Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Sa 7:16
The LORD God's promise to David:
"Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me
[according to some Hebrew manuscripts and the Septuagint; but most Hebrew
manuscripts have 'you'!]; your throne will be established forever" (2Sa
In this covenant is revealed the selection of David's house as
the family through whom the Messiah was to come. Note the development of the
Adamic covenant: Gen 3:15.
Abrahamic covenant: Gen 13:14-18. Immortal
seed of Abraham will inherit the land of Palestine.
Jacob's prophecy: Gen
49:8-10. Selection of the tribe of Judah as the royal tribe.
covenant: 2 Sa 7:12-16. Selection of the family of David as ancestors of the
Gabriel's visit to Mary: Luke 1:26-35. Selection of the virgin to
bear the Son of God.
David's kingdom, of Israel, is also called also the Kingdom of
God, and the kingdom of the Lord: 2Ch 13:8; 1Ch 28:5.
The key points of the promise to David are:
David's throne will be eternal (Psa 89:34-36; Isa 9:6,7; 55:1-3).
will be established through a natural descendant of David (v 12; Ps 132:11; Jer
33:17-21; Isa 11:1-5; Acts 2:30,31; 13:22,23; Luk 1:30-34)...
also be the Son of God (v 14; Psa 89:26,27; Heb 1:5; Luke 1:32).
had died (vv 12,19; Act 2:29)...
...But in his presence (AV has "before
you", instead of "before me"): Isa 24:23; Act 15:16; Jer 30:9-11; 2Sa 23:5; Isa
9:6,7; Luk 1:32,33.
Reading 2 - Jer 12:1-5
Jeremiah complains to God:
"You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before
you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the
wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them,
and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips
but far from their hearts" (Jer 12:1,2).
"It was Job's problem over again, in almost as acute a form,
for, like Job, Jeremiah could urge his own blamelessness..." (HA Whittaker,
"Yet you know me, O LORD; you see me and test my thoughts
about you" (v 3).
Beginning in v 5, God answers Jeremiah. "Nevertheless in the
LORD's response there was but cold comfort at present for this solitary
sensitive witness for truth..." (Ibid).
"If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you
out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will
you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?" (v 5).
" 'Your experiences hitherto are but mild compared with what
is to come; this is but an apprenticeship to fit you greater rigour and higher
endeavour'... Poor Jeremiah! Is there no crumb of comfort for your soul? Hold
fast to your confidence in the righteous judgments of Jehovah, and stay yourself
on His promise of a day when 'a King shall reign in righteousness'; there is
naught else in this bitter evil present" (Ibid 50).
Reading 3 - Mat 23:29-31
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the
righteous. And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we
would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' So
you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who
murdered the prophets" (Mat 23:29-31).
"How? Why? Might not the Pharisees have replied that, by
honoring their remains and their memory, they condemned their murderers? The
greatest sin of Israel and of the world was and is, apostasy from the true God
and His worship by idolatry; and the most prevalent mode of this apostasy is
sacrilegious reverence for dead men's tombs and bones... Now, it was for
rebuking this and other kinds of idolatry, that 'the fathers killed the
prophets'; and those who built their tombs would, in like manner, kill anyone
who condemned their idolatrous reverence for these very sepulchers. Thus the
Pharisees, by the very act of building those tombs of the prophets, and
'honoring' them as they did, showed plainly that they were activated by the same
spirit that led their fathers to kill them; and, to make this matter
self-evident, they very soon proceeded to crucify the Lord of the prophets
because of his faithful rebukes. Nor has this spirit changed in the least during
the subsequent eighteen hundred years. Now, here, in Jerusalem, should the
Savior reappear, and condemn with the same severity our modern Pharisees, they
would kill him upon his own reputed tomb. I say this not with a faltering
perhaps, but with a painful certainty. Alas! how many thousands of God's people
have been slaughtered because of their earnest and steadfast protest against
pilgrimages, idolatrous worship of saints, tombs, bones, images, and pictures!
And whenever I see people particularly zealous in building, repairing, or
serving those shrines, I know them to be the ones who allow the deeds of those
who killed the prophets, and who would do the same under like circumstances" (WM
Thomson, "The Land and the Book" 639,640).
Do we "build up" the "tombs" of our Christadelphian
"prophets"? If so, is there any danger in doing so?
Are dead "prophets" less threatening than living ones? Seems
to me that dead "prophets" (and I use the term loosely here -- whether referring
to Isaiah and Jeremiah, or John Thomas and Robert Roberts) can be shut up in
books, closed between the covers, and "controlled"... whereas living "prophets"
go walking around sticking their noses into our business when we least like it,
encouraging us more directly by word or deed to DO something when we would
rather do nothing, and generally kicking us out of our "comfort zones". They
can't be as easily "shut up" or "put on a shelf". Maybe that's why we don't care
for the living "prophets". Maybe that's why we sometimes hasten their demise!
Jesus also said, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house
is a prophet without honor" (Mar 6:4).