Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday, September 14, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Psalm 73:21-28; Proverbs 25:1-28; Colossians 3:1-11
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist owns it was his folly and ignorance thus to vex himself. We read more wise sayings of Solomon’s in our Proverbs readings. Paul tells the Colossian Christians that they had been buried with Christ in baptism and raised with him from the dead in our epistle reading. In our verse of the day, Paul asks the Philippians to complete his joy by being like-minded.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Philippians 2:1-2

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
The joyful unity of believers in Christ offers a powerful testimony to the world that the gospel of love we preach is real, unique, powerful, and welcoming to whomever will believe in the Lord Jesus. It is only through the gospel that people from every nation, race, language group, and socioeconomic level find forgiveness and peace and can join together in harmony (Rev. 7:9, 10).

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.


Commentary
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 25:1-28
More Wise Sayings


1 These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
     to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
     so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

4 Remove the dross from the silver,
     and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
5 remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
     and his throne will be established through righteousness.

6 Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
     and do not claim a place among his great men;
7 it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
     than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

  What you have seen with your eyes
8    do not bring hastily to court,
  for what will you do in the end
     if your neighbor puts you to shame?

9 If you take your neighbor to court,
     do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
      and the charge against you will stand.

11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
      is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
      is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.

13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
      is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
      he refreshes the spirit of his master.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
      is one who boasts of gifts never given.

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
      and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
      too much of it, and you will vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
      too much of you, and they will hate you.

18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
      is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
      is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
      or like vinegar poured on a wound,
      is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
      if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
      and the Lord will reward you.

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
      is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
      than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

25 Like cold water to a weary soul
      is good news from a distant land.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
      are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

27 It is not good to eat too much honey,
      nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
      is a person who lacks self-control.


Commentary
Verses 1-3: God has no obligation to explain to anyone the reasons for his actions. A king, however, has a duty to his people to investigate the causes of events that affect them, though he need not reveal to them his deepest thoughts.

Verses 4-5: Some advisers to the king may be ungodly or treacherous, and should be removed if the king is to rule righteously.

Verses 6-7: It is better to wait to be invited to a higher rank than to be boastfully ambitious and then lose face when demoted.

Verses 8-10: A warning is given against being too hasty in making an accusation against someone. A private talk with the accused person may reveal that the accuser did not have all the facts. It may also save the accuser the shame of being disproved in court and thereby receiving the unwelcome reputation of being a talebearer who cannot be trusted.

Verses 11-14: Words fittingly spoken, even in reproof, benefit the hearers, as cool water refreshes farmers working in the hot sun. Idle boasting, on the other hand, helps no one.

Verse 15: Quiet words are often more effective than brute force.

Verses 16-17: Without self-control in eating, people can harm their health. Without self-control in visiting their neighbors, they can make themselves unpopular.

Verses 18-20: Among the neighborhood nuisances are those who make false accusations, those who let down friends in times of need, and those who are flippant when among mourners.

Verses 21-22: People who suffer unjustly, instead of reacting in bitterness, should treat the wrongdoers as friends. This may make the wrongdoers so ashamed that they will change their ways.

Verses 23-25: Those who are bitter, argumentative, critical, or otherwise negative in their words can cause much damage, but when people bring good news they bring refreshment.

Verses 26-28: When people give in to what they know is wrong, use flattery, seek praise, or lack self-control, they demonstrate their weakness of character.


From the Epistles
Colossians 3:1-11
Rid Your Mouth of Abusive Language


1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Commentary
Verses 1-4: As Christians are freed from the ceremonial law, they must walk the more closely with God in gospel obedience. As heaven and earth are contrary one to the other, both cannot be followed together; and affection to the one will weaken and abate affection to the other. Those that are born again are dead to sin, because its dominion is broken, its power gradually subdued by the operation of grace, and it shall at length be extinguished by the perfection of glory. To be dead, then, means this, that those who have the Holy Spirit, mortifying within them the lusts of the flesh, are able to despise earthly things, and to desire those that are heavenly. Christ is, at present, one whom we have not seen; but our comfort is, that our life is safe with him. The streams of this living water flow into the soul by the influences of the Holy Spirit, through faith. Christ lives in the believer by his Spirit, and the believer lives to him in all he does. At the second coming of Christ, there will be a general assembling of all the redeemed; and those whose life is now hid with Christ, shall then appear with him in his glory. Do we look for such happiness, and should we not set our affections upon that world, and live above this?

Verses 5-11: It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to the things of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, as weeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them. Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, and no provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin must be avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world; and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, and of outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, because if we do not kill them, they will kill us. The gospel changes the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports the rule of right reason and conscience, over appetite and passion. There is now no difference from country, or conditions and circumstances of life. It is the duty of every one to be holy, because Christ is a Christian's All, his only Lord and Savior, and all his hope and happiness.



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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