For They Shall Be Healed
Ezekiel 34:7 - Ezekiel 38:13
I love the vision in which a heavenly ministrant shows Ezekiel the temple.
I love that the vision starts with this counsel, "set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee..." (Ezekiel 40:4)
I love the imagery. I love the symbolism. I love the lessons.
"...it had a wall round about...to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place."(Ezekiel 42:20)
"...teach my people the difference between the holy and profane." (Ezekiel 44:23)
The footnotes for these verses substitute profane for common, and holy for sacred.
We are being taught that there is a difference between the common and the profane compared to the holy and the sacred and that we must learn to make a separation between those two ideals to find the sanctuary within.
It is an important concept.
Because our greatest blessings can be found on the inside of the wall round about. In the place that is holy. The place that is sacred. "The place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever..." (Ezekiel 43:7)
In that sanctuary, that place of refuge or safety, we enter the place of Christ ––who is the source of all healing.
It is a promise we can set our heart upon.
My heart needs that assurance.
Especially on the days when it is broken.
On those days I am like Ezekiel, walking through the waters that issue out from under the threshold of the house... "and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles...and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees...and brought me through; the waters were to the loins...and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over." (Ezekiel 47:3-6)
As I read, my thoughts fill with memories of moments I have spent in the temple. Moments when my heart has been so broken that just stepping in up to my ankles is not sufficient.
The times I remember most are the moments when I have fully immersed myself into that place which is holy, sacred.
The place of refuge and safety for my heart.
As I have turned my heart to Christ in that place, the healing has come.
Blessings can be found within.
Poured out, spilling over, overflowing...
Towards the end of Ezekiel's vision of the temple, just after the lesson of fully being immersed in the water, an interesting thing happens--The living waters that fill the temple and spill out of the east side of the holy place flow down to the Dead Sea.
If you have ever been to the Dead Sea, you realize how remarkable that is.
The area surrounding the Dead Sea is lifeless desert. It is dry. It is hot. It is miserable. The Dead Sea supports no life. The salt content is so high it allows nothing to grow or thrive. The waters burn the smallest paper cut on your skin, they are disgusting to the taste, and almost unbearable if even a drop gets in your eye. The sea may look refreshing against the sand dunes, but it is deceiving.
In addition to all of this, it also happens to be the lowest spot of land on the whole earth, and is lowering with each passing year. It is not only dead, it is continually dying. You cannot find a more lifeless and helpless spot on earth.
But Ezekiel speaks of a remarkable promise, “These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing…whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.” (Ezekiel 47:8-9).
The waters that flow from the temple will heal the Dead Sea, and “everything shall live.”
That is perhaps one of the most unbelievable lessons in the Old Testament. Because the common eye would see water that is not healable.
But those who remember to separate the common from the sacred, to see the holy, will understand that the waters from the temple are symbolic of the healing power of Jesus Christ. They flow from the temple—the sanctuary, the place of healing.
A place where we can be completely immersed in healing, mercy, and grace. And the healing waters seem to find the spots that need them most.
The Atonement of Christ can heal anyone, anything, anytime. If these waters can heal the lowest, driest, darkest, most disgusting place on earth, then there is not a soul on that earth that is out of reach of the flowing, healing power of Jesus.
You can set your heart on that promise.
"Why should this anxious load Press down your weary mind? Haste to your Heav’nly Father’s throne And sweet refreshment find." (Hymn 125, How Gentle God’s Commands) He can reach you in your lowest moments. He can give you refreshment in your driest hours. He can bring light in your darkest nights. He can make you beautiful again. What once was dead can now sparkle with life.
I do believe those waters will one day flow from the source and touch every part of God’s earth. But I also believe we can go immerse ourselves in them now. In places of covenants. In places of mercy. In places of peace. In places of God. His holy places.
"Oh, all ye that are broken, this river's always open to you Bend low and drink it in, let go and feel the water wash your skin This river is a gift...to all who enter in."
Mercy River, performed by Mercy River