River of Life
Lord God, refresh me with Your Word and Your Spirit today. My spirit is dry and I need Your refreshing.
Read Ezekiel 47:1-12
 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.  He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.  As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep.  He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist.  He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in-a river that no one could cross.  He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river.  When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.  He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.  Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.  Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds-like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.  But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.  Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat kind of river does Ezekiel see?
In this conclusion to Ezekiel’s visionary tour of the new Temple, the focus is on the water miraculously flowing from it. It begins as a trickle and develops into a raging river, despite being fed by no further tributaries. This amazing stream is the source of life, bringing regeneration (9), healing (8) and fruitfulness (12) wherever it flows. The imagery here matches similar imagery in Revelation 22:1-5 describing the new heavenly city, where God will dwell and all of us with him. There the life-giving water flows from the throne of God, feeding the abundantly fruitful tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. The Temple represents God’s presence, but the flowing water reaffirms that God is not confined to this one place, that he goes wherever he chooses to be with his people, bringing them abundant life. That the river flows to the area of the Dead Sea (8), a place incapable of sustaining life, and renews it (9) should remind us, too, that there is no one and no place too far for people to find new life in Jesus.
Pray for people you know in other countries or those who’ve come to us from different nations.
Pray God will use his people here and around the world to reach people everywhere with new life in Jesus.
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