Sunday, July 27, 2014
Roots by the Stream, Valley Forge, PA
The very first Psalm tells us that those who place their faith in God are likened to a tree whose roots are firmly established beside flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. The Psalmist relates that your fruit ripens in its time and your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun. No matter what you do, you prosper, i.e., when we apply God’s wisdom the fruit or results we bear will be good and receive God’s approval. This doesn’t imply an easy life, but a worthwhile life of significance and true value.
Jesus offered the woman at Jacob’s Well living water so that she would never be thirsty again. She wanted to be free of physical thirst, but Jesus was offering spiritual nourishment; streams of living water that flow from within. He empowers us to deal with our problems from God’s perspective. Jacob, Isaac’s son, actually purchased this land outside Shechem, north of Jerusalem, for a hundred pieces of silver (Genesis 33:19). After wrestling with God, his name was changed to Israel, meaning “he struggles with God”, and he became the third link in God’s plan to start a nation from Abraham (Genesis 35:10-11). Jesus was in the lineage of Isaac and Mohammad was in the lineage of Ishmael, Abraham’s other son. An angel of God called out to Hagar and Ishmael in the desert and told Hagar to “lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation (Genesis 21:17-18). Perhaps the one common thread of hope for peace in the Holy Land is knowing that the roots of the world’s three major monotheistic religions of Judiasm, Islam and Christianity all commence from one man, Abraham.
And the well of God’s living water still flows today as a reminder of His love for all nations and the promise of a restored Kingdom of God.