Monday, August 30, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, August 30, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, August 30, 2021
Psalm 144:9-15; Song of Songs 3:6-11; 1 Timothy 4:6-16
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist talks about the blessings that God gave to him. Our reading from Song of Songs is constructed in such a way as to bring a luxurious conveyance bearing Solomon from the furthest imaginable horizon, the wilderness, closer and closer to the speaker who describes the procession, and through whose eyes we perceive the sight in greater and greater detail. In our epistle reading, the servant of Christ is steeped in right teaching, trained in godliness, and exemplifies the Gospel-saturated life. In our verse of the day, Paul offers two negatives paralleled by two positives.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Ephesians 2:19

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.
The notion of one’s primary citizenship being in the kingdom of God, rather than in the political realities of the day, continued to influence how the early Christians understood their place in the world. The Letter to Diognetus reveals how the early Christian communities were perceived by their neighbors. “They live in their own countries, but only as aliens. They have a share in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their fatherland, and yet for them every fatherland is a foreign land… They busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.”

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 144:9-15
The Blessing of Sons and Daughters

9 I will sing a new song to you, my God;
     on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
10 to the One who gives victory to kings,
      who delivers his servant David.

   From the deadly sword
11 deliver me;
      rescue me from the hands of foreigners
   whose mouths are full of lies,
      whose right hands are deceitful.

12 Then our sons in their youth
      will be like well-nurtured plants,
   and our daughters will be like pillars
      carved to adorn a palace.
13 Our barns will be filled
      with every kind of provision.
   Our sheep will increase by thousands,
      by tens of thousands in our fields;
14    our oxen will draw heavy loads.
   There will be no breaching of walls,
      no going into captivity,
      no cry of distress in our streets.
15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
      blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.

Fresh favors call for fresh returns of thanks; we must praise God for the mercies we hope for by his promise, as well as those we have received by his providence. To be saved from the hurtful sword, or from wasting sickness, without deliverance from the dominion of sin and the wrath to come, is but a small advantage. The public prosperity David desired for his people, is stated. It adds much to the comfort and happiness of parents in this world, to see their children likely to do well. To see them as plants, not as weeds, not as thorns; to see them as plants growing, not withered and blasted; to see them likely to bring forth fruit unto God in their day; to see them in their youth growing strong in the Spirit. Plenty is to be desired, that we may be thankful to God, generous to our friends, and charitable to the poor; otherwise, what profit is it to have our garners full? Also, uninterrupted peace. War brings abundance of mischief, whether it be to attack others or to defend ourselves. And in proportion as we do not adhere to the worship and service of God, we cease to be a happy people. The subjects of the Savior, the Son of David, share the blessings of his authority and victories, and are happy because they have the Lord for their God.

From the Books of Wisdom
Song of Songs 3:6-11
Groom and Wedding Party

6 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
     like a column of smoke,
  perfumed with myrrh and incense
     made from all the spices of the merchant?
7 Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,
     escorted by sixty warriors,
     the noblest of Israel,
8 all of them wearing the sword,
     all experienced in battle,
  each with his sword at his side,
     prepared for the terrors of the night.
9 King Solomon made for himself the carriage;
     he made it of wood from Lebanon.
10 Its posts he made of silver,
      its base of gold.
   Its seat was upholstered with purple,
      its interior inlaid with love.
   Daughters of Jerusalem,
11 come out,
      and look, you daughters of Zion.
   Look on King Solomon wearing a crown,
      the crown with which his mother crowned him
   on the day of his wedding,
      the day his heart rejoiced.

A wilderness is an emblem of the world; the believer comes out of it when he is delivered from the love of its sinful pleasures and pursuits, and refuses to comply with its customs and fashions, to seek happiness in communion with the Savior. A poor soul shall come up, at last, under the conduct of the Comforter; like a cloud of incense ascending from the altar, or the smoke of the burnt-offerings. This signifies pious and devout affections, and the mounting of the soul heaven-ward. The believer is filled with the graces of God's Spirit; his devotions now are very lively. These graces and comforts are from the heavenly Canaan. He, who is the Peace of his people, the King of the heavenly Zion, has provided for the safe conveyance of his redeemed through the wilderness of this world. The bed, or palanquin, was contrived for rest and easy conveyance, but its beauty and magnificence showed the quality of its owner. The church is well guarded; more are with her than are against her: believers, when they repose in Christ, and with him, though they have their fears in the night, are yet safe. The chariot here denotes the covenant of redemption, the way of our salvation. This is that work of Christ, which makes him loved and admired in the eyes of believers. It is framed and contrived, both for the glory of Christ, and for the comfort of believers; it is well ordered in all things and sure. The blood of the covenant, that rich purple, is the cover of this chariot, by which believers are sheltered from the wind and storms of Divine wrath, and the troubles of this world; but the midst of it is that love of Christ which passes knowledge, this is for believers to repose upon. Christ, in his gospel, manifests himself. Take special notice of his crown. Applying this to Christ, it speaks the honor put upon him, and his power and dominion.

From the Epistles
1 Timothy 4:6-16
Set the Believers an Example

6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Verses 6-10: Outward acts of self-denial profit little. What will it avail us to mortify the body, if we do not mortify sin? No diligence in mere outward things could be of much use. The gain of godliness lies much in the promise; and the promises to godly people relate partly to the life that now is, but especially to the life which is to come: though we lose for Christ, we shall not lose by him. If Christ be thus the Savior of all men, then much more will he be the Rewarder of those who seek and serve him; he will provide well for those whom he has made new creatures.

Verses 11-16: Men's youth will not be despised, if they keep from vanities and follies. Those who teach by their doctrine, must teach by their life. Their discourse must be edifying; their conversation must be holy; they must be examples of love to God and all good men, examples of spiritual-mindedness. Ministers must mind these things as their principal work and business. By this means their profiting will appear in all things, as well as to all persons; this is the way to profit in knowledge and grace, and also to profit others. The doctrine of a minister of Christ must be scriptural, clear, evangelical, and practical; well stated, explained, defended, and applied. But these duties leave no leisure for wordly pleasures, trifling visits, or idle conversation, and but little for what is mere amusement, and only ornamental. May every believer be enabled to let his profiting appear unto all men; seeking to experience the power of the gospel in his own soul, and to bring forth its fruits in his life.

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. 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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