12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing. – Ezekiel 47:12
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I hope this finds you well.
I have just finished reading through the book of Ezekiel. He served during a low point in the history of God’s people. The nation of Judah was a mess. The people had turned away from God. As a result, God’s judgement was coming upon them in the shape of the Babylonian Army. The lowest point of the book is when the glory cloud of the Lord departs from the temple in Jerusalem. This cloud symbolised God’s presence with his people but now, due to their rebellion, he is no longer with them. Ezekiel is called by God to bring his message of judgement to them and the surrounding nations. This message means, at times, the book is hard. However, it is not all judgment; God always offers us hope and salvation in the face of his judgement. This hope comes towards the end of the book when God gives Ezekiel visions of a new temple; one where God will live with his people once again. The verse above gives us a glimpse of what this new future will be like. It will be a garden. This garden will be full of fruit trees that never wither or die. There will be a river that flows directly from God’s temple. This river will bring with it refreshment and life. The leaves of the trees will bring healing to God’s people. This picture of the garden is truly wonderful; a restored garden of Eden. Before Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they lived in a perfect relationship with him and they enjoyed his abundant blessings. However, because they rebelled against him, they came under his rightful judgement and were banished from his presence. However, this was not the end of the story as God had always planned to rescue his people and return to them what was lost. This plan was fulfilled in Jesus’ death on the cross. There, he took God’s judgement upon himself so if people trust in him, they can be forgiven and welcomed back into his presence again. He then rose again to new life. His death and resurrection guarantees for his people the glorious future depicted here in the final chapters of Ezekiel. And what a future it is! One day we will live with God again in a perfect garden. There, we will enjoy being in a perfect relationship with him. There, we will enjoy a Niagara Falls of his blessings for eternity. There will be everlasting love, life, fruitfulness, and healing. Why not spend a few minutes asking God to help you picture what this might be like. Then thank him for the glorious future he has in store for us.
Yours in Christ