The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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September 16

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

Reading 1 - 2Ki 23:3

"The king [Josiah] stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD -- to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant" (2Ki 23:3).

"We shall not be judged, at the judgment seat of Christ, for how much we know, or how much we have done. But we shall be judged for how much effort and interest and desire we have put into knowing, and how faithfully and wholeheartedly we have tried to do. The widow's mite is equal to the rich man's abundance. The mite's value lay in the fact that it was her all. So it must be with us. Anything less than our all is a mockery and a dishonouring of God, Who freely and lovingly promises us all. But how few really respond with all their heart! They are His jewels among the common clay; today unknown, tomorrow, resplendent forever" (GV Growcott).

Reading 2 - Eze 12:12,13

"The prince among them [Zedekiah] will put his things on his shoulder at dusk and leave, and a hole will be dug in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land. I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylonia, the land of the Chaldeans, but he will not see it, and there he will die" (Eze 12:12,13).

In this prophecy, Ezekiel implies that Zedekiah's eyes will be put out. This ought to be compared with Jer 34:3: "You will see the king of Babylon with your own eyes, and he will speak with you face to face. And you will go to Babylon."

Perhaps Zedekiah, in comparing the two prophecies, believed they represented a contradiction, and chose to believe neither. But both were in fact fulfilled: Zedekiah did see the king of Babylon at Riblah, and then his eyes were put out, after which he was carried away to Babylon (2Ki 25:6,7).

Reading 3 - Luk 8:24,25

"The disciples went and woke him, saying, 'Master, Master, we're going to drown!' He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 'Where is your faith?' he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, 'Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him' " (Luk 8:24,25).

A seagoing captain commanded a passenger ship that was sailing from Liverpool, England, to New York. His family was on board with him. One night when everyone was asleep, a squall unexpectedly swept over the waters and tossed the ship violently, awakening the passengers. They were all terribly afraid because of the storm. The captain's little 8-year-old girl was also awakened. "What's the matter?" cried the frightened child. Her mother told her that a sudden storm had struck the ship. "Is Father on deck?" she asked. "Yes, Father's on deck," came the encouraging answer. Hearing this, the little girl snuggled back into her bed and in a few moments was sound asleep. The winds still blew and the waves still rolled, but her fears were calmed because her father was at the helm.
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