February 4: What Type of Savior?
Exodus 9:1–10:29; John 2:1–12; Song of Solomon 1:15–17
It’s tempting to operate life on our own terms and only call on God when we hit a crisis. If we’re not busy studying how God has worked in the past and relying on the work of the Spirit in our lives, we can easily fall into the pattern of calling on Him to meet our desires rather than realizing that He is the first to deliver what we need.
In John 2, we get a sense of what this was like for Mary and the disciples at the wedding in Cana. While Mary wants Jesus to save the day—and save the bridegroom from certain ruin and humiliation—Jesus shows her that He is no magician. His soft rebuke reminds her that His plan of salvation exceeds what she can perceive: “What does your concern have to do with me, woman? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). (This phrase seems derogatory to our modern ears, but it actually would have been normal language between a son and mother in the first century AD.) However, after doing so, He willingly and liberally grants her request.
Those who were closest to Jesus didn’t yet understand the role He came to fulfill. This miracle, the first in a series in the Gospel of John, helped Jesus’ disciples believe in Him (John 2:11). But even throughout His ministry and the witnessing of other miracles, they would struggle to fully understand why He came. He constantly needed to remind and correct them.
God knows our need, and He made a plan to meet that need. His glory was displayed at Cana, but His purpose for coming—for redeeming both us and them—would be revealed at another event that would confound human understanding: the shame and glory of the cross. He fulfilled that need. And today, we can go to Him for all of our needs. If it is in His will, He will grant it.
How do you rely on Jesus to fulfill your deepest need?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Then the Lord said unto Moses, Go to Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt yet hold them still, Behold, the hand ofthe Lord is upon thy flock which is in the field: ofr upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the cattle, and upon the sheep shall be a mighty great moraine. And the Lord shall do wonderfully between the beasts of Israel, and the beasts of Egypt: so that there shall nothing die at all, that pertaineth to the children of Israel. And the Lord appointed a time, saying, Tomorrow the Lord shall finishe this thing in this land. So the Lord did this thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. Then Pharaoh sent, and behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead: and the heart of Pharaoh was obstinate, and he did not let the people go. And the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron, Take your handful of ashes of the furnace, and Moses shall sprinkle them toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh, And they shall be turned to dust in all the land of Egypt: and it shall be as a scab breaking out into blisters upon man, and upon beast throughout all the land of Egypt. Then they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh: and Moses sprinkled them toward the heaven, and there came [a] scab breaking out into blisters upon man, and upon beast. And the sorcerers could not stand before Moses, because of the scab: for the scab was upon the enchanters and upon all the Egyptians. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had said unt oMoses. Also the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God fo the Hebrews, Let my people go that they may serve me. For I will at this time send my plagues upon thine heart, adn upon thy servants, and upon ty people, that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out mine hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with the pestilence: and thou shalt perish from teh earth. And indeed, for this cause have I appointed thee, to show my power in thee, and to declare my name throughout all the world. Yet thou exaltest thyself against my people, and lettest them not go. Behold, tomorrow his time I will cause to rain a mighty great hail, such as was not in Egypt since the foundation thereof was laid unto this time. Send therefore now and gather the cattle, and all that thou hast in the field: for upon all the men, and the beasts, which are found in the field, and not brought home, the hail shall fall upon them: and they shal ldie. Such then asfeared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh, made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses. But such as regarded not the word of the Lord, left his servants, and his cattle int he field. And the Lord said to Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon all the herbs of the field in the land of Egypt. Then Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning upon the ground: and the Lord caused hail to rain upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled withthe hail, so grievous, as there was none throughout all the land of Egypt, since it was a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both an and beast: also the hail smote all the trees of the field and brake to pieces all the trees of the field. Only in the land of Goshen (where the children of Israel were) was no hail. Then Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have now sinned: the Lord is righteous, but I and my people are wicked. Pray ye unto the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunders, and hail, and I will let you go, and ye shall tarry no longer. Then Moses said unto him, As soon as I am out of the city, I will spread mine hands unto the Lor,d and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail, that thou mayest know that the earth is the Lord’s. As for thee and thy servants I know afore I pra, ye will fear before the face of the Lord God. (And the flax, and the barely were smitten of the barley was eared, and the flax was bolled. But the wheat and the eye wer not smitten, for they were hid in the ground.) Then Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, neither rained it upon