Signs Of The Times
And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Luke 21:25-26 NKJV
Past the quaking earth and stormy seas...there is another sign to see. This sign is not to warn us of impending danger, but rather to reassure our hearts in the midst of it all. It was revealed right around this time of year thousands of years ago in Egypt, yet it's been around even longer; and for those with eyes to see...this sign can still be seen today. Let me explain.
The Greek word for "sign" used above in Luke's Gospel is semeion (Strong's #4592). I like to find the Hebrew equivalent of Greek words because each Hebrew letter has its own story to tell. Every letter has a number and an ancient pictograph. Therefore, they paint a spiritual picture for us to ponder.
The Hebrew equivalent for the word "sign" is 'owt (pronounced, oat; Strong's #226). A sign/'owt is: a mark, a token, a standard, a sign, a miracle, proof and/or warning. It is used of a sign in the sky, a sign of divine power, and also the sign of the covenant.
'Owt is found in many places in Scripture, but with Passover and Resurrection Sunday just celebrated, I thought we could look at Exodus 12:13. Here our word 'owt is representing the last and final plague that would be sent to Egypt so that the Pharaoh would let God's people go. It is written, "The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt."
This 'owt/sign was the blood of the lamb applied to the doorposts of their houses. When the Lord saw the 'owt/sign, He would pass over the household, and the family that was nestled inside would be safe from the tenth and final plague, the death of the firstborn.
This stunning event in history foreshadows an even more amazing event when Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, willingly laid down His life for humanity and suffered and died upon the Cross of Calvary and rose again in order to take away the sins of the world. By spiritually applying His shed Blood to the doorposts of our hearts, God passes over our sins and grants us eternal life. That alone is enough to meditate on for hours on end. Let's look at the Hebrew letters that spell the word 'owt/sign and see what they reveal.
What is the Sign of the Times?
In Hebrew, the word for sign is 'owt (pronounced as "oat"; Strong's #226) 'Owt is spelled aleph vav tav. It's only three letters, but they paint a spiritual masterpiece. Let's start with the first letter in our 'owt/sign, which is the aleph.
Aleph: The aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is a picture of silent sacrifice. I use that wording for two reasons. First, because the aleph makes no sound; it is, literally, a silent letter. Secondly, it is the ancient pictograph of an animal of sacrifice, a strong ox. Can you see how the aleph portrays a silent sacrifice?
We read of the suffering Messiah in Isaiah 53:7, "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth."
In Revelation 22:13, Jesus referred to Himself as the Alpha and Omega, which are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. I believe that He is hinting that the alphabet will provide revelation about Him. Jesus is the Word (the Hebrew alphabet) that was made flesh. The Aleph and the Tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
With that in mind, let's skip to the third letter in 'owt, which is the tav.
Tav: The tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is the pictograph of a cross! Yes you read that right...a cross. The tav symbolizes ownership, making a covenant, or joining two things together, a sign or a mark. We see this unique sign, which is the tav (Strong's #8420), in the book of Ezekiel, as a divine mark placed on a person's forehead to protect them.
How profound that in Exodus we see the blood of the lamb being the 'owt/sign that would protect them, and in Ezekiel we see the tav written on the forehead as the sign of protection. However, there is something even more profound to me regarding the connection of the word we are studying ('owt) with the name of God being the mark on the foreheads of His servants in the book of Revelation. In modern day Hebrew, 'owt also means "letter" and/or "signature." It is used as a single letter like the letters in our English alphabet, A-Z, or like the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph-Tav, yet it is also used to mean signature.
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. Revelation 22:3-4
Because of the Cross of Christ we have been marked as His own precious possession (1 Peter 2:9). We are sealed in His Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13).
I can hear the voice of the Lord in my spirit saying, "Pharaoh, devils of this day, let My people go! They are precious to Me and they are free to worship Me." May no weapon that is formed against us in these troubling times prosper! Amen and Amen!
Last, but certainly not least, we look at the center letter, the letter that the sages consider is the heart of the word. The center letter in 'owt is the vav.
Vav: This little letter is the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Six is the number of man, for on the sixth day God created man. The pictograph of the vav is a nail. Interestingly, the vav also represents our English word "and," thus it is a letter of connection because the word "and" connects thoughts and phrases when writing.
In this case, in our word study for sign/'owt, our letter vav is connecting our first letter (aleph) to the last letter (tav) with a nail. Therefore, spiritually speaking, we can look at this 'owt/sign as the strong, silent sacrifice that came in the form of man and was nailed to the Cross in order to bring a new covenant. Placing His seal of ownership upon those with the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts of their hearts, we can cry out, Abba Father.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold, or in danger or threatened with death? No! Beloved, look at the sign. Death can't separate us, life can't, the angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of Hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are all desperately seeking a sign of something secure that we can hold onto in the days we are living in. Yet we have this sign of the times. Not the signs of the horror but the sign of the Hope. Behold the Lamb of God! What a wondrous sign to see when the world seems to be spinning out of control. The earth may quake, the storms may surround, our hearts may tremble, but in the midst of mayhem, we have this sign promise. We belong to the Lord. Nothing can take us from His hands. Amen and Amen.
Tiffany Ann Lewis
Dancing with The Flame of the Lord Ministries