River

Pastor Dan’s sermon, “River” is available to watch or listen to right here.

This week we continued in Ezekiel and looked at Ezekiel 47. This passage continues a description of the temple and the river that flows out from it. In Ezekiel’s vision, he sees this river, which begins as a trickle. But as he moves farther out, the river becomes ankle-deep. It then becomes knee-deep and then waist-deep. Eventually it is a river no one can cross, it flows and churns its fresh water into the Dead Sea. The man speaking to Ezekiel says that this river turns saltwater fresh — where before, nothing could live, the waters will team with fish and fishermen will line the shores with their nets.

I have had the privilege of going to Israel, and I got to swim in the Dead Sea. It is famous for its salt content — when you get in the water, you float around effortlessly, buoyed by its denseness. So this vision Ezekiel has is amazing — this sea that is filled with salt will be made fresh by this miraculous river.

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Look at the salt deposits on the shore of the Dead Sea!

As we look at this passage symbolically, there’s so much that speaks to what God does as we enter into relationship with Him. Where our hearts have been dead, unable to grow our flourish, God brings life in abundance. His fresh water flows through us and out of us.

And this river that starts as a trickle and becomes so much more — this is often what God does with us. When we take a step with Him, He encourages us to take one more. Eventually we are running! I think this is such a good reminder of what God calls us to do as we share His story with others as well. Sometimes we feel pressure to evangelize or say all the right things when talking to those who don’t yet follow Jesus. But God just asks us to bless others, love Him and share what He has done. A kind word, an encouragement, a sentence or two about what God has done in your life, might be the beginning of a trickle for someone else. We meet people at different places in their journey, and God just calls us to be faithful to what He has for us that day. It is His Spirit that does the work!

Like Pastor Dan pointed out yesterday, we see this river again in the book of Revelation at the end of the Bible. Once again, God’s story comes full circle — this river of life flows and the trees that grow along its banks provide healing. God’s story is filled with redemption, restoration and renewal. He longs to bring us life!

Where have you seen God bring you life?

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