I’d like to consider something that most of us take for granted – water – simple, ordinary water. Water is the most abundant substance on the surface of the earth. 70% of the world’s surface is water and it also exists as vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere. Our bodies are made mostly of water. A newborn baby consists of about 77 percent water, and an adult about 60%.
Not only is water the most abundant substance on the surface of Earth, it’s probably the most useful substance on Earth. “Earth … is the only planet known to have stable bodies of liquid water on its surface and liquid water is essential to all life on Earth” (Wikipedia). Water carries food to our body’s cells, and is crucial in carrying away the waste that is produced by them. Water helps regulate our body’s temperature and prevents our bodies from getting too hot or too cold. The loss of 10 to 20% of the water in our bodies can result in death.
Water has weight and requires space but it has no form of its own. It is liquid, tasteless, colorless and transparent.
Water is made up of two elements – hydrogen and oxygen. Normal water is made us of two atoms of hydrogen united to one atom of oxygen in this two to one ratio. Why does this combination of these two gases in this exact mathematical formula produce this liquid without which life on Earth would be impossible, while these same elements combined in a slightly different proportion, H2O2 result in hydrogen peroxide, which is poisonous?
Water can be destructive. It can wear down mountains. It can carve valleys as big as the Grand Canyon. It can destroy a house, wipe out a city or destroy an entire region. In fact, it once destroyed the entire world! Water can be destructive, but also life-giving. It’s essential to plant and animal life. And it helps to erode rock and convert rock into life-producing soil. It’s also used in healing, in hydrotherapy. Water can be destructive but there are few things more refreshing than a cool glass of water on a hot day!
We drink water and we use it for cooking, heating and putting out fires. Water cleans our homes, our cooking and eating utensils, our bodies and clothes. We bath in it. We shower in it. We swim in it.
Water is used in irrigation and in photosynthesis. The most fertile land without water is a desert and produces nothing. But with water, the land and seas and lakes and rivers are able to produces millions of kinds of plants and animals, fish, insects and other living organisms
Water supports life on Earth and yet is one of the greatest solvents. It can dissolve things and yet ironically without it, sea, plant, animal or human life can’t exist. Pure water is never found in nature. Water in wells, rivers, lakes and oceans always contain minerals dissolved from the Earth. Even rainwater, the purest form of natural water, contains chemicals absorbed from the air. Every river than runs into the ocean carries these minerals that help nourish the living things in the oceans.
Running water, when falling downward, can create electric energy to light and heat our homes and power our machines. “Water is the basis of steam power. In steam engines, water turns to steam in a boiler and reaches a high pressure. When expanded through pistons or turbines, mechanical work is done. Modern steam turbines generate about 90% of the electric power in the United States” (Wikipedia).
Water is used to extract oil from wells when the oil level starts running low.
Water is fantastic for transportation. It supports the ships that carry much of the world’s products all over the Earth.
Water is almost impossible to compress. That means it’s extremely hard to squeeze into a smaller volume. This property makes it valuable in hydraulics.
Water can refract light so that we can see the spectrum of light that forms into a beautiful rainbow.
Water’s many forms
Water comes to us as a liquid, a gas and a solid, but in many forms. It comes to us as a liquid in rain, rivers, lakes, oceans, geysers, springs, waterfalls. Water can be a solid like ice, icebergs, hail, frost, a huge glacier miles long, or tiny snowflakes. It comes to us as a gas in clouds, dew, fog, steam, vapor, humidity.
Water in the form of snow adds design and beauty and other wonders to it. Every individual snowflake is a unique, beautiful, delicate design. Each snowfall contains millions of gorgeous little Jewish stars falling down from the heavens! Snow is so white that almost nothing else on Earth surpasses it in whiteness.
Water has another unusual property. Most substances get smaller when they freeze but water does the opposite. It expands at temperatures higher and lower than 39 degrees. This soft liquid, when it is frozen, can break through steel or solid rock, break our water pipes and crack our streets and highways. Did you ever wonder why ice forms on the top of lakes and rivers? You probably took it for granted, but it’s most unusual. If water contracted as it got colder and solidified, as is normal with most other substances, ice would sink. But ice forms on the surface of water. If it weren’t for this unusual property of water, rivers and lakes would become frozen blocks of ice, and all the fish and other water life would die. This weak substance, when frozen, can form a bridge over rivers and lakes capable of holding tons of weight without the support of pillars or suspension cables. Just look at the cars and trucks out on a lake during the winter.
Frozen water forms a surface as smooth as glass and provides a magnificent arena for winter sports. There would be no skiing, skating, snowmobiling, hockey or ice-fishing without the freezing property of water.
Water has a higher specific heat than almost any other substance. Specific heat is a measure of the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram one degree Celsius. It takes 33 times as much heat to raise the temperature of water one degree as it takes to raise the temperature of gold by the same amount. In rising 1 degree centigrade, water stores 33 times as much heat as gold. It gives off 33 times as much heat as gold when it cools. This high specific heat property of water protects most living things, which consist mostly of water, from drastic temperature changes. It also has an important influence on weather and climate. Oceans and lakes are cooler than nearby land in summer and help cool the land. In winter they slowly give off the heat absorbed in summer and help warm the land.
Water has another amazing property called surface tension. Water molecules cling together to form a type of surface. A solid metal needle will float when carefully placed on the surface of water. This surface tension enables certain insects to walk on water.
Water is incredible! Where did it come from? Who made this amazing substance? You think these complex physical and chemical properties and mathematical relationships came from a big-bang explosion? If you do, you are a fool! The Three-In-One God is the creator of this amazing substance. In fact, water was one of the very first things He made. In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. The Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep (a vast ocean of deep, dark water), and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. God the Father thought up water and ordered it be made, and God the Son executed that order to make water, and the Spirit was hovering over those deep, dark primordial waters. This amazing substance reveals the reality and wisdom and power of God.
