GET ACQUAINTED: What is your favorite thing to drink? Why?
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 23:1-2 : The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. (emphasis added)
GET IT: Was there something in Sunday's message that surprised you? If so, how were you surprised?
OBSERVATION: What is the "river of life" found in Revelation 22:1-2 ?
The precise phrase "river of life" does not appear in the Bible. However, Revelation 22:1-2 does refer to the river of water as "living water". "Then he showed me the river of living water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the broad street of the city. The tree of life was on both sides of the river, bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations..." (emphasis added) The apostle John, in his vision of the New Jerusalem, describes the river as flowing "down the middle of the broad street of the city..." (emphasis added)
The "living water" referred to here does not have to be considered physical water as we know it. Rather, the water flowing from the throne is probably symbolic – illustrative of the water of eternal life, crystal clear to reflect the glory of God in a dazzling, never-ending stream. The fact that the stream originates from the throne tells us that eternal life flows from God to His people.
Water is a common symbolic representation of eternal life in Scripture. Isaiah refers to drawing water from the "springs of salvation" with joy. "You will joyfully draw water from the springs of salvation." (Isaiah 12:3 ) The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah rebuked the Israelites for abandoning God's "fountain of living water" and digging for themselves their own cisterns which could not hold water: "For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water." (Jeremiah 2:13 ) The Israelites had forsaken the living God, who alone provides eternal life, to chase after false idols, worldliness, and works-based religions. Men do the same today, refusing the water of life only Christ provides for a parched and dusty life of materialism and self-indulgence.
Jesus encouraged the Samaritan woman at the well to take from Him the water of (eternal) life so that she would never thirst again spiritually “Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.’” (John 4:13-14 ) Those who believe in Him, Jesus goes on to say, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38 ). Water is an appropriate and easily understood symbol for life. Just as physical water is necessary to sustain physical life on earth, living water from the Savior is necessary to sustain eternal life with Him. Jesus is both the Bread of Life (John 6:35 ) and the source of living water, sustaining His people forever.
Adapted from gotquestions.org
GET IT: What do you think the key message is in Psalm 23:2 b? What did you learn from either the message on Sunday or today's Life Group discussion? Why do you think verse 2b was included in the Bible? What’s the point?
DIG DEEPER: What is one passage that we studied today that encourages you? How does it encourage you? In light of what we read, what changes do you think God wants you to make in attitude, words or actions?
APPLY/PRAYER: What in the study challenges you to change? How does it challenge you to change?