THE RIVER OF HEAVEN based on Rev. 22:1-2
By Glenn Pease
Kipling's book, Kim, has been called the greatest story of a river that has ever been written. According to Buddhist tradition, Buddha shot an arrow into the air, and where it fell, a river sprang up. The river was sacred, and whoever bathed in it would be cleansed from all sin. Kipling's story is about an old lama who wonders through cities and rice fields, over hills and across plains, always asking the same question. "The River, the River of the Arrow; the River that can cleanse from sin; where is the River?"
The universal search of man has been to find a river that satisfies every thirst of the body and soul. The quest of Ponce de Leon for the fountain of youth is a quest that has gone on all through history. Most of history follows the paths of the great rivers of the world. Babylon is built on the Euphratus; Nineveh was built on the Tigris; Thebes was built on the Nile, and Rome was built on the Tiber. We could go on around the world showing how the great cities are built by great rivers. Rivers have been the streams of life for the cities of the world. Our own great Mississippi has played a major role in the history of our country. The name in Algonquin means, Great River.
One of the strange paradoxes is that Jerusalem was not built by a river. This was a draw back, and the Jews always hoped that one day that their holy city, like the great cities of the world, could have a river. The prophets and psalmists were forever dreaming and singing of the river. Ezekiel, in a vision, saw a board river rushing out of Jerusalem. Isaish saw a future Jerusalem where he says in 33:21, "There the Lord will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams." He got so disgusted with the disobedience of the people and God Himself lamented in 48:18, "O that you had harkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river..." Peace...