Exodus 18, Luke 21, Job 36, 2 Corinthians 6

DateVersionReading Plan
@March 7, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Exodus 18

Exodus 18:21 (ESV) 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.

Moses was alone in judging among the people, a process described in Exod. 18:13 as taking from morning to evening. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, told Moses that what he was doing was not good and that he needed to delegate this task to trustworthy men who feared God and hate a bribe. The qualifications of the men to be selected are somewhat similar to Paul’s instruction for elders and overseers in places such as 1 Tim. 3:1-12 and Titus 1:5-9, although not as detailed. It is good to see in this how the appointment men over the people of God has remained consistent, reserved only for men who demonstrate a high level of godly character.

Luke 21

Luke 21:34–36 (ESV) 34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

For much of this chapter, Jesus foretells coming destruction and wars. He ends this discourse with an admonition to remain watchful and to not be weighed down with carousing and cares of this life because the day will come suddenly like a trap. No one knows this day except the Father, not even the Son (Matt. 24:36), but the way in which we live should reflect a level of diligent readiness, assured of Jesus’ second advent to reap the harvest and gather His people to Himself.

Job 36

Job 36:21 (ESV) 21 Take care; do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction.

Elihu warns Job to not turn to iniquity as a substitute for affliction. Elihu wanted instead for Job to accept the discipline of God and learn why He had placed him in such a difficult situation. In this context, Elihu is making a blanket exhortation on Job’s circumstances, but there is truth here to extract. It is no picnic to be faced with adversity or conflict, but we are not to choose an iniquitous path as a means of avoidance. God can and often does employ times of affliction in order to bring about discipline and a greater reliance on Himself.

2 Corinthians 6

2 Corinthians 6:8–10 (ESV) 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

Paul gives an amazing list of contrasts with regard to his ministry. This is ours to share with him as we live as Christ-followers. We should expect dishonor, treatment as imposters, and to be punished and filled with sorrow at the brokenness of this world. Yet, in Christ we live in ultimate victory, possessing everything we need in Him to make many rich through the unfettered sharing of the gospel.

Carson on Exodus 18

In some ways, the account [of Jethro advising Moses to delegate judgment responsibility] is surprising. Major administrative structures are being put into place among the covenant community without any word from God. Why is Jethro, at best on the fringes of the covenant people, allowed to play such an extraordinary role as counselor and confidant of Moses? The questions answer themselves. God may use the means of “common grace” to instruct and enrich his people.

I had never noticed before how neither Jethro nor Moses sought the Lord in appointing trustworthy judges for the smaller matters among the people. Jethro simply gave his instruction and it says that “Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.” (Exod. 18:24). As Carson rightly points out, there is a level of common grace at play in such decisions. However, key for us to understand is that our time spent with the Lord will impact our discernment and, over time, becoming more aligned with His Word.