Before I awoke on New Year’s Eve, the day before the calendar rolled into 2021, I had a prophetic dream. Its symbolism, as many of my prophetic dreams are, was rather complex, so I will break it down into three parts. I will relate the dream part by part, pausing to interpret each part before moving on to the next.
Part 1: Manicure
My wife and I were in a vehicle running errands in town. The vehicle was a little compact thing, almost like a hard-cab enclosed ATV side-by-side. Sometimes I would put me feet down through the floor and use my legs like the Flintstones to help the vehicle maneuver, brake, etc.
The picturesque little Hallmark town wasn’t any town that I recognized. It reminded me of some I have visited on the East Coast of the United States. We had finished our rounds and kind of paused on a side street at the far end of town to decide if we had taken care of all of our necessary business or if there was somewhere else we needed to stop before returning home.
Suddenly my eyes were drawn to four cup holders that were built into the top of the dash area. They were deep tapered pockets, as if the contours of a full 12 oz. drinking glass had been molded into the dash. In the bottom of each was a dried out vitamin gummy chew, like the kind of a daily vitamin supplement you would give to children. The sides of the cups were coated with powdery, dried residue from the many generations of vitamin gummies for which those cup holders had served as a storage receptacle.
But as I examined the cup holders closer, I noticed something that I had never seen before in all the time I had owned this vehicle. There appeared to be multiple sliding covers built into the sides of the cup holders.
I thumbed the knurled bump on one cover until it slid back to reveal a small hidden compartment. In the compartment, glistening and factory new, rested a fingernail file. As I began to open other compartments I discovered a cuticle pusher, five or more varieties of fingernail (and possibly toenail) clippers, as well as several mini multi-tools. All were brand new and unused. It was obvious that those compartments had never been opened since the factory installed them.
All right. Let’s break this down a little bit.
First, the vehicle. It was a hybrid of a compact car, an ATV, and a Flintstone vehicle.
In dreams, personal automobiles typically represent a personal ministry, lifestyle, job or similar mechanism in which you are maneuvering life’s path. Perhaps some drive around in a limousine or a party bus, but for most of us who don’t have a lifestyle, job or ministry that is prominent, famous, successful by worldly standards, or flamboyant our life’s journey is traversed in an efficient compact vehicle.
The ATV element adds another dimension. ATV’s, of course, are small motor vehicles designed for traveling on various types of terrain that are usually too difficult for an ordinary vehicle to access. They are often used in remote or wilderness areas. This could represent a path of solitude or indicate an adventure that is imminent or currently ongoing.
Some dream interpreters suggest that dreaming of a four-wheeler could mean that you want to create your own path and do things your own way. It could also represent a reckless thrill-seeking or dangerous situation.
The ATV could indicate a new and exciting change in life’s path.
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; — Luke 3:5 (KJV 1900)
Behold, I will do a new thing;
Now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness,
And rivers in the desert. — Isaiah 43:19 (KJV 1900)
Yet there was a third, somewhat comical element to this vehicle — the Flintstones style human assist feature.
So the vehicle symbolism seems to represent a generally modest, unassuming course in life combined with elements of difficulty and danger, as well as a new and uncharted path. Along the way, the passengers of this particular means of transportation have tried to contribute human or fleshly effort to their progress, as dangerous and counterproductive as that is to the function, design, and purpose of a motor vehicle.
I’m sure this dream addressing my personal situation on one level, because I have certainly been guilty of trying to use fleshly, earthly efforts to maintain control my life’s journey. However, I include these details, because other elements of this dream suggest that it is not exclusively for me, and because I can’t be the only person who has ever tried to take control of his or her life using fleshly rather than spiritual resources.
Next, the cup holders. What is the purpose of a cup holder? To hold a cup, obviously. Biblically cups represent one’s portion, destiny, or fate.
In Psalm 16, the Lord assigns the psalmist his “portion and cup”. In Psalm 116, the psalmist raises the cup of salvation, offering the sum of his life as a thank offering to God.
