Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, October 20, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Psalm 75; Job 41:12-34; John 13:1-17
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible


In today’s lectionary readings, David returns God thanks for bringing him to the throne in verses 1 and 9 of Psalm 75. In verses 2, 3, and 10, David promises to lay himself out for the public good using the power God had given him. In verses 4 and 5, he checks the audacity of those that opposed his coming to the throne. In verses 6-8, David fetches a reason for all this from God’s sovereign dominion in the affairs of the children of men. In our reading in Job, to strengthen the point made in the previous section (that Job cannot stand against Leviathan, so he could not hope to stand against God), the LORD now describes in greater detail the might and glory of this creature. Our gospel reading is about the dirty work of washing the disciples’ feet. This menial task was performed by none other than the Lord of glory. What an amazing story it is. Our Lord’s discourse here takes us within twenty-four hours of the crucifixion. The act of washing His disciples’ feet was our Lord’s way of showing them (and us) how much He loved them. In our verse of the day, David prays for the restoration of divine comforts and the perpetual communications of divine grace. There will be everlasting joy when God’s Kingdom is established on earth.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Psalm 51:12

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Although we can never lose our salvation once we genuinely come to Christ by faith, we can lose the joy of our salvation through our sin. Only through confession and reliance on His Spirit can we return to peace with the Lord and contentment in our souls.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 75
People Will Tell of Your Wondrous Deeds

1 We praise you, God,
     we praise you, for your Name is near;
     people tell of your wonderful deeds.

2 You say, “I choose the appointed time;
     it is I who judge with equity.
3 When the earth and all its people quake,
     it is I who hold its pillars firm.
4 To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
     and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.
5 Do not lift your horns against heaven;
     do not speak so defiantly.’”

6 No one from the east or the west
     or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges:
     He brings one down, he exalts another.
8 In the hand of the Lord is a cup
     full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
  he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
     drink it down to its very dregs.

9 As for me, I will declare this forever;
     I will sing praise to the God of Jacob,
10 who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked,
      but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”


Verses 1-5: We often pray for mercy, when in pursuit of it; and shall we only once or twice give thanks, when we obtain it? God shows that he is nigh to us in what we call upon him for. Public trusts are to be managed uprightly. This may well be applied to Christ and his government. Man's sin threatened to destroy the whole creation; but Christ saved the world from utter ruin. He who is made of God to us wisdom, bids us be wise. To the proud, daring sinners he says, Boast not of your power, persist not in contempt. All the present hopes and future happiness of the human race spring from the Son of God.

Verses 6-10: No second causes will raise men to preferment without the First Cause. It comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. He mentions not the north; the same word that signifies the north, signifies the secret place; and from the secret of God's counsel it does come. From God alone all must receive their doom. There are mixtures of mercy and grace in the cup of affliction, when it is put into the hands of God's people; mixtures of the curse, when it is put into the hands of the wicked. God's people have their share in common calamities, but the dregs of the cup are for the wicked. The exaltation of the Son of David will be the subject of the saints' everlasting praises. Then let sinners submit to the King of righteousness, and let believers rejoice in and obey him.

From the Books of Wisdom
Job 41:12-34
God’s Creative Power

12 “I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,
      its strength and its graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its outer coat?
      Who can penetrate its double coat of armor?
14 Who dares open the doors of its mouth,
      ringed about with fearsome teeth?
15 Its back has rows of shields
      tightly sealed together;
16 each is so close to the next
      that no air can pass between.
17 They are joined fast to one another;
      they cling together and cannot be parted.
18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light;
      its eyes are like the rays of dawn.
19 Flames stream from its mouth;
      sparks of fire shoot out.
20 Smoke pours from its nostrils
      as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.
21 Its breath sets coals ablaze,
      and flames dart from its mouth.
22 Strength resides in its neck;
      dismay goes before it.
23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;
      they are firm and immovable.
24 Its chest is hard as rock,
      hard as a lower millstone.
25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified;
      they retreat before its thrashing.
26 The sword that reaches it has no effect,
      nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
27 Iron it treats like straw
      and bronze like rotten wood.
28 Arrows do not make it flee;
      slingstones are like chaff to it.
29 A club seems to it but a piece of straw;
      it laughs at the rattling of the lance.
30 Its undersides are jagged potsherds,
      leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
31 It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron
      and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;
      one would think the deep had white hair.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal—
      a creature without fear.
34 It looks down on all that are haughty;
      it is king over all that are proud.”


The description of the Leviathan, is yet further to convince Job of his own weakness, and of God's almighty power. Whether this Leviathan be a whale or a crocodile, is disputed. The Lord, having showed Job how unable he was to deal with the Leviathan, sets forth his own power in that mighty creature. If such language describes the terrible force of Leviathan, what words can express the power of God's wrath? Under a humbling sense of our own vileness, let us revere the Divine Majesty; take and fill our allotted place, cease from our own wisdom, and give all glory to our gracious God and Savior. Remembering from whom every good gift comes, and for what end it was given, let us walk humbly with the Lord.

From the Gospels
John 13:1-17
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

13:1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.


Our Lord Jesus has a people in the world that are his own; he has purchased them, and paid dear for them, and he has set them apart for himself; they devote themselves to him as a peculiar people. Those whom Christ loves, he loves to the end. Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. We know not when our hour will come, therefore what we have to do in constant preparation for it, ought never to be undone. What way of access the devil has to men's hearts we cannot tell. But some sins are so exceedingly sinful, and there is so little temptation to them from the world and the flesh, that it is plain they are directly from Satan. Jesus washed his disciples' feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein we may promote God's glory, and the good of our brethren. We must address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thing that would hinder us in what we have to do. Christ washed his disciples' feet, that he might signify to them the value of spiritual washing, and the cleansing of the soul from the pollutions of sin. Our Lord Jesus does many things of which even his own disciples do not for the present know the meaning, but they shall know afterward. We see in the end what was the kindness from events which seemed most cross. And it is not humility, but unbelief, to put away the offers of the gospel, as if too rich to be made to us, or too good news to be true. All those, and those only, who are spiritually washed by Christ, have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, he justifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to be washed by Christ. How earnest he is for the purifying grace of the Lord Jesus, and the full effect of it, even upon his hands and head! Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to be sanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its parts and powers, made pure. The true believer is thus washed when he receives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be the daily care of those who through grace are in a justified state, and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves from daily guilt, and to watch against everything defiling. This should make us the more cautious. From yesterday's pardon, we should be strengthened against this day's temptation. And when hypocrites are discovered, it should be no surprise or cause of stumbling to us. Observe the lesson Christ here taught. Duties are mutual; we must both accept help from our brethren, and afford help to our brethren. When we see our Master serving, we cannot but see how ill it becomes us to domineer. And the same love which led Christ to ransom and reconcile his disciples when enemies, still influences him.

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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