Scripture reading for August 31st: Ezekiel 44-48
This amazing book of Scripture is coming to an end at last! A commentary note in my Daily Walk Bible stated that the rabbis that wrote the Talmud, the primary Jewish commentary on the Old Testament Scriptures, stated that Elijah would have to come back and interpret Ezekiel’s writings to give full understanding. Some of the visions and measurements as well as descriptions of offerings are difficult for American Christians living in the 21st century to understand, too. We know that God has His reasons for having them recorded and we should continue to pray for deeper understanding through the Holy Spirit.
As we close out Ezekiel, we come to the vision recorded in chapter 47. Ezekiel was taken by the man with the measuring line to the entrance of the temple facing east. There he saw a stream of water coming down from the south side from south of the altar. He then took Ezekiel out the north gate to the outside of the east gate and measured off a thousand cubits (450 meters or 1500 feet). Ezekiel found the water there to be ankle-deep. Another thousand cubits and the water was knee-deep and another thousand the water was waist-deep. A final thousand cubits and the water was so deep that he could not cross it by walking. Along the banks of the river, a great number of trees were growing. (Ezekiel 47:3-7)
Ezekiel was told by the man that the water entered the Dead Sea and there those waters became fresh. The waters were full of swarms of living creatures and large numbers of fish. Fishermen stood on the banks and cast their nets harvesting the fish. Fruit trees grew along the banks and they were always green and yielded fresh fruit each month. This fruit would be for food and the leaves of these trees would bring healing.(Ezekiel 47:8-12)
Following this vision, there are detailed instructions about how to divide the land among the twelve tribes. Finally, the city of Jerusalem has 12 gates named after the twelve tribes of Israel. The final verse states that the name of that city will be “The Lord is There”. (Ezekiel 48:30-35)
This vision points us to the Apostle John’s vision in the book of Revelation. John saw an angel with a measuring rod of gold who was measuring the city, it’s gates, and walls. (Revelation 21:15-21) The walls were made of precious stones and the gates were made of single pearls. The street of the city was pure gold! God’s presence filled the city with light and there was no need of sun or moon because of this glorious light! There was a river flowing from the throne of God down the middle of the street with trees bearing fruit each month. (Revelation 22:1-5) The leaves of these trees were for the healing of the nations! Best of all, God Himself and the Lamb would be with His people and they would behold His face! His glory would light their lives and world for ever and ever!
As we close this book, take time to reflect on the river of God and the life it brings. Do you have this river flowing in you? The Holy Spirit brings God’s river into us and will enable us to swim in it forever and ever! Come to Jesus Christ and drink freely of this water of life! You will be eternally satisfied! (Revelation 22:17)