Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, September 4, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Psalm 125; Proverbs 8:1-31; Matthew 15:21-31
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, we learn that wisdom is valued above silver and gold. In our gospel reading, Jesus heals the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others. In our verse of the day, Paul writes instructs Timothy to guard the gospel with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
2 Timothy 1:13-14

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
What was the good deposit Timothy was to guard? The gospel. This was especially important in Ephesus, where Timothy was the pastor and where false teachers were changing and adding to the basic meaning of the gospel.

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 8:1-31
In Praise of Wisdom


1 Does not wisdom call out?
     Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
     where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
     at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out;
     I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
     you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
     I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true,
     for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just;
     none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right;
     they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
      knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
      and nothing you desire can compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
      I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
      I hate pride and arrogance,
      evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
      I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
      and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
      and nobles—all who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me,
      and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
      enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
      what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
      along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
      and making their treasuries full.

22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
      before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
      at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
      when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
      before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
      or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
      when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
      and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
      so the waters would not overstep his command,
   and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30    Then I was constantly at his side.
   I was filled with delight day after day,
      rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
      and delighting in mankind.


Commentary
Verses 1-11: The will of God is made known by the works of creation, and by the consciences of men, but more clearly by Moses and the prophets. The chief difficulty is to get men to attend to instruction. Yet attention to the words of Christ, will guide the most ignorant into saving knowledge of the truth. Where there is an understanding heart, and willingness to receive the truth in love, wisdom is valued above silver and gold.

Verses 12-21: Wisdom, here is Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; it is Christ in the word, and Christ in the heart; not only Christ revealed to us, but Christ revealed in us. All prudence and skill are from the Lord. Through the redemption of Christ's precious blood, the riches of his grace abound in all wisdom and prudence. Man found out many inventions for ruin; God found one for our recovery. He hates pride and arrogance, evil ways and froward conversation; these render men unwilling to hear his humbling, awakening, holy instructions. True religion gives men the best counsel in all difficult cases, and helps to make their way plain. His wisdom makes all truly happy who receive it in the love of Christ Jesus. Seek him early, seek him earnestly, seek him before any thing else. Christ never said, Seek in vain. Those who love Christ, are such as have seen his loveliness, and have had his love shed abroad in their hearts; therefore they are happy. They shall be happy in this world, or in that which is beyond compare better. Wealth gotten by vanity will soon be diminished, but that which is well got, will wear well; and that which is well spent upon works of piety and charity, will be lasting. If they have not riches and honor in this world, they shall have that which is infinitely better. They shall be happy in the grace of God. Christ, by his Spirit, guides believers into all truth, and so leads them in the way of righteousness; and they walk after the Spirit. Also, they shall be happy in the glory of God hereafter. In Wisdom's promises, believers have goods laid up, not for days and years, but for eternity; her fruit therefore is better than gold.

Verses 22-31: The Son of God declares himself to have been engaged in the creation of the world. How able, how fit is the Son of God to be the Savior of the world, who was the Creator of it! The Son of God was ordained, before the world, to that great work. Does he delight in saving wretched sinners, and shall not we delight in his salvation?


From the Gospels
Matthew 15:21-31
Jesus Heals


21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Commentary
Verses 21-28: The dark corners of the country, the most remote, shall share Christ's influences; afterwards the ends of the earth shall see his salvation. The distress and trouble of her family brought a woman to Christ; and though it is need that drives us to Christ, yet we shall not therefore be driven from him. She did not limit Christ to any particular instance of mercy, but mercy, mercy, is what she begged for: she pleads not merit, but depends upon mercy. It is the duty of parents to pray for their children, and to be earnest in prayer for them, especially for their souls. Have you a son, a daughter, grievously vexed with a proud devil, an unclean devil, a malicious devil, led captive by him at his will? this is a case more deplorable than that of bodily possession, and you must bring them by faith and prayer to Christ, who alone is able to heal them. Many methods of Christ's providence, especially of his grace, in dealing with his people, which are dark and perplexing, may be explained by this story, which teaches that there may be love in Christ's heart while there are frowns in his face; and it encourages us, though he seems ready to slay us, yet to trust in him. Those whom Christ intends most to honor, he humbles to feel their own unworthiness. A proud, unhumbled heart would not have borne this; but she turned it into an argument to support her request. The state of this woman is an emblem of the state of a sinner, deeply conscious of the misery of his soul. The least of Christ is precious to a believer, even the very crumbs of the Bread of life. Of all graces, faith honors Christ most; therefore of all graces Christ honors faith most. He cured her daughter. He spake, and it was done. From hence let such as seek help from the Lord, and receive no gracious answer, learn to turn even their unworthiness and discouragements into pleas for mercy.

Verses 29-31: Whatever our case is, the only way to find ease and relief, is to lay it at Christ's feet, to submit it to him, and refer it to his disposal. Those who would have spiritual healing from Christ, must be ruled as he pleases. See what work sin has made; what various diseases human bodies are subject to. Here were such diseases as fancy could neither guess the cause nor the cure of, yet these were subject to the command of Christ. The spiritual cures that Christ works are wonderful. When blind souls are made to see by faith, the dumb to speak in prayer, the maimed and the lame to walk in holy obedience, it is to be wondered at. Lord, increase our faith, and pardon our unbelief, teaching us to live upon thy fullness and bounty, for all things pertaining to this life, and that which is to come.



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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