‘The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water.’ John 4:15
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Revelation 22:1–17
The apostle John says he saw a ‘river of water of life’. Nobody is afraid when there is a deep, broad, flowing river to draw from. Who fears to exhaust the Thames or drain the Danube by his thirst? Moreover, as John Bunyan reminds us, a river is free to everybody to drink. The source of it is private. Many rivers rise in a park or private grounds, but the river itself is public. As soon as it becomes a considerable stream, it becomes a public highway and a universal water-supply. It is free; it flows the way it wills.
Rivers possess a sort of sovereignty; you cannot bid them flow in a straight line or order them by rules of geometry; they will have their own sweet will. If the river chooses to go by one town and not by another, it will have its way, try to stop it who may. But while it is sovereign in its course and direction, yet it is free for public use; the cattle come to drink and even a poor dog is not refused when he gets to the river’s brink; if he wants to lap and cool his feverish tongue in the heat of the summer, who shall forbid him?
And you, poor sinner, you shall find the grace of God free to you, for there is enough of it; it is up to the banks; no, it overflows the banks; there is a flood of it, such a flood that there never can by any possibility be any lack, though all men should come. Though ten thousand times ten thousand should come, there would still be found sufficient grace in Jesus to meet the case of all, for whom the Lord brings, the Lord can provide for in Christ Jesus. The grace of God is sovereign in its choice and discriminating in its course, but still it is free to all thirsty ones who long to partake of its everlasting fulness.
FOR MEDITATION: The abundance of water which flowed from the rock smitten by Moses quenched the thirst of a multitude in the wilderness (Numbers 20:11). But that is only a faint picture of the abundance of God’s mercy (1 Peter 1:3) and grace (Romans 5:17; 2 Corinthians 4:15; 1 Timothy 1:14) which flows to us from the true rock, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4), smitten for our sins on Calvary’s cross (Isaiah 53:4–5).
C. H. Spurgeon and Terence Peter Crosby, 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 3), (Leominster, UK: Day One Publications, 2005), 356.