You survived the shipwreck. Finally, swimming and floating, choking and gasping, you wash up on a tiny island. Nothing but sand. And ocean.
Drips of sweat tickle your back. Desperate for a drink, you return to the beach and drink even more of that ocean. It tastes nasty, but you swallow it, and it seems to quench your thirst. But minutes later you’re violently sick, and even thirstier.
Miserable, you sit on the wet sand at the edge of the water. Soon, water laps at your ankles, so you scoot back, and back some more. That rising tide drags a narrow board that settles at your feet.
Taking the board higher on the beach, you start flinging sand to make a hole. Finally, water begins to seep into the hole. Your first sips of that water are gritty, muddy, hard to swallow. So, still desperately thirsty, you go back to the ocean from time to time, drinking more of that bad water. It’s undeniably wet, but it still makes you sick. If you don’t stop, it will kill you.
Alternately digging and waiting for silt to settle, you take another sip and discover fresh, clear water that will truly quench your thirst. You no longer have any urge to drink the salty ocean. And you begin to have the strength to look for help.
The ocean water is like the sin that surrounds us. At first glance, sin looks good because you’re very hungry and thirsty for something that will make you feel better. You go a little closer, convinced that doing this wrong act, going with that sinful person, achieving that position, taking that drug, or getting that money, car, or house will improve your life. So, you try it and you find brief happiness. But you feel sick at heart. And soon you’re less happy, worse off than you were.
The clear water is like the Bible. You’re thirsty for knowledge of God, but when you first start reading, the sweet water of His Word is unclear to you, hard to understand, difficult to swallow. But if you really dig in, listen to good teaching, ask questions, read some more, underline passages that touch you, memorize verses as you go, the words begin to quench your thirst. And you find real life and the strength to do the right things. You find that doing the things that please God will also give you joy. And the joy lasts, not like the short-term “happiness” of sin.
Matthew 5: 6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Or, as Max Lucado put it, “Blessed are those who are so grateful to God for His presence and love that they yearn for more of Him (those who hunger and thirst after righteousness), for they will be filled.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please give us a hunger and thirst for righteousness, the every-day delight in reading, knowing, and obeying your word, that will bring true joy and fulfilment. Give us the will, through the influence of Your Holy Spirit, to know and obey You, to lead others to the living water of Your word. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Truth: Stop drinking that foul water of sin, which leads to death and destruction, and begin to dig out and drink the pure, living water of the word of God, which leads to truth and life.