The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, October 23, 2021
Psalm 34:1-8 [19-22]; Job 42:7-9; Mark 8:22-26
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
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. As we read the epilogue in our readings in Job, God denounces the three friends whose arrogant proclamation of false wisdom had so tormented Job. In a satisfying and ironic twist, he declares that if Job prays on their behalf, he will not punish them for their ignorant speeches in God’s stead. They, who wrongly urged Job to repent, must now depend on him to accept their repentance and on God to fulfill Job’s entreaty on their behalf. Job’s act of praying on their behalf reminds us of the first chapter, where Job prays for his children’s protection. Job is a praying man, in season and out. Our gospel reading is one of the more striking accounts in all the Gospels. The healing of the blind man is the only canonical episode in which Jesus attempts to heal an individual but is not immediately successful. Although the man’s vision is ultimately restored, Jesus must provide a second healing touch to accomplish the miracle. Our verse of the day is an extension of Galatians 6:1, Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. This verse shows that the second responsibility of Christians toward fallen believers is to help them through their problems after they are restored. It is not enough to restore them to fellowship and then neglect them.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.No maturing Christian can ever say, “I don’t need the church,” because Jesus tells us that we all have work to do in the church—we must fulfill our role as part of the body. We cannot carry the burdens of those we never interact with. Therefore, we must continue to participate in the work, fellowship, and worship of the church—freely giving of ourselves just as Christ has given Himself to us.
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.]
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
God Corrects Job’s Friends
42:7 After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
After the Lord had convinced and humbled Job, and brought him to repentance, he owned him, comforted him, and put honor upon him. The devil had undertaken to prove Job a hypocrite, and his three friends had condemned him as a wicked man; but if God say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant, it is of little consequence who says otherwise. Job's friends had wronged God, by making prosperity a mark of the true church, and affliction a certain proof of God's wrath. Job had referred things to the future judgment and the future state, more than his friends, therefore he spake of God that which was right, better than his friends had done. And as Job prayed and offered sacrifice for those that had grieved and wounded his spirit, so Christ prayed for his persecutors, and ever lives, making intercession for the transgressors. Job's friends were good men, and belonged to God, and He would not let them be in their mistake any more than Job; but having humbled him by a discourse out of the whirlwind, he takes another way to humble them. They are not to argue the matter again, but they must agree in a sacrifice and a prayer, and that must reconcile them, Those who differ in judgment about lesser things, yet are one in Christ the great Sacrifice, and ought therefore to love and bear with one another. When God was angry with Job's friends, he put them in a way to make peace with him. Our quarrels with God always begin on our part, but the making peace begins on his. Peace with God is to be had only in his own way, and upon his own terms. These will never seem hard to those who know how to value this blessing: they will be glad of it, like Job's friends, upon any terms, though ever so humbling. Job did not insult over his friends, but God being graciously reconciled to him, he was easily reconciled to them. In all our prayers and services we should aim to be accepted of the Lord; not to have praise of men, but to please God.
8:22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”
Here is a blind man brought to Christ by his friends. Therein appeared the faith of those that brought him. If those who are spiritually blind, do not pray for themselves, yet their friends and relations should pray for them, that Christ would be pleased to touch them. The cure was wrought gradually, which was not usual in our Lord's miracles. Christ showed in what method those commonly are healed by his grace, who by nature are spiritually blind. At first, their knowledge is confused; but, like the light of the morning, it shines more and more to the perfect day, and then they see all things clearly. Slighting Christ's favors is forfeiting them; and he will make those who do so know the worth of privileges by the want of them.
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