Thirst. What great power it holds.
Quench it and lengthen life. Withhold from it and quicken death. Satisfy it and grant relief. Ignore it and intensify suffering.
It is a universal desire that all of us experience - some in greater ways than others. So it’s no wonder that we find thirst all over Scripture.
The Israelites knew thirst. In Exodus 17, we find them complaining to Moses that there’s no water to drink. They accuse him of bringing them out of Egypt just to kill them off with thirst. Moses pleads with God to do something about the people who are ready to stone him. In response, God has Moses strike a rock with his staff. Miraculously, water springs forth from the rock and the people are able to drink to their satisfaction.
The Israelites knew physical thirst. But they had yet to understand that physical thirst, more than just being an indicator for their bodies to survive, was a picture of something far greater - namely, a thirst for God.
David knew this thirst:
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42: 1-2)
My soul thirsts for you like a parched land. (Psalm 143:6)
David was spiritually thirsty. He desperately longed for God. He felt how parched his soul was apart from the refreshing presence of God.
Friend, do you feel it? The desperation, the longing, the aching. It’s a God-thirst. It’s in all of us. God has placed this innate thirst into our souls so that we would seek Him. And nothing else can quench it. Not friends, or lovers, or success, or things. Those are just “broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). They’re not meant to quench this thirst, for only God can satisfy the thirsty soul.
Jesus came to a dry and thirsty world and offered himself as the ultimate thirst-quencher. The Living Water became thirsty that we would never have to thirst again. He is the well that never runs dry. The cup that will never run out. He offers a full and forever satisfaction for our parched souls.
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. (Isaiah 55:1)
Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38)
Stop trying to quench this God-thirst with everything but God. Stop drinking from broken cisterns that can hold no water. Come to the One who can satisfy your thirst today and for all eternity. Thirst no more.