OUR NEED TO BE MEASURED FOR THE LORD’S MOVE
The main point for us in Ezekiel 47 is that we all need to be willing to be measured. There is no need for us to struggle, to strive, or to exercise our effort to do anything. The only need is that we have to be willing to be measured again and again and again and again. We need to tell the Lord, “Lord, I am willing to be measured.” Then the flow will eventually become the river. If the saints in a local church are willing to be measured again and again and again and again, four times to one hundred percent, there will be a river to water the parched desert, to heal the dead sea, to grow the trees and produce the fishes, and to produce the calves and the kids. What we need is to be measured for the Lord’s move. We need to be tested, examined, taken over, and possessed by the Lord.
When the water is to the ankles, that means that only a small part of our being is possessed by the Lord. When the water is risen to the loins, part of our being is possessed by the Lord, but another part is still free. If we are willing to be measured up to one hundred percent, we will be fully swallowed up by the living water. Then in one sense, we lose all our freedom, but in another sense we are really free. When we are fully possessed by the Lord, we will be fully freed. The flow of the living water will carry us on forward toward the goal. If we are willing to be built up as the house of the Lord, we will have the Lord within us as the source of the living water. If we are willing to be measured in order to be possessed again and again by the Lord until eventually we are possessed to the uttermost, we will have waters to swim in, a river that cannot be passed over.
The flowing river waters the dry land, heals the dead sea, produces the trees, brings in the fish, and brings in the kids and the calves. Because of the river there are the farming with all the trees, the fishing to bring in the fish, and the ranching to take care of the kids and the calves. If we are willing to be built up and measured again and again, we will have the trees, the fish, and the cattle. This means that we have the food which includes the produce of the trees, the produce of the ranch, and the produce of the seas. When the Lord fed the five thousand, He fed them with something of the land, five loaves, and with something of the sea, two fish. The flow of the river issues in the riches of the land and of the sea, the riches of the animal life and the plant life, the riches of Christ.
COMING TO THE WATERS WITHOUT MONEY TO BUY AND EAT
Isaiah 55:1 says, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat.” There is no mention of drinking in this verse. It tells us to come to the waters and eat, not to drink. Furthermore, this verse tells the one who has no money to come and buy. How can we come to the waters to eat and come to buy without money?
Ezekiel 47 tells us that there were many trees on the banks of the river (v. 12), showing us that when we come to the waters, we come to the food. Our intention may be merely to drink, but eventually we also get something to eat. The drinking and the eating go together. In Genesis 2 is the tree of life with a river flowing out of Eden to water the garden (vv. 9-10). At the end of the Bible is the river of water of life with the tree of life growing, spreading, and proceeding along its two sides (Rev. 22:1-2). When we come to the waters, there is food for us to eat.
Now we must see how the Lord can tell us to come and buy without money and without price. In Revelation 3 the Lord counseled the church in Laodicea to buy from Him although they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked (vv. 17-18). On the one hand, we do not have the money to buy, but on the other hand, we cannot say that we have nothing. We may not have money, but we have ourselves. We have to pay ourselves as the cost. We have to give ourselves to the Lord. Isaiah 55:3 says, “Incline your ear, and come unto Me.” This is the price. The price is not the money. The price is not what we have. The price is what we are. We have to pay ourselves as the price to the Lord.
Whenever we come to the waters, the food is there, and whenever we feel we have nothing, we have ourselves. The Lord wants us. Thus, He calls us to come and give ourselves to Him. The price to buy the gold in the epistle to Laodicea is to open the door (Rev. 3:20). To open the door is to give yourself to the Lord. We all need to tell the Lord, “Lord, I give myself to You.” If we are thirsty, we need to come and buy without money but with ourselves. We need to come and give ourselves to the Lord. When we pay this price, we are free to drink. Also, when we come to drink, we get the food because the water includes the tree of life.
THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID
The last part of Isaiah 55:3 says, “I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” Just as the statute and ordinance were made with the drinking in Exodus 15, an everlasting covenant is made here with the call to the thirsty ones to come to the waters and eat. As we are drinking and eating, an everlasting covenant is made. This covenant is a contract or an agreement signed by the Lord to us. The Lord becomes bound to us. When we give ourselves to the Lord for the drinking and get the food, the Lord makes an everlasting covenant with us, which means that we have a secured, constant enjoyment. Our enjoyment of the Lord becomes constant, secured, and insured. This everlasting covenant is the best insurance company to insure our enjoyment of the sure mercies of David. The sure mercies of David are all that the Lord is for the house of David. All that the Lord is as mercies to the house of David is our secured portion by an everlasting covenant.
We can realize by our fellowship thus far that the divine life is always involved with the matters of drinking and eating. If we do not drink and eat, life is lost. The divine life is in the tree and in the river, and we receive this life by drinking and eating. Whenever we come to the waters, we receive not only the waters but also the food. When we eat and drink the Lord, He makes an everlasting covenant with us. This covenant is the Lord’s signed agreement or insurance policy whereby all the mercies of David become sure to us. The sure mercies are secured, insured, and guaranteed by His everlasting covenant. All that the Lord is today is the sure mercies to the house of David. Today we are the house of David enjoying the sure mercies of David, which are the riches of the divine life.
(The Crucial Revelation of Life in the Scriptures, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)