“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not./ They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lam.3:22-23)”.
In the second day of the Creation Day we read that God separated the waters with heaven (Gen.1:8) The waters below the heaven He further separated into land, and the waters He called Seas. The firmament here indicates the heaven above and the earth below, similar to the veil beyond which hope as the anchor is cast. All the blessings therefore must flow from heaven to the earth. When the Bible speaks of God sending his begotten Son to the earth he is a representation of the blessings that would follow to those who believe in him (Jn.3.16).
The quality of waters below as Prophet Isaiah says, is a symbol for people. “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud(Is.57:20-NIV).” The same idea we find in another passage where the prophet speaks of water gushing out of the rock. It clearly refers to an event the children of Israel experienced in the desert. God caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them…and the waters gushed out(Is.48:21-22).’ What God caused was to make the living water out of the rock, which followed them. St. Paul referring to it is emphatic. ‘The rock was Christ’. (They all)…drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
(1 Cor.10:4-NIV).’The waters were provided by Christ who was present among them. On the other hand the gathering of water under the heaven signify the wicked. Quality of both waters owe to different sources. It is of the water that provided from above the heaven is mentioned in the key verse. Mercy is a quality that is applied to God. Jesus Christ while speaking of perfection he applies it to his Father(Mt.5:48) “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ When he ‘sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust’ he is merely revealing his quality. Mercy it is called.
In the Cain episode God sends him out from his presence for killing his brother. It was a punishment and when Cain pleads ‘My punishment is more than I can bear’ (Ge.4:13) God ’set a mark upon Cain lest any finding him should kill him’. It was like a safe-conduct pass and the mark is called ‘prevenient grace.’ We read that with Jesus came grace and truth.’ But God cannot deny his quality, which is Mercy. God’s Judgment and also grace are drawn from the same source. When Jesus came he made grace manifest; it was Mercy transcribed in human terms by God, the Son. We see this from the incident of the woman taken in adultery (Jn.8:3-11). Jesus said to her ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin thee no more (vs.11).’”For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: (Jn5:22)”Mercy is grace and Judgment, both being part and parcel of the same. It is like Urim and Thummim meaning ‘lights and perfections’ They were carried by the High Priest in his breastplate. These were to enable the priest as the means to determine God’s will in a particular situation. (Jud.20:18-28). Righteousness of God has to be as clear as light and when Jesus Christ is the image of the Invisible God, glory of grace(Eph.1:6) is what we see in his ministry. But there shall a day of Judgment without which it cannot be called perfection.”…He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.(Ac.10:42)
Going back to the living water, the waters that gushed out of the rock was Jesus Christ. Under the leading of Moses the children of Israel set out but the presence of the Son was ever present. Mercy of God he revealed as the living water. “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old (Is.63:9).
Grace and Judgment as demonstrated by Jesus Christ are two witnesses of God.
(To be continued)