Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, February 23, 2022


The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Psalm 38; Leviticus 5:1-13; Luke 17:1-4
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

In today’s lectionary readings, our psalm is a song full of pain and dark with guilt, as David felt the sore effects (seemingly both physical and spiritual) of his sin. Many Christians think that this is a psalm that David wrote after the murder of Uriah. David may have written this psalm while waiting for God to forgive him.

Our reading in Leviticus illustrates that it is a costly thing for people to sin and for God to cleanse us. Our sins hurt God, and they also hurt others. The nation of Israel had to offer six different sacrifices to have a right relationship with God, but Jesus Christ “offered one sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb. 10:12).

Our gospel reading teaches us about how to deal with sin. Jesus knew that all people of all ages and cultures struggle with sin. No one does not struggle with sin. However, in this verse, Jesus talked about temptations to sin. Jesus was very clear that it would be better to die a violent death by drowning than to lead other believers, especially new believers, into sin. If a person sins and repents, forgive him. And if he sins and repents again, forgive him again. And if he keeps on sinning and repenting, keep on forgiving him.

Our verse of the day asks a rhetorical question to emphasize that those who plan to do sinful things are wandering away from the truth. In contrast, those who follow God’s goodness more often experience good in this life and have corresponding hope in the next (John 3:36).

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Proverbs 14:22

Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
Doing evil is an obvious sin, but even the plotting and devising of evil leads us astray. God cares about our heart and mind as well as our outward actions (Matthew 5:21-32).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 38
Confession of Sin

1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
     or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Your arrows have pierced me,
     and your hand has come down on me.
3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
     there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
4 My guilt has overwhelmed me
     like a burden too heavy to bear.

5 My wounds fester and are loathsome
     because of my sinful folly.
6 I am bowed down and brought very low;
     all day long I go about mourning.
7 My back is filled with searing pain;
     there is no health in my body.
8 I am feeble and utterly crushed;
     I groan in anguish of heart.

9 All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
     my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
      even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
      my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
      those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
      all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
      like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
      whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
      you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
      or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
      and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
      I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause;
      those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
      lodge accusations against me,
      though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
      do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
      my Lord and my Savior.


God's displeasure at sin (vv. 1-11). The psalmist's sufferings and prayers (vv. 12-22).

Verses 1-11: Nothing will disquiet the heart of a good man so much as the sense of God's anger. The way to keep the heart quiet, is to keep ourselves in the love of God. But a sense of guilt is too heavy to bear; and would sink men into despair and ruin, unless removed by the pardoning mercy of God. If there were not sin in our souls, there would be no pain in our bones, no illness in our bodies. The guilt of sin is a burden to the whole creation, which groans under it. It will be a burden to the sinners themselves, when they are heavy-laden under it, or a burden of ruin, when it sinks them to hell. When we perceive our true condition, the Good Physician will be valued, sought, and obeyed. Yet many let their wounds rankle, because they delay to go to their merciful Friend. When, at any time, we are distempered in our bodies, we ought to remember how God has been dishonored in and by our bodies. The groanings which cannot be uttered, are not hid from Him that searches the heart, and knows the mind of the Spirit. David, in his troubles, was a type of Christ in his agonies, of Christ on his cross, suffering and deserted.

Verses 12-22: Wicked men hate goodness, even when they benefit by it. David, in the complaints he makes of his enemies, seems to refer to Christ. But our enemies do us real mischief only when they drive us from God and our duty. The true believer's trouble will be made useful; he will learn to wait for his God, and will not seek relief from the world or himself. The less we notice the unkindness and injuries that are done us, the more we consult the quiet of our own minds. David's troubles were the chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a sinner have to yield to impatience or anger, when mercifully corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present workings of corruption in him. Good men, by setting their sorrow continually before them, have been ready to fall; but by setting God always before them, they have kept their standing. If we are truly penitent for sin, that will make us patient under affliction. Nothing goes nearer to the heart of a believer when in affliction, than to be under the apprehension of God's deserting him; nor does any thing come more feelingly from his heart than this prayer, "Be not far from me." The Lord will hasten to help those who trust in him as their salvation.

From the Pentateuch
Leviticus 5:1-13
Offering for Pardon

5:1 “‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.

2 “‘If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt; 3 or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt; 4 or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt— 5 when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned. 6 As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin.

7 “‘Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the Lord as a penalty for their sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 8 They are to bring them to the priest, who shall first offer the one for the sin offering. He is to wring its head from its neck, not dividing it completely, 9 and is to splash some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10 The priest shall then offer the other as a burnt offering in the prescribed way and make atonement for them for the sin they have committed, and they will be forgiven.

11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 They are to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the Lord. It is a sin offering. 13 In this way the priest will make atonement for them for any of these sins they have committed, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.’”


Concerning various trespasses.

