Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Ki 7:9
"Then they said to each other, 'We're not doing right. This is
a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until
daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the
royal palace' " (2Ki 7:9).
"Make sure that you have found the Savior. Eat and drink of
him; enrich yourself with him; and then go and publish the glad tidings. I shall
not object to your going as early as possible; but still, I would prefer that
you should not go to assure others until you are quite certain yourself. I would
have you go with a personal witness, for this will be your chief power with
others. If you run too soon, and do not first taste and see that the Lord is
good, you may say to others, 'There is abundance in the camp'; and they may
reply, 'Why have you not eaten of it yourself?' Thus your testimony will be
weakened, if not destroyed; and you will wish you had held your peace. It is
better that you first of all delight yourself in fatness before you proclaim the
fact of a festival. It is good that your faith should grasp the exceeding great
and precious promises; and then, when you run as a tidings-bearer, you will
testify what you have seen. If any say to you, 'Are you sure that it is true?'
you will answer, 'Ay, that I am, for I have tasted and handled of the good word
of life.' Personal enjoyments of true godliness assist us in our testimony for
truth and grace.
"But the point I desire to bring out is this: if those lepers
had stopped in the camp all night, if they had remained lying on the Syrian
couches, singing, 'Our willing souls would stay in such a place as this'; and if
they had never gone at all to their compatriots, shut up and starving within the
city walls, their conduct would have been brutal and inhuman. I am going to talk
to some at this time... who think that they have found the Savior... who write
themselves down as having truly enjoyed religion, and who imagine that now their
sole business is to enjoy themselves. They delight to feed on the word, and to
this I do not object at all; but then, if it is all feeding and nothing comes of
it, I ask to what end are they fed? If the only result of our religion is the
comfort of our poor little souls, if the beginning and the end of piety is
contained within one's self, why, it is a strange thing to be in connection with
the unselfish Jesus, and to be the fruit of his gracious Spirit. Surely, Jesus
did not come to save us that we might live unto ourselves. He came to save us
"I am afraid that some... have never yet confessed the work of
God... They feel that, whereas they were once blind, now they see; but they have
never declared what the Lord has done for them. Has all this work been done in a
corner for their personal [enjoyment]? I want to [address] them, and at all
others who have not yet considered that the object of their receiving grace from
the Lord is that God may, through them, communicate grace to others. No man
liveth unto himself. No man should attempt so to live" (CH Spurgeon).
Reading 2 - Lam 3:7
"He has walled me in so I cannot escape" (Lam 3:7).
In the past, God had fenced Israel with a fiery wall of
protection (Exo 14:19,20; Zec 2:5), and He will do so again in the future (Zec
9:8; Isa 4:5; 60:18). But here, the "hedge" (AV) has become a hedge of thorns
(as in Hos 2:6,7) and a prison (cp Job 19:8).
Likewise, compare Christ's crown of thorns (Mat 27:29; Mar
15:17; Joh 19:2,5).
Every life is surrounded by divine limitations. God hedges us
all about, in one way or another. For one there may be physical limitations --
of health or disability or advancing age. Another might feel most severely the
limitation of poverty; and another yet, the lack of education. If we accept our
Father's will, then we will accept and graciously live with the "hedges" He has
imposed upon us. But if we fret and grumble and batter against these "fences"
and "chains", then -- for one thing -- we are rebelling against God. And -- for
another thing -- we are proportionally neglecting our unique opportunities to do
the good which God has placed within our power. As one brother expressed it, we
must do what we can, with what we have, where we are. We are not responsible for
what we cannot do, nor for what we do not have, nor for where we cannot
Reading 3 - 1Co 16:2
"On the first day of every week, each one of you should set
aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I
come no collections will have to be made" (1Co 16:2).