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Playing in the Mud

Updated on November 11, 2009

Playing in the Mud

            The definition of thirst is 1 a: a sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat associated with a desire for liquids; also: the bodily condition (as of dehydration) that induces this sensation b: a desire or need to drink 2: an ardent desire. In other words, thirst is a condition of the human body, in which a sensation or need to drink liquids and hydrate the body is signaled to the brain which creates an ardent desire to quench one’s thirst. God designed the body in such a way that particular needs must be met in order for the body to function correctly. The amazing thing about God’s handiwork is that he designed the human body with a built in system that sends out mental warning signals to let one know that there is a need that is not being met. The spiritual life of man is much the same way. God has designed and created all to have a relationship with him. One of the major problems in the lives of people is that, left to ourselves, we would continue to attempt to satisfy the longing of our soul with the things of the world. The outcome of such an attempt can be seen in the lives of many. People with a thirst and need for God cannot fill that void with anything but God. It has been said that there is a God shaped hole in the life of every person that can only be filled by God. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 55, the great call of salvation is given. The thirsty and hungry can be satisfied by God and God alone.

            Hungering and thirsting in the Bible is typically indicative of a  longing after God (Isaiah. 55:1; Psalm. 42:2; John 4:13; 7:37; Revelation. 21:6; 22:17). Salvation is a free gift of God because the blessings of God are available “without cost.” It is important to realize this, otherwise one falls in the first part of Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death”. It is human nature to try to do things “my way”; however, the way of salvation is Gods way, and it is not earned or deserved. Isaiah 55:1 reads as follows, “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.” It is very comforting to realize that the invitation, first addressed by the Lord to the exiles, is now held out to everyone. (NSB)

            In Isaiah 55:2, the prophet makes it crystal clear that one can spend his or her money and effort trying to satisfy the demands of the soul, only to realize that  the God who died to know us is He alone who can satisfy the soul. The principle of supply and demand seems to ring a bell when considering this verse. The demand of the human life is peace, forgiveness, and purpose, and all of the supply in the world will only leave one demanding more. God, on the other hand, has an abundant supply that exceeds our very imagination, and can never be depleted. Yet, the fact of the matter is that many appear on the surface to be satisfied apart from God….how could this be?

Unfortunately, I believe C.S Lewis said it most profoundly in a sermon preached in 1941, “If we were to consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the Sea. We are far too easily pleased.” So then, what shall I say to this, I suppose the things of this world “should not” be able to satisfy our longings, but with such empty expectations, it’s no wonder we are surrounded by so many who are playing in the mud.

            In a clear and beautiful way, Isaiah shines the spotlight on Jesus, the “Suffering Servant”. The great salvation that Isaiah speaks of is based on the Suffering Servant of Yahweh and is accomplished through His substitutionary death and glorious resurrection. It is only through Him that all are able to come to the fountain of living water and quench the thirsting of the soul. Lest we misunderstand the economics of this transaction; the only reason the salvation that is offered could be free is because it was paid in full by the blood of the Lamb of God. The Apostle Paul says it this way in Romans 3:23-25, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.”

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