Shiloah or 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, O Immanuel.’

“Be broken, you peoples, and be shattered;
    give ear, all you far countries;
strap on your armor and be shattered;
    strap on your armor and be shattered.
Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
    speak a word, but it will not stand,
    for God is with us.

“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.” Isaiah 8:5-11

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water… Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4:10,13-14

“Jesus cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”’” John 7:37-38

“[Jesus] said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.’ So he went and washed and came back seeing.” John 9:7

Water offered, water refused. Deaf to God’s repeated warnings, Israel persistently raged against His word in stubborn rebellion, and He had had enough. If they shunned His gentle mercy, they would meet His jealous wrath.

We, too, turn our backs on God’s gentle flow and by default choose the raucous torrent. Yes, life brings billows of sorrow and the rush of riptide waves, even when we are safe in Christ. Yet rather than turn to His grace for help and refreshing, we too often are unwilling to relinquish our toiling, anger, fretting, and angst, inviting torrents of consequential judgment or correction. We eschew mercy for want of self-sufficiency, and pure devotion for self-love and aggrandizement.

Maybe this is unwitting, but God can give eyes to see and a heart to desire. Are we willing to be made willing to repent? Would we really have God remove our blinders? Can we recognize when we rage against God that often He is giving exactly what we have asked in prideful independence, that we are reaping the whirlwind of the rebel winds we’ve sown? (Hosea 8:7)

The invitations of our Lord are gracious, extended in patience and love. Are we listening? Would we come, be healed, held, and satisfied?

Lord, may I ever yield to Your irresistible affection and abide in Shiloah, daily refreshed to take Your living water to those around me.

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