|@February 10, 2024
|M’Cheyne Plan 2024
Genesis 43:23 (ESV) 23 He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
Joseph’s brothers had returned to Egypt with the money that was replaced in their sacks and were afraid that they would be assaulted. The steward of Joseph’s house reassured them that they had no need to be afraid. A couple of things stand out here. First, that it seems likely the steward knew of Joseph’s plan as Joseph had not yet arrived to greet his brothers. The other is that the steward told them that is was their God who put the treasure back in their sacks. He did not just attribute any god, but the one, true God as the ultimate source of blessing.
Mark 13:17–18, 32 (ESV) 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. … 32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
It seems at times difficult to reconcile Jesus’ deity with His absence of knowledge surrounding the Day of the Lord. Yet, here Jesus makes clear that only the Father knows and that we should pray for the Day to come at an opportune time. As John Piper once said, we are to be in a state of “ready, alert, lively expectation of the coming of the Lord”.
Job 9:2, 33 (ESV) 2 “Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God? … 33 There is no arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both.
Job answers in agreement to Bildad (and possibly to Eliphaz’s previous statement), but questions how man can be right before God. He expounds on the greatness of God, His divine abilities, actions and attributes, and that His tempest is crushing. Job confesses that there is no arbiter between himself and God, illuminating the great chasm that lies between man and his Creator. None have the power to cross on his own as all fall short of the glory of God. It is only by God’s grace that this distance can be covered and praise be to Him such has been given in the blood of Christ.
Romans 13:1–2 (ESV) 13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
The idea that every earthly authority has been sovereignly placed can be challenging as we look on the horrific conduct of many rulers today along with those throughout history. We can ask why a benevolent God would appoint these individuals knowing all that will result from their employ. The antidote to such thinking is to be reminded of the big story of God and that every person, every event, every tumultuous season rolls up into something much larger. As His children, our ability to endure every circumstance is directly proportionate to how much our eyes are fixed on Christ, His unfailing goodness and master plan.
Carson on Mark 13
[Referring to the disciples admiring the buildings in Mark 13:1] it is possible to be far too impressed by wealth, power, architecture, fame, learning, physical prowess, and technology, with the result that we do not think through the moral and spiritual dimensions of the world around us. We may see the glory, and overlook the shame; we may detect human accomplishments, and neglect the undergirding idolatry; in short, we may be impressed by all that impresses God’s fallen image-bearers, but fail to assess these realities in the light of the cross and in the light of eternity.
What a wonderful word on how our perspective on the world should be shaped by the gospel. There is nothing inherently wrong with placing value on the creations of man but we are not to esteem them to a level higher than God. With our focus rightly placed on God, we are able to see the brokenness and temporality of this world, mindful of the blessed eternal glory that awaits His children.
- 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)
- John Piper, Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Second Coming of Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2023)