In a vision, the prophet Ezekiel saw a stream of water flowing from the Temple in Jerusalem through the Arabah and into the Dead Sea. The Arabah is a geological rift that encompasses the Sea of Galilee at its northern end, the Jordan River in the middle, and the Dead Sea in the south. In this vision, the water flowed into the Dead Sea with such abundance and vitality that it freshened that whole body of stagnant water and brought it back to life. All along the banks of the sea—from En-gedi to En-eglaim—the people were able to fish and find fresh water to produce and sustain life.
Ezekiel was prophesying about the restoration of Jerusalem that would take place when the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon. But through the grace of inspired hindsight, we can see this vision as also foreshadowing the work of Christ. The Temple in Jerusalem was the place where God dwelled and where worship was centered. In his incarnation, Jesus became a new temple, opening the way to the heavenly Jerusalem, where all God’s people live in lasting peace and fulfillment. Through his death on the cross, Jesus rescued us from exile and captivity to sin so that we could drink the life-giving water of his Holy Spirit.
What water are you drinking these days? We all have a thirst for meaning and purpose in our lives. If we seek to quench this thirst through material possessions, sensual fulfillment, or esteem from others, we will never be truly satisfied. We were created for God, and only he can refresh us. Only he can give us the water that produces life.
Scripture promises that if we satisfy ourselves with God’s living water, we will bear fruit that brings healing, refreshment, and life to the people around us. That’s probably the best way to tell what we’ve been drinking. If we are reaping the fruits of peace, harmony, trust, and kindheartedness, we can be sure that it’s because the Spirit is feeding us. If not, it’s a sure sign that we need to spend more time with the Lord!