Friday, August 20, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Friday, August 20, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Friday, August 20, 2021
Psalm 84; 1 Kings 4:29-34; Romans 13:11-14
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist longs for a place to dwell with God, to stand in the presence of the Lord. In our reading from 1 Kings, we read that because of Solomon’s wisdom, he was famous in countries far and near. People made collections of his proverbs and songs, and many traveled to Israel to hear his wisdom. In our epistles reading, Paul tells us that as Christians, we are all “morning people.” The time is just before dawn, the sky is brightening, the alarm is ringing, day is at hand. It is time to rouse our minds from slumber, to be alert to what God is doing in the world, and to live in accordance with God’s coming salvation. In our verse of the day, although written by David, this Messianic psalm makes clear reference to the resurrection of Christ and His glorious ascension into heaven, where at this very moment He is seated in heavenly places—on the very throne of God.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Psalm 16:8

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
A fully armed warrior would hold his weapon in his right hand and his shield in his left. The person to the right of a king would have the privilege of defending him. For a king to put someone there would be an affirmation of trust, and therefore an honor. In contrast, when the Lord takes up his position at someone’s right hand, as here, he is in a position to offer defense with his shield (Psalm 109:31).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 84
How Dear is God’s Dwelling


1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
     Lord Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
     for the courts of the Lord;
  my heart and my flesh cry out
     for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
     and the swallow a nest for herself,
     where she may have her young—
  a place near your altar,
     Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
     they are ever praising you.

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
     whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
     they make it a place of springs;
     the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
     till each appears before God in Zion.

8 Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
     listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield, O God;
     look with favor on your anointed one.

10 Better is one day in your courts
      than a thousand elsewhere;
   I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
      than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
      the Lord bestows favor and honor;
   no good thing does he withhold
      from those whose walk is blameless.

12 Lord Almighty,
      blessed is the one who trusts in you.


Commentary
Verses 1-7: The ordinances of God are the believer's solace in this evil world; in them he enjoys the presence of the living God: this causes him to regret his absence from them. They are to his soul as the nest to the bird. Yet they are only an earnest of the happiness of heaven; but how can men desire to enter that holy habitation, who complain of Divine ordinances as wearisome? Those are truly happy, who go forth, and go on in the exercise of religion, in the strength of the grace of Jesus Christ, from whom all our sufficiency is. The pilgrims to the heavenly city may have to pass through many a valley of weeping, and many a thirsty desert; but wells of salvation shall be opened for them, and consolations sent for their support. Those that press forward in their Christian course, shall find God add grace to their graces. And those who grow in grace, shall be perfect in glory.

Verses 8-12: In all our addresses to God, we must desire that he would look on Christ, his Anointed One, and accept us for his sake: we must look to Him with faith, and then God will with favor look upon the face of the Anointed: we, without him, dare not show our faces. The psalmist pleads love to God's ordinances. Let us account one day in God's courts better than a thousand spent elsewhere; and deem the meanest place in his service preferable to the highest earthly preferment. We are here in darkness, but if God be our God, he will be to us a Sun, to enlighten and enliven us, to guide and direct us. We are here in danger, but he will be to us a Shield, to secure us from the fiery darts that fly thick about us. Through he has not promised to give riches and dignities, he has promised to give grace and glory to all that seek them in his appointed way. And what is grace, but heaven begun below, in the knowledge, love, and service of God? What is glory, but the completion of this happiness, in being made like to him, and in fully enjoying him for ever? Let it be our care to walk uprightly, and then let us trust God to give us every thing that is good for us. If we cannot go to the house of the Lord, we may go by faith to the Lord of the house; in him we shall be happy, and may be easy. That man is really happy, whatever his outward circumstances may be, who trusts in the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob.


From the Books of the Prophets
1 Kings 4:29-34
Solomon’s Wisdom Recognized


4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.

Commentary
Solomon's wisdom was more his glory than his wealth. He had what is here called largeness of heart, for the heart is often put for the powers of the mind. He had the gift of utterance, as well as wisdom. It is very desirable, that those who have large gifts of any kind, should have large hearts to use them for the good of others. What treasures of wisdom and knowledge are lost! But every sort of knowledge that is needful for salvation is to be found in the holy Scriptures. There came persons from all parts, who were more eager after knowledge than their neighbors, to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon was herein a type of Christ, in whom are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and hid for us, for he is made of God to us, wisdom. Christ's fame shall spread through all the earth, and men of all nations shall come to him, learn of him, and take upon them his easy yoke, and find rest for their souls.

From the Epistles
Romans 13:11-14
Put on the Armor of Light


13:11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Commentary
Four things are here taught, as a Christian's directory for his day's work. When to awake; Now; and to awake out of the sleep of carnal security, sloth, and negligence; out of the sleep of spiritual death, and out of the sleep of spiritual deadness. Considering the time; a busy time; a perilous time. Also the salvation nigh at hand. Let us mind our way, and mend our pace, we are nearer our journey's end. Also to make ourselves ready. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; therefore it is time to dress ourselves. Observe what we must put off; clothes worn in the night. Cast off the sinful works of darkness. Observe what we must put on; how we should dress our souls. Put on the armor of light. A Christian must reckon himself undressed, if unarmed. The graces of the Spirit are this armor, to secure the soul from Satan's temptations, and the assaults of this present evil world. Put on Christ; that includes all. Put on righteousness of Christ, for justification. Put on the Spirit and grace of Christ, for sanctification. The Lord Jesus Christ must be put on as Lord to rule you as Jesus to save you; and in both, as Christ anointed and appointed by the Father to this ruling, saving work. And how to walk. When we are up and ready, we are not to sit still, but to appear abroad; let us walk. Christianity teaches us how to walk so as to please God, who ever sees us. Walk honestly as in the day; avoiding the works of darkness. Where there are riot and drunkenness, there usually are chambering and wantonness, and strife and envy. Solomon puts these all together, Proverbs 23:29-35. See what provision to make. Our great care must be to provide for our souls: but must we take no care about our bodies? Yes; but two things are forbidden. Perplexing ourselves with anxious, encumbering care; and indulging ourselves in irregular desires. Natural wants are to be answered, but evil appetites must be checked and denied. To ask meat for our necessities, is our duty, we are taught to pray for daily bread; but to ask meat for our lusts, is provoking God, Psalms 78:18.


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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