Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Ki 18:5
"Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no
one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him" (2Ki
"Most apparent contradictions are easily resolved by a careful
reading of the passages in question in their contexts, and by clearly defining
what is, and what is not, said. For example, it is written of both Hezekiah and
Josiah that 'after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any
that were before him' (2Ki 18:5; 23:25). As these statements read, they appear
contradictory until it is noted in what respect 'after him was none like him...
nor any that were before him.' It will be seen that Hezekiah was commended
because he trusted, and Josiah because he turned to the LORD. Since mutually
exclusive statements are not made, the two statements are not contradictory. The
problem is resolved by merely noting precisely what the records do say" (Ron
Abel, "Wrested Scripture" 238).
Reading 2 - Eze 8:8-10
"He said to me, 'Son of man, now dig into the wall.' So I dug
into the wall and saw a doorway there. And he said to me, 'Go in and see the
wicked and detestable things they are doing here.' So I went in and looked, and
I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and detestable
animals and all the idols of the house of Israel" (Eze 8:8-10).
"As the prophet stood there God said to him, 'Son of man, dig
in the wall'. He did so, and through the wall he saw a door. Then he was told to
go in and see what vile abominations were being committed. When he went in he
saw portrayed on the wall all kinds of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and
all the idols of the house of Israel... The description of these gods suggests
that the people had adopted some of the gods of Egypt. For some time Israel had
been looking to Egypt for assistance in their conflict with Babylon" (WH
Boulton, "Ezekiel" 52).
Reading 3 - Luk 4:1-13
IT IS WRITTEN!
Over the course of the 40 days temptation in the wilderness,
Jesus resisted the allurements of sin by continual resort to quotations from the
Scripture -- specifically, in the instances given, from the book of Deuteronomy:
Deu 8:3; 6:13; 6:16. Here is a profound lesson for us: while the power of will
demonstrated by Jesus is surely extraordinary -- even miraculous -- and while
the Holy Spirit received from his Father must also have played a significant
part... nevertheless, there is nothing mysterious about his resorting to the
comfort and encouragement of the Bible. This account tells us that the PRIMARY
means by which Jesus resisted sin was... the word of God!
And the same will be true of us. Knowing the Bible -- its
commandments and its promises -- and knowing that it IS the word of God, which
may effectively work in us... this is the best means to resist all the
enticements to evil that come our way. We may pray to our heavenly Father to
help us in times of stress and weakness, but surely He will not help us if we
have ignored the greatest means of resistance against sin and of growth in
righteousness -- which we have right here in our hands all the while! -- the