This week we continue in the books of Exodus, Luke, Job, and 1 Corinthians!
Two comforting thoughts: 1) God hears the cry of His people (Exodus 2:23-25), and 2) even before they cried out, God had started to raise up Moses and arrange their salvation.
The magicians of Egypt could not stand up against the Lord; rather than reverse His plagues, as they would have done if they had real power, they only added to them by being copycats (Exodus 7:22, 8:7).
God demonstrated His sovereignty and omniscience, declaring what Pharaoh would do in advance (Exodus 4:21, 6:1, 7:3, 7:13, 7:22, 8:15, 8:19). Pharaoh’s heart was in God’s hand, who turned it any way He wished (Proverbs 21:1).
Jesus’ relationship with the Pharisees has turned sour. They had previously responded appropriately to Christ, at least outwardly, by glorifying God after a miracle (Luke 5:26). Since then, they grumbled at Him keeping company with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 5:30), questioned Him about fasting (Luke 5:33), accused Him of breaking the Sabbath (Luke 6:2), and now they respond to a miracle not by glorifying God, but with rage (Luke 6:11).
Zophar and Job are circling deep truths about God’s mercy and justice. Zophar is right, but his understanding is incomplete. Riches obtained by wickedness will consume the wicked (Job 20:15, 18-19; James 5:1-6), and their end is swift destruction (Job 20:5, 7-9; Psalm 73:19-20). However, as Job notes, the wicked often prosper in this life (Job 21:7, 13; Psalm 73:11-12). For another (more complete) perspective from Scripture, read Asaph’s Psalm 73.
Job continues giving high praise to God and testifying of His greatness:
Naked is Sheol before Him,
And Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing.
He wraps up the waters in His clouds,
And the cloud does not burst under them.
He obscures the face of the full moon
And spreads His cloud over it.
He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters
At the boundary of light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble
And are amazed at His rebuke.
He quieted the sea with His power,
– see Luke 8:24-25 –
And by His understanding He shattered Rahab.
By His breath the heavens are cleared;
His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.
Behold, these are the fringes of His ways;
And how faint a word we hear of Him!
But His mighty thunder, who can understand?
1 Corinthians 6
As Christians, it is impossible for us to avoid the wicked (1 Corinthians 6:10). However, there is a particular vileness we must avoid: nominal Christians that live as unbelievers. It is bad for the church (“a little leaven leavens the whole lump”, 1 Corinthians 6:6) and, if tolerated, may lead to a damning false assurance. It is better to “deliver such a one to Satan” (1 Corinthians 6:5), disassociating with them, that the church might be pure and the offender might recognize his sin. Christians need not judge unbelievers — that is for God to do (1 Corinthians 6:13) — but we have a responsibility to expose and to deal with sin in ourselves and those who are counted among us as brethren.
1 Corinthians 10
Paul gives a warning to which we should all pay attention: “Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).