Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Woman at the Well- The Waiting and The Well

"You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.
You water its ridges abundantly.
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth."

Psalm 65:9-10


The Woman at the Well

Today we will look at the significance of the waiting of Jesus and the well where Jesus sat.

As a writer, I have learned by reading God's Word that each word, each scene, in my story must have a meaning. For instance, in my book, The Children Under the Ice, the frozen pond is significant to the story. The fact that the local kids enjoy playing hockey on that pond has meaning. The name of the pond has meaning.

That's what makes reading God's Word so exciting! As you read, you can rest assured that everything written has significance not only to the story, but to your life.

Rivers and Seas.

In scripture, we often see rivers mention as well as the sea. In Revelation 22: 1-2 we find that there will be a "river of life" in the New Jerusalem, but in Revelation 20: 13 we find that the sea will give up her dead followed by Revelation 21:1 where we read there will be no more sea. Lastly, in the New Jerusalem, even our tears will be gone:

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying..." Rev. 21:4

So, we find that in the New Jerusalem, we will still need water. We will not be like God: without need for anything. We will still need light and water. But that water will be the river of life, flowing eternally for us to see and drink from always. No more salty undrinkable water from the sea, no more drawing stagnant water from a well, and God will even dry up our tears.

What a beautiful picture of how God will supply all our needs.

Now we will see how He extends this message of eternal provision to a lonely woman at the well...


John 4:5
"He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph."

Sychar is also translated as Shechem or Shalem. Why must we know the name of the city and the name of the plot of ground? Remember, God carefully selects the setting of this account in the ministry of Christ for a reason:

Gen. 12:6-9 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said,“To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

Gen 16:14  Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

Gen 33:18-20 And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. 19 And from the sons ofHamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

Gen 48:21-22 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover, I have given to you rather than to your brothers one mountain slope that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”


Gen 24:62 Now Isaac had returned from Beer-lahai-roi and was dwelling in the Negeb.

So, we can easily see that the land that Jesus selected is meaningful to His people and, eventually, to us Gentiles adopted as children of God. This land where Jesus waits for the woman is significant to Him.


"The Well-of-the-One-Who Lives-and-Sees-Me"

Beer Lahai Roi

This is the well where Jesus sits and waits for his Gentile bride to come to Him....

Wells were very important in scripture. They symbolized the presence of God: He had provided water for them in the dry desert land. We who live in the desert appreciate water more than anything! I'm a runner, and running in the heat of the desert makes me thirst for water all the more.

In scripture, we find that wells were where grooms met their brides:

Isaac and Rebekah
Gen 24:1-21  "...And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, “OLordGod of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water."

Jacob and Rachel
Gen 29: 1-12 But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”
While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 

Now we find Jesus about to do the same..........

The scene is almost completely set now. This plot of land was where Abimelech was made king, Jeroboam's royal seat was, and where Jacob's well was.........obviously, the land of Samaria is very important to our God. At this time in history, though, it was not important to the Jewish people:

"The hatred between the Jews and Samaritans went back to the days of the Exile. Samaria was the region between Judea and Galilee. When the northern kingdom was exiled to Assyria, King Sargon of Assyria repopulated the area with captives from other lands. The intermarriage of these foreigners and Jews who had been left in the land complicated the ancestry of the Samaritans. The Jews hated the Samaritans and no longer considered them to be "pure" Jews. Jesus, however, had no such bias." (Commentary, Nelson Study Bible, 1997)


John 4:6

"Now Jacobs' well was there. Jesus therefore, being weary from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the 6th hour."

Here we see the humanity of Christ. -wearied from His journey. He needed to sit down.

We also see the time of this event: the sixth hour. Most Bibles translate this to be "noon" when the sun is at its highest.

Jesus rested at Jacob's well. A well of remembrance: Beer Lahai Roi. The Well of the One Who Lives and Sees Me. This is also where Abraham built an altar (Gen 12:6-9). Jacob also erected an altar near here:

Gen 33:18-20

He called the altar: El Elohe Israel....."God, the God of Israel"

Here we have Jesus, the Son of God....God in the flesh appearing to His people, the God Who Lives and Sees Us.....the very Promise of God....sits at this precious site rejected by His people. Yet He sits there to wait for His bride.

A Gentile Bride.

How amazing is that? And you probably thought it was just a well!

As you read through the verses and begin to paint the picture in your head of what the waiting and the well means to God, what does it all mean to you?

Is God waiting for you in a very special place of significance? What does the well mean to you? Does it bring tears to your eyes because it is where you find water that will leave you thirsty again? Do you long to have that thirst quenched...forever?

We'll learn soon how the Woman at the Well was much like you and me. She longed for something more meaningful in her life than just water from a well.

Until next time...

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.


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