“Joshua spied out the land, which represents dispassion or purity of heart. To achieve this purity, one first leaves Egypt, which stands for the actual committing of sin. Then he crosses the Red Sea, which indicates detachment from material things. Thirdly, he dwells in the desert, which lies between the impulse to sin and the outward fulfillment of these impulses. Only then can he spy out the promised land of dispassion and then enter it to partake of the milk and honey (Ex 3:8), which refer to the spiritual riches of God’s kingdom.”Elias the Presbyter
I thought to share this passage before starting the Great Lent. I found this passage very applicable to my daily life. The journey of Isreal from Egypt to the Promised land is the same as our journey from baptism till we depart. We will not be able to reach our promised land (kingdom of heaven) unless we struggle in the wilderness (this world) against our passions. Virgin Mary took on this fight and struggle all her life.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how this can be applied to your life.
If you want to know more about Elias the Presbyter, click here.
This translation is from The Orthodox Study Bible. You can download the iOS App from App Store. Or you can find it on Amazon in Kindle and Hardcover formats.
Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, Elk Grove, California. The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008.
The crossing of the Red sea – ‘detachment from material things ‘- is, for most of us, our nemesis – in our daily lives, this Red Sea reaches out it’s tentacles (makes me think of an octopus) but really the enemy which we all fight off.
And so, we must consciously, each day, put on Christ! to fight off this enemy and be AWARE, in our minds and hearts, of the evils surrounding us and the battle we have to fight, with the grace of God!
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