On our second day of reflecting on the miracle of water from The Rock, let us switch over to looking at the water. The complaint of the week is thirst. You can die of thirst, just as last week the Israelites could have died of starvation, and the week before they all could have died, unredeemed and overworked, in Egypt. Each of these tests have been a matter of life and death. These issues are salvation issues.
We often incorrectly think of “salvation” as a once and done spiritual transaction, confusing it with “redemption”. Pesach represents our redemption, paid for by the blood of The Lamb. The Lamb dies, we live. This is why the Pesach meal is meant to be eaten “in haste”, to accentuate the need for speed—the urgency to get out of bondage and get the prerequisite of the rest of our lives over and behind us. Salvation, however, is a life-long process—a result of a struggle with our own will and Yah’s, hopefully with us losing that struggle as often as possible. The events of Shavuot reflect that process, which is why these foundational principles are so crucial for the Israelites to master. Paul is preaching the nature of The Way to Shavuot in his letter to the Philippians:
Philippians 2:13-16, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in The Day of Messiah I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Each of these seven Shavuot lessons aren’t trivial, and Yah is purposely taking Israel the hard way, to an obscure mountain in the middle of nowhere, to make His point clear.
“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” “But let him who glories glory in this: That he understands and knows Me, that I am YHWH, exercising loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight,” says YHWH.” (Jeremiah 9:24)
He has redeemed Israel from slavery, and they need to understand that He alone is their savior, their healer, and their provider. They—we–are His precious treasure. When we thirst, no matter how dry our circumstances may seem, He is right there. Just as importantly, it’s not out of His character to take us through deserts to get us nice and thirsty. There may not be a more universal biblical metaphor then ‘living water’, representing Yah as the purest source of what sustains us when we are spiritually dry.
John 4:10-15, “Yeshua answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.””
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:38)
“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and YHWH will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)
“Oh YHWH, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken YHWH, the fountain of living water.” (Jeremiah 17:13)
Do not expect human relationships, even the deepest such as with your spouse or children, to quench a thirst designed to be satisfied by Yah alone. Deserts are to be expected, and Yah is teaching us early on that the purist water doesn’t come from the obvious places the world advertises, but only from The Rock.