The Last Supper – Matt 26

We now move to Matthew’s account of the last supper and Jesus’ arrest.  Since the audience of the gospel of Matthew is the Jews, it makes sense that he would give full attention to certain details of the trial before the Sanhedrin.  Unlike John, who gives the event in more chronological order, Matthew includes the account of the anointing of Jesus by Mary (sister of Lazarus) here in verses 6-13.   he also gives us the details in verses 14-16 of Judas’ conspiracy with, and payment from, the chief priests for his promise to deliver Him.  We also read in verses 17-20 of Jesus sending disciples to a “certain man” to prepare to have Passover at his house.

But it is in verses 3-5 that we read of chief priests and the elders plotting in Caiaphas’ palace to  “arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.”  They were fearful of arresting Jesus openly because of His popularity; and the Feast of Unleavened Bread brought thousands of Pilgrims to the city.  The last thing they wanted was an uprising.  In verses 20-25, Jesus foretells His betrayal by one of them, culminating in an actual exchange between Jesus and Judas.  What was it like to be told by the son of God that it would be better if His betrayer had never been born – knowing that you had already begun that process?  And Jesus’ confirmation that He knew in verse 25 must have been chilling, especially after the fact.

Peter's Denial by Rembrandt, 1660. Jesus is sh...

Peter’s Denial by Rembrandt, 1660. Jesus is shown in the upper right hand corner, his hands bound behind him, turning to look at Peter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In verses 26-29, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper.  The Passover, begun so long ago in Exodus 12 with the sacrifice of a lamb had pointed to this day.  Now this memorial would remind us of the sacrifice of “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  Verse 28 (“…this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” is the fulfilling also of the new covenant promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34.

The hymn that they sung in verse 30 is most likely Psalm 113-118, which is known as the Hallel (meaning “praise”).  The scripture Jesus quotes in verse 31 is from Zechariah 13:7, telling the disciples that they will all fall away that very night.  He also predicts Peter’s denial, at which point they all declare that they will remain with Him even if they must die.  His prayer in Gethsemane occurs in verses 36-44.  The traditional site for this now holds the “Church of All Nations” (or “Basilica of the Agony”), which was built over a 4th century Byzantine church.  Note Jesus’ sorrow and fervent petition to God in verses 38-39.  Although He was divine, for our benefit He had the same emotions any man would have knowing the suffering that He was about to endure.

Judas betrays Him with a kiss in verse 49.  We know from John 18:10-11 that it was Peter that cut off the ear of one of Jesus’ captors (Malchus) in verse 51.  When Jesus rebukes him, He says “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”  (we sing the song “He could have called Ten Thousand Angels”).  Jesus was of course  not going to call for help, but a Roman legion was 6,000 – so twelve of them would be 72,000.  As predicted, all of His disciples fled the scene.

Matthew skips past the meeting with Annas (John 18:12-14, 19-24) and begins next with the appearance before Caiaphas the High Priest and the Council (the Sanhedrin).  They had many witnesses coming forward, but none would give the false testimony they wanted in order to have Him put to death until at last two came and, in verse 61, misquoted Jesus’ actual statement of John 2:19-21.  He remained silent, making no correction,  when Caiaphas questioned Him about it.  But when asked if He was the Christ, He confirmed it with the Greek expression “you have said so” that He had also used with Judas in verse 25.  Then He added that they would see him at the right hand of “Power.”  Caiaphas declared this to be blasphemy, and they spit on Him and slapped Him, saying that He deserved death.  The outcome was assured now.

Peter’s denial in verses 69-74 went just as Jesus had said; and remembering the words of the Lord, Peter’s grief was intense.  Though this apostle would come to understand the necessity of what Jesus was to endure, we can only try to imagine the guilt he would bear.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Matt 26, Matt 27, Matt 28, 1 Cor 1, 1 Cor 2

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Burst Open – Acts 1

When Peter rose to speak to all of the brethren that were present, he told of Judas’ betrayal, having been numbered as one of them in this ministry. The purchase of the field that Peter referred to was done by the Sanhedrin after Judas had given the money back that he had been paid for showing them the way to find and arrest Jesus.

