Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday, June 8, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Psalm 108; 1 Samuel 8:1-22; Revelation 20:7-15 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible


Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
Answers to Life’s Questions:
What can I do when my feelings go from discouraged to hopeless? (Hab. 3:17–19)

If you feel hopeless, helpless, or powerless—unable to deal with people or problems and on the verge of exhaustion—take heart in the prophet Habakkuk’s stirring conclusion to his short book.

Knowing that a savage army of Babylonians would soon plunder his homeland, Habakkuk was discouraged. Surely, the coming destruction would be absolutely unbearable. Yet despite the disheartening scenario, Habakkuk penned an amazing response: “I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places” (3:18, 19). Even if the crops all failed, the livestock died, and everything he had learned to depend on was ruined, Habakkuk would still trust the Lord (3:17).

Where did the prophet find such hope in the face of such terrible calamity? For one thing, clearly he had been strengthened by God’s Word. His expression of faith closely echoes the words of David, uttered centuries before: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies” (Ps. 18:2, 3).

Also, Habakkuk had spent a great deal of time alone with the Lord. In fact, the book that bears his name is a record of his extended conversation with God concerning His ways and plans. While Habakkuk did not understand (or particularly like) what he heard from God, he acknowledged the fact that His ways are best. He trusted the Lord for the future of Israel and for his own life. Regardless of the circumstances, the prophet knew that the Lord was at work and would bring good out of what seemed to be horrendous circumstances. That is God’s promise to us. He is always at work in our lives to bring good out of the darkest of situations (Rom. 8:28).

When the outlook looks grim, Christ is your strength. When the circumstances seem volatile, Christ is your stability. When the future appears foreboding, Christ remains your hope. The strength of Christ is both inexhaustible and immeasurable—and it is yours to receive.

God delights in upholding the weary and reviving the fainthearted (Is. 40:29–31). Your reservoir of emotional and physical energy may feel nearly drained, but God’s supply of spiritual stamina never runs out. Come to Him and His Word for the strength to carry on, and He will supply the power you need to traverse the rough terrain ahead. That’s His promise, and God always keeps His promises.


Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 108
I Will Sing Praises Among the Nations


1 My heart, O God, is steadfast;
     I will sing and make music with all my soul.
2 Awake, harp and lyre!
     I will awaken the dawn.
3 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
     I will sing of you among the peoples.
4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
     your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
     let your glory be over all the earth.

6 Save us and help us with your right hand,
     that those you love may be delivered.
7 God has spoken from his sanctuary:
     “In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
     and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
8 Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
     Ephraim is my helmet,
     Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my washbasin,
     on Edom I toss my sandal;
     over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
      Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Is it not you, God, you who have rejected us
      and no longer go out with our armies?
12 Give us aid against the enemy,
      for human help is worthless.
13 With God we will gain the victory,
      and he will trample down our enemies.


Commentary
Verses 1-5 —  It is the unspeakable comfort of all believers, that whoever is against them, God is for them; and to him they may apply as to one pleased to concern himself for them. David's enemies laughed at him for his devotion, but they could not laugh him out of it.

Verses 6-13 — The Lord Jesus may speak here as a Judge, denouncing sentence on some of his enemies, to warn others. When men reject the salvation of Christ, even their prayers are numbered among their sins. See what hurries some to shameful deaths, and brings the families and estates of others to ruin; makes them and theirs despicable and hateful, and brings poverty, shame, and misery upon their posterity: it is sin, that mischievous, destructive thing. And what will be the effect of the sentence, "Go, ye cursed," upon the bodies and souls of the wicked! How it will affect the senses of the body, and the powers of the soul, with pain, anguish, horror, and despair! Think on these things, sinners, tremble and repent.


From the Historical books of the Old Testament
1 Samuel 8:1-22
Samuel Warns Against Kings


8:1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”


Commentary
Verses 1-3 — It does not appear that Samuel's sons were so profane and vicious as Eli's sons; but they were corrupt judges, they turned aside after lucre. Samuel took no bribes, but his sons did, and then they perverted judgment. What added to the grievance of the people was, that they were threatened by an invasion from Nahash, king of the Ammonites.

Verses 4-9 — Samuel was displeased; he could patiently bear what reflected on himself, and his own family; but it displeased him when they said, Give us a king to judge us, because that reflected upon God. It drove him to his knees. When any thing disturbs us, it is our interest, as well as our duty, to show our trouble before God. Samuel is to tell them that they shall have a king. Not that God was pleased with their request, but as sometimes he opposes us from loving-kindness, so at other times he gratifies us in wrath; he did so here. God knows how to bring glory to himself, and serves his own wise purposes, even by men's foolish counsels.

Verses 10-22 — If they would have a king to rule them, as the eastern kings ruled their subjects, they would find the yoke exceedingly heavy. Those that submit to the government of the world and the flesh, are told plainly, what hard masters they are, and what tyranny the dominion of sin is. The law of God and the manner of men widely differ from each other; the former should be our rule in the several relations of life; the latter should be the measure of our expectations from others. These would be their grievances, and, when they complained to God, he would not hear them. When we bring ourselves into distress by our own wrong desires and projects, we justly forfeit the comfort of prayer, and the benefit of Divine aid. The people were obstinate and urgent in their demand. Sudden resolves and hasty desires make work for long and leisurely repentance. Our wisdom is, to be thankful for the advantages, and patient under the disadvantages of the government we may live under; and to pray continually for our rulers, that they may govern us in the fear of God, and that we may live under them in all godliness and honesty. And it is a hopeful symptom when our desires of worldly objects can brook delay; and when we can refer the time and manner of their being granted to God's providence.

From the Apocalypse of John
Revelation 20:7-15
Satan’s Doom


20:7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Commentary
Verses 7-10 — While this world lasts, Satan's power in it will not be wholly destroyed, though it may be limited and lessened. No sooner is Satan let loose, than he again begins deceiving the nations, and stirring them up to make war with the saints and servants of God. It would be well if the servants and ministers of Christ were as active and persevering in doing good, as his enemies in doing mischief. God will fight this last and decisive battle for his people, that the victory may be complete, and the glory be to himself.

Verses 11-15 — After the events just foretold, the end will speedily come; and there is no mention of any thing else, before the appearing of Christ to judge the world. This will be the great day: the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, will then put on majesty and terror. The persons to be judged are the dead, small and great; young and old, low and high, poor and rich. None are so mean, but they have some talents to account for; and none so great, as to avoid having to account for them. Not only those alive at the coming of Christ, but all the dead. There is a book of remembrance both for good and bad: and the book of the sinner's conscience, though formerly secret, will then be opened. Every man will recollect all his past actions, though he had long forgotten many of them. Another book shall be opened, the book of the Scriptures, the rule of life; it represents the Lord's knowledge of his people, and his declaring their repentance, faith, and good works; showing the blessings of the new covenant. By their works men shall be justified or condemned; he will try their principles by their practices. Those justified and acquitted by the gospel, shall be justified and acquitted by the Judge, and shall enter into eternal life, having nothing more to fear from death, or hell, or wicked men; for these are all destroyed together. This is the second death; it is the final separation of sinners from God. Let it be our great concern to see whether our Bibles justify or condemn us now; for Christ will judge the secrets of all men according to the gospel. Who shall dwell with devouring flames?



Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year B. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2021, we will be in Year C. The year which ended at Advent 2020 was Year A. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org. The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

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