Well, hey stranger!
It's been a minute since an email from me has showed up in your inbox. I hope you had a wonderful month!
My plan for this email was to write about my thoughts on a book that I'm currently reading, Scary Close by Donald Miller. (It's a phenomenal book. You should read it.)
And then, last night, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw someone had posted about Exodus 14:14. "The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." (In some translations it ends with "... you need only be still." As I laid in bed, that verse turned over and over again in my head, almost like the Lord was asking me to open up my Bible and dig into this verse. So I did.
I looked up the Hebrew word for the phrase to be silent. The word is charash which means to plow. And this caught me off guard. The Hebrew word for to be silent is an active verb. Say what?
So, I followed the trail a little further and I looked up the English definition for plow.
"To turn up the earth of (an area of land) with a plow; especially before sowing."
And I kept on digging. The definition of sow is "to set something in motion."
By this time I was sitting on my living floor close to screaming because the Bible is SO COOL. Let's recap, shall we?
Exodus 14:14. "The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." The Lord is our defender. He fights our battles for us. Deuteronomy 20:4 says, "For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory." The battle is His. And He calls us to let Him fight it. The victory is His, and ours in Him. We are called to be still. Silent. Enter our verb.
In Exodus 14:14, Moses says to the Israelites, as they are on the edge of the Red Sea, to be silent and let the Lord do the work. As I think about all of the battles I try and fight on my own, it's exhausting. I try to pull something from myself to make something happen or resolve an issue in my life. But I know, my heart truly desires nothing more than to let God actually fight my battles. But how do I do that? How do I be still? Remember, in this verse, be still is translated in Hebrew as to plow. And plow means tilling the ground in preparation for sowing, or setting something in motion.
God wants us to be patient and let Him fight our battles. He wants us to find rest (Matthew 11:28) in Him. As we dig into His word and prayer, as we grow closer to Him and do the work and live the life that He has put in front of us, this prepares us for the next work God has prepared for us, the "setting in motion" of the next thing He is going to do in our lives. We need only be silent, tending to the earth of our hearts in study of Him. Plowing, tilling, cultivating our lives in such a way that put Him in the drivers seat and us in expectation of what He's going to do.
In the few verses after verse 14, the Lord commands Moses to stretch out his hand over the Red Sea. When Moses does this, God parts the waters and the Israelites are able to walk to the other side, as the Egyptian army drowns behind them. The Lord didn't call Moses and the Israelites to be on the sidelines. He called them, and calls us, to be in the battle with Him. To remember that He has already won. He has work for us to do as we plow the fields here on Earth and are expectant of what He will do next.