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rather than mentioning Judas having hanged himself, Peter allowed that he “burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out” (although he did not say that he was alive before that happened). Of course, these two accounts are the source of finger-pointing by skeptics who say this is a contradiction. We will not spend a lot of time on this because there are plenty of other resources that do a better job of explaining this, such as this article at Apologetics Press. We find the likelihood that Judas’ body was highly decomposed, causing Peter’s rather graphically described end, a likely scenario. It is especially so when one considers that he hanged himself at the time of Passover (we do not know where for certain – probably far from where anyone would find him readily). Touching a dead body at any time would make one ceremonially unclean for seven days after purification. That would certainly be undesirable during the Passover feast.

Peter speaks of the fate of Judas in terms of fulfilling prophecy (Psalm 69:25 and Psalm 109:8). The latter, “may another take his office,” means that they must now choose someone to replace Judas. The choice was made by much praying and casting lots. The one they chose was Matthias. We never hear much about him after that, which leads some to speculate that they appointed him in error, and that Paul was really the Lord’s choice for replacement. We should be satisfied instead with the prophecy spoken of here. What became of Matthias was not important to the gospel, so we do not know. We do know that Paul was chosen by the Lord Himself, and the apostles would decrease in number again soon enough – beginning with James in Acts 12.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Enhanced by Zemanta

Communion and Preparation – Luke 22

As Jesus and his disciples reclined at table to eat the Passover, he told them how much he had looked forward to having this opportunity- his truly last until “it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” – after his resurrection. He took the cup of the fruit of the vine and the bread, and He had them divide it between them. Note that He gave thanks for the bread and the fruit of the vine separately before doing so, just as is our custom in observing this Lord’s supper which he instituted here.

The Last Supper

The Last Supper (Photo credit: elmas156)

After he explained to them the meaning that these elements now had – his body and his blood, they ate. It was then that he broke the news to them that one of those who were present would betray him. He said that the fact that he was going to go was already determined. But He  told them that it would not go well for the one who betrayed him. This got their attention, and they questioned each other, trying to determine who it was.

Then an odd dispute came up – odd in light of the news that Jesus had just given them. The dispute was over which one of them would be the greatest in Jesus’ kingdom. This goes to show that it still just wasn’t sinking in. It reminds us of the third time that Jesus foretold His death to them in Luke 18:34. The scripture said “this saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said. It seems clear that they still were not “grasping” it. They were still imagining that Jesus was to become the earthly king of the Jews, and that they were wondering just how high on the “totem pole” each of them was going to be.

So then Jesus turned upside down their notions of greatness and leadership completely. He pointed out that He is one among them who serves. Luke does not recount here the lesson that Jesus taught them about serving when He washed their feet, as John detailed in John 13:12-15. But it is clear that at this point He had given it to them. He also told them that those who would be the “greatest” must become as the youngest – that is, those who were more often traditionally called to serve others. Yet he said that He assigns to them – those who were with Him thru His trials – a place at his table in his kingdom. They just still do not know what “the kingdom” really will mean at this point.

Then Jesus’ conversation turns to Peter, and that deserves some attention. Note verses 31-32:

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Judas at the Last Supper

Judas at the Last Supper (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

It is significant that the word translated as you twice in verse 31 is plural. So the verse is emphasizing Satan’s determination to shake the faith of all of the apostles. In verse 32, the word is plural, as Jesus is addressing Peter. Jesus knew by now that Judas was lost, and he knew that Peter was Satan’s next target. But He says, that He has prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. He knew that the Holy Spirit would fill Peter at the proper time, and that he would strengthen the others. Peter, of course, said he was ready to go to prison or die, but Jesus told him of his coming denial.

He then reminds them of when he sent them out without a moneybag or knapsack (Luke 9:1-6), and asks if they lacked for anything. They answered that they had not. Then he told them:

“But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.

This passage generates much debate. Some see the sword as having a figurative meaning – as in arming themselves for spreading the gospel. But if that were the case, wouldn’t the moneybag and knapsack also be figurative? But how else to explain it? Jesus obviously did not want them to use these swords against the authorities when they came to arrest him. But note that when Peter does cut the ear from one of them when they come to arrest Jesus, Jesus rebukes him – but he does not have him get rid of the sword either.

The most reasonable explanation is that Jesus knows that their lives are about to change. They were safe as long as they were all together with him. But many would scatter and become separated. They would need their moneybags, their knapsacks, and they would need their swords for protection against robbers, and maybe even wild animals. Remember, they weren’t checking into La Quinta on their travels, and seldom were lucky enough to be taken into someone’s home.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Psalm 116 – I Love the Lord

On the first Passover, the Israelites who painted their doorways with blood were passed over when the angel of death came through the land of Egypt (Exodus 11).

