THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part LXIX: God's Millennial Livelihood Provisions For His People
A. The Millennial Kingdom that God will provide for His people will display His great grace and goodness, and one particular illustration of that provision is described in His forming a life-giving river that will flow out from under the Millennial temple toward the east.
B. Ezekiel 47:1-12 provides that description, and we view it for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. God's Millennial Livelihood Provisions For His People, Ezekiel 47:1-12.
A. After showing Ezekiel the temple complex, the Preincarnate Lord Jesus led him back to the door of the temple where he saw water issuing from below the threshold of the temple door and flowing east as the temple faced east, Ez. 47:1a. The prophet noted that the water flowed from under God's presence in the temple around to the south side of the altar and came out from under the temple at its door, Ezekiel 47:1b; B. K. C., O. T., p. 1313.
B. The Preincarnate Christ then led Ezekiel out of the north gate of the temple, around to the east and then He began to track and measure the flow of this water as it proceeded eastward, Ezekiel 47:2.
C. As the water flowed to the east, the Preincarnate Christ took a measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits, leading Ezekiel with him to where Ezekiel found the water to be ankle-deep, Ezekiel 47:3.
D. When the Preincarnate Lord measured off a second thousand cubits, the water there was knee-deep, and at the third set of a thousand cubits, the river flowed waist-deep, Ezekiel 47:4 ESV.
E. At the measuring of the fourth thousand cubit distance, the water had become a river too deep for Ezekiel to cross on foot, Ezekiel 47:5. The Preincarnate Christ asked Ezekiel, "Son of man, have you seen this?" to indicate the abundance of the provision of water coming from the Lord's presence in the temple, Ezek. 47:6a.
F. The Preincarnate Christ then led Ezekiel back to the bank of the river where he saw that on both banks of the river were many trees that were being nurtured by the river's water, Ezekiel 47:6b-7.
G. The Preincarnate Lord then told Ezekiel that this water flowed toward the eastern region, descending to the Rift Valley in the east where it flowed into the Dead Sea and freshened that body of water, Ezekiel 47:8.
H. Wherever this river that emerged from the presence of the Lord in His temple would flow, every creature that lives in fresh water would thrive there so that there would be swarms of fish in that sea, Ezekiel 47:9a. The river will flow there to make the Dead Sea area fresh so that wherever it goes it will give life, Ezekiel 47:9b.
I. Indeed, fishermen will stand on the shore of the Dead Sea from Engedi in the middle of its west bank to Eneglaim near Qumran on the northwest bank, for the area will be used for the spreading of nets since the fish will be numerous as in the Mediterranean Sea, Ezek. 47:10; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Ez. 47:1-12.
J. Nevertheless, in great thoughtfulness, God will not cause the water coming from His presence in the temple to freshen everything around the Dead Sea, but the swamps and marshes beside that body of water would remain salty so that God's people might be able to obtain salt for their livelihood needs, Ezekiel 47:11.
K. All kinds of fruit trees will grow on both sides of the river and their leaves will not wither or fall, but the trees will bear every month due to the quality of the water that will flow from the temple of God, Ezekiel 47:12a,b.
L. Indeed, these trees will provide both food and healing by way of their leaves, so healing will be perpetually available because the foliage of these trees will not wither or fall, Ezekiel 47:12a,c.
Lesson: Due to the righteousness that will exist in the Millennial Kingdom, God will send forth a river beginning from under the floor of His presence in the temple that will flow east, increasing in size, depth and volume as it flows, and it will nurture trees that meet livelihood needs for His people and even freshen the Dead Sea, filling it with every kind of fresh water life. In thoughtfulness, God will keep the marshes and swamps around the Dead Sea salty for His people to obtain salt for their livelihood needs. The trees by the riverbanks will perpetually bear fruit and their leaves will not wither and fall so that they will always be useful for healing.
Application: (1) Since God will provide such great blessings for His people via a river that flows from His presence in the temple, we know that He desires to bless His people abundantly, and that He is certainly able to do so. (2) If we then lack God's blessing in our lives, may we examine our hearts in light of Scripture to discern if we need to repent, and if so, confess our sin. (3) If we are not guilty of sin but we still lack blessings, a condition believers today often experience, God wants us to hope for the blessings that await us in eternity, and live for Him now!