To drink one’s portion, however, may not always be a celebration. Often Biblical prophets speak of corporate cups of wrath which carry the fate a body of people…a vessel pouring out His judgment on the nations.
Isaiah 51:17 personifies Jerusalem as a woman who drained the cup of wrath to its dregs. Ultimately, God takes pity on His city and intervenes. In verse 22, he takes the goblet of wrath which had made Jerusalem stagger out of her hand. He then gives it to Jerusalem’s tormenters to drink some of their own medicine so to speak.
In Jeremiah 25:15, the nations of the earth will be unable to refuse God’s cup of judgment. They will stagger as they drink from it. As all humanity is judged, the wicked are put to the sword.
In Ezekiel, the “cup of ruin and desolation” stands for the destruction of the two kingdoms of Judah and Samaria.
The symbolism continues into the New Testament Era. At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his Father to remove his cup of pain, humiliation, and death if possible. However, He obediently drank that cup which God had placed before him. As a result, Christ transformed the cup of wrath into the cup of life. This transformation is foreshadowed at the last supper, where the cup of the new covenant, like the cup of wrath, is available for all to partake.
Now, in my dream, the cup holders did not contain a cup filled with some type of beverage. Instead, they had been used for pediatric gummy vitamins.
This is a clear reference to immaturity. Somebody who uses gummy vitamins is still growing, learning, and maturing. In my dream, this status had been in play for a long time.
But now, only a single desiccated gummy remained. This suggests that it was time to move out of that historical immature phase and into another stage of life yet to be experienced. This interpretation is strongly affirmed by the discovery of the contents of the hidden compartments. It is also being confirmed by the events that have begun playing out in our nation and world since I was given this dream.
It is time to grow up. It is time to put our big boy pants on.
Finally, the manicure equipment.
What is the deal with all of the fingernail stuff?
Well, there are two prominent scripture passages that talk about fingernails in need of trimming.
The first is found in Deuteronomy 21
10When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hand and you take them captive, 11if you see a beautiful woman among them, and you desire her and want to take her as your wife, 12then you shall bring her into your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails, 13and put aside the clothing of her captivity. After she has lived in your house a full month and mourned her father and mother, you may have relations with her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.…
The second is found in Daniel 4:
24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.
34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
What is the common thread in these two passages? Judgment versus blessing.
In the first passage, God had given Israel victory over her enemies. Some of the men wished to marry beautiful virgins from among their prisoners of war. That was permitted, but first the woman had to shave her head and trim her nails in a sort of purification ceremony that symbolized their transition of identity from a member of a people group who were under God’s judgment to a member of a people group who were blessed by God’s favor.
Why was one group under judgment while the other was not? That becomes clear in the second passage…the one where King Nebuchadnezzar is struck with madness and eats grass in the field like an animal while his hair and nails grow long and untended.
Why was the most powerful man in the world judged in this way? Because he became proud and attributed his success to his own efforts and abilities, while ignoring the fact that God, the creator and ruler of the universe had given him those very abilities and talents.
Nebuchadnezzar said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?”
As the words formed in his mouth, judgment fell upon him. His kingdom was taken from him by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords until his allotted time of insanity had run its course.
When the king finally came to his senses, the first thing he probably did was get a bath, cut his hair and trim his nails. Then he sat down and wrote:
“I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”
So what does all this have to do with my dream? I believe a time of cleansing is upon us. It is time to move from the era of pediatric gummy vitamins and to trim our nails so that we can prepare to enter into the era where we receive our kingdom back. We are to be wed to our Bridegroom who has removed us from our pagan, cursed life and invited us to rule and reign with Him as joint-heirs.
Ezekiel 16 is a vivid illustration of this process. Please take time to read the entire chapter.
As you read it, don’t limit your comprehension of Ezekiel’s prophecy to only the ancient historical city of Jerusalem. Any time you read about Jerusalem in scripture, it is important to understand that are two Jerusalems in Scripture, as well as two temples. The first is earthly and physical, while the second is heavenly and spiritual. Both cities go by the name “Jerusalem.” Both temples go by the term “Temple.” It is for us to know which one is being discussed in any portion of Scripture.
