Monday, October 4, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, October 4, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, October 4, 2021
Psalm 55:1-15; Job 8:1-22; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, the psalm describes a time of some kind of rebellion or power struggle against David, and a key leader in the struggle was a trusted associate who betrayed David. In our reading in Job, Bildad (whom some think was a descendant of Shuah, Abraham’s son by Keturah, as in Genesis 25:1-2) now speaks. He rebuked Job for Job’s rebuke of Eliphaz, who had previously rebuked Job. Our epistle reading begins a section where Paul deals with specific questions regarding marriage and singleness asked him in a letter by the Corinthian Christians. Our verse of the day does not rule out wise planning for the future, only one’s overconfident sense of ability to control the future—and no one can presume on God’s future.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Proverbs 27:1

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Though wisdom is concerned with taking hold on life, people do not have complete control over their future. Fools think they have, but they do not reckon with the sovereign will of God.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 55:1-15
It is Not Enemies who Taunt Me


1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
     do not ignore my plea;
2    hear me and answer me.
  My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3    because of what my enemy is saying,
     because of the threats of the wicked;
  for they bring down suffering on me
     and assail me in their anger.

4 My heart is in anguish within me;
     the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
     horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
     I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
     and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
     far from the tempest and storm.”

9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
     for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
      malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
      threats and lies never leave its streets.

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
      I could endure it;
   if a foe were rising against me,
      I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
      my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
      at the house of God,
   as we walked about
      among the worshipers.

15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
      let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
      for evil finds lodging among them.


Commentary
Verses 1-8: In these verses we have, 1. David praying. Prayer is a salve for every sore, and a relief to the spirit under every burden. 2. David weeping. Griefs are thus, in some measure, lessened, while those increase that have no vent given them. David in great alarm. We may well suppose him to be so, upon the breaking out of Absalom's conspiracy, and the falling away of the people. Horror overwhelmed him. Probably the remembrance of his sin in the matter of Uriah added much to the terror. When under a guilty conscience we must mourn in our complaint, and even strong believers have for a time been filled with horror. But none ever was so overwhelmed as the holy Jesus, when it pleased the Lord to put him to grief, and to make his soul an offering for our sins. In his agony he prayed more earnestly, and was heard and delivered; trusting in him, and following him, we shall be supported under, and carried through all trials. See how David was weary of the treachery and ingratitude of men, and the cares and disappointments of his high station: he longed to hide himself in some desert from the fury and fickleness of his people. He aimed not at victory, but rest; a barren wilderness, so that he might be quiet. The wisest and best of men most earnestly covet peace and quietness, and the more when vexed and wearied with noise and clamor. This makes death desirable to a child of God, that it is a final escape from all the storms and tempests of this world, to perfect and everlasting rest.

Verses 9-15: No wickedness so distresses the believer, as that which he witnesses in those who profess to be of the church of God. Let us not be surprised at the corruptions and disorders of the church on earth, but long to see the New Jerusalem. He complains of one that had been very industrious against him. God often destroys the enemies of the church by dividing them. And an interest divided against itself cannot long stand. The true Christian must expect trials from professed friends, from those with whom he has been united; this will be very painful; but by looking unto Jesus we shall be enabled to bear it. Christ was betrayed by a companion, a disciple, an apostle, who resembled Ahithophel in his crimes and doom. Both were speedily overtaken by Divine vengeance. And this prayer is a prophecy of the utter, the everlasting ruin, of all who oppose and rebel against the Messiah.


From the Books of Wisdom
Job 8:1-22
Bildad’s First Speech


1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:

2 “How long will you say such things?
     Your words are a blustering wind.
3 Does God pervert justice?
     Does the Almighty pervert what is right?
4 When your children sinned against him,
     he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.
5 But if you will seek God earnestly
     and plead with the Almighty,
6 if you are pure and upright,
     even now he will rouse himself on your behalf
     and restore you to your prosperous state.
7 Your beginnings will seem humble,
     so prosperous will your future be.

