(Exodus 18, Luke 21; Optional Psalm 45, Proverbs 13:4-8)
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EXODUS 18 – After all his recent stress with Israel grumbling, there’s an encouraging visit with Moses’ father-in-law that changed the course of Israel’s history in how they were organized and is still used as a model by efficiency experts.
Ex 18:1-12 – Moses’ father-in-law Jethro brings back Moses’ family. The last we heard about them was the surprising circumcision incident in Ex 4:18-26, so we’re not told why they had been away (maybe their safety as Moses was leading Israel out of Egypt). All through the Exodus events, Yahweh repeated His purpose to lift up His name and be known as the one true God. That’s certainly the confidence that’s grown in Jethro through all this (see Ex 18:1, 8-12, especially v 11). The summary in v 8 is often glimpsed by believers in this life and will certainly summarize our story when we are home in heaven – “all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how Yahweh had delivered them.” Notice they didn’t simply catch up on events – they consciously praised God.
Ex 18:13-26 – A model in how parents (or in-laws or anyone wanting to be a godly influence) can give helpful advice to their grown kids… Jethro observed all day long (v 13-14), asked some insightful questions (v 14), then had a well-thought-out solution that he put before Moses. Note how easy it is to simply keep on habitually going through our day, even when it’s hard on everyone. Sometimes a loving and godly outsider can quietly observe and give some helpful out-of-our-box thoughts!
Ex 18:14, 17-23 – This recognizes the foundational Biblical principle that God didn’t design us to do things alone, but to get help from other believers. Compare Jethro’s “not good” statement in Ex 18:17 with God’s in Gen 2:18. Also, Moses had just experienced the different parts that believers play in cooperating with God to bring help to His people in Ex 17:8-13.
Ex 18:21-23 – The principles of capable folks (and notice the recognition of different levels of capability) with good character and delegating some authority to them is seen throughout Scripture and influences how are courts (and many successful organizations) are setup. What an encouraging, helpful visit all around. God is so good to grant these refreshing oases in the midst of crisis! How would He use YOU as an encouraging mentor? Or is there an area where you should LISTEN to some godly counsel, or delegate some of your work and bring in capable help??
LUKE 21 – Only a day or two away from the cross, Jesus is watching people’s giving in the temple, the disciples being impressed by the beauty in the temple and Jesus cautioning them that what they’re impressed by won’t last long. Then He teaches them to grow in an ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE, getting them ready for rough times when He’s back in heaven and getting them prepared with a different perspective than the world around them – NOT fearful, but READY for His return.
Lk 21:2 – See Lk 20:46-47. Why is Jesus spending some of time shortly before the cross observing people’s giving of offerings?? See Lk 12:34 for the treasure/heart connection. Our giving matters to the Lord because it reveals our heart priorities (ETERNAL implications).
Lk 21:7-36 – Believers differ about details of the Lord’s return, but don’t miss the clear commands of Jesus to NOT be fearful like most will be, but to be READY.
Lk 21:13 – Notice how Jesus frames these potentially scary times as OPPORTUNITIES to witness.
Lk 21:14-15 – This is NOT an excuse for those who regularly teach Scripture, but an encouraging promise for those who may lose their lives as martyrs.
Lk 21:16-19 – Those that endure tough times still clinging to Jesus (even in death) can NOT be harmed eternally! All they can do is kill us, and that just sends us home to Jesus who gave His life for us.
Lk 21:20-22 – Many Jewish Christians applied this in AD 70 when Rome surrounded and destroyed Jerusalem and escaped with their lives when so many other Jewish people were killed.
Lk 21:24 – Many Christians believe that the events in AD 70 were a PARTIAL fulfillment but that most of Israel that’s left will see Jesus as their Messiah when He returns.
Lk 21:25-33 – Don’t miss what’s CLEAR in this section, that ALL Christians should agree on… While most of the world will be terrified, Christians should be encouraged that all that happens will be according to God’s plan, and Jesus will soon (from an eternal perspective) set everything right.
Lk 21:34-36 – More commands of Jesus on being READY for His return.
Optional Psalm 45 – To the king and his bride (compare Eph 5:22-33 about how the church is King Jesus’ bride). Ps 45:1-9 is praise to the king, and Ps 45:10-17 is instructions to the bride.
Ps 45:6-7 – I’ve written a cross in the margin (telling me this is referred to in the NT), and “Heb 1:8-9 – referring to Jesus”. Don’t miss the connection between “loved righteousness and hated wickedness” (Ps 45:6) and “oil of gladness” in v 7. The eternal joys are for those who turn away from the short-term pleasures offered in this life to God and His pleasures forevermore.
Ps 45:16 – In v 10 she left her father’s house, but anything left to be with the king is replaced bountifully! Compare Jesus’ repeated teaching on both the cost AND surpassing worth of having Him.
Optional Proverbs 13:4-8 – Compare the diligence in v 4 to the parables Jesus has been telling in our Luke readings about being busy with kingdom work before the King returns. Compare v 5 to Ps 45:8 – we’re known by what we love AND hate.