Family First?

Daily Scripture readings for July, set #6:

– Exodus, chapters 16-18
– Psalm, chapter 29
– Matthew 12:38-50
– Acts 18:1-17

There’s a ton of interesting stuff in today’s Exodus chapters again. I mean, does anybody else remember Exodus being this cool to read? I guess I have a presupposition about the Old Testament being boring, and Exodus is blowing that out of the water. So anyway, for me, the noteworthy verses in these chapters include 16:4-8, 17:8-16, and 18:18. But the verses that I want to comment on specifically are at the beginning of chapter 18, where we learn that Moses left his wife and kids with his father-in-law while he went to confront Pharaoh. What’s interesting to me about this is how, as a 21st century Christian man, I view my family as my PRIMARY job. If God were to confront me in a burning bush and tell me to do something, would I respond hesitantly because it means leaving my family behind for a time? It’s obvious that, although my family is an important responsibility, FOLLOWING GOD’S WILL is my primary job. I absolutely must be diligent to shepherd my family well, but as this text indicates, sometimes the Lord requires a man to go it alone for a time.

My observation on Psalm 29 is somewhat second hand, because I can’t remember where I heard what I’m basing my observation on. The idea is this: water in the Old Testament signifies chaos/destruction. Does that sound familiar? I heard/read it somewhere recently, but I just don’t remember the source. Anyway, this Psalm has a profound truth in it if the water references are actually intended to represent chaos. Verse 10: “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood, the Lord sits as king forever.” Chaos and destruction is not something God must work to overcome or turn around. Rather, he is king over it.

Regarding today’s text in Matthew, I wonder if verses 46-50 have any bearing on the “God first, family second” thing. “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (vs 50).

Acts 18 has a startling line of logic as God encourages Paul to continue spreading the Gospel in Corinth: “And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you or harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people” (vs 9-10). God is telling Paul to be bold, and the reason is because there are many of God’s people in the city. Is God promising Paul safety because “God’s people” in the city will protect him? Could it not also be that the promise of safety is based on God’s intent to save people in the city who are “his” but have not yet heard the Gospel?

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