“And there was no water for the people to drink.” Exodus 17:1b

“The woman said unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water.” John 4:11

Topic Sentence: When the people of God are thirsty, God has living water to quench their thirst.


When I was growing up, there were three ways to get a drink of water. You could go to the open face well and draw with a bucket. Or you could go to the pump and prime it. Or you could go to a sealed suction well and turn on the tap.

Utah is desert land. Water is essential to our existence. Each year we hope and pray that enough snow will fall in the mountains, melt, and run off to fill the reservoirs so that everybody will have enough to drink.

Thirst in Biblical Times

The children of Israel had been delivered from Egyptian bondage and are now wandering in the wilderness. “And there was no water for the people to drink.” (Exodus 17:1b) They are thirsty and want water to cool their parching tongues. Moses has not been any help. They seemed to have forgotten how they got where they are. They felt deserted and that they were worst off now than before. They had an emptiness that they just could not get fulfilled. So they scolded their deliverer and complained: “Give us water that we may drink.” (Exodus 17:2)

It was about this time of day, mid-day when the woman of Samaria came to Sychar to get water from Jacob’s well. She came with an empty bucket and an empty life and was thirsty. She did not know the weary man sitting on the well. She wanted to have a drink.

Thirst in Our World

There is an unquenched thirst in our world today. People are looking for a drink to satisfy their need. They want to know where they can find healing water for their incurable diseases. They want to drink cooling waters for the unbearable heat of homelessness and hunger. They want to drink waters of peace in the midst of wars and rumors of wars. What hinders us from finding the drink we need?

We are hindered by lack of knowledge. The Israelites did not know what Moses or God was doing. The woman at the well did not know “the gift of God or who it was that saith to her, Give me to drink.” (John 4:10) We are hindered by lack of access. The children of Israel did not have a rod and the woman at the well did not know what Jesus would draw with. We are hindered by lack of faith. The wilderness wanderers did not believe Moses could help them and the woman at the well did not know who Jesus was.

A Drink in Biblical Times

Well, there is good news. There is a balm in Gilead. There is a Physician in the land. There is a drink to quench the thirst. God said to Moses, “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock of Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that they people might drink.” (Exodus 17:6)

Jesus said to the woman at the well, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.” (John 4:14)

No wonder the Psalmist sang, “O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with Psalms.” (Psalm 95:1-2) Whenever the people of God are thirsty, God will provide living water to quench their thirst.

A Drink in Our Day

Even when earthly satisfactions fail and leave us empty, God has a perpetual spiritual well, more inexhaustible than Jacob’s well. It springs forth by the Grace of God, is abounding with plenty, is sufficient for every need, and is eternal in supply. This unfailing fountain of Living Water is accessible through Jesus Christ, is controlled by the Holy Spirit, and is delivered through faith. There is a drink for you and me.

Which well do you get your water from? Jacob’s deep well that dries up and is inaccessible or Jesus’ well springing up with Living Water?

The crew had been shipwrecked in the Atlantic. They drifted for days in a small lifeboat and grew more and more thirsty. Just when it seemed impossible, all hope was gone, they caught a glimpse of a ship bearing down on them. They mustered enough strength to cry out, Help, water! Water!” In return from the approaching ship they heard, “Let down your bucket where you are.” For without knowing it they had drifted into the mouth of the great Amazon River as it dumped its fresh water into the ocean. Unaware, they were thirsty while floating in plenty of fresh water. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye and buy,…without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1)