Living Water and the Tree of Life, pt 1 of 2

The first chapter of Genesis provides an overview of the creation with specific details given about planet earth and its inhabitants including God’s highest creation, i.e. man. At the end of the sixth day God reviewed all that He had made and expressed His pleasure and satisfaction.

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good…”
Genesis 1:31

The Hebrew for the adverb ‘very’ means vehemently and/or utterly while the adjective ‘good’ translates into excellent, fruitful, and/or righteous. In other words, God saw His creation as being ‘utterly excellent.’

Chapter two of Genesis provides a look into the Garden of Eden, where man began his odyssey.

“The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden…The tree of life was…in the midst of the garden…Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden…Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
Genesis 2:8-15

We know that sin entered the Garden with its subsequent curse on Satan, man, and all the earth. Man was expelled from the beautiful garden.

“…therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden…and He placed cherubim…to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Genesis 3:23-24

The Hebrew base for ‘life’ is rich in meaning. It translates to ‘sustain life,’ ‘remain alive,’ ‘live forever,’ and/or ‘fresh, running water.’

Therefore, when man sinned, he was denied ‘life’ as evidenced by losing access to the tree of life and was instead consigned to death. What a dilemma. How could something that was so ‘very good’ have such a sad ending. Would it ever be possible for man to be restored to the garden with flowing waters and partake of the tree of life? Would the curse ever be removed?

Well as generations passed God began to reveal His plan to restore what was lost in Eden. His original plan was not nullified; it would indeed be fulfilled. The tree of life and living waters would someday be accessible to man once again. In fact, God never did have an alternate plan. Wise is the man who seeks the truth.

“Blessed is the man…(whose) delight is in the law of the LORD…He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…”
Psalm 1:1-3

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD…for he shall be like a tree planted by the waters…”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Thereafter the prophets began to speak of the restoration in terms of living waters.

“In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness…And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem…”
Zechariah 13:1, 14:8-9

The Old Testament prophets were speaking of the future millennial kingdom. They also revealed that man would be stubborn and would attempt to achieve fulfillment without God.

“For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Jeremiah 2:13

And then in the New Testament Jesus spoke again of the ‘living water’ beginning with the Samaritan woman at the well. When the woman questioned Jesus’ ability to provide ‘living water’ Jesus replied:

“… ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst…the water that I shall give him, will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’”
John 4:7-15

Jesus expanded His teaching reaffirming He was in fact the source of ‘living water.’

“On the last day, that great day of the feast (Feast of Tabernacles, the last of the seven ‘Feasts of the Lord’), Jesus 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…”
John 7:37-39

Jesus’ proclamation reminded His hearers of a profound Old Testament passage which introduced the future relationship between Christ and the Holy Spirit 1500 years before His birth.

“And the people thirsted there for water…So Moses cried out to the LORD…And the LORD said to Moses…take in your hand your rod…and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”
Exodus 17:3-6

This great story was explained and confirmed in the New Testament.

“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers…drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock…and that Rock was Christ…Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
I Corinthians 10:1-11

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