God’s River of Life
Intro: This familiar passage is a tremendous illustration or picture of God’s Great River of Life; God’s great river of blessings; God’s great river of abundance in the life of every Christian.
Ezekiel was given an amazing vision of a future temple which was glorious and inspiring. It was part of God’s plan for Israel during the Millennium, that wondrous 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth with his saints. While the vision of this Great River of God has a future Literal Fulfillment, right now it has a present Spiritual fulfillment. God has already Sent His River of Life into the World.
It started when Jesus was born in Bethlehem and then gave his life as the perfect sacrifice for sin. It continued when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended back into heaven. It began to Flow in earnest on the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was poured out upon believers and was given as the Comforter to the church throughout the ages of time.
I. The River’s Source.
You’ll notice in Ezekiel’s vision that this River flowed from the Temple. We know that the Temple was the earthly Dwelling place for God’s Presence and God’s Glory. In the holy of holies, God’s presence was Literal and Visible and Powerful. VERY few had ever SEEN the glory of God in the holy of holies.
The Temple was the Source of this Great River Of Life.
That reminds us that GOD himself is the ONLY source of true LIFE. No man can bring you Spiritual Life; no man can bring you Abundant Life; no man can bring you Eternal Life.
God is the Only Source of this Life.
God is the only Source of Salvation;
God is the only Source of Sanctifying Power;
God is the only Source of the fulness of the Spirit.
This great river of Life comes from God and God alone.
II. The River’s Course.
The last phrase of vs. 1 states that this river flowed at the “south side of the Altar.” Again, we know the significance of the Altar at the Temple.
The Altar was the Place of Sacrifice for Sin.
Even before the Tabernacle was created, men like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob offered sacrifices to God on Altars they built just for that purpose.
In the Tabernacle, and the more permanent Temple, the Altar was still the Place of Sacrifice for Sin.
Ultimately, Calvary became the Eternal Altar where the perfect and holy Lamb of God was sacrificed to pay the price for All of mankind’s sin. This great River of Life flows by way of Calvary.
Without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ there is No Spiritual Life. Without the Blood of Jesus there is no Cleansing from sin.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
The Altar is the Place of Surrender.
The Altar is the place where Jesus sacrificed himself for us; and the Altar is the place where we make ourselves a Living Sacrifice for Him. Without the altar of surrender, you will not have spiritual life. Without the altar of surrender, you will not have the River of God’s blessings flowing through your life.
Don’t Avoid the Altar! Don’t try to bypass the place of Sacrifice for sin and don’t try to bypass the place of surrender of Self to God.
III. The River’s Force.
This River was one of Fulness and Fruitfulness.
A River of Fulness.
This river went from a small beginning in the Temple to being a River of fulness and depth. When the angel first measured the river, it was only ankle deep. That speaks to me of our initial experience with God. It starts rather shallow, so to speak. We come to God for Life and we don’t really Know much about it. We know what we experience and that’s about all; BUT thank God it’s only the Beginning, not the end. At the End this life is one of amazing Fullness.
The angel measured again and the river was up to the knees. That speaks to me of the necessity of Prayer in order to Grow and Flourish in this Christian life. There is a Deepening Interest here; and those who are serious about living for the Lord in the fulness of the Spirit will have a deepening interest that drives them to their knees.
The angel measured again and the river was to the loins or waist. This speaks to me of a Deepening Intensity. The loins in the Bible are a type of Strength and Power; of Action and Determination. Those who are serious about living for the Lord in the fulness of the Spirit will not only get into the river, they will Follow the River. The more you Follow this Great River of God, the deeper it gets; the greater fulness there is. Don’t be lazy spiritually; walking in ankle deep water is relatively easy, but wading through water up to your waist is more difficult and requires more intensity and effort. PRESS ON in God’s great River of Life. Don’t be content to Splash in it or Wade it in, Follow on to Know the Lord.
The angel measured once more and the River was so deep one had to swim in it.
Oh, that you and I would be Immersed in God’s Great River of Life! Oh that we would live in His fulness; in his abundance; in his power; in his glory and Blessing.
Don’t be content to Splash in this great river of life; don’t be content to Wade around in it; Press on until you are Immersed in it; Filled with it; Swimming in it; Living in it’s fulness.
A River of Fruitfulness.
Vs. 7- there were very many Trees on both sides of the river.
Vs. 8- the river flows through the Desert; and then to the Dead Sea which is Healed by its Flow.
Vs. 9- “every thing whither so ever the River shall come, shall LIVE.
Vs. 12 states that the trees which grow along the river, their Leaves will never fade and will serve as a healing medicine; they will bring forth Fruit on a regular basis and will never fail.
So it is that every one who really Launches Out into God’s River of Life will live a Life of Fulness and Fruitfulness. So that even when this earthly life has ended, we still Live On in the very Presence of the Lord and enjoy his Blessings For EVER! They never fade and never End. If you will really get into God’s River of Life, you will live a life of Fulness and a life of Fruitfulness!
Bro. Dwain Galiher
Pastor of JHPC