The offenses here noticed are, 1. A man's concealing the truth, when he was sworn as a witness to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If, in such a case, for fear of offending one that has been his friend, or may be his enemy, a man refuses to give evidence, or gives it but in part, he shall bear his iniquity. And that is a heavy burden, which, if some course be not taken to get it removed, will sink a man to hell. Let all that are called at any time to be witnesses, think of this law, and be free and open in their evidence, and take heed of prevaricating. An oath of the Lord is a sacred thing, not to be trifled with. 2. A man's touching any thing that was ceremonially unclean. Though his touching the unclean thing only made him ceremonially defiled, yet neglecting to wash himself according to the law, was either carelessness or contempt, and contracted moral guilt. As soon as God, by his Spirit, convinces our consciences of any sin or duty, we must follow the conviction, as not ashamed to own our former mistake. 3. Rash swearing, that a man will do or not do such a thing. As if the performance of his oath afterward prove unlawful, or what cannot be done. Wisdom and watchfulness beforehand would prevent these difficulties. In these cases the offender must confess his sin, and bring his offering; but the offering was not accepted, unless accompanied with confession and humble prayer for pardon. The confession must be particular; that he hath sinned in that thing. Deceit lies in generals; many will own they have sinned, for that all must own; but their sins in any one particular they are unwilling to allow. The way to be assured of pardon, and armed against sin for the future, is to confess the exact truth. If any were very poor, they might bring some flour, and that should be accepted. Thus the expense of the sin-offering was brought lower than any other, to teach that no man's poverty shall ever bar the way of his pardon. If the sinner brought two doves, one was to be offered for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering. We must first see that our peace be made with God, and then we may expect that our services for his glory will be accepted by him. To show the loathsomeness of sin, the flour, when offered, must not be made grateful to the taste by oil, or to the smell by frankincense. God, by these sacrifices, spoke comfort to those who had offended, that they might not despair, nor pine away in their sins. Likewise caution not to offend any more, remembering how expensive and troublesome it was to make atonement.

From the Gospels
Luke 17:1-4
Forgiving Seven Times

17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.
4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”


The danger of stumbling another (vv. 1-2). If someone stumbles you, deal with it and forgive them (vv. 3-4).

It is no abatement of their guilt by whom an offense comes, nor will it lessen their punishment that offenses will come. Faith in God's pardoning mercy, will enable us to get over the greatest difficulties in the way of forgiving our brethren.

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.

The Morning Prayer for Wednesday, February 23, 2022


The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, February 23, 2022

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:9-10, NIV

Lord God, we turn to you, praying that your kingdom may come. May your Jerusalem really come on earth, with all those blessed ones who are allowed to gather around Jesus Christ through forgiveness of sins and the resurrection. Come with your light into our time so that sins may be forgiven and people may find salvation. Remember those in great distress. Come with your help to those struggling with sin or death, for help can come from you alone. Nothing can help us except your fatherly love in Jesus Christ. Praised be your name! Amen.

Verse of the Day for Wednesday, February 23, 2022


Verse of the Day
Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Proverbs 14:22
Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
Doing evil is an obvious sin, but even the plotting and devising of evil leads us astray. God cares about our heart and mind as well as our outward actions (Matthew 5:21-32).

Read the full chapter

Listen to Proverbs Chapter 14

Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Our Daily Bread — The Challenge of the Stars


The Challenge of the Stars

What is mankind that you are mindful of them? Psalm 8:4

READ Psalm 8

In the early twentieth century, Italian poet F. T. Marinetti launched Futurism, an artistic movement that rejected the past, scoffed at traditional ideas of beauty, and glorified machinery instead. In 1909, Marinetti wrote his Manifesto of Futurism, in which he declared “contempt for women,” praised “the blow with the fist,” and asserted, “We want to glorify war.” The manifesto concludes: “Standing on the world’s summit we launch once again our insolent challenge to the stars!”

Five years after Marinetti’s manifesto, modern warfare began in earnest. World War I did not bring glory. Marinetti himself died in 1944. The stars, still in place, took no notice.

King David sang poetically of the stars but with a dramatically different outlook. He wrote, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3–4). David’s question isn’t one of disbelief but of amazed humility. He knew that the God who made this vast cosmos is indeed mindful of us. He notices every detail about us—the good, the bad, the humble, the insolent—even the absurd.

It’s pointless to challenge the stars. Rather, they challenge us to praise our Creator.

By Tim Gustafson

What current philosophies or movements can you think of that leave no room for God? What reminds you of your Creator, and how does that prompt you to praise Him?

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge Your love for me with feelings of amazement, awe, and humility. Who am I? Thank You for loving me!


Psalm 8 lifts God as the Lord of all creation (v. 9). The psalmist confesses that the sky with its moon and stars—seen by the nations around Israel as gods—is simply the “work of [God’s] fingers” (v. 3).

In light of God’s immense power, the psalmist is humbled and amazed by the high place God has given humanity, who are entrusted to care for creation (vv. 6–8) and are “crowned . . . with glory and honor” (v. 5). The description we find in Psalm 8 of the dignity given to human beings is especially remarkable when compared to other ancient Near Eastern literature, which describe men and women as created to be slaves for the gods who then wavered over whether their existence was worth the trouble.

Monica La Rose