In the previous chapter we saw the River of Life, clear as crystal and springing from the very throne of God and of the Lamb. As the river continued to flow, it ran down the center the major street of the city, a wide boulevard. It is called a street, but as in some other words that we read concerning the New Jerusalem, we should not think of a street in the common sense of the word as we think of it in our daily lives.
This is not a thoroughfare designed for office workers to make quick commute times to their work places. The word street in this case simply means a broad place, and that is what this is. It is a broad area that probably would look more like a long and narrowish park than it does a street. I think of the Washington Mall in Washington D.C. as a similar concept. It is down the middle of this great street where the River of Life flows.
At this point in my reading of this account, it is what is growing along the banks of that river that is intriguing me. However, to begin to talk about what grows there, we need first to go back in time to the very dawn of history. This is because what will be growing on the banks of the River of Life has not appeared on earth since that time.
Here is part of the account of the creation: “The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden” (Genesis 2:8-9a NAS).
It is this specific tree, the tree of life, which also will be growing along the River of Life in the New Jerusalem.
The Trees of Eden
In the Garden of Eden, among all the other types of trees found there, you will also remember that a second named tree was also planted in the garden at that time. That one was called the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is the tree we usually hear about, because this is the tree that was used by the devil to entice Adam and Eve to rebel against God. The tree of knowledge is a different tree and a completely different subject from what I am writing at this time. I have written in other places concerning the question why having access to knowledge of good and evil represented a rebellious act against God at that time, so I will not do that now.
Today’s subject is a happier one than what happened on that day in the Garden of Eden. The tree of today’s subject is the tree that gives life.(to continue reading, please press the READ MORE button below)