Monday, August 23, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, August 23, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, August 23, 2021
Psalm 11; 1 Kings 5:13-18; Ephesians 5:21—6:9
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, in our psalm reading, David struggles with and triumph over a strong temptation to distrust God and betake himself to indirect means for his own safety in a time of danger. Our reading from 1 Kings tells us about Solomon’s workers building the temple. Our epistle reading gives instructions for Christian households. Our verse of the day teaches us that God consoles us when our heart’s anxiety is great and brings joy and peace to us even in the midst of great battles.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Psalm 94:18-19

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
God is an ever-present comfort, which is why we should always seek Him. This includes when we have difficulty controlling our emotions. The Lord wants to calm our anxieties and give us hope to overcome our distress.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 11
God Sees All from the Heavenly Temple


1 In the Lord I take refuge.
     How then can you say to me:
     “Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
     they set their arrows against the strings
  to shoot from the shadows
     at the upright in heart.
3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
     what can the righteous do?”

4 The Lord is in his holy temple;
     the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
  He observes everyone on earth;
     his eyes examine them.
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
     but the wicked, those who love violence,
     he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain
     fiery coals and burning sulfur;
     a scorching wind will be their lot.

7 For the Lord is righteous,
     he loves justice;
     the upright will see his face.

Commentary
This psalm is the answer of faith to the advice of fear. Both are alike conscious of immediate peril. Fear sees only the things that are near. Faith takes in the larger distances. If the things fear sees are indeed all, its advice is excellent. When the things which faith sees are realized, its determination is vindicated. The advice of fear is found in the words beginning, "Flee as a bird," and ending, "What can the righteous do?" The name and thought of God are absent. The peril is seen vividly and accurately. It is wicked in nature; imminent, the wicked bend the bow; subtle, they "shoot in darkness." The very foundations are destroyed. There is nothing now for fear but to flee!

The rest of the psalm is the answer of faith. The first vision of faith is of Jehovah enthroned. That is the supreme foundation. Then He also sees the peril. Do the wicked watch the righteous? Jehovah watches the wicked! Are the righteous tried in the process? Jehovah presides over the trial1 Are the wicked going to shoot? So is Jehovah-and rain snares and brimstone! Perhaps among all the psalms none reveals more perfectly the strong hold of faith. It is the man who measures things by the circumstances of the hour who is filled with fear and counsels and practices fight! The man who sees Jehovah enthroned and governing has no panic.


From the Books of the Prophets
1 Kings 5:13-18
Solomon’s Workers


5:13 King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel—thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, 16 as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workers. 17 At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. 18 The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.

Commentary
The temple was chiefly built by the riches and labor of Gentiles, which typified their being called into the church. Solomon commanded, and they brought costly stones for the foundation. Christ, who is laid for a Foundation, is a chosen and precious Stone. We should lay our foundation firm, and bestow most pains on that part of our religion which lies out of the sight of men. And happy those who, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Who among us will build in the house of the Lord?

From the Epistles
Ephesians 5:21—6:9
A Household Code


5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

6:
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

Commentary
Verses 5:21-33: God keeps believers from sinning against him, and engages them to submit one to another in all he has commanded, to promote his glory, and to fulfill their duties to each other. The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honoring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures. Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow on all his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by those influences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. The words of Adam, mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; but they have also a hidden sense in them, relating to the union between Christ and his church. It was a kind of type, as having resemblance. There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescending love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their duties to each other. Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and many painful effects would be avoided.

Verses 6:1-4: The great duty of children is, to obey their parents. That obedience includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts, and in every age prosperity has attended those distinguished for obedience to parents. The duty of parents. Be not impatient; use no unreasonable severities. Deal prudently and wisely with children; convince their judgements and work upon their reason. Bring them up well; under proper and compassionate correction; and in the knowledge of the duty God requires. Often is this duty neglected, even among professors of the gospel. Many set their children against religion; but this does not excuse the children's disobedience, though it may be awfully occasion it. God alone can change the heart, yet he gives his blessing to the good lessons and examples of parents, and answers their prayers. But those, whose chief anxiety is that their children should be rich and accomplished, whatever becomes of their souls, must not look for the blessing of God.

Verses 6:5-9: The duty of servants is summed up in one word, obedience. The servants of old were generally slaves. The apostles were to teach servants and masters their duties, in doing which evils would be lessened, till slavery should be rooted out by the influence of Christianity. Servants are to reverence those over them. They are to be sincere; not pretending obedience when they mean to disobey, but serving faithfully. And they must serve their masters not only when their master's eye is upon them; but must be strict in the discharge of their duty, when he is absent and out of the way. Steady regard to the Lord Jesus Christ will make men faithful and sincere in every station, not grudgingly or by constraint, but from a principle of love to the masters and their concerns. This makes service easy to them, pleasing to their masters, and acceptable to the Lord Christ. God will reward even the meanest drudgery done from a sense of duty, and with a view to glorify him. Here is the duty of masters. Act after the same manner. Be just to servants, as you expect they should be to you; show the like good-will and concern for them, and be careful herein to approve yourselves to God. Be not tyrannical and overbearing. You have a Master to obey, and you and they are but fellow-servants in respect to Christ Jesus. If masters and servants would consider their duties to God, and the account they must shortly give to him, they would be more mindful of their duty to each other, and thus families would be more orderly and happy.



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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