Gene Pinkney
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Many Waters Cannot Quench Love

“Be glad for water, but don’t forget/ The lurking frost in the ice beneath/ That can come forth after the sun has set/ And show on the water its crystal teeth.”

These lines from Robert Frosts great poem about balance, “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” hint broadly at the double nature of water. W. B. Yeats saw it also when he wrote of “the murderous innocence of the sea.” But what does water’s creator have to say about this vital element?

Proverbs 18:4 9 tells us “the words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.”And Paul in Ephesians 5:25 writes of “the washing of the water by the word.” Truly, when we speak of words, we are getting into deep water, and when we speak of water we might mean words. “I don’t believe that guy, he’s all wet.”

Perhaps, it all comes down to who is doing the speaking, as to weather his words hold water or not. Is he speaking good news or bad? Are we being praised or condemned; blessed or cursed. Right now, the big cities of the southwest, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and others are getting a bit anxious at the prospect of the Colorado River running dry, since they’ve already tapped into their aquifers, their underground wellsprings heavily. Should the Colorado run dry, desperation waits in a dry reservoir in a dry season.

Such water problems abound on the natural level, but on the spiritual plane which Jesus presents with his timeless revelation to the woman at the well. He tells her that whoever drinks of his water drinks from a well “springing up to everlasting life.” Here he is not referring to H2O but to his good news message of grace. We ultimately realize that when the Bible mentions floods it may be referring to the words flooding our conversation.

Robert Morris, the brilliant Bible teacher whose lectures appear daily on TBN at 11:30 weekdays, brought this brilliantly into focus Sept. 4th by pointing out the three sources of verbal waters, (words,) that can heighten or erode our understanding: 1 Satan, with his lies, accusations and distortions, 2 Jesus, with His “words that lovingly speak life,” or 3, people speaking in agreement with either “the father of lies,” Satan, or “the word of truth, Jesus.

The prophet Amos wrote that in the last days there would be a famine, not of food, but “a famine of the hearing of the word of God.”(8:4) Many areas of the world even now are suffering under that famine where the ownership of a Bible can get you executed, but even in America, Christians are being robbed of the ability to hear the good news of the word even when it’s allowed to be preached. Mark in his 4th chapter speaks of how “the cares of the world, entering in, choke the word and make it of no effect.”In fact many pulpits address societal problems more than the life-changing, hope-giving, faith-creating message of “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified,” which Paul proclaimed was the one essential thing that must be preached.

But getting back to the metaphor that words are like water in their ability to bring life or death, let me just conclude by quoting a few of the many scriptures and modern idioms revealing the common bond between words and water.

1. From “Othello:” “She’s false as water.” Othello’s belief that Desdemona, his wife, is cheating on him.

2. From Isa. 58:11 The Lord shall satisfy your soul in drought...and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring whose waters fail not.”The word soul here refers to one’s mind, implying that minds can hunger and “thirst” for the truth just as bodies thirst for water.

3. In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain creates “The Duke of Bilge- water,”a perfect name for phony politicians or charlatans who lie.

4. God’s voice described as “the sound of many waters.” (Rev.?)

5. Psalm 93:5) “The floods have lifted up their voice, but the Lord is mightier than the sound of many waters.” This tells us that though pagans may clamor, God’s word stands.

In preparing this, search of Strong’s concordance revealed countless references, enough for a book. So I’ll leave the deeper research to the serious Bible scholars whose computers and cell phones should make that a fun trip. Just remember these last unforgettable words: “There is a river, the streams whereof will make glad the children of God … God is in the midst of it, and that my soul knoweth right well.”This one I had stored in my heart; “That’s why I’m leavin’ it up to you,”Righteous Brothers, to decide what to do.”dig deeper, or drift down the river of life.

Gene Pinkney/ 9/12/23/ for The Daily News