by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink (John 7:37).
1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
The Jews were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, one of their three great annual feasts. The feast lasted seven days. The people came from all over and lived in booths. They brought their sacrifices, blew their trumpets, played on instruments, sang psalms, and poured water, brought in a golden vessel from the Pool of Siloam, beside the altar. In connection with this ceremony they used the words: "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." We can hear people say, How beautiful, how edifying, what a great feast!
But what about Christ? Who thinks of him? Who believes on him? Who recognizes him as the Saviour of the world? O how religious people can be, and yet reject the One who alone can help them!
Christ stood and cried with a loud voice to make himself heard: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." He is the fountain of life. "Thou shalt make them drink of the rivers of thy pleasures." Whosoever drinks the water that Christ gives him shall never thirst. "If any man thirst." Are you thirsting for God, for the living God? "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
Let us not be deceived by outward religion. Today we build beautiful churches, and have elaborate liturgical services, but where is Christ? Without him all religion is vain. He still invites the thirsty.
Our Father, we thank Thee, that Thou dost supply all our needs. Thou hast made full provision for us both for body and soul. Thou visitest the earth and waterest it; thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water. Thou hast also abundantly provided for our spiritual thirst. Thou givest to him that is athirst of the water of life freely. With Thee is the fountain of life. May we then come and drink and be satisfied. And help Thou us to praise Thy name. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Isa. 12:3; Ps. 36:8, 9; John 4:14; Ps. 42:1, 2; Isa. 55:1; Rev 22:17.
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