the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder were ceased, he sinned again, and hardened his heart, both he, and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened: neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had said by Moses. Again the Lord said unto Moses, Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his sevants, that I might work these y iracles in the midst of his realm, And that thou mayest declare inthe ears of thy son, and they son’s son, what things I have done in Egypt, and my miracles, which I have done aong them: that ye may know that I am the Lord. Then came Moses and Aaron unt opharaoh, and they said unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring grashoppers into thy coasts. And they shall cover the face of the earth, that a man cannot see the earth: and they shalleat the residue which remaineth unto you, and hath escaped from the hail: and they shall eat all your trees that bud in the field. And they shall fill thine houses, and all thy servants’ houses, and the houses of all the Egyptians, as neither thy fahters, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen ,, since the tie they were upon the eart unto this day. So he returned, and went out from Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh’s servants said unto him, How long shall he be an office unto us? let the men go, that they may serve th eLord their God: wilt thou first know that Egypt is destroyed? So Moses and Aaron were broght again unto Pharaoh, and he said unto them, Go, serve th Lord your God, but who are they that shall go? And Moses answered, We will go with our young, ad with our old, with our sons, adn with our daughters, with our sheep, and with our cattle will we go: for we must celebratea feast unto the Lord. And he said unto them, Let the Lord so be with you, as I will let you go and your children: behold, for evil is before your face. It shall not be so: now go ye that are men, and serve the Lord: for that was your desire. Then they wer thrust out from pharaoh’s presence. After, the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand upon the land of Egupt for the grasshoppers, that they may come upon the land of Egypt, and eat all the herbs of the land, even all that the hail had left. Then Moses stretched forth his rod upon the land of Egupt: and the Lord brought an East wind upon the land all that day, and al that night; and in the morning the East wind brought the grasshoppers. So th grasshoppers went up upon all the land of Egypt, and remained in all quarters of Egypt: so grievous Grasshoppers, like to these were never before, neither after them shall be such. For they covered all the face ofthe earth, so that the land was dark: and they did eat all the herbs of the land, and all the fruits of teh trees, which the hail had left, so that there was no gren thing left upon the trees, not among the herbs of the field throughout all the land of Egypt. Therefore Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, adn said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. And now forgive me my sin only this once, and pray unto the Lord your God, that he may take away from me tjhis death onlly. Moses then went out from Pharaoh, and prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord turned a mighty strong West wind, and took away the grasshoppers, adn violently cast them into the red Sea, so that there remained not one grasshopper in all the land of Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go. Again the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be upon the land of Egypt darkness, even darkness that may be felt. Then Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven, and there was a black darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. No man saw another, neither rose up from the place where he was for three days: but al lthe children of Israel had light where they dwelt. Then Pharaoh called for Moses, and said, Go serve the Lord: only your sheep and your cattle shal abide, and your children shall go with you. And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices,a nd burnt offerings that we may do sacrifice unto the Lord our God. Therefore our cattle also shall go with us: there shall not an hoof be left, for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God: neither do we know how we shall serve the Lord, until we ocome thither. (But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go._ And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me: look thou see my face no more: for whensoever thou comest in my sight, thou shalt die. Then Moses said, Thou hast said well: from henceforth will I see thy face no more. Exodus 9:1–10:29
- And the third day, was there a marriage in Cana a town of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus was called also, and his disciples unto the marriage. Now when the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said unto him, They have no wine. Jesus said unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother said unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there, six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. And Jesus said unto them, Fill te waterpots with water. Then they filled them up to the brim. Then he said unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. So they bare it. Now when the governor of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, (for he knew not whence it was, but the servants, which drew the water, knew) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom And said unto him, All men at the beginning set forth good wine, adn when men have well drunk, then that whihch is worse: but thou hast kept back the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana a town of Galilee, and showed forth his glory: and his disciples believe on him . John 2:1–12
- My well-beloved, behold, thou art fair, and pleasant: also our bed is green. The beams of our house are cedars, our rafters are of fir. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away: return, my well-beloved, and be like a roe, or a young hart, upon the mountains f Bether. Song of Solomon 2:15–17