, but Jesus has the remedy. For believers, we are called to come to the Lord in prayer and drink of the water that leads to eternal life and blessing. For those thirsty believers, please drink of the Spirit, today!
John 7:37-39 NLT Jesus Promises Living Water
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival [Festival of Shelters], Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit who satisfies our spiritual thirst with sufficient tastes of grace and eternal life with you. We are so very blessed by your love and goodness toward us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.