Friday, October 22, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Friday, October 22, 2021

 
Jesus is like Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:11-22)

The Daily Bible Readings
Friday, October 22, 2021
Psalm 34:1-8 [19-22]; Nehemiah 1:1-11; Hebrews 7:11-22
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction

In today’s lectionary readings, David praises God in our psalm reading for deliverance from a life-threatening situation–perhaps his encounter with King Achish of Gath, later remembered as Abimelech.  David begins his testimony by stating his intent: to worship the Lord at all times. This praise, however, is not passive; it is an intentional commitment to praise the name of the Lord in an ongoing manner. This praise is to be continuous. It is to happen at all times. The author then invites, even commands others to listen, particularly those who are weak. In our historical readings, at the king’s court in Susa, Nehemiah is informed that Jerusalem is without walls and resolves to restore them. The temple had been rebuilt for about 70 years, but the walls that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed in 586 B.C. were still in ruins, leaving the city defenseless against enemy attacks. In our epistle reading, the author of Hebrews states what everyone knew, that Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi but rather from the tribe of Judah. He calls Jesus “our Lord,” a title that he uses only in 13:20. He wants us to recognize that Jesus isn’t just another human priest, but that He is “our Lord,” God in human flesh. Our verse of the day sets forth the satisfaction of saying the right thing at the right moment.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Proverbs 15:23

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!
Timing is everything in the world of wisdom. Ankhsheshonqy puts it this way: “Do not say something when it is not the time for it.”

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 34:1-8 [19-22]
Taste and See

1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
     his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
     let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
     let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
     he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
     their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
     he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
     and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
     blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

[
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
       but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
      not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
      the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
      no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.]


Commentary

Verses 1-8: If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also. This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in him. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, Philippians 4:11-18. Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work, and mind their own business.

Verses 19-22: The righteous are taken under the special protection of the Lord, yet they have their share of crosses in this world, and there are those that hate them. Both from the mercy of Heaven, and the malice of hell, the afflictions of the righteous must be many. But whatever troubles befall them, shall not hurt their souls, for God keeps them from sinning in troubles. No man is desolate, but he whom God has forsaken.


From the Historical Books
Nehemiah 1:1-11
Nehemiah Prays for Restoration

1:1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,
2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

Commentary

Nehemiah was the Persian king's cup-bearer. When God has work to do, he will never want instruments to do it with. Nehemiah lived at ease, and in honor, but does not forget that he is an Israelite, and that his brethren are in distress. He was ready to do them all the good offices he could; and that he might know how best to do them a kindness, he makes inquiries about them. We should inquire especially concerning the state of the church and religion. Every Jerusalem on this side the heavenly one will have some defect, which will require the help and services of its friends. Nehemiah's first application was to God, that he might have the fuller confidence in his application to the king. Our best pleas in prayer are taken from the promise of God, the word on which he has caused us to hope. Other means must be used, but the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails most. Communion with God will best prepare us for our dealings with men. When we have intrusted our concerns to God, the mind is set at liberty; it feels satisfaction and composure, and difficulties vanish. We know that if the affair be hurtful, he can easily hinder it; and if it be good for us, he can as easily forward it.

From the Epistles
Hebrews 7:11-22
Jesus is like Melchizedek

7:11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:

   “You are a priest forever,
      in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

   “The Lord has sworn
      and will not change his mind:
      ‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

Commentary

The priesthood and law by which perfection could not come, are done away; a Priest is risen, and a dispensation now set up, by which true believers may be made perfect. That there is such a change is plain. The law which made the Levitical priesthood, showed that the priests were frail, dying creatures, not able to save their own lives, much less could they save the souls of those who came to them. But the High Priest of our profession holds his office by the power of endless life in himself; not only to keep himself alive, but to give spiritual and eternal life to all who rely upon his sacrifice and intercession. The better covenant, of which Jesus was the Surety, is not here contrasted with the covenant of works, by which every transgressor is shut up under the curse. It is distinguished from the Sinai covenant with Israel, and the legal dispensation under which the church so long remained. The better covenant brought the church and every believer into clearer light, more perfect liberty, and more abundant privileges. In the order of Aaron there was a multitude of priests, of high priests one after another; but in the priesthood of Christ there is only one and the same. This is the believer's safety and happiness, that this everlasting High Priest is able to save to the uttermost, in all times, in all cases. Surely then it becomes us to desire a spirituality and holiness, as much beyond those of the Old Testament believers, as our advantages exceed theirs.


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. 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 Friday, October 22, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Friday, October 22, 2021

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul?
Deuteronomy 10:12, NIV


Lord our God, our Father in heaven, be with us as we are gathered here. Through your Spirit let our hearts grow in understanding of how we can serve you rightly and live as you want us to live. Help us hold fast to all that is good. Free us more and more from everything that hinders us, from all that is evil. Show your loving-kindness to us and to our loved ones, wherever they may be. Hear every human heart that sighs to you, pleading that what is of heaven may overcome what is of earth. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Friday, October 22, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Friday, October 22, 2021


Proverbs 15:23
A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!
Timing is everything in the world of wisdom. Ankhsheshonqy puts it this way: “Do not say something when it is not the time for it.”

Read all of Proverbs Chapter 15

Listen to Proverbs Chapter 15


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

Our Daily Bread — Live to Serve

 

Live to Serve

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

READ 1 Peter 4:8–11

After ten-year-old Chelsea received an elaborate art set, she discovered that God used art to help her feel better when she was sad. When she found out that some kids didn’t have art supplies readily available, she wanted to help them. So when it was time for her birthday party, she asked her friends not to bring her gifts. Instead, she invited them to donate art supplies and help fill boxes for children in need.

Later, with her family’s help, she started Chelsea’s Charity. She began asking more people to help her fill boxes so she could help more kids. She has even taught art tips to groups who have received her boxes. After a local newscaster interviewed Chelsea, people started donating supplies from all over the country. As Chelsea’s Charity continues sending art supplies internationally, this young girl is demonstrating how God can use us when we’re willing to live to serve others.

Chelsea’s compassion and willingness to share reflects the heart of a faithful steward. The apostle Peter encourages all believers in Jesus to be faithful stewards as they “love each other deeply” by sharing the resources and talents God has given them (1 Peter 4:8–11).

Our small acts of love can inspire others to join us in giving. God can even rally supporters to serve alongside us. As we rely on Him, we can live to serve and give Him the glory He deserves.

By Xochitl Dixon

REFLECT & PRAY
 
How can you rely on God to help you serve others today? In what way has God been nudging you to serve Him that seems too big for you to handle alone?

Faithful Father, please give me all I need to serve You by loving others with my words and actions today.
 
 

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

 

Writing to believers in Jesus who are suffering because of persecution (1 Peter 4:12–16), Peter tells them not to be fearful but to remain faithful, to “revere Christ as Lord” (3:14–15), and to live in a way that honors God before a hostile and unbelieving world (2:11–12). In today’s passage (4:8–11), he encourages believers to “love each other deeply” (v. 8), which is demonstrated when we forgive one another, offer hospitality (v. 9), and unselfishly use our spiritual gifts to serve one another (v. 10). Believers aren’t to use their gifts for their own selfish ends but be “good managers of God’s diverse gifts” (ceb); we’re to responsibly use them to edify others and glorify God (v. 11). Elsewhere, the apostle Paul lists some of these spiritual gifts and how they’re to be used (Romans 12:3–8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–31; Ephesians 4:11–16).
K. T. Sim