The angel showed me, John, the river of life, rising from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing crystal-clear down the middle of the city street. On either side of the river were the trees of life, which bear twelve crops of fruit in a year, one in each month, and the leaves of which are the cure for the pagans.
The ban will be lifted. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign for ever and ever.
The angel said to me, ‘All that you have written is sure and will come true: the Lord God who gives the spirit to the prophets has sent his angel to reveal to his servants what is soon to take place. Very soon now, I shall be with you again.’ Happy are those who treasure the prophetic message of this book.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’
Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, “That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again.
Yesterday, we spoke of the fig tree and how its blooming heralded the arrival of summer. After the season’s harvest of fruit and vegetables is over, we move on to the next fruit and have to wait till the next season before we get to enjoy it again. How nice it would be if we could have fresh figs or berries all year round!
At the start of the Bible in the book of Genesis, we read about the creation of a garden in Eden. The tree of life is first mentioned here, planted alongside the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. A river flowed from Eden to water the garden (Genesis 2:9-10). It is from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that God warns Adam not to eat, for the day that he eats of it, would be the day he dies. As we know, Adam and Eve do eat of it and they become aware of good and evil. God becomes angry and disappointed, and bars Man from eating of the tree of life as well, lest he lived forever, and banishes Adam and Eve from Eden, stationing an angel with a flaming sword to guard the tree of life.
At the end of it all, in the book of Revelation, we encounter this tree of life again. It appears to be the only variety of tree around, albeit there are several trees of life, growing on both sides of the river. Evil has already been conquered in this new ‘garden’; God will renew the heavens and earth and no evil shall enter therein. The tree, we are told, is bountiful in harvest; the leaves itself are a cure, not a way to hide shame. The trees are watered by a river of life that comes from God, clear as crystal.
God is the source of all life in this new heaven and earth. He is the eternal light in this place. He is the life in the river that waters the new earth. However, He has already made this new life available to us right now. The Word of God is already our eternal light: a “lamp unto our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119:105). The ‘waters of life’ refers to the Holy Spirit that Jesus has sent from God, who will quench our thirst (John 7:39). And Christ Himself is the eternal Bread of Life (John 6:35). God has given us the available ‘tools’ to get ourselves to heaven, and to partake in this new earth; what remains is for us to make the choice of how we want to live our lives, how we choose to be guided in our lives. We can let God take over and be our guiding light; or we can walk away, banishing ourselves from the tree of life forever. What choice then are we going to make?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Lord, we pray for the Holy Spirit to be in our hearts and in our souls always, to guide us and show us the path. We pray that we will never stray from the path.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for giving us the guidance and the support to be the very best that we can be. We pray that we do not disappoint You or ourselves, and do all that is good and right.