Revelation 22:1-2 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (2) through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
What a joyful passage this is for Christian meditation. This is a description of paradise regained. It is a picture of the future eternal Garden of Eden without the influence of Satan. It is a joy and a blessing to consider the reality of what is being shown to John in this vision. The first Adam fell in the Garden of Eden and caused mankind and the earth to become cursed and under bondage to corruption and sin. But God provided a second Adam in the person and work of His own son Jesus Christ to redeem the earth and his Church, the bride of Christ. In this the last chapter in the Bible we see the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan that began immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve.
When this day is realized, the bride of Christ (the redeemed) will be together for all eternity praising and worshiping their savior the Lord Jesus Christ. The river of life will flow from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the street of the City of God. The photo above gives a shadowy glimpse of what that will be like. Christians look forward and long for this great day when they can gather at the river and worship with singing and rejoicing. The beautiful hymn “Shall we gather at the River” comforts the soul as we reflect on the eternal state of Christians.
Shall We Gather At The River?
By Robert Lowry
Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.
On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.
Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.
At the smiling of the river,
Mirror of the Savior’s face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace.
Soon we’ll reach the silver river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace.