Over the summer we spent time at my parents house in the U.K., and they were in the middle of watching a tv series about a couple who bought a French Chateau (a big old castle) and were renovating and restoring it room by room. It was fascinating to see how the old building came back to life, almost, and how things looked and worked so much better when they were just as they were intended to be. The hydraulic lift/elevator was a 21st century addition though!
Here in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible we see a great restoration…
1 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. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
The river of the water of life flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb right through the middle of the street, and this was prophesied in Psalm 46,
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
The tree of life is there for all to eat of, a complete restoration of Genesis 3.22-24. We read that no longer will there be anything accursed, again a complete restoration of Genesis 3.16-19, where in relationships, the ground, its produce, even our lives are now subject to conclusions they were never meant for. Restoration indeed!
The tree produced fruit which literally gives health, we read for the healing of the nations, but this tree produces fruit and leaves that give us health in the new city, so nothing is accursed, and there is no need for a throne and an altar, God simply dwells with and received worship from His people.
In possibly the most dramatic restoration we will see his face. Think back to Exodus 33.20-23, wherein Moses was denied the wondrous experience of seeing the face of God, but now we are told we will have the privilege, the honour, and the absolute pleasure of seeing his face.
Things work so much better when they are used for their intended purpose. We are made for fellowship with God, for relationship with God, to honour God, to be with God, to worship God, and for all eternity. These few verses show us that God’s intended purpose for us all will one day become our reality.