Tag Archives: Water

Muddied Water

Proverbs 25:26

“A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.”
“A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.” – NLT

Well Water

Years ago, when I was young (many years ago), we got all of our water from a well. Instead of “purified” city water, we had an electric pump that drew water from deep down inside the ground. The water was cold and sweet – and free.

However, the only problem with our well was that when it rained really hard, especially after the weather had been dry for a while, the water from the well would turn a muddy red. Runoff from the mountains would somehow find its way into the underground stream from which our water was drawn.

Red Rice

Once, when I was single, poor, and living on my own, all I had to eat one evening was some Uncle Ben’s white rice. That day it had come a hard rain, and as usual, the water was as red as Georgia clay. Since I had no fancy bottled water, the only option I had was to boil my rice in muddy water, which, as you can imagine, also turned my rice red.

I have had red beans and rice, but red rice, especially muddy-tasting red rice, is not particularly appetizing. It’s not something I would recommend.

Dirty Water

There is nothing more naturally refreshing to one who is thirsty than cold, clean, fresh spring water. And when it comes to those who are thirsty for clean, pure truth; for hope that sustains; for counsel that refreshes; there’s nothing more helpful than a word of wisdom offered by a righteous man of God.

However, a righteous man who has given in to the influence and pressures of the world “is as useless to society and as harmful to the good cause as a spring that has been defiled by mud stirred up or extraneous matter introduced is unserviceable for drinking and prejudicial to those who use it.”[1]

Be Careful

The saddest thing is that unless one knows the source of a spring, or unless one is able to determine the water’s purity, polluted water can go undetected until it is too late. Water doesn’t have to be visibly muddy to be unhealthy, or even deadly. Therefore, unless the source of wisdom is Wisdom himself, then the well must be suspect.

How many thirsty men and women, boys and girls, have been sickened by “polluted springs?” Even worse, how many of us have allowed ourselves to be polluted by sin, only to poison others?

The only water guaranteed to “spring up into everlasting life” comes from Jesus (John 4:14), and He said: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37).

Don’t muddy the Water.


[1] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Proverbs, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 485.

Advertisements

Well Water (Cool Counsel)

Proverbs 20:5

“Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.”

Well Water

Once when I was on a mission trip to Romania, a few of us spent a couple of days in a little town called Beuj. I remember not having a canteen or thermos (water bottle) to carry with me as we traversed the little roads around a farm in 90+ temperatures. We could only go so far away from a well.

You see, there was this little well in the town. We knew that we could walk a mile or two away, but only a mile or two. Any more and we would die of thirst before we got back. We were walking around handing out Bibles and hymnals, along with invitations to a community service at which I was going to preach. That well water was so cool and refreshing in that summer heat of 1992.

Cool Counsel

well-w-bucketThere is refreshing counsel deep inside a wise man or woman, and there are many dry and thirsty souls who need it. Sadly, many of those would-be wells of wisdom are covered, blocked, or labeled “unworthy” by the wells themselves.

If God has done a work in your life, let the Holy Spirit use you, your past, and your insight. God never wastes a tear. The pain you have gone through may have produced a deep well a struggling soul may need to make it another mile.


Still Waters Run Deep

Proverbs 18:4 

“The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.”

The deepest waters in our world are found in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. The deepest point of the Mariana Trench is reported to be 6.831 miles below sea level. The trench has been explored during several scientific expeditions, but for most of us it is just a name on a map or chart, or an entry in Wikipedia. Despite the efforts of scientists the deepest parts of the ocean generally remain a mystery because of their inaccessibility.

rockpool 4But even a rock pool is a different world. Life is different in the water. There are strange creatures and unusual colors. To reach the best and deepest pools it is necessary to scramble out across the rocks at low tide. This is something I did regularly as a child. Although my friends and I returned often to our favorite rock pools, they were never the same. Each new tide brought changes, trapping different creatures.

And so it is necessary to explore and go deep when searching for words to use in our daily encounters with other human beings, and also with God. We have to be careful with words. We have to be wise users of language. We need to develop a wellspring of wisdom as a resource on which we can draw every time we speak.

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. (2 Timothy 2:16 NIV)
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. (Matthew 6:7 NIV)

Flood of Trouble

Proverbs 17:14

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.”
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” – NIV

Flood Gates

Not far from where I live is the Tennessee River. When it rains for days on end, like it did not long ago, the river level rises, which causes the dams across the river to have to open their gates. I have seen the water come through those gates with ferocious power.

Sometimes dams fail. When that happens, depending on the size of the dam, lots of property is damaged and people are killed. When the Kaloko Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania burst in 1889, a whole town was washed away, along with 2,200 lives.

In some cases, human error was the cause of dams bursting. And according to Solomon, it’s not always water that destroys.

Dam Meddler

People who start arguments for no reason, or keep one going when it could have faded away, are like those who meddle with a weak dam. If nothing else, they are as those who would open a floodgate, but not know how to shut it.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Just back away and count to ten?” I wonder how many live could have been saved had they heeded Solomon’s warning?

You never know what hell is waiting to be unleashed when a quarrel is started. It is far, far better to simply walk away than to chip away at a crack in the dam. Drowning in the waters of strife is for fools.


Muddied Water

Proverbs 25:26

“A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.”
“A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.” – NLT

Well Water

Years ago, when I was young (many years ago), we got all of our water from a well. Instead of “purified” city water, we had an electric pump that drew water from deep down inside the ground. The water was cold and sweet – and free.

However, the only problem with our well was that when it rained really hard, especially after the weather had been dry for a while, the water from the well would turn a muddy red. Runoff from the mountains would somehow find its way into the underground stream from which our water was drawn.

Red Rice

Once, when I was single, poor, and living on my own, all I had to eat one evening was some Uncle Ben’s white rice. That day it had come a hard rain, and as usual, the water was as red as Georgia clay. Since I had no fancy bottled water, the only option I had was to boil my rice in muddy water, which, as you can imagine, also turned my rice red.

I have had red beans and rice, but red rice, especially muddy-tasting red rice, is not particularly appetizing. It’s not something I would recommend.

Dirty Water

There is nothing more naturally refreshing to one who is thirsty than cold, clean, fresh spring water. And when it comes to those who are thirsty for clean, pure truth; for hope that sustains; for counsel that refreshes; there’s nothing more helpful than a word of wisdom offered by a righteous man of God.

However, a righteous man who has given in to the influence and pressures of the world “is as useless to society and as harmful to the good cause as a spring that has been defiled by mud stirred up or extraneous matter introduced is unserviceable for drinking and prejudicial to those who use it.”[1]

Be Careful

The saddest thing is that unless one knows the source of a spring, or unless one is able to determine the water’s purity, polluted water can go undetected until it is too late. Water doesn’t have to be visibly muddy to be unhealthy, or even deadly. Therefore, unless the source of wisdom is Wisdom himself, then the well must be suspect.

How many thirsty men and women, boys and girls, have been sickened by “polluted springs?” Even worse, how many of us have allowed ourselves to be polluted by sin, only to poison others?

The only water guaranteed to “spring up into everlasting life” comes from Jesus (John 4:14), and He said: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37).

Don’t muddy the Water.


[1] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Proverbs, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 485.