The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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April 3

Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.

Reading 1 - Num 18:20

"The LORD said to Aaron, 'You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites' " (Num 18:20).

"When the Lord divided Canaan among the tribes of Israel, Levi received no share of the land. God said to him simply, 'I am thy part and thine inheritance,' and by those words made him richer than all his brethren, richer than all the kings and rajas who have ever lived in the world. And there is a spiritual principle here, a principle still valid for every priest of the Most High God. The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever" (AW Tozer).

Reading 2 - Pro 13:24

"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him" (Pro 13:24).

" 'Spare the rod and spoil the child' is a saying known to everyone. Solomon was even more definite. He declared that a man who spared the rod hated his son. It is hardly possible to think of anything more emphatic.

"In interpreting 'the dark sayings of the wise', however, we must not always insist on the literal even where the literal could easily be applied. No one would take this reference to hatred in a literal sense, for it is quite certain that a destructive leniency is usually the expression of a genuine but foolish love. The saying means that the effect of parental weakness is so bad that it is akin to hatred in its effects even though love is the cause of it. The saying is intelligible and forceful but not strictly literal. Why then insist on nothing but an actual rod and physical pain in the other part of the saying? Correction may be made by word and look and in a hundred different manipulations of circumstances, some of which may be more effective than the rod, although even that may sometimes be necessary" (Islip Collyer, "Principles and Proverbs").

Reading 3 - Gal 3:8

"The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: 'All nations will be blessed through you' " (Gal 3:8).

"[This] was God's promise to Abraham before he left his native Ur to go to the land of promise (Gen 12:3). This purpose was repeated as the ground of God's communication concerning the overthrow of Sodom. 'Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?' (Gen 18:17,18). What is the blessing here promised? We perhaps think firstly of the material blessings of Christ's reign, the era of peace, the establishment of justice, the abundance of food; houses for all; security based on law; the removal of tyranny, bloodshed, oppression and torture of all forms; the bringing of enlightenment, and love of the things that are best to all. It is true that these things are included, as the glowing pictures of the prophets of the coming age abundantly show: but they are not the first or the most important blessing. Paul quotes the words... as proof that God would justify the Gentiles through faith. 'All the nations' included Gentiles as well as Jews -- clearly, therefore, the blessing of Abraham is for Gentiles. The proof that God would justify them lies in the word 'blessed' -- in other words, when God said the nations would be blessed the promise concerned the justification of the nations" (John Carter, "Galatians" 66).

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