God’s Use Of Water
Has God ever used water to accomplish His purposes? As you search the Scriptures you find several examples of how God has used water in the past. This is significant because it helps us understand that God’s use of water today (in baptism) is not unusual. So, let’s consider five Bible examples regarding God’s past use of water.
1) The flood. Wickedness had filled the earth. As God searched for people who were righteous, He found person after person whose thoughts and intents were only evil continually (see Genesis 6:5-7). It was only Noah and Noah’s family who found favor in God’s sight (Genesis 6:8). As God determined to destroy the wickedness of mankind from the face of the earth, He did so using water (i.e. a global flood). And, in using water to destroy the wickedness, He also used water to save the righteous (see 1 Peter 3:20).
2) The Red Sea. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt under a Pharaoh who consistently refused to let them leave. Whenever he finally agreed, his heart was hardened and he pursued them with his army. When the Israelites had come upon the banks of the Red Sea, God enabled Moses to perform the miracle of parting the Sea (Exodus 14). Thus, the Israelites were permitted to cross on dry land, while the Egyptians were drowned attempting to do the same (Hebrews 11:29). This event is referred to as the baptism of Moses in 1 Corinthians 10:2. On one side of this baptism, there was slavery and death. On the other side was freedom and life.
3) The Jordan River. Naaman was a commander of the Syrian army and had the dreaded disease of leprosy (2 Kings 5). Word of Naaman’s leprosy eventually reached one of God’s prophets (Elisha). And, Elisha sent word to Naaman instructing him to dip seven times in the Jordan River, promising that he would be cleansed if he did. Though Naaman initially resisted, he was cleansed of his horrible disease whenever he washed in the Jordan River according to God’s instructions.
4) A pool at the Sheep Gate. There was a pool in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate (John 5). It was at this pool that great multitudes of people would bring their sick, the blind, the lame, the paralyzed, etc. to wait for the waters to be moved. Then, when an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred the water, the first person to step in would be made well (John 5:1-4).
5) The pool of Siloam. Jesus encountered a man who was blind from birth in John 9. Then, Jesus spat on the ground, made clay with the saliva, and anointed the man’s eyes with it. He instructed the man, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (John 9:7). And, whenever the blind man obeyed Jesus’ instruction, he came back seeing.
Yes, God has used water on several occasions to accomplish His purposes. Even though we may not understand why He chose to use water to accomplish these things, He did nonetheless. In the same way, God continues to use the waters of baptism to heal people of their spiritual diseases caused by sin and free them from their slavery to sin (see Acts 2:38). Therefore, just as Noah and his family were saved through water, baptism is said to also now save us (1 Peter 3:20-21). Though we may not understand why God chose water to accomplish this purpose, we must simply trust and obey!