Are you thirsty? Is your soul parched? Do you need a spiritual drink? Here is the call to come and belly up to the bar of living water and drink freely. This is the universal call of the gospel. "HO! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters."
This one verse is quite full, but should we expect anything less than fullness from a clarion call? Several things strike me particularly. First, the call is universal - it is to everyone - "all are invited - Jews, Gentiles, maimed, blind. The gospel covenant excludes none that do not exclude themselves" (Matthew Henry). The call is to everyone however, there is a bit of a qualification attached. The call is to everyone who thirsts. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, who your parents are, what your socio-economic status is. It only matters that you are thirsty. We must thirst if we are to drink.
"What is the qualification? They must thirst. Those that are satisfied with the world and its enjoyments, those that depend upon the merit of their own works for a righteousness, these do not thirst. They have no sense of their need, are in no pain or uneasiness about their souls. But those that thirst are invited to the waters, as those that labor and are heavy laden are invited to Christ for rest. Where God gives grace, He first gives a thirsting after it. Where He gives a thirsting, He will grant relief." (Henry)
So the pressing question is, do we thirst? Do we thirst for righteousness? Do we see how great our need is and long to have our desert-like condition slaked? The call is held forth - Ho! Everyone who thirst, come to the waters. O, thirsty one, will you come? Don't just look at the water. Don't just think about how nice it must be, how good it would taste, what refreshment it would bring - don't just stand there, come! Christ said, "If any man is thirsty; let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water." (Jn 7:37-38). Through the prophet Isaiah, God calls us to come AND to eat. We must not simply look at this gift, we must take it as our own. We must injest it. Beloved one, take it in!
The offer is held forth and it is a free offer. If you are thirsty come and drink. You don't need your checkbook. You don't need a big bank account. You don't need to take out a loan. Come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. It will not cost you a penny.- It cost the Giver who paid the debt for us. "Our buying without money intimates 1.) That these gifts are invaluable and such as no price can be set upon. 2.) That He who offers them has no need of us, nor of any returns we can make. 3.) That the thing offered has already been bought and paid for by Christ's blood."
The offer of this thirst quenching gift is offered to everyone who thirsts, and it is offered freely to everyone who thirsts. Will you not come and drink? If you will, you will find much more than you imagined possible. The thirsty ones come to the waters and there discover a much grander drink than they could have hoped for - wine and milk.
"Wine and milk, which will not only quench the thirst but nourish the body and revive the spirits. Christ outdoes our expectations. We come to the waters, and would be glad of them, but we find there wine and milk, which were the staple commodities of the tribe of Judah. We must part with our puddle water, nay, with our poison, that we may procure this wine and milk. " (Matthew Henry)
I love Henry's statement: "Christ outdoes our expectations." Yes, He does. Come expectantly, all you who are thirsty. Come expectantly, all you who are weary. Come expectantly, all you who are weighed down with guilt and sin and shame. Come to Christ - everyone who thirsts. He will far surpass your hopes. Come!