The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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May 12

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

Reading 1 - Deu 29

"The principles of the Covenant, including the benefits of obeying and the penalties of breaking it, have been already set forth by Moses to the ecclesia as it stood on the eve of entering their promised inheritance. There only remains the formal endorsement of it by the people. It is that act, and the accompaniments to it, that are the subject of Deu 29; 30. Its leading elements are thus repeated in brief: (a) Deu 29:1-9 answers to the historical prologue in Deu 1:6; 4:49. (b) Deu 29:16-29 answers to the sanctions of Deu 28:1-68. (c) Deu 30:8,10-14 alludes to the stipulations of the covenant embodied in Deu 5:1 to Deu 26:19. (d) Finally, Deu 30:15-20 contains the summons to the oath of confirmation and the invocation of witnesses.

"The covenant contains strong exhortatory appeal. Thus Deu 29 can be analysed as follows:

  1. Introduction to sealing the covenant: v 1.
  2. The people exhorted to keep the covenant on the grounds of personal experience: vv 2-9.
  3. All of Israel of every age involved: vv 10-13.
  4. It extends even to the unborn: vv 14-15.
  5. Punishment resulting from breaking the covenants: vv 16-29.
"The Mosaic Covenant was designed to prepare the nation for the greater Covenant established in Yahshua, and provides the basis for individual spiritual development" (GE Mansfield).

Reading 2 - Isa 1:11

"The multitude of your sacrifices -- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats" (Isa 1:11).

"The people of God are come to a sorry pass when they have a mind to give more attention to the forms of their religion than its inner meaning. The multitude of sacrifices had ceased to be rejoiced in as a medium by which God's merciful forgiveness was received. Instead, they had become a kind of bribe to the Almighty as a way of bespeaking His favour and help in emergency" (Harry Whittaker, "Isaiah" 95).

Reading 3 - Acts 27:27

"On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land" (Act 27:27).

"The long talk of the Lord's coming will end in the event itself, and that end is close upon us, though how close we cannot exactly say. The great prophetic periods are nearly all elapsed; and the tokens are visible on every hand to the eyes able to see, but the exact place in the latter-day programme at which the Lord appears to His house is unknown. We are like a ship at the end of a long voyage. We have travelled the great ocean for many months, letting the months stand for centuries that have passed since Christ's departure. We know by the general reckonings that we are not far from land; and our conclusion on this head is confirmed by the altered appearance of the sea, the shallowness of the soundings, the land-mists on the horizon, and certain other tokens in the shape of birds, seaweed, etc. But exactly how many miles we are from port, we do not know. We know we are sufficiently near that the pilots may come in sight at any moment" (Robert Roberts).

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