“And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.” Ezekiel 47:9
How amazing is this vision that the Lord gave to Ezekiel of a river flowing out from under the temple and gradually growing deeper and wider as it progressed? Even though he did not understand what it all meant, he faithfully recorded it.
It is a beautiful picture of the Gospel story. After Jesus died, rose again, and ascended into heaven, there was only a small group of one hundred and twenty who tarried in the Upper Room waiting for the promise that He had given them. But from that beginning the River of Life began to flow, starting with three thousand souls being added as Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost. From there it spread throughout all of Judea, into Samaria, and eventually to other countries as well.
As centuries have passed, the Gospel has spread and flourished until it has become a river, deep and wide. Ezekiel described it starting as water that reached the ankles, the knees, the loins, and then too deep to pass over – waters to swim in.
Verse 9 tells us that everything shall live wherever the river flows. How true this is of the Gospel message. Wherever it is preached it brings love and hope. Lives are changed, families are restored, and the sick are healed.
Verse 10 speaks of the fishermen that will stand upon its banks, catching fish of all kinds. Jesus told His disciples that he would make them fishers of men. Though they may have thought at the time that their message was only for the Jews, Jesus intended it for the whole world. Today because of faithful men and women who were willing to go, the Gospel message is being preached to the whole world.
Verse 12 records that on the banks of the river, there are many trees, providing meat and fruit for every need. All that we need is found in Jesus Christ. There’s forgiveness of sin, hope for the hopeless, healing for the sick, and peace for all.
Can you visualize that great river in your mind? It started small but became an ever-widening, ever-deepening stream as it progressed. Down through the centuries, it has grown into a mighty river and will continue to flow until Jesus returns for His people. How blessed we are to be part of it.
Jesus, thank you for the vision you gave Ezekiel. Thank you for the River of Life that you provided by your death on Calvary.
Devotion by Anne Johnston