Jerusalem in Scripture is always written in the plural. It is Ierushalayim, “Jerusalems.” While the ancient rabbis discussed this fact, they never understood that there were two Jerusalems. There was the old city, and there was the New Jerusalem, revealed in the New Testament by men who understood the difference. Paul spoke of this in Galatians 4:24-31, telling us that the earthly Jerusalem was “Hagar” and incapable of bringing forth the promises of God. The Jerusalem that is from above, however, is Sarah, and is “our mother,” the mother of believers in Christ.
The earthly city known as Jerusalem could no more bring forth the promised seed than could Hagar. Jerusalem brings only bondage, not liberty in Christ. One cannot understand the fulfillment of prophecy without seeing that there are two Jerusalems: the old Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem. This distinction makes it possible to understand the seeming contradiction between biblical statements of blessings and curses upon Jerusalem.
So, as we read Ezekiel 16, think in terms of yourself, your church, your nation. Ezekiel’s analogy bears an uncanny similarity to the two fingernail passages cited above, and it bears an uncanny similarity to the events that are unfolding in our lives today on a personal and national scale.
But the bottom line is that fingernail trimming time has come. Prepare to move from immaturity to mature sonship, from cursed slave to blessed bride. Unless, of course, we prefer to continue eating grass in the field like some wild beast because we are too proud to understand that our deliverance does not come through our own inherent skills, talents, virtue, or power, but comes at the hand of the Most High who does according to his own will among the inhabitants of earth. The most High rules in the kingdoms of men, and gives authority to whomsoever he will.
Nothing can thwart His purposes. He will cast down whom He will and raise up whom He will and He can do so in an instant. So let us trim our nails and humble ourselves before Him so that in due time He may raise us up.
Part 2: Beginning Drivers
So as my dream continued, I finished taking inventory of the newly revealed equipment in my hybrid vehicle’s cup holders. Then, determining that my wife and I had completed our errand running for the day, I turned the vehicle around to begin my trip home.
To access the main highway that led home, I had to use an entrance ramp. But there was a pickup truck in front of me on the ramp, and it was driving erratically. It kept stopping abruptly…so abruptly that my vehicle would nearly collide with its rear end. I was becoming frustrated at the driver, building up to a good old fashioned road rage.
The bed of the offending pickup truck had a cap on it with a clear glass window in back. Suddenly, I noticed that a friend of mine, one Joshua Olson, was grinning at me in a very friendly and disarming manner through that back window. At first I assumed that his wife was driving, but as I looked closer, I realized that his oldest daughter, a preteen, who actually the one driving. Then I understood that Josh was teaching his daughter how to drive, and that was the reason for the erratic driving.
About then another vehicle in the oncoming lane (why there was an oncoming lane on an entrance ramp, I have no idea) tried to pass Josh’s truck, but because his daughter’s driving had partially blocked the other lane, the oncoming vehicle was unable to proceed. The oncoming vehicle was a Swiss military surplus Pinzgauer.
The Pinzgauer honked its horn at Josh’s truck but managed to squeeze by, driving partially on the shoulder. Once it had passed Josh’s truck it stopped adjacent to me as if to confront the poor driver. However, upon seeing that it was Josh and recognizing that he was giving his daughter driving lessons, the Pinzgauer occupants immediately relaxed. I don’t know who the Pinzgauer passengers were, but in my dream I recognized them as good friends. We, the occupants of all three vehicles, spent a moment in pleasant friendly banter before moving on.
However, not all obstacles had been overcome yet. Just as I was about to pull out of the ramp onto the main road toward home, two taxi cabs turned onto the ramp from the highway and parked, completely obstructing my path. Fortunately I was in a small ATV hybrid, so I simply drove up onto the sidewalk to get around them and proceeded to travel down the sidewalk in the direction of my destination.
All right. Let’s unpack this part of the dream.
Joshua is a name that comes from the Hebrew meaning “YAHWEH is salvation”. It is the English transliteration of Yeshua, later Latinized to the more familiar “Jesus”.
