Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Exo 6:3
"I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty
[Hebrew El-Shaddai], but by my name the LORD [Yahweh] I did not make myself
known to them" (Exo 6:3).
The name "Yahweh" (sometimes imperfectly written or pronounced
as "Jehovah") HAD been known before: it had in fact occurred 162 times in
Genesis, many times used by the writer in the narrative itself, but 34 times
actually spoken there. Significantly, (1) men "began to call on [or call
themselves by: AV margin] the name of the LORD [Yahweh]" as early as Gen 4:26;
(2) the place, where he almost sacrificed Isaac, Abraham named "The LORD
[Yahweh] will provide" (Gen 22:14).
So this verse here MAY mean that the purpose embedded in the
Name had previously been uncertain (Gen 15:7). Now, especially as Yahweh, God
was going to redeem the people of Israel (v 6), adopt them as his people (v 7),
and bring them into the promised Land (v 8) -- thus making quite plain what His
Or perhaps this verse should be read -- like the NIV margin
puts it -- as a question: 'But did I not make myself known to them by my name
Yahweh?' -- a rhetorical question anticipating a positive answer. That is, 'Of
course I was called Yahweh, but they did not truly and completely understand
what that Name would mean! And how I would work out My purpose in generations to
We know the name of God, and we know (more or less) what it
means. "Yahweh" is the Great Self-Existent and Eternal God (the One who was, and
is, and will be). He is the "Becoming One": the God who reveals Himself to
mankind, the God of Israel, and the One who WILL BE finally manifested in a
multitude of holy ones, who will become His family.
But -- like Moses -- we may spend a lifetime learning what
that Name REALLY means, in feeling the hand of Yahweh in the practical
outworking of our lives.
Reading 2 - Psa 58
"Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge
uprightly, O ye sons of men?" (Psa 58:1, KJV).
"Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge uprightly
among men?" (NIV).
The Hebrew "elem" has been translated as "congregation" (KJV);
"ye mighty ones" (RV mg); "gods" (RSV); and "rulers" (NEB, NIV). Whether v 1
should be "congregation" or "mighty ones", this whole psalm is highly
appropriate to the Sanhedrin, which successively condemned Jesus and the
apostles and Stephen and Paul. And the psalm as a whole bears out this
"The imagery that the Psalmist uses [to describe the wicked
rulers] is apt and highly descriptive. It is taken from nature mainly, from
widely diverse creatures which we fear and dislike such as snakes, lions, and
snails, and from the calamities of mankind such as the miscarrying womb, water
in uncontrollable spate, and the savage vortex of the whirlwind"
Reading 3 - Rom 11:36
"To him be the glory forever" (Rom 11:36).
"This should be the single desire of the Christian. All other
wishes must be subservient and tributary to this one. The Christian may wish for
prosperity in his business, but only so far as it may help him to promote this:
'To Him be glory for ever.' He may desire to attain more gifts and more graces,
but it should only be that: 'To Him may be glory for ever.' You are not acting
as you ought to do when you are moved by any other motive than a single eye to
your Lord's glory.
"As a Christian, you are 'of God, and through God'; then live
'to God.' Let nothing ever set your heart beating so mightily as love to Him.
Let this ambition fire your soul; be this the foundation of every enterprise
upon which you enter, and this your sustaining motive whenever your zeal would
grow chill; make God your only object. Depend upon it, where self begins sorrow
begins; but if God be my supreme delight and only object, 'To me 'tis equal
whether love ordain my life or death -- appoint me ease or pain.'
"Let your desire for God's glory be a growing desire. You
blessed Him in your youth, do not be content with such praises as you gave Him
then. Has God prospered you in business? Give Him more as He has given you more.
Has God given you experience? Praise Him by stronger faith than you exercised at
first. Does your knowledge grow? Then sing more sweetly. Do you enjoy happier
times than you once had? Have you been restored from sickness, and has your
sorrow been turned into peace and joy? Then give Him more music; put more coals
and more sweet frankincense into the censer of your praise. Practically in your
life give Him honour, putting the 'Amen' to this doxology to your great and
gracious Lord, by your own individual service and increasing holiness"