On the first Passover, the Israelites who painted their doorways with blood were passed over when the angel of death came through the land of Egypt (Exodus 11).

Psalm 116 is the fourth psalm in what is known as the Paschal Hallel (Psalms 113-118), and is often viewed in connection with the deliverance out of Egypt. It was often sang in connection with the slaying of the lambs at Passover, which causes many to believe that it was one if the songs Jesus and the disciples sang on the might before His crucifixion (Matthew 26:30).
As one of these songs of praise, it shines with poetic beauty and thankfulness to the Ancient of Days. It begins with “I love The Lord,” and then tells of the great mercy and generosity He has shown to the psalmist. As such, the words of the psalm have been timeless, and will continue to be so.

Verses 12-14 contain some beautiful thoughts and an attitude all Christians today should have:
What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

We find this final verse recurring  throughout the psalm, which is the light we are to let shine (Matthew 5:14-16). We must let our commitment to Christ permeate our lives for all to see – not for our own glory, but for encouragement to others and to further His kingdom.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Acts 12 – Peter Is Rescued

Verse one begins with “About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.”  The words “about that time” obviously refer to a time period in which the events of the end of chapter 11 occurred.  Secular history accurately dates the death of this Herod (Herod Agrippa I – grandson of “Herod the Great”) in 44 A.D.  Verse 2 continues in the KJV with:

“And he killed James the brother of John with the sword…”

When Jesus was transfigured on a mountain. Moses and Elijah join him. Jesus had brought his closest 3 disciples with him – Peter, James and John –Matthew 17: 1-13; Mark 9: 1-13; Luke 9: 28-36.

Burton Coffman wrote concerning this verse: Only seven words in the Greek, translated by eleven in English, recount the martyrdom of the first apostle; and such restraint by the sacred historian shows how different are the words of inspiration from those of ordinary writers.

Indeed.  If one was simply writing a story rather than the word of God, one would certainly have more to say about the death of one of Jesus’ “inner circle,” James the son of Zebedee, than these few words.  The rest of the verse states that “…when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.”  The Jewish religious leaders – certainly much of the Sanhedrin – would have been pleased to have gotten rid of one the twelve men who were so instrumental in proclaiming that Jesus was the risen Lord.  This was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread; and Herod intended to bring Peter out after Passover and undoubtedly do the same with him as he had done with John’s brother.

But on the night before Herod was to bring him out, an angel of the Lord came to Peter as he slept between two soldiers, made the chains fall off of him, led him past two guards and compelled the iron gate to open on its own, as they walked through.  And with that, the angel left.  Up to this point, Peter had been thinking that he was having another vision.  But in verse 11, he realizes that the Lord had sent his angel to rescue him “from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

Although sixteen soldiers guarded Peter when he was thrown into prison, an angel came personally to rescue Peter (Acts 12).

Peter heads to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark (verse 12).  The consensus of scholars is that this may be because of the personal attachment Peter had for John Mark, who would write the gospel of Mark (of which writing there are convincing arguments that Peter stood behind).  At any rate, many of the church are gathered there.  At first, none of them believed the servant girl that it was Peter at the gate.  When they opened it, he cautioned them to be silent, then told them how he had been freed from prison.  As he left, he told them to tell James (this James would be the Lord’s brother) and the brothers what had happened.

The first Herod, called The Great, wanted to honor his patron, Augustus Caesar, with a fine harbor. He spent twelve years building a magnificent harbor and naming it Caesarea. Ruins of the Roman theater, built before the time of Jesus.

When it was discovered that Peter was gone, Herod had the sentries executed.  The he went to Caesarea, where verses 20-23 describe the events of his death, relating that an angel of the Lord struck him down and in the end “he was eaten by worms.”  Some suggest that both he and his grandfather died of Fournier’s gangrene, but the Scripture gives no other information that would verify this.  His vanity and acceptance of the praise proclaiming him to be a god led to his death.  Another purpose was served though, as he had already proved to be a dangerous enemy to the apostles.