Olson is a Scandinavian name meaning “Son of Olaf or Ole”. Olaf comes from the Old Norse name Áleifr meaning “family descendant”. Olaf was the name of five kings of Norway.
So, symbolically, Joshua Olson represents Jesus Christ, the family descendent, or son, of the King of the Universe.
In my dream, I was on a mission. I had just finished my tasks at hand and was returning home. Don’t we all yearn for the comfort and security of our spiritual home, either here on earth or in heaven? I had also been shown that my days of immaturity were behind me and it was time to purify myself in preparation for the transition from the Old Jerusalem calling into the New Jerusalem calling. Pretty heady stuff.
Yet in my zeal and passion to get on with important business, I found myself becoming so self-absorbed with my destiny and calling that I became impatient with somebody else’s vehicle that got in my way. I had been called to maturity, but couldn’t be patient and understanding with a less mature person. It took Yeshua, the son of God to remind me that He was the one supervising other travelers’ learning process and that I should relax and give everyone on the road space and time to learn at whatever experience level they found themselves.
It might be a good idea for each of us to review 1 Corinthians chapter 13, so that we don’t become so inflated with a sense of our own importance that we forget that the greatest law of God is love.
We are all on a journey together. Some run with the horses. Others must be led gently or carried in the Good Shepherd’s bosom. Yet we are all children of the Creator, made in His image. Let us who are strong not despise the weak, lest we wound them.
Speaking of running with horses, let’s talk about the Pinzgauer.
The Pinzgauer High Mobility, All-Terrain Vehicle is named after an alpine mountain horse from Austria also known as a Noriker. The Noriker is a moderately heavy mountain draft horse with a low centre of gravity, sure-footed, and with a good sense of balance.
The Noriker is considered indigenous to the central Alpine region of Europe, and is believed to have originated around the highest mountain of Austria, the Grossglockner. The breed played an important role in the transportation of goods through the Alps, carrying salt, gold and Celtic iron from Salzburg to Italy, and on the return journey bringing back wine and spices. This use developed a powerful, long, deep-barreled and sure-footed draught horse as an adaptation to the alpine terrain.
Bearing this ancient horse’s name, the Pinzgauer vehicle was originally developed in the late 1960s and manufactured by Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Graz, Austria. The Pinzgauer is one of the most capable all-terrain vehicles ever made. Its capabilities, in some operational scenarios, are better than that of the Humvee and the Land Rover Defender. It can handle terrain in which other vehicles would lose traction, navigating steep slopes, fording water, clearing obstacles, even climbing down fourteen inch drop-offs. It can haul up to 3300 lbs. (1500 kilograms) of payload or can carry up to fourteen passengers.
The Pinzgauer was designed to be reliable and easy to fix. It is shipped with an air-cooled gas engine that was specifically designed for the vehicle
The Pinzgauer has been used as a military vehicle by the armies of at least 16 countries from Argentina to the United States, from the Middle East to Malaysia, and from New Zealand to Eastern Europe. But this extremely versatile, stable, reliable vehicle has also been marketed to the civilian marketplace worldwide for use as campers, farm trucks, ambulances, fire-trucks, rescue vehicles, recreational vehicles, and tourist transports.
Obviously the Pinzgauer in my dream could outperform my Flintstones ATV in every category possible, reminding me that although I may have been called to maturity, I had a long way to go before I could come close to competing with this off-road boss.
Just as the Pinzgauer engine is air-cooled, so a mature follower of God’s way relies every moment upon the wind of the Holy Spirit in order to continue to perform at peak efficiency. And yet the biblical symbolism of the Holy Spirit is not limited to wind, breath, and air. The Spirit of God is also compared to oil. Interestingly, the Pinzgauer has more than one oil pump so that the engine will not get starved of oil no matter how the vehicle is oriented.
It seems that this work horse of a mountain-traversing, adventure-owning vehicle which could accomplish so many difficult tasks effortlessly, represented the most mature of God’s servants, perhaps even angelic ministers. Yet even the mightiest Pinzgauer must yield in respect to the most feeble child when that child is a willing student of Jesus Christ.