8 “Ask the former generation
     and find out what their ancestors learned,
9 for we were born only yesterday and know nothing,
     and our days on earth are but a shadow.
10 Will they not instruct you and tell you?
      Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?
11 Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh?
      Can reeds thrive without water?
12 While still growing and uncut,
      they wither more quickly than grass.
13 Such is the destiny of all who forget God;
      so perishes the hope of the godless.
14 What they trust in is fragile;
      what they rely on is a spider’s web.
15 They lean on the web, but it gives way;
      they cling to it, but it does not hold.
16 They are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine,
      spreading its shoots over the garden;
17 it entwines its roots around a pile of rocks
      and looks for a place among the stones.
18 But when it is torn from its spot,
      that place disowns it and says, ‘I never saw you.’
19 Surely its life withers away,
      and from the soil other plants grow.

20 “Surely God does not reject one who is blameless
      or strengthen the hands of evildoers.
21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
      and your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Your enemies will be clothed in shame,
      and the tents of the wicked will be no more.”


Commentary
Verses 1-7: Job spake much to the purpose; but Bildad, like an eager, angry disputant, turns it all off with this, How long wilt thou speak these things? Men's meaning is not taken aright, and then they are rebuked, as if they were evil-doers. Even in disputes on religion, it is too common to treat others with sharpness, and their arguments with contempt. Bildad's discourse shows that he had not a favorable opinion of Job's character. Job owned that God did not pervert judgment; yet it did not therefore follow that his children were cast-aways, or that they did for some great transgression. Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, sometimes they are the trials of extraordinary graces: in judging of another's case, we ought to take the favorable side. Bildad puts Job in hope, that if he were indeed upright, he should yet see a good end of his present troubles. This is God's way of enriching the souls of his people with graces and comforts. The beginning is small, but the progress is to perfection. Dawning light grows to noon-day.

Verses 8-19: Bildad discourses well of hypocrites and evil-doers, and the fatal end of all their hopes and joys. He proves this truth of the destruction of the hopes and joys of hypocrites, by an appeal to former times. Bildad refers to the testimony of the ancients. Those teach best that utter words out of their heart, that speak from an experience of spiritual and divine things. A rush growing in fenny ground, looking very green, but withering in dry weather, represents the hypocrite's profession, which is maintained only in times of prosperity. The spider's web, spun with great skill, but easily swept away, represents a man's pretensions to religion when without the grace of God in his heart. A formal professor flatters himself in his own eyes, doubts not of his salvation, is secure, and cheats the world with his vain confidences. The flourishing of the tree, planted in the garden, striking root to the rock, yet after a time cut down and thrown aside, represents wicked men, when most firmly established, suddenly thrown down and forgotten. This doctrine of the vanity of a hypocrite's confidence, or the prosperity of a wicked man, is sound; but it was not applicable to the case of Job, if confined to the present world.

Verses 20-22: Bildad here assures Job, that as he was so he should fare; therefore they concluded, that as he fared so he was. God will not cast away an upright man; he may be cast down for a time, but he shall not be cast away for ever. Sin brings ruin on persons and families. Yet to argue, that Job was an ungodly, wicked man, was unjust and uncharitable. The mistake in these reasonings arose from Job's friends not distinguishing between the present state of trial and discipline, and the future state of final judgment. May we choose the portion, possess the confidence, bear the cross, and die the death of the righteous; and, in the mean time, be careful neither to wound others by rash judgments, nor to distress ourselves needlessly about the opinions of our fellow-creatures.


From the Epistles
1 Corinthians 7:1-9
Guidance for the Married


7:1 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Commentary
The apostle tells the Corinthians that it was good, in that juncture of time, for Christians to keep themselves single. Yet he says that marriage, and the comforts of that state, are settled by Divine wisdom. Though none may break the law of God, yet that perfect rule leaves men at liberty to serve him in the way most suited to their powers and circumstances, of which others often are very unfit judges. All must determine for themselves, seeking counsel from God how they ought to act.


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.

No comments:

Post a Comment