Friday, December 17, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Friday, December 17, 2021

Sing to God a New Song

The Daily Bible Readings
Friday, December 17, 2021
Psalm 80:1-7; Isaiah 42:10-18; Hebrews 10:32-39
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible


Our psalm is a prayer to Israel’s Shepherd for restoration in today’s lectionary readings.  In the prayer, the psalmist asks God how long it will be before 1. God stops being angry with them; 2. God stops making them cry buckets full of tears, and 3. God stops their enemies fighting them and laughing at them. In our reading in Isaiah, the psalmist calls all people, both Jew and Gentiles, to sing unto the Lord a new, joyful song. He urges the inhabitants of the isle and those that go down to the sea in ships to rejoice in the God of our salvation. He calls men and women from the four corners of the earth to rejoice together and sing praises to our God and Redeemer. He urges those that live at the ends of the earth to give thanks for the God of our Salvation. Our reading in Hebrews encourages us to have enduring faith in times of persecution. Our text comes on the heels of the strong warning against apostasy (Heb. 10:26-31). Following the same pattern as in the strong warning of Hebrews 6:4-8, the author assumes the best about his readers. He encourages them by saying that he knows they will not turn away from Christ but rather that they will endure in faith despite whatever hardships they may suffer. The author shows how to have a faith that endures any kind of trial, but especially persecution. In our verse of the day, an angel of the Lord shows up in one of Joseph’s dreams. The angel calls Joseph a son of David, which backs up Matthew’s message that Jesus, also, is a direct descendant of David. The angel tells Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, despite his legitimate concerns about her pregnancy and what it means about her character and trustworthiness. The angel reveals to Joseph what is really going on. She is not pregnant as a result of having sex with another man. The baby conceived in her is miraculously given from the Holy Spirit.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Matthew 1:20-21

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Why didn’t the angel Gabriel appear to Joseph when he appeared to Mary? We’re not told. But God always reveals His will to us at just the right moment.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 80:1-7
Show the Light of your Countenance

1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
     you who lead Joseph like a flock.
  You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
     shine forth
2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
  Awaken your might;
     come and save us.

3 Restore us, O God;
     make your face shine on us,
     that we may be saved.

4 How long, Lord God Almighty,
     will your anger smolder
     against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
     you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,
     and our enemies mock us.

7 Restore us, God Almighty;
     make your face shine on us,
     that we may be saved.


He that dwells upon the mercy-seat, is the good Shepherd of his people. But we can neither expect the comfort of his love, nor the protection of his arm, unless we partake of his converting grace. If he is really angry at the prayers of his people, it is because, although they pray, their ends are not right, or there is some secret sin indulged in them, or he will try their patience and perseverance in prayer. When God is displeased with his people, we must expect to see them in tears, and their enemies in triumph. There is no salvation but from God's favor; there is no conversion to God but by his own grace.

From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Isaiah 42:10-18
Sing to God a New Song

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
      his praise from the ends of the earth,
   you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
      you islands, and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
      let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
   Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
      let them shout from the mountaintops.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord
      and proclaim his praise in the islands.
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,
      like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
   with a shout he will raise the battle cry
      and will triumph over his enemies.

14 “For a long time I have kept silent,
      I have been quiet and held myself back.
   But now, like a woman in childbirth,
      I cry out, I gasp and pant.
15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills
      and dry up all their vegetation;
   I will turn rivers into islands
      and dry up the pools.
16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
      along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
   I will turn the darkness into light before them
      and make the rough places smooth.
   These are the things I will do;
      I will not forsake them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
      who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’
      will be turned back in utter shame.

18 “Hear, you deaf;
      look, you blind, and see!


The Lord will appear in his power and glory. He shall cry, in the preaching of his word. He shall cry aloud in the gospel woes, which must be preached with gospel blessings, to awaken a sleeping world. He shall conquer by the power of his Spirit. And those that contradict and blaspheme his gospel, he shall put to silence and shame; and that which hinders its progress shall be taken out of the way. To those who by nature were blind, God will show the way to life and happiness by Jesus Christ. They are weak in knowledge, but He will make darkness light. They are weak in duty, but their way shall be plain. Those whom God brings into the right way, he will guide in it. This passage is a prophecy, and is also applicable to every believer; for the Lord will never leave nor forsake them.

