Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, November 13, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, November 13, 2021
1 Samuel 2:1-10; 1 Samuel 3:1-18; Mark 12:1-12
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible


In today’s lectionary readings, we read Hannah’s Prayer. Hannah’s Prayer is a psalm, but like the psalms, it is a prayer addressed to God, a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. This psalm records the worship Hannah offered on the very day she left her little boy—her only child—at the tabernacle, never for him to live in her home again. We read in First Samuel that God calls out to Samuel, but Samuel cannot recognize God’s voice. In our gospel reading, we read the story of the tenant farmers, a parable about a landowner and his tenants. Jesus them applies the parable when he says, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Jesus is often likened to a stone or a rock in the Bible. He is the rock of provision that followed Israel in the desert (1 Corinthians 10:4). He is the stone of stumbling (1 Peter 2:8). He is the stone cut without hands that crushes the kingdoms of this world (Daniel 2:45). In our verse of the day, Peter knew that our conduct is a way to defend the gospel. He knew that those who never read the Bible will read our lives, so by doing good, we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. In this verse, we are also warned against taking the liberty we have in Jesus as an excuse for sin. Instead, we use our liberty in Jesus to show love and respect.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
1 Peter 2:15-16

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
Ancient Roman society criticized Christians as atheists because they rejected Roman religion and the worship of ancestral pagan gods. In a culture in which religion and the state were so enmeshed (especially given that in Rome its emperors were revered and even deified), the general populace viewed Christians as enemies of the state. Without capitulating to such societal pressures, Peter nevertheless urges the believers to be model members of society insofar as possible. They should submit to the authority of the emperor and his subordinate provincial governors, who, when fulfilling their rightful role, will punish evildoers and reward those who do what is good (Ro 13:1–7). Such godly behavior will serve to shut down the ignorant criticisms leveled against Christianity. A Christian’s submission to governing authorities is not servile or groveling, however, since Christians are not slaves to the government. Rather, they are free; therefore, they can speak and act with the dignity and confidence that free members of society bear. But Christians may not abuse their liberty (with respect to the government) to justify evil behavior. After all, even if their master is not the government, Christians do nevertheless have a master—God.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Historical Books

1 Samuel 2:1-10
My Heart Exults (Hannah’s Prayer)

1 Then Hannah prayed and said:

  “My heart rejoices in the Lord;
     in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
  My mouth boasts over my enemies,
     for I delight in your deliverance.

2 “There is no one holy like the Lord;
     there is no one besides you;
     there is no Rock like our God.

3 “Do not keep talking so proudly
     or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
  for the Lord is a God who knows,
     and by him deeds are weighed.

4 “The bows of the warriors are broken,
     but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
     but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
  She who was barren has borne seven children,
     but she who has had many sons pines away.

6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive;
     he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
     he humbles and he exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust
     and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
  he seats them with princes
     and has them inherit a throne of honor.

  “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
     on them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
     but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

  “It is not by strength that one prevails;
10    those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
   The Most High will thunder from heaven;
      the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

   “He will give strength to his king
      and exalt the horn of his anointed.”


Hannah's heart rejoiced, not in Samuel, but in the Lord. She looks beyond the gift, and praises the Giver. She rejoiced in the salvation of the Lord, and in expectation of His coming, who is the whole salvation of his people. The strong are soon weakened, and the weak are soon strengthened, when God pleases. Are we poor? God made us poor, which is a good reason why we should be content, and make up our minds to our condition. Are we rich? God made us rich, which is a good reason why we should be thankful, and serve him cheerfully, and do good with the abundance he gives us. He respects not man's wisdom or fancied excellencies, but chooses those whom the world accounts foolish, teaching them to feel their guilt, and to value his free and precious salvation. This prophecy looks to the kingdom of Christ, that kingdom of grace, of which Hannah speaks, after having spoken largely of the kingdom of providence. And here is the first time that we meet with the name MESSIAH, or his Anointed. The subjects of Christ's kingdom will be safe, and the enemies of it will be ruined; for the Anointed, the Lord Christ, is able to save, and to destroy.

From the Historical Books
1 Samuel 3:1-18
God Speaks to Samuel

3:1 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.
9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”

15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”


Verses 1-10: The call which Divine grace designs shall be made effectual; will be repeated till it is so, till we come to the call. Eli, perceiving that it was the voice of God that Samuel heard, instructed him what to say. Though it was a disgrace to Eli, for God's call to be directed to Samuel, yet he told him how to meet it. Thus the elder should do their utmost to assist and improve the younger that are rising up. Let us never fail to teach those who are coming after us, even such as will soon be preferred before us, John 1:30. Good words should be put into children's mouths betimes, by which they may be prepared to learn Divine things, and be trained up to regard them.

Verses 11-18: What a great deal of guilt and corruption is there in us, concerning which we may say, It is the iniquity which our own heart knows; we are conscious to ourselves of it! Those who do not restrain the sins of others, when it is in their power to do it, make themselves partakers of the guilt, and will be charged as joining in it. In his remarkable answer to this awful sentence, Eli acknowledged that the Lord had a right to do as he saw good, being assured that he would do nothing wrong. The meekness, patience, and humility contained in those words, show that he was truly repentant; he accepted the punishment of his sin.

From the Gospels
Mark 12:1-12
The Stone Which the Builders Rejected

12:1 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

9 “What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:

   “‘The stone the builders rejected
      has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
      and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.


Christ showed in parables, that he would lay aside the Jewish church. It is sad to think what base usage God's faithful ministers have met with in all ages, from those who have enjoyed the privileges of the church, but have not brought forth fruit answerable. God at length sent his Son, his Well-beloved; and it might be expected that he whom their Master loved, they also should respect and love; but instead of honoring him because he was the Son and Heir, they therefore hated him. But the exaltation of Christ was the Lord's doing; and it is his doing to exalt him in our hearts, and to set up his throne there; and if this be done, it cannot but be marvelous in our eyes. The Scriptures, and faithful preachers, and the coming of Christ in the flesh, call on us to render due praise to God in our lives. Let sinners beware of a proud, carnal spirit; if they revile or despise the preachers of Christ, they would have done so their Master, had they lived when he was upon earth.

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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