STREAM OF LIVING WATER
Sovereign Lord, today I ask for your guidance in my endeavors. Surround me, as always, with your presence and love.
Read REVELATION 22:1-9
22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
John and the Angel
6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Give me once more this water of life, that I will never again be thirsty.’1
This is the first time within John’s tour that he makes explicit mention of ‘the throne’, the singular seat of ‘God and of the Lamb’ (v 1); Jesus and the Father share their unhindered reign of grace and life over the whole city. Where the visions of the throne- room of God became ever more complex and cluttered in earlier chapters, here is direct focus on the reign of God. The ‘river of the water of life’ that flows from it has many antecedents in Scripture – the stream that gives life to the righteous in Psalm 1, the streams of renewed Zion in Isaiah 33:21, the stream flowing from the temple in Ezekiel 47. This river represents not merely what God gives, but the gift of God himself;2 in the absence of any other mention, this must surely be a symbol of the Spirit of God who brings life to his people.
The servants of God in the city are the very ones for whom this vision and auditory message were given in the first place.3 They were marked with the ‘seal of the living God’,4 which is ‘his [the Lamb’s] name and his Father’s name’5 and the counterbalance to the mark of the beast.6 As they perform priestly duties in this giant, cube-shaped holy of holies in God’s holy presence, having God’s name on their forehead makes them look not just like a kingdom of priests (which was God’s intention from the beginning7), but like Aaron himself.8 We are not there yet; even John is prone to error, mistakenly worshipping the angel; like us, he is on a journey to perfection. This vision, however, gives us hope of a wonderful future.
What helps you to grow in excitement at the future that God has for his people? What helps you grow in patience as you journey toward it?
Eternal God, all things come from you, and in you all things exist. Thank you that I live in your sight and by your grace.
1 Modified from John 4:15 2 Cf Jer 2:13 3 Rev 1:1 4 Rev 7:2 5 Rev 14:1 6 Rev 13:16–18 7 Exod 19:6; Rev 1:6 8 Exod 28:36
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