Today's devotion from Ezekiel 47-48.As we conclude our time in Ezekiel's prophecy, we are introduced to a river. This is not just any river, but one that flows from the presence of God. The prophet measures the river's depth until it became uncrossable on foot. Then, he is brought back to the bank to observe it. His guide wants to make sure that Ezekiel is absorbing the image in front of him. What is it he is supposed to see? Trees line the riverbank. However, these are not just trees. They are fruit trees that will never know drought. Their leaves will never wither and the fruit will always produce. The image of these trees is reminiscent of Psalm 1, and how the righteous are like trees planted by streams of water.
Yet, this water is not simply water nourishing fruit trees that will provide food and medicine. These waters heal. As the river courses into the foul water of the sea, it will transform this water into fresh, life-giving water. The result of this transformation will be an area teeming with fish of all kinds. It will support fishermen who will be so successful that nets drying will be a common sight.
The point of all of this is not a vibrant ecosystem, but a truth. Sure, we get the great phrase, "there will be life everywhere the river goes." (Ezekiel 47:9, CSB) However, this phrase isn't the emphasis. The life-giving river only points back to its source, "the water comes from the sanctuary." (Ezekiel 47:12, CSB) The water gives life because it flows from the presence of God.
Life is the natural result of the glory and power of God. Blessing travels in His wake. Someone said that as miraculous as a dry path through a sea is, it doesn't compare to a river of life winding through a desert. In a way, this captures the moment. Through sin, creation had become a diseased place of death. Yet, when Christ intervened, when He stepped out of eternity, He stirred the waters of life.
This is an important reminder for us today. Christ's presence doesn't just mean protection. It means blessing. We should never define Him as the absence of something, but the greatest fulfillment of all things. This is the message of hope entrusted to Ezekiel at the end of his message. This is the message that can comfort us today.