Would it surprise you to know that when the Son of God came to Earth, He used this marvelous substance to reveal more of His glory? Messiah’s first miracle involved water. His first miracle was turning water to wine at the wedding in Cana.
Weddings are special. They are one of the happiest occasions in life. Hopefully, the wedding goes smoothly, the reception goes as planned, everyone has a wonderful time and the memories of that joyous day last for a lifetime. But sometimes there are problems. Not all wedding go smoothly. John records one wedding that didn’t go so smoothly. Yeshua had just started traveling around Israel with His first disciples. At that time there was a wedding in northern Israel, in the city of Cana, not far from Nazareth, where Yeshua grew up. Yeshua and His family were invited to this wedding. But a problem developed during the banquet. The wine ran out. What an embarrassment! Yeshua’s mother was there and told Him that there was no more wine. Six large stone water-jars were in the home, each able to hold some twenty or thirty gallons of water. Yeshua told the servants to fill these jars with water. The servants did so and then a miracle took place – the water turned to wine! The wine was delicious, and there was so much of it! The banquet was saved and the family was spared much embarrassment!
This was Yeshua’s first of many miracles, and this caused His disciples to believe that Yeshua was no ordinary rabbi, but much more – the long awaited Messiah of Israel, the One sent by God to rescue humanity from our problems, and bring us happiness.
John also records that Messiah used water to reveal that He can meet our desperate needs for spiritual life. While Yeshua was passing through Samaria He came to Sychar and sat down by Jacob’s well. A Samaritan woman came to get water from the well, and Yeshua said to her: If you knew the gift of God and who I am, you would ask Me for a drink I would give you living water … Everyone who drinks ordinary water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. The water I give them will become a spring of water in them, springing up to eternal life. Messiah is telling us that humanity is far from God who is the source of life and purpose. Spiritually, we are like people who are very thirsty, desperately in need of water to keep them alive. Messiah alone can meet that spiritual need for God, for purpose, for life.
John also records that on the final day of Sukkot, as the nation was gathered in Jerusalem celebrating this great harvest holiday, Yeshua made an amazing claim about Himself using water. 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 will flow rivers of living water”. In the first century, during Sukkot, while the Jerusalem Temple still stood, there was a special water pouring ceremony. Throughout the seven days of the holiday a priest, accompanied by crowds of worshipers, went from the Temple down to the pool of Shiloach – Siloam. There the priest filled a golden pitcher from the pool that was brought back to the Temple and poured into a basin that the foot of the altar. This action was a symbolic prayer for rain.
On the seventh day the priest was accompanied to the pool of Shiloach by other priests blowing golden trumpets, Levites singing sacred songs, and ordinary Jewish people waving their lulovs and praying for rain, blessing, forgiveness and salvation. After getting the water in the golden pitcher, the procession returned to the Temple and poured the water into the basin at the altar. It was in the midst of this water pouring prayer for rain, in the midst of the trumpet blasting, shofar blowing, palm waving, psalm singing, ecstatic joy from thousands of people seeking God’s help and blessings that Yeshua cried out in the Temple courts: If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, “From His innermost being will flow rivers of living water”.
Using water Yeshua claimed that the Spirit of God will come from Heaven to the person who understands that Yeshua is the Messiah, and becomes loyal to Yeshua; and the Spirit of God will give the believer abundant and unending heavenly life.
One time, after feeding 5,000 men from only five loaves of bread and two fish, Messiah sent the disciples ahead in a boat to the western side of the Kinneret while He remained by Himself on the other side. During the night He came to them while they were still on the lake, walking on the water. They were terrified, but He calmed them down and invited Peter to join Him on the water – which Peter did, until he took his eyes off Yeshua and focused on the wind and the waves and began to sink. Then Peter asked Yeshua to save him from drowning – which He did. This revealed that Yeshua is greater than the laws of nature, and can save us when we are overcome by nature and by our circumstances.
Once when Yeshua and His disciples were in a boat on the Kinneret, a powerful storm threatened to sink the boat. Yeshua was asleep and after they woke Him up they said, “Save us, Lord; we are about to die”! He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He rebuked the winds and the waves, and it became completely calm. The disciples were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him”! This revealed that Messiah is greater than the winds and waves and storms and is able to save those who become loyal to Him from the storms of life.
Before His incarnation, the Son of God was the Creator of this amazing substance, water. And, when He became a human being, Messiah used water to reveal even more about how amazing He is. The miracle of the water that turned to wine revealed that Yeshua is the One that can meet our needs and give us the best wine – everlasting happiness. By claiming He can provide us with living water that can forever quench our thirst, and that rivers of living water will flow from the one who becomes loyal to Him, Yeshua revealed that He is the source of unending spiritual life, and that He alone can meet our needs for God, for purpose, for meaning, for life. By walking on water and enabling Peter to walk on water, and saving Peter when he started sinking in the water, Messiah revealed that He is greater than the laws of creation, and that He can rescue us from life’s difficult circumstances, and can even save us from the second death and drowning in the Lake of Fire. By stilling the storm and the waves, Messiah revealed that He is greater than the winds and the waters and is able to save those who become loyal to Him from the most desperate circumstances, and bring them to everlasting peace and safety.
Water – it seems so simple, so common, so ordinary. But it’s not. Don’t take this amazing substance for granted!
Messiah Yeshua – we’ve heard about Him for 2,000 years. He can seem so commonplace. He’s not! He is amazing! He can do amazing things! Get to know Him, and stay close to Him and never take Him for granted!
(Note: I am indebted to someone for the first part of the message on the physical properties of water, but I can’t remember the author’s name or the name of the book or article.)