“The angel brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water flowing out. Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” (EZEKIEL 47:1-2, 8-9, 12)
In the record of Ezekiel's preaching, he speaks of his vision about the temple or throne of the Lord. Initially, when he receives this tour of the throne of the Lord, he is shown how profoundly it was corrupted by unholy conduct. He was to tell his people of their impending destruction and how God dwells in the midst of a sinful people. Ezekiel's public career was spent in circumstances of unrelieved doom, inept and cowardly leadership and exile in humiliation and poverty. He preached to hardhearted people that didn't understand his ways and was considered an outcast from his own community.
This third section of his vision describes restoration from the river or transition from temple to land. The water signifies great blessings or that which is sacred and pure. It is a sign of hope as are leaves for medicine. I think of the people we serve at Avera as they look to us for that refreshing sip of water after they may not have been able to receive anything by their mouth due to a medical condition or procedure being performed. Perhaps we comfort them by assisting with a bath or shower that they struggle to do for themselves. Ezekiel was asked to bring about a restored people, living peacefully and happily with God at the center.