The Feast of Tabernacles marked the end of the annual harvest (see Deuteronomy 16:13). Each morning of the seven-day feast, an offering of water was made, probably as an act of faith that God would now water the land, ensuring an effective sowing of seed to usher in the new agricultural year.
Jesus makes use of this water theme. He also combines the basic staples of life: bread and water, and claims that both are found spiritually in Him (John 6:35; 7:37). It is Jesus who nourishes our spiritual life. The invitation is: come to Jesus and abundant streams of water will flow from within. The Scriptures to which Jesus refers may include Isaiah 58:11 and 12:3; the association of water and Spirit is found in Nehemiah 9:20.
The Spirit is eternal but is not given to us until the work of Christ is done, because the work of Jesus is the basis of the New Covenant and the gift of the Spirit is one of God’s great gifts to His people.
For the Christian, God lives in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s abundant provision for our spiritual thirst. He gives life (Romans 8:11). He leads us in the battle against our sinful nature (Romans 8:13). He reminds us that God is our Father (Romans 8:15). He accompanies and aids us in our witness (John 15:26-27).
Notice that Jesus’ offer is exclusive. People must come to Him to drink; there is no other way. They must believe in Him; the Spirit comes when Jesus is glorified by being recognized and acknowledged for who He claims to be. Though the offer is exclusive, the invitation is widespread and generous. Jesus calls ″anyone″ (v. 37) and promises ″whoever″ (v. 38).
God’s provision is abundant.
Abundant! Widespread! Exclusive! Think about how we are tempted to think that God’s provision is paltry, His invitation narrow, and His offer inexact.