Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Sa 14
"Problems in David's family continue. His son Absalom, now the
eldest and in line for the throne, conspires against his father, thus repeating
the attitude of king Saul against the shepherd-elect. But, like Saul, Absalom
has no scruples against Yahweh's Anointed! He meditates on seizing the throne.
But the powerful Joab acts with a political intent.
Joab schemes to fetch Absalom home: vv 1-3. Three years have passed, and
Joab seeks opportunity to influence David.
Then came a woman of Tekoah with
a plea: vv 4-11. She presents a case in which forgiveness should be exercised.
One brother had killed another, but had been incited to do so. She pleaded the
intervention of David, who was so touched by the case, he granted the request.
Then the case became personal.
The woman pleads for Absalom: vv 12-17.
Although the nation endorsed the action of the king, it was a subtle suggestion,
that if the king recalled Absalom from exile, his action would be endorsed by
the people. It was a suggestion based on what Joab knew the king wanted.
Absalom is recalled but not forgiven: vv 18-24. Then the record reveals:
Absalom's appealing responsibility: vv 25-27. His was an appeal to the
flesh, and traded on such appeal. He became renowned for his hair. the weight of
which was recorded throughout the kingdom.
Absalom seeks power: vv 28-33.
Though recalled from exile, the king's obvious disapproval of Absalom stood in
the way of his ambition and power. Absalom reveals the ruthlessness of his
nature in this action towards Joab" (GE
Reading 2 - Jer 18:1-4
"This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 'Go
down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message.' So I went
down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he
was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into
another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him" (Jer 18:1-4).
"The potter was making a vessel on the wheels, the upper and
lower discs made of stone or wood. The lower one was worked by the foot of the
potter and was attached by an axle to the upper one, on which the clay was
worked. The discs were in a horizontal position. As happened frequently in the
daily life of a potter, the clay did not turn out right. Often in throwing the
clay, some defect would become evident. The potter then rolled the clay into a
lump to begin his task again to make a more suitable product. The chief point
here is the power the potter had over the clay. The clay was in his hand and
under his control. The defects were in the clay, not the hand of the potter. The
potter's perseverance must not be overlooked at this point in this passage"
(Expositors Bible Commentary).
In contrast to the clay pot in Jer 19:1,10, the same clay here
could still be changed into a different vessel -- not having been hardened
Reading 3 - Rom outline
Romans, a brief outline, chapter by chapter:
Men may have a knowledge of God from general revelation, and thus all men
are in some sense guilty, since they have rejected this revelation.
Jews are guilty of rejecting God's law as well, and thus are doubly guilty.
Since no man can be saved by his own righteousness, justification can only
be by faith in the work of Jesus Christ.
The chief Old Testament example is
Abraham, who was saved by faith.
The fruit of this justification is peace
Free grace gives no license for sin, but rather provides
resurrection power for a new life of righteousness.
regeneration introduces a struggle, within our own natures, against indwelling
Christ works with us in the war against sin, and guarantees us our
final victory in the resurrection.
Our security in Christ is grounded in
God's choice of us, not our choice of Him.
God brings His elect people to
Himself by means of the preaching of the gospel.
God has taken the gospel to
the Gentiles now, but there will come a time when Israel will also be gathered
back to Him.
Paul shifts from theological exposition to practical
application. The appropriate response to such a great salvation is to present
ourselves as living sacrifices and transformed people in the
Believers should live in submission to the civil
Weak and strong believers need to live in harmony,
understanding each other.
The apostle to the Gentiles hopes to visit Rome
Paul sends greetings to the saints, and gives warnings against