BEING WATCHED - Month of February

By Judy Nichols

February 1, 2018


 Sometimes reading a different translation of the Bible can give you a whole different take on a passage of Scripture. That happened to me this week. My usual Bible (the NASB) translates Exodus 12:42 as, "It is a night to be observed for the Lord for having brought them out from the land of Egypt." This speaks to me of the observance of the Passover feast which was to be continued in perpetuity as a memorial of the exodus. In fact, the second clause of the verse says as much.

    My new study Bible (ESV) translates the verse, "It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt." That says something entirely different to me. The purpose of the plagues was that both Israel and Egypt would know that God was in charge. They demonstrated that His power is infinitely greater than that of Pharaoh and Egypt’s gods. They also demonstrated His great love for His people, the lengths to which He would go to secure their release and fulfill His promise to Abraham.

    One might be tempted to think that God, having secured the okay from Pharaoh by having broken his will, judged his gods, and ruined his land, would dust off His hands and sit back on His throne after a job well done. But that is not what He did. No, He watched all night long as every household hurriedly gathered up their belongings and made their way out of their slavery in Egypt. He wanted to make sure everything went according to plan.

    If a parallel can be drawn between Israel’s release from physical slavery in Egypt and a believer’s release from spiritual slavery to sin, then this translation gives me great comfort. God is in charge. His power is infinite. And my release from bondage to sin is a matter of great concern to Him. He orchestrates circumstances, sends the Holy Spirit to bring conviction, softens my heart and breaks my stubborn pride, all to ensure that I am set free. And He watches every step of the way. And this doesn’t happen just once, when an unbeliever turns to Christ. It happens over and over as we grow and mature in Him.

    In this age when it seems almost everything that can be known about us is known through our use of technology, it is easy to imagine we are being watched, and not for our own good. "Big Brother is watching you" seems almost too real. But the truth is that our Good Father is the One who is watching. He is watching and working to see that every blood-washed child of His is released from the clutches of sin. And that is definitely for our good, for our good and His glory.

© Judy Nichols 2017

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