Tuesday 01 April 2014

Bible Book:

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” (Psalm 46:4)

Ezekiel 47:1-9 Tuesday 1 April 2014


Psalm 46 is a good commentary on the Ezekielpassage. Water is a precious commodity in a dry climate, althoughin this country we have been seeing the ill effects of flooding. Soin the Bible water is often used a symbol of the blessings Godgives.

The closing chapters of Ezekiel describe the prophet's vision ofthe glorious future for God's people Israel when they are broughtback to the land from which they had been taken (Ezekiel 40:1-2). It describes a rebuiltJerusalem with its temple, the earthly dwelling-place of God, atits heart. An angelic figure is Ezekiel's guide. In visions, as indreams, real-life constraints of geography can be ignored. So herewe have a picture of a river, with only a single source and notributaries to swell it, flowing steadily downhill from the templeeastward, getting deeper as it goes, and creating conditions offertility, with trees and fish, until it reaches what we now callthe Dead Sea and transforms it. It is a symbol of the transformingpower and abundance of God's blessing. It calls to mind thedescription of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:4-14, and is perhaps intended to doso.

Ezekiel has in mind the nation, called to be faithful to God,but exiled in Babylon because of their unfaithfulness, now forgivenand to be restored. But his words have wider application andprovoke reflection on the transforming power and generosity ofGod.

To Ponder

  • Reflect on the properties of water (cooling, cleansing,quenching thirst and so on). What do these suggest to you about theblessings of God?
  • In the Bible God often communicates through dreams and visions.How far is this still so today?
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