This series of posts looks at God, man, the tree of life, and the river of life in the garden of Eden and in New Jerusalem. Genesis 2:10 tells us that “a river went forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided and became four branches.”
This one river was parted and became four heads (Gen. 2:10-14). What does this mean? This means that the river flows out of God as the source and the center to reach men in every direction. In the Bible the number one is the number of God, the Creator, for He is unique. The number four signifies man, the creature. Because men live in each of the four directions, the one river flows out of God in every direction to reach them.
The name of the first head is Pison, which means “flowing free” (cf. Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17). This river flows without price; it is free. It flows to the land of Havilah which means “to cause to grow.” This branch of the river flows freely to cause everything of life to grow (cf. Ezek. 47:9, 12).*
The river flows to reach men in all directions just like New Jerusalem has gates open on each of its four sides (Revelation 21:13) to face men in all directions. This wonderful availability is also seen in the “whoever” and “everyone” verses throughout the New Testament. Here are some:
• But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water gushing up into eternal life. (John 4:14)
• To this One all the prophets testify that through His name everyone who believes into Him will receive forgiveness of sins. (Acts 10:43)
• The same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him (Romans 10:12)
• Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten of God. (1 John 5:1a)
The river of water of life flows in four directions and the gates of New Jerusalem face four directions. In response to this supply and openness, we should receive. As seen in the verses above, everyone can drink of the river today by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. O Lord Jesus, I want to drink of this river; refresh me now.
* Witness Lee, Life-Study of Genesis, chapter 11, section 6. This is published and © by Living Stream Ministry and available for online reading here.