(Exodus 3, Luke 6; Optional Psalm 35:17-28, Proverbs 10:28-32)
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EXODUS 3 – When he was 40 years old and trained with the best education the world offered, Moses felt ready to lead Israel out of slavery. But God had a very different education for Moses and His OWN wise timing. So, after 40 years with Moses being a shepherd in the desert (and see Gen 46:34 for why this is so humbling for one raised in the Egyptian court), NOW God calls Moses to lead His people out of slavery.
Ex 3:7-8 – After hundreds of years of affliction, GOD’S appointed time has arrived (see Gen 15:12-16 where He prophesied all this to Abraham). Through those 400 years (FAR longer than the US has been a nation), I’m guessing God’s people often WONDERED if God was hearing their cries and seeing their affliction. But He WAS – it just wasn’t His appointed time YET to bring deliverance.
Ex 3:11 – Moses FELT ready 40 years ago, but does NOT feel up to the job now! Notice God does NOT build Moses’ SELF-confidence, but his GOD-confidence! God’s answer is NOT: “You’ve got this Moses – you just need to believe in yourself.” It’s v 3-22 about GOD being WITH Moses (we’ve got this same promise – Mt 28:20, Heb 13:5-6), and about who GOD is, and what GOD will do!
Ex 3:12 – “But I will be with you…” – This is all that matters in the end, and why the title/name “Emmanuel” (Hebrew for “God with us”) is so precious! Jesus is God in the FLESH – God with us.
Ex 3:12 – “this mountain” – Compare Ex 3:1 with Ex 19 – Mount Horeb is also called Mount Sinai. God keeps His promises!
Ex 3:14 – “I AM” – This is “Yahweh” in Hebrew. Some say “Jehovah” which is a more German by way of English way of saying it. When you hear “Hallelu-YAH” (or “Allelu-YAH”) you’re hearing “praise to Yahweh”. When you see God’s name in all capital letters (either “GOD” or “LORD” like in Gen 4:26), it’s “Yahweh” in Hebrew. This section in Exodus is the key Scripture on what Yahweh means. Years ago I pastored with Michael Hampton, and he summarized the meaning and use of Yahweh’s name like this… The name Yahweh focuses on BEING (“I AM”). 1) He’s the God who IS (no one made Him, He always IS). 2) He’s the Creator who brought into being all that is. 3) He always IS with those that are His (see Ex 3:12, 17 and see Mt 28:20, Heb 13:5-6 for believers today).
Ex 3:15 – This is why I make a conscious effort to say/write “Yahweh” many of the times when our translations use all capitals.
Ex 3:16-22 – As He so often does (because we need regular encouragement in this dark world), God gives the END of the story (we should regularly read Rev 21-22 to be reminded of the END of our story). And the END is tremendous for those that are God’s – full and complete deliverance and justice finally being done! And God gives HINTS that there will be some painful, trying afflictions/complications on the way (see v 19-20), but only HINTS. Compare how God prepared Abraham for all this hundreds of years before in Gen 15:12-16. But in Gen 46:3-4 God only gave encouraging reminders of the END. We need to remember the encouraging end, but ALSO remember that there will be what we will one day (from the light of eternity) look back and call “light and momentary” affliction (see 2 Cor 4:17). If we forget this, we’ll be like Job’s friends who ONLY remembered the END of the story and got confused by hardship.
LUKE 6 – Jesus shows how radically different He is, and how starkly His followers will stand out from the rest of the world. We’re seeing rapid-fire confrontations with the religious leaders (Lk 5:20-24, 5:30-32, 5:33-39 – central to understanding Jesus can’t just be patched on to what we’ve already got). Jesus continues that in Lk 6:1-5 and Lk 6:6-11, culminating in fury from the Pharisees and private plotting against Him.
Lk 6:12 – Also see Lk 5:16, 4:42. Jesus’ continual habit was to MAKE SURE (this doesn’t just happen) there was extended time alone in prayer to His heavenly Father.
Lk 6:13 – “apostles” – means “sent” (see Lk 9:1-6).
Lk 6:14-16 – What a diverse group Jesus calls to follow Him! Matthew the tax collector (aka Levi – see Lk 5:27-28) and Simon the Zealot. Tax collectors were seen as traitors to Israel, ESPECIALLY by people like the Zealots, who hated Roman rule. Only Jesus can bring ALL KINDS of people together into His Kingdom! Meditate on Gal 3:27-29.
Lk 6:20-49 – Sometimes called the “Sermon on the Plain” (see v 17) – This is a summary of Jesus’ teaching. For more details, see the more extended “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt 5-7). But this is a great summary of HOW DIFFERENT Jesus’ followers will be from the rest of the world. His Kingdom values radically stand out! I’d encourage you to start with the END of this teaching in v 46-49, and see how IMPORTANT it is to APPLY what Jesus says to our daily lives. Remember how the angels proclaimed Jesus as Christ (or Messiah), Savior, AND Lord (see Lk 2:11)? Well, Jesus is clear that what it MEANS for Him to be Lord is NOT just calling Him “Lord,” but actually ACTING like He’s in charge of our lives! So read this summary of what it means to follow Jesus, asking Him to highlight one or two areas that He’d most like to work on in your life.
Optional Psalm 35:17-28 – See my notes next to Ex 3:7-8 and Ex 3:16-22. THIS part of the Psalm shows a believer in the painful MIDDLE of the story, where evil seems to be winning and the believer is wondering if God is hearing and seeing all the injustice and oppression. This is why we need the whole Bible – THIS is how to cry out to God in the MIDDLE of hard times. But remember also the END of the story from other parts of the Bible and be encouraged. God DOES see and hear and He WILL ACT in His own wise timing.
Optional Proverbs 10:28-32 – Again, reminding us of the END of the story for the only 2 paths in life – the following God and the Bible righteous path, and the do-your-own-thing wicked way that ends in destruction.