Trees on Both Sides of the River
1 -2 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.
3 -5 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.
6 -7 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.
8 -10 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.
11 "The swamps and marshes won't become fresh. They'll stay salty.
12 "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."
These verses are from Ezekiel 47 (The Message). I had been ministered to in such a deep way by The River song by Brian Doerksen the last two days and now today I read this story in Ezekiel about a river that will change the stagnant water of the sea into fresh water. And wherever the river flows life will flourish, life will abound. And on its banks will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Such a beautiful picture of what Jesus can do for us!
"God's power can transform us us no matter how lifeless or corrupt we may be. Even when we feel messed up and beyond hope, his power can heal us."