(Exodus 1, Luke 4; Optional Psalm 35:1-10, Proverbs 10:15-21)
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EXODUS 1 – After hundreds of years of silence (from God speaking into the lives of patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel), God picks up the story with His people in Egypt as slaves. Remember that the first five books of Scripture (also called the Pentateuch) were written by the human author Moses (whose story we’re just about to read), when God inspired him to write it some time after the Exodus from Egypt that we’re about to read. The Exodus from Egypt is the great Redemption (trace this key theme of “redemption” in Exodus) story of the Old Testament (OT) and has MANY beautiful pointers to the Redemption story about Jesus in the New Testament (NT).
Ex 1:1-14 – Fulfilling what God had said hundreds of years before this to Abraham in Gen 15:12-16. During all this time in Egypt, the sins of the people in Canaan were getting to the God-ordained point when He would have Israel come back to the Promised Land where the patriarchs had been sojourners. Now God would give Israel the land to both 1) judge the people of the land for their wickedness and 2) fulfill His promise of giving the land to Israel (Gen 12:7, 13:15, 17:7-8, 28:13-15, etc).
Ex 1:15-21 – Pharaoh’s first attempt to kill of all the male babies of the Hebrews. Since I’m tracing the theme of proper fear of God, I’ve written “F” beside v 17 and v 21.
Ex 1:20 – Also see Ex 1:7. The enemies of God do NOT have the final or foundational word – God Himself does!
Ex 1:21 – Since his first plan wasn’t working, Pharaoh tries another way of killing off the male babies, preparing the way for the story of Moses in the next chapter.
LUKE 4 – Jesus tempted by Satan (Lk 4:1-13), rejected in his hometown (v 14-30), teaching with authority, healing every kind of disease, and casting out demons (v 31-41). And focuses in on His PURPOSE – not primarily to give TEMPORARY relief from human suffering (every person healed by Jesus died some years later from something else), but to give the ETERNAL rescue only possible for those who would receive His preaching on the “good news of the kingdom of God.”
Lk 4:1-13 – Notice that every temptation is answered by Jesus quoting from Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy records Israel in the wilderness, being tested to reveal if they would trust God in tough times. They kept failing that test, but where sinners fail, Jesus perfectly succeeds, perfectly trusting God (and His perfect obedience/trust is credited to all of us who repent and believe in Him). Satan quotes Scripture, too, but out of context. He twists Psalm 91 (all about TRUSTING God) and tries to abuse it as an allowance for testing God.
Helpful summary from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible: [“Jesus models for us what gospel faith looks like—trusting the Lord to provide rather than making decisions based on the urgencies of the situation. In each temptation the Devil presented a half-truth. But in each temptation Jesus sees the deeper principle at work, that the call of faith is the call to look to the Lord’s provision and timing.”]
Lk 4:18 – “good news to the poor”- Also see v 42-43. As wonderful as temporary relief from poverty and physical oppression and physical blindness can be, Jesus’ PURPOSE in coming was the ETERNAL freedom of the “good news”. This gospel (“gospel” means “good news”) message that the Messiah had come (see Lk 4:18-21) as God’s king (see v 43) to set people free from their sin. To leave the bondage to sin and be set free to follow God and be in HIS kingdom.
Lk 4:21 – CLEAR that Jesus is the Messiah and knew it! But when He makes clear in Lk 4:23-29 that God had done miracles among even the Gentiles in the OT and that Jesus Himself had NOT just come to be a Jewish Messiah but for ALL people, they were enraged, and tried to kill Him!
Lk 4:31 – Notice Jesus’ clear power and authority all through this section – He’s the King of God’s kingdom (see v 43)! Implied in v 30 is His authority over the time of His death. In Lk 4:32 He’s TEACHING with authority, in v 33-36 He’s casting out demons with authority, in v 38-41 he’s both healing and exorcising with authority and power.
Lk 4:42-43 – When the crowds start demanding that Jesus keep giving TEMPORARY deliverance/healing (remember that every person Jesus healed died of something else later), Jesus gives a clear SUMMARY OF HIS PURPOSE – He came to “preach the good news of the kingdom of God…” To bring ETERNAL deliverance / healing to all who will repent and follow Him.
Optional Psalm 35:1-10 – Enemies were wrongfully (see v 7, 11-16) attacking David, and he’s overwhelmed. So he wisely brings his case to GOD and asks God to encourage his fearful heart (see v 3, 9-10) and judge his enemies while delivering David.
Ps 35:5 – David is simply praying back to God exactly what God said in Ps 1:4. This is how we SHOULD pray – turning God’s Word into prayer requests!
Optional Proverbs 10:15-21 – Prov 10:19 has been a key verse for me in remembering that it’s often wise to keep my mouth shut. It also cautions us about long conversations – they can easily slide downhill and into sin. How often has a conversation started fine, or even uplifting. But over time we get pricked in our conscience – how did we get HERE in this conversation?