The intimacy of God with his people is stressed further in today’s passage, along with an abundance of blessing. Revelation is meant to increase our desire and longing for God and for us to realise His purposes. The wonderful surety of final bliss comforts us now and in tough times. The tawdry counterfeits of the world are seen for what they really are.
Today we see the river of life prophecies, in Ezekiel 47, partially fulfilled in John 7:37-39 and then finally fulfilled in Revelation 22. The river is as clear as crystal, reflecting God’s glory. The tree of life is present – renewing the blessings of Eden – full access to all the blessings of God.
If the new world is free of all problems, why do the nations need healing? Just physical healing is limiting the visionary nature of this passage – the language reflects Ezekiel 47:12 – but extends it; not just Israel, but all the nations are included, to fulfil Genesis 12:3. The new creation sorts everything out! The curse of Genesis 3:14-19, that blocked Eden, is reversed. God’s rule is about extending blessings entirely!
Now that the visions end, in v.5, the rest concludes with promise, exhortation and confirmation to drive home the vision and stir hope for Jesus’ coming and perseverance.
So the words are trustworthy and true. The Spirit leads us to pray ‘Come Lord Jesus!’.
Revelation exhorts the thirsty to come – so as this year closes out, come to Jesus and His Spirit and ask Him to fill you afresh with joy and wonder and hope for what is to come!
Well done for finishing the New Testament in a year