|@January 30, 2024
|M’Cheyne Plan 2024
Genesis 31:42, 53 (ESV) 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.” … 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac
In the discourse between Jacob and Laban, God is twice referred to as the “Fear of Isaac”. It is a divine title that only occurs in these two places in Scripture and concerns the One whom Isaac revered, the God of Abraham.
Mark 2:17 (ESV) 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
When Jesus responded to the scribes and Pharisees and gave them the illustration of the sick needing a physician, He did not say, “I came to heal” but “I came to call”. It is not a temporal, physical healing that we need but a closeness with Him. Jesus calls sinners to Himself because eternal healing is found only through intimate relationship with Him.
Esther 7:9 (ESV) 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, the gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.”
It was one of the king’s eunuchs, Harbona, who mentioned to the king the gallows prepared for Mordecai by Haman. Planting this seed of thought, the king instructed that Haman be hung on the gallows instead of Mordecai. This demonstrates both that Harbona already knew of Haman’s plot to kill Mordecai and of his influential role as the king’s servant. It also shows how detached the king was from the happenings in his own capital that Mordecai—the man who had previously saved him—was set to be executed.
Romans 2:4–5 (ESV) 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
God is not forbearing and patient that we may have license to live as we please. Doing so would be incredibly unloving and unkind because of the destruction that awaits such a path. Rather, the intended effect of God’s kindness is to lead us to repentance. It is a work of God’s grace that we have been given time and opportunity to see and be mortified by our own sin, turning to Him in desperate need.
Carson on Mark 2
Jesus’s response [to the people] is stunning: “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast” (2:19–20). Here is Jesus, profoundly self-aware, deeply conscious that he himself is the messianic bridegroom, and that in his immediate presence the proper response is joy. The kingdom was dawning; the king was already present; the day of promised blessings was breaking out. This was not a time for mourning, signaled by fasting.
The proper response to being with Jesus is joy, not fasting. The time they spent with Jesus was to be a celebration that the long-awaited Messiah had come. Now between His first and second coming, we resume in our fasting but this practice will no longer be necessary once we reach the glory of His eternal presence.
- J. I. Packer et. al, The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016)
- D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: Volumes 1 & 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006; hosted on thegospelcoalition.org)
- Faithlife Study Bible (Lexham Press, 2016)
- Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
- CSB Study Bible Notes (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017)