Next I found my way blocked by two taxis. Taxis are not personal vehicles. They are commercial vehicles in which a driver will transport passengers who are willing to pay for it.
A taxi driver has no heart or calling. He is doing what he is doing for the money. Symbolically, there are many people and institutions who drive a ministry or public service of some type who are doing so for purely mercenary reasons. They are not soliciting you to come on board with them to be helpful, but to make financial gain from you.
A passenger in a taxi cab has forfeited his own calling and destiny. He is relying on others to take him where he needs to go, but that relinquishment of personal freedom and authority carries a price.
Today you may feel blocked in the vision, destiny, and calling that God has given you, by somebody who has elbowed you out of the way and are offering what God has called you to do, but are commercializing it. They have the money. They have the contacts. They have the social media following. They have the legal power. They have the fame. Yet they are prostituting what should be a labor of love to the needy community simply to pad their own bank account and create a name for themselves.
These taxi drivers may work for various entities. The sign on their door may indicate that they specialize in politics, religion, sports and entertainment, media, education, etc. We may be tempted to join them. It may seem like taking a cab is easier and safer than navigating the road ourselves. Beware! This is not to say that working together with others is wrong. Indeed, the Body of Christ is all about serving each other and working in unity for the common purpose of building the Kingdom of Heaven. But we should ask the Holy Spirit to give us discernment not to jump into any taxi cab that seems to be going our direction. It might cost us more than we are willing to pay, and may take us to a destination that we will regret.
When such taxi cabs seem to block our way, we should ask the Holy Spirit to show us another route in order for us to proceed to our destination without compromising our own inheritance and life calling. Perhaps, our Heavenly Father has allowed that taxi to block our progress in order to encourage us to think outside of the box. Ask Him to make a way where there is no way. In my dream I was able to use the sidewalk to bypass the parked taxis.
Part 3: Broom
In my dream I found myself on foot now. My wife and I were walking down a narrow cobbled street between quaint little shop fronts and homes. But my wife and I were not alone. A girl was with us. She was about 12 or 13 years old and I knew that she was our adopted daughter (although in real life we don’t have an adopted daughter).
In the middle of the street we encountered a woman with a broom. This woman was sweeping, sweeping, sweeping…vigorously sweeping the street. So focused was she on her sweeping that she nearly collided with my wife and daughter. They had to back up suddenly to avoid being knocked over by the sweeping woman. As they backed up, they backed into a door which bumped open, revealing the interior of a home.
Inside the house, people were hiding in fear, cowering under the furniture. I knew that they were afraid of the street-sweeping woman.
At that point the sweeper turned to my wife and adopted daughter and begged them to reassure the people in that home and the other homes up and down the street that she meant them no harm but that it was important for her to sweep their homes as well. So my wife and daughter began going into the houses and telling them not to be afraid let the sweeping woman in to do what she needed to do.
Then the sweeping woman turned to me, pointed her finger at me and this is what she said:
“If you know what is good for you, you will start calling me names!”
At that the dream ended.
The Main Characters
Sometimes in my dream, I am the object of the lesson. Sometimes I am an observer of a message directed elsewhere. In this dream I represent both. I take many of the lessons in this dream to heart and will apply them personally.
Likewise, sometimes dreams that include my wife may contain a message for her. However, based on personal revelation the Lord has given us as well as on Biblical symbolism, my wife often represents the church at large…the bride of Christ. I believe that is the case in this particular dream. The lessons I was learning in the dream apply to the Church as well.
I didn’t know what to make of the adopted daughter. So as I meditated and prayed over the dream, I asked God who the girl was. God replied, “Her name is Hope.”
That has a special meaning for me personally. About a year ago my wife and I had just lost our German Shepherd. This was devastating because he had been our son’s dog. Tragically, in 2012 a treacherous river snatched our 20-year-old son from in an event that left us grieving his premature death without the ability to recover his body. Grieving without closure makes the unexpected loss of a child even more poignant. So the dog was our last living link to our son.
