Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Coming of the Son of Man

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Psalm 90; Isaiah 1:24-31; Luke 11:29-32
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible


In today’s lectionary readings, Psalm 90 is the only song of Moses in the psalms. The thought is that the Lord shelters and protects His people, and He is also their home. In the book of Isaiah, God addresses Judah introducing Himself with titles showing His power and majesty. He is the LORD of hosts, “hosts,” referring to the armies of heaven. He is the Mighty One of Israel, whom it is futile to oppose. This passage is clearly prophetic and has not yet been fulfilled. Among the many provoking words of Jesus, the passage from our gospel reading in Luke is one that cast insult to the crowd and his followers. Jesus accuses the crowd and his followers of belonging to an “evil generation” who asks for a sign. Jesus says to us, no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah. Jesus uses this attention to show everyone that he is the meat of the SIGN they are waiting for, to which they are to repent and believe. The words of Jesus do more than shake the people’s beliefs and pride; recounting the faith of the supposedly faithless queen of the south, the repentance of the Ninevites, and the consequent condemnation, challenges us to acknowledge our own frailties and sinfulness. In our verse of the day, John makes it clear that the Word is not just the beginning but it is the beginning of the beginning. He was there in the beginning before anything was. The plain meaning of this passage is that our divine Savior took human nature upon Him in order to save sinners. A critical part of the gospel is the fact that Jesus was truly, fully, physically human. Verse 14 makes this explicitly clear by using the name of “The Word” while saying very directly that He “became flesh,” living among human beings.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
John 1:1-2, 14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
There had been 400 years of silence since God had spoken through His prophet Malachi. As happens with any prolonged time of quiet, the people’s ears strained for a word. So God sent the Word. But first, He readied the world for the gospel. Under the influence of Alexander the Great, Greek—the language of science, medicine, and philosophy—made communication much easier than it had ever been. Also, because of the roads and general peace (Pax Romana) of the Roman Empire, missionaries could travel everywhere with less difficulty. Finally, with all the Jews scattered throughout the Roman Empire, evangelists had many synagogues from which to preach the Good News throughout the known world.

Jesus is far more than just a great teacher or a mighty prophet; in fact, He is “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). Jesus is “the exact representation” of God’s nature because He is God Himself (Heb. 1:3). Whatever Jesus does, He does with grace. Whatever He says, He says in truth. If you want to understand what God is like, look to Jesus (John 1:18; 14:9).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 90
Prayer for Life from God

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
     throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
     or you brought forth the whole world,
     from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You turn people back to dust,
     saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
     are like a day that has just gone by,
     or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
     they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
     but by evening it is dry and withered.

7 We are consumed by your anger
     and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
     our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
     we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
      or eighty, if our strength endures;
   yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
      for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
      Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
      that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
      Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
      that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
      for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
      your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
      establish the work of our hands for us—
      yes, establish the work of our hands.


Verses 1-6: It is supposed that this psalm refers to the sentence passed on Israel in the wilderness, Psalms 90:14. The favor and protection of God are the only sure rest and comfort of the soul in this evil world. Christ Jesus is the refuge and dwelling-place to which we may repair. We are dying creatures, all our comforts in the world are dying comforts, but God is an ever-living God, and believers find him so. When God, by sickness, or other afflictions, turns men to destruction, he thereby calls men to return unto him to repent of their sins, and live a new life. A thousand years are nothing to God's eternity: between a minute and a million of years there is some proportion; between time and eternity there is none. All the events of a thousand years, whether past or to come, are more present to the Eternal Mind, than what was done in the last hour is to us. And in the resurrection, the body and soul shall both return and be united again. Time passes unobserved by us, as with men asleep; and when it is past, it is as nothing. It is a short and quickly-passing life, as the waters of a flood. Man does but flourish as the grass, which, when the winter of old age comes, will wither; but he may be mown down by disease or disaster.

Verses 7-11: The afflictions of the saints often come from God's love; but the rebukes of sinners, and of believers for their sins, must be seen coming from the displeasure of God. Secret sins are known to God, and shall be reckoned for. See the folly of those who go about to cover their sins, for they cannot do so. Our years, when gone, can no more be recalled than the words that we have spoken. Our whole life is toilsome and troublesome; and perhaps, in the midst of the years we count upon, it is cut off. We are taught by all this to stand in awe. The angels that sinned know the power of God's anger; sinners in hell know it; but which of us can fully describe it? Few seriously consider it as they ought. Those who make a mock at sin, and make light of Christ, surely do not know the power of God's anger. Who among us can dwell with that devouring fire?

Verses 12-17: Those who would learn true wisdom, must pray for Divine instruction, must beg to be taught by the Holy Spirit; and for comfort and joy in the returns of God's favor. They pray for the mercy of God, for they pretend not to plead any merit of their own. His favor would be a full fountain of future joys. It would be a sufficient balance to former griefs. Let the grace of God in us produce the light of good works. And let Divine consolations put gladness into our hearts, and a luster upon our countenances. The work of our hands, establish thou it; and, in order to that, establish us in it. Instead of wasting our precious, fleeting days in pursuing fancies, which leave the possessors for ever poor, let us seek the forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance in heaven. Let us pray that the work of the Holy Spirit may appear in converting our hearts, and that the beauty of holiness may be seen in our conduct.

From the Prophetic Books
Isaiah 1:24-31
Warning not to Wither

24 Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
      the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
   “Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
      and avenge myself on my enemies.
25 I will turn my hand against you;
      I will thoroughly purge away your dross
      and remove all your impurities.
26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old,
      your rulers as at the beginning.
   Afterward you will be called
      the City of Righteousness,
      the Faithful City.”

27 Zion will be delivered with justice,
      her penitent ones with righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners will both be broken,
      and those who forsake the Lord will perish.

29 “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
      in which you have delighted;
   you will be disgraced because of the gardens
      that you have chosen.
30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
      like a garden without water.
31 The mighty man will become tinder
      and his work a spark;
   both will burn together,
      with no one to quench the fire.”


Men may do much by outward restraints; but only God works effectually by the influences of his Spirit, as a Spirit of Judgment. Sin is the worst captivity, the worst slavery. The redemption of the spiritual Zion, by the righteousness and death of Christ, and by his powerful grace, most fully accord with what is here meant. Utter ruin is threatened. The Jews should become as a tree when blasted by heat; as a garden without water, which in those hot countries would soon be burned up. Thus shall they be that trust in idols, or in an arm of flesh. Even the strong man shall be as tow; not only soon broken, and pulled to pieces, but easily catching fire. When the sinner has made himself as tow and stubble, and God makes himself as a consuming fire, what can prevent the utter ruin of the sinner?

From the Gospels
Luke 11:29-32
The Coming of the Son of Man

11:29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.


Christ promised that there should be one sign more given, even the sign of Jonah the prophet; which in Matthew is explained, as meaning the resurrection of Christ; and he warned them to improve this sign. But though Christ himself were the constant preacher in any congregation, and worked miracles daily among them, yet unless his grace humbled their hearts, they would not profit by his word. Let us not desire more evidence and fuller teaching than the Lord is pleased to afford us.

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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