Feb 25, 2022

(Exodus 8, Luke 11; Optional Psalm 37:27-40, Proverbs 11:19-23)

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EXODUS 8 – The 2nd – 4th plagues on Egypt, as Yahweh continues to show Pharaoh that HE is the one true God and that HE is in charge (see Ex 5:1-2).

Ex 8:1-14 – Egypt credited the Nile and “gods” they considered associated with the Nile to be the source of the their power/success. The first two plagues have shown that the Nile can actually be a DETRIMENT (see Ex 7:20-21, 8:3, 13-14).

Ex 8:1 – Don’t miss the reason for freedom for God’s people is NOT so that they can do their own thing, but that they can serve and worship Yahweh. Also see v 20.

Ex 8:8-15 – God clearly shows that though He USED a natural occurrence (frogs), HE is in complete charge and that there is “no one like Yahweh our God.” (v 10)

Ex 8:18-19 – Though they’ve NEVER been able to UNDO the plagues, Pharaoh’s sorcerers could somewhat duplicate previous plagues (ironically only making things WORSE). Now they can’t even do this, and they warn Pharaoh that this is from God. But he’s not willing to listen to warnings or respond with repentance in light of the glimpses of mercy in v 13-15 and v 28-32.

Ex 8:25-28 – Two attempts to COMPROMISE with Yahweh.

Ex 8:29 – Referring to Pharaoh’s earlier lie in 8:8.

LUKE 11 – Jesus teaches about prayer, about demons, and opposition increases (Lk 11:15-16, 38, 53-54) while the crowds also increase (v 14, 29). Through it all, Jesus keeps saying the tough truths (summarized in v 23, 28, 35).

Lk 11:1-13 – Jesus teaches on prayer, teaching a shorter model prayer (compare more extended version in Matt 6:9-13), a parable to teach PERSISTENCE in prayer (v 5-10), and reminders that even sinful human fathers know how to give good gifts to their children that ask. How much MORE our heavenly Father!

Lk 11:2-4 – Notice the focus on eternal and spiritual things! Is this reflected in how you pray?? Also see my notes below by v 24-26.

Lk 11:8 – A parable (an earthly story with a heavenly meaning) has a main point, and we need to beware of trying to apply every detail. God is NOT like the stingy friend, but DELIGHTS to give to His children when we are persistent in prayer.

Lk 11:9 – The commands related to prayer (“ask…seek…find”) in the original Greek show CONTINUING, persistent prayer – KEEP asking, seeking, finding.

Lk 11:10-13 – God ALWAYS answers His children’s prayers with GOOD gifts. God does NOT always give what we ask (see 2 Cor 12:7-10), but will give what we ask or something BETTER, but ALWAYS good gifts to those that keep praying.

Lk 11:23 – The balance to Lk 9:50. THERE Jesus rebuked the disciples for someone who was casting out demons but not in their group of 12 apostles. HERE are people trying to accuse Jesus of being in league with demons (see Lk 11:15).

Lk 11:24-26 – This has application to the dangers of merely morally cleaning up your life. And the importance of being filled with Holy Spirit (see v 13), NOT just being temporarily improved. Since Jesus gives this warning just after casting out a demon (v 14), I think it’s also a warning that the physical healings and exorcisms that so impressed the crowds (v 14) are only temporary. Every person healed of a disease died from something else in a few years, and every person who had a demon cast out COULD end up even worse! What we need is an ETERNAL focus and a SPIRITUAL focus. The outside is not UN-important, but not NEARLY as important as the spiritual, eternal realities on the INSIDE of a person (also see Lk 11:39-42 and Lk 5:18-24 where Jesus handles the paralyzed man’s BIGGEST problem first – forgave him of his sins).

Lk 11:27-28 – Even though the opposition against Him is increasing (see v 15-16, 38, 52-54), Jesus won’t let even encouraging followers stay as they are but prods them to grow. This lady is right (compare Lk 1:28-30, 41-48) to an extent – Mary WAS blessed to give birth to the Messiah, but Jesus doesn’t want Mary to get too much emphasis. There is a GREATER blessing for those who hear and apply God’s Word! Also see Lk 10:17-20 where Jesus affirms that the disciples had an exciting and successful missions trip, but wants them to be much MORE excited about their eternal salvation.

Lk 11:29 – “evil generation” – Jesus says tough things to the crowds! Also see v 13 where He calls even those disciples closest to Him who want to learn more about prayer “evil”. Even the most moral among us are still (in the eyes of a perfectly holy God) “evil” and need to be saved. The Bible teaches the DEPRAVITY of people, while our world tries to say that people are basically good (or blank slates that are programmed by our environment).

Lk 11:29 – “sign of Jonah” – It’s clear in Matt 12:40 that this refers to Jesus’ resurrection. THAT is what people should look into if they want a sign!

Lk 11:33-36 – I’ve wondered before why God put this section right here. I think it may be because light and the eye are how we evaluate what’s important/valuable, and this in the middle of a section where people are giving their evaluations on what’s important. Jesus is pointing to an ETERNAL focus and a call to realize the ultimate value of HIM and following His word. Lk 11:23 is a call to make sure you’re with HIM, v 28 a call to value following His word, v 31, 32 a reminder that HE is greater than great figures in the OT, v 37-52 a reminder that the respected scribes (aka lawyers) and Pharisees wanted to LOOK full of light and goodness on the outside but were truly full of darkness. So Lk 11:35 is a call to evaluate your SELF and make sure that you’re correctly valuing Jesus and following His word and the eternal, kingdom-of-God perspective modeled in the prayer in v 2-4.

Optional Psalm 37:27-40 – This psalm is about when the wicked SEEM to be winning and doing well for a while. It started with two commands about what NOT to do: 1) Don’t FRET (v 1a) and 2) Don’t FOLLOW or be envious (v 2b). There have been regular reminders of what we SHOULD do, summarized in Ps 37:3 – “Trust in Yahweh, and do good…” and in similar ways in v 27, 34. Again, repeated reminders of the good END of the story for those who trust in God, and the eventual destruction of the wicked.

Ps 37:27-28 – Particularly appropriate in times when people TALK of “justice,” but insist on very ungodly means to attempt to bring justice. That won’t work in the end!

Optional Proverbs 11:19-23 – v 19, 21, 23 all remind of the end of the story for both the righteous and the wicked. This is another reminder that there are ultimately only two paths.