River of the Water of Life
Revelation 22:1-5 discusses the river of the water of life which comes from the Throne of God down the center of New Jerusalem. We begin the final chapter of Revelation.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life
Johns guide showed him this river.
Genesis 2:10 tells us that the Garden of Eden had a river flowing through it.
“In Eden a life-giving river had nourished the garden; now a life-giving river nourishes New Jerusalem. (Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 414)
MacArthur gives us a different perspective:
“With no sea in the eternal state (21:1), there could be no hydrologic cycle, and hence no rain to fill a river. Thus, the water of life is not water as we know it; it is a symbol of eternal life (cf. Isaiah 12:3; John 4:13-14; 7:38). (MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000], 286)
Scientifically, MacArthur would be correct. No, we will probably not fish on the banks of the river, but the river will be there.
It was as clear as crystal
This indicates “its absolute purity.” (Easley, 414)
It is flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
“In the New Jerusalem there is a river of the Water of Life, and the throne of God is its living fountain supplying an abundance of water.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 1075)
2. Here the river is flowing down the middle of the great street of the city.
On each side of the river stood the tree of life
Here we learn that the tree of life is on both sides of the river.
Easley tells us “we should not speculate” so I will stop the speculation here. (415)
Bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.
McGee tells us that “‘the tree of life’ is a fruit tee, bearing twelve kinds of fruits each month.” (1076)
“In eternity man will eat and drink…The menu is varied but is restricted to fruits, as it was in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:29-30). (McGee, 1076)
Well, maybe not fish but there will be fruit.
And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
“Disease or sickness will not be present in heaven, so no healing will be required. The meaning is that all will enjoy full, wholesome, robust health. Just as the death of Christ made possible the water of eternal life (spiritually), so his death also provides the leaves that completely remove all the consequences of sin forever. (physically).” (Easley, 415)
3. No longer will there be any curse.
“The removal of the curse will mean the end forever of sorrow, pain, and especially death—the most terrible aspect of the curse (Genesis 2:17).” (MacArthur, 287)
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city,
“God the Father and the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, will reign throughout eternity.” (MacArthur, 287)
His servants will serve him.
“We cannot imagine exactly what it will mean for us to serve and worship God throughout eternity or even that he would desire such.” (Easley, 416)
4. They will see his face,
“Being perfectly holy and righteous, they [the saints] will be able to endure the heavenly level of the blazing, glorious light from God’s presence without being consumed—something impossible for mortal men (Exodus 33:20 John 1:18; 6:46 1 Timothy 6:16 1 John 4:12).” (MacArthur, 288)
His name will be on their foreheads.
“That identification will leave no doubt as to who they belong to forever.” (MacArthur, 288)
5. There will be no more night.
John repeats the earlier description of heavens.
Have you (or someone you know) ever been afraid of the dark?
Without night it will not get dark.
They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun,
In John’s time this would-be oil lamp.
But for us it means no longer flipping a switch.
This “pictures the complete end of all the darkness that sin and evil brought.” (Easley, 416)
How will we be able to see?
The Lord God will give them light.
“God lights the universe by His presence, for God is light.” (McGee, 1077)
Jesus said He was the Light of the World. John 8:12; 9:5
And they will reign for ever and ever
We will be in heaven with Jesus for ever and ever
In this article Scripture quotations taken from the NIV. Copyright by Biblica, Inc.®
Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983