“Did you see this?” Jesus and Ezekiel swimming in the river in Eze 47:6. Ezekiel is swimming, in the midst of the water, and the Lord asks: “Did you see this?”
When God asks a question, it is not because he does not have the answer. “Adam, where are you?” Did God lose the only 2 human beings he created? No, but Adam did not know where he was. “Why do you pursuit me, Paul?” Jesus knew perfectly, but Paul answered “Who are you, Lord?”
So what was there to see for Ezekiel? One thing amongst many was the river. Let’s have a closer look at this river.
The river started in the Holy Of Holies. It went out of the city and into the countryside. It reminds me of some other rivers mentioned in the bible:
In Genesis 2, we find a river flowing from the garden Eden and from there in 4 streams into the world. In Joel we see that the river will break forth from the temple and water the valley (Joel 3:18). And in Rev 22:1-2 the same river is portrayed again.
Let’s look at some characteristics of that river.
In Gen 2:8 we see that God planted a garden in the east sector of Eden. In Gen 2:10 we see the same area, but this time a river flows from Eden into the garden. The Hebrew now places eden in the garden. But didn’t the first reference place the garden within Eden?
In John 15:5 Jesus tells his disciples, that “whoever abides in Me and I in Him will bring much fruit”. Jesus in us, or we in Jesus? The garden in Eden, or Eden in the garden?
Gen 2:15 the bible does not even differentiate between the two: the garden Eden (without the “of” that is used in English translations, but not in Hebrew). Identity. Me in Him, and He in me. Eden. the supernatural place of delight (that is was Eden means), and the garden, the natural place of human work and life, being congruent. One place, one state?
So from Eden a river flows into the garden and then into the world. The garden is the doorway to the world for the river.
In Eze 48:30, the doorways of the city that river flows out of are described as exits (not entrances!) and named after the 12 tribes or 12 sons of Jacob. The exits are people.
Where does the river flow to? Eze 47:6 shows us that it flows to people and becomes their provision. In Revelation it flows to the nations for their healing.
Where does it flow from? The temple, the throne of God and the Lamb. When Jesus was on the cross, his side was pierced, and out came blood and water. Does the river start from Jesus? Does it start from a person?
From a person, through a people, for the people.
The river was supposed to flow at all times. It started to break into our world at creation. Recognize that the garden was created, but not Eden. It pre-existed. It was to flow at the time of Ezekiel and Joel, started to flow again at the cross, and will flow in the New Jerusalem.
But there has to be a garden, there have to be exits to the city, there has to be a people for the river to flow through.
All of Israel was supposed to be a people of priest for the most high God. They failed and kept the Gospel of their time to themselves. They did not accept their role when they told Moses to speak to and from God for them at the Mount Sinai.
The church according to Peter is supposed to be a people of kings and priests. But for many centuries we failed to do so, either bringing the Gospel through might and power and the sword, but not His Spirit, or by locking God into a new Holy of Holies, the church building, after he ripped open the curtain and left the small confinement man put Him in.
Let us be the people the river will flow through. Let’s change from child’s stage of “what’s in it for me” to adolescence (“What can I do for You, God”) to maturity: “Who can I invest myself in?” Or, whom can I reach with the flow of the river that breaks forth from within me. Let the gifts, let faith, and let love flow from your inner most being. Read 1 Corinthians 12-14 to see what I mean.
Is this what Jesus meant when he said:
Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (John 7:38 MSG)
“Did you see this?” Jesus asks.