He will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Isaiah 32:2, ESV
Have you ever been dehydrated? Your whole body is affected by dehydration. Extreme dehydration leads to death. Common symptoms might include dry mouth, headache, dry skin, muscle cramps, and lack of energy. Dehydration affects the entire body and its systems.
Spiritual dehydration can be just as serious and look very similar. Someone lost in the spiritual barren places, cut off from the source of water, can begin to have “mouth” problems or problems with the things they speak. Spiritual dehydration can lead to confusion and lack of clarity. This ailment can cause one to be rough and harsh or unloving. Any use of spiritual exercise or limbs cause cramps and discomfort. Eventually spiritual dehydration can lead to burn out, lack of zeal, and sooner or later death. Unfortunately, dehydration affects the entire body, and not just one member.
Isaiah is prophesying concerning Christ. He will reign as a righteous King. He describes Christ as a rock in weary places, a shelter in the midst of the desert storm, and streams of water in the barren land.
Jesus spoke of himself in John 7 as the one who would give limitless divine water to drink. This spiritual drink would become in its partakers a river of living water flowing from within. Those who are thirsty can come and drink freely without reservation.
Jonathan Edwards describes Christ as this river of living water as this:
He shall be as “rivers of water in a dry place.” This is an allusion to the deserts of Arabia, which was an exceedingly hot and dry country. One may travel there many days, and see no sign of a river, brook, or spring, nothing but a dry and parched wilderness; so that travelers are ready to be consumed with thirst, as the children of Israel were when they were in this wilderness, when they were faint because there was no water. Now when a man finds Jesus Christ, he is like one that has been traveling in those deserts til he is almost consumed with thirst, and who at last finds a river of cool and clear water. And Christ was typified by the river of water that issued out of the rock for the children of Israel in this desert: he is compared to a river, because there is such a plenty and fullness in him.
Drinking of the river of God is no more a one-time taste as drinking of natural water is not a one time experience. Though one drink of God’s river is enough to save and transform, no one who has truly tasted of its delight can only have one enjoyment. Throughout Scripture we are encouraged to keep drinking–keep receiving–from God’s sustaining power. Jesus told us to abide in Him or remain in Him. Drinking of the river of God is learning to live in the waters of life, not drinking and return to life as usual. After all, who can return to life as normal after drinking of such divine water!