Exodus 15, Luke 18, Job 33, 2 Corinthians 3

DateVersionReading Plan
@March 4, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Exodus 15

Exodus 15:25–26 (ESV) 25 And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.”

After three days in the wilderness without water, Israel reached Marah which had water but it was bitter. The people grumbled against Moses who cried out to the LORD and was shown a log to be thrown into the water to make it sweet. The LORD then made a statute with the people that He would be their healer and not put any of the Egyptian diseases on them if they would diligently listen to His voice and do what is right in His eyes.

One of the more pressing things to see in this account is the order of events. God first healed the water, demonstrating His willingness and capability to be their Healer. Once proven, He then made for them the statute. In this we see how faith in God is by no means blind. He has given ample reason and opportunity to obey Him and, by His Spirit, has provided for us the means to do so.

Luke 18

Luke 18:22 (ESV) 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

A rich ruler said that he had kept all necessary commandments from his youth, but Jesus told him he lacked one thing: selling all that had, distributing it to the poor, that he may have treasures in heaven and come follow Him. Again, the order here is crucial. Jesus did not tell the man to follow Him and then sell all that he had. All that he had was to be sold first as an act of faithful obedience. We see this also in Matt. 16:24 when Jesus told His disciples that if anyone would come after me, “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” It is self-denial → taking ones cross → following Him.

Job 33

Job 33:29–30 (ESV) 29 “Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, 30 to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be lighted with the light of life.

In Elihu’s rebuke of Job, he speaks of how God brings back a man’s soul from the pit and be lighted with the light of life. God often does this through discipline, which Tim Keller once said is “a controlled form of suffering”. It is because He has chosen to adopt us as sons and daughters that He does such things. “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” (Heb. 12:7-8)

2 Corinthians 3

2 Corinthians 3:3 (ESV) 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

The people were themselves a letter from Christ that was written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God on tablets of human hearts. This is us, the church of Christ-followers, who deliver the message of the gospel by what has been written by the Spirit on our transformed hearts. It is simply the reading out loud of who He is and what He has done; His glory, His majesty, His power to deliver. It is already there, already written, beckoning us to give it our voice of proclamation.

Carson on Luke 18

The fourth unit (18:18–30) finds Jesus telling a rich ruler to sell all that he has and give to the poor, if he is to have treasure in heaven, and then follow Christ. Does this mean that only penurious asceticism will enjoy the blessings of heaven? Is it not Christ’s way of stripping off this particular person’s real god, the pathetic ground of his self-confidence, so that he may trust Jesus and follow him wholly?

Carson makes an important point that wealth is not itself the issue but rather it replacing God as the source of confidence and security. This continues to be deeply convicting as I can often take comfort in a growing bank balance, thinking that it somehow provides a safety net against unanticipated calamity.