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Today's Readings: 1 Chronicles 7 | Ezekiel 20 | Luke 17

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

Reading 1 - 1Chronicles 7:21

"Zabad his son and Shuthelah his son. Ezer and Elead were killed by the native-born men of Gath, when they went down to seize their livestock" (1Ch 7:21).

Ezer and Elead were men of Ephraim. "[They] had probably joined the families of their grandfather Joseph's brothers, who had settled in Goshen, only to be slain there on the northeastern border of Egypt by Palestinian raiders who came down from their birthplace in Gath. (But Keil says that Ezer and Elead were killed when they were involved in cattle rustling. The pronouns ['they' and 'their'] are ambiguous)" (Expositors Bible Commentary).

Reading 2 - Ezekiel 20:29

"Then I said to them: What is this high place you go to? (It is called Bamah to this day)" (Eze 20:29).

Bamah signifies "high places" -- this is where all the altars were. Yahweh had confronted His people with their use of the high places or hilltops for idolatry. The name of the high places, "Bamah", had a double significance. It meant "high place," but it also meant literally "go where" or "go to what" (Heb 'ba mah'). Thus Bamah became a contemptuous pun. When the people went to the high places to worship idols, where were they going? They were going nowhere of any significance, to do nothing of any importance, since these idols were nonentities (they were, in the sarcastic phrase of the apostle Paul, "no-gods": 1Co 8:4; 10:19,20!) and could not help them. The name Bamah said more about these places than just identifying them as high places of worship, and Yahweh has perpetuated the name Bamah for this reason.

Reading 3 - Luke 17:27

"People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luk 17:27).

Eating, drinking, marrying... these are all activities which are not wrong in themselves, but only as they become obsessions to those caught up in materialism and self-indulgence. We do well to remember that such activities are the mere "scaffolding" of a life, but not the life itself. They are all destined to come to an end with the return of Christ.

"Then the flood came and destroyed them all."

"Universal was the doom; neither rich nor poor escaped: the learned and the illiterate, the admired and the abhorred, the religious and the profane, the old and the young, all sank in one common ruin. Some had doubtless ridiculed the patriarch -- where now their merry jests? Others had threatened him for his zeal which they counted madness -- where now their boastings and hard speeches? The critic who judged the old man's work is drowned in the same sea which covers his sneering companions. Those who spoke patronizingly of the good man's fidelity to his convictions, but shared not in them, have sunk to rise no more, and the workers who for pay helped to build the wondrous ark, are all lost also. The flood swept them all away, and made no single exception" (CHS).

One hundred different varieties of evil and indifference and neglect were all swept away by the waters of the flood -- unique though each form of life was at the time, they were at last all together in a common death. The only ones who were saved were those who actually sought places in the ark of safety.


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