Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Ch 10:13,14
"Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not
keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not
inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to
David son of Jesse." (1Ch 10:13,14).
What looks to be a contradiction may be explained by recourse
to the meaning of the underlying Hebrew words. In 1Ch 10:14, we are told that
Saul "did NOT inquire of the LORD", whereas in 1Sa 28:6, we are told that he DID
"inquire". The explanation is fairly simple:
The word translated "inquire" in 1Ch 10:14 is "darash", which signifies "to
follow after, and especially to worship".
The word translated "inquire" in
1Sa 28:6 is "shaal", which signifies "to request, or (even) to demand"
(incidentally, it is related to the meaning of the name "Saul").
So, Saul did "inquire" of the LORD in making requests or
demands (1Sa 28:6), but he did NOT "inquire" of the LORD in the sense of truly
seeking after Him (1Ch 10:14)! [However, Saul DOES "seek out diligently" (the
Hebrew "darash") the witch of Endor: 1Sa 28:7! Now there's a sad
Reading 2 - Eze 23
Eze 23 possesses some similarity with Eze 16. Whereas the main
emphasis in Eze 16 is the actual idolatry of God's people, however, the main
emphasis in Eze 23 is their military and political alliances.
In this chapter the wicked alliances of Israel and Judah are
represented under the metaphor of two harlots, disgusting in their lewdness. The
"idolatries" of Israel, or the ten tribes -- under the name of Oholah -- were
committed with the Assyrians (vv 5-8), and their punishment for them is declared
(vv 9,10). Then the idolatries of Judah, or the two tribes -- under the name of
Oholibah -- are represented as greater than those of the ten tribes (v 11);
these idolatries were committed with the Assyrians (v 12) and the Babylonians
This chapter contains some verses that are about as graphic
and revolting as anything to be found in the Bible. The purpose is not to
titillate or to stimulate pleasurably, but to shock. Whether it be in portraying
violence or sex, the prophets who wrote the Bible were not interested in staying
out of trouble with the "censors", or in retaining a "G" rating. Nevertheless,
when sin is portrayed, there is -- unlike with Hollywood -- no uncertainty as to
its sinfulness, nor any ambiguity as to the ultimate fate of those who practice
such things and remain unrepentant.
Reading 3 - Luk 20:46
"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around
in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most
important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets" (Luk
There are many kind of "robes" in the Bible, because men may
play many roles, and -- to some degree -- it is true that "the clothes make the
man". For example, there is the long, flowing robe of pretension (Luk 20:46);
the torn robe of sorrow (Job 1:20); the scarlet robe of mock kingship (Mat
27:28); the best robe of righteousness (Luk 15:22); and the white robe of the
redeemed (Rev 7:9). We should ask ourselves periodically: which robe or robes
are we wearing now?