Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Sa 4:9
"The LORD lives, who has delivered me out of all trouble" (2Sa
God had always delivered David; he did not need the help of
wicked men (like Recab and Baanah, who assassinated Ishbosheth, thinking it
would please David).
"The more things collapse around us, and in our affairs, the
more important closeness to God is, and the more important it is realized to be,
if we are of the right mind. This is the blessing of adversity. This is why Paul
'rejoiced in sufferings' [Rom 5:3] and James 'counted it all joy when he fell
into divers temptations' [Jam 1:2]" (GV Growcott).
Reading 2 - Jer 10
Jer 10 portrays the great controversy: Idols versus Yahweh.
"The 'portion' of Jacob (Jer 10:12,13,16) is the inheritance
of the fathers. The word 'cheleq' signifies 'to apportion; separate' and comes
from a root signifying 'to be smooth', which evidently relates to the stones of
judgment. Yahweh has judged Jacob faithful, elevated his name to Israel, and has
determined his future. The seed of Jacob rest in the divine protection, for
Yahweh judges against the enemies of Israel for the fathers' sakes. The evidence
of this is seen in 'the earth by His power' (v 12). The solid earth is itself a
natural symbol of strength and stability, whilst the glorious heavens presents a
panorama of glory, and the mighty deep shows the marvels of God's handiwork. The
constant labour of nature testifies that His activity is never suspended, His
presence never withdrawn. The conflict of the elements, the roar of thunder, the
flash of lightning, the downpour of waters, the rush of storm-wind, are His work
and assist in developing His purpose. All the elements testify to His majesty,
greatness, reality, importance, and our utter dependence upon Him (Psa 73:26).
Let Israel understand, and let the Ecclesia perceive that the way of man is not
in himself, but that Yahweh corrects with judgment (Jer 10:24)" (GE
Reading 3 - Mat 21:13
"IT IS WRITTEN," HE SAID TO THEM, "MY HOUSE WILL BE CALLED A
HOUSE OF PRAYER": Jesus cites Isaiah, where the context reads: "And foreigners
who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and
to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold
fast to my covenant -- these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy
in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on
my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations" (Isa
Here is a symbolic indication that the court of the Gentiles
was henceforth to be holy also (Gal 3:28). This scene took place in the court of
the Gentiles. By using this area for moneychangers, the leaders had forgotten
their delegated role of witnessing to the Gentiles (Zec 9:8).
God's temple is not just a house where prayer is offered by
people of all nations -- which is true enough -- but also a "house" (a spiritual
house) built up by and consisting of prayers offered by many individuals, of
many nations. With our prayers, wherever we might be physically, we "build" the
"house" in which God dwells.
"BUT YOU ARE MAKING IT A 'DEN OF THIEVES' ": Jesus is blending
a quotation from Jeremiah (Jer 7:11) in with the Isaiah quotation. The two
citations take us from the pinnacle -- what God's house at its best might be --
to the very lowest depth -- what God's house at its worst had become! And so
God's house -- filled with a sort of spiritual leprosy -- was now in dire need
of cleansing by God's true priest.