Side note: In this article by Todd Bolen of BiblePlaces.com, the author makes some very convincing arguments for the actual location of Herod Agrippa, when he was struck down, to have been at the city amphitheater, rather than the theater itself (where the historian Josephus  wrote that it occurred).  He also makes some interesting observations about the ruler and his predecessor’s and the practice of the emperor being honored as a god.  Very interesting reading.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Matthew 26 – The Plot to Kill Jesus

 

Having read John’s account, we now move to Matthew’s account of the last supper and Jesus’ arrest.  Since the audience of the gospel of Matthew is the Jews, it makes sense that he would give full attention to certain details of the trial before the Sanhedrin.  Unlike John, who gives the event in more chronological order, Matthew includes the account of the anointing of Jesus by Mary (sister of Lazarus) here in verses 6-13.   he also gives us the details in verses 14-16 of Judas’ conspiracy with, and payment from, the chief priests for his promise to deliver Him.  We also read in verses 17-20 of Jesus sending disciples to a “certain man” to prepare to have Passover at his house.

A model of the way Caiaphas’ house may have looked in the time of Jesus. Caiaphas was the high priest who judged Jesus.

But it is in verses 3-5 that we read of chief priests and the elders plotting in Caiaphas’ palace to  “arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.”  They were fearful of arresting Jesus openly because of His popularity; and the Feast of Unleavened Bread brought thousands of Pilgrims to the city.  The last thing they wanted was an uprising.  In verses 20-25, Jesus foretells His betrayal by one of them, culminating in an actual exchange between Jesus and Judas.  What was it like to be told by the son of God that it would be better if His betrayer had never been born – knowing that you had already begun that process?  And Jesus’ confirmation that He knew in verse 25 must have been chilling, especially after the fact.

In verses 26-29, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper.  The Passover, begun so long ago in Exodus 12 with the sacrifice of a lamb had pointed to this day.  Now this memorial would remind us of the sacrifice of “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  Verse 28 (“…this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” is the fulfilling also of the new covenant promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34.

The hymn that they sung in verse 30 is most likely Psalm 113-118, which is known as the Hallel (meaning “praise”).  The scripture Jesus quotes in verse 31 is from Zechariah 13:7, telling the disciples that they will all fall away that very night.  He also predicts Peter’s denial, at which point they all declare that they will remain with Him even if they must die.  His prayer in Gethsemane occurs in verses 36-44.  The traditional site for this now holds the “Church of All Nations” (or “Basilica of the Agony“), which was built over a 4th century Byzantine church.  Note Jesus’ sorrow and fervent petition to God in verses 38-39.  Although He was divine, for our benefit He had the same emotions any man would have knowing the suffering that He was about to endure.

The Mount of Olives, looking from Jerusalem, with the Basilica of the Agony, traditional site where Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Today the garden is at the left of the basilica.

Judas betrays Him with a kiss in verse 49.  We know from John 18:10-11 that it was Peter that cut off the ear of one of Jesus’ captors (Malchus) in verse 51.  When Jesus rebukes him, He says “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”  (we sing the song “He could have called Ten Thousand Angels”).  Jesus was of course  not going to call for help, but a Roman legion was 6,000 – so twelve of them would be 72,000.  As predicted, all of His disciples fled the scene.

Matthew skips past the meeting with Annas (John 18:12-14, 19-24) and begins next with the appearance before Caiaphas the High Priest and the Council (the Sanhedrin).  They had many witnesses coming forward, but none would give the false testimony they wanted in order to have Him put to death until at last two came and, in verse 61, misquoted Jesus’ actual statement of John 2:19-21.  He remained silent, making no correction,  when Caiaphas questioned Him about it.  But when asked if He was the Christ, He confirmed it with the Greek expression “you have said so” that He had also used with Judas in verse 25.  Then He added that they would see him at the right hand of “Power.”  Caiaphas declared this to be blasphemy, and they spit on Him and slapped Him, saying that He deserved death.  The outcome was assured now.

Peter’s denial in verses 69-74 went just as Jesus had said; and remembering the words of the Lord, Peter’s grief was intense.  Though this apostle would come to understand the necessity of what Jesus was to endure, we can only try to imagine the guilt he would bear.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

 

Exodus 13:17 – 14:31 – Pillars of Cloud and Fire / Crossing the Red Sea

Exodus 13

God defines so much for His people in this chapter.  The obvious things are the instructions for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which are given in verses 4-10, and in 11-16 the importance of the first-born is made known – a fact that will permeate their fabric now, and in times to come.  To consecrate is “to set apart” or make to holy, by giving it to God; and that is exactly what His people will be expected to do, as the first-born of every man and animal of the people of Israel now belong to the Lord (verse 2).

