December 26

Ezekiel 47:1,9,12 1The 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 water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.

9Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.

12Fruit 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."

There are two popular interpretations for this passage. In the coming Kingdom of God upon the earth there will literally be a river that springs up from under the threshold of the temple We could say that the course of this river, defined so clearly in this passage, is an indication of its literal fulfillment. What a change that would make to Israel! The Jordan today is a muddy little creek. The Dead Sea level drops every year. The people were always dependent upon God bringing the rain early and late in the year. It was a part of the Jews struggle, deciding between Jehovah and Baal. Baal was said to be the god of rain. Their survival depended on rain. In this coming day there will be an abundance of provision. This is extraordinary water! It brings life wherever it goes. Trees on those shores bear fruit every month. Fisherman cast nets in it and harvest an abundance of fish. The Dead Sea will no longer be salt water. In that day there will no longer be a struggle for provision for the people of God. There will be abundance.

We could also look at this passage in a figurative sense. Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the temple of living stones. Out from Him flows the Living Water. He told the woman at the well that she should ask Him for this amazing water. Wherever the water goes, it brings life! It brought life to her. It brought life to her village. Jesus probably took the route described in our verse for today from Jerusalem to Jericho many times. Remember the man who was healed with the mud made from spit? He first said that he saw men walking as trees (Mark 8:24). Those who drink of the River of Life do bear fruit on a regular basis, because the water of the sanctuary flows to them. Their leaves are for the healing of the nations. What a description of lifestyle evangelism!

Consider: If you are a fruit tree, what is your fruit?