The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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September 12

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 18:5).

"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


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 holy Bible.

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