Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Ki 6:7
"In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry
were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple
site while it was being built" (1Ki 6:7).
All was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to
occupy -- and so is it with the "temple" which Jesus is building today; the
making ready is all being done now: we are the living stones being made ready
now (1Pe 2:5-9), and after the return of Christ, and the judgment, we will be
brought to our proper places in God's "temple".
When we reach the Kingdom, there will be no more need to
sanctify us there, no more need to square our corners with affliction, no more
"smoothing" of our surfaces with suffering. No, we must be made ready HERE AND
NOW -- Christ must do this work beforehand, even if it is painful (and it will
be, in one way or another!).
But when he has finished that work, then we shall be brought
by the angels to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the
temple of our Lord.
"Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my
God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and
the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of
heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name" (Rev
As regards Jesus: an iron (Roman) hammer was instrumental in
the final shaping, outside the city, of "the stone which the builders rejected"
into "the headstone of the corner". As a foundation cornerstone it was laid
then, and as the head cornerstone it will, at his return, crown and complete the
Reading 2 - Jer 32:17
"Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth
by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you" (Jer
"At the very time when the Chaldeans surrounded Jerusalem, and
when the sword, famine and pestilence had desolated the land, Jeremiah was
commanded by God to purchase a field, and have the deed of transfer legally
sealed and witnessed. This was a strange purchase for a rational man to make.
Prudence could not justify it, for it was buying with scarcely a probability
that the person purchasing could ever enjoy the possession. But it was enough
for Jeremiah that his God had bidden him, for well he knew that God will be
justified of all His children... This gave a majesty to the early saints, that
they dared to do at God's command things which carnal reason would condemn.
Whether it be a Noah who is to build a ship on dry land, an Abraham who is to
offer up his only son, or a Moses who is to despise the treasures of Egypt, or a
Joshua who is to besiege Jericho seven days, using no weapons but the blasts of
rams' horns, they all act upon God's command, contrary to the dictates of carnal
reason; and the Lord gives them a rich reward as the result of their obedient
faith. Would to God we had in the religion of these modern times a more potent
infusion of this heroic faith in God. If we would venture more upon the naked
promise of God, we should enter a world of wonders to which as yet we are
strangers. Let Jeremiah's place of confidence be ours -- nothing is too hard for
the God that created the heavens and the earth" (CH Spurgeon).
Reading 3 - Mar 6:23
"And he [Herod] promised her [Salome, the daughter of
Herodias] with an oath, 'Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my
kingdom' " (Mar 6:23).
Compare this with Est 5:3; 5:6; 7:2 -- the same offer
Ahasuerus made to Esther (but Herod's was hollow; he did not have the power!).
Similarities between the two incidents: feasting and drinking,
plotting the death of others (Salome asking for the head of John the Baptist;
Esther asking for the "head" of Haman!).
Esther -- an orphan become queen; Salome -- daughter of a queen;
-- asking a favor in order to deliver God's people; Salome -- asking a favor in
order to destroy God's prophet;
Esther -- asking on behalf of Mordecai;
Salome -- asking on behalf of Herodias;
Esther -- had her opportunity
because of the king's drunken pride; Salome -- ditto;
Ahasuerus -- offered
the half of the kingdom because he loved her; Herod -- offered the half of his
kingdom because, drunk, he wanted to show off.
Esther -- took the good
advice of her uncle; Salome -- took the bad advice of her
Thanks to Herodias, Herod later lost all his kingdom and was
banished to Gaul.