Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Thursday, September 16, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Psalm 1; Proverbs 30:1-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist touches on two subjects that continually occur throughout the Psalms. It declares the blessedness of the righteous and the misery and future of the wicked. Above all else, it summarizes all that is to follow in the rest of the Psalms and, for that matter, in the rest of Scripture. Our Proverbs readings are a collection of wisdom from a man known only to this chapter of the Bible. In our epistle reading, Paul’s words in part reflect his distinctive calling and circumstances. In our verse of the day, James’ words significant a difference between true wisdom and false wisdom—between wisdom from above and the wisdom of the world.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
Genuine wisdom is not esoteric knowledge that exalts someone above others; it is a posture that accepts the true God as king and judge and then lives in light of that reality (Pr 1:7). True wisdom, like true faith, shows itself through deeds done in humility (Jas 3:13). There is a worldly and demonic “wisdom” that is characterized by pride, envy, and selfish ambition. Such “wisdom” spills out of one’s life through disorderly and vile behavior (v. 16). True wisdom, on the other hand, produces visible fruits that reflect the holiness, mercy, love, kindness, impartiality, and peace of God. Wise people will strive for godly harmony with others and, as a result, will see a harvest of righteous behavior in their own lives and in the lives of those around them (cf. Mt 5:9).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 1
Delight in God’s Law

1 Blessed is the one
     who does not walk in step with the wicked
  or stand in the way that sinners take
     or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
     and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
     which yields its fruit in season
  and whose leaf does not wither—
     whatever they do prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
     They are like chaff
     that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
     nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
     but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Verses 1-3: To meditate in God's word, is to discourse with ourselves concerning the great things contained in it, with close application of mind and fixedness of thought. We must have constant regard to the word of God, as the rule of our actions, and the spring of our comforts; and have it in our thoughts night and day. For this purpose no time is amiss.

Verses 4-6: The ungodly are the reverse of the righteous, both in character and condition. The ungodly are not so, ver. 4; they are led by the counsel of the wicked, in the way of sinners, to the seat of the scornful; they have no delight in the law of God; they bring forth no fruit but what is evil. The righteous are like useful, fruitful trees: the ungodly are like the chaff which the wind drives away: the dust which the owner of the floor desires to have driven away, as not being of any use. They are of no worth in God's account, how highly soever they may value themselves. They are easily driven to and fro by every wind of temptation. The chaff may be, for a while, among the wheat, but He is coming, whose fan is in his hand, and who will thoroughly purge his floor. Those that, by their own sin and folly, make themselves as chaff, will be found so before the whirlwind and fire of Divine wrath. The doom of the ungodly is fixed, but whenever the sinner becomes sensible of this guilt and misery, he may be admitted into the company of the righteous by Christ the living way, and become in Christ a new creature. He has new desires, new pleasures, hopes, fears, sorrows, companions, and employments. His thoughts, words, and actions are changed. He enters on a new state, and bears a new character. Behold, all things are become new by Divine grace, which changes his soul into the image of the Redeemer. How different the character and end of the ungodly.

From the Books of Wisdom
Proverbs 30:1-10
Sayings of Agur

1 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance.

  This man’s utterance to Ithiel:

  “I am weary, God,
     but I can prevail.
2 Surely I am only a brute, not a man;
     I do not have human understanding.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
     nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
     Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
  Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
     Who has established all the ends of the earth?
  What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
     Surely you know!

5 “Every word of God is flawless;
     he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
     or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

7 “Two things I ask of you, Lord;
     do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
     give me neither poverty nor riches,
     but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
     and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
  Or I may become poor and steal,
     and so dishonor the name of my God.

10 “Do not slander a servant to their master,
      or they will curse you, and you will pay for it.

Verses 1-4: Agur, some of whose sayings are collected here, was apparently a well known wisdom teacher in the Palestine region. He begins his instruction with a confession that though he longs to know God he cannot, because he is merely a man. No human being can do the great works God has done. Agur challenges his hearers to tell him the name of any person (or the name of that person’s son, if they prefer) who has been to heaven and returned to tell people what God is like.

Verses 5-6: God’s words, and his only, are true, and they are always reliable. Agur has such a respect for the truth of God’s word that he does not want to teach anything that is contrary to it.

Verses 7-9: As for the comforts of life, Agur aims at moderation. He desires neither riches nor poverty, lest he be tempted to live as though independent of God (if he were rich) or tempted to steal (if he were poor). His moral values and his lifestyle were inseparable.

Verse 10: It is wise not to be hasty in reporting a person for a supposed wrongdoing. Such action could rebound with harm to the talebearer if the person is innocent.

From the Epistles
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Beyond Human Wisdom

1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

Christ, in his person, and offices, and sufferings, is the sum and substance of the gospel, and ought to be the great subject of a gospel minister's preaching, but not so as to leave out other parts of God's revealed truth and will. Paul preached the whole counsel of God. Few know the fear and trembling of faithful ministers, from a deep sense of their own weakness They know how insufficient they are, and are fearful for themselves. When nothing but Christ crucified is plainly preached, the success must be entirely from Divine power accompanying the word, and thus men are brought to believe, to the salvation of their souls.

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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