Friday, October 1, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Friday, October 1, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Friday, October 1, 2021
Psalm 26; Job 4:1-21; Romans 8:1-11
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist apparently has been accused of some covenant violation. Our reading in Job begins a long section in the Book of Job where Job’s friends counsel him and he answers them. In our epistle reading, Paul explains the nature of God’s provision for our deliverance. In our verse of the day, Jesus brings the message of the earlier beatitudes home, changing his focus to ‘you.’ Having introduced the rewards that others will gain as a result of their blessedness, he now applies this teaching specifically to his disciples (and us).

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Matthew 5:11-12

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The Bible consistently recognizes that when people try to disgrace us because we confess Christ, we are receiving one of the greatest possible blessings—we have been given the privilege of identifying with our Savior (Matt. 5:10–12; Phil. 3:7–12; 1 Pet. 3:14–16; 4:14, 16). The enemy does not attack backslidden believers who do not honor God, because they’re just as he wants them—complacent, apathetic, and fruitless. Rather, the devil focuses his worst onslaughts on believers who are making a difference for the kingdom.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 26
Your Love is Before My Eyes

1 Vindicate me, Lord,
     for I have led a blameless life;
  I have trusted in the Lord
     and have not faltered.
2 Test me, Lord, and try me,
     examine my heart and my mind;
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
     and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.

4 I do not sit with the deceitful,
     nor do I associate with hypocrites.
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers
     and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,
     and go about your altar, Lord,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise
     and telling of all your wonderful deeds.

8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
     the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
     my life with those who are bloodthirsty,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
      whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 I lead a blameless life;
      deliver me and be merciful to me.

12 My feet stand on level ground;
      in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.

Verses 1-5: David appeals to God to support him against those who plot evil against him. God has done a work of grace in his life, and this causes him to hate the company of worthless people and make every effort to live the sort of life that pleases God.

Verses 6-8: He desires righteousness, delights in worship, loves to spend hours in the house of God and enjoys telling others about God.

Verses 11-12: He therefore asks that he will not suffer the same end as the wicked (9-10). Though determined to do right, he knows that he will not succeed without God’s help.

From the Books of Wisdom
Job 4:1-21
Eliphaz’s First Speech

1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

2 “If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?
     But who can keep from speaking?
3 Think how you have instructed many,
     how you have strengthened feeble hands.
4 Your words have supported those who stumbled;
     you have strengthened faltering knees.
5 But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged;
     it strikes you, and you are dismayed.
6 Should not your piety be your confidence
     and your blameless ways your hope?

7 “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished?
     Where were the upright ever destroyed?
8 As I have observed, those who plow evil
     and those who sow trouble reap it.
9 At the breath of God they perish;
     at the blast of his anger they are no more.
10 The lions may roar and growl,
      yet the teeth of the great lions are broken.
11 The lion perishes for lack of prey,
      and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.

12 “A word was secretly brought to me,
      my ears caught a whisper of it.
13 Amid disquieting dreams in the night,
      when deep sleep falls on people,
14 fear and trembling seized me
      and made all my bones shake.
15 A spirit glided past my face,
      and the hair on my body stood on end.
16 It stopped,
      but I could not tell what it was.
   A form stood before my eyes,
      and I heard a hushed voice:
17 ‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God?
      Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker?
18 If God places no trust in his servants,
      if he charges his angels with error,
19 how much more those who live in houses of clay,
      whose foundations are in the dust,
      who are crushed more readily than a moth!
20 Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces;
      unnoticed, they perish forever.
21 Are not the cords of their tent pulled up,
      so that they die without wisdom?’

Verses 1-6: Satan undertook to prove Job a hypocrite by afflicting him; and his friends concluded him to be one because he was so afflicted, and showed impatience. This we must keep in mind if we would understand what passed. Eliphaz speaks of Job, and his afflicted condition, with tenderness; but charges him with weakness and faint-heartedness. Men make few allowances for those who have taught others. Even pious friends will count that only a touch which we feel as a wound. Learn from hence to draw off the mind of a sufferer from brooding over the affliction, to look at the God of mercies in the affliction. And how can this be done so well as by looking to Christ Jesus, in whose unequaled sorrows every child of God soonest learns to forget his own?

