Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Ki 9:11-13
"King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of
Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and pine and gold he
wanted. But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given
him, he was not pleased with them. 'What kind of towns are these you have given
me, my brother?' he asked. And he called them the Land of Cabul ['Cabul' sounds
like the Hebrew for 'good-for-nothing'], a name they have to this day" (1Ki
It looks very much here as if Galilee, the land of Jesus, was
looked down upon (Isa 9:1; cp Joh 1:46), and considered unimportant by King
Solomon (who symbolizes the Jews); it was also called "good for nothing" or
"dirty" by Hiram (who symbolizes the Gentiles).
After inspecting these cities, Hiram gave them back to Solomon
(2Ch 8:2). The despised, "good-for-nothing", "dirty" Galilean cities were passed
back and forth -- from Jew to Gentile and back again. They represent the
despised Jesus of Nazareth -- in Galilee -- for, at the time of his trial, he
was also passed back and forth between Herod the Jew and Pilate the
Reading 2 - Jer 35:14
"Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine and
this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they
obey their forefather's command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet
you have not obeyed me" (Jer 35:14).
Although he had been dead over 200 years, the Recabites still
obey the command of their father. And they will be rewarded (v 19)... even
though he was an imperfect father!
But Israel, with a perfect Father, disobey... and will be
punished (v 17).
"The words of a man are obeyed; the words of God are
disregarded. This is the central argument of the incident. This is God's
complaint to the house of Israel by Jeremiah. And is it not a reasonable
complaint? Whose words ought to be obeyed, if not the words of 'the High and
Lofty One, inhabiting Eternity'? Is it not a complaint that might with peculiar
force be addressed to this age of the world? The commandments and ordinances of
men are submitted to in all the ways of life, but the commandments of God have
ceased even to be an intelligible idea, let alone a practical power, in the
habitations of men. Yea, it may be said that the spirit of obedience in any
direction is more and more on the wane. If man's commands are obeyed, it is not
from the spirit of obedience, but in the spirit of fear of consequences. Human
law would soon be a dead letter, if it were not for the handcuffs of the police
and the powder and shot of the military. Yet the spirit of obedience is the
noblest spirit under the sun. It was the departure from it in the beginning that
led to the world's woes; it is the return to it that will be the salvation of
men. 'By one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so be the obedience of
one [man] shall many be made righteous (or obedient)' [Rom 5:19]" (Robert
Roberts, "Further Seasons of Comfort" 209,210).
Reading 3 - Mar 9:50
"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make
it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other" (Mar
"We need not be discouraged because of the stolid indifference
of the people to the truth. Flesh and blood is naturally swinish and
unimpressible by the thoughts of God. The world, which is choked with religion,
such as it is, is made of this stiff-necked material. It is in the state of an
inebriate who has caroused himself into 'delirium tremens,' or a snoring
apoplexy. Its excitation or brain-congestion can only be relieved by copious
depletion. To preach the truth to it is like telling fables to a deaf man;
putting a jewel in a swine's snout; or casting things holy to dogs. This is the
nature of the flesh and blood world -- it is only evil, and that continually.
But all the individuals of this perverse race are not so absolutely controlled
by the evil thereof as to be incapable of sobriety in word and deed. The race
has some 'honest and good hearts' yet, which are as salt, preserving it from
total and irretrievable corruption. They require, however, to be salted with
wisdom, and persecution, or fire, for the truth's sake, to make them fit for the
Master's use" (John Thomas, "Faith in the Last Days" 241).