Saturday, March 12, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, March 12, 2022

Jesus Laments over Jerusalem

The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Psalm 27; Psalm 118:26-29; Matthew 23:37-39
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

The Lord shall Keep Me Safe (Psalm 27 )
A Pilgrimage Song of Praise (Psalm 118:26-29)
Jesus Laments over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39)

In today’s lectionary readings, our psalm speaks of trouble from enemies, adversaries, false witnesses, and violent men, but this was true of many periods of King David’s life. There is such a marked change between the first and second half of this psalm that many suggest they are two different psalms stitched together. Like many psalms, King David wrote this from a season of trouble. Yet it is a song of confidence and triumph: because David was not in darkness or ultimate peril because the LORD was his light and salvation. The celebration of the first half of this psalm might make us think that it was all easy for David. One might think that there was no struggle when trouble came, either with self or God. Yet David showed us that even he–the one who sought God with such passion–sometimes felt that God did not hear him immediately. David didn’t want to live his way, but the Lord’s way.

Our second psalm reading is the last passage of hallel (Psalms of praise), but it is also sung independently as an opening “welcome” for various ceremonies—most commonly, weddings, joyous dedications, and consecrations. The phrase in the Psalm refers to the welcoming blessing by the priests in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, which they pronounced to those arriving with their ritual sacrifices.

In our reading in Matthew, Jesus mourns for the judgment that will come on Jerusalem for her rejection of God. This leads Jesus to leave the temple, sadly remarking on its impending destruction (Matthew 24:1–2). Speaking from His divine perspective, He mourns over how He would have protected the people, but they refused (John 5:39–40).

In our verse of the day, Peter reveals that Christians have been given everything we need to lead the life God calls us to through knowing God. We’re not missing anything. Jesus has shown us His glory and goodness; He calls us to follow His example, and he has equipped us to do so. Here, in this verse, we find that by Jesus’ glory and goodness—because He lived sinlessly and now exists in glory forever—we have been given something of enormous worth: promises.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
2 Peter 1:4

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
As believers, we are participants of a brand new life (2 Cor. 5:17)—a divine nature by which Jesus abides within us—and anything is possible by His power. We are also given awesome promises through which He develops His character in us. As we wait in faith for these promises to be fulfilled, we learn to flee from sin, rely on Him, take comfort in His Word, and listen for His voice. And it is when Christ reigns in us that we become all He created us to be.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 27
The Lord shall Keep Me Safe

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
     whom shall I fear?
  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
     of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked advance against me
     to devour me,
  it is my enemies and my foes
     who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
     my heart will not fear;
  though war break out against me,
     even then I will be confident.

4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
     this only do I seek:
  that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
     all the days of my life,
  to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
     and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
     he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
  he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
     and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted
     above the enemies who surround me;
  at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
     I will sing and make music to the Lord.

7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
     be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
     Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
     do not turn your servant away in anger;
     you have been my helper.
  Do not reject me or forsake me,
     God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
      the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
      lead me in a straight path
      because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
      for false witnesses rise up against me,
      spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
      I will see the goodness of the Lord
      in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
      be strong and take heart
      and wait for the Lord.


The psalmist's faith (vv. 1-6); His desire toward God, and expectation from him (vv. 7-14).

Verses 1-6: The Lord, who is the believer's light, is the strength of his life; not only by whom, but in whom he lives and moves. In God let us strengthen ourselves. The gracious presence of God, his power, his promise, his readiness to hear prayer, the witness of his Spirit in the hearts of his people; these are the secret of his tabernacle, and in these the saints find cause for that holy security and peace of mind in which they dwell at ease. The psalmist prays for constant communion with God in holy ordinances. All God's children desire to dwell in their Father's house. Not to sojourn there as a wayfaring man, to tarry but for a night; or to dwell there for a time only, as the servant that abides not in the house for ever; but to dwell there all the days of their life, as children with a father. Do we hope that the praising of God will be the blessedness of our eternity? Surely then we ought to make it the business of our time. This he had at heart more than any thing. Whatever the Christian is as to this life, he considers the favor and service of God as the one thing needful. This he desires, prays for and seeks after, and in it he rejoices.

Verses 7-14: Wherever the believer is, he can find a way to the throne of grace by prayer. God calls us by his Spirit, by his word, by his worship, and by special providences, merciful and afflicting. When we are foolishly making court to lying vanities, God is, in love to us, calling us to seek our own mercies in him. The call is general, "Seek ye my face;" but we must apply it to ourselves, "I will seek it." The word does us no good, when we do not ourselves accept the exhortation: a gracious heart readily answers to the call of a gracious God, being made willing in the day of his power. The psalmist requests the favor of the Lord; the continuance of his presence with him; the benefit of Divine guidance, and the benefit of Divine protection. God's time to help those that trust in him, is, when all other helpers fail. He is a surer and better Friend than earthly parents are, or can be. What was the belief which supported the psalmist? That he should see the goodness of the Lord. There is nothing like the believing hope of eternal life, the foresights of that glory, and foretastes of those pleasures, to keep us from fainting under all calamities. In the mean time he should be strengthened to bear up under his burdens. Let us look unto the suffering Savior, and pray in faith, not to be delivered into the hands of our enemies. Let us encourage each other to wait on the Lord, with patient expectation, and fervent prayer.

