Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, August 18, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Psalm 101; 1 Kings 8:1-21; Mark 8:14-21
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

In today’s lectionary readings, our psalm is Psalm of David as the man after God’s own heart when he was about to become king in Israel. In the reading from 1 Kings, King Solomon brings the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion to the City of David. In our reading from the Gospel of Mark, Jesus warns the disciples to  “Be careful… Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” In our verse of the day, the apostle Paul writes that he found joy in his afflictions while in prison because they had strengthened his faith exponentially and allowed him to serve as a strong witness for Christ.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Paul had suffered greatly (2 Cor. 11:24–28), so no one could blame him for wanting to go home to heaven and into the comforting arms of the Savior—his eternal reward (2 Tim. 4:7, 8). Few of us would choose the beatings, suffering, persecution, imprisonment, and abuse he endured. However, Paul understood that people’s eternal destinations were much more important than his personal comfort or safety (2 Cor. 1:8–10; 4:8–18). That was why for him to remain here on earth meant to obey God and preach the gospel.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 101
I will Walk with Integrity of Heart

1 I will sing of your love and justice;
     to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
     when will you come to me?

  I will conduct the affairs of my house
     with a blameless heart.
3 I will not look with approval
     on anything that is vile.

  I hate what faithless people do;
     I will have no part in it.
4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
     I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

5 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
     I will put to silence;
  whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
     I will not tolerate.

6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
     that they may dwell with me;
  the one whose walk is blameless
     will minister to me.

7 No one who practices deceit
     will dwell in my house;
  no one who speaks falsely
     will stand in my presence.

8 Every morning I will put to silence
     all the wicked in the land;
  I will cut off every evildoer
     from the city of the Lord.

This psalm was composed by David, probably at the commencement of his reign. It contains a number of resolutions upon which he was prepared to act. First, he made up his mind that he would give heed to the perfect way , and would walk in his house in the integrity of his heart, Psalms 101:2 , r.v., margin. Next, he made up his mind to choose his friends with rigorous care, that froward hearts and evil persons should depart from him; that he would not enter into close relations with those that slandered their neighbors, or that gave evidence by their high looks of proud hearts. Deceit and falsehood were alike to be banished from his palace; while faithful souls, who also walked in “the perfect way,” should minister to him. Finally, he made up his mind to carry out his rule in the public state, that the wicked might be put out of the way and the righteous exalted.

It was an excellent program, and happy would he have been if, throughout his life, he had rigorously adhered to it. It is not possible for us to exercise David’s absolute power in the selection of our environment. It is often necessary for us to work in places of business among those whom we would not choose as associates. But we can, at least, forbear making any of these our intimates, or the friends with whom we spend our leisure and recreational hours, 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary).

From the Books of the Prophets
1 Kings 8:1-21
The Ark of the Covenant

8:1 Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. 2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.

3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, 4 and they brought up the ark of the Lord and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up, 5 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.

6 The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles. 8 These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.

10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.

12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”

14 While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. 15 Then he said:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised with his own mouth to my father David. For he said, 16 ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’

17 “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. 19 Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’

20 “The Lord has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”
Verses 1-11: The bringing in the ark, is the end which must crown the work: this was done with great solemnity. The ark was fixed in the place appointed for its rest in the inner part of the house, whence they expected God to speak to them, even in the most holy place. The staves of the ark were drawn out, so as to direct the high priest to the mercy-seat over the ark, when he went in, once a year, to sprinkle the blood there; so that they continued of use, though there was no longer occasion to carry it by them. The glory of God appearing in a cloud may signify, 1. The darkness of that dispensation, in comparison with the light of the gospel, by which, with open face, we behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord. 2. The darkness of our present state, in comparison with the sight of God, which will be the happiness of heaven, where the Divine glory is unveiled.

Verses 12-21: Solomon encouraged the priests, who were much astonished at the dark cloud. The dark dispensations of Providence should quicken us in fleeing for refuge to the hope of the gospel. Nothing can more reconcile us to them, than to consider what God has said, and to compare his word and works together. Whatever good we do, we must look on it as the performance of God's promise to us, not of our promises to him.

From the Gospels
Mark 8:14-21
Jesus Teaches about Bread

8:14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

They answered, “Seven.”

21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Obstinate unbelief will have something to say, though ever so unreasonable. Christ refused to answer their demand. If they will not be convinced, they shall not. Alas! what cause we have to lament for those around us, who destroy themselves and others by their perverse and obstinate unbelief, and enmity to the gospel! When we forget the works of God, and distrust him, we should chide ourselves severely, as Christ here reproves his disciples. How is it that we so often mistake his meaning, disregard his warnings, and distrust his providence?

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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