Exodus 17, Luke 20, Job 35, 2 Corinthians 5

DateVersionReading Plan
@March 6, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Exodus 17

Exodus 17:6 (ESV) 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.

The Israelites were encamped at Rephidim, but there was no water to drink. The people quarreled with Moses to give them water and it escalated in questioning why they were brought out of Egypt to die of thirst. Moses cried out to the LORD who told him to strike the rock at Horeb and that water shall come out to drink. However, it was what the LORD said before He gave instruction to strike the rock that seems particularly noteworthy: “Behold, I will stand before you there at the rock at Horeb”

It was God’s presence in the moment of rock-striking that allowed the water to flow. Moses had his role in the event, but without God working to bring forth the water, there would be none. It is a wonderful example of God instructing His people but also being with them to bring about a profitable end.

Luke 20

Luke 20:45–47 (ESV) 45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Reading this passage, I was reminded of a sermon from years ago where a pastor asked which of the groups of people in the NT we would most identify: 1) Jesus’ followers, 2) Israelites, 3) Gentiles or 4) scribes and Pharisees. Being a man of Scripture and doctrine, the pastor humbly admitted that he would likely be a Pharisee. At this point, I find myself very much in the same camp, to be easily found among those who loved the Scriptures more than the One to whom they point. It is deeply troublesome in this season in which so much sin and cold orthodoxy has been exposed. I continue to pray that God would warm my heart to love Jesus more than anything and to be His love to others.

Job 35

Job 35:2–6 (ESV) 2 “Do you think this to be just? Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’ 3 that you ask, ‘What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?’ 4 I will answer you and your friends with you. 5 Look at the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you. 6 If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?

Elihu answers Job in reproof that he was claiming a higher righteousness that God by saying that it does not profit a man to be righteous. Elihu tells Job that his transgressions accomplish nothing against God either in harm or benefit. While the context is harsh rebuke, there is an underlying truth about God’s constitution to be found here. As broken individuals, we sin against a holy God, but this does not change Him in any way. He is the immovable, immutable Rock, “a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling” (Is. 8:14), a “precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation” (Is. 28:16).

2 Corinthians 5

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

There is so much to unpack from this verse. At the beginning we see the recipients of God’s grace in that Jesus’ death on the cross was for our sake. He took on the entirety of God’s wrath against man upon Himself so that we would be redeemed and His glory would be magnified. Jesus was sinless but made to be sin on our behalf so that He would be our worthy sacrifice. Both His sinlessness and the placement of all sin upon Him are required propitiatory components. By this, our sins are not only wiped away completely, but we are credited (imputed) the righteousness of Christ in order to become the righteousness of God.

Carson on Luke 20

We shall focus on the parable of the tenants (20:9–19). The story becomes more comprehensible to Western minds when we recall that these “tenant farmers” in the first-century culture were not simply employees (in the modern sense), but workers tied to an entire social structure. They owed the owner of the vineyard not only a percentage of the produce, but respectful allegiance. Their treatment of the servants he sent was not only harsh and greedy, but shameful. That he should send his son would not be thought of as a stupid act on his part: it would simply be unthinkable for them to kill him.

This is a fascinating contextual and cultural analysis on the parable of the tenants. Knowing that they were not simply employees of the man who owned the vineyard makes their actions all the more vile. It also makes the retributive justice employed by the vineyard owner in the killing of the wicked “tenant farmers” more comprehensible. Ultimately, this gives greater understanding to what the this parable aims to illustrate, namely that the Jews who rejected Christ would be destroyed and that others would take their place of privilege.