The River and the Rivers 

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. (Psalm 46:4 KJV)

A river is a large stream of water that is continuously flowing. The three keywords are water, abundance, and flowing.

If anyone needs water and comes to a river, they find an abundant supply beyond their needs which keeps flowing and never stops. What a picture of God supplying the needs of His people! Scripture uses the metaphor of a river to describe God’s presence and power that meets the needs of His people—spiritual and natural, superficial and deep. Therefore God’s people (the city of God) are made glad by the river!

But is there one river or many rivers? The Bible speaks of both: one river and many rivers in different contexts. Their relationship is so beautiful. For example, in Psalm 46:4 and Ezekiel 47:1-12, God is presented as a river, one large river. But in John 7:37, the Holy Spirit is presented as flowing out of the believer as rivers. 

What is the relationship between the river and the rivers? Genesis 2:10 presents an enlightening relationship between the river and the rivers:

“A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.” (Genesis 2:10 ESV)

One river flowed and became divided into four rivers! The River is the Holy Spirit, and the rivers are the Holy Spirit in His different operations, such as rivers of power, wisdom, etc. So there is a River whose rivers make glad God’s people as He meets their needs.


How do the three characteristics of a river apply to the Holy Spirit?

Apply the Word

God has a river whose streams (rivers) will make you and those around you glad. That river dwells in you, and He wants to flow out as rivers of power, love, wisdom, healing, provision, etc., to give water to the dry and thirsty world around you.


Ask the Spirit to help you grow in your fellowship with the River so that rivers will flow from your belly. 

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