Deuteronomy 29 finds Moses addressing the children of Israel recounting how the Lord God brought them out of Egypt and the many miracles that kept them alive in the desert for 40 years. Verses 9-12 say, “Today you are standing, all of you, before the Lord your God—your heads, your tribes, your leaders and your officers…The purpose is that you should enter into the covenant of the Lord…that he can establish you today for himself as a people, and so that for you he will be God.” The Israelites were soon to enter the promised land and they were standing before God in reaffirmation of the covenant that they would be God’s people and he would be their God. There is a lot about “standing” in the Bible.
We are encouraged in Ephesians 6:13 to “having done all, stand.” There are over 100 verses exhorting us to “stand firm.” As believers, we must know that “standing” is important, just by the mere multiple mentions of it in scripture. Galatians 5:1 exhorts us to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” I am reminded of a sermon by Rev. Jacob Duche’ delivered to George Washington’s troops on July 7, 1774 titled “The Duty of Standing Fast In Our Spiritual and Temporal Liberties.” It was essentially required reading for Washington’s troops when they were encamped at Valley Forge. In it, Duche’ described then what many of us face today.
He said, “However severe, my dear Brethren, the loss of our temporal Liberties may be, there is certainly a Bondage far more severe than this, yea, far more cruel, than that of ISRAEL under their EGYPTIAN Task-masters. A Bondage, not only to men, but to the fallen spirits of darkness, seeking to exercise over us a joint power and dominion with our own irregular and corrupt passions. A Bondage universal, from which no Son of Adam hath ever been exempt; a tyranny, whose baleful influences have been felt from the fall of man down to this very day. It has seized not only upon the body, but upon the soul. It has erected its throne in the heart, and from thence imposes its arbitrary decrees. It is confined to no age or sex, no state or condition of human life.” Even today, we are experiencing this tyranny of satan and those who do his work.
Duche’ concluded,” LASTLY, “STAND FAST” by a steady CONSTANCY and PERSEVERANCE. Difficulties unlooked for may yet arise, and trials present themselves sufficient to shake the utmost firmness of human fortitude. Be prepared, therefore, for the worst. Suffer not your spirits to evaporate by too violent an ebullition now. Be not too eager to bring matters to an extremity; lest you should be wearied out by a continued exertion, and your constancy should fail you at the most important crisis. Coolly and deliberately wait for those events which are in the hands of Providence, and depend upon him alone for strength and expedients suited to your necessities.” And so we should take heed of this advice. How we stand is important. For someday, we alone, shall stand before the Lord. May we hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.”