The analogy of flowing rivers permeates Scripture. We open our Bibles and are awed with the description of the four rivers that flow from Eden. It is interesting that the meaning of the names of these rivers all involve action:
1. Pison means “flowing”
2. Gihon means “gushing froth as a stream”
3. Hiddekel (Tigris in Greek) means “like an arrow”
4. Euphrates means “to break forth”
From the first chapter of the Bible to the last, the symbolism of flowing rivers is prominent. In Revelation, John said, “he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1). Jesus informs us that believers will have the privilege of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, comparing it with a living stream of water flowing from our hearts (John 7:38-39).
It is the nature of a river to move and progress. We are told that the four rivers in Eden flowed forth into the earth (Gen. 2:10-14). God created the Garden of Eden for the first married couple. Symbolically, these streaming rivers could typify the love for God and for each other that this young couple was to model for the world. He wanted them to be happy and to go forth and populate the earth (Gen. 8:17). But both the man and the woman sinned, hindering the flow of God’s plan for humankind.
The only hope for our world, made stagnate by sin, is the flowing love of Spirit-filled Christian couples. As we exemplify what God originally intended for Adam and Eve, we can flow forth and teach all nations about Jesus Christ and His precious Holy Spirit. Our reward for obedience will be to fellowship with Jesus forever in Paradise (Luke 23:43).