Dear Mishpochah in Yeshua,
All About Water
The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) has been speaking to me lately a lot about WATER, a very important—but not often recognized—topic in the Holy Scriptures. (The Hebrew word for water is mayim מים MAH-yeem). If we look at the Hebrew word picture for water, it consists of three letters: mem, yod, and mem. Mem stands for water. Yod for hand. Mem for water. A hand in between two waters. What did God do in creation? He separated the waters from the waters. “Then God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters” (Gen. 1:6). The waters above were called shamayim שמים) shah-MAHYEEM), or heavens.
Water means life, both in the natural and the spiritual. The human body is 68% water. Water covers 71% of the earth’s surface. 97% of the earth’s water is found in the oceans while 3% of the earth’s water is fresh. It is estimated that 0.5% of the earth’s water is available fresh water. According to the 2023 U.N. World Water Development Report, one in four people around the world do not have clean drinking water (26% of the world’s population).
Water is a precious commodity. We, in the U.S., don’t always appreciate what we have. Let’s stay hydrated this summer. Drink more water and pray as you do for those who don’t have access to this human necessity.
Israel and Water
Water is especially valuable in the dry Middle East. It is no surprise that Israel is a world leader in water efficiency. Nevertheless, despite all its technology, the Jewish state is highly dependent on rain—and God is the source of rain, “He gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields” (Job 5:10).
Within Israel, there are three main natural sources of freshwater: the Sea of Galilee, the coastal aquifers, and the aquifers under the biblical hill country of Judea and Samaria. Each of these provides about 30% of Israel’s water needs. According to an article by Avriel Schneider in “Israel Today,” if Israel were to relinquish the Golan Heights and the eastern mountain range in a treaty with Syria and the Palestinians, it would lose two-thirds of its natural water resources. Why? The Sea of Galilee is primarily fed from the Golan Heights. Pray.
Part of the solution to Israel’s water situation is desalination. The Jewish state’s desalination efforts are celebrated worldwide. Of the twelve largest plants in the world, five are in Israel. A manager for seawater desalination from the Israel Water Authority has said: “In five years’ time, all of Israel’s drinking water is set to come from desalination plants.” An amazing country with amazing solutions.
It All Began with Water!
We read in B’resheet (Genesis), the first book of the Bible, that in the beginning there was only water. “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). (I realized while researching that a similar verse occurs in Psalm 29:3, one which God has made real to me many times, especially during my outings with Him at the ocean.) I claim Psalm 29:3, and He speaks to me! “The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters.”
After creating the world, before He sent rain to the earth, God watered the ground with a mist that went up from the earth (Gen. 2:4-6). Then, after forming man of the dust of the ground, the Lord planted a garden in Eden, and had a river go out of Eden to water it (Gen. 2:8, 10). From Genesis to Revelation, water is mentioned in 416 verses and waters (plural) in 209 verses. Lots of water! Water is usually a sign of God’s blessing as well as a source of life. One of the blessings mentioned in Deuteronomy 28 emphasizes that obedience to the voice of God results in abundant rainfall: “The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season…”
(v. 12). Conversely, the penalty for disobedience is no rain (Deut. 11:17; I Ki. 8:35; 2 Chron. 6:26; Zech 14:17).
A verse that promises water for obedience is part of God’s “chosen fast.” This water is the spiritual kind, that originates from the Ruach HaKodesh—that Spirit that hovered over the waters at creation. “The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Is. 58:11). Receive this as a promise from God for Summer 2023!
Bible Miracles Involving Water
Water is a primary component of many miracles of the Bible, both in the Tanakh (First Covenant) and the B’rit Hadashah (Renewed Covenant). Some of them include:
• The creation of life (Gen. 1)
• The flood (Gen. 6-9)
• The preservation of the infant Moses (Ex. 2; Moses means “drawn out of the waters”)
• The plagues against Egypt (Ex. 4:9, river to blood; Ex. 8:6, frogs from the river)
• The dividing of the Red Sea (Ex. 14)
• Water from the Rock (Ex. 17)
• The dividing of the Jordan (Josh. 3)
• Elijah and the drought (I Ki. 17-18)
• The consumption of Elijah’s water-drenched altar (I Ki. 18)
• Elisha and the floating ax head (II Ki. 6)
• Yeshua turning water into wine (Jn. 2 [His first miracle involved water.])
• Yeshua heals a man at the Pool of Bethesda (Jn. 5)
• Yeshua’s mikveh and descending Dove (Matt. 3)
• The great catch of fish (Lk. 5; Jn. 21)
• Yeshua walking on the water (Matt. 14)
• Yeshua calming the storm (Mk. 4)
• Yeshua and the herd of swine (Matt. 8)
Perhaps the greatest Bible miracle in which water is mentioned is the one spoken of in John 3 in the conversation between the Messiah and Nicodemus, a ruler of the Pharisees. Yeshua said to him, “…’Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit‘” (Jn. 3:5-6). We are first born naturally—after nine months of swimming in a placental water sac (a miracle in itself). Then, those who place their faith in Yeshua are born spiritually—born of the Spirit (an even greater miracle!)
