Meditations On The Living Water Of Ezekiel And Zechariah (Part Eight)

It is written:

“Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 9  And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 10  It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.” (Ezekiel 47:8-10)

The living water that would be manifested in the Christian Age and connected with the Temple built by and presided over by Christ Jesus (i.e., the church) has healing properties. This passage makes it clear that the living water that goes forth from the Temple would have the power to bring new life and healing.

“One of the greatest verses in Ezekiel 40–48 is 47:9, which ends by declaring, “There will be life everywhere the river goes .” In Ezekiel 47:1-12 the prophet is shown a life-giving river. It flows from the sanctuary (v. 12) and transforms everything it touches. Most notably, “When it enters the sea, the sea of foul water, the water of the sea becomes fresh ” (v. 8). This river will transform the Dead Sea to the Alive Sea. Though it starts as a trickle (v. 2), Ezekiel sees the river become deep enough to swim in and impossible to cross on foot (v. 5). Jesus emphasized a similar point by using a mustard seed (Matt 13:31-32). Along both banks of the river in Ezekiel 47 are trees that produce fruit every month (v. 12), which is used for food. The leaves of the trees are used for medicine (v. 12). John describes something similar in Revelation 22:1-2.” (Landon Dowden, Exalting Jesus In Ezekiel: Christ-Centered Preaching, 4480-4486 (Kindle Edition): Nashville, TN: Holman Reference)

This life-giving stream would flow forth God’s Temple (the church) to all places on the Earth. En-Gedi was the western shore of the Dead Sea (1 Samuel 23:29), whereas En-Englaim was identified with the investors cities of Moab (Ezekiel 25:9), also near the Dead Sea. Remember that the site of the Dead Sea was known historically as the place where Sodom and Gomorrah flourished. This is particularly intriguing, since there is a prophecy in Ezekiel about the future redemption of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who were destroyed long ago:

Ezekiel 16:53-55 (NLT)-53 “But someday I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and Samaria, and I will restore you, too. 54 Then you will be truly ashamed of everything you have done, for your sins make them feel good in comparison. 55 Yes, your sisters, Sodom and Samaria, and all their people will be restored, and at that time you also will be restored.

“”Thus will the experience of forgiving grace complete what judgment has already begun, viz., the transformation of proud and haughty sinners into meek and humble children of God, for whom the kingdom has been prepared from the beginning. This thought brings the entire prophecy to a close, – a prophecy which embraces the whole of the world’s history and the New Testament, the parallel to which is contained in the apostle’s words, “God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all” (Rom 11:32)….The turning of the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, i.e., the forgiveness of the inhabitants of Sodom and the other cities of the plain, points beyond the present aeon, and the realization can only take place on the great day of the resurrection of the dead in the persons of the former inhabitants of Sodom and the neighbouring cities. And in the same way the restoration of Samaria and Jerusalem will not be completely fulfilled till after the perfecting of the kingdom of Christ in glory at the last day….The words of our Lord in Mat 10:15 and Mat 11:24, to the effect that it will be more tolerable in the day of judgment for Sodom than for Capernaum and every other city that shall have rejected the preaching of the gospel, teach most indisputably that the way of mercy stands open still even for Sodom itself, and that the judgment which has fallen upon it does not carry with it the final decision with regard to its inhabitants. For Sodom did not put away the perfect revelation of mercy and salvation. If the mighty works which were done in Capernaum had been done in Sodom, it would have stood to the present day (Mat 11:23)…”And from this it clearly follows that all the judgments which fell before the time of Christ, instead of carrying with them the final decision, and involving eternal damnation, leave the possibility of eventual pardon open still. The last judgment, which is decisive for eternity, does not take place till after the full revelation of grace and truth in Christ….”Not only will the gospel be preached to all nations before the end comes (Mat 24:14), but even to the dead; to the spirits in prison, who did not believe at the time of Noah, it has been already preached, at the time when Christ went to them in spirit, in order that, although judged according to man’s way in the flesh, they might live according to God’s way in the spirit (1Pe 3:19; 1Pe 4:6).” (Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary On Ezekiel, E-Sword Edition, emphasis added)

Whatever the living water is, it goes forth to all corners of the Earth, even to the most corrupt.

With these things in mind, we are now ready to identify the living waters of Ezekiel and Zechariah.

Indeed, Jesus Himself teaches us what this living water truly is.

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