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The Closeness to the River and God's Revelation

25.07.2019, Daniel Glimm

Using Reuben (note: ‘Behold a son!’) and his position as the firstborn son of Jacob, I would like to address the meaning of the river in a spiritual context, because Reuben is related to the moving water (see Genesis 49:3-4a).

Genesis 49:3-4a:
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.
4a Turbulent as the waters, …

Furthermore, it is also the voice of the Almighty and the voice of Jesus Christ, which is like the sound of many waters (see Ezekiel 1:24a i.c.w. Revelation 1:15b).

Ezekiel 1:24a:
24a When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty (note: Shaddai), …

Revelation 1:15b:
… 15 b and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.

Looking at Rubens' turbulent waters from Jesus' work of redemption, it is a reference to the prophetic voice that reveals the speaking of God and the presence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The Fourfold Quality of Ruben

It is the tribe of Reuben that, based on the son of Jacob of the same name, has a fourfold quality in itself, which includes the inheritance of the firstborn.
This is about might, excellence in strength, honor and power.
This inheritance brings with it great responsibility that must be preserved without defining oneself by the value of it.

Ruben reveals the principle of sonship in Christ Jesus, who is the firstborn among many brothers (see Romans 8:29).

Romans 8:29:
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

It is no coincidence that Ruben has a fourfold value and that the name of the God of Israel also consists of four Hebrew letters (note: ‘Yod, He, Waw, He’ => YAHWEH). It divided the river of origin in the Garden of Eden into four river beds (see Genesis 49:3 i.c.w. Genesis 2:10-14).

Genesis 49:3:
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might (1), the first sign of my strength (2), excelling in honor (3), excelling in power (4).

Genesis 2:10-14:
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.
11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)
13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.
14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The fourfold value of Ruben corresponds to the principle of the four rivers of Eden, which brought the treasures of the soil in the respective regions into which they flowed to the surface. Even if only one river (note: Pishon) is mentioned, which is named directly with treasures of the soil, it can be assumed that this principle is imparted to the other rivers as God is a God of abundance and fruitfulness (see Psalm 65:9-13).

Psalm 65:9-13:
9 You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.
The River and the Future

It is the power of the ‘river’ that is an indication of the good future in Christ Jesus, which brings the hidden heritage in our God-given territory of promise to the surface at the right time.

Furthermore, it is the power of the Holy Spirit that becomes active and originates in a fourfold way from those who believe in Jesus Christ and His Word (see John 7:38-39a).

John 7:38-39a:
38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
39a By this he meant the Spirit, …

I am personally convinced that these streams of living water Jesus mentions are four rivers, because it is about the revelation of the identity and presence of the God of Israel, who is also our Heavenly Father (see Romans 8:15).

Romans 8:15:
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

It is the river of sonship in Christ that carries the identity of the Heavenly Father, so that the Father appears before men in the facet in which He wants to reveal Himself as Father (see John 14:9b).

John 14:9b:
… 9b Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. …
The Number ‘4’, the Presence of God and the Characteristic of the River
It is no coincidence that the number ‘4’ is associated with the Hebrew letter ‘Daleth’, which, among other things, is associated with an ‘open tent door’.
Jesus Christ, the firstborn son of God, is the door who leads into the realm of the presence and provision of the Heavenly Father, represented by the green pasture (see John 10:9 i.c.w. John 14:6).
John 10:9:
9 I am the gate (note: door); whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
John 14:6:
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Moreover, it is the seat of government of the Heavenly Father, which is surrounded by a vault – the rainbow – and encased in a green light (see Revelation 4:2-3).
Revelation 4:2-3:
2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.
The rainbow is above the head or seat of the government of the Father and is there to cover Him.
Thus Jesus Christ is the door into the covering presence of the sons of God, which has its seat in the glory and wealth of the Heavenly Father.
The biblical characteristic of a river (note: Hebrew ‘nâhâr’) involves carrying the mysteries of the Spirit to reveal the presence (note: face) of the Heavenly Father at the right time. This is closely related to the sparkling of the glory of God.
Therefore, it is important that we as God's people make sure that we stay close to the river of the Spirit, no matter in which cooperative or personal circumstance or challenge we find ourselves.
The River of God in Challenging Times
We should keep in mind that the Lord, for example, revealed Himself to the prophet Ezekiel and also to the prophet Daniel at the river with His presence, while the people of Israel were in Babylonian captivity (see Ezekiel 1:1-4; Daniel 8:1-2; Daniel 10:4-7).
Ezekiel 1:1-4:
1 In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar (note: means ‘great, length’) River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
2 On the fifth of the month – it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin – 3 the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the Lord was on him.
4 I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north – an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, …
Daniel 8:1-2:
1 In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me.
2 In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai (note: means ‘gate’) Canal.
Daniel 10:4-7:
4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist.
6 His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.
7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves.
The visitation of Ezekiel and Daniel shows an important principle about the reception and sensitivity of divine revelation.
This principle involves remaining close to the river of God, walking in the understanding of His biblical times as well as in His understanding of authority, and to keep in mind your personal and collective circumstance of life.
The river of God contains the specific movement of the Holy Spirit that the particular community of saints is in need of. This presupposes the collective residence of the respective saints in the presence of God, even if someone finds himself in a challenging life situation.
Even the Apostles in the time of Acts expected a spiritual ‘birthplace of prophetic intercession’ near the river, which is represented by the presence of women (see Acts 16:13).
Acts 16:13:
13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
Among other things, it is God's gift to the woman to receive her husband's seed in order to carry it to the maturity of a child so that it can break through the womb at the right time. This appointed time of breakthrough has already been set by God, as we are reminded by Ruben to reveal the Son of God.
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,
Daniel Glimm