Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, June 2, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Psalm 20; Numbers 6:22-27; Mark 4:21-25 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible


Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Life Lessons:
The greatest burden of all is our sin, because it keeps us in bondage, fragments our thinking, blinds us to the truth, discourages us, and prevents us from becoming all that God created us to be. Our sin enslaves us, no matter what it is—even if it doesn’t include addictions. It also separates us from the Lord because He is holy and despises ungodliness. Yet Christ is our great Sin-Bearer, because through Him we have forgiveness and freedom from our sin.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 20
The Name of God


1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
     may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
     and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
     and accept your burnt offerings.
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
     and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
     and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

  May the Lord grant all your requests.

6 Now this I know:
     The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
  He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
     with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
     but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
     but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
     Answer us when we call!


Commentary
Psalm 20 is a prayer on behalf of the king. It is paired with Psalm 21, another royal psalm, which gives thanks for answered prayer on behalf of the king; both psalms pick up on motifs from Psalm 18, another royal psalm. The people pray for the king’s victory in battle (vv. 1–5), express trust that the Lord will give the victory (vv. 6–8), and conclude with a final petition for victory (v. 9).

Horse-drawn chariots were one of the primary weapons of warfare in the ancient Near East. Yet David knew that the determining factor of victory was not military might, but rather the name of God (v. 7). Having God on his side meant that the Israelites could “lift up [their] banners,” signifying triumph over their enemies (v. 5). This is the kind of confidence David had in God’s commitment to save “his anointed” (v. 6). Similarly, Jesus trusted in his Father to bring victory over sin and death by giving “his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). Consider Jesus’ admonishment of the disciples as they drew their swords to prevent his arrest: “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Mt 26:53). Jesus showed perfect confidence in his Father’s power when he forewarned his disciples of his death while encouraging them that “on the third day he [would] be raised to life” (Mt 20:19). Scripture teaches that God is able and willing to save (Zep 3:17). It is the reason why so much of his Word reminds his people that they need not fear, for the battle belongs to the Lord (Dt 31:6; Isa 41:10; Ro 8:15; Heb 13:5–6).


A Reading from the Pentateuch
Numbers 6:22-27
Aaronic Blessing


6:22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 “‘“The Lord bless you
      and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
      and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
      and give you peace.”’

27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Commentary
The priests were solemnly to bless the people in the name of the Lord. To be under the almighty protection of God our Savior; to enjoy his favor as the smile of a loving Father, or as the cheering beams of the sun; while he mercifully forgives our sins, supplies our wants, consoles the heart, and prepares us by his grace for eternal glory; these things form the substance of this blessing, and the sum total of all blessings. In so rich a list of mercies worldly joys are not worthy to be mentioned. Here is a form of prayer. The name Jehovah is three times repeated. The Jews think there is some mystery; and we know what it is, the New Testament having explained it. There we are directed to expect the blessing from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, 2 Corinthians 13:14; each of which Persons is Jehovah, and yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.


A Reading from the Gospel of Mark
Mark 4:21-25
Secrets Come to Light


4:21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

24
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Commentary
These declarations were intended to call the attention of the disciples to the word of Christ. By his thus instructing them, they were made able to instruct others; as candles are lighted, not to be covered, but to be placed on a candlestick, that they may give light to a room.



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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