Living Water: Mayim Hayim
Mayim Hayim, מים חיים (MAH-yeem KHA-yeem)—or Living Water—is the life-giving water of rain, rivers, and springs. This concept arose in the Middle East due to the scarcity and great value of water. When the brown barren hills in Israel spring to life after a time of rain, it is as if mayim hayim has made the dead come alive.
Living water became a picture of the Ruach HaKodesh moving in the world, especially at the coming of the Messiah. Consider the words of the prophet Isaiah: “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring; they will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses‘” (Is. 44:3-4). (This is a wonderful promise to claim for your children and grandchildren!)
An article by Dr. James Fleming, in “Dispatch from Jerusalem” (Sept.-Oct. 2002), mentioned some interesting facts about springs. A spring is flowing water from saturated strata of rock, usually in a valley and often a year-round source of fresh, clean water. There was a young bride related to Caleb in the Bible who asked for a wedding present: springs! “So she said to him, ‘Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.’ And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs” (Judg. 1:15). Springs were considered great blessings.
Dr. Fleming saw an additional meaning of springs—a symbol of the gift of God’s grace to humans, since mayim hayim is water that flows freely, rather than water that lies dormant in a cistern. The prophet Jeremiah compared the Lord to this living water: “O LORD, the hope [rendered as mikveh מקוה here instead of the usual tikvah תקוה [of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. ‘Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters‘” (Jer. 17:13). Springs and streams were images of salvation in a dry land— a gracious gift of God. In First Century Israel, living water was a required part of the mikveh for ritual
cleansing. If there were not enough Jews for a synagogue, prayer was conducted beside a free-flowing stream, considered the most appropriate place for worship. This explains Acts 16:13, “And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made….”
The God of Israel promised mayim hayim to His people, “The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Is. 41:17-18).
Yeshua: Source of Mayim Hayim
Yeshua, the Messiah, clearly proclaimed that He was the spiritual source of Mayim Hayim. In John 4, interacting with a woman from Samaria at Jacob’s well, Yeshua asked for a drink. She was shocked that a Jew would ask a Samaritan woman for anything, since Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. “Yeshua answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?’ . . . Yeshua answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life‘” (Jn. 4:10-11, 13-14).
The mayim hayim of which Yeshua spoke was the Spirit of God that quenches the thirsty souls of all who put their trust in Messiah. Longing for this living water had been a major theme of the psalmists. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps. 42:1-2). King David waited for the life-giving waters of salvation: “Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation” (Ps. 62:1). “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1).
The mayim hayim longed for in the psalms and promised by the prophets was made flesh in Yeshua. Perhaps the most beautiful expression of this is found in John 7 at Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, when Yeshua identified Himself with the Living Water that all Israel prayed for yearly.
It was Hoshana Rabbah, the last great day of the feast. The annual Water Pouring Ceremony was taking place, in which water was carried in a golden vessel from the Pool of Siloam, poured out on the altar, amidst great fanfare, with prayers offered for God to water the earth and send His Spirit to quench thirsty souls. “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Yeshua was not yet glorified” (Jn. 7:37-39).
More Water in John
Consider taking a deep dive into the Gospel of John this summer and explore the recurring theme of WATER in the first seven chapters.
John 1: John came immersing with WATER
John 2: Yeshua’s first miracle involved WATER
John 3: Yeshua said, “Unless one is born of WATER and the Spirit…”
John 4: Yeshua told the Samaritan woman that His WATER was eternal
John 5: Yeshua healed a man waiting for the WATER of Bethesda to be stirred
John 6: Yeshua came to His disciples, walking on the WATER
John 7: Yeshua promised living WATER on Hoshana Rabbah
It All Ends with Water!
Not a flood. God promised that a worldwide flood would never occur again (Gen. 9:11). But there is a lot of water in our future. The prophets made some interesting proclamations. “And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter it shall occur. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—’The LORD is one,’ and His name one” (Zech. 14:8-9). How exciting! I look forward to that day.
Another prophecy: “Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar” (Ez. 47:1). “Then he said to me: ‘This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets…” (Ez. 47:8-10). This is referring to the Dead Sea becoming alive one day! Read all of Ezekiel 47 for more insight on future blessings.
Water in Revelation
The final book of the Bible is also filled with water—judgments as well as blessings. At the “Third Trumpet,” a great star named Wormwood fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. Many men died from the water because it was made bitter (Rev. 8:10-11). Revelation 12:15 speaks of a serpent who spewed water out of his mouth in an attempt to carry away, by a flood, the woman who gave birth to a male Child. Revelation 16:4 speaks of a Third Bowl judgment on those who shed the blood of saints and prophets. “The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. The Sixth Bowl judgment resulted in the great river Euphrates and its water drying up” (Rev. 16:12).
GOOD News comes in Revelation chapters 21 and 22! First, the Lord promises to wipe away every tear from our eyes. No more sorrow, nor crying. No more death. No more pain. He will make all things new. Yeshua said, “‘… I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts'” (Rev. 21:6). “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).
Pray with me: “Abba, we are thirsty for more of Your living water, Your Mayim Hayim. Help us to drink deeply of Your Spirit this summer, to satisfy our spiritual thirst with spiritual, not natural, sources. Please keep us from being spiritually dehydrated. We don’t want to forsake Yeshua, the fountain of living waters (Jer. 2:13). In His Name, Amen!”