Exodus 33, John 12, Proverbs 9, Ephesians 2

DateVersionReading Plan
@March 22, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Exodus 33,

Exodus 33:11, 20 (ESV) 11 Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. … 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”

In Exod. 33:11, it says that the Lord spoke to Moses face to face but in Exod. 33:20 the Lord told Moses that no man shall see His face and live. This seeming contradiction is resolved by understanding that Moses’ face to face interaction with God was metaphorical for closeness and accessibility. Although God and Moses were vastly unequal, God saw fit to commune with Moses as if they were. It is a remarkable instance in which we see demonstrated how we serve a God who is at hand and not far away (p.p. Jer. 23:23).

John 12

John 12:23–25 (ESV) 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

The time had come for Jesus to give up His life to be the needed sacrifice. Just like a grain a wheat must first die to bear much fruit, Jesus had to die in order to bear the fruit of salvation to all who believe on Him. As His followers, we are called to forfeit our own life as well, even so far as hating it, that in so doing we would keep it for eternal life.

Proverbs 9

Proverbs 9:8–9 (ESV) 8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

I have heard it said that how a person responds to Biblical reproof and correction is an indication of spiritual maturity. The scoffer will reject reproof out of place of pride while the righteous will receive it well and increase in learning. It is the humble who avail themselves to examination, willing to hear where they are falling short and taking it to the Lord in earnest plea that He might bring about the necessary changes in their heart.

Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2:14–16 (ESV) 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Christ is our peace and by His flesh the dividing wall of hostility was broken down. He was the fulfillment of the law “and removes the necessity of regulations that once divided Jews and Gentiles” (Faithlife Study Bible). Christ’s death on the cross killed the hostility between Jew and Gentile so that both could be reconciled with God. This is similarly spoken by Paul in Gal. 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Carson on Exodus 33

These chapters exemplify the truth that God is a jealous God (Ex. 20:5; 34:14). For one human being to be jealous of another is sinful: we are finite, and we are called to be stewards of what we have received, not jealous of others. But for God not to be jealous of his own sovereign glory and right would be a formidable failure: he would be disowning his own unique significance as God, implicitly conceding that his image-bearers have the right to independence.

Carson here makes an important distinction between God’s jealousy and ours. His is a holy jealousy for His sovereign glory wheres our jealousy manifests toward others and is rooted in sin.