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 (Manna 5)
Do You Thirst
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Do You Thirst?

To be thirsty is a terrible thing. But the ‘thirst’ Jesus referred to is not a physical one. On the day of the Feast of Tabernacles, a major religious festival of the Jews, Jesus Christ declared, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”

But why go to Jesus? What is this extraordinary ‘thirst’ that He alone can quench? It is the ‘thirst’ within one’s heart, a longing in the innermost being. But man himself does not know what he really needs.

There is no doubt a pervading sense of dissatisfaction in this generation, despite the luxuries modern living offers. The anti-establishments and the hippies of the 60’s, the phenomenal popularity of Transcendental Meditation and Eastern Occultism in the West, the upsurge of uncontrolled violence, sexual permissiveness, drug addiction and other menaces of society associated with today form but the tip of the iceberg, as it were.

What you see are merely the EFFECTS. The root CAUSE of the PROBLEM is MAN. Man tries to solve the PROBLEM by eliminating the EFFECTS. They fail to see what the PROBLEM is; what man really needs. Throughout history is the woeful tale of man’s search for what makes him more than a beast.

Is fame or recognition the answer? Fame cannot satisfy. Solomon, the wisest and most renowned of all kings, considered everything he had, including fame as vanity. Have you ever heard of a man who is contented to live on his fame?

There are those who think that money and material can fully satisfy. But man can never be satisfied with money, no matter how much. The Bible says, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance (wealth) with its income,” and “the sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much. But the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep” (Eccl 5:10, 12). You may argue that it is what money can get that brings satisfaction, but King Solomon, the wealthiest man in the world confessed:

            “Anything I wanted, I took, and did not restrain myself from any joy .... But as hooked at everything I had tried, it was all so useless, a chasing of the wind, and there was nothing worthwhile anywhere” (Eccl 2:10, 11).

Those who have material abundance realise it is not what they really wanted in life. No wonder Jesus said, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Lk 12:15).

To identify this ‘thirst’, we must go back to the time when it did not exist. We have to pinpoint a particular stage in history when man was completely at ease with nature, totally satisfied with life, and free from anxieties and wants. The Bible tells of this one brief, lovely moment at the dawn of man’s history. Animals roamed free across the face of the earth and man was unafraid; the air was fresh and the world was not torn apart by war. There was only love between the man and the woman, and the earth was one big garden ... They led a healthy and vigorous life. There was no need to fight for a living. Man could talk face to face with his Creator.

Unfortunately, the period of Edenic innocency did not last long. The Creator gave them only one law, but they broke it. From that time on, man had knowledge. He wanted to decide for himself what was good and what was evil. He began to make his own laws, organise his own system of government, and plan his own life apart from God.

God’s Law, His way of life, was transgressed and then rejected. The Bible defines ‘sin’ as the ‘transgression of the Law’ (I Jn 3:4). And sin is passed on to all men, and has become the root CAUSE of the world’s ills. It is not so much what he does as what he is. He is a sinner. And because of that, all the laws he makes restrain his actions but not his nature. One government after another has tried and failed and still no perfect form of government is known. The world leaders today are trying to solve the EFFECTS. They talk about limiting arms but not about eliminating the brutish desire to fight. They can never change man’s nature. They are only humans themselves.

Now, the ‘thirst’ becomes clear. Man was formerly made to enjoy the world. He could choose to obey his Creator or to reject Him. God does not wish to compel obedience. He delights in voluntary submission. His laws were not meant to make our life miserable, but to offer the blueprints of an ideal and happy life in the world.

Unfortunately, the laws of God were rejected and sin rests in all. It seems that man is hopeless, but the Bible says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8), and the redemptive blood of the Lord Jesus has brought us to God (Rom 5:10). Christ sacrificed Himself and bore our sins so that we could be reconciled to God.

You are solving the CAUSE of all human predicaments if you depend on the Lord Jesus who can remove your sin. You must be willing to forsake sin and adopt His way of life. Therefore, acknowledge your sins before God. Rely on Him and believe that by His death on the cross, your sins will be remitted in water baptism. Not until you have put on Christ (Gal 3:27) and received the life of God in you, will your ‘thirst’ be finally quenched (Jn 7:38, 39).

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