Saturday, December 18, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, December 18, 2021

Jesus as Mother Hen Laments over Jerusalem

The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, December 18, 2021
Psalm 80:1-7; Isaiah 66:7-11; Luke 13:31-35
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible


Our psalm is a prayer to Israel’s Shepherd for restoration in today’s lectionary readings.  In the prayer, the psalmist asks God how long it will be before 1. God stops being angry with them; 2. God stops making them cry buckets full of tears, and 3. God stops their enemies fighting them and laughing at them. In our reading in Isaiah, God is doing a new thing, giving new birth to Zion, providing her with new children to repopulate the nation. God will care for these children like a loving mother. In our reading in Luke, the Pharisees warn Jesus about Herod Antipas. Jesus responds that he will not face death until he arrives at Jerusalem. In our verse of the day, like a melody in a musical overture, Zechariah’s prophecy hints at things to come while reflecting refrains from long before.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Luke 1:68-70

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago).
These verses come from Zechariah’s Song (Luke 1:67-79). In his song, Zacharias was referring to the prophecy of Malachi 4:2, “You who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise.” This of course, was speaking about the Messiah. By first listing God’s covenants to David and Abraham (Luke 1:69, 73), and then referring to the last thing the Lord said in Malachi, Zacharias was confirming that God had indeed kept every aspect of His promise to send the Savior. The good news that Israel had been longing to hear had finally arrived.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 80:1-7
Show the Light of your Countenance

1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
     you who lead Joseph like a flock.
  You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
     shine forth
2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
  Awaken your might;
     come and save us.

3 Restore us, O God;
     make your face shine on us,
     that we may be saved.

4 How long, Lord God Almighty,
     will your anger smolder
     against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
     you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,
     and our enemies mock us.

7 Restore us, God Almighty;
     make your face shine on us,
     that we may be saved.


He that dwells upon the mercy-seat, is the good Shepherd of his people. But we can neither expect the comfort of his love, nor the protection of his arm, unless we partake of his converting grace. If he is really angry at the prayers of his people, it is because, although they pray, their ends are not right, or there is some secret sin indulged in them, or he will try their patience and perseverance in prayer. When God is displeased with his people, we must expect to see them in tears, and their enemies in triumph. There is no salvation but from God's favor; there is no conversion to God but by his own grace.

From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Isaiah 66:7-11
God as a Nursing Mother

7 “Before she goes into labor,
     she gives birth;
  before the pains come upon her,
     she delivers a son.
8 Who has ever heard of such things?
     Who has ever seen things like this?
  Can a country be born in a day
     or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
  Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
     than she gives birth to her children.
9 Do I bring to the moment of birth
     and not give delivery?” says the Lord.
  “Do I close up the womb
     when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
      all you who love her;
   rejoice greatly with her,
      all you who mourn over her.
11 For you will nurse and be satisfied
      at her comforting breasts;
   you will drink deeply
      and delight in her overflowing abundance.”


The prophet turns to those that trembled at God's word, to comfort and encourage them. The Lord will appear, to the joy of the humble believer, and to the confusion of hypocrites and persecutors. When the Spirit was poured out, and the gospel went forth from Zion, multitudes were converted in a little time. The word of God, especially his promises, and ordinances, are the consolations of the church. The true happiness of all Christians is increased by every convert brought to Christ.

From the Gospels
Luke 13:31-35
Jesus as Mother Hen Laments over Jerusalem

13:31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”


Christ, in calling Herod a fox, gave him his true character. The greatest of men were accountable to God, therefore it became him to call this proud king by his own name; but it is not an example for us. I know, said our Lord, that I must die very shortly; when I die, I shall be perfected, I shall have completed my undertaking. It is good for us to look upon the time we have before us as but little, that we may thereby be quickened to do the work of the day in its day. The wickedness of persons and places which more than others profess religion and relation to God, especially displeases and grieves the Lord Jesus. The judgment of the great day will convince unbelievers; but let us learn thankfully to welcome, and to profit by all who come in the name of the Lord, to call us to partake of his great salvation.

Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. 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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