Genesis 25, Matthew 24, Esther 1, Acts 24

DateVersionReading Plan
@January 24, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Genesis 25

Genesis 25:29–30 (ESV) 29 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.)

This is the first mention of Esau being named Edom (meaning “red”) whose descendants became the Edomites. Both Jacob and Esau were renamed, first Esau to Edom then later Jacob to Israel. Interesting to see here is how there is renaming at both Abram/Sarai and Esau/Jacob generations but not at the Isaac/Ishmael generation.

Matthew 24

Matthew 24:24–28 (ESV) 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

Jesus gives strong admonition to avoid false prophets who speak as if He is near when He is not. He not only gives instruction on how to handle such individuals but also that they “will arise”, thus confirming their unavoidability. By this we should be all the more diligent to remain in God’s Word so as not to be children tossed to a fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine. In the end, there will be no questioning His arrival because it will be unmistakable, public and universal.

Esther 1

Esther 1:20–22 (ESV) 20 So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.” 21 This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed. 22 He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people.

Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command, angering him and prompting him to seek counsel from the wise men of the law as to how it should be handled. They proposed a decree that all women were to give honor to their husbands, that the queen was to be deposed and her position given to another. This pleased the king who sent letters to the various provinces to deploy and enact the decree. Later in Esther 3, this same method is used by the king in response to Haman’s call to kill the Jewish people for keeping their own laws rather than those of the king. In both instances, we see a king’s rash decisions that seem largely proceeding from a place of pride.

Acts 24

Acts 24:20–21 (ESV) 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council, 21 other than this one thing that I cried out while standing among them: ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’ ”

The basis of Paul’s trial and the charge among his accusers was his claim that there was resurrection from the dead. Verified innocent of all other wrongdoing, there was nothing else against him they could levy. Examining this further, we see how the gospel of Jesus Christ is the crux of contention. At issue is not the way in which Christians live but whose name we seek to glorify. As with Paul, a faithful walk with the Lord gives no warrant for discord except that of heralding the risen Christ. It is offensive to the world in the same way light is offensive to darkness and truth is to lies.

Carson on Matthew 24

(Referring to Jesus’ return) faithful servants will always be ready. Obviously a homeowner in a dicey neighborhood doesn’t know when a thief will turn up. Rather, he takes such precautions that he is always prepared. The point is not that Jesus’s return at the end of the age is sneaky—like the approach of the thief—brutal, or exploitative. The point, rather, is that although the timing of his return cannot be predicted, he will come, and his people should be as prepared for it as the homeowner in the insecure neighborhood is prepared for the arrival of the thief (whose timing is equally unpredictable). “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (24:44).

It is interesting to think on Jesus’ return as one living in a dicey neighborhood and expecting a break-in. We are to live in certainty of His coming while simultaneously uncertain of the timing. Ours is to be a sustainable state of calm and readiness so as not to be taken by false projection or become weary in anticipation.