The Refreshing Nature of Good News
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
1. This is a simple proverb in every way.
a. There are no difficult or obscure words in it.
b. There are no ambiguous expressions.
c. There is no difficulty in connecting the two parts of the proverb.
d. The illustration presented is one that every living person can relate to.
2. Solomon makes one simple analogy here: hearing good news from afar is like a refreshing drink of cold water.
a. The good news is to the ear what the water is to the soul: refreshing!
As cold waters to a thirsty soul…
1. Everybody has experienced this scene:
a. It is a hot day and you have been working hard.
b. The sun has been beating on you, and your mouth is parched. You are dying for a cold drink… but there is no cold drink to be had. You have to wait.
c. Perhaps you are driving home from work in mid August and the AC isn’t working in your car and the traffic is clogged on route 93.
d. You are dying for a drink, but you know you won’t be able to have one for an hour or so in this traffic.
e. Your thirst makes the hour seem like five hours.
f. Your mind is on that drink and you can think of nothing else. When you are that thirsty, all you can think of is cool, refreshing, water.
g. You may have many other desires in life, but at this time you simply want a cool drink.
h. And when you finally get that drink, it is a bit like paradise. It is satisfying deep down inside. It is the best water you’ve ever tasted. You feel like you could drink a gallon.
i. That cool water brings a sense of satisfaction to your soul (soul here is used in the sense of life… yourself… to the core of your being…)
2. Judges 15:18-19 – Samson had just finished a fight with 1000 men.
a. He slew them all, and was exhausted… and thirsty.
b. God provided water that refreshed his soul and “his spirit came again and he revived.”
c. This is the kind of refreshment to which Solomon alludes.
d. It is the kind of refreshment that is like having your spirit come back to you when you were at the point of exhaustion and completely depleted of strength… after you have experienced a physical revival.
3. II Sam. 23:15 – David also experienced this kind of deep physical thirst: “And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”
4. Deep, physical thirst is also used figuratively for other longings of the soul.
a. Psalm 42:1-2 – David LONGED and thirsted after God…. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
b. Isa. 55:1 – Isaiah uses this figure to describe the soul’s longing or thirsting after salvation: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
c. But in our proverb, Solomon uses this figure to illustrate how refreshing good news can be to the soul.
Good News from a Far Country
1. Good news from a far country is in some ways like finally getting that cool, refreshing drink after waiting so long for it!
a. What makes it so refreshing? It was the distance; the long wait; the times of great anxiety in not knowing; the longing for fellowship; the worries about the potential trouble;
b. All of these combine to make GOOD news from a far country especially refreshing.
2. Good news from a far country probably doesn’t have the significance today that it had in Solomon’s day.
a. In that day, when someone was in a faraway land, it could be months, even years before you heard word from them.
b. It wasn’t that long ago that when a missionary boarded a boat to go across the ocean, it would take six months for a letter to make it to them… and another six months for the response.
c. Today we have instant access and communication with those in faraway lands. We can Tweet, Skype, text, or call—all in a matter of seconds.
d. Thus, the thirst for news might not seem as intense today as in Solomon’s day.
3. But imagine you are a father or mother of a soldier who is fighting in a war in a far away, desolate area of the world.
a. You hear on TV that the area where he was serving was bombed; there are heavy casualties, and the communications are down.
b. Waiting to hear whether he survived or not could turn minutes into days; and days into years.
c. Your soul would LONG to hear good news. Nothing else would matter. All you want is to hear a good report. Nothing else on earth would satisfy your soul.
d. This is what Solomon is speaking about: the soul that LONGS for good news from a faraway land.
e. When the good news does come (your son is safe!) then it is like a cool, refreshing drink to your soul. It satisfies; revives the soul; the spirit comes again! You can breathe again!
4. Prov. 15:30 – “a good report maketh the bones fat.”
a. The “light of the eyes” speaks of the eyes as a window into the soul. The eyes can communicate.
b. They can sparkle; they can twinkle; they can beam; or they can be dull and look very sad.
c. The light of the eyes is a twinkle in the eye – an indication of a happy heart.
d. So too, a good report makes the bones fat – this too speaks of an inward twinkle… inward spiritual and psychological health.
e. Fat bones are moist, strong, healthy, and full of healthy marrow.
• They are the opposite of dried out bones. (Prov. 17:22 – a broken spirit drieth the bones)
• Envy is the rottenness of the bones. (Prov.14:30)
• But good news encourages… and makes the bones fat…
f. A good report encourages and is like bringing light back to the eyes… it is like fat, healthy bones—which speak of an inner man that is sound, spiritually healthy, encouraged, and strong… revived!
5. Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life!”
a. Hope defined: Always translated “hope”… from a word that means “to wait for; hope for; expectation of a positive future prospect.”
b. When a loved one is far away, there is much hope for good; much waiting for news; much anticipation…
c. When a loved one is far away, that hope cannot be confirmed easily. It takes news… good news to confirm it.
d. You may be hoping for good news… but when it does not come… and you are forced to wait… and the news is deferred, it makes the heart sick… for you LONG to know more.
e. But when the desire of the heart comes (when what you were hoping for comes to fruition)… it is a tree of life…
f. When good news comes from a far country, the anxiety is over… the worries and fears are laid to rest. The sick heart is replaced with a spiritually healthy and joyous heart… and fat bones too!
a. Consider how refreshed was Jacob when his sons brought back the news from far away Egypt – after so many long years, that Joseph was alive! (Gen. 45:25-28)
7. The sinner can be refreshed with the good news of heaven… the good news of the gospel of God’s grace!
a. “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
b. What RELIEF we can bring to the thirsty soul who has found no satisfaction in this old world when we bring the gospel message to them.
c. In John 4, Jesus likened salvation (the effect of the good news) to a drink of “living water” that refreshed the soul of the sin weary woman.
8. The saint too can be refreshed with good news from faraway heaven too—every time we read the Bible!
a. We are citizens of heaven!
b. We CAN walk in newness of life.
c. We are overcomers in Christ.
d. Christ liveth in me!
e. We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings.
f. We can be used as instruments of the Lord to bring good news to others!