Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Sa 26:19
"They have now driven me from my share in the LORD'S
inheritance and have said, 'Go, serve other gods' " (1Sa 26:19).
David's sad words here demonstrate that his greatest sense of
loss in exile was not that of his personal comfort or material prosperity, but
rather his opportunity for fellowship with God. By making him an outcast, as
they did at the behest of Saul, his countrymen were cutting him off from the
tabernacle and the altar, and 'suggesting' that he serve other gods. In our zeal
to do right, our ecclesias should consider whether their treatment of offenders
might not have the same effect. It is impossible to justify the
'middle-of-the-road' course in a matter of disfellowship -- that is, to
'separate' or 'withdraw' while still attaching no taint of moral judgment. For
an ecclesia to practice excommunication, while holding out no realistic
possibility of refellowship, is in effect to tell the brother or sister
involved, 'Go, serve other gods!' How many righteous "Davids" have been so
Reading 2 - Jer 3:25
"We have sinned against the LORD our God, both we and our
fathers; from our youth till this day we have not obeyed the LORD our God" (Jer
Where the prophets of Israel witnessed against the spiritual
abuses among their contemporaries they did so while still continuing full
fellowship with those whom they denounced. More than this, the examples of Moses
(Exo 32:30-33), Daniel (Dan 9:5-14), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6,7), Jeremiah (Jer 3:25;
9:1), and Ezra (Ezr 9:6,7,13) show these men intimately associated with the
people whom they reprimanded, even so far as confessing the sins of the nation
as though they were their own. Here is the spirit of true fellowship, or
sharing, by which those most exercised against error bear the burdens of their
brethren, and strive with them as partners -- not outsiders -- to defeat the
enervating effects of sin.
Reading 3 - Mat 14
Mat 14 presents a remarkable contrast between the two feasts:
There is Herod's feast -- which is sumptuous, attended by captains and
kings, and the entertainment is provided by a "strange woman". It is a feast of
death -- for a righteous man is slain on a whim.
Then there is Christ's
feast -- which is frugal, with food for the poor. Here is no strange, lewd
woman, but rather Christ's "bride", for whom he provides the bread of life. In
contrast to Herod's feast of death, this is a feast of life, for it typifies the
death of one who lays down his life for his
"They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat"
(v 16). None need depart empty-handed or hungry from the presence of Jesus. The
bread that he provides is for all. In the atonement of Christ, there is ample
provision for every man and woman!