August 5, 2016. Devotions.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. (Rev 22:1-3 NKJ)
In contrast to the picture we have of the River of God, the condition of the Yellow River, like many other rivers around the world, leaves a lot to be desired. The waters of the Yellow River are filled with a yellow sediment known as loess, hence its name, is essential to the well-being of China. These days, the river is troublesome in another way: The water in it is so egregiously polluted that it’s unfit even for agricultural use. In fact, in any given year, more than four billion tons of sewage is dumped into the river. And, as China continues to industrialize at breakneck speed, the Yellow River has become a toxic waste dump, turning river water colors other than yellow.
Many Christians believe that they will be taken out of this world and that they will spend eternity in heaven. Though heaven is a real place, according to the Bible its occupancy is temporary, God is coming down to the earth. (Rev 21) A short devotion, such as this, doesn’t allow me the space to elaborate, but when God’s Kingdom comes down on this earth, creation, that has been groaning (Rom 8:20-22) will be liberated and restored. Everything will be brought back into balance. Ezekiel had a similar vision to John, “wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.” … “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for medicine.” (Eze 47:9; 12 NKJ) The river brings healing and salvation.
In the meantime, we need to let the river flow through us, touching lives and bringing about restoration, renewal, and revival.