Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Thursday, September 2, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Psalm 125; Proverbs 1:1-19; Romans 2:1-11
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. Our reading from Proverbs gives warnings against bad friends. In our epistle reading, Paul talks about those who pass judgment on others. In our verse of the day, the humble and devoted servant of God does not look with a jaundiced eye upon that scene through which he is passing to his eternal home.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Psalm 119:64

The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.
What an astonishing operation has the grace of God! In the midst of want, poverty, affliction, and bondage, it makes those who possess it happy! When Christ dwells in the heart by faith, we have nothing but goodness around us. Others may complain; but to us even the earth appears full of the mercy of the Lord.

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 1:1-19
Warnings Against bad Friends


1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
     for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
     doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
     knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
     and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
     the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
     but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
     and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They are a garland to grace your head
     and a chain to adorn your neck.

10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
      do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
      let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
      let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
      and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
      and fill our houses with plunder;
14 cast lots with us;
      we will all share the loot”—
15 my son, do not go along with them,
      do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into evil,
      they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net
      where every bird can see it!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
      they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
      it takes away the life of those who get it.


Commentary
Verses 1-6: The lessons here given are plain, and likely to benefit those who feel their own ignorance, and their need to be taught. If young people take heed to their ways, according to Solomon's Proverbs, they will gain knowledge and discretion. Solomon speaks of the most important points of truth, and a greater than Solomon is here. Christ speaks by his word and by his Spirit. Christ is the Word and the Wisdom of God, and he is made to us wisdom.

Verses 7-9: Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow their own devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God. Children are reasonable creatures, and when we tell them what they must do, we must tell them why. But they are corrupt and wilful, therefore with the instruction there is need of a law. Let Divine truths and commands be to us most honorable; let us value them, and then they shall be so to us.

Verses 10-19: Wicked people are zealous in seducing others into the paths of the destroyer: sinners love company in sin. But they have so much the more to answer for. How cautious young people should be! "Consent thou not." Do not say as they say, nor do as they do, or would have thee to do; have no fellowship with them. Who could think that it should be a pleasure to one man to destroy another! See their idea of worldly wealth; but it is neither substance, nor precious. It is the ruinous mistake of thousands, that they overvalue the wealth of this world. Men promise themselves in vain that sin will turn to their advantage. The way of sin is down-hill; men cannot stop themselves. Would young people shun temporal and eternal ruin, let them refuse to take one step in these destructive paths. Men's greediness of gain hurries them upon practices which will not suffer them or others to live out half their days. What is a man profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life? much less if he lose his soul?


From the Epistles
Romans 2:1-11
Divine Judgment Applies to All


1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

Commentary
The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character. The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being.


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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