In 1902, Joseph Bryant Rotherham produced a translation of the Scriptures called “The Emphasised Bible”. It was widely acclaimed as thoroughly researched and true to the original Hebrew and Greek. By today’s standard, the language can seem old-fashioned, but sometimes that is the very thing that will illuminate a thought. Take, for instance, Philippians 2:12-14, “So, then, my beloved—even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but, now, much more, in my absence, with fear and trembling, your own salvation, be working out; For it is, [Yahweh], who energiseth within you, both the desiring and the energising, in behalf of his good pleasure. All things be doing, apart from murmurings and disputings.” I was delighted with the quaintness of this recently.
I love the challenge, “…your own salvation, be working out…” Not that we have any input into that original, wonderful gift of salvation, which is freely given [because of Calvary] when we repent of our sin. No, the apostle is challenging us to cultivate our salvation with tenderness of conscience. Urging us to bring it to completeness with a sense of respect and awe, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend Yahweh, or discredit the name of Yahshua. “…with fear and trembling, your own salvation, be working out!” And then, in case this challenge may seem overwhelming, Paul conditions us to expect inside help! He assures us that Yahweh “…energiseth within you, both the desiring and the energising, in behalf of his good pleasure.” Isn’t that lovely? Yahweh is so good to us – He covers all the bases! Through His divine power, He “…has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” [2 Peter 1:3 italics added], even energising the desire to do things well!
Until I read Rotherham’s version, I had not connected verse 14 to these scriptures. But how beautifully “…All things be doing, apart from murmurings and disputings…” dovetails in. We must be energised to cultivate the seed of salvation, doing all that needs to be done without even a hidden murmur or grumble. Whatever He commands, whatever comes our way, wherever He may lead us, let us ‘all things be doing’!