Refuse Shiloah? Suffer the Raging River

“The Lord spoke to me again: ‘Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land…’

“For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: ‘Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary…'” Isaiah 8:5-8,11-14a

“My people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13

“Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink…’ [Jesus] said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.’ So he went and washed and came back seeing.” John 7:37; 9:7

“See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.” Hebrews 12:25

Prophets and apostles speak a consistent message with Jesus: refuse Him, or suffer the consequences. Throughout the Scriptures and for millennia through history, God’s people have rebelled, inviting and incurring His promised wrath. His holiness requires that we meet Him at mercy, yet time and again, we refuse His appointed healing, living waters in order to make our own way. And that way will never succeed. We cannot clean ourselves nor earn God’s favor. Every effort at ‘rejoicing over Rezin’ with desperation or alien affection, and hewing our own cisterns, will lead us only to the blast and pound of Justice’s raging river.

The glorious truth is that Jesus endured our deserved and horrid judgment, and His nail-scarred hands hold out Shiloah’s gentle cleansing waters today. He is merciful and mighty to save. Although we suffer the effects of God’s present wrath in the world, we can choose by His grace to submerse ourselves in the flow of His grace that both cleanses and renews. (Zephaniah 3:17; Romans 1:18-21; 8:18-24; Titus 3:4-7)

The Lord will make His way and have His way no matter what. Wouldn’t we rather the mode of Shiloh’s gentle waters by yielding to God’s early and gracious discipline, than harsher methods to get our attention? What’s causing stubbornness to insist on our own devices, strategies, and escapes? Any bent of the flesh can be washed and regenerated by His life-giving waters! Would we genuinely repent and fully receive His cleansing, and return regularly for times of refreshing? (Psalm 32:1-7; Acts 3:19-20; Romans 2:3-5)

Lord, may I fear and honor You as holy, and daily come under Your measureless flow of mercy and grace. So cleanse and fill me that I never thirst for any water but You.

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