The temple in Jerusalem sat up pretty high. One of the last things they had to worry about was a flood in the temple. The only thing that came close was the pouring of water during the Feast of Tabernacles but even that was just one cup of water poured out over the altar. You could be certain that the temple was not in danger of flooding any time soon. What is more, the Dead Sea is not too far from Jerusalem and is the lowest point on earth. Before the temple in Jerusalem floods, the Dead Sea is going to have to fill up…that is a tall order!
It is against that background that the words of Ezekiel 47 were penned,
1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits[a] and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 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 fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
Now that is impressive! When God gets to work you better watch out. The impossible becomes possible. Things are happening in the temple that no one would have guessed let alone condoned. The water goes out from the temple. It starts a trickle and grows into an unpredictable, uncontrollable torrent of rushing waters. No one can cross it…no one can contain it…no one can make enough sand bags to hold it in. No earthly authority can give orders for it to stop. No sect of God’s people can convince the waters to change course. The waters are going to do what they are going to do and go where they are going to go.
The water goes where water goes, into the low places…the Dead Sea. The waters do what waters do…bring life. Fish swim where they could not before. Trees grow where they had not been able. Life springs forth! This is a God thing. No one would have called it. No one could have arranged it and yet that is exactly what God is doing.
Too often we try to bottle this up and pass it around. Too often we try to act like we can control it, levy it, dam it up and open the spill ways only in small, measurable and controllable amounts. But God will prove to us as many times as we need that he cannot be contained. He cannot be logicized into a tight box. God will be God and we will submit to what God decides to do. I am glad we don’t serve a man sized God but a God who is able to do more than we ask or imagine! So how do you flood a mountain? You don’t. Only God can do that and when He does it is best to get out of the way!
(image from freedigitalphotos.net by exsodus)