“…Because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.” Isaiah 43:20-21

Wilderness Waters

I have never been to Israel, but many of my friends have. They always say what a beautiful land it is. Much of it is green, irrigated to be used for agriculture. But when I look at photos of Israel, it impresses me as a dry place—rocky, stark, harsh, and inhospitable. Indeed, it is hot there for many months each year; we in the north state know how quickly plants and grass dry out during summer. We know “parched” when we see it. We know the thirst of pressing heat. We know the burning skin, the lungs that ache with every dry breath we take.

And we know, in that moment, the utter relief of a drink of water. Our mind clears. Our body recovers. Our mood improves. Our desperation dissipates, and we have hope again. The person that brings us water is literally our savior.

I’ve often wondered why God chose that particular land to give to His people as an inheritance. God created great fjords and lush forests, valleys carpeted with wildflowers, majestic mountain peaks. I’ve seen some stunning landscapes, but, based on photographic displays, I wouldn’t count Israel as one of them.

And perhaps this is the point. Living in a dry land like that, the people would need to rely on their Rescuer, the Provider of life. The One that brings the water is literally the Savior. They could not live without Him. They could not be on their own and expect to thrive. Without water, there would be no means to grow food, nor give livestock a drink. There is no survival without water—and no one can bring water like God can.

God didn’t put a jar of water on the doorsteps each morning. The people had to dig wells—but how amazing that is! They found a storehouse of water deep in the earth, the hidden underground treasuries placed there by God at creation and, for all I know, perhaps replenished by God Himself.

Whether my written words today are merely the product of my imagination, or they are quite true, I do not pretend to know. But this I know: God makes rivers in the desert, and waters in the wilderness, “to give drink to My people, My chosen.” If ever there was a reason to declare His praise, this might be it: He quenches our soul-thirst with Himself, thus refreshing His chosen ones, giving undeserved life in the face of much-deserved death.

“Our Father, for all the ways You create thirst in us—whether in body or mind or soul—we praise You, for we know that Your purpose is to provide for us, that we may ever declare Your works and glorify Your Name. Amen.”