Feb 28, 2022

(Exodus 11:1-12:20, Luke 14; Optional Psalm 40:1-10, Proverbs 12:1-4)

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EXODUS 11:1-12:20 – God gives details predicting the 10th plague and instructs on the first Passover. At the same time that God visited death on the Egyptians, He would “pass over” the Israelites who were under the blood applied to their doorposts from the spotless lamb. This would begin a week of cleaning out – making sure no leaven was in the house. Here’s how NT believers should apply this: 1 Corinthians 5:7–8 (ESV)  – “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Ex 11:1 – Fulfilling Ex 3:19-20. God has been in ultimate control of every detail, and now tells Moses EXACTLY how the last steps leading to their deliverance from slavery will play out.

Ex 11:2-3 – Fulfilling Ex 3:21-22. God is bringing some justice/renumeration for the slave labor procured for 400 years by the Egyptians. Note that God is doing this in His timing and by clearly turning the hearts of the people so they WANTED to give to the Israelites. In my study of the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of people I’ve written “S!” in the margin. Ps 105:25 also gives a detail that shocks many, about how God had initially turned the hearts of Egyptians to hate His people as part of His ultimate plan hinted at in Gen 15:12-16. Yet the Bible is clear that God does all of this righteously and is also righteous when He holds people accountable for their sinful decisions and actions (see Rom 9:14-23 which doesn’t explain but clearly states this).

Ex 11:9-10 – I’ve written “R” beside v 9a, because of Pharaoh’s responsibility to listen, and “S” by v 9b and v 10 because of God’s sovereign control and ultimate good purpose that will win even using Pharaoh’s sin.

Ex 12:2 – Freedom from slavery would be considered the beginning of the year for Israel, just as when Christ saves Christians from our slavery to sin it’s the beginning of an entire new life of freedom in belonging to Him!

Ex 12:3-6 – When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey at the beginning of the cross and resurrection week, Jerusalem would have been flooded with lambs (many from nearby Bethlehem, maybe some raised by the same shepherds who had been called to witness Jesus’ birth in Luke 2). People would have been looking for a spotless lamb to take home for the next few days before being sacrificed for Passover. Jesus was both God’s king, the lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5) AND God’s spotless Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7, Rev 5:6)!

Ex 12:7-13 – Yahweh’s Passover, because He would pass THROUGH Egypt in judgment that night, killing all the firstborn, but pass OVER the houses where they were under the blood of the Passover lamb applied to the doorposts. Ex 12:12 reminds us again of the ultimate purpose of all these plagues – “on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD (Yahweh)”.

Ex 12:14-20 – The Passover was to begin 7 days of intense examination and cleaning, making sure there was NO LEAVEN in their houses. Leaven, with its property of making its way into every part of a lump of a dough is almost always a Scriptural picture of sin. This passage (and 1 Cor 5:7-8 for believers on this side of the cross/resurrection) makes a clear connection between being passed over in judgment and then cleaning out our lives and homes.

LUKE 14 – Most of this chapter is about a dinner with a Pharisee leader, that must have been very uncomfortable! Four controversies in one dinner (v 1-6, 7-11, 12-14, 15-24). Then Jesus thins out the great crowds following Him, by reminding them to count the cost before lightly choosing to follow Him.

Lk 14:6 – They couldn’t answer, but they didn’t follow Jesus either. Many tell themselves that they have intellectual objections to following Jesus, but it’s often an unwillingness to humble themselves (see v 7-11).

Lk 14:9-11 – God has a whole medicine cabinet full of different motivations! Here’s a surprising set – you don’t want to end up being shamed in the end but being honored, so don’t exalt yourself! Same motivation in Prov 25:6-7.

Lk 14:14 – Another interesting motivation – delayed gratification. This is more help in developing that ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE that’s so powerfully developed in Luke 12. One more reminder that ALL THINGS WILL BE MADE RIGHT in judgment day, and we need to live our daily lives with that eternal view! This should consciously influence our choices and help us choose to minister to those on the edges.

Lk 14:15 – It sounds like someone was trying to smooth things over in this increasingly uncomfortable dinner! Many Jewish people agreed that good Jewish people would be resurrected at the end of things to feast together in God’s kingdom. (What a smooth segue at a dinner, right?) But Jesus doubles down on the uncomfortable controversies, letting them know that many of those originally invited to the banquet will NOT be there, while many unexpected guests WILL be there (compare Lk 14:13, 21-24, 15:1-2).

Lk 14:25-33 – Jesus wasn’t just tough on the religious leaders. He wanted ALL to carefully count the cost of following Him. Meditate carefully on v 26-27, 33. We must be willing to let go of anyone and anything that would get in the way of following Jesus.

Lk 14:34-35 – Why this warning here? Maybe: 1) as a warning to count the cost FIRST, so you don’t have all the effort of looking like a follower of Jesus for a while then showing you’re not (1 John 2:19). And/or 2) to remind disciples (in light of the radically counter-culture principles in Lk 14:25-33) that we are to be EXERTING influence, not BE influenced by what’s around us.

Optional Psalm 40:1-10 – In today’s reading the psalmist remembers past deliverance that God has given and how the psalmist has properly responded with praise and worship (including gathered worship – v 9, 10). In tomorrow’s reading we find that the psalmist is in a tough time again and is freshly crying out for help.

Ps 40:6-8 – Some think that the OUTWARD motions of worship will be meaningful, but this is one of many sections in Scripture that let us know that it’s the deep desires of the heart that are truly received as worship by God. These verses are applied in Heb 10:5-7 to Jesus, so I’ve written a cross in the margin (reminding me that this is referred to in the NT), and “Heb 10:5-7 applied to Jesus”.

Optional Proverbs 12:1-4  – Several gripping truths, but the one that grabs me most today is v 1… Another reminder in Proverbs about the importance of loving discipline and reproof – neither fun now, but so helpful long-term!