Fear Not #3 – The River of God
Many great cities of the world were built on or around rivers: Nile in Cairo, Egypt. Río de la Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Yamuna in Delhi, India. Pearl in Hong Kong, China. Thames in London, England. Moskva in Moscow, Russia. Han in Seoul, South Korea. Hudson in New York City.
Rivers supplied drinking water for families and animals, provided food, were used in irrigating crops, and were a means of transportation and commerce.
Concerning the city of Jerusalem, the psalm writer declares, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells” (Psalm 46:4).
How could this be said of Jerusalem? Jerusalem has no river! The topography of Jerusalem is hard limestone. It’s dry and dusty. No river! They have developed water systems from underground and nearby springs even in Bible times. But no river!
What is this river? The next verse reiterates: “God is within her” (Psalm 46:5).
This gives us a picture of God’s manifest presence, like a river, flowing among his people.
Like a river, God pours out streams of mercy and grace. Like a river, the Lord sends forth gladness and peace. Like a river, God’s Spirit continually nourishes and sustains his people.
Recently, the Lord brought these verses to me:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him” (Revelation 22:1-3).
This refers to the future heavenly city of God, the new Jerusalem.
This can also serve as an image of God ruling over us now and dwelling among us. The presence of God, as a river of life, flowing into us as God’s gathered people, bringing renewal and refreshing. The outflow producing fruit and imparting healing.
No curse of sin controlling us. Freely we serve God and others.
While we are living through this difficult time in our world, I wonder if Jesus’ words on the Holy Spirit would encourage us. “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).
~ Pastor Dave