Zechariah 14:8–9 (NKJV)
8 And in that day it shall be— That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. 9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be “The Lord is one,” And His name one.
Spring is just dawning though there are nasty rumors of more snow next week. It is inconsistent to think of Fall when the budding flowers have only now begun to venture into the sunlight, but, as one so-called sage put it, "consistency is the hob-goblin of small minds", so with that silly platitude hanging in the air I present the image anyway.
One of the more pleasant features of the "Smokey Mountains" is the abundance of spring fed streams issuing forth from bare rock. The "artesian well" dynamics are well known and the physics of why such streams bubble up so joyfully would only detract from the moment. But walking in the cool damp of the day, with bright leaves and crisp temperatures energizing the muscles and the mind, the "Smokies" are a favorite hiking venue and turning a corner to see another cascading stream makes it special.
"Living water" in the ancient Near East was a very valuable commodity. Stagnant water, when found, was often deadly with organisms and pollution... and even if relatively safe to drink it was a grimy taste and texture. "Living water" flowing from the earth or streaming down a falling run from the rain fed collecting pools in the mountains, were a great satisfaction and understood as a blessing. Thus it was easy to equate "living water" with life itself. The metaphor still holds in many respects though today it is dangerous to drink mountain water without treating it first.
Zechariah's prophecy above is a clear example of what is called "prophetic fore-shortening." The prophet saw the near and the far, collapsed into a single vision, much as a two dimensional photograph will sharply depict a near flow and distant mountains together. Zechariah saw the abyss into which Jerusalem (and Judah) would be pushed in the near future but he also saw, looming beyond that day of terror another Day, consistent and extending from the near horror to a refurbished, renewed, reawakened earth in which the bubbling waters of life will flow from the Mountain of Zion and bring healing to the nations.
"Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited" (vs. 11) in that distant day... a day preceded by another abyss into which those will fall who delighted in the reduction and suffering of God's people and who will themselves face that which they promoted. The Lord's Great Day is always depicted as coming with darkness and light, judgment and reward, condemnation and vindication. The God who is purity itself and whose holiness knows no bounds will purify to Himself a people, cleansing them of their sin but also removing from their acquaintance all those who pollute the earth with unrighteousness.
And, on that great day the pure waters of life will flow, from coast to coast in each "island" of the earth, and no more shall there be causes which bring pain, suffering, heart-ache, loneliness, disappointment, or any other detriment to human flourishing.
This prophecy is, as with all the OT prophecies, already fulfilled in part. The great Day of the Lord broke with shining glory on the day Jesus raised from the dead, something it is fitting to remember in this Lenten season. His healing stream of "Living Water" is even now pouring forth having its source on the hill that the same city of Jerusalem crowned 2000 years ago. It is a stream that builds as it flows and is now, 2000 years later, of massive proportions, a "Mighty Mississippi" of a river that has swelled with the confluence of generations of lives re-born again into its stream. The "Living Water" is the Spirit filled Church of God splashing through the ages, swirling into the nooks and crannies of human habitation where mankind has been dispersed, exiled if you will, after the tower of Babel judgment.
Jerusalem did its part. It fulfilled its role in history and now, Zechariah's vision is swiftly moving toward its consummation. "This Gospel will be preached in all the earth and then the end shall come" Jesus said... He who is the source of all living water and He who is the "King of all the earth", the One whose "Name is One", and Who has all authority in heaven and earth in His Person.
In your journey find your refreshment here. Let the stream settle your soul and delight your heart. This is water that brings no threat of death but only life... drink deep and with delight.