And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
I. THE SPIRITUAL ENJOYMENTS OF THE HEAVENLY LIFE ARE ABUNDANT IN THEIR MEASURE. "And He showed me a pure river." Great cities are generally built on the banks of rivers to ensure health, commerce, and pleasure. The spread of the Gospel is sometimes set forth under the emblem of a river (Ezekiel 17:1; Habakkuk 2:14; Psalm 16:4). Here, however, we have the spiritual enjoyment of redeemed and glorified humanity imaged forth. St. John did not see a brook, or a well, but a river flowing from the great Throne. The spiritual enjoyments of heaven are not scanty. On this river the richest products will be borne to glorified humanity.
II. THE SPIRITUAL ENJOYMENTS OF THE HEAVENLY LIFE ARE PURE IN THEIR NATURE. "Pure" — "Clear as crystal." Are we to judge of the purity of water by its cleansing properties? Then none so pure as this which flows from the Throne of God, as it can purify the unclean soul. It can wash out sins of the deepest dye from the garments of the moral nature, and make them white as no fuller on earth can whiten them; hence, the faultless multitude before the throne.
III. THE SPIRITUAL ENJOYMENTS OF THE HEAVENLY LIFE ARE INVIGORATING IN THEIR ENERGY. "Water of life." This great river of heaven is not sluggish in its flow, but quick and rapid. It gives life and verdure wherever it comes. The things of earth are dead and barren, but when touched by the influence and grace of the Divine Spirit they teem with vitality. But the life of the soul now is nothing in intensity as compared with what it will be when it attains the enjoyment of heaven. Then it will become possessed of an immortal vitality which shall know from decay or decline.
IV. THE SPIRITUAL ENJOYMENTS OF THE HEAVENLY LIFE ETERNALLY MEET THE NEEDS OF THE HUMAN SOUL. The thirsty there have a river at which they can drink, and which will never be exhausted. The Divine gifts in heaven will be adapted to the requirements of our renewed and glorified natures. Thus the soul will be made glad.
V. THE SPIRITUAL ENJOYMENTS OF THE HEAVENLY LIFE ARE THE OUTCOME OF THE SOVEREIGN MERCY OF GOD. "Out Of the Throne of God and of the Lamb." And so all the spiritual enjoyments of heaven, in abundance, in purity, in life, in satisfaction, and in perpetuity will be the outcome of the Sovereign Grace of God as exercised through and manifested in the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ. Lessons:
1. That we should prize the ordinances through which the water of life is conveyed to men.
2. Contemplate the active spiritual enjoyment of the good.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.