Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, August 25, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Psalm 11; 1 Kings 6:15-38; John 15:16-25
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 interior of the temple of the Lord is completed. In our gospel reading, Jesus gives a new command: Love each other. Our verse of the day, great peace have those who love God’s law.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Psalm 119:165

Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
How can I have God’s peace?

The key element in true, lasting peace is the presence of God. Isaiah says to God, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3). Christ is our peace—His presence is the presence of peace within us (Eph. 2:14). And so Jesus declares, “In Me you may have peace” (John 16:33).

What is this peace? It is an inner sense of contentment and quietness, regardless of life’s circumstances. It is steadfast confidence in our ever-faithful, immutable heavenly Father. It is the presence of joy in the midst of unhappiness.

True peace does not merely dull our pain. A person who has genuine, godly peace can endure an avalanche of hardship and difficulty and still enjoy an inner peace that surpasses all human understanding. Why? Because it does not come from pleasant circumstances, nice events, or good things others may do for us. Instead, it is based on the fact that the Spirit of our holy, omnipotent, and never-changing God lives within us.

Does enjoying God’s perfect peace mean that you’ll never feel the effects of the storms raging around you? Hardly. But His peace is complete, adequate, and sufficient for anything you face. Keep in mind three keys to experiencing sustained peace:
  • Focus on God. Perfect peace comes when you fix your mind on God. You must discipline yourself to meditate on God’s presence and work. When you spend time concentrating on a problem, does it not seem to grow bigger? In the same way, you will have a greater sense of God’s presence and provision as you fix your mind on Him.
  • Trust Him. You never have to worry about God acting too late or providing insufficient help. His timing and purposes are perfect; in fact, He uses your tribulations to reveal more of Himself to you. His Word is full of rock-solid promises, many of which involve granting you peace. Know that He will always honor them!
  • Meditate on His Word. Psalm 119:165 emphasizes that those who love God’s Word have great peace. Your most precious material possession is your Bible. Every believer should love God’s Word and feast on it daily. If you love it, you’re going to believe what it says—and then it will guide and anchor your life.

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 6:15-38
The Temple Interior is Completed


6:15 He lined its interior walls with cedar boards, paneling them from the floor of the temple to the ceiling, and covered the floor of the temple with planks of juniper. 16 He partitioned off twenty cubits at the rear of the temple with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to form within the temple an inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. 17 The main hall in front of this room was forty cubits long. 18 The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was to be seen.

19 He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord there. 20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar. 21 Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold. 22 So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.

23 For the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim out of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits—ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip. 25 The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape. 26 The height of each cherub was ten cubits. 27 He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. 28 He overlaid the cherubim with gold.

29 On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers. 30 He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.

31 For the entrance to the inner sanctuary he made doors out of olive wood that were one fifth of the width of the sanctuary. 32 And on the two olive-wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with hammered gold. 33 In the same way, for the entrance to the main hall he made doorframes out of olive wood that were one fourth of the width of the hall. 34 He also made two doors out of juniper wood, each having two leaves that turned in sockets. 35 He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.

36 And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.

37 The foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. 38 In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.

Commentary
See what was typified by this temple. 1. Christ is the true Temple. In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead; in him meet all God's spiritual Israel; through him we have access with confidence to God. 2. Every believer is a living temple, in whom the Spirit of God dwells, 1 Corinthians 3:16. This living temple is built upon Christ as its Foundation, and will be perfect in due time. 3. The gospel church is the mystical temple. It grows to a holy temple in the Lord, enriched and beautified with the gifts and graces of the Spirit. This temple is built firm, upon a Rock. 4. Heaven is the everlasting temple. There the church will be fixed. All that shall be stones in that building, must, in the present state of preparation, be fitted and made ready for it. Let sinners come to Jesus as the living Foundation, that they may be built on him, a part of this spiritual house, consecrated in body and soul to the glory of God.

From the Gospels
John 15:16-25
I Chose You


15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’


Commentary
If the same power that first shed abroad the love of Christ's in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, we should not long abide in it. Christ's love to us should direct us to love each other. He speaks as about to give many things in charge, yet names this only; it includes many duties. How little do many persons think, that in opposing the doctrine of Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, they prove themselves ignorant of the one living and true God, whom they profess to worship! The name into which Christ's disciples were baptized, is that which they will live and die by. It is a comfort to the greatest sufferers, if they suffer for Christ's name's sake. The world's ignorance is the true cause of its hatred to the disciples of Jesus. The clearer and fuller the discoveries of the grace and truth of Christ, the greater is our sin if we do not love him and believe in him.


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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