Thursday, July 1, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Thursday, July 1, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Psalm 48; 2 Samuel 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 4:8-13 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Study Note:
Paul’s ministry exists only because of grace (1:5), as do spiritual gifts (Greek charismata, v. 6). Realistic assessment of one’s gift (“think with sober judgment”) is essential, and involves a recognition of one’s “measure of faith,” that is, knowing to what extent one has the faith suited for exercising particular gifts (v. 6). The faith by which we are justified is a separate question.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 48
God Our Guide

1 Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise,
     in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

2 Beautiful in its loftiness,
     the joy of the whole earth,
  like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion,
     the city of the Great King.
3 God is in her citadels;
     he has shown himself to be her fortress.

4 When the kings joined forces,
     when they advanced together,
5 they saw her and were astounded;
     they fled in terror.
6 Trembling seized them there,
     pain like that of a woman in labor.
7 You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish
     shattered by an east wind.

8 As we have heard,
     so we have seen
  in the city of the Lord Almighty,
     in the city of our God:
  God makes her secure

9 Within your temple, O God,
     we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
     your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
     your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
     the villages of Judah are glad
     because of your judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
     count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
     view her citadels,
  that you may tell of them
     to the next generation.

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
     he will be our guide even to the end.

Verses 1-7 — Jerusalem is the city of our God: none on earth render him due honor except the citizens of the spiritual Jerusalem. Happy the kingdom, the city, the family, the heart, in which God is great, in which he is all. There God is known. The clearer discoveries are made to us of the Lord and his greatness, the more it is expected that we should abound in his praises. The earth is, by sin, covered with deformity, therefore justly might that spot of ground, which was beautified with holiness, be called the joy of the whole earth; that which the whole earth has reason to rejoice in, that God would thus in very deed dwell with man upon the earth. The kings of the earth were afraid of it. Nothing in nature can more fitly represent the overthrow of heathenism by the Spirit of the gospel, than the wreck of a fleet in a storm. Both are by the mighty power of the Lord.

Verses 8-14 — We have here the improvement which the people of God are to make of his glorious and gracious appearances for them. Let our faith in the word of God be hereby confirmed. Let our hope of the stability of the church be encouraged. Let our minds be filled with good thoughts of God. All the streams of mercy that flow down to us, must be traced to the fountain of His loving-kindness. Let us give to God the glory of the great things he has done for us. Let all the members of the church take comfort from what the Lord does for his church. Let us observe the beauty, strength, and safety of the church. Consider its strength; see it founded on Christ the Rock, fortified by the Divine power, guarded by Him who neither slumbers nor sleeps. See what precious ordinances are its palaces, what precious promises are its bulwarks, that you may be encouraged to join yourselves to it: and tell this to others. This God, who has now done such great things for us, is unchangeable in his love to us, and his care for us. If he is our God, he will lead and keep us even to the last. He will so guide us, as to set us above the reach of death, so that it shall not do us any real hurt. He will lead us to a life in which there shall be no more death.

From the Historical books of the Old Testament
2 Samuel 2:1-11
David Becomes King of Judah

2:1 In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.

The Lord said, “Go up.”

David asked, “Where shall I go?”

“To Hebron,” the Lord answered.

2 So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.

When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul,
5 he sent messengers to them to say to them, “The Lord bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. 6 May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. 7 Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them.”

8 Meanwhile, Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-Bosheth son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9 He made him king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel, and also over Ephraim, Benjamin and all Israel.

10 Ish-Bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years. The tribe of Judah, however, remained loyal to David. 11 The length of time David was king in Hebron over Judah was seven years and six months.

The first act of David was to inquire of God what he should do. Without hesitation, his own tribe crowned him king. His attitude toward the men of Jabesh-gilead was in the highest sense politic, and yet was in keeping with his attitude toward the house of Saul.

The spirit of Saul, which was antagonistic to David, was perpetuated in Abner, Saul's cousin and captain of the host. He at once set himself to consolidate the house of Israel around the house of Saul. Ish-bosheth was merely a puppet in his hands. While it may be true that Abner did not desire the kingship for himself, it must be remembered that it would have been poor policy on his part to seek for that position. It was easier to gather the people around a son of the dead king.

Thus the kingdom was not actually David's. It had to be gained, and seven years passed before his crowning over the whole nation (G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible).

From the Epistles of the New Testament
1 Corinthians 4:8-13
We are Weak but You are Strong

4:8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! 9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.

We have no reason to be proud; all we have, or are, or do, that is good, is owing to the free and rich grace of God. A sinner snatched from destruction by sovereign grace alone, must be very absurd and inconsistent, if proud of the free gifts of God. St. Paul sets forth his own circumstances, ver. 9. Allusion is made to the cruel spectacles in the Roman games; where men were forced to cut one another to pieces, to divert the people; and where the victor did not escape with his life, though he should destroy his adversary, but was only kept for another combat, and must be killed at last. The thought that many eyes are upon believers, when struggling with difficulties or temptations, should encourage constancy and patience. "We are weak, but ye are strong." All Christians are not alike exposed. Some suffer greater hardships than others. The apostle enters into particulars of their sufferings. And how glorious the charity and devotion that carried them through all these hardships! They suffered in their persons and characters as the worst and vilest of men; as the very dirt of the world, that was to be swept away: nay, as the offscouring of all things, the dross of all things. And every one who would be faithful in Christ Jesus, must be prepared for poverty and contempt. Whatever the disciples of Christ suffer from men, they must follow the example, and fulfill the will and precepts of their Lord. They must be content, with him and for him, to be despised and abused. It is much better to be rejected, despised, and ill used, as St. Paul was, than to have the good opinion and favor of the world. Though cast off by the world as vile, yet we may be precious to God, gathered up with his own hand, and placed upon his throne.

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.

The Morning Prayer for Thursday, July 1, 2021


The Morning Prayer
Thursday, July 1, 2021

People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.
Luke 13:29–30 (NIV)

Dear Father in heaven, Almighty God, grant that the nations come under your rule, under your judgment from morning to evening, from east to west, from north to south. For your will must be done, and your name must be honored among all nations. Yours alone is the kingdom; all kingdoms belong to you. Your heavenly kingdom must come so that at last we learn to be at peace and become your children, who submit to you. For your Christ shall carry out your loving, merciful, and perfect will throughout the world. We thank you for all the good you want to provide for us. May your angels watch over us this night. Be with us in all we do or leave undone. Help us with your strong hands, that we may rejoice at heart in all the good you give us. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Thursday, July 1, 2021


Verse of the Day
Thursday, July 1, 2021

Romans 12:3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Study Note:
Paul’s ministry exists only because of grace (1:5), as do spiritual gifts (Greek charismata, v. 6). Realistic assessment of one’s gift (“think with sober judgment”) is essential, and involves a recognition of one’s “measure of faith,” that is, knowing to what extent one has the faith suited for exercising particular gifts (v. 6). The faith by which we are justified is a separate question.

Read all of Romans Chapter 12

Listen to Romans Chapter 12

Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Study Note from the Reformation Study Bible.