Beautiful River.

This is for choir devotion tomorrow. I’ve been thinking a lot about this beautiful passage… 

 

Revelation 22:1-5

1 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 2 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. 3 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. 4  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

Dissecting verse 1:

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city”

• Jesus referenced the water of life to the woman at the well, saying that if she drinks from it she’ll never thirst again. This is the water John was talking about. It’s a picture of the fullness of life with God and the blessings that come when we allow Him to satisfy our thirsty soul

• Matthew Henry, who is one of the great commentators, says, “all the streams of earthly comfort are muddy; but [the streams of heaven] are clear, salutary, and refreshing, giving life, and preserving life, to those who drink of them.”

 • Romans 11:36 says, “For from him and through him and to him are all things”

— It says the water of life comes from the throne of God. It’s really cool to think that when we drink of the water of life—as in, when we desire to be satisfied by godly things—it comes directly from the throne of God and of the Lamb, who is Jesus.

Dissecting verse 2:

“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”

• Backtrack with me to the tree of life in Genesis

— before the fall of man, union with God was perfect

— when Adam & Eve were lured into sin—which is defined as an act of rebellion toward God—they broke the perfect union between God and man

— the curse was lifted when Jesus became flesh and died/resurrected

— through doing that, He made a way to heaven by His atoning blood (which means at one with God)

Ann Voskamp, one of my favourite writers, says “what was broken in one garden was fixed in another.”

This is where we come back to Revelation…

— Now we come to that third garden… heaven

— The blood of Jesus broke the curse

— Union IS restored

— The leaves on the tree are to heal the nations

Matthew Henry comments, “This tree was an emblem of Christ, and of all the blessings of his salvation; and the leaves for the healing of the nations, mean that his favour and presence supply all good to the inhabitants of that blessed world.”

He also says of paradise, “In the first paradise there were only two persons to behold the beauty and taste the pleasures of it; but in this second paradise whole cities and nations shall find abundant delight and satisfaction.”

Talking about the fruit, Matthew Henry also says, “In heaven there is not only a variety of pure and satisfying pleasures, but a continuance of them, and always fresh. The fruit is not only pleasant, but wholesome.”

Skimming verses 3-5

3 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. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

 

Keep a kingdom perspective, a heaven mindset.

Jesus is the water of life. Our satisfaction comes from the throne of God.

We’ve been made one again with Jesus because He destroyed sin’s power by rising from the dead. Heaven is going to be the fulfillment of all our souls have ever desired and thirsted for!

There’ll no longer be sin. We won’t be tempted—how great is THAT!

We’ll serve the Lord—without feeling a sense of boring duty, but with great joy.

We will be His—our name will be in the Book of Life and His name will be on our foreheads.

The Lord will light up heaven. Darkness can’t break through any light in heaven.

We will reign forever with Jesus. 

Soooo… if you’re stressed today, don’t think of heaven as another stress. It’s a place of rest. It’s a place where all fears are gone. And actually, while we’re on earth we can experience that….. in the presence of God, we find rest. When we spend time with Him, He speaks quietly. He gives peace. He calms fears.

 

I’ll end with the original hymn lyrics of “Beautiful River,” a song we’re currently singing…

 

“On the margin of the river,

            washing up its silver spray,

            we will walk and worship ever,

            all the happy golden day.

Ere we reach the shining river,

            lay we every burden down;

            grace our spirits will deliver,

            and provide a robe and crown.  

Soon we’ll reach the shining river,

            soon our pilgrimage will cease;

            soon our happy hearts will quiver

            with the melody of peace.

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