The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

Previous Index Next

April 19

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

Reading 1 - Deu 2:15

"The LORD'S hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp" (Deu 2:15).

This was the "pruning" (which is the meaning of "Zered": cp v 13) of the murmurers over 38 years. "His power was exerted in a way of wrath and vengeance on them, for their murmurings at the report of the spies; and therefore, it is no wonder they were consumed, for strong is His hand, and high is His right hand; and when lifted up it falls heavy, and there is no standing up under it, or against it: it smote them with one disease or another, or brought one judgment or another upon them: as the sword of Amalek, by which many were cut off, and the plague at Shittim in the plains of Moab, in which died 24,000; besides the destruction of Korah and his company, which was quickly after the affair of the spies, and the plague at that time, of which died 14,700; and thus, by one stroke after another, he went on to destroy them from among the host until they were consumed, even all of them but two" (John Gill).

Reading 2 - Pro 29:20

"Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him" (Pro 29:20).

"We can bring ourselves into line if we frequently raise the question: what is our aim in speaking? Speech may be with the object of giving instruction, or putting questions to receive instruction, or it may be in the ordinary amenities of social life. We can think of nothing else unless it is mere self-expression, a talk for the love of talking. Where is there room for any ill-feeling to be expressed in any of these opportunities for speech? In the ordinary amenities of life there is surely every reason for good feelings which may be revealed freely with only good effects. If anyone is so unfortunate as to find ill-feeling at home, then a desperate effort should be made to avoid any aggravation of it. Words provocative of anger are always out of place in the home, but they are especially to be deprecated when such provocation has already begun. If a little fire started in a dry corner of the house, no man would be fool enough to throw petrol on it. It is strange that men should often be so ready to feed that more terrible flame, which, as the apostle James says, is set on fire of hell. Homes have been wrecked and lives made sad by the folly of hasty and ill-tempered speech. It is perfectly true, as the wise man says, that there is more hope for a fool than for a man who is hasty in his words" (Islip Collyer, "Principles and Proverbs").

Reading 3 - John 12:8

"You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me" (John 12:8).

It has been said: "Since Jesus said, 'The poor you have with you always' (John 12:8), and we cannot change the world, why should we bother trying?". But Jesus did not say, "Forget the poor because they are always there." He said, in effect, "You will always have opportunities to help the poor." When Jesus was present, his followers lavished gifts upon him, and they did well. But now that he is absent, we may forget that we can give gifts to Jesus just as well by helping his poor brethren. Who would ignore the needs of the Master? But now he sits at the right hand of God, and he no longer needs the cup of cold water, the food, the clothing. But someone else -- who bears his holy name, or might -- does!

Previous Index Next