Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, September 15, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Psalm 73:21-28; Proverbs 29:1-27; John 7:25-36
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. Our Proverbs readings are a mix of advice for rulers and those running a household. In our gospel reading, Jesus proclaims aloud that He was sent of God. In our verse of the day, John’s words clearly state that both “to know and to believe” are essential in the life of a Christian believer.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
1 John 4:16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Love is not merely a feeling—it is Jesus living in and through us (John 13:34, 35; 15:9–17; 1 John 4:7–21). If we say we believe in God and are maturing in our relationship with Him, but we are not growing in our unconditional love for others, something is wrong with our walk (1 Cor. 13). This is because as Jesus increases in us and we decrease, His loving nature should intensify within us as the evidence of His lordship in our life (Gal. 5:22, 23; 2 Pet. 1:3–8).

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 29:1-27
Use Good Sense


1 Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
     will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
     when the wicked rule, the people groan.

3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
     but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

4 By justice a king gives a country stability,
     but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.

5 Those who flatter their neighbors
     are spreading nets for their feet.

6 Evildoers are snared by their own sin,
     but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.

7 The righteous care about justice for the poor,
     but the wicked have no such concern.

8 Mockers stir up a city,
     but the wise turn away anger.

9 If a wise person goes to court with a fool,
     the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity
      and seek to kill the upright.

11 Fools give full vent to their rage,
      but the wise bring calm in the end.

12 If a ruler listens to lies,
      all his officials become wicked.

13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
      The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.

14 If a king judges the poor with fairness,
      his throne will be established forever.

15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
      but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin,
      but the righteous will see their downfall.

17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
      they will bring you the delights you desire.

18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
      but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words;
      though they understand, they will not respond.

20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste?
      There is more hope for a fool than for them.

21 A servant pampered from youth
      will turn out to be insolent.

22 An angry person stirs up conflict,
      and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.

23 Pride brings a person low,
      but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies;
      they are put under oath and dare not testify.

25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
      but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

26 Many seek an audience with a ruler,
      but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.

27 The righteous detest the dishonest;
      the wicked detest the upright.


Commentary
Verses 1-7: Many themes that we have already met in Proverbs are repeated in this section: stubbornness, good and bad government, family values, prostitution, justice, flattery, cunning and concern for the poor.

Verses 8-11: Scoffers are more than just fools; they are trouble-makers. They are not open to reason and cannot control their temper.

Verses 12-13: Unjust rulers oppress innocent citizens, and the rich persecute the poor, but good and bad alike receive the blessings that God gives to people in general.

Verses 14-17: The ruler of a country and the head of a family should work for the contentment and well-being of those for whom they are responsible, but they can expect success only if they themselves are good and just. The pursuit of righteousness leads to stability.

Verse 18: One reason for a nation’s spiritual or moral decay is its neglect of the revealed word of God.

Verses 19-21: A stubborn servant is a problem for his master, but a shrewd servant, if he receives too many favours, could one day take over his master’s property.

Verses 22-23: Those who are bad tempered or arrogant bring trouble, not just to others but also to themselves.

Verse 24: When a person who was partner in a crime refuses to give evidence to the judge, his guilt increases.

Verses 25-27: There can be no justice when the basis of people’s decision-making is fear of those who are influential or partiality towards those who are their friends.


From the Gospels
John 7:25-36
Jesus the Messiah


25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.

33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”

Commentary
Verses 25-30: Christ proclaimed aloud, that they were in error in their thoughts about his origin. He was sent of God, who showed himself true to his promises. This declaration, that they knew not God, with his claim to peculiar knowledge, provoked the hearers; and they sought to take him, but God can tie men's hands, though he does not turn their hearts.

Verses 31-36: The discourses of Jesus convinced many that he was the Messiah; but they had not courage to own it. It is comfort to those who are in the world, but not of it, and therefore are hated by it and weary of it, that they shall not be in it always, that they shall not be in it long. Our days being evil, it is well they are few. The days of life and of grace do not last long; and sinners, when in misery, will be glad of the help they now despise. Men dispute about such sayings, but the event will explain them.



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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