From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued
…and so we read these beautiful words: “In the last day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”) (Jn. 7:37-39).
On that day, we are told, it was customary for the priest to quote this verse from Isaiah: “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation (Isa. 12:3). Do you see, then, what the Lord would teach us? That the time would come when men would no longer draw their experience from wells of Divine provision, but an artesian fountain of living water would rise up in the soul, and flow forth unto humanity in mighty rivers of blessing and life. It is the healing, life-giving stream that we read about in Ezekiel: “These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh” (Ezek. 47:8, 9). Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” The coming revival shall utterly eclipse anything we have ever read about in the Bible or in Church history! This River of Life has been flowing ever since Pentecost: we realize that; but soon it shall empty into the mighty oceans of humanity, bringing life and blessing to a dry and parched wilderness.
As the water was poured out on the altar, it was customary for the priest to quote a portion from Isaiah twelve. In fact, it is quite possible that he would have read the whole chapter. If he did so, then he would have concluded with the words: “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” What irony there would be in those words!
He knew nothing of the true Messiah who stood right before him; and yet there it was written, and he may have spoken forth these words in utter ignorance of the truth they conveyed: “Great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee!” There He stood, the Holy One of Israel, the very Fountain of Life, and the Substance of all their ceremonies and festivities. He does the same today. He stands in secret in our very midst, waiting for admittance. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20). GHW
How often we miss the vital in the midst of the familiar. In Luke 4:14-30, we read:
And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding region. And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO BRING GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” And He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all the people in the synagogue were intently directed at Him. Now He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all the people were speaking well of Him, and admiring the gracious words which were coming from His lips; and yet they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! All the miracles that we heard were done in Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” But He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a severe famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. “And there were many with leprosy in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and brought Him to the crest of the hill on which their city had been built, so that they could throw Him down from the cliff. But He passed through their midst and went on His way. (Luke 4:14-30)
Are we guilty, as well, of missing the Messiah when He comes to visit. Remember what Jesus said in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” We must be willing to both hear His voice and open the door to our hearts.