The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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February 2

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

Reading 1 - Exo 7; 8

"The purpose of these plagues was manifold.

Reading 2 - Psa 60:4

"But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled" (Psa 60:4).

The Hebrew "nes" signifies an ensign or standard, as in Isa 11:10,12 -- where the "root of Jesse" shall stand for an ensign (nes) of the people. This is reminiscent of Exo 17, when Israel was attacked at Rephidim by the powerful Amalekites. To celebrate the great victory which God gave them then, Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah-nissi -- "the Lord our banner". So Psa 60 portrays, prophetically, the complete victory of Christ over all the forces of evil in the world, social and religious and political -- a victory made possible by the sacrifice of the One Perfect Man, who was "lifted up" (as an ensign or standard!) on a cross (Num 21:8,9; Joh 3:14; 12:32).

Reading 3 - Rom 12:2

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Rom 12:2).

"It has a bad look when a courtier is too intimate with his king's enemies. Even small inconsistencies are dangerous. Little thorns make great blisters, little moths destroy fine garments, and little frivolities and little rogueries will rob religion of a thousand joys. O believer, too little separated from sinners, you know not what you lose by your conformity to the world. It cuts the tendons of your strength, and makes you creep where you ought to run. Then, for your own comfort's sake, and for the sake of your growth in grace, if you be a Christian, BE A CHRISTIAN, and be a marked and distinct one" (CHS).

"We must be able to feel, when we go to bed each night, that we have that day done our most and best: that all we have done was necessary and useful, and the most important thing to be done at the time, and that we have done it with all our heart, unto the Lord. We must not be satisfied with what we have done, but we must be reasonably satisfied that we have tried our best, and that we have noted, and learned something by, our slips and failures. We must be able to feel we are slowly overcoming, growing, deepening, becoming more naturally spiritual -- that is less as duty and effort, more as pleasure and desire. We must be able to see ourselves passing some tangible milestones of progress: a steady transformation of the mind Godwards -- less and less interest in passing, worldly, animal things of any kind" (GVG).

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