The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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September 26

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

Reading 1 - 1Ch 9:27

"They would spend the night stationed around the house of God, because they had to guard it; and they had charge of the key for opening it each morning" (1Ch 9:27).

Each morning...

Reading 2 - Eze 22

Jerusalem is a city of guilt, a city of bloods. It is said to them as it had been said to Cain: "Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground" (Gen 4:10).

"Patriot as he was, Ezekiel was not, like some sincere patriots, blind to his country's faults. His conscience and judgment were enlightened, and his emotional nature was rendered especially sensitive, so that a just and deep impression was made upon his mind by the contemplation of his countrymen's errors and iniquities. Leaders of public opinion, teachers of the time, are ever in danger of flattering those among whom their lot is cast, with whom their interests are identified. Yet Ezekiel proves himself to have the true spirit of the prophet, who rises superior to this temptation, and whose motto is, 'Be just, and fear not!'

"The catalogue of the people's sins is both a long and an awful one. It suffices to mention these as boldly charged upon them by the faithful prophet of the Lord:

"Was ever such an indictment brought against a community? The marvel is, not that the threatened judgment came, but that it was so long delayed.

"It certainly seems strange, all but incredible, that the highly favored Jerusalem should be famed among the very heathen for degradation in iniquity and moral debasement. But the language of Ezekiel is explicit; and he would be more likely to soften than to exaggerate the charge. Jerusalem a reproach, a mocking, infamous, defiled, full of tumult! How are the mighty fallen! The city of the great King, the seat of the temple of Jehovah, the home of the consecrated priesthood -- infamous among the surrounding idolaters for flagrant violation of those very moral laws which the city was consecrated to conserve!" (Pulpit Commentary).

Reading 3 - Luk 19:45

"Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling" (Luk 19:45).

"The action of the Lord in cleansing the temple is often quoted as an example of righteous indignation. Yet in all the four records (Mat 21, Mar 11, Luk 19, John 2) it is nowhere stated that the Lord was angry. Certainly it was not righteous indignation which drove back those soldiers, ordered to arrest him (John 7:46); nor was it righteous indignation which made armed men retreat and fall to the ground in Gethsemane (John 18:6). Was not the same power at work in the temple incident? But even if we concede that the Lord might have been expressing righteous indignation, what right have we unrighteous ones to claim that we can also show righteous indignation? It is more likely that we are confusing righteous indignation with wrathful feelings of revenge, personal provocation, and wounded pride. Certainly the Lord never lost his temper. Every word and action was under complete control" (Bilton, "The Christadelphian" 114:218).

"There is much cause for righteous anger in the world; the travesties and misrepresentations of religion, the hypocrisy of politics, the perversions of justice, and the abomination of modern warfare. Cruelty and injustice often go hand in hand with professions of kindness and mercy; an affectation of extreme righteousness is often used as a cloak to cover dishonesty. There are still men who try to thwart good work while parading their excessive piety, whether in zeal for the Sabbath as in the first century, or in some more modem way. Yet these evils do not often excite a righteous anger. When we find an angry man he is not often protesting against the prevalent perversions of divine law. Far more frequently it is a matter of personal interests or personal feeling. The anger of worldly greed and pride is manifest every day while righteous anger is a rarity. It is not quite unknown however. Brethren have sometimes been stirred up by flagrant perversions of truth and have done some of their best work in a spirit of righteous anger. How good it would be if this was the only kind of anger ever known among us" (Islip Collyer, "Principles and Proverbs" 204).

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