Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday, August 24, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Psalm 11; 1 Kings 6:1-14; Ephesians 6:21-24
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. In our reading from 1 Kings, the exterior of the temple of the Lord is completed. In our epistle reading, Paul gives his final greetings to God’s holy people in Ephesus. Our verse of the day, understanding the Lord’s love, presence, and nearness, should lead us to serve him and deepen our relationship with him.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Psalm 116:1-2

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
I love the Lord is the exact response God’s heart desires as a result of God’s interventions in our lives. It fulfills the royal law (Matt. 22:37, 38) and is a perfect “thank You.”

Understanding the Lord’s love, presence, and nearness should lead us to serve him and deepen our relationship with him. While we love God for many reasons, we want to express our love to him today, especially for his personal concern for us. In a world where important people refuse to spend time with those “beneath” them, we are truly blessed with an incomparable God who listens to our every cry, recognizes our very own distinct voice, and tunes his ear to hear every one of our whispers. Yes! I will call on him, praise him, thank him, confess to him, and speak with him as long as I live!


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 6:1-14
The Temple Exterior is Completed


6:1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord.

2 The temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high. 3 The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits, and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple. 4 He made narrow windows high up in the temple walls. 5 Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary he built a structure around the building, in which there were side rooms. 6 The lowest floor was five cubits wide, the middle floor six cubits and the third floor seven. He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.

7 In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.

8 The entrance to the lowest floor was on the south side of the temple; a stairway led up to the middle level and from there to the third. 9 So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks. 10 And he built the side rooms all along the temple. The height of each was five cubits, and they were attached to the temple by beams of cedar.

11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

14 So Solomon built the temple and completed it.

Commentary
Verses 1-10: The temple is called the house of the Lord, because it was directed and modeled by him, and was to be employed in his service. This gave it the beauty of holiness, that it was the house of the Lord, which was far beyond all other beauties. It was to be the temple of the God of peace, therefore no iron tool must be heard; quietness and silence suit and help religious exercises. God's work should be done with much care and little noise. Clamor and violence often hinder, but never further the work of God. Thus the kingdom of God in the heart of man grows up in silence, Mark 5:27.

Verses 11-14: None employ themselves for God, without having his eye upon them. But God plainly let Solomon know that all the charge for building this temple, would neither excuse from obedience to the law of God, nor shelter from his judgments, in case of disobedience.


From the Epistles
Ephesians 6:21-24
Peace to the Whole Community


6:21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.

23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

Commentary
The best and most eminent ministers need the prayers of believers. Those particularly should be prayed for, who are exposed to great hardships and perils in their work. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith. By peace, understand all manner of peace; peace with God, peace of conscience, peace among themselves. And the grace of the Spirit, producing faith and love, and every grace. These he desires for those in whom they were already begun. And all grace and blessings come to the saints from God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace, that is, the favor of God; and all good, spiritual and temporal, which is from it, is and shall be with all those who thus love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and with them only.


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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