Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, September 1, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Psalm 144:9-15; Song of Songs 8:5-7; Mark 7:9-23
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist talks about the blessings that God gave to him. Our reading from Song of Songs is rather peculiar in its vocabulary and imagery. Replacing the stock word pictures of the love-speak in the seven chapters previous, this poem in the final chapter is dense with new vocabulary, some even at odds with the familiar terms. Our gospel reading is an example of how the traditions of the Pharisees dishonored God as Jesus speaks to the multitude about the mere image of religion and religious externalism. Our verse of the day is often a dagger in the heart of parents of older children.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Proverbs 22:6

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Some caution against leading children to Christ too early, but this is a mistake. If you don’t teach your children to have faith in Jesus, others will convince them to trust in something else (Prov. 22:6; Matt. 19:13, 14; 2 Tim. 3:14–16).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 144:9-15
The Blessing of Sons and Daughters

9 I will sing a new song to you, my God;
     on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
10 to the One who gives victory to kings,
      who delivers his servant David.

   From the deadly sword
11 deliver me;
      rescue me from the hands of foreigners
   whose mouths are full of lies,
      whose right hands are deceitful.

12 Then our sons in their youth
      will be like well-nurtured plants,
   and our daughters will be like pillars
      carved to adorn a palace.
13 Our barns will be filled
      with every kind of provision.
   Our sheep will increase by thousands,
      by tens of thousands in our fields;
14    our oxen will draw heavy loads.
   There will be no breaching of walls,
      no going into captivity,
      no cry of distress in our streets.
15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
      blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.

Fresh favors call for fresh returns of thanks; we must praise God for the mercies we hope for by his promise, as well as those we have received by his providence. To be saved from the hurtful sword, or from wasting sickness, without deliverance from the dominion of sin and the wrath to come, is but a small advantage. The public prosperity David desired for his people, is stated. It adds much to the comfort and happiness of parents in this world, to see their children likely to do well. To see them as plants, not as weeds, not as thorns; to see them as plants growing, not withered and blasted; to see them likely to bring forth fruit unto God in their day; to see them in their youth growing strong in the Spirit. Plenty is to be desired, that we may be thankful to God, generous to our friends, and charitable to the poor; otherwise, what profit is it to have our garners full? Also, uninterrupted peace. War brings abundance of mischiefs, whether it be to attack others or to defend ourselves. And in proportion as we do not adhere to the worship and service of God, we cease to be a happy people. The subjects of the Savior, the Son of David, share the blessings of his authority and victories, and are happy because they have the Lord for their God.

From the Books of Wisdom
Song of Songs 8:5-7
Love Cannot be Quenched


5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
     leaning on her beloved?


  Under the apple tree I roused you;
     there your mother conceived you,
     there she who was in labor gave you birth.
6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
     like a seal on your arm;
  for love is as strong as death,
     its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
  It burns like blazing fire,
     like a mighty flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
     rivers cannot sweep it away.
  If one were to give
     all the wealth of one’s house for love,
     it would be utterly scorned.

The Jewish church came up from the wilderness, supported by Divine power and favor. The Christian church was raised from a low, desolate condition, by the grace of Christ relied on. Believers, by the power of grace, are brought up from the wilderness. A sinful state is a wilderness in which there is no true comfort; it is a wandering, wanting state: There is no coming out of this wilderness, but leaning on Christ as our Beloved, by faith; not leaning to our own understanding, nor trusting in any righteousness of our own; but in the strength of him, who is the Lord our Righteousness. The words of the church to Christ which follow, entreat an abiding place in his love, and protection by his power. Set me as a seal upon thine heart; let me always have a place in thine heart; let me have an impression of love upon thine heart. Of this the soul would be assured, and without a sense thereof no rest is to be found. Those who truly love Christ, are jealous of every thing that would draw them from him; especially of themselves, lest they should do any thing to provoke him to withdraw from them. If we love Christ, the fear of coming short of his love, or the temptations to forsake him, will be most painful to us. No waters can quench Christ's love to us, nor any floods drown it. Let nothing abate our love to him. Nor will life, and all its comforts, entice a believer from loving Christ. Love of Christ, will enable us to repel and triumph over temptations from the smiles of the world, as well as from its frowns.

From the Gospels
Mark 7:9-23
Jesus Teaches about Tradition

9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”]

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Verses 9-13: One great design of Christ's coming was, to set aside the ceremonial law; and to make way for this, he rejects the ceremonies men added to the law of God's making. Those clean hands and that pure heart which Christ bestows on his disciples, and requires of them, are very different from the outward and superstitious forms of Pharisees of every age. Jesus reproves them for rejecting the commandment of God. It is clear that it is the duty of children, if their parents are poor, to relieve them as far as they are able; and if children deserve to die that curse their parents, much more those that starve them. But if a man conformed to the traditions of the Pharisees, they found a device to free him from the claim of this duty.

Verses 14-23: Our wicked thoughts and affections, words and actions, defile us, and these only. As a corrupt fountain sends forth corrupt streams, so does a corrupt heart send forth corrupt reasonings, corrupt appetites and passions, and all the wicked words and actions that come from them. A spiritual understanding of the law of God, and a sense of the evil of sin, will cause a man to seek for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to keep down the evil thoughts and affections that work within.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets].

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 Wednesday, September 1, 2021


The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul wrote, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).

Dear Father in heaven, open our hearts to see what is good in our lives. May the light in our hearts shine clearly so that we see, recognize, and live in accordance with what comes from eternity and belongs to our true nature, brought to us through Christ. Keep us from being blinded and deafened by experiences that will pass by. Help us to rise above them even in suffering and to wait patiently for what is becoming new and perfect. Praise to your name that we too can say, "The old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" Amen.

Verse of the Day for Wednesday, September 1, 2021


Verse of the Day
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Some caution against leading children to Christ too early, but this is a mistake. If you don’t teach your children to have faith in Jesus, others will convince them to trust in something else (Prov. 22:6; Matt. 19:13, 14; 2 Tim. 3:14–16).