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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

WELLS OF SALVATION

Isaiah 12:2-3 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

This text is taken from a very short chapter in the book of Isaiah. It contains only 6 verses, and appears to be a hymn of praise for the deliverance of the children of Israel from Babylonian captivity. Because of their deliverance, they considered God as their source of salvation. The analogy compares God to a well from which water was drawn. Water is drawn from man made wells in order to sustain our physical bodies. Spiritual water is drawn from wells of God to sustain our souls. The saving power of both is available to all.

There are many rivers, streams, pools, and wells, referred to in the God's word, that have been significant in the biblical history of past religious ages. One that is known by many is Jacob's well. It was probably dug by Jacob, or for him, by his family. Therefore, it bears his name. In New Testament times, it was said to be located in Samaria near the town of Sychar. Referring to the fourth chapter of John, we find the story that took place at this well.

Jesus had just left Judea intending to go northward to the area known as Galilee. To do so it was necessary to travel through the land of Samaria. Approximately forty miles north of Jerusalem, Jesus came near the town of Sychar to an area containing a parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. It is here that we find Jacob's well. The sixth verse says that Jesus was physically tired from His journey. It was about noon, and He sat down near, or on the edge of, the well to rest.

The 7th and 8th verses indicate that Jesus was alone because His disciples had gone into the town to buy food to eat. A woman of Samaria came to the well to draw water, and Jesus asked her for water to drink. Verse 9 tells us that the woman recognized Jesus as a Jew. She questioned Jesus' request because Jews did not associate with Samaritans. They had no social or commercial dealings with them; did not buy or borrow from them. They did not eat from the same vessels or drink from the same cups as the Samaritans. That hatred existed between the two nations, is well documented in secularas well as in the biblical history. Her question to Jesus was "Why do you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink of water?"

Jesus answered and said unto her, if thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, "give me drink," thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water (John 4:10). God's gift to the world is eternal life - salvation that is found in our Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus' statement to the woman indicates that, if the woman knew to whom she was speaking, she would have asked for this salvation referred to here as living water. The woman responds by saying, "you don't have a pail to draw water out of the well." Her answer lets us know that she didn't understand the true meaning Jesus was giving to living water.

In verses 16, 17 and 18, Jesus tells the woman about her life, specifically about her marriages. From these comments, she is convinced that Jesus was a prophet of God. The woman then tells Jesus that our fathers worshipped in this mountain and the Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. The place of worship for the Samaritans was in Mount Garizim, which could probably be seen from the well of Jacob. Jerusalem was the place of worship for the Jewish people.

Jesus reply was that the hour cometh when there will be no specific place of worship; neither in Mount Garizim or in Jerusalem. The hour cometh when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The outward, physical ceremonies of worship for both Jewish and Samaritan nations will be abolished. They will be replaced with a spiritual worship from the heart of all people. Why? Because God is a spirit (vs 21-24). In the two following verses the woman says, I know that Messiah is cometh, which is Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus answers, I that speak unto thee am He. For the Samaritan woman, and for all that hear His word today, truly, God's word can be called wells of salvation!