Leviticus 24, Psalm 31, Ecclesiastes 7, 2 Timothy 3

DateVersionReading Plan
@April 20, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Leviticus 24

Leviticus 24:10–12 (ESV) 10 Now an Israelite woman’s son, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the people of Israel. And the Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel fought in the camp, 11 and the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. Then they brought him to Moses. His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan. 12 And they put him in custody, till the will of the LORD should be clear to them.

The laws and statutes given to Moses by the Lord are typically general with regard to the conduct of the people, making this specific account of a woman’s son who blasphemed the Name quite unique. It is also distinctive in that Moses waited for the LORD’s will to be clear before proceeding with punitive action. As Constable’s Notes indicates, “This is the first of four occasions in which Moses asked the Lord for guidance in dealing with a special problem.” The details with which the situation is described—that the man was half Egyptian, his mother’s name was Shelomith and the like—seem to indicate that blaspheming the name of the LORD warranted a particularly high level of consideration. In the ensuing verses, the LORD tells Moses that the man who cursed and all others who did the same were to be put to death by stoning, confirming that this is indeed a egregious offense. As we read of this, we should be gripped with just how serious it is to use the name of the LORD in unrighteous ways.

Psalm 31

Psalm 31:7–8 (ESV) 7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, 8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

David’s confidence that God had seen his affliction and known the distress of his soul is one that we can share in Christ. The Lord knows well all of our affliction because He has endured the worst of it Himself. He dwelt among us in bodily form, experiencing every aspect of sinful man and yet was without sin Himself. In this we take refuge, that in His full humanity He was for us a worthy sacrifice.

Ecclesiastes 7

Ecclesiastes 7:16–18 (ESV) 16 Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? 17 Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.

The author calls for moderation in both seeking wisdom and being overly wicked. Wisdom has its limits in this broken world and cannot sustain life indefinitely. Wickedness should not be pursued but is ultimately inevitable due to man’s radical corruption. The author advocates fear of God and by this one is delivered from being overly righteous or wicked. Our focus should remain locked on the Lord, submitting to Him entirely and the proper balance and perspective He provides.

2 Timothy 3

2 Timothy 3:1–5 (ESV) 3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Paul proclaims a difficult time to come and lists the qualities of the wicked we should expect to see prior to the return of Christ to establish His kingdom. There will be some who have the appearance of godliness but deny its power and Paul urges the faithful to avoid such individuals. In this, Paul identifies their negative influence, reinforcing what Jesus Himself spoke in Matt. 16:6, that we are to “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Their rotten fruit will betray their claims of faith and we should be vigilant in limiting our exposure to them and time spent with them.

Carson on Psalm 31

What an incalculable blessing that God is better than our fears. He does not owe us succor, relief, or rescue. Even our cries of alarm — “I am cut off from your sight!” — may have more to do with desperate unbelief than with candid pleas for help. But David’s experience may prove an encouragement to us, for he quickly pens two more lines: “Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help” (31:22).

What a wonderful reflection of how undeserving we are of God’s rescue and yet how faithful He is to hear our cries for mercy. We worship a God who is with us, immanent and personal, who extended eternal relief in the work of His Son to take on our just wrath and continues by His Spirit to liberate us from ourselves.