Living Waters

Key Verse: “He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
—Revelation 22:1

Selected Scripture:
Revelation 22:1-7

WATER IS USED IN THE Scriptures as a symbol of the refreshing truths which emanate from God concerning his beneficent plans for the faithful, consecrated followers of Jesus and, in due time, for all of mankind. David said of God: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” (Ps. 23:2) The “green pastures” nourish and strengthen us with spiritual food, while the “still waters” refresh and sustain us. Together, these symbols emphasize the vital necessity of taking in the nutrients of God’s word of truth, in order to maintain our spiritual health. Jesus said this water is a gift from God, when speaking to the woman at the well: “If thou knewest the gift of God, … he would have given thee living water. … Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.”—John 4:10-14

Symbolically speaking, God’s Word serves as both food and drink for the Lord’s footstep followers. The still waters of Psalm 23 portray more particularly the means by which the Truth refreshes us. A vital part of this refreshment is the privilege of approaching God in prayer, by which we may develop an intimate, personal relationship with him. This produces a peace and tranquility within us as is implied in the thought of “still waters.” In another place, the psalmist writes, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God.”—Psa. 42:1.2

In these and others of the many beautiful psalms of David, we are encouraged to continually thirst after the water which comes from the true and living God. Indeed, it is our Heavenly Father—our shepherd—who daily guides and directs us beside the waters of truth, refreshing us through the knowledge of him and his dear Son, Christ Jesus. David, being himself a shepherd, understood that water was not plentiful in the desert country of his day. It was important, then, that he know where it could be found, and lead his flock to it so they would be refreshed—else they would perish. Jesus, as the “good shepherd,” is similarly guiding his sheep of the present Gospel Age to abundant spiritual pastures and refreshing waters. “The sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”—John 10:4-15

These conditions will likewise apply to the world of mankind in the future. In God’s kingdom, the people will realize their great need for the water of life. They will know that in the past, they lived in a “dry and thirsty land, where no water is,” and they will thirst for God’s glorious message of truth. (Ps. 63:1) To them, Jesus’ promise will be fulfilled: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”—Matt. 5:6

In our Key Verse, John describes a “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,” coming from God and the Lamb—Christ Jesus—in the coming kingdom. John goes on to say that there is a “tree of life” beside this pure river which bears all manner of fruit for nourishment, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the people. (Rev. 22:2) What a glorious prospect this is for mankind! The invitation will then be to all people: “Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”—vs. 17