From the Psalter
Psalm 118:26-29
A Pilgrimage Song of Praise

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
      From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God,
      and he has made his light shine on us.
   With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
      up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
      you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
      his love endures forever.


The sacrifice bound to the altar.

Sabbath days ought to be rejoicing days, then they are to us as the days of heaven. Let this Savior be my Savior, my Ruler. Let my soul prosper and be in health, in that peace and righteousness which his government brings. Let me have victory over the lusts that war against my soul; and let Divine grace subdue my heart. The duty which the Lord has made, brings light with it, true light. The duty this privilege calls for, is here set forth; the sacrifices we are to offer to God in gratitude for redeeming love, are ourselves; not to be slain upon the altar, but living sacrifices, to be bound to the altar; spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, in which our hearts must be engaged. The psalmist praises God, and calls upon all about him to give thanks to God for the glad tidings of great joy to all people, that there is a Redeemer, even Christ the Lord. In him the covenant of grace is made sure and everlasting.

From the Gospels
Matthew 23:37-39
Jesus Laments over Jerusalem

23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”


The guilt of Jerusalem.

A hen gathering her chickens under her wings, is an apt emblem of the Savior's tender love to those who trust in him, and his faithful care of them. He calls sinners to take refuge under his tender protection, keeps them safe, and nourishes them to eternal life. The present dispersion and unbelief of the Jews, and their future conversion to Christ, were here foretold. Jerusalem and her children had a large share of guilt, and their punishment has been signal. But ere long, deserved vengeance will fall on every church which is Christian in name only. In the mean time the Savior stands ready to receive all who come to him. There is nothing between sinners and eternal happiness, but their proud and unbelieving unwillingness.

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 Lenten Prayer for Saturday, March 12, 2022


40 Days of Lenten Prayers
Day 10 — Saturday of the First Week of Lent

Loving God, Sometimes my heart turns in every direction except towards you. Please help me to turn my heart toward you, to gaze upon you in trust and to seek your kingdom with all of my heart. Soften my hardened heart so that I might love others as a way to glorify and worship you. Grant me this with the ever-present guidance of your spirit. Amen.

The Morning Prayer for Saturday, March 12, 2022


The Morning Prayer
Saturday, March 12, 2022

But now, this is what the Lord says - he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Isaiah 43:1-2, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for the gift of your light in our hearts, allowing us to have faith in you. We thank you for your light, which shows us the many ways you save us from need, darkness, and death. In the midst of this darkness you keep our hearts safe so that we can be faithful until your time comes, the time when you will reveal yourself to the world, and when all voices will cry out as one, “Yes, Father in heaven, we thank you. You have redeemed us all.” Amen.

Verse of the Day for Saturday, March 12, 2022


Verse of the Day
Saturday, March 12, 2022

2 Peter 1:4
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
As believers, we are participants of a brand new life (2 Cor. 5:17)—a divine nature by which Jesus abides within us—and anything is possible by His power. We are also given awesome promises through which He develops His character in us. As we wait in faith for these promises to be fulfilled, we learn to flee from sin, rely on Him, take comfort in His Word, and listen for His voice. And it is when Christ reigns in us that we become all He created us to be.

Read the Full Chapter

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

Our Daily Bread — Love Song


Love Song

He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

READ Zephaniah 3:9–17

It’s a quiet riverside park on a Saturday afternoon. Joggers pass by, fishing rods whirl, seagulls fight over fish and chip wrappers, and my wife and I sit watching the couple. They are maybe in their late forties and are speaking a language unknown to us. She sits gazing into his eyes while he, without a hint of self-consciousness, sings to her a love song in his own tongue, carried on the breeze for us all to hear.

This delightful act got me thinking about the book of Zephaniah. At first you might wonder why. In Zephaniah’s day, God’s people had become corrupt by bowing to false gods (1:4–5), and Israel’s prophets and priests were now arrogant and profane (3:4). For much of the book, Zephaniah declares God’s coming judgment on not just Israel but all the nations of the earth (v. 8).

Yet Zephaniah foresees something else. Out of that dark day will emerge a people who wholeheartedly love God (vv. 9–13). To these people God will be like a bridegroom who delights in His beloved: “In his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (v. 17).

Creator, Father, Warrior, Judge. Scripture uses many titles for God. But how many of us see God as a Singer with a love song for us on His lips?

By Sheridan Voysey

How do you normally picture God—as Creator, Father, Warrior, or something else? How might your life change if you were to think of God as Lover, and yourself as His beloved?

Great Singer, I delight in Your singing over me.


Zephaniah 1:1 is unusual because it provides a more extended biographical background than we normally find in the Old Testament prophets. It says, “The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.” Two things are noteworthy here. First, Zephaniah was a direct descendant of one of Judah’s greatest kings—Hezekiah—giving him royal heritage. Second, Zephaniah ministered during the reign of Josiah, who, in his sweeping religious reforms, reinstituted the feast of Passover.

Bill Crowder