Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, December 28, 2022


The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Psalm 148; Isaiah 54:1-13; Revelation 21:1-7
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

Our psalm calls upon all creation to praise the Lord in today’s lectionary readings. It is easy to see that praise is the theme. The command to praise the Lord is repeated nine times in the first five verses and twelve times in the entire psalm.

In our reading from the prophet Isaiah, the Lord describes His people as a wife who has been restored to her husband. Israel, in her rebellion, is compared to a wife who has been divorced for her unfaithfulness. Still, now she is restored and brought back into a covenant relationship with her husband, who is none other than the Lord Himself.

In our reading from the Book of Revelation, John describes a scene where there was no longer a sea that would nourish the earth. God sent down a new Jerusalem from Heaven for the people. This was as if a bride was being prepared for her husband. There was a loud shout of praise, saying that God’s dwelling place would now be with the people.

In our verse of the day, Jesus is the well-spring of Life and the Light that has come into the world to give hope to all who will trust in His name for salvation, and His invitation to ‘COME’ is for whosoever will. Christ alone is the One Who can heal the hurting, rescue the perishing, and save a sinner from eternal separation from our heavenly Father—for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Matthew 11:28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
How can I overcome anxiety?

At some point, all of us have worried about the basics of life. Most of our anxieties involve fundamental things: where we live, what food we buy, what clothes to wear, what friends we have, and what others think about us. In all these concerns, the issue is one of faith and trust in God. Do we really believe that He will do what He has promised to do in His Word?

If you assume that you are the one who is in charge of your life, then you will battle anxiety and fear. However, if you understand the ways of the Lord, then you will know that He is in charge and that the sovereign God of the universe cares for you. If you worry and doubt His goodness, you will never have the peace He wants you to experience. Do you take time to acknowledge Him as your Provider? Your answer has everything to do with your anxiety level.

Jesus wants you to give your cares over to Him and leave them with Him. You depend on Him for life itself, and you acknowledge this by saying, “Here, Jesus. Take my problems. You have the answers! I trust You to show me what to do and to take care of the consequences.”

Today’s Lectionary Readings:

A Psalm and A Prayer
Responsive Readings from the Psalms and Prayers
for Public Worship and Private Devotions

Psalm 148
Laudate Dominum

Leader: Hallelujah! Praise the LORD from the heavens;
People: praise him in the heights.

Leader: Praise him, all you angels of his;
People: praise him, all his host.

Leader: Praise him, sun and moon;
People: praise him, all you shining stars.

Leader: Praise him, heaven of heavens,
People: and you waters above the heavens.

Leader: Let them praise the Name of the LORD;
People: for he commanded, and they were created.

Leader: He made them stand fast for ever and ever;
People: he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

Leader: Praise the LORD from the earth,
People: you sea-monsters and all deeps;

Leader: Fire and hail, snow and fog,
People: tempestuous wind, doing his will;

Leader: Mountains and all hills,
People: fruit trees and all cedars;

Leader: Wild beasts and all cattle,
People: creeping things and winged birds;

Leader: Kings of the earth and all peoples,
People: princes and all rulers of the world;

Leader: Young men and maidens,
People: old and young together.

Leader: Let them praise the Name of the LORD,
People: for his Name only is exalted, his splendor is over earth and heaven.

Leader: He has raised up strength for his people and praise for all his loyal servants,
People: the children of Israel, a people who are near him. Hallelujah!

Lord God, we gather in Your presence to praise You with Your people, those who love You and earnestly desire to serve You every day. We confess that we have not always succeeded in our efforts to remain Your loyal and faithful servants. We have sometimes put our selfish desires first and have disregarded Your teachings. Today, we confess our sins, knowing that You will forgive us and restore our relationship with You through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray,
“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”

From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Isaiah 54:1-13
God’s Steadfast Love will not Depart

1 “Sing, barren woman,
     you who never bore a child;
  burst into song, shout for joy,
     you who were never in labor;
  because more are the children of the desolate woman
     than of her who has a husband,”
  says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
     stretch your tent curtains wide,
     do not hold back;
  lengthen your cords,
     strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
     your descendants will dispossess nations
     and settle in their desolate cities.

