Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, March 19, 2022

 
A Tree and its Fruits

The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Psalm 63:1-8; Isaiah 5:1-7; Luke 6:43-45
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

O God Eagerly I Seek You (Psalm 63:1-8)
The Song of the Vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7)
A Tree and its Fruits (Luke 6:43-45)

In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist takes refuge in the place where he feels truly loved and secure—in the shadow of the wings of God.

Our reading in Isaiah is a metaphor contrasting God’s gracious action toward his people with the inadequate response of his people toward Him in return. It all began with the caretaker’s (the Lord Almighty) gracious initiative toward the vineyard (the nation of Israel and the people of Judah). The caretaker prepared everything to produce good grapes in the vineyard. This can be viewed through two separate lenses. Historically, this is seen when God freed the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, drove out the enemies before them, and led them into a land flowing with milk and honey. God desired that through his covenantal relationship with Israel, all nations of the Earth would be blessed. Theologically, this constitutes prevenient grace, God’s gracious action in advance of our response.

In our reading in Luke, Jesus provides a way to help each of us see our own sin. This is not a way for you to notice sin in others, but a way for you to see sin in your own life. Do you want to see the planks in your own eye? Do you want to discover what sin you are hiding in your heart? Don’t look at your actions. Don’t look at your behavior. We can always justify our actions and give excuses for our behavior. If you really want an honest glimpse into your own heart, you must listen to your words.

The meaning of our verse of the day is to tell believers what the Holy Spirit can provide them with the fruits of the spirit if they follow the nine manifestations of the spirit. Those fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
When we are in a union with Christ, the Holy Spirit’s primary responsibility is to produce His likeness in us. He teaches us how to be totally dependent upon God, which then produces an overflow of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in us. We cannot genuinely produce these qualities on our own because our sinfulness mars them. However, when we are completely reliant upon the Lord and obey the promptings of His Spirit, they flow from us freely and draw other people to Him.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 63:1-8
O God Eagerly I Seek You

1 You, God, are my God,
     earnestly I seek you;
  I thirst for you,
     my whole being longs for you,
  in a dry and parched land
     where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
     and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
     my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
     and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
     with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
     I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
     I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
     your right hand upholds me.


Commentary

David's desire toward God (vv. 1, 2); His satisfaction in God (vv. 3-6); His dependence upon God, and assurance of safety (vv. 7-8).

Verses 1, 2: Early will I seek thee. The true Christian devotes to God the morning hour. He opens the eyes of his understanding with those of his body, and awakes each morning to righteousness. He arises with a thirst after those comforts which the world cannot give, and has immediate recourse by prayer to the Fountain of the water of life. The true believer is convinced, that nothing in this sinful world can satisfy the wants and desires of his immortal soul; he expects his happiness from God, as his portion. When faith and hope are most in exercise, the world appears a weary desert, and the believer longs for the joys of heaven, of which he has some foretastes in the ordinances of God upon earth.

Verses 3-6: Even in affliction we need not want matter for praise. When this is the regular frame of a believer's mind, he values the loving-kindness of God more than life. God's loving-kindness is our spiritual life, and that is better than temporal life. We must praise God with joyful lips; we must address ourselves to the duties of religion with cheerfulness, and speak forth the praises of God from a principle of holy joy. Praising lips must be joyful lips. David was in continual danger; care and fear held his eyes waking, and gave him wearisome nights; but he comforted himself with thoughts of God. The mercies of God, when called to mind in the night watches, support the soul, making darkness cheerful. How happy will be that last morning, when the believer, awaking up after the Divine likeness, shall be satisfied with all the fullness of God, and praise him with joyful lips, where there is no night, and where sorrow and sighing flee away!

Verses 7-8: True Christians can, in some measure, and at some times, make use of the strong language of David, but too commonly our souls cleave to the dust. Having committed ourselves to God, we must be easy and pleased, and quiet from the fear of evil. Those that follow hard after God, would soon fail, if God's right hand did not uphold them. It is he that strengthens us and comforts us. The psalmist doubts not but that though now sowing in tears, he should reap in joy. Messiah the Prince shall rejoice in God; he is already entered into the joy set before him, and his glory will be completed at his second coming. Blessed Lord, let our desire towards thee increase every hour; let our love be always upon thee; let all our enjoyment be in thee, and all our satisfaction from thee. Be thou all in all to us while we remain in the present wilderness state, and bring us home to the everlasting enjoyment of thee for ever.


From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Isaiah 5:1-7
The Song of the Vineyard

1 I will sing for the one I love
     a song about his vineyard:
  My loved one had a vineyard
     on a fertile hillside.
2 He dug it up and cleared it of stones
     and planted it with the choicest vines.
  He built a watchtower in it
     and cut out a winepress as well.
  Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
     but it yielded only bad fruit.

3 “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah,
     judge between me and my vineyard.
4 What more could have been done for my vineyard
     than I have done for it?
  When I looked for good grapes,
     why did it yield only bad?
5 Now I will tell you
     what I am going to do to my vineyard:
  I will take away its hedge,
     and it will be destroyed;
  I will break down its wall,
     and it will be trampled.
6 I will make it a wasteland,
     neither pruned nor cultivated,
     and briers and thorns will grow there.
  I will command the clouds
     not to rain on it.”

7 The vineyard of the Lord Almighty
     is the nation of Israel,
  and the people of Judah
     are the vines he delighted in.
  And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;
     for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.


Commentary

The state and conduct of the Jewish nation.

Christ is God's beloved Son, and our beloved Savior. The care of the Lord over the church of Israel, is described by the management of a vineyard. The advantages of our situation will be brought into the account another day. He planted it with the choicest vines; gave them a most excellent law, instituted proper ordinances. The temple was a tower, where God gave tokens of his presence. He set up his altar, to which the sacrifices should be brought; all the means of grace are denoted thereby. God expects fruit from those that enjoy privileges. Good purposes and good beginnings are good things, but not enough; there must be vineyard fruit; thoughts and affections, words and actions, agreeable to the Spirit. It brought forth bad fruit. Wild grapes are the fruits of the corrupt nature. Where grace does not work, corruption will. But the wickedness of those that profess religion, and enjoy the means of grace, must be upon the sinners themselves. They shall no longer be a peculiar people. When errors and vice go without check or control, the vineyard is unpruned; then it will soon be grown over with thorns. This is often shown in the departure of God's Spirit from those who have long striven against him, and the removal of his gospel from places which have long been a reproach to it. The explanation is given. It is sad with a soul, when, instead of the grapes of humility, meekness, love, patience, and contempt of the world, for which God looks, there are the wild grapes of pride, passion, discontent, and malice, and contempt of God; instead of the grapes of praying and praising, the wild grapes of cursing and swearing. Let us bring forth fruit with patience, that in the end we may obtain everlasting life.


From the Gospels
Luke 6:43-45
A Tree and its Fruits

6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Commentary

Christ exhorts to justice and sincerity.

The tree is known by its fruits; may the word of Christ be so grafted in our hearts, that we may be fruitful in every good word and work. And what the mouth commonly speaks, generally agrees with what is most in the heart. Those only make sure work for their souls and eternity, and take the course that will profit in a trying time, who think, speak, and act according to the words of Christ. Those who take pains in religion, found their hope upon Christ, who is the Rock of Ages, and other foundation can no man lay. In death and judgment they are safe, being kept by the power of Christ through faith unto salvation, and they shall never perish.



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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