The first-born of man will be redeemed – that is, a lamb will be sacrificed in their place.  They are to keep this as a statute from year to year, and tell their sons the story of why it is now so – because the Lord has delivered them with a strong hand.  The repetition of the Lord bringing the people out “with a strong hand” echoes the repetition of “I am the Lord”.  The point seems clear that the Lord must be given respect, fear, and honor as the Holy one.

“…about six hundred thousand men on foot…”

God did not lead them by the way of the Philistines even though that would be the shortest way (verses 17-18). They were equipped for battle, but the Lord knew they were not ready for war; and He led them through the wilderness to the Red Sea.  The Lord knew how nervous, and even frightened so many thousands of people must have been.

They were free now, it’s true.  But we tend to forget when reading about this that they were leaving the only home(s) they had ever known – and they were headed into the wilderness, and even the darkness, to a final destination most of them really did not know about.  They didn’t even know when they might finally get there – much less, what would happen to them along the way!

We cannot really envision the presence that the Lord made known to His people at this time (verses 21-22), but the references to the pillar of cloud, and by night a pillar of fire, will be repeated elsewhere.  How reassuring, and very fitting, it must have been that God Himself – the same one who in His power and might brought all these great plagues on Pharaoh and his people – was now leading their way with a presence that was both magnificent and awe-inspiring!

Joseph’s wish to be buried in Canaan will be done

The future still had to seem uncertain, but God, in His matchless wisdom (and for very good reasons that we can only partly understand), is making it very clear to them in so many ways that He truly is in charge now!  Don’t miss the significance of the faith of both Joseph and of Moses in verse 19, as he take takes the bones of Joseph with him, fulfilling Joseph’s charge in (Genesis 50:24-25)!

Exodus 14 – The Crossing

No matter what you might think of the Biblical accuracy of the Cecil B. DeMille classic, it is pretty hard to read this chapter without seeing the face of Charlton Heston in your mind’s eye unless you are so young you just never saw it (hard to believe, but it happens).  For a time before CGI was even a dream to anyone, the special effects of its most famous scene are still truly wonderful.   And as I read the chapter again even today, I still get caught up in the very real story of what God did here for it is, if nothing else, a really great story!  But it is something else.  It is God’s word to us.  And I wonder sometimes when we read stories in the Bible that may have become very familiar to us all of our lives… if many of us sometimes really still just don’t get it.

Unknown where the crossing took place

Come now, you might say.  It’s the account of the crossing of the Red Sea, God delivering His people.  I understand that, and probably you do already get what I mean here, but I don’t think all of us do – not always.  That is, after all, the point of reading the Bible again and again, isn’t it?  If we never learned anything new, what would the point be?  Read it once – maybe a second time to refresh the memory – and move on, right?  But we learned long ago that reading the Bible is different, didn’t we?  We can read the same chapter we read yesterday six months from now and we might learn something totally different.

So what do I personally take away from these 31 verses of the Lord’s word today?  Well, there’s the usual stuff, of course.  Here is the same Pharaoh and his servants that couldn’t get the people of Israel out of their land fast enough after the last plague.  Now that they are gone, they start to wonder “What were we thinking, letting them go!”  So they have to go after them.  Then there are the people of Israel, who find out they are coming after them.  The same people of Israel who saw the power of God throughout the ten plagues.  The same people of Israel who have been led through the wilderness and the darkness by the awesome visage of “the angel of God” (verse 19 and Exodus 13:21-22).  The same people who now cry out, and even tell Moses that they were better off back in Egypt (verse 12)!

We are so blessed in our lives that sometimes we do not even see the many ways that God continues to bless us each and every day.  Then, if we run into a situation that is difficult, and sometimes even seems desperate, we can so easily begin to lose hope when we do not fully trust in the Lord.  And in those times, it is easy to listen to others who would have us believe that it truly is hopeless.

We do not have Moses or anyone else to perform wonders before our eyes at God’s command.  God knows that He has given us what we need on this earth – through His word.  And He will see that we get whatever else we really need until we reach the end, and bring us home to Him if we choose to serve Him.

The lack of faith on the part of the people of Israel in verse 12, after so much reason to have faith in abundance, is sometimes hard to understand.  But God fights for them anyway, and…

Well, I don’t want to ruin the rest of the story for you…

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.