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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Healing Stream (Ezekiel 47:1)

 "The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east)."

The Psalmist alludes to this river described in Ezekiel, "There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High." Ezekiel sees the river's origin--the water coming out from under the threshold of the temple. Though it begins as a small stream the further it flows the deeper it becomes. It changes everything it touches: it makes salt water fresh; it causes fruit trees to produce an endless supply of fruit and leaves that bring healing.

Ezekiel isn't the only one who sees this river. The Apostle John describes the same river, "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb." He sees something hidden from Ezekiel; he sees the tree of life which bore twelve fruits and which leaves brought healing to the nations.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Living Water who promises "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14). We are His temple and His overflowing presence in our lives, like water, should draw thirsty people just as the well of water drew the woman at the well. She was never the same after drinking Living Water. That a river flows from the temple shouldn't surprise us. A river flowed from the Garden of Eden. A river flows through our lives and during the millennium reign of Christ a healing river will flow from the temple.

Our Heavenly Father invites those who are thirsty TODAY to come to the healing waters and drink, "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters" (Isaiah 55:1). The Lord Jesus invites those who are thirsty to come to Him, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37). He promises, I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts" (Rev. 21:7; 22:17). What are you waiting for?

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Ezekiel 47, 48; 29:17-30:19
  • In the Millennium (the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth) the river mentioned in this passage will be a visible reminder of God's presence and blessing in Israel. See the mention of this river in Joel 3:18 and Zechariah 14:8.
  • What effect does the river have on the trees growing on its banks? On the Dead Sea?
  • Read Revelation 22:1-5. How does this passage describe this river?
  • Review God's promise to Abraham regarding the land in Genesis 13:14-17 and 15:17-21 .
  • How are non-Jewish residents to be treated (47:21-23)?
  • How many gates will New Jerusalem have? (See also Revelation 21:12-13)
  • How will Jerusalem be known during the Millennium?
Ezekiel 29:17-30:19
  • What prophecy does Ezekiel deliver regarding Egypt?
  • (For thirteen years Nebuchadnezzar had besieged the city of Tyre) What word picture portrays this prolonged siege?
  • What prompted Babylon's attack on Egypt?
  • Chapter 30 contains a four part prophecy against Egypt beginning with the words "This is what the Sovereign Lord says." What does God promise will take place in the first prophecy? second? third? fourth?
  • What does this tell you about God?
  • Finally, what will the people understand about God?
Turning truth into prayer
People are thirsty and they slake their thirst in drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, food, etc. Ask the LORD to allow you to experience that "fountain of living water" for yourself so that you, in turn, can offer Him convincingly to others.