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Thursday, May 19 2011
Down By The Riverside
The English word "river" originated from a Latin word, riparius, which meant banks i.e. the original English word for river referred to the banks of a river, not the water (the English word "rival" originated from the same word for river, again not referring directly to the water, but those who competed to have access to it).
A number of different Hebrew words of the Holy Scriptures are translated as "river." The first, in order of occurrence, is the Hebrew word pronounced naw-hawr. Although derived from a root word meaning to glisten, it referred directly to the flowing (i.e. glistening in the sunlight) water of a stream or river. The rivers that went out from the well-watered garden of Eden were recorded by that word.
"2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." (Genesis 2:10 KJV)
As such, the first Sabbath observance (see also Why Observe The True Sabbath? and What Did Jesus Do On The Sabbath?), attended by the LORD and the first two humans that He created, wasn't "in" a church (although the "church, which means people called to the LORD, were there), but rather was in the open, near a river.
"1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27 KJV)
"On the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made"
Jesus Christ was and is "the LORD God" of Creation, as described above (see Christ The Creator and 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'). By the time that He was born as a man, people meeting "down by the river" was something that He not only approved of, but actually did Himself - literally from the beginning. The prophesied "wilderness" of John the Baptist was at a river.
"1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Whether it was a direct following of the example of Eden, or of John's ministry, the early "church" (which means people), sometimes met for Sabbath services near a river. The obvious practical reason was that it facilitated baptism. Interestingly, the "wont" in the King James' "on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made" is used to translate a Greek word, pronounced nom-id-zo, that actually means to do by law, or to do by custom - as though Sabbath-keepers were likely, or expected, to be found near a river on the Sabbath.
"16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
The fulfillment of the ultimate symbolic significance of rivers will be realized and accomplished when the Messiah returns - when "living waters," physical and spiritual, will flow to all of the people of the LORD.
"14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." (Zechariah 14:4 KJV)
The rivers of Paradise will flow again, in the Kingdom of God.
"22:1 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. 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:1-5 KJV)
Fact Finder: As stated above, the "living waters" will flow from Jerusalem (i.e. Zion). Who is "Zion" actually about? What is He going to do when He comes and rules the world from Zion?
This Day In History, May 19
241 BC: Agis IV, king of Sparta (the major city of the Peloponnesus in Greece), died.
1535: Jacques Cartier left on his second voyage to Canada with 3 ships. They arrived at the Gulf of St. Lawrence after a 50-day crossing.
1536: Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, mother of Queen Elizabeth I, was beheaded at age 29 on charges of adultery. Henry married Jane Seymour the next day.
1568: After being defeated by the Protestants, Mary, Queen of Scots, fled to England where she was imprisoned, and later beheaded, by Queen Elizabeth I.
1588: King Philip II's "Spanish Armada" left Lisbon on its ill-fated attempt to conquer England and restore Roman Catholicism there.
1608: The Protestant states formed the Evangelical Union of Lutherans and Calvinists under the direction of the elector of Brandenburg.
1635: During the Thirty Years War, French Cardinal Richelieu declared that France was at war with the Hapsburgs in Spain.
1662: King Charles II approved a bill requiring all ministers to assent publicly to the Anglican "Book of Common Prayer."
1780: At 2:00 p.m. near-total darkness covered much of New England and eastern Canada. The cause remained unknown until 2007 when forestry scientists discovered conclusive evidence of a massive forest fire that occurred in eastern Ontario at the time of the "Dark Day of 1780."
1935: Colonel T.E. Lawrence (popularly-known as "Lawrence of Arabia") died from a motorcycle accident in England. Lawrence assisted the Arabian nations to become independent from centuries of rule by the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1958: The USA and Canada formally established the North American Air Defense Command.
1961: The Russian Venera 1 became the first spacecraft to complete a fly-by of another planet i.e. Venus.
1991: The people of Croatia voted to become independent of Yugoslavia.