Saturday, April 21, 2018

Draw from this well!

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 9-12; Psalm 111

TO CHEW ON: "'Behold God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For YAH the LORD is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.
Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation'" - Isaiah 12:2,3

Water was a valuable and much-sought-after commodity in the parts of the east where the events of the Bible played out. The New Bible Dictionary says of Bible wells: "In the arid parts of the East, water may become as precious as gold. Wells were and still remain the subjects of fierce disputes and even strife. They became heritable and were exploited by human monopolies at an earlier date than land." The New Bible Dictionary, p. 1325.

We can gain a fuller appreciation for the "wells of salvation" picture in our focus verses today, when we review the key role that wells played in Israel's history.

- Hagar's life was saved when God opened her eyes to the well at Beer Lahai Roi (Genesis 21:14-19).
- Later Isaac settled at that same well (Genesis 25:11).
- Isaac had to dig many wells before he was finally able to make peace with his enemies and settle down in the land (Genesis 26:15-22).
- Jacob met Rachel at a well (Genesis 29:1-2; 9-12).
- Moses' desperate flight from Egypt ended at a well in Midian (Exodus 2:15).
- Three of David's men risked their lives to get David a drink of water from the Bethlehem well.(2 Samuel 23:15-16).
- Jesus offered living water to a Samaritan woman at a well (John 4:1-13).

Likening our salvation to drinking from a well yields some interesting comparisons.

  • Like the well was a life-saver for Hagar and Moses, the wells of salvation are just that -- salvation -- for us spiritually. 
  • What we know about wells generally (that they access water that is underground) and Isaac's experience with them tells us that finding those wells of salvation may require effort on our part. For some it is the culmination of years of searching. 
  • Like wells were the hub of community life in Palestine, the "wells of salvation" are the center around which relationships develop as we meet God and get to know Him and each other in the community of believers, the church. 
  • Should we stray, hopefully we would be like David hankering after water from the Bethlehem well, as we remember and long for the sweet living water of the salvation wells that satisfied like no other.
Let's drink from the wells of salvation today — the water of forgiveness and cleansing, the assurance of eternal life, the comfort of God's presence in the indwelling Holy Spirit who is our comforter, counselor, teacher...drinking deep from all the things that salvation means.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for salvation and what it means for me in everyday life. Help me to never view it casually or take it for granted. Amen.

PSALM TO PRAY: Psalm 111

MORE:  Isaiah 12:3 - illuminated

"A kneeling figure looks up to Christ and points at a man who draws water issuing from the foot of the crucifix. Christ looks out from Heaven towards a lamb and crucifix. The crucifix and lamb are not mentioned in the text, but are an interpretation of the word "Savior". (From Biblical Art on the WWW.)

"You shall draw the waters with joy from the Saviour’s fountains" -Unknown illustrator of St. Alban's Psalter' - England first half of 12th century.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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