Thursday, October 26, 2006

To boldly go

I seem to remember many years ago reading a holiday advertisement about following the route Moses took through the wilderness. The “holiday” promised lots of sand, camels, an oasis or two and lots of nomads. I was interested but it was entirely out of the question as I quite broke at the time.

This morning I was reading Numbers 33. It is itinerary of all the stops and starts along the route to the Promised Land.

What caught my attention came quite near the beginning of the chapter. In v 3 it reads “The people of Israel left defiantly, in full view of all the Egyptians.” That’s the NLT version. The Egyptians had been their enemies, mistreating them for many years, but after God had intervened with all the plagues, culminating in the death of the first-born, the threat that they posed was gone. There Egyptians no longer had power to dictate their lives.

I loved the word “defiantly” and the phrase “in full view”. The Israelites did not creep out of Egypt in the middle of the night, on tiptoe, with their camels hooves wrapped in cloth to stop them making any noise. They did not leave the country apologetically, sorry that they were leaving buildings unfinished. They left “defiantly”!

Other translations of the verse are really worth reading too.

“They marched out boldly in full view of the Egyptians.” (NIV)

“They marched out heads held high and confident…and the Egyptians watched them go.” (The Message)

“The Israelites went out of Egypt with a high hand and triumphantly in the sight of all the Egyptians.” (The Amplified Bible)

Defiantly, boldly, with confidence and triumphantly are words and phrases that paint a strong picture. Their enemies watched and could do nothing to stop them from leaving.

Satan is our enemy and when he was forced to hand over the keys of Hades to Jesus, he could only watch as hell emptied. He could do nothing to stop the souls he had imprisoned there from following Jesus. I bet they all marched out defiantly, boldly, with confidence and triumphantly!

God delivered His people from the hands of their enemies and in Christ, through His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the grave – God has delivered me!

I want to walk each day defiantly, boldly, with confidence and triumphantly letting the enemy know that he has lost. He has no authority over me and he cannot dictate how I should live my life! I want to stop being apologetic about my faith. I want to stop walking on tiptoe afraid to disturb people.

What enabled the Israelites to be so defiant and bold was not in anything they had done, but in everything that God had done for them. God had secured their freedom just as He has secured mine.

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