Summary: We hear a lot about the River of God. This sermon helps us understand what thr River is and the experiences you can have if you dwell in the River.
THE RIVER OF GOD
Psalm 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
The context of this Psalm is that of natural disasters surrounding the City of God. Yet in the midst of all this distraction and pending gloom is a gladness that comes from a river that flows within the City.
This leaves two questions: What is the river? Where does it come from because geographically there is no river that exists in Jerusalem!
Hezekiah knew this and when the City was in siege by an enemy he prepared by building conduits under the City which flowed into pools which can still be seen to this day.
2 Kings 20:20 And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Welcome to THE RIVER OF GOD
THE PRESENT RIVER
John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
The present day river is symbolic of the person of The Holy Spirit.
The context was the feast of tabernacles, a feast that represented God’s provisions for his people in the wilderness wanderings as celebrated in 2 Chronicles 7.
2 Chronicles 7:1-10 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.”
Our feast of Tabernacles is the life of God through the giving and receiving of the Holy Spirit, a greater experience than natural blessing but the source of spiritual blessing. We are now the temples.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Now let us also look at this type of the Holy Spirit represented in the past and the future.
Genesis 2:10-14 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. 14The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
First mention of rivers in the bible an important first mention principle. The first principle is one that sets the pattern for understanding future references to a concept both spiritually and naturally.
The meanings of the names of the rivers are also important for names in the Bible usually denote function, character and purpose. (F.E. Marsh Emblems of The Holy Spirit)
Pishon = changing = doubling
Gihon = grace = fast sudden overcoming
Hiddekel - Tigris = sharp voice
Euphrates = fruitfulness
The Rivers in the meaning of their names denote the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a person, first change which results in new life brought about by grace, this comes from a conviction that we are sinners and need to be saved hence the sharp voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit continues the work in a believers life bringing them into a place fruitfulness. The redeemed take their message to the world and hence water it to bring about a harvest of salvation.
Rev. 22:1-2 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2In 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.