Today in God’s Word
Deuteronomy 24; Psalm 114-115; Isaiah 51; Revelation 21
“5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:5–7, ESV)
John records the words of God from his throne here in Revelation 21 and it is an interesting contrast between the one who will drink from the spring of living water vs the one who will drink from the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. Each will be drinking…each is receiving what they have sought. The one seeks and receives God and the other not. I find the contrast between the preceding state of the soul more interesting, however, than the outcome.
Verse 6 says that it is the thirsty who will receive living water, while verse 8 announces that it is the cowardly who will receive the dead water (taking liberty to contrast the waters). So we have the adjective “thirsty” contrasted to the adjective “cowardly”. One correlates to desire and the other to fear. The result of thirsting is receiving something costly without paying for it. The result of fearing is all manner of wickedness that stems from faithlessness. I can receive something undeserved (a gift) or I can receive the natural result of my faithlessness. So in a way, thirst is contrasted to a lack of trusting God (faithless or distrusting).
We are commanded to desire and we are warned not to fear (Deut 6:5, 1:21, 31:6). We are to desire the Lord as our treasure (Ps 37:4, 63:1; Matt 13:44) and we are not to fear the best efforts of the world, the flesh, and the devil (Matt 10:28; Luke 8:14) to detour us from reaching this highest pleasure in life (Ps 16:11). I take the conquering of verse 7 to be found in the desiring of verse 6. We conquer the world when we trust and set our desires upon Jesus (1 Jn 5:4). We conquer when we thirst for righteousness, when we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matt 5:6; Matt 6:33).
The Lord does not call me to a cold believism that merely affirms a formula or doctrine (James 2:19)…he calls me to thirst. He calls me to desire. He calls me to love him. He calls me to love him more than the world (1 Jn 2:15). He calls me to love him more than I fear the consequences of that love (Phil 1:20-21). He loved me at the cost of his Son (Jn 3:16). He wants to work in me a similar love.
So the question is this, Am I thirsting for my God in faith or am I fearing because of distrust (faithlessness) and therefore walking in the flesh and seeking satisfaction in the world? Do I trust him? Do I take him at his word? Is he really good and interested in my joy? Where am I placing my desire?…my obedience will follow (Luke 12:34).
Soli Deo Gloria!