In 1 Kings 6, the Assyrian commander, Haaman, comes before Elisha, seeking healing for his leprosy. Elisha sends his servant to tell Haaman to wash seven times in the Jordan River. Haaman indignantly reacts saying, “Are there not better rivers in Assyria, why should I wash in the Jordan River?” Only as Hamaan obeyed the directions from God did true life and healing come to him. In our minds, we often feel that there are better rivers, better ways, better processes, better or more enjoyable things than what God would want.
In the area of morality, many people would feel that foreign waters are more exciting or more fulfilling than drinking from the waters of their own marriage. The book of Proverbs paints sexual immorality in the symbolism of drinking water outside of your own house. Therefore in Proverbs 5:15-18 we are encouraged to “Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well… rejoice with the wife of your youth.” These words encourage us to be faithful to our spouse. In light of present day morality and standards they may seem archaic or prudish compared to the excitement and thrill of other waters, yet being faithful to God’s ways brings true life.
Our society is filled with greed and envy, people long for what others have. Mass media with its advertising stirs up covetousness. Though Proverbs 9:17 says that, “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” Yet the consequences of partaking in stolen waters brings death and the depths of hell, (Proverbs 9:18).
Hamaan asked, “Are there not better rivers elsewhere?” God tells us that there is a better river, 1 Timothy 6:6, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Lord, help us to be content and enjoy the rivers of life that you have provided for us.