Feb 13, 2022

(Genesis 46, Mark 16; Optional Psalm 33, Proverbs 9:10-12)

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GENESIS 46 – God makes clear to Jacob that it IS time for Jacob to lead his family down to Egypt, that God will be WITH HIM in this new chapter of life, and that God Himself will bring back the great nation He’s building up from Egypt and back to the Promised Land.

Gen 46:2-4 – “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt” – I wonder if Jacob was reflecting on the 400 years of affliction that God had prophesied to Abraham in Gen 15:12-13, but God is re-affirming the hopeful part of that prophecy, too (see Gen 15:14-16) – that, in God’s wise timing, He will bring back Israel after He’s made them into a great nation and lead them back to the Promised Land. THIS TIME not as pilgrims / sojourners but to actually occupy and dwell in the land that He was giving them.

Gen 46:31-34 – Joseph’s wise plan to ensure that the growing nation of Israel kept a measure of separation from Egypt and her false gods. Remember v 34 when we get to the story of Moses, reared as an Egyptian prince but choosing to identify with the people that were an “abomination” to the Egyptians. And of course God brought Moses himself to be a shepherd in the lonely desert for 40 years as part of God’s surprising “Leadership and Greatness in His Kingdom” school for Moses. God’s values are COMPLETELY different from the world’s!

MARK 16 – Jesus rose from the dead, just as He said!

Mk 16:1-2 – There was never a COMMAND to the church to celebrate the resurrection each week (like there WAS a command to Israel to observe the Sabbath on Saturday), but since the earliest days of the church, believers have made every effort to assemble together on Sunday as a weekly remembrance that Christ Is Risen! (See Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:2, Rev 1:10)

Mk 16:7 – “and Peter” – Since the earliest days of the church the Gospel of Mark has been nicknamed “Peter’s Gospel,” because of his close mentoring of John Mark and because of little details like this through the Gospel. The last thing we heard about Peter was him repeatedly denying Jesus (Mk 14:66-72) after he had been adamant that he would NEVER do this (Mk 14:29-31). Jesus wanted to be clear that there was still a place for Peter and that He specifically wanted Peter included among those He wanted to meet with in Galilee.

Mk 16:8 – God doesn’t hide details like this about how His people have struggled with confusion, shock, and fear! But He continues to work with us (and He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell each believer in Acts 2), helping us grow. We come to Him AS WE ARE, but I’m so thankful that He loves us too much to leave us that way!

Mk 16:9-20 – Many manuscripts don’t have this, and it’s obviously written in a very different style from the rest of Mark. We know very clearly the few places in God’s Word where there are manuscript differences, and can be encouraged that God has preserved His Word! 1) There are VERY few (this is one of the main differences between manuscripts and there’s no attempt to hide that fact – ALL Bible scholars know it).  2) There are NO doctrines at stake in these few disputed sections. The manuscripts that have Mk 16:9-20 are just a summary of the book of Acts, reminding us that NOTHING can stop God’s Kingdom from spreading through the gospel. For example, as Paul was ministering in Acts 28:1-6 he got bitten by a highly venomous snake, but it didn’t harm him at all (compare Mk 16:18).

Tomorrow we start the Gospel of Luke. Here’s an 8-minute video overview to the first part of Luke’s Gospel. They make a brief reference to the church as a “new Israel,” and I wish they used another description. Jer 31:31 (and Heb 8:8 quoting it) talks about a new COVENANT with Israel and Judah. And Matt 19:28 doesn’t talk of a “new Israel,” but says the Apostles will one day judge “the twelve tribes of Israel.” But I DO really appreciate most of it, especially the careful connection at the end of the video to the Exodus (which we’re just about to get to in our OT readings): https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/luke-1-9/

Optional Psalm 33 – A call to worship (with VOLUME and JOY– see v 1, 3) our great God!

Ps 33:6-9 – There’s a constant thread through the Bible of worshipping God as Almighty CREATOR.

Ps 33:10-12 – Since God merely SPOKE and the world came into existence (v 6-9), of course He is absolutely sovereign over all the nations! It is GOD’S plans and counsels and purposes that will stand FOREVER – all the nations are temporary!

Ps 33:16-17 – Make sure your hopes are not in the wrong place! We need more and more GOD-confidence!

Ps 33:8, 18 – I’ve written “F” in my margin, because I’m tracing the vital theme of proper Fear of God through the Bible. Don’t miss that the proper fear of God is commanded TWICE in this psalm which is overflowing with joyful confidence in God. Real and LASTING joy / happiness is always linked with proper fear of God!

Optional Proverbs 9:10-12 – Connect v 10 to my notes at Psalm 33:8, 18 about proper fear of God.