Friday, April 1, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Friday, April 1, 2022


The Daily Bible Readings
Friday, April 1, 2022
Psalm 126; Isaiah 43:8-15; Philippians 2:25—3:1
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

Sowing with Tears Reaping with Joy (Psalm 126)
God is Lord Holy One Creator Ruler (Isaiah 43:8-15)
Paul Praises a Co-worker (Philippians 2:25—3:1)

In today’s lectionary readings, our psalm recalls God’s past acts of restoration and the emotions of joy and celebration of laughter that accompanied those saving acts. The temporal clause with which the psalm begins, “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,” most likely has in mind the return of the people to the land following the Babylonian exile. The people ask God to restore them once again so that they may rejoice yet again.

In our reading in the book of Isaiah, the nations and the people of Israel are called to either prove their case or accept God’s. God invites His people (who are blind and deaf) and the nations to testify: to prove Him to be wrong or to prove that they are justified in their rejection of Him. It is as if God is saying, “You have chosen to worship and honor other gods. Come before Me now and justify yourself. Bring plenty of witnesses.”

At the time of Paul’s writing of our passage in Philippians, Paul was sending Epaphroditus, a person he referred to as his brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, messenger, and minister to his need. Epaphroditus had been sick to the point of death but had been healed. The Philippians were to receive him with joy and honor him since he risked his life for the work of Christ. Epaphroditus became an early example of a church leader sacrificing everything for the work of Christ and service to believers, offering an example to many who would follow his pattern in future days.

Scripture is clear in our verse of the day that those who reject God’s existence—or live as if He does not exist—are recklessly irrational.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Psalm 14:1

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
Perhaps you’ve noticed how similar Psalm 53 is to Psalm 14. Whenever something is repeated in God’s Word, it is because it’s very important for us to learn. The essential lesson is that if we want to be restored, joyful, and truly wise, we must seek the Lord in every situation because He is the only One who can save us. This is a message that cannot be reiterated enough, because it is the foundation of life at its very best.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 126
Sowing with Tears Reaping with Joy

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
     we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
     our tongues with songs of joy.
  Then it was said among the nations,
     “The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
     and we are filled with joy.

4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,
     like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
     will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
     carrying seed to sow,
  will return with songs of joy,
     carrying sheaves with them.


Those returned out of captivity are to be thankful (vv. 1-3); Those yet in captivity are encouraged (vv. 4-6).

Verses 1-3: It is good to observe how God's deliverances of the church are for us, that we may rejoice in them. And how ought redemption from the wrath to come, from the power of sin and of Satan, to be valued! The sinner convinced of his guilt and danger, when by looking to a crucified Savior he receives peace to his conscience, and power to break off his sins, often can scarcely believe that the prospect which opens to him is a reality.

Verses 4-6: The beginnings of mercies encourage us to pray for the completion of them. And while we are in this world there will be matter for prayer, even when we are most furnished with matter for praise. Suffering saints are often in tears; they share the calamities of human life, and commonly have a greater share than others. But they sow in tears; they do the duty of an afflicted state. Weeping must not hinder sowing; we must get good from times of affliction. And they that sow, in the tears of godly sorrow, to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting; and that will be a joyful harvest indeed. Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be for ever comforted. When we mourn for our sins, or suffer for Christ's sake, we are sowing in tears, to reap in joy. And remember that God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows that shall he reap (Galatians 6:7-9). Here, O disciple of Jesus, behold an emblem of thy present labor and future reward; the day is coming when thou shalt reap in joy, plentiful shall be thy harvest, and great shall be thy joy in the Lord.

From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Isaiah 43:8-15
God is Lord Holy One Creator Ruler

8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
     who have ears but are deaf.
9 All the nations gather together
     and the peoples assemble.
  Which of their gods foretold this
     and proclaimed to us the former things?
  Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
     so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
      “and my servant whom I have chosen,
   so that you may know and believe me
      and understand that I am he.
   Before me no god was formed,
      nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord,
      and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
      I, and not some foreign god among you.
   You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
13    Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
   No one can deliver out of my hand.
      When I act, who can reverse it?”

14 This is what the Lord says—
      your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
   “For your sake I will send to Babylon
      and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,
      in the ships in which they took pride.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
      Israel’s Creator, your King.”


Apostates and idolaters addressed (vv. 8-13); The deliverance from Babylon (vv. 14-15).

Verses 8-13: Idolaters are called to appear in defense of their idols. Those who make them, and trust in them, are like unto them. They have the shape and faculties of men; but they have not common sense. But God's people know the power of his grace, the sweetness of his comforts, the kind care of his providence, and the truth of his promise. All servants of God can give such an account of what he has wrought in them, and done for them, as may lead others to know and believe his power, truth, and love.

Verses 14-15: The deliverance from Babylon is foretold, but there is reference to greater events. The redemption of sinners by Christ, the conversion of the Gentiles, and the recall of the Jews, are described. All that is to be done to rescue sinners, and to bring the believer to glory, is little, compared with that wondrous work of love, the redemption of man.

From the Epistles
Philippians 2:25—3:1
Paul Praises a Co-worker

2:25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.

3:1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.


The apostle's purpose of visiting Philippi.

Epaphroditus was willing to go to the Philippians, that he might be comforted with those who had sorrowed for him when he was sick. It seems, his illness was caused by the work of God. The apostle urges them to love him the more on that account. It is doubly pleasant to have our mercies restored by God, after great danger of their removal; and this should make them more valued. What is given in answer to prayer, should be received with great thankfulness and joy.

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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