This is what the LORD says:
“In the time of My favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances.”
“ And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. “
Parents have swaddled their babies throughout history. Archaeological records suggest that swaddling first developed around 4000 B.C. in Central Asia with use of the back-pack cradle board by migrating peoples. As desertification progressed, migration from region to region became a relatively permanent way of life. Swaddling subsequently became an institutionalized part of child-rearing tradition in those same areas.
Swaddling clothes described in the Bible consisted of a cloth tied together by bandage-like strips. After an infant was born, the umbilical cord was cut and tied, and then the baby was washed, rubbed with salt and oil, and wrapped with strips of cloth. These strips kept the newborn child warm and also ensured that the child’s limbs would grow straight. Ezekiel 16:4 describes Israel as unswaddled, a metaphor for abandonment.
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
In Genesis 28:15, God gives us His Word and He cannot lie–
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
To His children migrating home out of the land of bondage, God says,
“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Success is guaranteed by the Word. For even the Roman centurion said to Jesus, “it is not necessary that You come under my roof for I am not worthy–just speak the Word only and my servant will be healed.” The Word works.
“Sign” in the New Testament is used of miracles taken as evidence of divine authority.
Recently, a friend was complaining about seeing “SIGNS” everywhere so much so that they hindered the view. Immediately, it brought to remembrance the 1971 hit song, “Signs” performed by the Five Man Electrical Band. Although, a string of hits followed and a slew of others, “Signs” was the hit that truly places the band on hallowed ground in music history.
This hit has an unforgettable line….“And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply” yet in the Old Testament the two Hebrew words most frequently used for “miracle” are translated “sign” and “wonder”. They are synonyms and often occur together in the same text. “Sign” may be an object or daily activity as well as an unexpected divine action. The basic nature of a sign is that it points people to God. “Wonders” describe God’s supernatural activity, a special manifestation of His power.
God’s authoritative power is in His Word. He cannot lie. What He says, comes to pass. He watches over His Word to bring it to pass.
The prophetic word itself is authoritative and the confirming sign upholds it, presents is and establishes the prophetic word by the double witness.
I am reminded of 1 John 3:1 which says,
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
Here, I hear the Word of the Lord speaking to me as He did to Jeremiah,
Demolish, and Then Start Over
The Message of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah of the family of priests who lived in Anathoth in the country of Benjamin. God’s Message began to come to him during the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amos reigned over Judah. It continued to come to him during the time Jehoiakim son of Josiah reigned over Judah. And it continued to come to him clear down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah over Judah, the year that Jerusalem was taken into exile. This is what God said:
“Before I shaped you in the womb,
I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
that’s what I had in mind for you.”
But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me.
I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!”
God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’
I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there.
I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it.
Don’t be afraid of a soul.
I’ll be right there, looking after you.”
God reached out, touched my mouth, and said,
“Look! I’ve just put my words in your mouth—hand-delivered!
See what I’ve done? I’ve given you a job to do
among nations and governments—a red-letter day!
Your job is to pull up and tear down,
take apart and demolish,
And then start over,
building and planting.”
Stand Up and Say Your Piece
God’s Message came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I said, “A walking stick—that’s all.”
And God said, “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you.
I’ll make every word I give you come true.”
God’s Message came again: “So what do you see now?”
I said, “I see a boiling pot, tipped down toward us.”
Then God told me, “Disaster will pour out of the north
on everyone living in this land.
Watch for this: I’m calling all the kings out of the north.”
“They’ll come and set up headquarters
facing Jerusalem’s gates,
Facing all the city walls,
facing all the villages of Judah.
I’ll pronounce my judgment on the people of Judah
for walking out on Me—what a terrible thing to do!—
And courting other gods with their offerings,
worshiping as gods sticks they’d carved, stones they’d painted.
“But you—up on your feet and get dressed for work!
Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say.
Don’t pull your punches
or I’ll pull you out of the lineup.”
And again as God says to Jeremiah—
“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear Me, so that they will never turn away from Me.”