“He brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east… The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.
“Going eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, ‘Have you seen this?’
“Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said, ‘This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down… and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes… And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.’” Ezekiel 47:1-9,12
Water issued from the temple. Ezekiel would see that as he followed flowing flood and fresh fruit, he needed to remember the initial source. Trickle to ankle, knee-deep to waist-deep to swim-deep, this sanctuary water was running its course to sanctify all who would see and be filled.
How kind of the Lord to stand with us at the door of His temple, to greet us in His sanctuary and lead us to behold His work. How good of the Lord to measure His flow in our lives, and give gradually more as we can handle it, expanding faith and perspective. How merciful of the Lord to take us aside for protection when the depth of circumstance is too heavy for navigating and current too forceful for passing through. It is there He explains that His purposes are redemptive, His outcomes glorious. We must remain in the fresh water from the Sanctuary. (Ezekiel 11:16b; 37:27)
Is there an ugly flood that’s disrupted life as we know it: a death, a slammed door, a choking new debilitation, a raging temptation? Have we strayed from the Source of fresh, life-giving water? What will we change to drink and wade deeply from Jesus again?
Father, sanctify me. May Your life-giving Spirit flow into and through me to produce rich spiritual fruit and well up in glory to You.