The more that I read the bible, the more that I see the connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Here is a very brief sampling of this awareness recently received during my readings. Notice the connections of the themes of water, thirst and hope.
O Lord, the HOPE of Israel, all who forsake you shall be ashamed. Those who depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS.
If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of LIVING WATER. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
As for you also, because the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to the stronghold you PRISONERS OF HOPE. Even today I will declare double to you.
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Zechariah describes prisoners in a waterless pit – this dry place from which the Lord wants to redeem them. This is no good place for God’s people to dwell. He will set the prisoners free! However, they are to RETURN to the stronghold, no longer prisoners of the waterless pit, but as PRISONERS OF HOPE. Jeremiah tells us that the Lord is the HOPE OF ISRAEL. So, we are now “prisoners” of the Lord – a description that Paul used frequently when he described himself as a bondservant of Christ. Jeremiah says that the HOPE OF ISRAEL is also the FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS. It follows that being set free from the waterless pit, we are rescued into the stronghold with the FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS.
Isaiah’s invitation is to “come to the waters” – this same fountain of which Jeremiah speaks. While Isaiah beckons all to come via his invitation, Jeremiah’s beckoning to the people sounds much more like a command: RETURN! Perhaps Jeremiah’s urgent admonition to the people was because the captivity was at hand, while during Isaiah’s life, the captivity was still about 100 years in the future. Nevertheless, the command to RETURN is very similar to the message of Jesus when He “commanded” the people to REPENT!
John records Jesus’ reference to Jeremiah’s fountain when he says that rivers of LIVING WATER will flow out of the hearts of those who believe, after they receive the Holy Spirit. For, indeed, the LIVING WATER is the Holy Spirit. Those who come and abide in the stronghold of Christ will not only drink of those living waters but shall become receptacles of living water (Holy Spirit) for the purpose of those waters flowing out of the hearts of the believers into this world, just as Jesus did. How can this happen? Only by receiving the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, Jesus invited “anyone who thirsts let him come” in a similar fashion to Isaiah saying, “Everyone who thirsts, come”.
This whole theme of LIVING WATER running from the Old Testament prophets through Jesus’ ministry is also evidenced by his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:6-14). Clearly, Jesus is the giver of living water…the Holy Spirit. In verses 13-14 Jesus confirms the idea that the drinkers of LIVING WATER become receptacles of that same LIVING WATER springing up into everlasting life. Receptacles are reservoirs that take again and again the fresh source water until it pours out over the banks and levies that contain it. Such is the abundance of the Holy Spirit. Reservoir water does not stagnate because there is an outlet, a pass through, that allows the water to not just be contained, but flow downstream, watering all that it touches. Such is the filling to overflowing of the Holy Spirit. Ezekiel (47:1-12) saw that river of life flowing from the temple source, growing in breadth and depth. It is bringing healing and life wherever it runs. So is the one who comes to the water as Isaiah beckoned. Even Zechariah signals that the PRISONERS OF HOPE surely are hoping for the antithesis of the waterless pit– indeed hoping for (returning to) the stronghold where the FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS freely flow. Jesus brought these waters to those who dared to repent and continually believe. All PRISONERS OF HOPE- ye bondservants of Christ – come and drink deeply.