Monday, September 13, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, September 13, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, September 13, 2021
Psalm 73:21-28; Proverbs 22:1-21; Romans 3:9-20
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist owns it was his folly and ignorance thus to vex himself. We read thirty wise sayings in our Proverbs readings. Our epistle reading is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them. In our verse of the day, Peter mentions five qualities that are hallmarks of a healthy Christian community.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
1 Peter 3:8

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
Peter mentions five qualities that are hallmarks of a healthy Christian community, and each quality is necessary to preserve Christian community. Like-minded people share religious beliefs and ethical practices, which produce cohesion within a group. Right beliefs about Jesus Christ and the ethical system that flows from those beliefs are foundational for Christianity as a whole and for healthy local churches. Some societies value understanding, love, compassion, and humility differently than others. For instance, first-century Roman society disdained humility as an expression of weakness. But Jesus Christ humbled himself to serve others—even to death—not because he was weak, but precisely because he is the most exalted and powerful human being. Christians should do likewise, even when such values conflict with social expectations.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 73:21-28
You Guide Me with Your Counsel

21 When my heart was grieved
      and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
      I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
      you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
      and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
      And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
      but God is the strength of my heart
      and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
      you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
      I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
      I will tell of all your deeds.

God would not suffer his people to be tempted, if his grace were not sufficient, not only to save them from harm, but to make them gainers by it. This temptation, the working of envy and discontent, is very painful. In reflecting upon it, the psalmist owns it was his folly and ignorance thus to vex himself. If good men, at any time, through the surprise and strength of temptation, think, or speak, or act amiss, they will reflect upon it with sorrow and shame. We must ascribe our safety in temptation, and our victory, not to our own wisdom, but to the gracious presence of God with us, and Christ's intercession for us. All who commit themselves to God, shall be guided with the counsel both of his word and of his Spirit, the best counselors here, and shall be received to his glory in another world; the believing hopes and prospects of which will reconcile us to all dark providences. And the psalmist was hereby quickened to cleave the closer to God. Heaven itself could not make us happy without the presence and love of our God. The world and all its glory vanishes. The body will fail by sickness, age, and death; when the flesh fails, the conduct, courage, and comfort fail. But Christ Jesus, our Lord, offers to be all in all to every poor sinner, who renounces all other portions and confidences. By sin we are all far from God. And a profession Christ, if we go on in sin, will increase our condemnation. May we draw near, and keep near, to our God, by faith and prayer, and find it good to do so. Those that with an upright heart put their trust in God, shall never want matter for thanksgiving to him. Blessed Lord, who hast so graciously promised to become our portion in the next world, prevent us from choosing any other in this.

From the Books of Wisdom
Proverbs 22:1-21
Thirty Wise Sayings

1 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
     to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

2 Rich and poor have this in common:
     The Lord is the Maker of them all.

3 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
     but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

4 Humility is the fear of the Lord;
     its wages are riches and honor and life.

5 In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,
     but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

6 Start children off on the way they should go,
     and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

7 The rich rule over the poor,
     and the borrower is slave to the lender.

8 Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,
     and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.

9 The generous will themselves be blessed,
     for they share their food with the poor.

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
      quarrels and insults are ended.

11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
      will have the king for a friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
      but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
      I’ll be killed in the public square!”

14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;
      a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
      but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

16 One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
      and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.

17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
      apply your heart to what I teach,
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
      and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
      I teach you today, even you.
20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
      sayings of counsel and knowledge,
21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,
      so that you bring back truthful reports
      to those you serve?

Verses 1-2: People vary in reputation and status, but they should respect one another as being equally God’s creatures.

Verses 3-6: Wise people will act with caution and humility. They will bring up their children in a way that prepares them for the experiences they will face in the life ahead.

Verses 7-9: Those who borrow will fall into the power of the lenders, and this can lead to unjust treatment of the poor by the rich. Such oppression will be punished, but generosity will be rewarded.

Verses 10-11: When people are trying to work together as a group, harmony and understanding are essential. It is better to get rid of, than to tolerate, the person who makes trouble. A sincere person is an asset.

Verses 12-14: God wants people to act according to truth and knowledge. He has no pleasure in the lazy who make excuses or the immoral who seduce others.

Verses 15-16: Wise parental discipline can correct childish foolishness. Adult greed can lead to persecution of the poor and bribery of the rich, but in due course it will be punished.

Verses 17-21: In this section the sayings are longer and often cover several verses, whereas in the previous section each verse was usually a separate proverb. The section begins with an appeal to the disciples to listen carefully to the instruction, to memorize it and to put it to practical use. It will strengthen their trust in God and give them the ability to answer correctly anyone who questions them concerning what is right and true.

From the Epistles
Romans 3:9-20
The Unrighteous Tongue Deceives

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:

   “There is no one righteous, not even one;
11    there is no one who understands;
      there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
      they have together become worthless;
   there is no one who does good,
      not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
      their tongues practice deceit.”
   “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14    “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16    ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18    “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Verses 9-18: Here again is shown that all mankind are under the guilt of sin, as a burden; and under the government and dominion of sin, as enslaved to it, to work wickedness. This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them. Great as our advantages are, these texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians. Their principles and conduct prove that there is no fear of God before their eyes. And where no fear of God is, no good is to be looked for.

Verses 19-20: It is in vain to seek for justification by the works of the law. All must plead guilty. Guilty before God, is a dreadful word; but no man can be justified by a law which condemns him for breaking it. The corruption in our nature, will for ever stop any justification by our own works.

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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