Harmony Baptist Church

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Morning Bible Reading - Ezekiel 22

  1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  2 Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.  3 Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself.  4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come [even] unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries.  5 [Those that be] near, and [those that be] far from thee, shall mock thee, [which art] infamous [and] much vexed.  6 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood.  7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.  8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths.  9 In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness.  10 In thee have they discovered their fathersí nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution.  11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbourís wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his fatherís daughter.  12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.  13 Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.  14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken [it], and will do [it].  15 And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.  16 And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD.  17 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they [are] brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are [even] the dross of silver.  19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.  20 [As] they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt [it]; so will I gather [you] in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave [you there], and melt you.  21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.  22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.  23 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou [art] the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation.  25 [There is] a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.  26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed [difference] between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.  27 Her princes in the midst thereof [are] like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, [and] to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.  28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered [morter], seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.  29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.  30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.  31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   10-31 The sins of Jerusalem. (Ezek. 22:1-16) Israel is condemned as dross. (Ezek. 22:17-22) As the corruption is general, so shall be the punishment. (Ezek. 22:23-31) Ezek. 22:1-16 The prophet is to judge the bloody city; the city of bloods. Jerusalem is so called, because of her crimes. The sins which Jerusalem stands charged with, are exceeding sinful. Murder, idolatry, disobedience to parents, oppression and extortion, profanation of the sabbath and holy things, seventh commandment sins, lewdness and adultery. Unmindfulness of God was at the bottom of all this wickedness. Sinners provoke God because they forget him. Jerusalem has filled the measure of her sins. Those who give up themselves to be ruled by their lusts, will justly be given up to be portioned by them. Those who resolve to be their own masters, let them expect no other happiness than their own hands can furnish; and a miserable portion it will prove. Ezek. 22:17-22 Israel, compared with other nations, had been as the gold and silver compared with baser metals. But they were now as the refuse that is consumed in the furnace, or thrown away when the silver is refined. Sinners, especially backsliding professors, are, in God|s account, useless and fit for nothing. When God brings his own people into the furnace, he sits by them as the refiner by his gold, to see that they are not continued there any longer than is fitting and needful. The dross shall be wholly separated, and the good metal purified. Let those who suffer pains, or lingering sickness, and find that their hearts can scarcely bear these light and momentary afflictions, take warning to flee from the wrath to come; for if these trials are not sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the cleansing their hearts and hands from sin, far worse things will come upon them. Ezek. 22:23-31 All orders and degrees of men had helped to fill the measure of the nation|s guilt. The people that had any power abused it, and even the buyers and sellers find some way to oppress one another. It bodes ill to a people when judgments are breaking in upon them, and the spirit of prayer is restrained. Let all who fear God, unite to promote his truth and righteousness; as wicked men of every rank and profession plot together to run them down.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Ezekiel 22:0-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Ezekiel 22:1-999 


Morning Bible Reading - Ezekiel 23

  1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,  2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:  3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.  4 And the names of them [were] Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus [were] their names; Samaria [is] Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.  5 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians [her] neighbours,  6 [Which were] clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.  7 Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them [that were] the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself.  8 Neither left she her whoredoms [brought] from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.  9 Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted.  10 These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her.  11 And when her sister Aholibah saw [this], she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in [her] whoredoms.  12 She doted upon the Assyrians [her] neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.  13 Then I saw that she was defiled, [that] they [took] both one way,  14 And [that] she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion,  15 Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity:  16 And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea.  17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.  18 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.  19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.  20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh [is as] the flesh of asses, and whose issue [is like] the issue of horses.  21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.  22 Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side;  23 The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa, [and] all the Assyrians with them: all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses.  24 And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, [which] shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.  25 And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire.  26 They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels.  27 Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom [brought] from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more.  28 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand [of them] whom thou hatest, into the hand [of them] from whom thy mind is alienated:  29 And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.  30 I will do these [things] unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, [and] because thou art polluted with their idols.  31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand.  32 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sisterís cup deep and large: thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much.  33 Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria.  34 Thou shalt even drink it and suck [it] out, and thou shalt break the sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD.  35 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.  36 The LORD said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations;  37 That they have committed adultery, and blood [is] in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through [the fire], to devour [them].  38 Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths.  39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.  40 And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger [was] sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments,  41 And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil.  42 And a voice of a multitude being at ease [was] with her: and with the men of the common sort [were] brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads.  43 Then said I unto [her that was] old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she [with them]?  44 Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women.  45 And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they [are] adulteresses, and blood [is] in their hands.  46 For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled.  47 And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire.  48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness.  49 And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   10-31 A history of the apostacy of God|s people from him, and the aggravation thereof. In this parable, Samaria and Israel bear the name Aholah, "her own tabernacle;" because the places of worship those kingdoms had, were of their own devising. Jerusalem and Judah bear the name of Aholibah, "my tabernacle is in her," because their temple was the place which God himself had chosen, to put his name there. The language and figures are according to those times. Will not such humbling representations of nature keep open perpetual repentance and sorrow in the soul, hiding pride from our eyes, and taking us from self-righteousness? Will it not also prompt the soul to look to God continually for grace, that by his Holy Spirit we may mortify the deeds of the body, and live in holy conversation and godliness?

