“By the river on its bank, on one side and one the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.” -Ezekiel 47.12
In this little portion from one of Ezekiel’s many remarkable visions, a picture is painted that invites us into a mode of being which we scarcely see in our day, but which, I am convinced, will become more common as the end of the age draws to a close. The prophet is taken into a visionary experience wherein he sees water flowing from underneath the Temple of the Lord. The “man” whom the Lord had sent to escort him around leads him into the waters, which go from ankle deep, to knee deep, then to the loins. He is then taken deeper, into moving waters “that could not be forded.” (v. 5)
When he is taken back to the bank, he sees “all kinds of trees,” and the picture is somewhat reminiscent of the ancient Eden. The trees are “for food,” and “their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail.” These trees, which in Ezekiel’s vision have been nourished by the very waters which flow out from the Throne of God, bear a supernatural kind of productivity and longevity. They have eternal quality, bearing fruit “every month because their water flows from the sanctuary.” Every believer wonders how he can bear more fruit for God, and ministries of all sorts are often concocted in hopes of filling the void that the lack of fruit produces. But the true fruit can only be borne through those whose waters flow from the heavenly sanctuary of God. The fruit of those who draw from the life-giving waters of the Lord will be “food” for those who are suffering from spiritual famine. Those who know little of God’s love and righteousness will feed off of the fruit from those saints who have ceased drinking from the polluted wells of worldliness and religion, transcended the bondage of self-consciousness, and entered joyfully into the deep waters which flow from the Throne of majesty.
The distinctive element of their leaves is one of healing. Though mankind has been racked with sickness and grimness, the leaves on the trees, which are the most natural part of a tree in bloom, constitute the release of a holy healing for the nations. Is the life issuing out from you a life that brings healing, or are you spreading gossip, complaining, and unbelief? If we are not bringing healing, it can only be for the fact that we have settled with drinking the murkier waters. The clear, teeming, life-filled waters of God will cause even our “leaves”, or the common places of our lives, to bring healing to bear upon Israel and the nations. If we are drawing from the nourishment of those living waters, we will be as the Son of God during His earthly pilgrimage.
“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” -Acts 10.38
The waters of God are freely accessible to you, saints. Let him who would drink come.