Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday, October 5, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Psalm 55:1-15; Job 11:1-20; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16
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, Zophar speaks the least of them all of Job’s friends, but perhaps he speaks the most arrogantly and confrontationally. Zophar was a severe man. Like Bildad, he lacked compassion and was ruthlessly judgmental. In our epistle reading, Paul answers questions about divorce asked of him by the Corinthian Christians. In our verse of the day, the prophet impresses a sense of urgency and the need for repentance among God’s people.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Isaiah 55:6

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
The Lord invites us to come with confidence into His presence, any time of day or night, to receive His counsel, confess our sins, make requests, and just enjoy His company (Heb. 4:16).

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 11:1-20
Zophar’s First Speech


1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:

2 “Are all these words to go unanswered?
     Is this talker to be vindicated?
3 Will your idle talk reduce others to silence?
     Will no one rebuke you when you mock?
4 You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless
     and I am pure in your sight.’
5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak,
     that he would open his lips against you
6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom,
     for true wisdom has two sides.
     Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.

7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
     Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do?
     They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
9 Their measure is longer than the earth
     and wider than the sea.

10 “If he comes along and confines you in prison
      and convenes a court, who can oppose him?
11 Surely he recognizes deceivers;
      and when he sees evil, does he not take note?
12 But the witless can no more become wise
      than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.

13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him
      and stretch out your hands to him,
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand
      and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
      you will stand firm and without fear.
16 You will surely forget your trouble,
      recalling it only as waters gone by.
17 Life will be brighter than noonday,
      and darkness will become like morning.
18 You will be secure, because there is hope;
      you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
      and many will court your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail,
      and escape will elude them;
      their hope will become a dying gasp.”


Commentary
Verses 1-6: Zophar attacked Job with great vehemence. He represented him as a man that loved to hear himself speak, though he could say nothing to the purpose, and as a man that maintained falsehoods. He desired God would show Job that less punishment was exacted than he deserved. We are ready, with much assurance, to call God to act in our quarrels, and to think that if he would but speak, he would take our part. We ought to leave all disputes to the judgment of God, which we are sure is according to truth; but those are not always right who are most forward to appeal to the Divine judgment.

Verses 7-12: Zophar speaks well concerning God and his greatness and glory, concerning man and his vanity and folly. See here what man is; and let him be humbled. God sees this concerning vain man, that he would be wise, would be thought so, though he is born like a wild ass's colt, so unteachable and untameable. Man is a vain creature; empty, so the word is. Yet he is a proud creature, and self-conceited. He would be wise, would be thought so, though he will not submit to the laws of wisdom. He would be wise, he reaches after forbidden wisdom, and, like his first parents, aiming to be wise above what is written, loses the tree of life for the tree of knowledge. Is such a creature as this fit to contend with God?

Verses 13-20: Zophar exhorts Job to repentance, and gives him encouragement, yet mixed with hard thoughts of him. He thought that worldly prosperity was always the lot of the righteous, and that Job was to be deemed a hypocrite unless his prosperity was restored. Then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; that is, thou mayst come boldly to the throne of grace, and not with the terror and amazement expressed in ch. Job 9:34. If we are looked upon in the face of the Anointed, our faces that were cast down may be lifted up; though polluted, being now washed with the blood of Christ, they may be lifted up without spot. We may draw near in full assurance of faith, when we are sprinkled from an evil conscience, Hebrews 10:22.


From the Epistles
1 Corinthians 7:10-16
Divorce Discouraged


7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Commentary
Man and wife must not separate for any other cause than what Christ allows. Divorce, at that time, was very common among both Jews and Gentiles, on very slight pretexts. Marriage is a Divine institution; and is an engagement for life, by God's appointment. We are bound, as much as in us lies, to live peaceably with all men, Romans 12:18, therefore to promote the peace and comfort of our nearest relatives, though unbelievers. It should be the labor and study of those who are married, to make each other as easy and happy as possible. Should a Christian desert a husband or wife, when there is opportunity to give the greatest proof of love? Stay, and labor heartily for the conversion of thy relative. In every state and relation the Lord has called us to peace; and every thing should be done to promote harmony, as far as truth and holiness will permit.


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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