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Ezekiel 23:1-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Ezekiel 23:12-999 


Evening Bible Reading - James 2

  1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons.  2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;  3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:  4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?  5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?  6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?  7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?  8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:  9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.  10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all.  11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.  12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.  13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.  14 What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?  17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way?  26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   0-999 Chapter Outline All professions of faith are vain, if not producing love and justice to others. (1-13) The necessity of good works to prove the sincerity of faith, which otherwise will be of no more advantage than the faith of devils. (14-26)

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-13 Those who profess faith in Christ as the Lord of glory, must not respect persons on account of mere outward circumstances and appearances, in a manner not agreeing with their profession of being disciples of the lowly Jesus. St. James does not here encourage rudeness or disorder: civil respect must be paid; but never such as to influence the proceedings of Christians in disposing of the offices of the church of Christ, or in passing the censures of the church, or in any matter of religion. Questioning ourselves is of great use in every part of the holy life. Let us be more frequent in this, and in every thing take occasion to discourse with our souls. As places of worship cannot be built or maintained without expense, it may be proper that those who contribute thereto should be accommodated accordingly; but were all persons more spiritually-minded, the poor would be treated with more attention that usually is the case in worshipping congregations. A lowly state is most favourable for inward peace and for growth in holiness. God would give to all believers riches and honours of this world, if these would do them good, seeing that he has chosen them to be rich in faith, and made them heirs of his kingdom, which he promised to bestow on all who love him. Consider how often riches lead to vice and mischief, and what great reproaches are thrown upon God and religion, by men of wealth, power, and worldly greatness; and it will make this sin appear very sinful and foolish. The Scripture gives as a law, to love our neighbour as ourselves. This law is a royal law, it comes from the King of kings; and if Christians act unjustly, they are convicted by the law as transgressors. To think that our good deeds will atone for our bad deeds, plainly puts us upon looking for another atonement. According to the covenant of works, one breach of any one command brings a man under condemnation, from which no obedience, past, present, or future, can deliver him. This shows us the happiness of those that are in Christ. We may serve him without slavish fear. God|s restraints are not a bondage, but our own corruptions are so. The doom passed upon impenitent sinners at last, will be judgment without mercy. But God deems it his glory and joy, to pardon and bless those who might justly be condemned at his tribunal; and his grace teaches those who partake of his mercy, to copy it in their conduct.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   14-26 Those are wrong who put a mere notional belief of the gospel for the whole of evangelical religion, as many now do. No doubt, true faith alone, whereby men have part in Christ|s righteousness, atonement, and grace, saves their souls; but it produces holy fruits, and is shown to be real by its effect on their works; while mere assent to any form of doctrine, or mere historical belief of any facts, wholly differs from this saving faith. A bare profession may gain the good opinion of pious people; and it may procure, in some cases, worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to lose their souls? Can this faith save him? All things should be accounted profitable or unprofitable to us, as they tend to forward or hinder the salvation of our souls. This place of Scripture plainly shows that an opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith. There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes. Men may boast to others, and be conceited of that which they really have not. There is not only to be assent in faith, but consent; not only an assent to the truth of the word, but a consent to take Christ. True believing is not an act of the understanding only, but a work of the whole heart. That a justifying faith cannot be without works, is shown from two examples, Abraham and Rahab. Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Faith, producing such works, advanced him to peculiar favours. We see then, ver. #(24), how that by works a man is justified, not by a bare opinion or profession, or believing without obeying; but by having such faith as produces good works. And to have to deny his own reason, affections, and interests, is an action fit to try a believer. Observe here, the wonderful power of faith in changing sinners. Rahab|s conduct proved her faith to be living, or having power; it showed that she believed with her heart, not merely by an assent of the understanding. Let us then take heed, for the best works, without faith, are dead; they want root and principle. By faith any thing we do is really good; as done in obedience to God, and aiming at his acceptance: the root is as though it were dead, when there is no fruit. Faith is the root, good works are the fruits; and we must see to it that we have both. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it. There is no middle state. Every one must either live God|s friend, or God|s enemy. Living to God, as it is the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to do nothing against him, but every thing for him and to him.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For James 2:1-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For James 2:2-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For James 2:3-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For James 2:6-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For James 2:13-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For James 2:14-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For James 2:15-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For James 2:21-999