Thursday, March 18, 2010

Washed, Salted, and Swaddled


Ezekiel 16:4 And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.


Ezekiel 16:4-6 Portrays Jerusalem as an abandoned baby girl, denied the cutting of the umbilical cord as well as the washing, salting, and swaddling that were all part of loving baby care in ancient Palestine. (The salting was a carry-over from the practice of preserving meat. Since salt kills bacteria, it was a fairly effective, though primitive, kind of hygiene.) But the Lord loved this "baby," Jerusalem, and by His all-powerful Word decreed that she should live. This part of the allegory points to Jerusalem's early years, as in Abraham's day when the city was an independent city-state, as is confirmed by the fourteenth-century B.C. Amarna Letters, a major Egyptian archaeological find.


I would like to share with you what Author Bob Gass says about this verse:

It has been said, "only one in ten people who make a commitment to Christ, are still serving Him five years later." How come? Ezekiel gives us some answers:

(1) You must be washed! Your spiritual protection against dirt, disease and death is "the washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26). It's not enough to step into the shower every morning - you've also got to step into the Scriptures. Jesus said, "Now are ye clean through the Word" (John 15:3). Sin will keep you from your Bible, and your Bible will keep you from sin.

(2) You must be salted! In Hebrew culture, they rubbed salt on newborn babies to toughen their skins, so they could be handled without bruising. Too many of us need 'special handling'. We're touchy. If we're corrected, we get defensive. Only when you've been 'salted' by mature love and non-legalistic acceptance, can you be really open and honest.

(3) You must be swaddled! When we're first born into God's family, we're vulnerable. We need to be covered and protected. That's the value of Christian fellowship; it wraps us up in the arms of love and says, "You don't ever have to go back to the old life again! You can begin afresh. You can be healed of your painful past. You can have good times and good relationships instead of bad ones." Have you been washed, salted and swaddled?


"Lord, I am so thankful that I have been washed, salted and swaddled. Please forgive me for the times I have been a little touchy and easily offended. That does not bring glory and honor to you. Help me to bring all of my cares, hurts and offenses to you and not to others who will side with me. In Jesus' name, amen!"


Anonymous said...

This is a great message in a concise format. We too often hurry through the birthing (salvation) process leaving newborn Christians unable to face the world. Lord, help us to nurture young Christians as well as grow ourselves in Your strength and direction and plan.