Friday, February 5, 2016
Rivers – The Nile as a type of God the Father – 5 February 2016, Anno Domini
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midstof the sea; 3 Thoughthe waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. 4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernaclesof the most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. (Psalm 46:1-5)
We shall undertake a study today of three different rivers, each representing one of the Three Persons of the Godhead. Three different daily devotions will be required to adequately cover these Three Rivers – the Mighty Nile of Africa, the Zayanderud of Persia, and Underground River at Shechem in ancient Samaria. We will first examine the Mighty Nile River and its many characteristics that are typical of God the Father, as well as to God the Son. On the next two days following, we will cover the Zayanderud (Giver of Life) and the Underground River at Shechem respectively. I have written on these rivers before but, hopefully, I will have gained greater insight from the first writings.
How very much like a mighty river are the blessings, mercies, and love of God. A true river never stops flowing, and neither does the love and blessings of God. Both have an unbounded and munificent abundance as their Source.
The Nile River as a Type of God the Father:
The Mighty Nile River of Africa is the longest river in the world – 4,130 miles in length stretching from the shores of Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea (Fertile Crescent). God, too, is the Ancient of Days whose beginning and end are without measure.
The Nile River could extend from Lost Angeles to Washington, D.C. and back again. Perhaps Washington, D.C. could benefit from its cooling waters to counter the immensity of `hot air' being generated there.
On a visit to our churches in Kenya a few years ago, we spotted the very source of the Nile River Waters at the top of the continent of Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro. Landing at Nairobi, we could see the majestic, snow-clad mountain some few miles to the south (just across the national boundary in Tanzania). It appears as a flat-top table with fair linen draped over its summit – much like the Lord's Table of the Communion. This mountain is the highest in the continent of Africa (19,341 feet above sea level).
The snows of Kilimanjaro are, relatively speaking, eternal; but God, without any relationship to time, is eternal in nature. Though the snows remain as a crown to the mountain year around, enough of its abundant snows melt to feed into beautiful Lake Victoria to its north. The Lake is much like a sea in that one cannot see across its wide expanse. I was blessed to make temporary quarters for more than a week on its shores. Those melting snows come, like God, from the very highest source.
Many tributaries from the mountain streams feed into Lake Victoria which, in turn, feed into the White Nile. The Blue Nile, most heavily laden with nutrients from the earth, brings those nutrients and sediments with it as it joins the White Nile. The two Rivers are much like the Father and Son as they descend to bless the earth below. The Nile River passes through ten countries on its northward way to the Mediterranean. It descends from the highest Heaven of Africa to the lowest level of habitation at sea level. God, too, extends His blessings from on High to the lowest and most common of all creatures on earth. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is fullof water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. (Psalm 65:9) There is no end to the rich Waters of Life provided by our Father in Heaven.
Eagerly waiting far away and far below the snows of Kilimanjaro are the people of the delta region of Egypt. When all of the world is in famine, Egypt enjoys an abundance of produce generated by the waters of the Nile. The Nile rushes those thousands of miles and thousands of feet down to the Nile River Delta where it deposits its rich minerals and nutrients on the soil of the Delta. The Nile River Bed cannot contain the profusion of waters, so the great river overflows its banks to deposit its treasures on the fields of millions of farmers. How generous of it! If the Nile River is like unto God the Father, and His love, we are like the river bed that cannot contain that river for its abundance.
This characteristic of the Nile River may be compared to the Nature of God. He has provided the White Manna of Life (melting snows laden with nutrients) to us. He hails from on high. He is pure and White, and His riches are unsearchable. So the Nile River is illustrative of the Father.
Many souls would perish of hunger and thirst were it not for the Nile River. Many souls will perish for hunger for the Bread of Life and the Water of Life without God's Son, Jesus, to supply our need. Of course, all things of God are also of Christ. He is our River of Life that God has provided for our salvation and comfort. 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. (Rev 22:1) Perhaps this river, mentioned in the last Book of the Bible, is the same as that first River mentioned in the first Book of the Bible (Genesis 2:10) restored to us after Adam's Fall?
Have you tasted these waters of the river of God? Have you shared its abundance with others today?