From the Epistles
Hebrews 10:32-39
Confidence that Rewards

10:32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
“In just a little while,
    he who is coming will come
    and will not delay.”
38 And,
“But my righteous one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.


Many and various afflictions united against the early Christians, and they had a great conflict. The Christian spirit is not a selfish spirit; it puts us upon pitying others, visiting them, helping them, and pleading for them. All things here are but shadows. The happiness of the saints in heaven will last for ever; enemies can never take it away as earthly goods. This will make rich amends for all we may lose and suffer here. The greatest part of the saints' happiness, as yet, is in promise. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to be content to live after their work is done, and to stay for their reward till God's time to give it is come. He will soon come to them at death, to end all their sufferings, and to give them a crown of life. The Christian's present conflict may be sharp, but will be soon over. God never is pleased with the formal profession and outward duties and services of such as do not persevere; but he beholds them with great displeasure. And those who have been kept faithful in great trails for the time past, have reason to hope for the same grace to help them still to live by faith, till they receive the end of their faith and patience, even the salvation of their souls. Living by faith, and dying in faith, our souls are safe for ever.

Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. 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 Friday, December 17, 2021


The Morning Prayer
Friday, December 17, 2021

For it was life which appeared before us: we saw it, we are eyewitnesses of it, and are now writing to you about it. It was the very life of all ages, the life that has always existed with the Father, which actually became visible in person to us mortal men.
1 John 1:2, Phillips

Lord our God, we thank you that you have given us the light of life, that we can now learn how to live, and that through your great grace we may understand life in direct relationship with the Lord Jesus, who was crucified and who rose from the dead. Grant that the power of Christ may be made visible in us. Grant that his life may become our life, that we may leave behind all doubts and anxiety, even though we are often surrounded by darkness and night. Keep us in your Word. Let your will hold sway over all the world, for your will must be done in heaven, on earth, and down to the lowest depths. Let your will be done on earth as in all the heavens. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Friday, December 17, 2021


Verse of the Day
Friday, December 17, 2021

Matthew 1:20-21
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Why didn’t the angel Gabriel appear to Joseph when he appeared to Mary? We’re not told. But God always reveals His will to us at just the right moment.

Read all of Matthew Chapter 1

Listen to Matthew Chapter 1

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

Our Daily Bread — Beautifully Broken


Beautifully Broken

I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. Psalm 31:12

READ Psalm 31:12–24

Our bus finally arrived at our much-anticipated destination—an archaeological dig in Israel where we would actually do some excavation work of our own. The site’s director explained that anything we might unearth had been untouched for thousands of years. Digging up broken shards of pottery, we felt as though we were touching history. After an extended time, we were led to a workstation where those broken pieces—from huge vases shattered long, long ago—were being put back together.    

The picture was crystal clear. Those artisans reconstructing centuries-old broken pottery were a beautiful representation of the God who loves to fix broken things. In Psalm 31:12, David wrote, “I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.” Though no occasion is given for the writing of this psalm, David’s life difficulties often found voice in his laments—just like this one. The song describes him as being broken down by danger, enemies, and despair.

So, where did he turn for help? In verse 16, David cries out to God, “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.”

The God who was the object of David’s trust is the same One who still fixes broken things today. All He asks is that we call out to Him and trust in His unfailing love.

By Bill Crowder


What areas of brokenness have you experienced? How has God helped you through those difficult times?

God of my help, I thank You for all the times I’ve fallen and been broken—times when You’ve put me back together.

For further study, read Understanding the Bible: The Wisdom Books.


In Psalm 31, David describes himself as broken pottery (v. 12)—an apt picture of humanity, for we’re frail vessels easily broken. We see this portrayal of humans as pottery and God as the Potter throughout Scripture (Psalm 2:9; Romans 9:21; Revelation 2:27). In Jeremiah 18:1–10, we read of the Potter’s ability to create, preserve, tear down, and reshape people and nations (see also Isaiah 41:25; 45:9). Yet as Isaiah declares, “You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (64:8). God as our Creator longs to preserve and restore His people (Psalm 31:23–24).

Alyson Kieda