Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Thursday, October 28, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Psalm 146; Ruth 1:18-22; Hebrews 9:1-12
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction

In today’s lectionary readings, the prophets of God become agents of miracles, showing holy love for those who have no refuge in society (Psalm 146). In our reading in Ruth,  Ruth follows Naomi to Bethlehem. It was a long walk from Moab to Bethlehem, and the trip was mostly uphill. We can imagine along the way, Ruth asking her mother-in-law Naomi all about the God of Israel and the land of Israel. In our epistle reading, the apostle shows the Hebrews the typical reference of their ceremonies to Christ. The tabernacle was a movable temple, shadowing forth the unsettled state of the church upon earth, and the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. Our verse of the day uses a quotation from Isaiah 40:6b–8, a text that in Isaiah refers to human frailty versus the certainty of God’s promise of redemption.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
1 Peter 1:24-25

For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
This quotation in is from the Greek version of Isaiah 40:6b–8, a text that in Isaiah refers to human frailty versus the certainty of God’s promise of redemption, using images drawn from the hot desert wind’s withering the vegetation in its path. Peter is not the only New Testament writer to use this passage (cf. James 1:10–11), and it fits well in this context. While their experience of life under persecution might be that “the grass withers and the flowers fall,” it is really their pagan persecutors who “are like grass,” while they have been born of “the word of the Lord [that] stands forever. ” In an insecure world they have security through the power of the gospel.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 146
God Lifts Those Bowed Down

1 Praise the Lord.

  Praise the Lord, my soul.

2 I will praise the Lord all my life;
     I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
     in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
     on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
     whose hope is in the Lord their God.

6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
     the sea, and everything in them—
     he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
     and gives food to the hungry.
  The Lord sets prisoners free,
8    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
  the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
     the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner
     and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
     but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10 The Lord reigns forever,
      your God, O Zion, for all generations.

  Praise the Lord.


Commentary

Verses 1-4: If it is our delight to praise the Lord while we live, we shall certainly praise him to all eternity. With this glorious prospect before us, how low do worldly pursuits seem! There is a Son of man in whom there is help, even him who is also the Son of God, who will not fail those that trust in him. But all other sons of men are like the man from whom they sprung, who, being in honor, did not abide. God has given the earth to the children of men, but there is great striving about it. Yet, after a while, no part of the earth will be their own, except that in which their dead bodies are laid. And when man returns to his earth, in that very day all his plans and designs vanish and are gone: what then comes of expectations from him?

Verses 5-10: The psalmist encourages us to put confidence in God. We must hope in the providence of God for all we need as to this life, and in the grace of God for that which is to come. The God of heaven became a man that he might become our salvation. Though he died on the cross for our sins, and was laid in the grave, yet his thoughts of love to us did not perish; he rose again to fulfill them. When on earth, his miracles were examples of what he is still doing every day. He grants deliverance to captives bound in the chains of sin and Satan. He opens the eyes of the understanding. He feeds with the bread of life those who hunger for salvation; and he is the constant Friend of the poor in spirit, the helpless: with him poor sinners, that are as fatherless, find mercy; and his kingdom shall continue for ever. Then let sinners flee to him, and believers rejoice in him. And as the Lord shall reign for ever, let us stir up each other to praise his holy name.


From the Historical Books
Ruth 1:18-22
Ruth and Naomi

1:18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

Commentary

Naomi and Ruth came to Bethlehem. Afflictions will make great and surprising changes in a little time. May God, by his grace, fit us for all such changes, especially the great change!, Naomi signifies "pleasant," or "amiable;" Mara, "bitter," or "bitterness." She was now a woman of a sorrowful spirit. She had come home empty, poor, a widow and childless. But there is a fullness for believers of which they never can be emptied; a good part which shall not be taken from those who have it. The cup of affliction is a "bitter" cup, but she owns that the affliction came from God. It well becomes us to have our hearts humbled under humbling providences. It is not affliction itself, but affliction rightly borne, that does us good.

From the Epistles
Hebrews 9:1-12
Temple Sacrifices and Christ

9:1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

Commentary
Verses 1-5: The apostle shows to the Hebrews the typical reference of their ceremonies to Christ. The tabernacle was a movable temple, shadowing forth the unsettled state of the church upon earth, and the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. The typical meaning of these things has been shown in former remarks, and the ordinances and articles of the Mosaic covenant point out Christ as our Light, and as the Bread of life to our souls; and remind us of his Divine Person, his holy priesthood, perfect righteousness, and all-prevailing intercession. Thus was the Lord Jesus Christ, all and in all, from the beginning. And as interpreted by the gospel, these things are a glorious representation of the wisdom of God, and confirm faith in Him who was prefigured by them.

