Today’s Bible Reading

September 3

Old Testament I
2 Samuel 19:9-43
2 Samuel 19:9-43 describes the aftermath of the rebellion led by David's son Absalom, and the restoration of David as king of Israel. After Absalom's death, David returns to Jerusalem and the people of Judah, who had supported Absalom, come to meet him. David is confronted by Shimei, who had cursed him when he was fleeing Jerusalem during Absalom's rebellion, but David forgives him.

David then sends a message to the leaders of the northern tribes, inviting them to join him in his return to Jerusalem. He meets with Amasa, who had joined Absalom's rebellion but is now appointed as commander of David's army. David also reconciles with Joab, his previous commander who had killed Absalom against David's orders.

As David continues his journey back to Jerusalem, he meets with Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, whom David had promised to take care of after Saul's death. Mephibosheth had been left behind during the rebellion and had been neglected, but David restores his property and honors him.

Finally, the chapter ends with a dispute between the tribes of Judah and Israel over who should escort David back to Jerusalem. The issue is resolved when David's own tribe of Judah takes the lead, and they all escort David back to his rightful place as king of Israel.

Old Testament II
Jeremiah 3:1 - 4:2
Jeremiah 3:1-4:2 is a passage in which the prophet Jeremiah addresses the people of Israel, urging them to return to God and warning them of the consequences of their continued disobedience.

In the beginning of the passage, God speaks through Jeremiah, saying that even though Israel has played the harlot and strayed from Him, He still calls her to return to Him. He promises that if she returns, He will have mercy on her and will not be angry with her forever.

However, the people of Israel are stubborn and refuse to return to God. They continue to follow other gods and engage in idolatry. Jeremiah rebukes them, warning them that their actions will lead to their destruction. He compares Israel to a prostitute, saying that she has played the harlot with many lovers but has still not returned to her true husband.

Jeremiah urges the people to confess their sins and return to God, saying that He will forgive them if they do so. He tells them to break up their fallow ground and circumcise their hearts, symbolizing the need for spiritual renewal and repentance.

The passage ends with a call to mourn and lament for the sins of Israel. Jeremiah describes the devastation that will come upon the land if the people do not turn back to God. He urges them to repent and seek the Lord, so that they may be saved from destruction.

Overall, this passage emphasizes the need for repentance and spiritual renewal. It warns of the consequences of disobedience and idolatry, but also offers the hope of forgiveness and restoration for those who turn back to God.

New Testament
Galatians 4:21-5:9
In Galatians 4:21-5:9, Paul addresses the issue of the Galatians' attempt to attain righteousness through observing the law instead of through faith in Christ. Paul uses the allegory of Abraham's two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, to demonstrate that those who rely on the law for their righteousness are like Ishmael, who was born of a slave woman and represents bondage, while those who rely on faith are like Isaac, who was born of a free woman and represents freedom.

Paul then exhorts the Galatians to stand firm in their freedom in Christ and not to submit again to the yoke of slavery, that is, to the law. He reminds them that observing the law will not justify them before God, and that they have been called to freedom, not to bondage.

Furthermore, Paul warns the Galatians that those who seek to be justified by the law have fallen away from grace and that their faith is nullified. He emphasizes that faith in Christ is what counts and that it expresses itself through love. Paul urges the Galatians to walk in the Spirit, for only then will they not gratify the desires of the flesh.

In summary, Paul emphasizes that faith in Christ, not observance of the law, is what justifies believers before God. He urges the Galatians to stand firm in their freedom in Christ and to walk in the Spirit, which is the only way to overcome the desires of the flesh.