Saturday, January 15, 2022
Psalm 36:5-10; Jeremiah 4:1-4; Luke 11:14-23
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
Introduction & Summary
In our reading in the fourth chapter of the book of Jeremiah, God promises to respond positively if Israel and Judah will indeed return unto Him. The call went out to Israel, with all tribes and both kingdoms in mind. For Israel, returning to the LORD meant they had to put away their idols (abominations). They could not hold on to their idols and still return to God, even as an unfaithful spouse cannot continue to hold on to their illicit lover and genuinely return to their marriage partner.
In our reading in Luke, we see the heart of man confused by Satan’s influence to contradict and downplay a miracle Jesus performed. In some people’s minds, the authority of Jesus to heal a man is questioned. Was it Divine or Satanic?
Our verse of the day oozes with promise. Three things follow from the initial “if,” in which he speaks to people who had already expressed belief in him.
Today’s Verse of the Day:
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”How does the truth set us free? Because through it, the Lord breaks the bonds of enslavement that sin has over us (John 8:36; Rom. 7:14–25; 8:2, 20, 21). He shows us how to become everything we were created to be and to embrace every blessing that is ours because of our position in Him (Eph. 1). He also guides us in living the very best life possible—one that gives us joy and glorifies Him (John 16:13–15; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:1).
Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
We Feast on the Abundance of God’s House
your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10 Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
Men may shut up their compassion, yet, with God we shall find mercy. This is great comfort to all believers, plainly to be seen, and not to be taken away. God does all wisely and well; but what he does we know not now, it is time enough to know hereafter. God's loving-kindness is precious to the saints. They put themselves under his protection, and then are safe and easy. Gracious souls, though still desiring more of God, never desire more than God. The gifts of Providence so far satisfy them, that they are content with such things as they have. The benefit of holy ordinances is sweet to a sanctified soul, and strengthening to the spiritual and Divine life. But full satisfaction is reserved for the future state. Their joys shall be constant. God not only works in them a gracious desire for these pleasures, but by his Spirit fills their souls with joy and peace in believing. He quickens whom he will; and whoever will, may come, and take from him of the waters of life freely. May we know, and love, and uprightly serve the Lord; then no proud enemy, on earth or from hell, shall separate us from his love. Faith calls things that are not, as though they were. It carries us forward to the end of time; it shows us the Lord, on his throne of judgment; the empire of sin fallen to rise no more.
From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
A Call to Repentance
then return to me,”
declares the Lord.
“If you put your detestable idols out of my sight
and no longer go astray,
2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
then the nations will invoke blessings by him
and in him they will boast.”
3 This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:
“Break up your unplowed ground
and do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
circumcise your hearts,
you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire
because of the evil you have done—
burn with no one to quench it.
Verses 1-2: The first two verses should be read with the last chapter. Sin must be put away out of the heart, else it is not put away out of God's sight, for the heart is open before him.
Verses 3-4: An unhumbled heart is like ground untilled. It is ground which may be improved; it is our ground let out to us; but it is fallow; it is over-grown with thorns and weeds, the natural product of the corrupt heart. Let us entreat the Lord to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us; for except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
From the Gospels
Looking for Signs from Heaven
17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Christ's thus casting out the devils, was really the destroying of their power. The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil's palace, where he dwells, and where he rules. There is a kind of peace in the heart of an unconverted soul, while the devil, as a strong man armed, keeps it. The sinner is secure, has no doubt concerning the goodness of his state, nor any dread of the judgment to come. But observe the wonderful change made in conversion. The conversion of a soul to God, is Christ's victory over the devil and his power in that soul, restoring the soul to its liberty, and recovering his own interest in it and power over it. All the endowments of mind of body are now employed for Christ.
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.