In our often treacherous world, how can we stay strong enough to complete our journey?
[Darris McNeely] In part 1 of the series we’re doing on the Night to Be Observed , we talked about the night that Israel was led by God out of Egypt, out of the slavery that they had been there for hundreds of years, and led to a new life and delivered from Egyptian slavery. He said on that night that it was to be a night to be observed throughout their generations, and a night to be not forgotten, but to be observed. One of the translations also used the word “vigil” – a night of watching, or a night of vigilance, that was for them on that night when they came out, which was the nighttime portion of the fifteenth day of the month of God. When we bring that into our own lives today, there’s some very important lessons for us to learn, in terms of that – keying off that idea of observing, or watching, or being vigilant.
In 1 Peter chapter 5, Peter talks about the fact that we are to be vigilant, watching ourselves because Satan our adversary is like a roaring lion who is seeking to devour our lives (1 Peter 5:8-11 1 Peter 5:8-11 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brothers that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
American King James Version×). And that is a daily need for us to recognize in a hostile world in which we live that essentially, God can deliver us. He does – just as He delivered Israel from Egypt, He can deliver us from the times we live in, the perils, the problems – if we are watching and if we are vigilant.
There’s another teaching from Jesus on the – as told in the gospels, on the night that He was betrayed and arrested before His death. He took His disciples in to the Garden of Gethsemane, in Matthew chapter 36 – 26, actually, verse 36 – 46. The account shows how He left some of His disciples and He said, “Watch and pray, I’ll go over here”, and He did and He prayed. He came back and He found them asleep. And He admonished them, “Watch and pray – can’t you do that with Me?”. And they couldn’t. They fell asleep. That was a lesson, and it’s a lesson for us today, that we have to be very, very careful„ to watch, to be vigilant in our own lives, spiritually, that we are not overcome, we are not overtaken by the cares of this life and by the fatigue that can set in from righteousness, and from working against evil and the sin of this life and of this time (Matthew 26:36-45 Matthew 26:36-45 36 Then comes Jesus with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, Sit you here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: tarry you here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.
40 And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, your will be done.
43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
45 Then comes he to his disciples, and said to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
American King James Version×).
This Night to Be Observed that God took Israel out of Egypt ties in with the Passover of the Old Testament, and the Passover of the New Testament – the night that Jesus was betrayed when He told His own disciples to watch – as a lesson for us to keep a vigil, a spiritual vigil, a spiritual watch in our lives throughout the year. We live in a fascinating period of history and our lives right now are dependent upon us resisting the culture and the pulls of this world, overcoming it, while we live within it, using God’s strength, using God’s power.
The powerful lessons that are in the Passover, the Night to Be Observed, and the Days of Unleavened Bread, and this wonderful festival period should help us to understand exactly how we are to watch and to be vigilant. There are important lessons for each of us to understand as we think about what God did for Israel and what He does for us today, delivering us spiritually from the penalty of sin, and then giving us the help through His Holy Spirit to live a righteous life and to overcome sin and to put it from our own lives. Be vigilant. Be watchful. Pray always. Learn the lessons of the Night to Be Observed.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.