Saturday, February 12, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, February 12, 2022

 
House swept clean

The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Psalm 1; Jeremiah 17:1-4; Luke 11:24-28
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

In today’s lectionary readings, our psalm is written to teach people what is right and what is wrong. The writer described the things that are pleasing to the Lord and how to do these things. It explains that there are consequences for not following the path of the Lord. In contrast, there are rewards for being a faithful and obedient worshiper.

In our reading in Jeremiah, Judah’s sin is inscribed on their hearts with an iron pen or a diamond point as they run around worshiping hills and trees. This has made God very angry, of course.

Our reading in Luke is a grim and terrible story. There was a man from whom an unclean spirit was expelled. It wandered seeking rest and found none. It determined to return to the man. It found his soul swept and garnished—but empty. So the spirit went and collected seven spirits worse than itself and came back and entered in, and the man’s last state was worse than his first.

In our verse of the day, we learn that love does not delight in evil. However, no matter how difficult it may be, the truth is always the best path through any situation.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
1 Corinthians 13:6-7

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love is not merely a feeling—it is Jesus living in and through us (John 13:34, 35; 15:9–17; 1 John 4:7–21). If we say we believe in God and are maturing in our relationship with Him, but we are not growing in our unconditional love for others, something is wrong with our walk (1 Cor. 13). This is because as Jesus increases in us and we decrease, His loving nature should intensify within us as the evidence of His lordship in our life (Gal. 5:22, 23; 2 Pet. 1:3–8).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 1
Trees Planted by Streams of Water

1 Blessed is the one
     who does not walk in step with the wicked
  or stand in the way that sinners take
     or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
     and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
     which yields its fruit in season
  and whose leaf does not wither—
     whatever they do prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
     They are like chaff
     that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
     nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
     but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.


Commentary

The holiness and happiness of a godly man (vv. 1-3). The sinfulness and misery of a wicked man, The ground and reason of both (vv. 4-6).

Verses 1-3: To meditate in God's word, is to discourse with ourselves concerning the great things contained in it, with close application of mind and fixedness of thought. We must have constant regard to the word of God, as the rule of our actions, and the spring of our comforts; and have it in our thoughts night and day. For this purpose no time is amiss.

Verses 4-6: The ungodly are the reverse of the righteous, both in character and condition. The ungodly are not so, ver. 4; they are led by the counsel of the wicked, in the way of sinners, to the seat of the scornful; they have no delight in the law of God; they bring forth no fruit but what is evil. The righteous are like useful, fruitful trees: the ungodly are like the chaff which the wind drives away: the dust which the owner of the floor desires to have driven away, as not being of any use. They are of no worth in God's account, how highly soever they may value themselves. They are easily driven to and fro by every wind of temptation. The chaff may be, for a while, among the wheat, but He is coming, whose fan is in his hand, and who will thoroughly purge his floor. Those that, by their own sin and folly, make themselves as chaff, will be found so before the whirlwind and fire of Divine wrath. The doom of the ungodly is fixed, but whenever the sinner becomes sensible of this guilt and misery, he may be admitted into the company of the righteous by Christ the living way, and become in Christ a new creature. He has new desires, new pleasures, hopes, fears, sorrows, companions, and employments. His thoughts, words, and actions are changed. He enters on a new state, and bears a new character. Behold, all things are become new by Divine grace, which changes his soul into the image of the Redeemer. How different the character and end of the ungodly.


From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Jeremiah 17:1-4
A Heritage Lost

1 “Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool,
     inscribed with a flint point,
  on the tablets of their hearts
     and on the horns of their altars.
2 Even their children remember
     their altars and Asherah poles
  beside the spreading trees
     and on the high hills.
3 My mountain in the land
     and your wealth and all your treasures
  I will give away as plunder,
     together with your high places,
     because of sin throughout your country.
4 Through your own fault you will lose
     the inheritance I gave you.
  I will enslave you to your enemies
     in a land you do not know,
  for you have kindled my anger,
     and it will burn forever.”


Commentary

The fatal consequences of the idolatry of the Jews.

The sins which men commit make little impression on their minds, yet every sin is marked in the book of God; they are all so graven upon the table of the heart, that they will all be remembered by the conscience. That which is graven in the heart will become plain in the life; men's actions show the desires and purposes of their hearts. What need we have to humble ourselves before God, who are so vile in his sight! How should we depend on his mercy and grace, begging of God to search and prove us; not to suffer us to be deceived by our own hearts, but to create in us a clean and holy nature by his Spirit!


From the Gospels
Luke 11:24-28
Blessings on Those Who Hear the Word

11:24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Commentary

The blasphemy of the Pharisees (vv. 24-26). True happiness (vv. 27,28).

Verses 24-26: Here is the condition of a hypocrite. The house is swept from common sins, by a forced confession, as Pharaoh's; by a feigned contrition, as Ahab's; or by a partial reformation, as Herod's. The house is swept, but it is not washed; the heart is not made holy. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the sin that besets the sinner, the beloved sin, is untouched. The house is garnished with common gifts and graces. It is not furnished with any true grace; it is all paint and varnish, not real nor lasting. It was never given up to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Spirit. Let us take heed of resting in that which a man may have, and yet come short of heaven. The wicked spirits enter in without any difficulty; they are welcomed, and they dwell there; there they work, there they rule. From such an awful state let all earnestly pray to be delivered.

Verses 27,28: While the scribes and Pharisees despised and blasphemed the discourses of our Lord Jesus, this good woman admired them, and the wisdom and power with which he spake. Christ led the woman to a higher consideration. Though it is a great privilege to hear the word of God, yet those only are truly blessed, that is, blessed of the Lord, that hear it, keep it in memory, and keep to it as their way and rule.



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. 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.

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