“And He Showed Me a River”
Seeing what the angel
did, and did not,
show John can help us
know what is really
on God’s heart
Have you ever noticed what the angel showed John at the very end of the Bible? To be more specific, have you noticed what he did not show him? That is, John does not tell us,
He showed me the throne….
Rather, he says, in essence:
He showed me a river….
This is quite significant. The actual verses say:
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.
— Revelation 22:1-2
Because we are so fallen we appreciate the matter of ruling. We want to be rulers ourselves, and we struggle with others to that end. Moreover, we expect God to be the same, to be one who fights for His ruling.
And it is true, of course, that God is working to bring His kingdom to the earth today.
Yet, God’s heart is not to rule over man, and that is why the angel did not show John the throne directly. Instead, he showed him the river and the tree coming out from the throne, because God’s heart is to supply us with the river of life and the tree of life, so that we may know Him and be one with Him in this eternal life (John 17:3).
We certainly do need God’s throne, not only in eternity but even in our lives today, and in our dealings with others; that is why we may often sense that God is working, through His dealings with us, to bring us into submission to His ruling in our lives. Even so, we should always remember that as far as God is concerned, the throne is not primarily for His ruling. Rather, it is so that He can flow out the river of life and the tree of life into our being, to bring us into relation with Himself.
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— 18 May 2022 —