Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Christ laments over Jerusalem

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Psalm 56; Jeremiah 1:11-19; Luke 19:41-44
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

In today’s lectionary readings, our psalm is attributed to King David and may be considered representative of him or anyone else hiding from an enemy. The psalmist builds upon his opening plea for God’s acting on his behalf and his remarks concerning what those who attack him are saying.

Our reading in Jeremiah represents the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry. God speaks to him three times using three images: 1. An almond tree, 2. A boiling pot, 3. A fortified city, the iron pillar, the bronze wall.

In our reading in Luke, Jesus weeps for his beloved Jerusalem, who has not understood his great love and foresees the punishments that will come. Both in their representatives and institutions, the Jewish people rejected the messianic salvation offered by the Lord as heirs of the promises.

In our verse of the day, where the unregenerate man in his wisdom failed to know God, the wisdom of God is hidden to those that are perishing. Man does not seek God by external or internal evidence naturally. God bestows His unexpected grace on us solely by revealing Himself in the Word of God.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
1 Corinthians 2:9

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him.
We have no idea all that God wants to do in and through us. In our limited understanding, we have yet to imagine what is possible for us—the intimacy with the Lord, power, freedom, spiritual blessings, and peace that belong to us when we become His children (Eph. 1). But God—who is perfect in His knowledge and wisdom—does. And His Holy Spirit, who indwells us from the moment of our salvation, reveals the depths of His purpose and plan to us through His Word when we seek Him.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 56
In God I Trust

1 Be merciful to me, my God,
     for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
     all day long they press their attack.
2 My adversaries pursue me all day long;
     in their pride many are attacking me.

3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4    In God, whose word I praise—
  in God I trust and am not afraid.
     What can mere mortals do to me?

5 All day long they twist my words;
     all their schemes are for my ruin.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
     they watch my steps,
     hoping to take my life.
7 Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
     in your anger, God, bring the nations down.

8 Record my misery;
     list my tears on your scroll—
     are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
     when I call for help.
     By this I will know that God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise,
      in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
      What can man do to me?

12 I am under vows to you, my God;
      I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
      and my feet from stumbling,
   that I may walk before God
      in the light of life.


David seeks mercy from God, amidst the malice of his enemies (vv. 1-7). He rests his faith on God's promises, and declares his obligation to praise him for mercies (vv. 8-13).

Verses 1-7: Be merciful unto me, O God. This petition includes all the good for which we come to throne of grace. If we obtain mercy there, we need no more to make us happy. It implies likewise our best plea, not our merit, but God's mercy, his free, rich mercy. We may flee to, and trust the mercy of God, when surrounded on all sides by difficulties and dangers. His enemies were too hard for him, if God did not help him. He resolves to make God's promises the matter of his praises, and so we have reason to make them. As we must not trust an arm of flesh when engaged for us, so we must not be afraid of an arm of flesh when stretched out against us. The sin of sinners will never be their security. Who knows the power of God's anger; how high it can reach, how forcibly it can strike?

Verses 8-13: The heavy and continued trials through which many of the Lord's people have passed, should teach us to be silent and patient under lighter crosses. Yet we are often tempted to repine and despond under small sorrows. For this we should check ourselves. David comforts himself, in his distress and fear, that God noticed all his grievances and all his griefs. God has a bottle and a book for his people's tears, both the tears for their sins, and those for their afflictions. He observes them with tender concern. Every true believer may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and then I will not fear what man shall do unto me; for man has no power but what is given him from above. Thy vows are upon me, O Lord; not as a burden, but as that by which I am known to be thy servant; as a bridle that restrains me from what would be hurtful, and directs me in the way of my duty. And vows of thankfulness properly accompany prayers for mercy. If God deliver us from sin, either from doing it, or by his pardoning mercy, he has delivered our souls from death, which is the wages of sin. Where the Lord has begun a good work he will carry it on and perfect it. David hopes that God would keep him even from the appearance of sin. We should aim in all our desires and expectations of deliverance, both from sin and trouble, that we may do the better service to the Lord; that we may serve him without fear. If his grace has delivered our souls from the death of sin, he will bring us to heaven, to walk before him for ever in light.

From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Jeremiah 1:11-19
Jeremiah Warns of Disaster

1:11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.

12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”

13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”

“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”

14 The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.

   “Their kings will come and set up their thrones
      in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
   they will come against all her surrounding walls
      and against all the towns of Judah.
16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people
      because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
   in burning incense to other gods
      and in worshiping what their hands have made.

17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.


A vision of an almond-tree and of a seething-pot, Divine protection is promised.

God gave Jeremiah a view of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The almond-tree, which is more forward in the spring than any other, represented the speedy approach of judgments. God also showed whence the intended ruin should arise. Jeremiah saw a seething-pot boiling, representing Jerusalem and Judah in great commotion. The mouth or face of the furnace or hearth, was toward the north; from whence the fire and fuel were to come. The northern powers shall unite. The cause of these judgments was the sin of Judah. The whole counsel of God must be declared. The fear of God is the best remedy against the fear of man. Better to have all men our enemies than God our enemy; those who are sure they have God with them, need not, ought not to fear, whoever is against them. Let us pray that we may be willing to give up personal interests, and that nothing may move us from our duty.

From the Gospels
Luke 19:41-44
Recognizing the Works of God

19:41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”


Christ laments over Jerusalem.

Who can behold the holy Jesus, looking forward to the miseries that awaited his murderers, weeping over the city where his precious blood was about to be shed, without seeing that the likeness of God in the believer, consists much in good-will and compassion? Surely those cannot be right who take up any doctrines of truth, so as to be hardened towards their fellow-sinners. But let every one remember, that though Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he executed awful vengeance upon it. Though he delights not in the death of a sinner, yet he will surely bring to pass his awful threatenings on those who neglect his salvation. The Son of God did not weep vain and causeless tears, nor for a light matter, nor for himself. He knows the value of souls, the weight of guilt, and how low it will press and sink mankind. May he then come and cleanse our hearts by his Spirit, from all that defiles. May sinners, on every side, become attentive to the words of truth and salvation.

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.

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