Last week, in Lessons from Ezekiel's Temple, Part 12c, we discovered
that when we are called to sacrifice and we obey that call, we must
be aware that our gifts to God may be molded and formed in His hands
and the end product may look little like the initial gift.
Nevertheless, the initial gift was a necessary part of the final
Let's be reminded also that the discussion about sacrifice came immediately after the Angel of the Lord commanded Ezekiel to "describe the temple" (Eze. 43:10), to share the good news. Sacrifice is the initial step when we wish to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. We need to be willing to give freely of ourselves, our time, our talents, our love. And we need to be prepared for God to mold and make these gifts into something beautiful that can be used in His hands. But what is the next step to this sharing the Good News? For this, we look to Ezekiel 47: The river of living water:
"The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east)." (Ezek 47:1 NIV)
The fact that there is water pouring out from under the threshold of the temple described in Ezekiel would speak to the symbolism of the structure and description. Let's remember that living water is often used in the Scriptures to symbolize Jesus and the Holy Spirit:
"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water …" (Jer 2:13 NIV - See also Jer. 17:13, John 4) and "'Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' By this he meant the Spirit …" (John 7:38-39 NIV)
Since we are temples of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 6:19), then the reference to the water flowing from the temple can only mean that God's Spirit will flow out of us, like streams of living water!
If you look at the next four verses of Ezekiel 47, you discover something very interesting: The water, which begins at the temple as nothing but a trickle, increases exponentially:
"As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in - a river that no one could cross." (Ezek 47:3-5 NIV)
This is an interesting concept. How can a tiny trickle become a river deep enough to swim in?
But if you think about it, it isn't actually such a miraculous phenomenon. Remember, every great river in this world started off as a tiny spring. As it flows along, more and more springs of water join into it, until the tiny trickle becomes a raging torrent.
In much the same way, as God's Spirit begins to flow through one person, one "temple of the Holy Spirit", it flows out to touch others around us. But we have to remember that we are not the only temples of the Holy Spirit! God's Spirit flows through each and every person who has allowed Him into their hearts! The "living water" that flows from each of us will join together, and just like rivers on this planet, the tiny flow becomes a raging torrent of God's power!
Remember, it is only as believers join together that the power of God's Spirit can multiply exponentially! This is why we are encouraged to: "not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Heb 10:25 NIV)
Jesus, in His famous prayer of John 17 prayed the following: "… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:21-23 NIV)
And this, my friends, is the message of the trickle of water that emerges from Ezekiel's temple. It is a symbol of God's Spirit, pouring through us, merging with that which pours forth from other Christians, and then flowing out to touch the world! Our job is to be a ready vessel, standing in harmony and oneness with our fellow believers!
Join us next week for another important lesson from Ezekiel's temple: Lessons from Ezekiel's Temple, Part 13b: The Salt Water Made Fresh!
God bless each of you as you seek to draw closer to Him!
In His love, Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .