October 23 (Daily reading: John 7-8) During the first seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, every day, the priests would pour water into a silver basin at the altar. This was first a celebration of God providing water from a rock in the wilderness (see Exodus 17:1-7). But it was also a reminder of prophecy: “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, as the God of Israel I will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights and springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land fountains of water” (Is. 41:17-18).
On the last day of the feast, the priests did not pour water on the altar, symbolizing that they no longer needed water coming out of a rock, because they were now in the Promised Land. But it also symbolized that they were still waiting for the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah when the Messiah would provide water for their spiritual thirst.
Can you imagine this scene? The last day had arrived and the priests had poured no water. Everyone was thinking about Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming of the Messiah and the promise of water. On that day, Jesus stood and cried out: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’” (Jn. 7:37-38). They were waiting for the Messiah and the water He would bring, and Jesus said, “Come to Me and drink!” Jesus not only invited them to drink; He also said that out of their hearts “will flow rivers of living water.” We receive life when we accept Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, but we also become a channel of life to others!
– Al Gary
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