International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday November 20, 2016
Purpose: To recognize that God’s gift of abundant life is a present and a future gift
Bible Lesson: Revelation 22:1-7
Key Verse: Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1)
Revelation 22:1-7 (CEB)
(1) Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb (2) through the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life, which produces twelve crops of fruit, bearing its fruit each month. The tree’s leaves are for the healing of the nations. (3) There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. (4) They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (5) Night will be no more. They won’t need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine on them, and they will rule forever and always. (6) Then he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place. (7) “Look! I’m coming soon. Favored is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy contained in this scroll.”
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
The last two lessons for this study period are both from the final chapter of the Book of Revelation.
As you read today’s text you soon realize that it is very much like the beginning of the book. In the beginning, in the Book of Genesis chapter two, we see a somewhat similar picture, with the tree of knowledge, the tree of life, and the stream flowing through the middle of the Garden of Eden. So, as it begins it also ends.
It is unclear by verse seven, if John’s guide is still the angel, or if the Lamb is now doing the narrative.
John may have been influenced both by Genesis and Ezekiel 47 or it could be that this is just the way it is, whether it is John, Ezekiel or Moses. (who is credited with the Book of Genesis) that is recording their vision.
Some things are abundantly clear, what John is viewing is a place of peace, light, and worship. It is also a place of Holiness, without doubters or curses.
God the creator, the Lamb of God, and the Holy Spirit, or spirit of the prophets, will all be present in this new Jerusalem which has no temple. No temple is needed since God reigns in person.
Fortunately for us we do not need to wait until we get to heaven, to have God reign in our lives. We have access today to all of the Trinity. We may not enjoy the healing and peace that John saw, but we do have the Creator God, the Redeeming Lamb and the Holy Comforter with us now.
There is a great old hymn that goes along with this lesson, “Shall We Gather at the River.” Enjoy the words and enjoy what awaits us.