Friday, September 3, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Friday, September 3, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Friday, September 3, 2021
Psalm 125; Proverbs 4:10-27; Romans 2:12-16
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist proclaims the goodness of God and encourages the worshiping community to walk in the ways of God. In our reading from Proverbs, a father instructs his son about the right and wrong ways. In our epistle reading, Paul teaches that Gentiles obey the law instinctively. Our verse of the day teaches us that God directs you in the way you should go.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Isaiah 48:17

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
God may lead you into difficult circumstances (Mark 6:45–51), but wherever He guides you, He does it “to do good for you in the end” (Deut. 8:16).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 125
Trust in the Lord


1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
     which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
     so the Lord surrounds his people
     both now and forevermore.

3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain
     over the land allotted to the righteous,
  for then the righteous might use
     their hands to do evil.

4 Lord, do good to those who are good,
     to those who are upright in heart.
5 But those who turn to crooked ways
     the Lord will banish with the evildoers.


Commentary
Verses 1-3: All those minds shall be truly stayed, that are stayed on God. They shall be as Mount Zion, firm as it is; a mountain supported by providence, much more as a holy mountain supported by promise. They cannot be removed from confidence in God. They abide for ever in that grace which is the earnest of their everlasting continuance in glory. Committing themselves to God, they shall be safe from their enemies. Even mountains may molder and come to nothing, and rocks be removed, but God's covenant with his people cannot be broken, nor his care of them cease. Their troubles shall last no longer than their strength will bear them up under them. The rod of the wicked may come, may fall upon the righteous, upon their persons, their estates, their liberties, their families names, on any thing that falls to their lot; only it cannot reach their souls. And though it may come upon their lot, it shall not rest thereon. The Lord will make all work together for their good. The wicked shall only prove a correcting rod, not a destroying sword; even this rod shall not remain upon them, lest they distrust the promise, thinking God has cast them off.

Verses 4-5: God's promises should quicken our prayers. The way of holiness is straight; there are no windings or shifting in it. But the ways of sinners are crooked. They shift from one purpose to another, and turn hither and thither to deceive; but disappointment and misery shall befall them. Those who cleave to the ways of God, though they may have trouble in their way, their end shall be peace. The pleading of their Savior for them, secures to them the upholding power and preserving grace of their God. Lord, number us with them, in time, and to eternity.


From the Books of Wisdom
Proverbs 4:10-27
The Right and Wrong Ways


10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
      and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
      and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
      when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
      guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
      or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
      turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
      they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
      and drink the wine of violence.

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
      shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
      they do not know what makes them stumble.

20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
      turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
      keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
      and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
      for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
      keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
      fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
      and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
      keep your foot from evil.


Commentary
Verses 10-13: We must look upon our teachers as our fathers: though instruction carry in it reproof and correction, bid it welcome. Solomon's parents loved him, therefore taught him. Wise and godly men, in every age of the world, and rank in society, agree that true wisdom consists in obedience, and is united to happiness. Get wisdom, take pains for it. Get the rule over thy corruptions; take more pains to get this than the wealth of this world. An interest in Christ's salvation is necessary. This wisdom is the one thing needful. A soul without true wisdom and grace is a dead soul. How poor, contemptible, and wretched are those, who, with all their wealth and power, die without getting understanding, without Christ, without hope, and without God! Let us give heed to the sayings of Him who has the words of eternal life. Thus our path will be plain before us: by taking, and keeping fast hold of instruction, we shall avoid being straitened or stumbling.

Verses 14-27: The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.


From the Epistles
Romans 2:12-16
Gentiles Obey the Law Instinctively


12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Commentary
The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, "treasuring up wrath." In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law. It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light.


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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