(Exodus 16, Luke 19; Optional Psalm 44:1-8, Proverbs 12:23-28)
Click the following link to see every day’s through-the-Bible readings and reflections. Once there, you can sign up on my “FREE daily email” page and get daily reminders in your inbox: www.2Tim3v16.wordpress.com
EXODUS 16 – Only a month after seeing all the miracles to deliver them from Egypt and just after seeing how God miraculously provided for water, Israelites get hungry and complain, wishing they were back in Egypt. God PROVIDES (again in a way no one has ever seen before) and also COMMANDS (and some try to ignore).
Ex 16:2-3 – The people want to frame it as grumbling against Moses and Aaron, but it’s ACTUALLY not trusting God and HIS provision and His timing. Though they’ve only been gone from Egypt a month, this is not the first time they’ve longed to be back (see Ex 14:9-12), nor will it be the last. Even though God has repeatedly provided what they need in ways no one has ever seen before, as soon as they have a need and can’t quickly see how it will be handled, they complain and want to be back in Egypt! Notice there’s no mention of the SLAVERY – already they’re only remembering that they had food. When we’re fearful/worried we often have twisted thinking and selective memory. Every rough time is an OPPORTUNITY to trust God and see what He’ll do THIS time to provide for His people in His timing. But it’s also a TEST (see v 4)…
Ex 16:4 – They didn’t do well with the test- see failure to obey #1 in v 19-20, and failure to obey #2 in v 25-29.
Ex 16:7-12 – The people kept trying to frame their grumbling as against the HUMAN leadership God had given, but it’s clearly not fully recognizing who Yahweh God is (see especially v 12).
Ex 16:13 – The quail was NOT a daily provision, but the manna was (except for the Sabbath, because God had provided double on Friday morning).
Ex 16:15 – They didn’t know what to call it, so that became it’s name. “Manna” (v 31) basically means “what is it?”. Oh, that the Lord would help us learn that when we can’t see how He’ll provide that He may well have a way that no one has even seen before. He’s done this repeatedly for Israel in the past several months, but we are so prone to wander from trusting Yahweh and His timing and His goodness and His almighty power.
Ex 16:18 – Quoted in 2 Cor 8:15 when Paul is encouraging the Corinthian believers not to hoard, but to give to those in need, trusting that God will take care of their needs, too.
Ex 16:19-20 – The God that PROVIDES also has a right to COMMAND (compare Gen 1). But some do NOT trust that God will again provide tomorrow as He did today, so they hoard. Saving to prepare for future hard times is COMMENDED in Proverbs, but there are unique times when God commands His people NOT to save because He wants them to trust His daily provision (compare the short-term mission trips Jesus where Jesus sent out His followers).
Ex 16:22-30 – God had hinted at this in v 5, but now makes clear that He will provide a double portion on Friday so that they don’t go out and work on Saturday (Sabbath). But again, some disobeyed (v 27).
Ex 16:31-36 – A description of manna and how God preserved a portion of it (though it was normally very perishable) for generations to remind them of His provision for His people.
Ex 16:35 – The mention of “forty years” gives us a hint of the refusal to trust God that will lead to them having to stay in the desert for forty years (we’ll get to that in Numbers 14). They got VERY TIRED of the manna, but it was SUPPOSED to be a wonderful provision for a few months until they got to the Promised Land. But because of their sin they ate it every day for forty years! Again, we should be both humbled and encouraged. Humbled by how quickly we tend to wander away from TRUSTING God to complaining. Encouraged that God still graciously bore with them and continued to provide even in the midst of the consequences of their sin.
LUKE 19 – We get a powerful summary of Jesus’ ministry in Lk 19:10 just before He enters Jerusalem to shouts of celebration from the crowd (v 38), tears from Jesus (v 41-44), and cleansing then teaching in the Temple. When the crowds see that Jesus will not be the kind of king they want, in a few days they’ll be shouting for His death (Lk 23:21).
Lk 19:5 – Compare “must stay” to John 4:4. In both cases, Jesus had a divine appointment with an outcast from polite society. The reason for this is Lk 19:10!
Lk 19:8-10 – When Zacchaeus voluntarily WANTS to give away half of his goods and make restitution to any he’s wronged, Jesus does NOT tell him what He commanded the rich ruler in Lk 18:22, but instead rejoices that Zacchaeus has obviously been saved (there will always be “fruits of repentance” – see Lk 3:8, 10-14).
Lk 19:11-27 – A lengthy parable where Jesus makes clear to those with ears to hear that He will be away for a time before He returns in judgment and justice. While He’s away His followers are to be STEWARDS of His kingdom, and do kingdom work until His return. Don’t miss these principles of stewardship: 1) There WILL be an accounting – live accordingly. 2) Faithful stewardship in smaller things is rewarded by more responsibility in larger things (v 16-19, 24-26). 3) Note that the steward in v 18-19 is COMMENDED like the man in v 16-17, though he didn’t get nearly as big a result (he didn’t get the same reward/additional responsibilities, but he did get the same commendation for his diligence). 4) The master has a right to apportion his gifts AS HE WILLS (see especially v 25 and compare Matt 20:15).
Lk 19:28-40 – What we often call the “Triumphal Entry” (see v 36-38). But don’t miss Jesus’ response on this day in the next verses…
Lk 19:41-44 – Apparently the peace people were shouting about in v 38 was NOT the same peace the angels promised in Lk 2:14 and Jesus is talking about in Lk 19:42. Jesus came to bring the kind of peace and joy that Zacchaeus came to know early in this chapter – the peace of the lost being saved and reconciled to God, sins forgiven. But most in Jerusalem were hoping to be freed from Rome’s rule, so they could live however they wanted. They didn’t realize that Jesus has come for sinners that recognize their need for salvation.
Optional Psalm 44:1-8 – In the first part of this psalm the psalmist recounts PAST deliverance (starting with the deliverance from Egypt we’ve been reading about in Exodus). In tomorrow’s reading, we’ll see that he’s crying out for a FRESH work from God because again the enemy SEEMS to be winning. This is why we need Psalms! They are God’s inspired way to cry out to Him so that we don’t slip into the wrong grumbling/complaining that Israel was doing in today’s Exodus reading. And it includes REMEMBERING how God was powerfully worked through history in His timing and in His way to rescue His people.
Optional Proverbs 12:23-28 – There’s some overlap with the principles of diligent stewardship in today’s Luke reading. Pr 12:28 again reminds us of the eternal LIFE at the end of the story for those who belong to God.