Here we stand on the threshold of a new year. Three hundred sixty five days stretching out in front of us. What will we do with them? What will 2014 bring? And in return, how will we respond as it unfolds?
I think Isaiah was a branch of the True Vine anointed by the Lord to see into our day and time…
The past two years the Lord has given me a word or two of spiritual definition for the new year. But not this time. As I sat down to write this year-end Wellspring post, I knew I had not received any significant word or phrase for this new year. Well, ok. I know better than to put the Lord in a box and expect Him to always work in the same manner.
Since I love the significance of numbers in the Bible, it crossed my mind that the fourteenth year of this century would be double sevens. So I did what I know to do…I looked up the meaning of ‘fourteen’ in the Strong’s concordance and was met with a definition that spoke depths of meaning to me. I hope it speaks meaningfully to you as well.
The Hebrew word for ‘fourteen’ is Shalam (shaw-lam). So similar to Shalom – finished, complete, nothing broken, nothing missing – that I know His Word is not coincidental! Shalam is defined as:
A primitive root; to be safe (in mind, body or estate); figuratively to be (causatively make) completed; make amends, (make an) end, finish, full, give again, make good, (re-) pay (again), (make) (to) (be at) peace (-able), that is perfect, perform, (make) prosper (-ous), recompense, render, requite, make restitution, restore, reward, surely.
Though I know reading the Strong’s definition might be boring to some, I included it nearly in its entirety because of the richness of the promise that each word brings. There are ones reading this whose wellspring hearts may be refreshed, as was mine, because of the very life that is the Word. Roll those words around on your tongue. Take, eat, taste and see that the Lord – the Word – is so very good.
I then looked up the meaning of ‘double portion’ and was led directly to Isaiah 61. Reading this familiar passage again – especially after this last week of 2013 – caused my heart to rise up in renewed hope.
As we step into 2014, Isaiah 61 is my personal, marriage, and family prayer. It is my prayer for Shammahs Field & Shammah Ministries and those to whom we minister. It is my faith-filled prayer for each one who reads this post. And it is my “AttaAbba!” to our heavenly Father who has never, ever failed any of us yet.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.”
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. Isaiah 61:1-11 (NIV)
The year of double portion. The year of instead of… The year of inheriting double in our land. The year of delight and rejoicing in our Lord. The year of the priestly bridegroom and the adorned bride.
2014. The year of the LORD.
©2013 Nancy C. Bentz – Author’s permission granted to forward this devotional piece in its entirety, including this copyright line. Comments and subscriptions to this blog are welcome.
Shammahs Field LLC/Shammah Ministries is the biblical counseling, life coaching, and spiritual growth ministry entrusted to Wayne & Nancy Bentz. You can learn more about the resources they have to offer at www.shammahsfield.com.