From Ezekiel 46-48
Lots of water is coming out of the temple. It obviously gets stronger and stronger as it continues. There seems to be no end to the water supply. In the bible water is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit given to the people. What will be the effect of this abundant water flowing? Are you a good swimmer? What is the deepest water you have been in?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Todays reading ends Ezekiel. No more judgment, just a wonderful picture of a river flowing from the Temple we have been reading about.
47 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. 2 Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side. (Eze 47.1-2)
The water seems to be heading only east. East is an important direction. That was where the tribe of Judah was located when Israel was being guided to the promised land. This is significant.
3 Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. 4 Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. 5 Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. 6 And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” (Eze 47.3-6a)
The water depth changes.
- Ankle deep
- Knee deep
- Waist deep
- Swimming depth
Lots of water is coming out of the temple. It obviously gets stronger and stronger as it continues. There seems to be no end to the water supply. In the bible water is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit given to the people. What will be the effect of this abundant water flowing?
6b Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. 9 And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12 And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Eze 47.6b-12)
This water is powerful. Sea water becomes fresh. Creatures that swarm will live, including fish. Wherever the river goes, everything will live. Trees will bear fruit. Man will not go hungry. The water from the temple, the sanctuary will bring life.
Story of Israel
This is a prophecy using very colourful language. When will this happen? The temple represents the LORD and his presence among the people. His Spirit will flow. A few of Ezekiel’s prophecies prior to this point have prophesied the giving of the Spirit. But, Israel and Judah still go into exile. Eventually they return and still this hasn’t happened.
Story of Jesus
Its not until Jesus comes that we hear about the Spirit moving, very mysteriously. Jesus says in John’s Gospel;
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3.5-8)
Jesus speaks about the movement of the Spirit. In Ezekiel the Spirit / water flows east. Signifying the line of Judah. Jesus fulfills this in that he is the messiah of the line of Judah. In John’s Gospel the water goes where it wishes. But, the water still creates life. People are born again. This is the passage which people are alluding to when they say they are ‘born again Christians’. Born again Christ proclaimers have entered God’s kingdom. John continues;
9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (Jn 3.9-12)
Nicodemus should have known about the prophecy of Ezekiel we have just read. But he missed the meaning of the giving of life. Christians speak about the life that comes from Jesus, but unfortunately not everyone believes the testimony of Jesus.
13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (Jn 3.13-14)
Jesus predicts how they will know the Spirit has come which gives life. The Son of Man (Jesus) will be lifted up (cf. Nu 21.4-9). He will die a horrible death on a cross. Those who believe in Jesus who has been crucified and is now risen have eternal life.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights