Mar 2, 2022

(Exodus 13, Luke 16; Optional Psalm 41, Proverbs 12:10-12)

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EXODUS 13 – God brought them OUT from slavery with reminders that they are NOT set free to do their own thing, but to belong to HIM.

Ex 13:1 – More details given in v 11-15. Since God executed the firstborn of the Egyptian boys and animals, the firstborn of the Israelites is to be set apart for Him.

Ex 13:3 – “REMEMBER” – an oft-repeated command, because we’re so prone to FORGET the goodness of God in setting us free from slavery! Compare instructions to Christians in 1 Cor 5:6-13. Since Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed, we’re to live our lives separated from the pervasive influence of sin (like leaven/yeast makes its way through the whole lump of dough).

Ex 13:9 – Also see v 16. Commands like this (and especially Deut 11:18) led eventually to actually wearing phylacteries (see Matt 23:5) – small pouches with portions of key Scriptures.

Ex 13:11-15 – The sacrificial animals were to be sacrificed, but the non-sacrificial (like the donkey in v 13) could be either redeemed (bought back and rescued from death) by a substitutionary sacrifice or executed. For each firstborn boy there was provision for a substitutionary sacrifice – another would die in his place. Clear message: either REDEMPTION or DEATH.

Ex 13:19 – A reminder that God keeps His promises!

LUKE 16 – A chapter about the dangers of loving money/stuff, when what we REALLY need is to get ready for ETERNITY by loving/serving God. The one true God perfectly revealed in Jesus, pointed to by the Law and the Prophets (see Lk 16:16-17, 29-31).

Lk 16:1-9 – Don’t misunderstand v 8. The master only commends the SHREWDNESS in reflecting on the coming judgment (v 2-4) and getting ready.

Lk 16:9-13 – Jesus uses this story to remind the disciples (and the Pharisees – see v 14-15) to USE money with an eternal perspective rather than SERVE money. Notice that He doesn’t say we SHOULDN’T love/serve both God and money, but we CAN’T!

Lk 16:14-17 – The Pharisees (who loved money – v 14) mocked this teaching. Jesus reminds them that all the OT Scriptures (the “Law and the Propets” in v 16; also see v 29-31) led up to the ministry of John who was preparing the way for Messiah Jesus and the kingdom of God. Though the Pharisees claimed to love the Scriptures, they regularly tried to twist/duck out of what they didn’t like.

Lk 16:18 – What’s this short reference to divorce doing in this section? It’s an illustration of part of God’s law the Pharisees tried to twist/duck out of – see Matt 19:3-12.

Lk 16:19-31 – A sobering story teaching that what REALLY matters is not the stuff we have in THIS life, but ETERNITY.

Lk 16:19-21 – Oh, how God’s values are different than the world’s! Jesus only gives the name of the poor man.

Lk 16:22-25 – After death, note the IMMEDIATE comfort or torment. Part of the torment for the rich man is that he can see glimpses of what he’s missing out on. But notice there’s no evidence that Lazarus can see his torment. Also note the continuing selfishness of the rich man – he wants Lazarus to have to leave his eternal comfort to alleviate his torment!

Lk 16:27-31 – The rich man wants his family warned, so they don’t end up in torment also! Don’t miss the huge significance of how God uses inspired Scripture. I hear people say things like the rich man in v 30 – “If I saw an undoubtable miracle, THEN I’d believe.” Jesus makes clear that if they (and the Pharisees – see v 14-17) won’t hear the written word of God, they won’t listen even if someone is raised from the dead! Don’t forget that Jesus Himself HAD raised folks from the dead, and He Himself would shortly be raised from the dead.

Optional Psalm 41 – The perfect Psalm to meditate on just after Luke 16! Note the ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE. Blessed is the one who doesn’t cling to his own stuff, but helps the needy, because he has his eye on the END of his story. And on God who delivers those whose focus/hope is on Him. Not that we love God perfectly (see v 4), but that IS the direction of our lives (v 12). And the END of the story for those who hope in God and not stuff/money is full healing and full deliverance forever (see Rev 21-22)!

Optional Proverbs 12:10-12  – Note that how you treat animals is an indication of character, and then some very practical verses relating to money/stuff.  Notice how much of the Bible (clearly evident in today’s readings) relates to how we steward money/stuff! Remember the connection Jesus made between our heart and our treasure (see Matt 6:19-21).