“River of Living Water”
Ezekiel was given in the 47th chapter as he sees a vision of a river flowing from the temple. It is a “River of Living Water” no river adding to it and has made its way past the altar of sacrifice and on out the south side of the temple and has surrounded the temple. Ezekiel is led through the waters until they come up to his ankles.
Then a measurement is taken, and he is again led through the waters until they are up to his knees, where another measurement is taken, and he is brought through the waters until they are up to his waste.
Finally at the last measurement Ezekiel is given a measurement and this time in verse 5 he realizes that this river has grown to a place where it cannot be navigated on foot as the water was too deep now the only way is to let lose control and swim but curiously Ezekiel declares that though you could swim with it you could not cross it. I believe Ezekiel is speaking of the explorations of our relationship with God. There are several points that I wish to make:
- Such a relationship starts at the presence of God, as we are told that the water flowed from the door of the temple.
- The exploration must always involve the altar of sacrifice where we examine two deaths. The death of our Lord as the Lamb of God. Then our death to self, as no exploration of our relationship with God could go deeper apart from those two deaths.
- Notice that time and again “he brought” and “he led”. I believe that such a quest must be led by and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- I also notice that such a journey involved a fourfold process by a series of choices of how deep a person wanted to go:
A. First the river took him ankle deep. A safe, shallow experience of God that is cool but not out of control. Just enough of God to “get your feet week” but not too much to be swept away. So, we can know God and yet still be in control.
B. Next Ezekiel is brought to his knees. Ezekiel is brought to his knees in his relationship with God. There are many who are forced to go “knee deep with God” as life takes us beyond getting our feet wet.
C. Then Ezekiel went waste deep with God. At waste deep one realizes the force and power of God, they experience the flow that is beyond their control. A weightlessness as the flow and power of God is far greater than the burden of life in this body. Yet a person who is waste deep is still planted on terra firma, still in control. And still able to remove themselves from the water and go back to the familiar.
D. Finally, Ezekiel is brought to a place where the water is too deep for physical navigation, too deep to cross. All one can do is let loose and go with the flow ride effortlessly under the Spirits control as He navigates you through where He wishes to take you. This describes a relationship where a person is in over their head with God, as we are swept along in His grace, love and power.
The last observation is what Ezekiel describes as his last encounter with the “River of God” that took him to a place in verse 8-12 where the waters are healed and “Swarms of living creatures will live .. Where “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, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing”
So, “How deep do you want to go with the Lord? Oh, that all of us would want to be in over our head and totally in His control so that “everything will live” and the “leaves will not wither, nor the fruit fail and every month they bear”.
This has been Pastor Dale, Blessings!