Posted in encouragement, mighty waters, prophecy, the end time

The voice of mighty rushing waters

By Elizabeth Prata

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:2)

His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. (Revelation 1:15)

And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. (Revelation 14:2)

When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. (Ezekiel 1:24)

EPrata photo

When you’re canoeing or kayaking on a silent river, the only sounds you can hear are birds, whisper of wind in the trees, and the drip of water rolling off the paddle as it comes out of the water.

The sound of rapids can be heard a distance off. The tumult of rushing water is distinctive and signals a major change in the status of the river. Once calm and nearly still, the closer you approach to the rapidly rushing water, the louder it is, and the faster it goes. When you’re right on top of the rapids, that’s all you can hear. One must shout to be heard.

When the prophets were given a glimpse of the throne room and heard the sound like of “many waters”, I don’t pretend to understand what that means or how it sounded in real life to their ears. It’s hard to describe something so supernaturally incomprehensible as the voice of God translated to mere human words. One can only imagine what the sound of His voice is like at full, glorified throttle.

I do know two things though. The sound of Niagara Falls is about 95 decibels, roughly equal to a rock concert. That’s loud.

Second, the voice of Jesus when He returns is a voice that will drown out all other voices. The Mighty Rushing Waters will drown out all voices that deny Him. The Many Waters will drown out all voices that blaspheme Him. The roar of the Rushing Waters will drown out all voices that proclaim a different god.

Albert Bierstad (1830–1902) oil painting, Niagara Falls

In Revelation 6:15-17 it says

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

On His Day, when He speaks with a voice like Many Waters, who can hear another voice? NO ONE. The voice of Jesus in power and strength will be the first, the last, and the only voice of holiness and glory, proclaiming His father the Almighty God! All those that dwell on the earth, the great and the small, the mighty and the lowly, will hear His voice, and who can hear another?

Each day that passes is a day we are in that kayak paddling downstream to the rapids, or on that boat Maid of the Mist approaching Niagara, getting closer to the day when the mighty rushing voice of God will be heard throughout the land. And what a day that will be.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Today’s Bible Reading thoughts, Psalm 1:3

A verse from our Bible reading for today:

psalm 1 wed verse
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
(Psalm 1:3)

In the ’90s I traveled a lot. I kept a travel journal most places I traveled to. One adventure was on an ice-breaking ferry/transport ship in Canada. We we started at Rimouski and went all the way along Quebec’s lower North Shore (of the St. Lawrence River) to Blanc Sablon, a city at the border of Labrador. On the early part of the journey when we departed from Sept-Iles, I wrote,

Got up at 5am to see departure. Whales and birds galore. The shore line is interesting, large rocks smoothed over by the tides. Rock ledges poke through the stands of trees lining the shore. How do the trees’ roots grasp in the 2 inches of soil?

I am not agricultural at all, but even a neophyte can muse upon the physics of it. It’s intuitive.

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (Matthew 13:20-21).

That is what made Jesus’ metaphors so excellent.

fallen tree
The verse in the Psalm above refers to the rootedness of a tree that is planted where it can be fed by good soil and good water. Such a tree does not fall away. It bears fruit.

Where does a believer get his rootedness from? By planting him or herself in the Life of Christ, drinking and feeding on His word. By living and growing in obedience and submission to His commands. Those who fall away were never planted in Him to begin with. They had no confidence in Him, in comparison to their own sin and wretchedness. They were only joyful for a time because their consciences were temporarily salved. But unless one is truly repented, that joy will fade at the first hardship and there will be no streams to drink from for nourishment. They fall.

Barnes Notes on the Psalm-

A description of the happiness or prosperity of the man who thus avoids the way of sinners, and who delights in the law of God, now follows. This is presented in the form of a very beautiful image – a tree planted where its roots would have abundance of water.
Planted by the rivers of water – It is not a tree that springs up spontaneously, but one that is set out in a favorable place, and that is cultivated with care.

God cultivates us by the Spirit, but we shepherd our salvation too. Drink deeply from the word, obey and submit with grace without grumbling. Pray earnestly for all things, and praise the One who planted you. May you bear fruit in your time.

psalm 1 wed verse

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

What is Living Water?

In our small group discussion on Thursday nights, people come with Bibles in hand and the pastor opens the floor to anyone with a question. We search the scriptures and engage in a discussion regarding the person’s question. Last night someone asked about one of my favorite metaphors in the Bible. What is the Living Water?

It is from the scene from John 4, when in Samaria, a tired Jesus sat down in front of the well, and a woman from the village came out a noonday to draw water. An amazing conversation ensued. Here are verses 10-14:

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

From this verse, we understand the Living Water is eternal life in Jesus. Nowhere else but in Jesus does a person have eternal life. He is the fountain. (Jeremiah 2:13). He is the spring. (Isaiah 12:3, Revelation 22:14, John 7:38).

What about after the moment of regeneration, after the person has received eternal life? The waters do not stop flowing. The living water is eternal life in Jesus, as mediated by the Spirit. It is the flow of the Spirit’s guidance that transforms the newly forgiven creature into a person gradually conformed to Christ for all eternity.

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Further reading

Founders Ministries: The Model

GotQuestions: What did Jesus Mean when he said Living Water?

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

It was an ordinary day, and the woman was thirsty

The woman was a harlot. There was a moral code and the woman fell far below it. So far below that she couldn’t even see the underside of it anymore. Jumping from husband to husband, bed to bed, with or without benefit of divorce, man after man. She was a slut. Her sins were monumental, public, known to all, and she was regarded with disgust and hatred. She knew it. She didn’t care. She did care.

She was loathed, and also lonely, marginalized, and excluded. The other women in town didn’t talk to her, so that her taint wouldn’t infect them. There were cliques, all right, and she was definitely not part of any of them. She wasn’t invited to baby showers or to weddings or to sewing circles. She wasn’t even welcome at the well, at dusk when the other women went to draw in the cool of the day. The looks…the turned backs… the whispers. Once, even that fight when they said those nasty things. She never went back.

Continue reading “It was an ordinary day, and the woman was thirsty”