************ Campout Talk on Water ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This talk was given on July 30,2005
Do any of the kids remember what we talked about last night? GET ONE OF THE CHILDREN TO RESPOND THAT WE TALKED ABOUT FIRE.
Today, I want to talk about something that is stronger than fire. Can any of you kids think of what I am talking about? TAKE A MATCH AND DROP IT IN A GLASS OF WATER. NOTICE, WATER PUTS OUT FIRE.
We will find out that water is just as important and just as dangerous as fire.
CRITICAL FOR LIFE
How long can you live without food? Maybe 30 days. How long can you live without water? No more than 10 to 12 days. Remember Terri Schiavo? Once her feeding tube was withdrawn she lasted 13 days.
Water is very important. Needed for life. Needed to drink, wash, cook. Needed for animals and crops. Needed for swimming pools – or else they would be just dry holes in the ground and it would hurt when you jumped in head first.
I recently read "The King of California," a book about J.D. Boswell. His company has hundreds of thousands of acres of land on which they grow cotton, corn, hay, and other crops. Yet, the value of the land is nothing compared to the value of the water rights that his company has – his water rights are worth billions of dollars. Water is valuable. In California, at least, it is something that people and cities and companies fight over.
We see people fighting about water in Bible times. Who remembers the first fight over water rights? READ GENESIS 26:19-22.
And, who was the first person in the Bible who thought death was going to come because of thirst? READ GENESIS 21:14-19.
And, who can remember droughts mentioned in the Bible (ELIJAH - 3.5 YEARS; JOSEPH AND PHARAOH - 7 YEARS)?
One of the first things invading armies did was cut off the water-supply of besieged cities. Hezekiah removed this danger for Jerusalem by the construction of a tunnel from Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam (2 Chr 32:30; 2 Sam 5:6-8 and the capture of Jerusalem).
USED FOR DESTRUCTION
Water is a good thing. Too much water is a terrible thing. Think of the wall of water, a tsunami, that hit parts of Asia. Think of mud-slides in southern California. Think of the flood during the days of Noah. At that time, water was an instrument of God's judgment upon the wicked.
There is one other time in the Bible when water became an instrument of God's judgment. Can anyone think of what that is? GET A RESPONSE OF PHARAOH AND HIS ARMY BEING DROWNED IN THE RED SEA.
In Egypt, the water of the River Nile was used to drown the baby boys of Israel.
SOME OF GOD'S GREATEST MIRACLES
Many of God's greatest miracles involved water.
What was Jesus' first miracle? He turned water into wine (Jn 2). What did God do with the waters of the Red Sea and the Jordan River? He separated them (Exodus 14; Joshua 3). What did God do in the wilderness when Israel was thirsty? He made water come out of a rock; he turned bitter water into sweet water (Exodus 17; Exodus 15).
THIRSTY FOR GOD
READ PSALM 63
According to the heading, it is David who wrote Psalm 63. When David composed this ancient hymn he was not in a temple or worshipful tabernacle; rather, he was in the Desert of Judah. There in the desert he was alone, removed, obscure, separated from every comfort and friend. There he suffered thirst, hunger, pain, loneliness, and exhaustion. There in the desert David had many needs, yet David lets us know that none of these are his biggest need.
In Psalm 63 David tells us the who or what of his biggest need:
(Ps 63:1) O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Right away we see that David is not first of all seeking food, water, comfort, or rest – even though he is in the desert and badly needs all of these things. What David thirsts for above anything else is God. David thirsts for God in the same way we thirst for water on a hot day.
This reminds me of another passage: READ JOHN 19:28
"I am thirsty." These words were spoken by our suffering Lord just before "he bowed his head and gave up his spirit" (Jn 19:30b).
"I am thirsty." After the three hours of darkness, the three hours of forsakenness, Jesus is crying here for God. Jesus has in mind here those beautiful words that He inspired in the psalmist:
(Ps 42:1-2) As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (2) My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?Jesus has been without God for three awful hours. No wonder He cries out for God. No wonder He says, "I am thirsty."
"I am thirsty." This word from the cross expresses a need universal to all of mankind. Yet, as Jesus makes plain in more than one place, natural man looks to the wrong things and goes to the wrong places to fill his soul when He goes after wealth, honor, pleasure, wisdom, power, and knowledge. Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again" (Jn 4:13).
Unknown to natural man what he desires – like Jesus – is God. God made us and He alone can satisfy us. So Jesus said,
(Jn 4:14) ... whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."Christ alone can quench our thirst. He alone can meet the deepest need of our heart, our soul, our person.
Congregation, come to Jesus. Do not reject Him. For if you die in your sins you eternal cry will be the moan of the damned: "I am thirsty." In the Lake of Fire the lost suffer the flames of God's wrath for ever and ever with none to quench their thirst. If Christ cried, "I am thirsty," after He had suffered the wrath of God for three hours, what is the state of those who have to endure it for all eternity?! When millions of years have gone by, ten millions more lie ahead. There is an everlasting thirst in hell which has no relief. Remember the awful words of the rich man in hell:
(Lk 16:24) ... 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'Again I say, come to Jesus and drink of Him Who is the living water. For only in Him can you satisfy your thirst.
SYMBOL OF NEW LIFE
A couple of months ago I did something – and you witnessed it – that I never thought I would ever do. I did 9 baptisms by immersion.
Many people could not really see what was going on – especially those sitting towards the back. But they could hear what was going on. I think 4 or 5 people said something to me about the sounds – going into the water, coming out of the water, water dripping and falling.
Within the church we use the water of baptism to symbolize new life, a new beginning, a dying and a rising.
I would like to end with three passages of Scripture from the book of Revelation:
(Rev 22:1-2) Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (2) down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
(Rev 21:6) To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.
(Rev 22:17) The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
There will come a day when our thirst will be fully quenched. All we have to do is come to Jesus.
You can e-mail our pastor at: Pastor, Trinity United Reformed Church
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