S (Scripture): Ezekiel 47:1 When he brought me back to the temple’s entrance, I noticed that water was flowing toward the east from under the temple’s threshold (the temple faced east). The water was going out from under the temple’s facade toward the south, south of the altar. 2 He led me out through the north gate and around the outside to the outer east gate, where the water flowed out under the facade on the south side. 3 With the line in his hand, the man went out toward the east…
6 He said to me, “Human one, do you see?” Then he led me back to the edge of the river. 7 When I went back, I saw very many trees on both banks of the river…
9 “Wherever the river flows, every living thing that moves will thrive. There will be great schools of fish, because when these waters enter the sea, it will be fresh. Wherever the river flows, everything will live…”
12 “…on both banks of the river will grow up all kinds of fruit-bearing trees. Their leaves won’t wither, and their fruitfulness won’t wane. They will produce fruit in every month, because their water comes from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for eating, their leaves for healing.”
O (Observation): The Temple was at times the locus of worship, the center of God’s presence on earth. Ezekiel is given an extremely detailed explanation for the Temple’s layout and function. In this particular text, he is shown a river that flows from the Temple, outward. And where that river flows, life springs forth! Abundant life, at that. Like trees that bear fruit every month! Like fish being plentiful!
And not only does life spring forth from the fruit of the trees, but also the leaves of those trees are for healing.
A (Application): Knowing that God provides life and healing is comfort that I need. I try to muster up healing and actions on my part that will provide what God promises…and yet I fail.
As life goes on, I realize more and more that I am simply NOT God. We all know that, but if we’re honest, we try to prove to ourselves and to others that we can keep our sh!t together. That we can provide life and sustenance on our own. That we can be on top of all things. That we can handle this thing called life.
The thing is, we will never have our lives completely together. We will have days where we drain life from others, rather than give life. We will cause pain, instead of healing.
So, our complete hope is in God. Not in our hands alone, but God working through our hands. Not our voice alone, but God working through our voice. Not our hearts alone, but God calling us together into one heart that is bent towards loving God and loving our neighbor.
May we share in the hope of the river of life that brings true life to all!
P (Prayer): Lord, keep us alongside your life-giving waters, always. Amen.