And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea…
The Bible is full of promises. Some of them refer to temporal and some to spiritual things. Some relate to the prosperity of the Redeemer's kingdom.
I. THE DISPENSATION OF CHRISTIANITY. Here are four things.
1. Its representation. It is called — "living waters." This softens, purifies, refreshes the soul. It fertilises. It is described as "living water," — water that springs up. Rising, or springing, up in thought, desire, prayer, pursuit, until it even reaches heaven. All is vitality where this living water is. It is the all-healing balm. It produces a principle of life which strengthens amidst bodily debility, and grows amidst bodily decay.
2. Its origin. "Go out of Jerusalem." Our Lord was of Jewish parents; the apostles were Jews; and most of the first disciples were Jews. In the Acts of the Apostles we discover how these "living waters," issuing from the land of Judea, spread abroad in every direction. In this we see —
(1) The accomplishment of prophecy.
(2) The proof that Christianity can bear investigation.
(3) Showing the goodness of God our Saviour. No nation was ever so favoured as the Jews. Yet they rejected the Messiah.
3. The directions of these "living waters." "Half of them toward the former sea; and half of them toward the hinder sea." The meaning is that these living waters were to spread all abroad. The Jewish Church was a local stationary witness for God. The Christian Church is not local and stationary, but is to go to the world. No dispensation of God can be final, but that which is universal. The blessings procured by our Saviour's death, are offered freely to all men.
4. Its perpetuity. "In summer and in winter shall it be." The most unfavourable seasons for rivers are here mentioned: yet they are not able to hinder the flow and efficacy of these "living waters." earthly rivers may be frozen by the cold of winter, and dried up by the heat of summer; not so with the river of life.
II. THE GLORIOUS RESULTS OF CHRISTIANITY. "The Lord shall be King over all the earth." It is impossible to think of the introducing of Christianity, without expecting great results. The effects of Christianity are described in two ways.
1. By universal subjection. At first sight this seems to announce no more than what He is already. But we must distinguish between right and acknowledgment. The design of Christianity is to make men feel their obligations to God. There is a difference between God's providential and God's spiritual government. The great thing to be attained is, for God to reign in us, by His grace; for Christ to reign in the heart, in the conscience, and in the affections.
2. By uniformity of homage. "One Lord, and His name one." Here the image changes, and the prophet leads us from the palace to the temple. "Our Lord" does not exclude personal distinctions in the Divine essence. Now there are lords many and gods many. Many have idols in their hearts. The time is coming when all these idols shall be utterly destroyed. "His name one." The Lord shall be known by all the tribes of mankind, and in all places of His dominion.
(Timothy Gibson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.