Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Exo 25:40
"See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on
the mountain" (Exo 25:40).
"An artist, in drawing a pattern for some fabric or utensil,
will supply a style of ornamentation that is harmonious throughout, whether
simple or elaborate; and so an architect, working out a plan for a building,
will observe the same style of architecture down to the minutest details, where
an uncultured mind would either omit all correspondence or introduce incongruous
features. It is certainly an added beauty to the work of God among men that its
opening personal incidents should bear a general resemblance to its final
developments on a larger scale -- and so be a sort of prophecy -- which enabled
Paul to say 'which things are an allegory'. Whatever we may think of it, there
the fact undoubtedly is; and it would be a pity to make the mistake of those who
stoutly shut their eyes and maintain there are no types and shadows connected
either with the history or the institutions of Israel under Moses" (Robert
Roberts, "Law of Moses" 105).
Reading 2 - Psa 78:49
"He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath,
indignation and hostility-- a band of destroying angels" (Psa 78:49).
Instead of "destroying angels", the AV has "evil angels". Such
angels are not "wicked angels" -- there are no such beings! "All" the angels
exist as God's ministers to do His will (Heb 1:14). So also these angels through
whom the plagues came on Egypt. Isa 45:7 and Amo 3:6 are emphatic that evil, in
the sense of unpleasant experience (ie, "evil" from man's viewpoint) is under
the control of God. There are angels of blessing (Psa 34:7; Mat 18:10; Act
12:7), and there are angels of "evil" (2Sa 24:16; Act 12:23; 1Co 10:10; Pro
17:11; and many instances in Rev; compare especially the "evil spirit" upon Saul
in 1Sa 16:14), or -- as RSV (and NIV) puts it -- "a company (band) of destroying
angels". In the tenth plague, both angels of good and angels of "evil" operated
in Egypt: Exo 12:23 (see David Kingston, "Angels" 136).
Reading 3 - Mark 10:23
"How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
"These words of Jesus covered not only the rich but the poor
also. The rich man glorying in his riches is far from the Kingdom of God, but
the poor man trusting in his hard-earned pittance is no nearer. Indeed the poor
man may clutch his few pounds more tightly than a rich man his thousands. The
emphasis in each is upon the same thing. Our trust must not be centred upon
riches, great or small, or upon honour, or men, but upon God" (Melva Purkis, "A
Life of Jesus" 283).