Hope is not having what we want in our timing and to our specifications. Hope is looking beyond self to God’s provision in his timing and in his perfect will. Whatever we are facing, God provides a vision of hope in the picture of the streams and river of the Lord…
1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God (Psalm 46:4). Heaven’s city will include such a river. Jerusalem does not – it is known for not having the rivers of other major cities. It’s interesting that Ezekiel’s vision, echoing other prophetic visions, includes the picture of such a source of living water.
There is nourishment and life and fruit where the living water flows.
This is the picture of restoration and the sustenance of God after the dry and dusty deserts of life and separation from God. As God restores Israel, he provides a vision of what the restoration and fruitfulness of his blessing looks like.
God’s restoration looks like heaven. Plain and simple. Can you imagine fruit trees which bear fruit every month? Their leaves will never wither.
I think whatever you are facing now, whatever limitations of life or of God’s blessings, whatever struggle and trial, God’s living water will flow in his restoration and in his coming. Truth: we might need to wait for heaven’s city to come, yet that’s what hope is.
Hope is not having what we want in our timing and to our specifications. Hope is looking beyond self to God’s provision in his timing and in his perfect will…
The river of God is getting deeper.