After our son’s dog died, a friend who volunteered for the local animal rescue organization gave us the opportunity to adopt a juvenile female dog that had been abandoned in the woods during an Alaskan winter. She was a walking skeleton and her spirit was broken. She couldn’t even look us in the eye. She would just hunker with head down, ears back, tail tucked and shiver with fear, physical weakness, and low self-confidence. As we accepted her into our home, we began to search for a name. God gave us the name Asha which is a Hindi word meaning “hope”. Asha gave us hope in our double grief and has become a healthy, happy well-adjusted member of our family.
So a young lady named Hope who had been adopted into our family meant a lot to me. She represented the promise of resurrection from the dead. She represented tragedy mitigated by healing and love. She represented new starts and fresh opportunities. She represented…well…hope!
Then there was the woman with the broom. I’ll discuss the broom shortly, but first let’s identify her.
Again, I was at a loss. So I had to ask Holy Spirit to tell me who this woman was. The answer was strange. “Hezbollah”, is what He said, but I also knew that this wasn’t quite right. Yes, she was Hezbollah, but I also knew she had another name. I knew it was a biblical name and that it was very similar to Hezbollah, yet different. It was as if she had dual identities. I did some research and when I came across the name, “Hephzibah”, the Holy Spirit immediately quickened my heart that this was the second name.
“Hezbollah” is Arabic for “Party of God”. It is a political party and militant group that first emerged during Lebanon’s civil war as a militia after the Israeli invasion of that country in 1982. It is responsible for infamous attacks against American military installations in Lebanon in the early 1980s. Hezbollah was declared a terrorist entity by the United States in 2004. Syria and Iran support Hezbollah with money and weapons and have long used Hezbollah as their proxy to directly challenge and battle Israel.
“Hephzibah”, on the other hand, is an extraordinarily beautiful name that is mentioned twice in the Bible. The name means “Delight of the Lord”. Hephzibah expresses a very clear idea. Since the same root hafz means “guarding” or “taking care of,” all words from this root suggest the idea of “safeguarding,” and therefore the name Hephzibah means not only someone who evokes delight, but also “one who is guarded,” a “protected one.”
The first Hephzibah in scripture is the mother of king Manasseh of Judah (2 Kings 21:1). The second Hephzibah occurs in the book of Isaiah, where the prophet lists a small group of nicknames for Zion and Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:4). Centuries-old Jewish stories state that the prophet Isaiah was Hephzibah’s father. How precious that he had spoken of his daughter with the same tenderness and joy that Yahweh felt for Jerusalem after its perfect and complete restoration.
“No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.” Isaiah 62:4
The dual identity of this sweeping woman kind of sounds a lot like the two Jerusalems we discussed in part one. One, Hagar’s son, was given a cup of wrath and judgment to drink, the other, Sarah’s son, was a cup of blessing and protection to drink.
In my dream, Hezbollah/Hephzibah cautioned, “If you know what’s good for you will start calling me names.” In Old Testament times, the Israelites understood the power behind a name. Whether there was actual spiritual blessing or power imparted through a God-given name, or whether the names given simply powerfully influenced the thoughts and beliefs of persons about themselves, the names of the Old Testament characters in many ways predicted or foreshadowed important characteristics or the roles that they would play.
So when this sweeping woman urged me to start calling her names, I believe she was telling me to make sure I properly identify the nature of events in my life. We don’t want to insult Hephzibah by calling her “Hezbollah”, and we don’t want to misidentify Hezbollah as “Hephzibah”. It is just as much of a mistake to call a situation deserted and desolate when it is in fact a delight of the Lord as it is to call something God’s delight, when it is a terrorist organization.
This concept is poignantly illustrated by a homeless shelter for women that was started in the town of Winona Lake, Indiana in 1971 by Ron and Patti Williams. This charity for homeless, addicts, and troubled teen girls was called, Hephzibah House. Sadly it was badly misnamed.
