“Now he brought me back to the entrance to the Temple. I saw water pouring out from under the Temple porch to the east (the Temple faced east). The water poured from the south side of the Temple, south of the altar. He then took me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the gate complex on the east. The water was gushing from under the south front of the Temple. He walked to the east with a measuring tape and measured off fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water waist-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet. By now it was a river over my head, water to swim in, water no one could possibly walk through.
He said, ‘Son of man, have you had a good look?’
Then he took me back to the riverbank. While sitting on the bank, I noticed a lot of trees on both sides of the river.
He told me, ‘This water flows east, descends to the Arabah and then into the sea, the sea of stagnant waters. When it empties into those waters, the sea will become fresh. Wherever the river flows, life will flourish—great schools of fish—because the river is turning the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds. Fishermen will stand shoulder to shoulder along the shore from En-gedi all the way north to En-eglaim, casting their nets. The sea will teem with fish of all kinds, like the fish of the Great Mediterranean.’
‘The swamps and marshes won’t become fresh. They’ll stay salty. But the river itself, on both banks, will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won’t wither, the fruit won’t fail. Every month they’ll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing’.” Ezekiel 47:1-12 (MSG)
The people of Israel had been exiled. In Ezekiel 40, the prophet received a vision that detailed life that was not their current reality. In the midst of very difficult times, God came to Ezekiel and poured hope over his soul for better days to come. Ezekiel 43:1-2 (MSG) says, “The man brought me to the east gate. Oh! The bright Glory of the God of Israel rivered out of the east sounding like the roar of floodwaters, and the earth itself glowed with the bright Glory.” God’s presence and spirit were flowing out of the Temple in the vision while being compared to rushing waters. As we read Ezekiel 47, the water flowing out of the Temple started by being poured out, which then turned into gushing streams. Incrementally, Ezekiel was being led to deeper waters. Ankle deep water was easy to stand and walk through. As the water came up to his waist, he was probably looking around assessing the situation. Fifteen hundred feet from his current position placed him in over his head. The water was too deep. No one could walk through it. Yet, in the deep waters, God was still present. There was a depth to God’s presence that caused the ground to give way. Most people would probably request a boat or raft at this point. Yet, in the deep waters, it points to something significant. When the water was over his head, he was led to another place where he saw trees growing. There was fruitfulness all around the banks of the water.
One way to interpret this symbolism represented is to consider the correlation between deep waters and fruitfulness. When the water is deep, it’s life giving to the vegetation surrounding it. God’s presence working in and through us will lead us to places where our only option is to trust Him. The depth of God’s presence in our lives correlates to our fruitfulness. Sometimes it seems like God is incrementally leading us to deeper waters. When we are only up to our ankles in water, we can feel confident in our ability to stand. As the water gets deeper, the feeling of being out of control can take over. Yet, God’s presence is vast and deep. It leads us to places where our trust is no longer in our abilities. In the deep, we come to fully understand God’s presence in a real way. But, the deep waters are not just for themselves; they serve a purpose to bring fruitfulness into our lives. It impacts the banks of our lives. Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV) says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” The imagery from the psalmist reminds us of the value of where we are planted and the fruitfulness of our lives. If we are planted by streams of living water, it will change our experience and the outcome of our lives. We want to have fruitful lives without the deep water. We want to know God without having to trust Him completely. As we press into God’s presence and His spirit leads us, we are bound to experience God leading us to deeper waters where our faith is stretched and tested. God’s deep work in our hearts makes it possible for us to rise up and be planted in strength. Wherever God’s presence is, life abounds. May God work so deeply in your life that streams of living water will flow out of your life and water the landscape of your future. Wade into the water – the uncertain future and the vast deep; God’s presence will guide you, and the fruitfulness of your life will be a testimony of His Spirit at work in your heart.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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About Hona Amer
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