The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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August 7

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

Reading 1 - 1Ki 1

When David is old and becomes unable to rule effectively, he delays in designating and installing Solomon as his successor. Adonijah seeks to take advantage of David's delay, setting out to beat Solomon to the punch by proclaiming himself to be king (1Ki 1:5). He is a very handsome man, born after Absalom, and apparently never is told "No" by David (1Ki 1:6). Joab and Abiathar, the priest, join with Adonijah in his conspiracy. David is finally persuaded by Bathsheba and Nathan the prophet to publicly appoint Solomon as his successor to the throne. When Solomon takes the throne of his father, he allows Adonijah to live (for a time), but he is finally put to death when he seeks once again to oust Solomon and assume the throne over Israel (by asking to be given Abishag, David's concubine).

Reading 2 - Jer 28:13,14

"Go and tell Hananiah, 'This is what the LORD says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him' " (Jer 28:13,14).

The Jews might throw off the wooden yoke, but they would not be benefited by the change; in fact, much the reverse! There is a general principle here. Whenever men say of God and His Anointed, "Let us break their chains... and throw off their fetters" (Psa 2:3), they may do so if they please; but instead of the yokes of wood they will be sure to get yokes of iron. If they will not submit to the government of Christ, they will have to submit to the tyranny of Sin (Rom 6:16,17,20,23). All men have to wear some yoke, and serve some master, and if they reject the easy yoke of Christ (Mat 11:30), then there will be made for them yokes of iron, which they shall neither be able to bear nor cast off.

Reading 3 - Mar 2:21

"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse" (Mar 2:21).

The new way of life (which Christ brings) cannot be torn apart to patch an old and useless garment. The new "garment" must be used in its entirety. The old garment (like the fig-leaf coverings for Adam and Eve) must be put aside completely in favor of the new garment (as in the Garden, skins, which require the bloodshed of sacrifice).

Paul expresses the same point: "Put off the old man; put on the new man" (Eph 4:23,24).

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