Beatings would take place every night at bed time in the “Blue Room”. According the “Former Hephzibah Girls site,
” Once the girls were in bed for the night, it became a waiting game, as each girl waited for her name to be called, indicating her turn to be taken down to the Blue Room. Each girl knew what was being done to the girl who was called down. They knew from having experienced it themselves. They also knew what was happening because they could hear the cries coming from the girl who was being beaten. These girls were beaten to the point of having bloody, oozing wounds on their backsides (buttocks, legs, and backs). These bloody wounds often had to be bandaged. The proof of these bloody wounds was evident in the trash cans, as girls would see the dressings from another girl’s wounds. Several former students have recounted the story of one particular girl who got up from her folding chair to see that she had bled completely through her bandages and through her uniform onto the chair. This girl was one of the few who was able to successfully run away from Hephzibah House.”
“In addition to the physical beatings, there are many other instances of outright abuse that are far worse than that. The humiliation, the forced vaginal exams, forced enemas, lack of any privacy even for time to use the bathroom. The girls were oftentimes starved as a form of punishment, they were made to do extra work duties, write sentences, or be shadowed. Shadowing was a very embarrassing punishment doled out by the staff ladies. Once on shadow, a girl could not so much as look at any other girl. She was to be a literal “shadow” of her assigned staff lady. She could not speak, look at anyone, or participate in any type of activity. She was to sit on the ground facing the wall at all times. There were several girls who were on shadow for months on end, with absolutely no interaction whatsoever with the other girls. “
“Girls were kept from using the bathroom, and then singled out and forced to wear diapers. Girls were humiliated at every opportunity. Whores, sluts, rebellious…these were all words that were thrown around as descriptions of why we were there in the first place. On drugs, living in the streets, pregnant, or dead…this is what we were told would happen to us if we left Hephzibah House. It was a daily battle that messed with our minds and has left long lasting scars. The affects of this type of emotional and physical trauma carry on for years and years “
Thank God, Hephzibah House (or should we call it Hezbollah House) closed in March of 2020.
It is important to call a spade a spade. It is also important to pray for discernment to understand when God is at work, so that we don’t panic when things don’t go the way we think they should.
Hezbollah/Hephzibah was sweeping the street. With a broom.
To understand this let’s go to the place where a broom is mentioned in scripture. Isaiah 14:23 says,
“I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.”
The King James Version calls the broom a “besom”.
I’m going to quote a large chunk of the chapter now, because I think the context is so critical to understanding the significance of this broom symbolism. Here is Isaiah 14:1-27 in the KJV.
14 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
5 The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
7 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.
8 Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.
9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
22 For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord.
23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.
24 The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.
26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.
27 For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
Whew! Did you make it through? this is a powerful prophecy against Babylon. God is going to deal with its oppression and tyranny. He is going to wipe Babylon out and nothing or nobody is going to be able to stop Him.
The “broom of destruction” in verse 23 refers to housecleaning. The Hebrew word for “broom” is matata, whose root (tet) means “dirt, mire, clay.” Hence, a broom is used to remove dirt from the house. The word translated “destruction” is shamad, “to destroy, desolate, overthrow, lay waste.” God uses a super-broom.
Today, we see God’s super-broom sweeping, sweeping, sweeping the streets of America and Washington DC. This is in accordance with Isaiah’s prophecy of the fall of Babylon’s kings. I believe that Washington is a focal point for us to know what God is doing in the earth. While God uses men to do His work, our focus should not be primarily upon what men do but upon what God is doing. Each one plays a role in the prophetic story, but God is the Director.
The problem is that people don’t understand what is going on. They are calling it Hezbollah, when they should be calling it Hephzibah. They are hiding in terror in their houses fearing the terror, when they should be throwing their doors wide and welcoming God’s broom into their own houses.
The dirt needs to go. All of it. No matter where it is found. It’s time.
The message of the church should be one of reassurance. Hope should walk with her and comfort all that are afraid. The time of our deliverance is here. The day of judgment has come to Hagar’s Jerusalem. For her it is sweeping time. But lift up your heads with hope, Sarah’s Jerusalem. For you, it is fingernail trimming time.
You are Gods delight and are under His protection. Just be understanding and patient with the learners.
I close with a reminder from Psalm 91.
2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Thus saith the Almighty Lord God of Angel Armies!