Earlier in his book, Ezekiel saw one of the most terrible visions that a Jewish priest of his day could have possibly seen. He saw the glory of the Lord depart from the Temple.
How must Ezekiel have felt in that moment?
Read Ezekiel 43:1-5
How must Ezekiel have felt after he saw this vision?
Read Ezekiel 47:1-12
What does Ezekiel see in this vision?
Get a map of Israel (there should be one in the back of your Bible. If not, find a Bible Dictionary or a Bible Atlas). If the river that flows from the Temple is traveling east, what is the Sea that it will be touching? What is that sea like today? What will the river do to that sea?
What will be along the side of the river? What is unique about these things?
Special note: It is important to note that, due to the physical geography of Jerusalem, it would be impossible for a river to flow directly eastward and down to the Dead Sea. Remember, Ezekiel is not seeing a literal snapshot of the future, he is seeing a prophetic vision full of imagery. What is the significance of the imagery of this vision? What is it saying about the future of Israel?
Read Revelation 22:1-6 (you may want to read a little before it to catch a glimpse of the New Jerusalem that is described as well). What similarities do you see between John’s vision and Ezekiel’s vision?
The point of these visions given to Ezekiel and to John was to show the people that there is always hope when God is involved. God is the author and sustainer of life. When His name is glorified, He will live in the center of the city and life itself will flow from Him. When we have God at the center of life then we will eat from the fruit of the trees of life that bear fruit every month, not just one month out of the year. Life is eternally accessible in the Kingdom of God. May we begin to eat from this tree today, and continue to be nourished by its life-giving juice beyond our present circumstance!