When God’s ancient people experienced life’s painful, difficult deserts, they needed the hope of his presence and provision. During those times, as expressed in the figurative language of the Bible, God became their “rock”, “shade”, “shelter”, “shepherd”, “bread” – and “water”.
The water of God is “living water”, fresh, flowing, invigorating water that he causes to flow out of even the hardest rock in the scorching desert.
By drinking in his healing presence, symbolized by living water, his thirsty people find strength to continue walking the path he has chosen for them. It is no different for us. We also experience painful, difficult deserts for which we need the healing presence of God’s living water.
- What is associated with God’s presence in each of the following passages, and what does it provide for people in the desert? Genesis 2:8-10; Jeremiah 2:13; Revelation 22:1-2. Since water is essential for sustaining physical life in the desert, what might be the consequence of turning away from the presence of God when we face desert experiences?
- Which images did Isaiah use to describe the overflowing abundance of God’s presence in the desert and what would result from it? (See Isaiah 35:4-7).
- When Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well what did he say about the thirst we experience in this broken world, and how does it differ from the living water he offers? (see John 4:10-14) As you think about your relationship with Jesus, how would you define the water that he offers, and how does a person “drink” it in?
- During the Feast of Sukkot, during the time the prayers for water were offered, who did Jesus invite to come to him and why? (Jeremiah 17:13; John 7:37-39)
- When we experience great thirst in life’s deserts and come to Jesus to drink in his living water – his words, his love, and his presence – what do we become in relationship to other people? (Isaiah 32:2)
Suggested memory verse: John 4:14
“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.” (ESV)