While I spend most of my Bible study time in saturation, every few years I enjoy reading through the entire Bible to compliment and enhance my saturation study. The last year and a half, I have been listening to the Bible on my iPod whenever I drive back and forth between home and the office. But last week I decided to add a new flavor to the mix. A great friend and I decided to read the entire Bible through in 90 days. Yep, the entire thing.I came across a Bible in the bookstore the other day called “The Bible in 90 Days.” Nothing fancy about it; in fact, besides an introduction and start and stop points, it is no different than any other Bible. The concept is to read 12 pages a day (in this large print, thinline Bible) – allowing one to read the entire Bible through in the 90 days. I loved this idea because while most year-long Bibles are a great idea, this format allows you to engage the text in an intense-short period of time – allowing an individual to experience the text and see parallels, connections, and emphasis perhaps they would miss when they take longer to read through Scripture.
This evening I was concluding the remainder of yesterday’s passage and starting on today’s, when I noticed a profound verse in Exodus. Let me set the stage. The Israelites just left Egypt after God demonstrated His power through the plagues. They are pressed up against the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army closing in from behind. They begin to worry and cry out – along with a bunch of complaints about dying in the desert and a desire to return to their slave drivers in Egypt. But Moses gives them a resounding response:
Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14.13-14)
It is important to note that the Israelites never had to lift a finger. They didn’t have cause to worry or be afraid (or complain). They merely had to lean back, rest and be still before the Lord – allowing Him to do their fighting and produce the victory.
What enemies in your life are pressing you into a corner and causing you to be afraid and become discouraged? Throughout Scripture, Egypt is often seen as a symbol for sin and the tyranical rulership over an individual (slavery to sin). Are there areas in your life where sin has control of you? Is there sin in your life AT ALL? If so, even an ounce of sin becomes a tyranical ruler in your life, even if you don’t yet see it as such. Like the Israelites, we sometimes become so accustomed to slavery in “Egypt” we forget that God wants us free and living in the Land of Promise, the land that is flowing with milk and honey (often a Biblical symbol for the Spirit-filled life). If you find yourself under Egypt’s dominating thumb or closed in with sin breathing down your neck, allow Jesus to fight for you and produce the victory in you. You merely need to rest and trust Him to do it. Do not be afraid. Rather, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord brings forth in your life. If you are bombarded by sin and oppression, you don’t need another program, a self-help group, more discipline, or more things to do – you only need Him. Jesus is your sole solution to every problem you face in life. Be still.