Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – July 31, 2019

2 Kings 5:1–14 (Listen)

Naaman Healed of Leprosy

5:1 Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” So Naaman went in and told his lord, “Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel.” And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”

So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.”

But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Psalm 30 (Listen)

Joy Comes with the Morning

A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.

30:1   I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
  O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
  O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
  Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
  For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
  Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.
  As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
  By your favor, O LORD,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
  you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.
  To you, O LORD, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
  “What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the pit?
  Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10   Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
    O LORD, be my helper!”
11   You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12   that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Matthew 15:1–20 (Listen)

Traditions and Commandments

15:1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

  “‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
  in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

What Defiles a Person

10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.

In 1535 Luther’s Lectures on Galatians, delivered in 1531, were published. In these he said: “This vice lies in us that we admire persons and respect them more than the Word while God desires that we adhere to and have our mind fixed alone upon the very Word. … He does not want us to admire or adore the apostolate in Peter and Paul but Christ who speaks in them and the very Word of God which comes from their mouth.” In speaking of the occurrence at Antioch (Gal. 2:11-14) Luther concedes that even prophets err and fail but only when they speak in their own spirit, not inspired by the Holy Ghost, as Nathan did when out of his own spirit (ex suo spiritu) he told David that he should build a house for the Lord. “This prophecy was immediately corrected by divine revelation.” Here Luther declares that even Gal. 3:16, a passage so o en ridiculed, was written out of genuine apostolic spirit and understanding, and repeats that it is impossible that Scripture should contradict itself, and that a single tittle of Scripture is of greater importance than heaven and earth. Scripture he calls the queen that alone should reign. (34–35)

–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures

This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.

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