Summary: This is a fresh look at the story of the woman at the well in Sychar, Samaria.
THE SEVENTH MAN (John 4)
Today, I want to tell you a story that is true, although some of the incidents and facts have been lost to history, and I have taken literary license in reconstructing a few of the events.
Literary license essentially means that I have just made some of them up, like I was writing a novel. What I have added is totally incidental, and does not impact the truth of the story itself. That will be quite evident, by the end of the message, today. You will see the story, for what it is. I hope that you will hear the truth of it, and let it bless you and your life.
The story begins in the life of a lovely girl named Rachel (my name for her) when she was about 15 years old, and at 15 was already beyond the age when many of her friends were married. But, she was soon to be married to a young man, THE FIRST MAN in her life, who's name was Benjamin, whom she loved deeply, and her love was reciprocated. That means he loved her, too. They had a lovely wedding in June of that year, moved to a village about 100 miles away, rented a small house, and started their lives together.
They lived happily and peacefully for about 2 years, but misfortune struck, and Benjamin was accidentally killed, having been struck by lightning while watching a flock of sheep at night. It was the kind of accident that can't happen...but did. I think that just made it all the harder for her. She could see no sense in why God would allow that to happen, but that didn't change things.
We all have seen things happen, accidents that we can't explain...loved ones taken without reason or explanation ... and we cry out to God, "WHY?" And God does not answer. The heavens are silent, our hearts are broken, and we simply fail to see the fairness, or necessity, of it. But that does not change it. It is not reversed. The next day, Benjamin was still dead.
And she was alone. She had no close relatives, and no way to live. Friends and neighbors tried to help, but their help was temporary...and it consisted only of food and things like that. There was no one to heal the hole in her heart. There was no one to comfort her. Needless to say, she was devastated. Her life was torn upside down and inside out. She had no money, thus no way to pay her annual rent when due. Since she had no money, and no family, she was not what the townsfolk called 'good material' for another marriage. She could bring no dowry to a second marriage, and in that culture, a girl without a dowry was doomed to live with no hope of anyone becoming interested in her.
THE SECOND MAN in Rachel’s life was a certain older gentleman in the village, a man about 60, who's wife had died, and he had no children, thus no one to help him. His name was Hiram, and he was considered by all to be an honorable and good man. He invited Rachel to his home to help him, and after only a very short time, proposed marriage. She was reluctant to accept, but could really see no other way, so she agreed, and at age 18 was married for the second time, and her new husband was as old as her grandfather.
Hiram and Rachel lived together in harmony and peace, but as the course of nature is, Hiram was getting older, and in their 6th year of marriage, simply didn't wake up one morning. Rachel had come to love him over the years, and found herself in mourning again, at only 24 years old. But this time she was not left penniless, in fact, she was left quite well off, since there were no children by his first wife, and all he had was inherited by Rachel.
She moved to a larger city where she hoped to set up some kind of business, having already decided that marriage just wasn't working for her, and she intended to just support herself and go on with her life. But there was one thing different, now ... Rachel had money, and being the attractive young woman she was, suddenly found herself being wooed by a number of men of all ages and stripes. It didn't take her long to realize they were much more interested in her money, than in her, and she kept them all at a very long arm's length... that is, until an incredibly handsome and presumably rich fellow, only a few years older than herself came along. His name was Micah.
Micah, THE THIRD MAN in her life, told her of his vast holdings in another town, called Sychar, and persuaded her to marry him and move there, promising they would have a grand life with his family and friends and business. Shortly after arriving there, he pitched a wonderful idea to her about a business venture, and she promptly gave him some of her money to invest. To her abject horror, though, she found out that the business was his own gambling, and that he had lost all the money she had given him...and then learned that he never had anything at all... it was all lies and smoke and mirrors.