In the book of Leviticus, Yah (God) gives many guidelines for his people. One of the principles he mentions over and over again is the idea of a person becoming “clean” or “unclean”. The basis of this concept is that there are things in this fallen world that are spiritually dirty, or unclean. Unclean things do not become clean when they come in contact with something clean, it’s the opposite: the unclean status spreads like wildfire, and it takes a deliberate process to restore a person’s clean state. When someone becomes unclean, there are only a couple of ways to become clean again and enter God’s tabernacle according to those same guidelines. The most common way is to wash in living, running water, such as a spring or a river.
There is one verse that really speaks to me in Leviticus regarding living water. It stands out because, unlike every other object mentioned, a spring or well with fresh living water cannot become unclean by association with something unclean.
And everything on which any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean. Whether oven or stove, it shall be broken in pieces. They are unclean and shall remain unclean for you. Nevertheless, a spring or a cistern holding water shall be clean, but whoever touches a carcass in them shall be unclean. Leviticus 11:35-36
Every bible passage has a physical and a spiritual picture present in the text. The spiritual picture of uncleanliness is obvious: it’s dirty, it separates us from the Father’s holiness, it’s to be avoided and yet it’s impossible for us to avoid completely… to me this also describes sin. So what spiritual portrait is painted in the picture of the untainted living water? The phrase always brings to my mind what Yeshua (Jesus) told the Samaritan woman at the well in the gospel of John.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:10-14
Yah has defined sin and it’s consequences in his word ever since the beginning, and in his love for us he also provided the way back to him. Yeshua (Jesus) is the true source of clean, untaintable, living water. This is why he was able to come and eat with prostitutes, cleanse lepers and raise the dead with a touch… all actions that would make mere men unclean. He can, ultimately, reach into the depth of our hearts and cleanse everything there, if we ask him to fill us with his living water. He is willing and eager to give it if only we ask him. Our uncleanness is completely washed away when we are connected to Yeshua’s eternal living source and remain faithful to his paths even through trials and tribulations.
Washing, purity, and living water are all mentioned once again in the revelation to John. The promise to those who are clean in Yeshua is so powerful and encouraging… to think that His plan since the beginning of time was to lead those who are faithful to him by springs of living water, where joy will never end.
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:13-17