“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.” (Genesis 1:6-7, NIV)
Water is an indispensable building block of life. Our very bodies consist mostly of water. Without water, life on this planet would not exist.
God was extravagant with water—he covered nearly two-thirds of the planet with it. Some people have described the earth as a “water planet.”
But there”s a problem: 97 percent of the water on earth is saltwater—the briny, ocean water we all remember tasting as a child on our first trip to the beach. And there’s a second problem—about 85 percent of our fresh water is locked up in polar icecaps. This means that of all the water on earth, less than one half of one percent is drinkable and accessible to us. Fresh water is relatively rare!
Yet water is so much more than a physical necessity of life. It”s a symbol that Christ uses over and over again to describe himself. Water is God”s symbol of rebirth, his metaphor for resurrection to a new life.
Jesus himself was baptized in the water of the Jordan River as a symbol of what was to come, a physical death and a resurrection to eternal life.
Being a good steward means we must recognizing the powerful role water plays in our lives, physically and spiritually.
For more of Dr. Sleeth’s reflections, see the Blessed Earth Hope for Creation Films and Guidebooks (Zondervan 2010).