Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Ki 14
"The sin of Jeroboam was that he perverted the divine worship
-- and not that he directly opposed it. He neutralised the spirit of David and
Solomon within the nation, by tampering with and weakening the principle of
worship. The festivals, sacrifices, sabbaths, etc, of the Law continued in the
northern kingdom (Hos 2:11; 6:6; 8:13; 9:4). Tithes, etc, were brought to the
temple at Bethel (Amos 4:4; 5:21-22). The Psalms of David were heard (Amos 5:23;
6:5), but the people were deterred from worshipping at Jerusalem (Deu 12:11).
There was an encouragement to ignore the fundamentals of Faith, and to ignore
those who were valiant for the Truth in times past. There was a deliberate
change of policy to allow a greater liberty of expression, and political
pressure on those who desired to uphold the things of the past. Now sickness and
death strike at Jeroboam's family, the premonition of greater tragedy to come.
"So the prophet Ahijah was instructed to convey the divine
warning to Jeroboam (vv 1-16); but the appeal of the king was to no avail, for
the child died (vv 17,18), and this was followed by the death of Jeroboam (vv
19,20). Meanwhile, in Judah to the south, Rehoboam's reign brought an evil
environment (vv 21-24). Then came the invasion of Shishak of Egypt (vv 25-28),
concluding with the death of Rehoboam (vv 29-31). It was a sad story of failure
by a nation that ignored its pioneer spirit of former times" (GE
Reading 2 - Jer 40
Gedaliah became governor of Judah, appointed by Nebuchadnezzar
after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC (2Ki 25:22-26; Jer 40:6--41:18).
Gedaliah was a member of a prominent and powerful family. His grandfather was
Shaphan, probably the one who served as state secretary under King Josiah and
reported the discovery of the book of the law to the king (2Ki 22:10). Shaphan's
son, Gedaliah's father, Ahikam, became Jeremiah's protector after the famous
temple proclamation (Jer 26:24).
Gedaliah set up his government at Mizpah, which was about five
miles north of Jerusalem. However, before too much time passed, Ishmael, a
leader of a fanatic nationalist band and a member of the exiled royal family,
murdered Gedaliah while he was a guest in the official residence in Mizpah (Jer
The death of Gedaliah seemed to be the loss of the last hope
for a peaceful and orderly administration in the defeated Judah, and soon the
remnant that remained (including Jeremiah) were on their way to Egypt, to flee
the unrest in the land, and the possible reprisals of the Babylonians.
Reading 3 - Mar 14:3
"While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home
of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very
expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume
on his head" (Mark 14:3).
Five broken things in the Bible and the results achieved by
broken pitchers (Jdg 7:18-20), causing the light to shine forth;
broken jar (Mark 14:3), causing the ointment to be poured out;
(Mat 14:20), causing the hungry to be fed;
a broken body (1Co 11:24),
causing the world to be saved; and
a broken will (Psa 51:17), leading the
sinner back to God.