No water, No life, No blue, No green – Sylvia Earle
How often do we really think about how wonderful water really is and appreciate it? Probably for most of us it is when something goes wrong and suddenly we have no water. However, if we consider that 1 in 10 people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, perhaps this puts it a little more into perspective.
If you took all the water on earth, 97% of it would be undrinkable. Of the remaining water, up to 2% of that is frozen in glaciers, ice and snow. The remaining 1% is fresh groundwater, soil moisture, lakes, swamps and rivers. Does that make the fresh water we have available seem a little more precious?
All of life requires water to live. An adult human body is 60% water and requires constant rehydration. It is awesome to see what water can do to a drought-stricken land – suddenly it is green! And water is also essential for cleansing and purifying.
Let’s look at some of the unsual properties of water.
- Water is a small molecule like a gas, but it bunches together so that it is a liquid at a temperature suitable for life.
- When water evaporates, the groups of molecules split up making it lighter than air so that it rises, forms clouds and is moved around the world.
- Water dissolves a vast range of solid chemicals which makes it able to transport chemicals through our bodies.
- Water holds heat better than any other which helps warm-blooded animals, like us, to maintain a uniform temperature.
- Water is the only liquid that expands as it freezes so that it will float, and also break up rocks which is vital for soil formation.
- Water can bend light to form a rainbow.
It is pretty clear that water is pretty awesome!
The Bible also speaks of water in a very positive way. It begins with “the Spirit of God hovering over the waters” as God separates the waters below from the waters of the sky, and makes the seas and the rivers.
In the Bible, water is symbolized as the source of spiritual life as well. In Psalm 1, a man who delights in the law of the LORD is likened to “…a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Isaiah 12 speaks of a man who trusts in the LORD as someone who “with joy… will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
We are also reminded that it is possible to seek for water from others sources, as Jeremiah 2:13 says, “…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Jesus told the woman at the well, that “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13,14)
In Romans, water is used as a means of transformation. Through baptism in a water, a believer rises a new man (Romans 6:4).
Finally, the Bible ends with a river of the water of life. It is spoken of in Zechariah 14:8,9 as living waters flowing from Jerusalem when the LORD is the king over all the earth. And in Revelation 22:1-2 as the river flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb with the tree of life growing along its sides.
Clearly, the fact that water is essential to life, and so specially suited to life is meant to be a parallel to how essential and well suited the word of God is to spiritual life.
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? …”Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon… For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:1-11)
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