River of Life.
“Then he said to me, ‘This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows.’” – Ezekiel 47:8-9 NLT
What an amazing picture of God’s faithfulness. Not only is He going to restore the land and the people to it, He is going to rebuild the Temple, reinstate the sacrificial system and renew their hearts. God is going to make it possible for the Israelites to serve Him faithfully so that they can remain in the land. He will give them new hearts and a new desire to serve Him faithfully.
For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God. – Ezekiel 36:24-26 NLT
This entire vision give to Ezekiel is about what God is going to do in the future Millennial Kingdom. God is not only going to change the hearts of the people, He is going to change the nature of the land of Israel. In his vision, Ezekiel sees a river flowing from the Holy of Holies. This river will flow out from the Temple grounds and into the Jordan Valley, slowly growing larger and deeper as it makes its way to the Dead Sea. And as its waters flow into the Dead Sea it will transform this lifeless body of water into a fish-filled, tree-bounded paradise. This river of life will dramatically alter the topography of the land. Having been to the Dead Sea, the idea of this barren wasteland being transformed into a tropical paradise is amazing. Trees will grow where no trees exist right now. Fish will swim where no fish can exist right now. Life will flourish in an area known as the Dead Sea. That is a picture of the transforming power of God. He will make all things new. This river reminds us of another river that will exist in the eternal state. The apostle John was given a vision of it and he describes it in the book of Revelation.
“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” – Revelation 22:1-2 NASB
God is all about restoring life and bringing about healing, and these things flow from His throne. He is the source of life. Only through Him can men be restored to new life. He can take what was once dead and bring it back to life. He can transform dead lives and renew lifeless seas. That’s the God we serve.
Father, thank You for life. Thank You for renewing my life and placing Your life-giving Spirit within me. You are renewing me daily, transforming me from dead self-righteousness to true righteousness. And it is ALL Your doing, not mine. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men