In seasons of drought, there are strict limits on the use of water. Even then, extreme scarcity of water in affluent countries is non-existent. This is not the case for the Middle East in ancient times. For the Hebrew people, water was a blessing from God, especially manifest during the years of wandering in the desert when miracle-water from the rock flowed.
The great autumn festival of Tabernacles celebrates all these years of wandering. On the last day of this feast, the priest would walk about the altar with water freshly drawn. Today rabbis pray for rain at the close of this
Picture the Temple with Jesus standing amid the crowd as the ritual of water takes place. He has overturned
the money tables in chapter 2 at the Passover Festival. Now he breaks in upon the singing crowd with the ear-piercing cry of verse 38. “Let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”
The above Firestarter is for Pentecost Sunday, Year A. For the Firestarters and readings for every day over the three-year cycle, see “Ebook and Paperback” in the menu options. The ebook costs only $6.00. I have it on my phone and can go right to the Firestarter for the day. It’s a marvelous daily devotional and resource for Bible Study groups. –Nick