Since the 1967 six-day war, Israeli scientists have been surveying the desert and have discovered that below the surface of the Sinai are great reservoirs of water - enough to supply the wide, dry regions in the center of the Sinai Desert with millions of cubic meters of water per year for the coming fifty years and longer. The water is salty but drinkable. Their tests cause the scientists to believe that the water has been there thousands of years.
Yet, in that very place during the war, many soldiers died in agony of thirst because they were cut off from supplies of water!
When Moses led the children of Israel out in the wilderness from Egypt, they came to this same desert place and they, too, were thirsty until the Lord commanded Moses to strike the rock in Horeb.Water came out from the rock and flowed out into the desert. The people drank and were satisfied. The Lord knew that water was there thousands of years ago, but it was unattainable to the Israelites until the rock was smitten!
There is a remarkable verse in the New Testament referring to this incident. It says they all "drank from the same spiritual drink, for they long drank the water that flowed from the spiritual rock that went with them- and that rock was the Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4 Weymouth).
You see this world is truly a wilderness because of sin. And everyone is thirsty- apart from Christ! There is truly nothing of the world itself that can truly satisfy the human heart. Solomon had every opportunity to find satisfaction in wisdom, in great works, in gardens, in music and in great riches of silver and gold; but he was still thirsty! He said: "All is vanity and vexation of spirit."
That rock in the desert which Moses smote- and from it flowed out water- is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ who was smitten on Calvary because of our sins. Now, from Him flows true satisfaction to all who will place faith in Him; and what He gives will not only quench our thirst as we journey through the wilderness of this world, but He also gives eternal satisfaction and joy!
It was sad indeed that those many soldiers during the war had to die of thirst because, even if they had known of the reservoir underneath them, they could not get the water because it was so many feet below them. We do expect that in the coming years the technology of pumping the water from those reservoirs will so advance that extraction of the water will become practicable and the desert will be transformed into gardens.
In our situation, spiritual satisfaction is now attainable; for the Lord Jesus said:
"If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." (John 7:37) And, "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)
"I heard the voice of Jesus say,
Behold I freely give
The living water, thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink and live.'
I came to Jesus and I drank
Of that life giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him."
tract by Tom M. Olson
originally published by Christian Missions Press (CMP)