The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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May 6

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

Reading 1 - Deu 23:12

"Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself" (Deu 23:12).

"One has but to read the Bible carefully and thoughtfully to conclude that the wisdom expressed therein regarding health, hygiene and sanitation form the groundwork of today's public health rules. As one closes the book he must realise that these biblical rules on health and hygiene were far in advance of, and superior to, any which then existed in the world. Many of these hygienic precepts have been little improved upon to this day, and are as worth following now as when they were first promulgated" (Wain, "History of Preventive Medicine", 1970).

"Moses has been characterised as the greatest sanitary engineer that the world has ever seen. His doctrines laid down in that fine treatise on hygiene, the book of Leviticus, could be summed up by the objects of sanitation today -- pure food, pure water, pure air, pure bodies, and pure dwellings" (RH Major, "A History of Medicine", 1954).

"Recently medical historians have become sceptical about these sorts of conclusions made by an earlier more God-fearing generation. It has been pointed out that the reasons given for keeping the 'sanitary' rules are explicitly to do with religion and not health. This is indeed the case, but it makes the insights all the more remarkable. How was it possible that an overtly religious code could, as it were in passing, capture such fundamental insights, essential for the health of a huge and mobile 'refugee' camp?" (Stephen Palmer, "Testimony" 71:202).

Reading 2 - Song 3:2

"I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him" (Song 3:2).

Jesus is not to be found among the multitudes of the world, but in the secluded recesses -- in the lonely wilderness realms -- of the prophets and apostles. He is to be found in the pages of Scripture, not very much traversed by modern men; there, hidden from public view, in Old and New Testaments, in Law and history and prophecy and gospel and letters all, he shines forth in his perfection. Don't follow the crowd to find Jesus -- he is not in the "broad way" (Mat 7:13); rather, look for him in the byways and the corners of this world -- there you will find him... for now.

Reading 3 - Acts 17:31

"For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

"O Lord God in heaven above, merciful and gracious Father, what can we render to Thee for Thy goodness? Thou hast appointed a day in which Thou wilt judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ! Blessed be Thy holy name. We shall all be judged before his tribunal and not man's. Then the hidden things of men shall be brought to light, and their secret thoughts shall be unveiled, to their justification or reproof! Thou God seest us all, for all hearts are open before Thee! If Thou beholdest any thing in me displeasing in Thy sight, let me fall into Thy hands, and not into the hands of those who thirst for my destruction! Grant me patience to endure their unrighteousness, and by fidelity and perseverance to overcome the iniquity of their doings; and may the word of the truth concerning the hope of the glorious gospel of Jesus be established in these countries; and may those who now oppose it, in ignorance and unbelief, find mercy of Thee, repenting of their waywardness, and purifying their hearts by faith, that they may be accepted when the Lord comes! 'Forgive them, for they know not what they do'; and may we all at length find an abundant entrance into the kingdom of the future age, to the glory of the great Immanuel's name! Amen! Amen!" (Prayer of John Thomas, quoted in "Protestors", pp 175,176).

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