Guarding and proclaiming the unchanging truth in a changing world

God's Word Is An Inexhaustible Spring Of Life

10th December 2019

Efrem the Syrian was a Christian deacon and prolific hymn writer and theologian of the fourth century, living in what is now south-eastern Turkey.  To combat the false teaching of the heretical sects in that area which had proclaimed themselves as the true church, Efrem defended biblically-faithful Christianity by setting theological verses to the popular folk music of his time.  Through his efforts, Christians in Edessa were able to learn and easily memorize the true doctrines of the Church by singing them continually.

Lord, who can comprehend even one of your words? We lose more of it than we grasp, like those who drink from a living spring. For God’s word offers different facets according to the capacity of the listener, and the Lord has portrayed his message in many colors, so that whoever gazes upon it can see in it what suits him. Within it he has buried manifold treasures, so that each of us might grow rich in seeking them out.

The word of God is a tree of life that offers us blessed fruit from each of its branches. It is like that rock which was struck open in the wilderness, from which all were offered spiritual drink. As the Apostle says: They ate spiritual food and they drank spiritual drink.

And so whenever anyone discovers some part of the treasure, he should not think that he has exhausted God’s word. Instead he should feel that this is all that he was able to find of the wealth contained in it. Nor should he say that the word is weak and sterile or look down on it simply because this portion was all that he happened to find. But precisely because he could not capture it all he should give thanks for its riches.

Be glad then that you are overwhelmed, and do not be saddened because he has overcome you. A thirsty man is happy when he is drinking, and he is not depressed because he cannot exhaust the spring. So let this spring quench your thirst, and not your thirst the spring. For if you can satisfy your thirst without exhausting the spring, then when you thirst again you can drink from it once more; but if when your thirst is sated the spring is also dried up, then your victory would turn to harm.

Be thankful then for what you have received, and do not be saddened at all that such an abundance still remains. What you have received and attained is your present share, while what is left will be your heritage. For what you could not take at one time because of your weakness, you will be able to grasp at another if you only persevere. So do not foolishly try to drain in one draft what cannot be consumed all at once, and do not cease out of faint-heartedness from what you will be able to absorb as time goes on.’

Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) 


Blessed Lord,
you gave us the Scriptures to point they way to salvation:
Teach us to hear them, read them
and study them with love and prayer
and strengthen us by their inspiration
to hold firm the hope of eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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