Bitter Water And Living Water

Saturday, October 12, 2019
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Listen while you read: "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee"1 (Lyrics)

One Sunday in August, we went to a rural church. In the bathroom, there was a sign that said, "Do not drink the tap water". There are various reasons why water is not fit for human consumption. For example, although the water may taste fine, it could carry micro-organisms that can make us sick. There are a number of ways to treat such water to make it safe to drink. According to experts, it can be boiled, filtered, or treated with chlorine, iodine, or ultraviolet light. Good, clean water is important to all people. We read about the need for it in different places on a regular basis.

It was important to the Israelites of old, as well. Only three days after they had left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea, they were in the Wilderness of Shur, desperately looking for water.

Exodus 15:23-25a – Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. (NKJV)

Likewise, there are times when our lives are bitter. It may be because of something that was done to us or something that we have done ourselves. There are times when we have bad thoughts, bad ideas, bad habits, or bad opinions of other people. Sometimes, we don't appreciate the things done for us by others. Other times, we are just downright miserable for no apparent reason at all.

Jesus and His disciples were going through Samaria, and as He rested at a well, a woman approached to draw water. During Jesus' discussion with her, she revealed that she had had five husbands and was currently just living with someone. Undoubtedly because of social rejection, she had to come to the well every day by herself to get water. It would be my guess that she was bitter about a number of things in her life.

By talking about the water in the well, Jesus offered to sweeten her life:

John 4:13b-14 – 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. (NKJV)

Are you bitter about life at times? Jesus invites us to put our worries and concerns aside and come to Him for living water, and He will make our lives sweet again.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we need Your guidance. We pray that as You made the bitter water sweet for the Israelites of old, You will also bring us Your living water in times of need. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the good word, Joel.

    Amen Joel. Thanks for a good word.

    Thanks for this, Joel. Helps me. Grateful for the reminder today.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for the scripture, John 4:13b-14.
    Keep writing, God bless you.

    Hello Joel,
    Many thanks for your devotional today. A good reminder of the “refreshment” from Jesus as His “Living water” gives us hope, joy and love.
    Blessings to you for your thoughtful writings.

    Good morning Joel. An interesting analogy. To put it in real time, may we each pray for God’s guidance for whomever will be the next leader of this country, to make their first priority be that of bringing clean, safe, drinkable water to any and all our First Nations Reserves who have been without it for years and years.
    Take care and may you have a Blessed Thanksgiving weekend.

    Hi Joel,
    An excellent comparison of the two types of water represented in both the Old and New Testament with an apt modern application for our daily lives. Thank you for this insightful message!

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