4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
     Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
  You will forget the shame of your youth
     and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
5 For your Maker is your husband—
     the Lord Almighty is his name—
  the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
     he is called the God of all the earth.
6 The Lord will call you back
     as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
  a wife who married young,
     only to be rejected,” says your God.
7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you,
     but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
8 In a surge of anger
     I hid my face from you for a moment,
  but with everlasting kindness
     I will have compassion on you,”
     says the Lord your Redeemer.

9 “To me this is like the days of Noah,
     when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
  So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
     never to rebuke you again.
10 Though the mountains be shaken
      and the hills be removed,
   yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
      nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
      says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
      I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
      your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
      your gates of sparkling jewels,
      and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
      and great will be their peace.


Verses 1-5: Observe the low state of religion in the world, for a long time before Christianity was brought in. But by preaching the gospel, multitudes were converted from idols to the living God. This is matter of great rejoicing to the church. The bounds of the church were extended. Though its state on earth is but mean and movable, like a tent or tabernacle, it is sometimes a growing state, and must be enlarged as the family increases. But the more numerous the church grows, the more she must fortify herself against errors and corruptions. Thy Maker is thy Husband. Christ is the Holy One of Israel, the Mediator of the covenant made with the Old Testament church. Long he had been called the God of Israel; but now he shall be called the God of the whole earth. And he will cleanse from sin, and cause every true believer to rejoice in this sacred union. We never can enough admire this mercy, or duly value this privilege.

Verses 6-10: As God is slow to anger, so he is swift to show mercy. And how sweet the returns of mercy would be, when God should come and comfort them! He will have mercy on them. God's gathering his people takes rise from his mercy, not any merit of theirs; and it is with great mercies, with everlasting kindness. The wrath is little, the mercies great; the wrath for a moment, the kindness everlasting. We are neither to
become disheartened under afflictions, nor to despair of relief. Mountains have been shaken and removed, but the promises of God never were broken by any event. Mountains and hills also signify great men. Creature-confidences shall fail; but when our friends fail us, our God does not. All this is alike applicable to the church at large, and to each believer. God will rebuke and correct his people for sins; but he will not cast them off. Let this encourage us to give the more diligence to make our calling and election sure.

Verses 11-13: Let the people of God, when afflicted and tossed, think they hear God speaking comfortably to them by these words, taking notice of their griefs and fears. The church is all glorious when full of the knowledge of God; for none teaches like him. It is a promise of the teaching and gifts of the Holy Spirit. All that are taught of God are taught to love one another.

From the Apocalypse of John
Revelation 21:1-7
Death and Mourning will be No More

21:1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.


The new heaven and the new earth will not be separate from each other; the earth of the saints, their glorified, bodies, will be heavenly. The old world, with all its troubles and tumults, will have passed away. There will be no sea; this aptly represents freedom from conflicting passions, temptations, troubles, changes, and alarms; from whatever can divide or interrupt the communion of saints. This new Jerusalem is the church of God in its new and perfect state, the church triumphant. Its blessedness came wholly from God, and depends on him. The presence of God with his people in heaven, will not be interrupt as it is on earth, he will dwell with them continually. All effects of former trouble shall be done away. They have often been in tears, by reason of sin, of affliction, of the calamities of the church; but no signs, no remembrance of former sorrows shall remain. Christ makes all things new. If we are willing and desirous that the gracious Redeemer should make all things new in order hearts and nature, he will make all things new in respect of our situation, till he has brought us to enjoy complete happiness. See the certainty of the promise. God gives his titles, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, as a pledge for the full performance. Sensual and sinful pleasures are muddy and poisoned waters; and the best earthly comforts are like the scanty supplies of a cistern; when idolized, they become broken cisterns, and yield only vexation. But the joys which Christ imparts are like waters springing from a fountain, pure, refreshing, abundant, and eternal. The sanctifying consolations of the Holy Spirit prepare for heavenly happiness; they are streams which flow for us in the wilderness. The fearful durst not meet the difficulties of religion, their slavish fear came from their unbelief; but those who were so dastardly as not to dare to take up the cross of Christ, were yet so desperate as to run into abominable wickedness. The agonies and terrors of the first death will lead to the far greater terrors and agonies of eternal death.

The Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2023, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2022 was Year A. 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 on 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 Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Psalm 148; Isaiah 49:13-23; Matthew 18:1-14

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