“But understand this, that in the last days there will set in perilous times: of great stress and trouble – hard to deal with and hard to bear.” 2 Timothy 3:1 (Amplified Bible)
The explorer, Coulthard, who perished of thirst in the Australian desert, left behind at his last encampment, a few feebly scrawled lines:
“Lost, lost, for want of water.”
One aspect of the “perilous times” that the world is facing, in these the last days, is the problem of a worldwide shortage of water. Almost unnoticed, the problem has crept up on a planet distracted by fears of global warming, ozone depletion and other environmental threats. There simply is not enough water – and the story is repeated in country after country. From the slums of Mexico to the overburdened farms of China, not only is mankind outstripping limited fresh water stocks, but is also frequently polluting and poisoning the fluid that sustains all life.
Even in areas where rainfall is plentiful, such as Europe and the Eastern United States, supplies are often tight, and quality is deteriorating. In drier regions, there is neither enough water fit to drink nor enough to grow adequate amounts of food. For untold millions, the shortage of clean water means epidemic, hunger, despair and death. According to the United Nations, 40,000 children die every day, many of them the victims of diarrhoea and other side affects of the water crisis. Distress signals are sounding everywhere.
The shortage could impose limits on population growth and economic expansion by curtailing food productions; roughly 70% of the fresh water used by mankind, after all, goes to agriculture. Over the decades, more and more once arid land has been put into cultivation through large-scale irrigation. However, no longer is an unlimited amount of water available to make deserts bloom. Already the world is consuming more food than it produces.
If, today, countries are poised to go to war over oil, the catalyst for future-armed conflict could be water. King Hussein of Jordan, for instance, cites a dispute over water as one issue that could provoke his country to start fighting Israel again.
Obviously, the world’s water supply is of great concern but as Jesus said:
“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:” John 4:14
Water is crucial for sustaining natural life, but there is something far more important – living water – the vital and essential ingredient for sustaining Spiritual life. Jesus continued:
“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 into everlasting life.” John 4:15
Considering the significance of water, it is not surprising that the Bible uses it as a symbol of the Holy Spirit:
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” John 7:37-39
Just as without water there can be no natural life, without the Holy Spirit there can be no Spiritual life.
So, as the world’s precious resource of water gets scarce then…
“…let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev 22:17