Verses 7-11: Eliphaz argues, 1. That good men were never thus ruined. But there is one event both to the righteous and to the wicked, Ecclesiastes 9:2, both in life and death; the great and certain difference is after death. Our worst mistakes are occasioned by drawing wrong views from undeniable truths. 2. That wicked men were often thus ruined: for the proof of this, Eliphaz vouches his own observation. We may see the same every day.

Verses 12-21: Eliphaz relates a vision. When we are communing with our own hearts, and are still, Psalms 4:4, then is a time for the Holy Spirit to commune with us. This vision put him into very great fear. Ever since man sinned, it has been terrible to him to receive communications from Heaven, conscious that he can expect no good tidings thence. Sinful man! shall he pretend to be more just, more pure, than God, who being his Maker, is his Lord and Owner? How dreadful, then, the pride and presumption of man! How great the patience of God! Look upon man in his life. The very foundation of that cottage of clay in which man dwells, is in the dust, and it will sink with its own weight. We stand but upon the dust. Some have a higher heap of dust to stand upon than others but still it is the earth that stays us up, and will shortly swallow us up. Man is soon crushed; or if some lingering distemper, which consumes like a moth, be sent to destroy him, he cannot resist it. Shall such a creature pretend to blame the appointments of God? Look upon man in his death. Life is short, and in a little time men are cut off. Beauty, strength, learning, not only cannot secure them from death, but these things die with them; nor shall their pomp, their wealth, or power, continue after them. Shall a weak, sinful, dying creature, pretend to be more just than God, and more pure than his Maker? No: instead of quarreling with his afflictions, let him wonder that he is out of hell. Can a man be cleansed without his Maker? Will God justify sinful mortals, and clear them from guilt? or will he do so without their having an interest in the righteousness and gracious help of their promised Redeemer, when angels, once ministering spirits before his throne, receive the just recompense of their sins? Notwithstanding the seeming impunity of men for a short time, though living without God in the world, their doom is as certain as that of the fallen angels, and is continually overtaking them. Yet careless sinners note it so little, that they expect not the change, nor are wise to consider their latter end.

From the Epistles
Romans 8:1-11
Life in the Spirit

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Verses 1-9: Believers may be chastened of the Lord, but will not be condemned with the world. By their union with Christ through faith, they are thus secured. What is the principle of their walk; the flesh or the Spirit, the old or the new nature, corruption or grace? For which of these do we make provision, by which are we governed? The unrenewed will is unable to keep any commandment fully. And the law, besides outward duties, requires inward obedience. God showed abhorrence of sin by the sufferings of his Son in the flesh, that the believer's person might be pardoned and justified. Thus satisfaction was made to Divine justice, and the way of salvation opened for the sinner. By the Spirit the law of love is written upon the heart, and though the righteousness of the law is not fulfilled by us, yet, blessed be God, it is fulfilled in us; there is that in all true believers, which answers the intention of the law. The favor of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit, which those that are after the Spirit do mind. Which way do our thoughts move with most pleasure? Which way go our plans and contrivances? Are we most wise for the world, or for our souls? Those that live in pleasure are dead, 1 Timothy 5:6. A sanctified soul is a living soul; and that life is peace. The carnal mind is not only an enemy to God, but enmity itself. The carnal man may, by the power of Divine grace, be made subject to the law of God, but the carnal mind never can; that must be broken and driven out. We may know our real state and character by inquiring whether we have the Spirit of God and Christ, or not, ver. 9. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit. Having the Spirit of Christ, means having a turn of mind in some degree like the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and is to be shown by a life and conversation suitable to his precepts and example.

Verses 10-11: If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the soul is alive to God, and has begun its holy happiness which shall endure for ever.

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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