Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, anyone who is thirsty may come to me! – John 7:37
1 Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free!
2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.
3 Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
The University of Florida Gators football team practices and plays in sweltering and humid conditions. Year after year, the players were adversely impacted. Many fell ill, experienced cramps, and even suffered heat exhaustion. In the early summer of 1965, Dewayne Douglas, an assistant football coach at the University of Florida, asked a group of scientists to investigate the deleterious effects of heat and humidity. It was determined that the sweat produced by extreme physical exertion in hot and humid conditions depleted necessary bodily fluids and electrolytes. Consequently, the body’s ionic balance was out of equilibrium creating nerve, muscle, and brain function issues.
Dr. James Robert Cade and a team of researchers developed a drink to offset and replenish the loss. On October 2, 1965, Gatorade was invented in a University of Florida lab. Gatorade (named after the nickname of the university’s sports teams) not only quenched thirst but also replaced lost electrolytes. Salts and sugars were also added to facilitate absorption more quickly. Gatorade being 90% water, effectively rehydrates after protracted, intense exercise.
Physical thirst is a metaphor for spiritual thirst. Spiritual thirst can only be satisfied by the Father’s provisions. Sadly, people with fallen DNA do not recognize that their inner spiritual thirst indicates a deep need for God.
The Father has something far greater and longer lasting than Gatorade. He provided living water. It is spiritual Gatorade on steroids. All are invited to drink it.
Drinking water was A scarce and precious commodity in the ancient Middle East. It was commonly sold by vendors who called out in the marketplace, drawing attention to their supplies. The Father is pictured as an ancient water merchant. He extends an invitation to all in need to come and partake of the water. Those addressed lack the resources themselves to make any acquisitions, so He offers water at no cost. However, the water He provides is not tangible; instead, it is ethereal. The water He offers water is the spiritual blessing of salvation and refreshment.
REFLECT & PRAY
Because God made us for an intimate relationship with Himself, our deepest needs cannot be met anywhere else but in Him. Jesus offers the only satisfaction for spiritual thirst (Stanley).
Father, thank You for inviting me to come and “buy” spiritual nourishment and life at no cost to myself. You paid the price and offered it to me for free.
Those addressed possess a thirst that cannot be quenched unless they come to the Father. Not only is the one addressed thirsty, but he can also not satisfy that thirst. Drinking water is a precious commodity in short supply and comes at a cost. Yet the people he addresses have no money to buy it. How can one buy without money?
Isaiah 55:1 Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free!
The Father asks a rhetorical question to laser focus on the spiritual needs of people. It is addressed to all who thirst. Thirsty people recognize their need and want a solution. But people who recognize their thirst lack the means to acquire what they need.
When people do not recognize their spiritual thirst or are satisfied with how things are, they reject the offer.
It is as though the Father has erected a giant billboard with only one word written on it, “THIRSTY?” Only those that recognize their thirst and seek a solution will come.
The Father offers spiritual nourishment at no cost to the consumer in His grace, kindness, and love. The “free” thirst quencher He provides is the most expensive commodity ever purchased in the history of the world. It’s absolutely free to anyone who “buys” it. The price was paid in advance by the merchant Himself. The price was the death of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have been provided with an unbelievable opportunity. What a deal has been offered! We are to buy without money and without cost. It is a seemingly illogical trade.
What kind of water is offered? What is the source?
“This is water for the soul. This is the kind of water that the Lord Jesus offered – and He used the same symbolism – when he stood in the temple area that day and cried, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink’ (John 7:37).”
Wine is associated with joy. It is a source of exhilaration, enjoyment, and relaxation. And milk provides nourishment. “Joy is what you have when Christ is not only your Savior but when He becomes the Master of your life” (McGee). “Joy is the flag that is flown in the heart when the Master is in residence (McGee).”
Milk is essential for physical growth and development. It provides all the spiritual nutrition needed to grow to spiritual maturity. To grow to maturity as children of the King, we must take in the pure milk of the Word.
1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.
Isaiah 55:2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.
Through the millennia, people have sought satisfaction apart from the bounty and riches of the living God, the Father of eternity. People routinely spend money on junk food rather than “soul food.” Junk food is not nutritious for the body and too often leads to the deterioration of the physical condition. Spiritual junk food is even worse. It does not produce spiritual life. We feel full but are spiritually empty.
“It is ridiculous to spend one’s hard-earned money on what does not satisfy, yet that is what multitudes of people do when they pursue things of only temporal value. The Lord urged the hearers to listen carefully to Him. They should choose what was satisfying and what would yield true abundance (cf. Matthew 6:19–21). People can either work for nothing or receive for nothing (cf. Romans 6:23)” (Constable).
Isaiah 55:3 Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
“A banquet table is worse than useless to the person who is either too proud or too ashamed to come and eat from it” (John N. Oswalt).
The street vendor selling water of Isaiah 55:1 is none other than the Father Himself. He invites everyone to a feast that will bring life to their souls. This is life, indeed. A wasted life is likened to food that does no good.
1 Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns.
3 She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
4 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says,
5 “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.”
We can be empty, or we can be full. We can be nourished, or we can be malnourished. We can use poor judgment, or we can use good judgment. We can leave our simple ways behind and begin to live. The choice is ours.
John 7:37 Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, anyone who is thirsty may come to me!
© Dr. H 2023