Exodus 13, Luke 16, Job 31, 2 Corinthians 1

DateVersionReading Plan
@March 2, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Exodus 13

Exodus 13:21–22 (ESV) 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.

God led the people of Israel by way of the wilderness to the Red Sea as a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. This is the first instance in the OT where we see God’s guidance of the people in this way. As Matthew Henry puts it, these pillars were a “constant standing miracle”. It is often referred to as the “Shikinah Glory”, with “shikinah” being the Hebrew word for “dwell”.

Luke 16

Luke 16:29–31 (ESV) 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man pleaded for Abraham to warn his brothers lest they also come into the place of torment. Abraham told the man that his brothers had Moses and the Prophets to hear, but the man insisted this would not be enough. Abraham ended the exchange by saying that if the brothers were unconvinced by Moses and the Prophets then neither would they be if someone should rise from the dead. In this compelling story, we see both the sufficiency of existing revelation for saving faith and that, despite its presence, many will remain unconvinced. If someone is truly blind, they are no more able to see the light of the sun than that of a candle.

Job 31

Job 31:24–28 (ESV) 24 “If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence, 25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much, 26 if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, 27 and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, 28 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.

Job speaks of his understanding that placing anything above God would be an iniquity punishable by the judges. Job was a wealthy person, but no amount of riches compared to his faith in God. When it was all taken from him, he blessed the name of the Lord (Job 1:21). Job provides for us a wonderful model of steadfast faith and the all-surpassing value of the Lord that transcends any circumstance.

2 Corinthians 1

2 Corinthians 1:5–6 (ESV) 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.

In the opening section of his letter, Paul helps us to see the close relationship between suffering and comfort. Paul was imprisoned at this point and many assumed that his sufferings were a sign of a weakened ministry. However, he makes clear that it was his suffering that actually enabled the spread of the gospel. The comfort he then speaks is the benefit to the church yielded by his suffering. We see in Paul how the sharing of the gospel will come at great cost by our suffering, proclaiming the news of the only lasting comfort to be found in Christ Jesus.

Carson on Luke 16

The idea [of the parable of the shrewd manager] is not that we can buy heaven, but that it is unimaginably irresponsible not to plan for our home, when even the people of this world know enough to prepare for their future homes.

Carson is helpful here to unpack this somewhat strange and confusing parable. Jesus is not promoting unlawful means to obtain wealth, but that it would be unwise to remain idle and not work toward a fruitful future. There are basic needs that must be met. We should diligent in the fulfillment of these needs as well as discerning in how this can be done honorably.