Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Kings 3:16,17
"And he [Elisha] said, 'This is what the LORD says: Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink' " (2Ki 3:16,17).
"The armies of the three kings were famishing for want of water: God was about to send it, and in these words the prophet announced the coming blessing. Here was a case of human helplessness: not a drop of water could all the valiant men procure from the skies or find in the wells of earth. Thus often the people of the Lord are at their wits' end; they see the vanity of the creature, and learn experimentally where their help is to be found. Still the people were to make a believing preparation for the divine blessing; they were to dig the trenches in which the precious liquid would be held" (CH Spurgeon).
Reading 2 - Jeremiah 51
The difficult messages of Jeremiah against apostate Judah conclude with a wonderful prophecy of the restoration of the nation in the latter days. It is a literal action which will accompany the downfall of Babylon the Great (Rev 18). Jer 51 outlined:
Israel will be revenged: vv 1-6.
The surrounding nations forsake Babylon: vv 7-9.
"Thine end is come, Babylon": vv 10-13.
The idolatry of Babylon: vv 14-19.
Yahweh's battle axe and weapons of war: vv 20-24.
Babylon: a burnt mountain: vv 25-29.
The city is taken: vv 30-33.
Jerusalem's complaint against Babylon: vv 34-35.
Yahweh's Answer: vv 36-40.
The completeness of the destruction: vv 41-44.
"Get out before Babylon's destruction comes": vv 45-50.
The reproach of the sanctuary: v 51.
Requited by the God of Recompenses: vv 52-56.
Complete annihilation: vv 57,58.
Seraiah instructed to read the book: vv 59-61.
The public prayer: v 62.
The book cast into the Euphrates: vv 63,64.
Reading 3 - 1Corinthians 11:29
"For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1Co 11:29).
Those who look too much at the faults, or supposed faults, of their brethren are in danger of doing this very thing. In looking at others rather than themselves and Christ, they are first of all missing the point of the ordinance, and nullifying in their heedlessness the benefit to themselves of the offering of Christ's literal body. And in so judging others, they may also be tearing the Lord's spiritual "body" to pieces. He who cannot discern the Lord's "body" all around him, who sees his brothers and sisters only as so many potential problems of doctrine and practice, is in danger of cutting himself off from them. His "careful" eating and drinking in solitude will then degenerate into a silly smugness, a self-satisfaction that may remove him from the very benefit he thought was exclusively his. "I thank thee, Lord, that I am not as these other men." But you are like them, and the sooner you realize it the better!