Got my water bill this morning…so glad we use showers mostly instead of baths. Reminds me of the time I was giving my first little niece a bath…sat on the edge of the bath, leaned across as I was playing with her, slipped, and suddenly found myself with my bottom in the water, legs in the air! And try getting out of that one without getting even more of you wet! Still, water is wonderful stuff. We are so blessed to have it piped in, warm and pure, to help us keep clean and healthy. As well as for drinking of course.
God knew all about bacteria. An invisible and necessary part of our eco system, but dangerous in the wrong places. Like on our hands. It’s so much a part of our general education that we should wash our hands before eating or preparing food, after handling anything dirty, or even just being out and about, that it’s hard to imagine life without water in the tap or hand gel in the handbag.
It’s no wonder that God instructed Aaron and his descendants, to wash their hands when they were handling stuff like blood and carcasses in the tabernacle. And of course, their feet would get splashed with blood, and they’d be walking it around, so naturally their feet would need washing too. Cleanliness was important for longevity, even if they didn’t understand why.
Water of course, represents spiritual cleansing too. Clean inside and out. As Psalm 24:4 puts it, “Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart.” And just as you have to wash your hands many times over – as did those priests – so keeping your heart clean means constantly coming before God, repenting and rejoicing in his forgiveness – keeping short accounts – and then asking for a fresh infilling of his Holy Spirit, for power to live life better.
Keeping that bronze laver full of fresh water must have been a full-time job. But in John 7:38 Jesus invited the thirsty to come to him and drink, “Whoever believes in me… rivers of living water will flow from within them.” That cleansing, refreshing, empowering stream is with us 24/7. Are you thirsty? Come and drink. No water bills for this living flow – use as much as you like. Drink it, cleanse yourself in it, bath in it, swim in it, enjoy it.