Today's Readings: 1 Samuel 11-12 | Isaiah 55 | Revelation 19-20
Reading 1 - 1Sa 12:5
"Samuel said to them, 'The LORD is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.' 'He is witness,' they said" (1Sa 12:5).
"Samuel did not deem himself above criticism. Now, in self-vindication, he invited public reproach, if indeed he had perverted justice... ruled unjustly, or lined his own pocket. But there was no word to be said against his administration. He had always had the nation's respect and confidence... This day they gave him unmeasured approval and gratitude for a long life of unselfish service. What a contrast with the days to come, when there were plenty who were 'bitter of soul' as a result of the unequal reign of Saul (1Sa 22:2)" (Harry Whittaker, "Samuel, Saul, and David" 51).
Reading 2 - Isa 55:1
"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost" (Isa 55:1).
"[Some] men sometimes think that they give all that is required of them in giving money. This has been one of the great errors of Christendom, the attempt to buy that which is 'without money and without price'. It is true that the apostle Paul says something regarding spiritual and carnal things which seems to suggest reciprocity in these matters. We must not put his teaching upside down, however. He says that Gentiles who are partakers of Israel's spiritual riches have a duty to minister in carnal matters. He certainly does not suggest that carnal wealth can buy the spiritual treasures. The two kinds of riches are on a different plane. The currency is different and there is no known rate of exchange. The wealthy man who goes to his chapel with a feeling that he can purchase anything and a readiness to give of his abundance [only] if the service pleases him, is not likely to receive any real spiritual food. He is not in the right condition to appreciate it. Possibly husks please him best. If so he can buy what he requires" (Islip Collyer, "Principles and Proverbs").
Reading 3 - Rev 19:7,8
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)" (Rev 19:7,8).
"It will be perceived, then, that the church as defined, is in the present state the espoused of Christ, but not actually married. She is in the formative state, being moulded under the hand of God. When she shall be completed, God will then present her to the Man from heaven, 'arrayed in fine linen, clean and white'... The presentation of Eve to the first Adam was the signal of rejoicing to the Morning Stars; and we perceive that the manifestation of Messiah's Queen will be attended with the 'Alleluia' of a great multitude, sounding like the roaring of many waters, and the echoes of mighty thunderings, saying, 'let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to the Lord God omnipotent: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his betrothed hath made herself ready' (v 7)" (John Thomas, "Elpis Israel" 48).