Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, July 21, 2021

 
The Lost Sheep by Robert Barrett

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Psalm 61; 2 Samuel 9:1-13; Luke 15:1-7 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction

In today’s lectionary readings, we read in the Psalter how David longs to dwell in God’s tent forever. From the Prophets, we read that David adopted Jonathan’s disabled son after Jonathan was killed in battle. In Luke’s gospel, we read Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep. In our verse-of-the-day, we read the psalmist affirms that he was so disposed as to desire nothing more than to follow righteousness and truth.

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Psalm 119:30

I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.
The psalmist knows that if he has this desire to be guided by God’s word, his life will be full of purpose and meaning. Though he may be unsure of his future, mocked by friends, or persecuted by rulers, he will always be loyal to God’s word. This gives him the confidence to trust in God when he is in distress. God’s word strengthens him. He therefore prays for increased understanding and greater inner strength to refuse what is evil and choose what is good.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 61
Let me Abide in your Tent Forever


1 Hear my cry, O God;
     listen to my prayer.

2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
     I call as my heart grows faint;
     lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge,
     a strong tower against the foe.

4 I long to dwell in your tent forever
     and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
5 For you, God, have heard my vows;
     you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6 Increase the days of the king’s life,
     his years for many generations.
7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;
     appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name
     and fulfill my vows day after day.


Commentary
Verses 1-4: David begins with prayers and tears, but ends with praise. Thus the soul, being lifted up to God, returns to the enjoyment of itself. Wherever we are, we have liberty to draw near to God, and may find a way open to the throne of grace. And that which separates us from other comforts, should drive us nearer to God, the fountain of all comfort. Though the heart is overwhelmed, yet it may be lifted up to God in prayer. Nay, I will cry unto thee, for by that means it will be supported and relieved. Weeping must quicken praying, and not deaden it. God's power and promise are a rock that is higher than we are. This rock is Christ. On the Divine mercy, as on a rock, David desired to rest his soul; but he was like a ship-wrecked sailor, exposed to the billows at the bottom of a rock too high for him to climb without help. David found that he could not be fixed on the Rock of salvation, unless the Lord placed him upon it. As there is safety in Him, and none in ourselves, let us pray to be led to and fixed upon Christ our Rock. The service of God shall be his constant work and business: all must make it so who expect to find God their shelter and strong tower. The grace of God shall be his constant comfort.

Verses 5-8: There is a people in the world that fear God's name. There is a heritage peculiar to that people; present comforts in the soul, earnests of future bliss. Those that fear God have enough in him, and must not complain. We need desire no better heritage than that of those who fear God. Those abide to good purpose in this world, who abide before God, serve him, and walk in his fear; those who do so, shall abide before him for ever. And these words are to be applied to Him of whom the angel said, the Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and of his kingdom there shall be no end, Luke 1:32. God's promises, and our faith in them, are not to do away, but to encourage prayer. We need not desire to be better secured than under the protection of God's mercy and truth. And if we partake of that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, we may praise him, whatever be our outward circumstances. But renewed experience of God's mercy and truth towards his people in Christ, is the main matter of our joy in him, and our praise unto him.


From the historical books of the Old Testament
2 Samuel 9:1-13
David Adopts Jonathan’s Son


9:1 David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

“At your service,” he replied.

3 The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”

Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”

4 “Where is he?” the king asked.

Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”

5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.

6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.

David said, “Mephibosheth!”

“At your service,” he replied.

7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.

12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

Commentary
Verses 1-8: Amidst numerous affairs we are apt to forget the gratitude we owe, and the engagements we are under, not only to our friends, but to God himself. Yet persons of real godliness will have no rest till they have discharged them. And the most proper objects of kindness and charity, frequently will not be found without inquiry. Jonathan was David's sworn friend, therefore he shows kindness to his son Mephibosheth. God is faithful to us; let us not be unfaithful to one another. If Providence has raised us, and our friends and their families are brought low, we must look upon that as giving us the fairer opportunity of being kind to them.

Verses 9-13: As David was a type of Christ, his Lord and Son, his Root and Offspring, let his kindness to Mephibosheth remind us of the kindness and love of God our Savior to fallen man, to whom he was under no obligation, as David was to Jonathan. The Son of God seeks this lost and ruined race, who sought not after him. He comes to seek and to save them!


From the Gospels
Luke 15:1-7
The Parable of the Lost Sheep


15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Commentary
The parable of the lost sheep is very applicable to the great work of man's redemption. The lost sheep represents the sinner as departed from God, and exposed to certain ruin if not brought back to him, yet not desirous to return. Christ is earnest in bringing sinners home.


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. www.commontexts.org. 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 Wednesday, July 21, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, July 21, 2021


My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you (Psalm 84:2–4, NIV).

Lord God, our souls long for you and for your glory, for the day when it shall be said, "All is accomplished! Now your kingdom comes. Now your day appears. When we look back on all that has happened to us, everything becomes clear." We thank you that we can live without fear, again and again refreshed and renewed, waiting for the good you give on earth. Show us the way we have to go. Grant your blessing in our hearts so that in need and death, in fear and distress, we may always have light and strength. You are our salvation, Lord our God. From you comes the salvation of our souls. We trust you today and every day. We praise your name, and in you we hope for the day you hold in readiness for the whole world, the day when light will dawn in every heart. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Wednesday, July 21, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Wednesday, July 21, 2021


Psalm 119:30
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.
The psalmist knows that if he has this desire to be guided by God’s word, his life will be full of purpose and meaning. Though he may be unsure of his future, mocked by friends, or persecuted by rulers, he will always be loyal to God’s word. This gives him the confidence to trust in God when he is in distress. God’s word strengthens him. He therefore prays for increased understanding and greater inner strength to refuse what is evil and choose what is good.

Read all of Psalm 119

Listen to Psalm 119


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