“For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.”
Thirst, as a feeling of the soul, in a spiritual sense, is certainly indicative of divine life. It is as impossible, spiritually viewed, for a man dead in sin to thirst after a living God, as for a corpse in the graveyard to thirst after a draught of cold water from the well. I know for myself that such a feeling as thirsting after God had no place in my bosom until the Lord was pleased to quicken my soul into spiritual life. I had heard of God by the hearing of the ear. I had seen him in creation, in the starry sky, in the roaring sea, in the teeming earth; I had read of him in the Bible; I had learnt his existence by education and tradition; and I had some apprehensions of his holiness in my natural conscience; but as to any spiritual thirsting after him, any earnest desire to fear him, know him, believe in him, or love him,— no such experience or feeling, I can say for myself, ever dwelt in my bosom. I loved the world too dearly to look to him who made it, and myself too warmly and affectionately to seek him who would bid me crucify and mortify it.
A man, therefore, I am well convinced, must be made alive unto God by spiritual regeneration before he can experience any such sensation as is here conveyed by the figure “thirst,” or know anything of the Psalmist’s feelings when he cried, “As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1, 2). Now wherever God has raised up in the soul this spiritual thirst after himself, he certainly will answer that desire, “the desire of the righteous shall be granted” (Prov. 10:24). His own invitation is, “Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1); and Jesus himself says with his own blessed lips, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink” (John 7:37). Nay, he opened his ministry by pronouncing a blessing on such, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869