The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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September 14

Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.

Reading 1 - 2Ki 20

" 'Thou shalt die, and not live!' This solemn, terrifying message must have been received by King Hezekiah with fear. It was not merely the end of life, but the fact that he had not provided a seed for the throne of David, as was the responsibility of the monarch. The line of David was threatened by the neglect of Hezekiah. He was 'sick unto death,' a physical malady that was in a very virulent and incurable form, implying the living death of leprosy (v 7). It typified the cause of mortality in mankind: the 'law of sin and death' which afflicts all mankind, and from which there is no cure apart from the divine redemption. It was clearly 'a sign' (2Ch 32:34), foreshadowing the death and resurrection of the Lord.

"It was this condition that drove the king to prayer (v 3). He was without a successor, and his death would weaken the attitude of the people in resistance of the Sin-power Sennacherib. It would mean the end of all hopes to establish the fulness of the divine worship (cp Isa 38:9-20). But a wondrous answer was received: vv 4-6; it answered the five-fold blessing of grace. Within three days he would be restored, as Christ came from the darkness of the earth in three days. Hezekiah's miraculous restoration was hailed by the nations round about. Congratulations were received from Merodach-Baladan, but Hezekiah's folly in sharing such things with Babylon was condemned by Isaiah: vv 14,15. The king was shown the folly of putting confidence in the flesh, and thereby strengthened the instrument of divine punishment against his people. Thus, though typical of the Lord Jesus, he did not manifest the purity and righteousness of Yahshua, in whose great strength we trust" (GEM).

Reading 2 - Eze 10

"Divine glory cannot bear the presence of sin (Hab 1:13). Therefore coals of fire are scattered over the guilty city, and the Glory makes ready to depart therefrom. It is a sad moment for Ezekiel, for, like his faithful companions, he sought for the peace of Jerusalem. Instead he saw only the spirit of compromise and deviant teachings among its people that augurs its destruction. Thus the vision reveals: [1] Coals of fire ready to consume: vv 1-7. [2] The re-appearance of the cherubim: vv 8-22.

"The coals glowed and ran up and down between the living creatures. They were but one; thus individually they were the Cherub, whilst collectively they were the Cherubim. In scattering the coals over the city, the man in linen had completed his work of sealing (Eze 9:11), and now passes over to judgment. Then the vision concentrates again on the cherubim, now revealing a man's hand under the wings (vv 8,14,21). Thus it is identified with the Adamic race, for the cherubim of glory was developed from the work of Christ, a man of like nature as his people, taken from among mankind, and constituted the Lord of glory by the resurrection from the dead. Christ as the Ark, is seen in the singular cherub; the multitudinous Christ is seen in the cherubim who convey the glory away from the presence of sin (cp Acts 1:9). The glory awaits the new Age when the cherubim will again be seen shining from the Ark" (GE Mansfield).

Reading 3 - Luk 6:42

"How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Luk 6:42).

"Those things that one cannot improve in himself or in others, he ought to endure patiently, until God arranges things otherwise. Nevertheless when you have such impediments, you ought to pray that God would help you, and that you may bear them kindly.

"Endeavor to be patient in bearing with the defects of others, whatever they are; for you also have many failings which must be borne by others. If you cannot make yourself be as you would like to be, how can you expect to have another person be to your liking in every way? We desire to have others perfect, and yet we do not correct our own faults. We would allow others to be severely corrected, and will not be corrected ourselves. We will have others kept under by strict laws, but in no case do we want to be restrained. And so it appears that we seldom weigh our neighbor in the same balance with ourselves" (Thomas a' Kempis).

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