Ezekiel 16:4 And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
These verses portray Jerusalem as an abandoned baby girl, denied the cutting of the umbilicus as well as the washing, salting, and swaddling (diapering) 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. Jerusalem, by nature unclean, miserable, and near to destruction, is adopted by the Lord and clothed in splendor.
This verse refers to what is ordinarily done for every infant on its birth. The umbilical cord, by which it received all its nourishment while in the womb, being no longer necessary, is cut at a certain distance from the abdomen: on this part a knot is tied, which firmly uniting the sides of the tubes, they coalesce, and incarnate together. The extra part of the cord on the outside of the ligature, being cut off from the circulation by which it was originally fed, soon drops off, and the part where the ligature was is called the navel. In many places, when this was done, the infant was plunged into cold water; in all cases washed, and sometimes with a mixture of salt and water, in order to give a greater firmness to the skin, and constringe the pores. The last process was swathing the body, to support mechanically the tender muscles till they should acquire sufficient strength to support the body.
I read a devotion by Author Bob Gass today that spoke to my heart. I am indebted to him for the majority of this article.
DL Moody said, "Of 100 unsaved men, 1 will read the Bible; 99 will read the Christian."
Such very true, and convicting words. The world we live in is desperate for someone who is a true follower of Jesus Christ. So much of America is unchurched today because they have "read the Christian" and decided they wanted nothing of this Jesus! Precious Holy Spirit, please convict our hearts today to realize that people of every walk and faith are watching us TODAY. Whether we are at Walmart, driving down the interstate, at school, at work...we must be constantly aware of how we represent Jesus Christ!
It has been said, "only one in ten people who make a commitment to Christ, are still serving Him five years later." Why? Ezekiel gives us some answers:
(1) You must be SOAKED (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 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. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us get the proverbial “chip” off of our shoulder. We must stop looking for opportunities to get offended, and look for opportunities for unity and ways to live in peace with one another. Again, people are tired of “Christians” that can’t get along with each other!
(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." The enemy doesn't want you have that fellowship. That is why it is so important for you to not miss out, or forsake, the coming together of Christian brother and sisters. We need each other. You need church attendance. The one that says, "I don't need to go to church to serve God" is being deceived by the enemy. There is a portion of truth in that statement. You may not have to go to church to serve God, but you NEED the fellowship, and encouragement!
Have you been soaked, salted and swaddled?
"Lord, help me to understand that people know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I want my life to point the seekers TO You and not AWAY from You. Holy Spirit, I need to be SOAKED, SALTED and SWADDLED today. Forgive me for isolating myself from my Christian brothers and sisters. I will change that this weekend! In Jesus name, amen!"
Friday, September 17, 2010
Posted by Rusty L. Blann at 8:54 AM