“…makes the salt water fresh” (v9)
My first Boy Scout camp was also my first time away from home. For ten days I slept on a cot in a half tent (canvas walls and roof, but a wooden floor) and often wished for mom. But my mom had sent a huge box of snacks, cookies, and candy. So, while she was not there, I could eat her cookies! So every night (and often for some of the meals) I would dig into my box and gorge!
One night, deep in sleep, I was awakened by scratching on the floor. At first I thought it was Dennis my tent mate, but he was still snoring. Then I felt something through my cot. Something was underneath me. My eleven year old mind panicked and then I realized I left out my candy! I grabbed my flashlight – which left by my pillow – and slowly peered under the cot. There calmly chopping was a huge racoon (at least huge to me). I quickly jumped back around and wondered what to do. Of course since he could bump me from underneath I knew I could bump him…
Of course, everyone knows – now I know – that you never leave food out when you are camping. You need to lock it up so wild animals are not attracted. And I think sometimes this is how we treat the gospel message of Jesus. We talk about it church, sometimes at home, but when we are at school or work we never mention a thing. We leave the lifestyle, the songs, the message at church. Like we are worried Jesus can not stand up to wild world. As though the world’s truth, the world’s song and dance, is greater than the Christian story!
But the passage in Ezekiel draws forward two great points. First, “the salt water will become fresh”, everyone knows to drink salt water is deadly. The salt in the water literally dehydrates you faster that the water helps. Leaving you thirstier than before you took a drink! In the same way sin never satisfies, we are always left wanting more! But the river does not stay locked inside, instead it flows forward and transforms everything it contacts! Salt water becomes fresh water! The message of Jesus, the life of Jesus, will transform the world if we will let it out!
Second, “the swamps and marshes will not become fresh…” A swamp or marsh is a stagnet body of water; it is not flowing. When the church, when we, lock the message and life of Jesus inside the living water loses its healing power. Not to say Jesus loses power, but the life and message Jesus gave us – lose power! Stagnet faith will not heal, but will be left for salt!
It boils down to this challenge, go into the world and proclaim the life and message of God. We will be afraid, nervous or what people will think, BUT you know the importance. Set what will happen aside and do what is right! Fulfill your calling to become the living water to the world!
On another note, Alex Doriot has accepted the interim youth position at the Hill Baptist. This is depressing for us, but a great opportunity both for Alex and the Hill. Please keep him in your prayers as he makes this transition!