The Bible in a Year – 22 January

If this is your first viewing, please see my Introduction before reading this.

22 January. Exodus chapters 13-15

The Exodus from Egypt, and more specifically the crossing of the Red (or Reed) Sea, is a pivotal moment in the history of salvation.  This one day on which (if the numbers are taken literally) hundreds of thousands of people walked across the dried up salt marsh, to be followed by the Egyptian army whose chariots got bogged down and drowned by the returning waters, is the basis of much Jewish and Christian theology. Through the rest of the Bible it is frequently referred to as the ultimate proof that God saves those who call on him, as well as that the people of Israel were his chosen people. The passage of the Israelites through the water is also often seen as a symbol or foretaste of the sacrament of baptism as practised first by John at the Jordan, and later by the Christian church, and also a symbol of death and resurrection.


Moses is similarly held up by later writers as the model of a “man of faith”.  First he had had to confront Pharaoh on the basis of God’s promise that eventually the ruler would let his people go.  Now he faces an even greater challenge of faith – he is told that by the simple act of waving his staff at the waters in front of them, his people will be saved and the Egyptians destroyed.  If nothing happened, they pursuers would overtake them and all would be lost. But he acts, and is vindicated.  May God grant us enough faith to do what he has commanded us, however simple.

The Bible in a Year – 19 January

If this is your first viewing, please see my Introduction before reading this.

19 January. Exodus chapters 4 – 6

When Moses is given instructions on negotiating with Pharaoh for the release of his people, his complaint (to God!) is that he is not eloquent in speech – the same claim was made by St Paul (regarded as one of the most influential evangelists and writers of the early church) and is echoed in Isaiah’s “I am a man of unclean lips” (in fact a footnote tells us that Moses literally said “I am uncircumcised of lips”, much the same idea). So God suggests that his brother Aaron does the talking, while he gifts Moses with the ability to perform miracles that will outdo the tricks of the Egyptian magicians. It often seems to be the case that people are reluctant to recognise ways in which they can be of service to God, thinking that because they may not be “perfect” they are unworthy to serve at all. But in fact it is “in weakness that God’s power is made perfect”, and if we recognise in us the urging of the Holy Spirit towards some kind of service (be it preaching, evangelism, pastoral care, community service or political engagement) then we should pray for confidence and opportunities to put that call into practice, not shrink from the task on the grounds of inexperience.