Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14)
Are You Thirsty?
Fluids are essential to the survival of the human body. Without a proper fluid balance, the body dehydrates, and a lack of fluids can bring death. When God created the body, He instilled a mechanism in the brain that detects changes in blood constituents and signals thirst. Without the sensation of thirst, the body will die. The Bible has some great stories and lessons about how thirst led people to distrust God and have faith in the Lord and spiritual applications for Christians.
Thirst is what got the children of Israel in trouble in the wilderness. God had delivered them from Egyptian bondage by His mighty hand with great wonders. Within days of walking through the Red Sea on dry land, the Hebrews were in the wilderness and could find no water. Arriving at Marah, the waters were bitter, and the people complained against Moses for something to drink. Moses cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree to cast into the waters. The water turned sweet, and the people camped there by the water. Soon after the testing at the waters of Marah, the people again complained to Moses and Aaron because they were hungry. God provided the bread from Heaven, manna. They would eat the manna for forty years.
Shortly after receiving the manna, the people camped in Rephidim and complained there was no water. They accused Moses of bringing them out of Egypt to kill them with thirst. The Lord told Moses to stand on the rock in Horeb and strike the rock. Moses did what God commanded, and water came out to quench the thirst of nearly two million souls. God provided once again. At Kadesh, the people again complained to Moses they had no water to drink. Thirst had driven the people to rebel against God, forgetting all the ways the Lord had cared for them. Moses is told to speak to the rock to bring forth water, but in his anger, struck the rock twice with his rod, and water comes forth. Because of his disregard for the word of the Lord, Moses was not allowed to enter the land of Canaan.
During the period of the Judges, thirst got a man killed in a horrible way. God sold the Israelites into the hand of the king of Canaan, who had a commander of the army named Sisera. Deborah was a prophetess then and, along with Barak, subdued the Canaanites. When God brought victory to His people, Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. Jael met Sisera as he fled and told him to turn into her tent and not to fear. The commander went into the tent of Jael and hid under a blanket. Sisera was very thirsty and asked Jael for something to drink. She fixed him some milk, and Sisera fell fast asleep. While he slept, Jael took a tent peg and hammer and drove the pen into this temple into the ground. So Sisera died.
Samson killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey and became very thirsty. He cried out to the Lord, complaining he was thirsty, and God would allow him to die? So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out. Samson drank, and his spirit returned, and he was revived. God provides the waters of life to bring life and sustain life. During the reign of David, the king was at the cave of Adullam with the Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. David remarked that he would love some of the good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem. So, three of the king’s mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. He said the water the three mighty men brought him was as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to him. David’s thirst could have gotten some men killed.
Jesus used thirst in much of His preaching. In the sermon on the mount, He told His disciples to hunger and thirst for righteousness to be filled with the Spirit of God. When the Lord stopped at the well of Jacob near the city of Sychar in Samaria, a woman came to draw water, and Jesus asked her for a drink. She learned an eternal lesson that day about the water of life where no man will thirst. After feeding the five thousand, Jesus told the multitudes He was the bread of life and everyone who came to Him would never hunger or thirst. Jesus told the story of the judgment day when all men are gathered before the Lord as sheep and goats. Explaining why some would be saved and some would be lost, Jesus said those with a benevolent heart who helped those hungry and thirsty would be blessed. Those who did not would be lost.
The greatest story of thirst is when Jesus was on the cross. Scourging had left his body decimated with blood loss and excessive fluid loss. His body was severely dehydrated. Jesus begged for a morsel of liquid to quench His incredible thirst. After receiving some sour wine, Jesus died. Through the suffering (including the intense thirst), Jesus died and made possible redemption for men to receive the blessing of God when the Father takes away all sorrow, suffering, and death. The saints will never hunger anymore nor thirst again. The sun shall not strike upon them, and no heat will drain the bodies. Jesus, as the Lamb, will lead them to living fountains of water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. John saw the pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
As the Revelation closes and the final pages of the Bible are complete, the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let him who hears say, “Come.” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. No one is thirsty in Heaven. Everyone is thirsty in Hell. Your choice.