Water. In Israel, life is all about water. In the ancient world, you couldn’t build a city without water. You needed an abundant supply of defendable water. They built incredible water systems of shafts and tunnels hidden from their enemies. In many places in the world, you dig a well and you find water. But over here, you do not have the luxury of building individual wells, at least not a couple of thousand years ago. Every city had to be built around a water source. And you had to keep it away from your enemies and keep it for yourself. An enemy siege could last a long time, so you needed your water to outlast your enemy. Or else.
Water is so important, that the tribe of Dan whose land was much farther south (and surrounded by Philistines) decided to move up north (no Philistines) where the water flowed in abundance. It would be much easier to live up there than deal with all those water tunnels and shafts. We walked next to a stream this week that flowed with water and was in stark contrast to the barren landscape of Judah. Life is all about water.
Tonight, after dinner we were on our own little quest for water. We walked a lot today (and every day) and sweat a lot, even in the cooler altitudes of Jerusalem. We had gone through our huge Galilean stash of water, and we need some replenishments. There is a gas station on our route from the Damascus Gate to our hotel. And guess what they had? Water. A huge six-pack even.
We asked how much and were told 60 shekels (about $17). Seemed a bit pricey, but our options were limited and it’s all about the water. Even in our modern world. I gave the guy $100 NIS (shekels), and he started giving me all this change. I’m like, what’s going on? He said, it’s 60. Yeah, so why are you giving me over 70 NIS in change? Because it’s 60…one six. Oh, you mean 16 NIS? Yes. We got six huge bottles of water for just over $1 each. Wow, that’s a great deal. It’s all about the water, and a bargain doesn’t hurt!
But I thought of the woman at the well who expended so much effort to supply her own water, and Jesus offered her living water. In the end, that’s what we all need. Living water. May our hearts thirst for the water that comes from God. May we live as if we are in a parched desert and cannot wait for the river of God to quench our thirst. Be thirsty for Him.