Verses 6-10: The apostle goes on to speak of the Old Testament services. Christ, having undertaken to be our High Priest, could not enter into heaven till he had shed his blood for us; and none of us can enter, either into God's gracious presence here, or his glorious presence hereafter, but by the blood of Jesus. Sins are errors, great errors, both in judgment and practice; and who can understand all his errors? They leave guilt upon the conscience, not to be washed away but by the blood of Christ. We must plead this blood on earth, while he is pleading it for us in heaven. A few believers, under the Divine teaching, saw something of the way of access to God, of communion with him, and of admission into heaven through the promised Redeemer, but the Israelites in general looked no further than the outward forms. These could not take away the defilement or dominion of sin. They could neither discharge the debts, nor resolve the doubts, of him who did the service. Gospel times are, and should be, times of reformation, of clearer light as to all things needful to be known, and of greater love, causing us to bear ill-will to none, but good-will to all. We have greater freedom, both of spirit and speech, in the gospel, and greater obligations to a more holy living.

Verses 11-12: All good things past, present, and to come, were and are founded upon the priestly office of Christ, and come to us from thence. Our High Priest entered into heaven once for all, and has obtained eternal redemption. The Holy Ghost further signified and showed that the Old Testament sacrifices only freed the outward man from ceremonial uncleanness, and fitted him for some outward privileges. What gave such power to the blood of Christ? It was Christ's offering himself without any sinful stain in his nature or life. This cleanses the most guilty conscience from dead, or deadly, works to serve the living God; from sinful works, such as pollute the soul, as dead bodies did the persons of the Jews who touched them; while the grace that seals pardon, new-creates the polluted soul. Nothing more destroys the faith of the gospel, than by any means to weaken the direct power of the blood of Christ. The depth of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and refreshment.



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 Thursday, October 28, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Thursday, October 28, 2021


Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.
Psalm 50:14–15, NIV


Dear Father in heaven, we want to praise you together and to thank you with all our hearts for your goodness and your deliverance from our many needs. Accept our thanks, and help us go on our way with ever joyful hearts. Make us ready for whatever you have prepared for us, your children. Bless us in our individual lives and bless us in our community. Let your Spirit shed its rays into all places to comfort people's hearts and to restore and strengthen their faith. May your name be praised forevermore. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Thursday, October 28, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Thursday, October 28, 2021


1 Peter 1:24-25
For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
This quotation in is from the Greek version of Isaiah 40:6b–8, a text that in Isaiah refers to human frailty versus the certainty of God’s promise of redemption, using images drawn from the hot desert wind’s withering the vegetation in its path. Peter is not the only New Testament writer to use this passage (cf. James 1:10–11), and it fits well in this context. While their experience of life under persecution might be that “the grass withers and the flowers fall,” it is really their pagan persecutors who “are like grass,” while they have been born of “the word of the Lord [that] stands forever. ” In an insecure world they have security through the power of the gospel.

Read all of First Peter Chapter 1

Listen to First Peter Chapter 1


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

Our Daily Bread — Is God Listening?

 

Is God Listening?

If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14

READ 1 John 5:13–15

When I served on my church’s congregational care team, one of my duties was to pray over the requests penciled on pew cards during the services. For an aunt’s health. For a couple’s finances. For a grandson’s discovery of God. Rarely did I hear the results of these prayers. Most were anonymous, and I had no way of knowing how God had responded. I confess that at times I wondered, Was He really listening? Was anything happening as a result of my prayers?

Over our lifetimes, most of us question, “Does God hear me?” I remember my own Hannah-like pleas for a child that went unanswered for years. And there were my pleas that my father find faith, yet he died without any apparent confession.

Etched across the millennia are myriad instances of God’s ear bending to listen: to Israel’s groans under slavery (Exodus 2:24); to Moses on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:19); to Joshua at Gilgal (Joshua 10:14); to Hannah’s prayers for a child (1 Samuel 1:10–17); to David crying out for deliverance from Saul (2 Samuel 22:7).

First John 5:14 crescendos, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” The word for “hears” means to pay attention and to respond on the basis of having heard.

As we go to God today, may we have the confidence of His listening ear spanning the history of His people. He hears our pleas.

By Elisa Morgan

REFLECT & PRAY

Pause to consider what you’ve most recently asked of God. What motivated you to ask? How can you know that God hears you?

Father, I come asking and trusting You to hear me because You say that You do.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

In 1 John 5:14–15, we find a conditional promise for answered prayer: God hears our prayers and gives us what we ask for when “we ask anything according to his will.” To pray according to God’s will is to “ask for anything that pleases him” (nlt) or “in accord with his own plan” (J. B. Phillips). The psalmist, painfully aware that God’s promise of answered prayer is conditioned upon a right relationship with Him, cautioned, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18). The apostle James warns that God won’t give us what we pray for when we “ask with wrong motives, that [we] may spend what [we] get on [our] pleasures” (James 4:3). A right relationship with Jesus is required: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).

K. T. Sim