Links Daily Devotional

Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford considers water as discussed in Scripture with Links Fellowship leader Chris Hermann.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

Real World God 6: Mixed Messages?

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jeremiah 2:13, NIV)

When it comes to golf courses, we don’t often think of brown as pretty. Nor tan, nor golden, nor any other color that makes us wonder if the superintendent has forgotten to run the sprinklers of late. When it comes to golf, we are much happier to see green.

Green grass on a golf course means water—enough of it to sustain the turf’s roots and create healthy, even growth. But when that water stands alone, our love for it quickly goes away. Casual water from a broken pipe or heavy rain is just a mess. And water hazards? Well, they are ever and always something to stay away from, unless perhaps you’re hoping to fish your way to a few free balls.

Water on a golf course is a mixed blessing, often beautiful and forbidding all at once. In Scripture, we likewise find mixed messages in words about water.

In the opening pages of your Bible, where we have a record of the early earth, we read that shrubs and plants had not appeared because “the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth… but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground” (Genesis 2:5-6). From the beginning, life depended on water.

But not long after, water brought death. God sent the flood, covering the earth with water for 40 days and nights, and “wiping mankind from the face of the earth” (Genesis 6:7). It was a judgment so great that none could doubt the power of the Lord, but also so strong that God promised never to do it again.

What is true, though, is that humanity never lost track of how to pronounce judgment on themselves. Consider the words of today’s verse from Jeremiah. Not only are we prone to forsaking God—even as “his people”—but we try to come up with designs of our own that end up broken and useless. So God had to rescue us again. He had to send living water.

When Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), this is exactly how he identified what he had to offer. Not a water that only leaves you thirsty again and not an atonement that has to be renewed next year, but a water that sustains and an atonement that lasts once and for all (Hebrews 9:26).

Jeff Hopper
December 2, 2016
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