WHEN the little army under Sir Herbert Stewart marched away from Korti, to the relief of General Gordon at Khartoum, their way lay through a desert where water was very scarce. A determined enemy opposed them, and the battles fought were literally for possession of the wells, as whichever party held them was virtually conqueror.
In all countries where water is scarce, its possession is coveted, and, if need be, fought for. The remnant who returned from Babylon had this difficulty, among others, to face. Hence, we read (Nehemiah iv. 23, margin), "Everyone went with his weapon for water." The enemies watched by the wells to hinder their drawing, so the need of their weapons.
Whatever the special object which brings believers together, it is the purpose of God that our assemblings should be times when we would be refreshed with draughts from the well of Salvation. When going to remember the Lord in the breaking of bread, to a prayer meeting, to a Bible reading, to a conference, or other such-like gathering, our hopes are high because we count on being watered. How is it, then, that returning from such meetings we have often come parched and withered, instead of refreshed? The reason is not far to seek. We forgot the wily enemy would be there to contend with us for the water, and we, being unprepared, were defeated. To judge ourselves must ever be preliminary to drinking at the stream from the throne of God. This requires a free use of the inside edge of the two-edged sword (Heb. iv. 12). When the weapon is thus used, we are truly humbled, therefore dependent on God, and we shall surely be satisfied. Many an one by thoughtless levity, foolish talking, and jesting, after having filled his vessel, has it spilled to the ground ere even he has quitted the spot where water has been flowing freely. Oft-times the refreshing has been missed, because we are not willing to receive from the vessel out of which the Lord would pour for us----our eyes, it may be, on a silver goblet (alas! it was dry), when a plain vessel running over was before us, but we were too proud to drink thereat. ''He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
"Feed My Sheep"