Think Biblically!

Ezekiel 47:1-12

Open to Ezekiel chapter 47, verses 1 through 12.

Then the man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water flowing 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.

Next he brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and there I saw the water trickling out from the south side.

As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cupids and led me through ankle-deep water.

Then he measured off a thousand cubits and led me through knee-deep water.

Again he measured a thousand cubits and led me through waist-deep water.

Once again he measured off a thousand cubits.

But now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough for swimming, a river that could not be crossed on foot.

Son of man, do you see this? He asked.

Then he led me back to the bank of the river.

When I arrived, I saw a great number of trees along both banks of the river.

And he said to me, This water flows out to the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah.

When it empties into the sea, the water there becomes fresh.

Wherever the river flows, there will be swarms of living creatures and a great number of fish, because it flows there and makes the waters fresh, so wherever the river flows, everything will flourish.

Fishermen will stand by the shore.

From in Getty to in Egland they will spread their nets to catch fish of many kinds, like the fish of the great sea.

But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh, they will be left for salt.

Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of all kinds will grow.

Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail.

Each month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.

Their fruit will be used for food and their leaves for healing.

This amazing vision of Ezekiel illuminates the restoration and the life-giving spirit of the new covenant, embodied in Christ Jesus.

The prophet is brought to the door of the temple, where he beholds water flowing eastward, growing from a trickle to a river too vast to cross.

This water, issuing forth from the sanctuary, signifies the outpouring of God's grace through Christ.

From there comes the Holy Spirit, bringing life to all it touches.

The progression from a trickle to a deep river mirrors the unfolding plan of redemption.

Initially confined to Israel, it expands, signifying the gospel spread to all nations, an invitation to partake in the living waters of Christ.

The river's increase, without the aid of tributaries, exemplifies the supernatural growth of God's kingdom, not by human might but by His Spirit.

As Ezekiel is led through the waters, there is a striking transformation.

Wherever the river flows, life abounds.

The Dead Sea, long emblematic of barrenness and death, teems with life, symbolizing the transformative power of the gospel.

It shows that no heart is too hard, no life too desolate, that it cannot be made alive in Christ.

The mention of fishermen and an abundance of fish represents the calling of the disciples as fishers of men, a call that extends to all believers, to spread the life-giving message of the gospel.

The trees on the river's banks, bearing fruit every month and leaves for healing, portray the church, nourished by Christ, bearing the fruit of the Spirit and bringing healing to the nations.

The continuous fruit-bearing signifies the eternal and ever-renewing nature of life in the Spirit, a direct contrast to the world's fleeting pleasures.

However, not all waters are healed, indicating that the rejection of the gospel leaves one in a state of death.

The choice is stark and clear, life in the waters of Christ or death in the barrenness of rejection.

This vision reaches its climax with the declaration that everything will live where the river goes.

It is a foretaste of the New Jerusalem, where the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In Revelation chapter 22, this vision is fulfilled, showcasing the ultimate restoration and healing of all creation through Christ.

In the person and work of Jesus, we see the true temple, the source of living water, offering Himself without measure, that we might have life abundantly.

Our call, then, is to drink deeply of this water, to be bearers of this life to a world ensnared by death, and to look forward to the consummation of all things, where God shall dwell with His people forever.

Let's look a little closer.

As we mentioned, our passage describes a vision of a river flowing from the temple, bringing life and healing wherever it goes.

This vision is rich in symbolism and can be viewed through a new covenant, Christ-centered lens to understand its deeper spiritual implications for believers today.

In the new covenant, the temple represents the presence of God among His people.

Jesus Christ embodies this presence, as He is Emmanuel, God with us, Matthew chapter 1 verse 23.

Just as the river flows from the temple, all life and healing for the believer originate from Jesus, the living temple, John chapter 2 verses 19-21.

The next thing to note is the ever-increasing depth of the river, verses 3-5.

The gradual deepening of the river can symbolize the believer's journey of faith, growing deeper in knowledge, understanding, and experience of God's grace and truth through Christ.

As believers we are to pursue a deeper relationship with Jesus, allowing His Spirit to us into all truth, John chapter 16 verse 13.

Then we have the river bringing life to everything it touches, verses 6-9.

The river's ability to bring life to even the dead sea parallels the transformative power of Christ's redemptive work, bringing spiritual life to those dead in sin, Ephesians chapter 2 verses 4-5.

Don't miss this, we are called to witness the regenerating power of the gospel.

Believers are to share the living water of Jesus Christ with a world in desperate need of His life-giving grace, John chapter 4 verse 14.

Finally, consider the river's fruitfulness and healing properties, verses 10-12.

The imagery of the healing leaves and fruitful trees points to the healing and sustenance provided through Christ, whose work on the cross brings healing to the nations, Revelation chapter 22 verses 1-2.

As believers we are to bear fruit in keeping with repentance, Matthew chapter 3 verse 8, and use our gifts for the healing and building up of the body of Christ, 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verses 7-11.

This vivid imagery of a life-giving river offers a profound picture of the spiritual realities found in Christ.

He is the source of living water, offering depth, life, healing, and fruitfulness to all who come to Him.

As believers, we are called to dwell in His presence, deepen our relationship with Him, and extend His kingdom's life-giving properties to the world around us.

One last thing, in Revelation chapter 22 verses 1-2 we are reminded of the beautiful continuity of God's promise, from Ezekiel's vision to the reality of the New Jerusalem.

In both, the river of life is central, showcasing the eternal, life-giving presence of God through Christ.