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Water next time

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ezekiel 47: 9, 12
Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. ... Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. The fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.

Jesus often used the phrase "living water" to describe the new life he brought to men and women of the world. In desert lands like Palestine, water is a sign of blessing. God put Ezekiel through all kinds of ordeal (just look at chapters 4 and 5, for examples), and now God wants to assure him of his love. The vision he has in chapter 47 is for Israel, of course; and it is also for Ezekiel himself.

Buddhist monks don't make the headlines often, but this week a group in Malaysia are in the news ( Their belief in not harming any living thing prevented them for years from killing a cobra that lived in their quarters. Now they are trying to deal with fire ants, who fall into their hair and on their skin while they are praying and meditating.

We aren't the only "living creatures" to thrive when the river flows. In fact, the privilege God gave us to take "dominion" over his creation has been something we've abused for centuries. What have those plants and animals ever done to us, at least intentionally? At Lincoln Park Zoo, there is a cage marked "World's Most Dangerous Animal." There's nothing in the cage except a mirror.

Paul wrote, "The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time" (Romans 8). All creation experiences fulfillment as men are redeemed by God. When God accomplishes what he sets out to do, we "will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before (us), and all the trees of the field will clap their hands" (Isaiah 55).

That's the kind of dominion God had in mind, I think. Earth, air, fire and water await the wholeness wrought by man's surrender and salvation. God's plan will be accomplished. And we will be washed as clean as rain.

There is nothing gonna stop you, Lord. And I want to stand in the way and be washed over by your flood.

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