Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – August 18, 2019

2 Kings 16

16:1 In the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah son of Remaliah, Jotham’s son Ahaz became king over Judah. 2Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what pleased the Lord his God, in contrast to his ancestor David. 3He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel. He passed his son through the fire, a horrible sin practiced by the nations whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 4He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

5At that time King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel attacked Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz, but were unable to conquer him. 6(At that time King Rezin of Syria recovered Elat for Syria; he drove the Judahites from there. Syrians arrived in Elat and live there to this very day.) 7Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your dependent. March up and rescue me from the power of the king of Syria and the king of Israel, who have attacked me.” 8Then Ahaz took the silver and gold that were in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as tribute to the king of Assyria. 9The king of Assyria responded favorably to his request; he attacked Damascus and captured it. He deported the people to Kir and executed Rezin.

10When King Ahaz went to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria in Damascus, he saw the altar there. King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a drawing of the altar and a blueprint for its design. 11Uriah the priest built an altar in conformity to the plans King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. Uriah the priest finished it before King Ahaz arrived back from Damascus. 12When the king arrived back from Damascus and saw the altar, he approached it and offered a sacrifice on it. 13He offered his burnt sacrifice and his grain offering. He poured out his libation and sprinkled the blood from his peace offerings on the altar. 14He moved the bronze altar that stood in the Lord’s presence from the front of the temple (between the altar and the Lord’s temple) and put it on the north side of the new altar. 15King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.” 16So Uriah the priest did exactly as King Ahaz ordered.

17King Ahaz took off the frames of the movable stands, and removed the basins from them. He took “The Sea” down from the bronze bulls that supported it and put it on the stone pavement. 18He also removed the Sabbath awning that had been built in the temple and the king’s outer entranceway to the Lord’s temple, on account of the king of Assyria.

19The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 20Ahaz passed away and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Hezekiah replaced him as king.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 47

47:1 For the music director; by the Korahites; a psalm.

All you nations, clap your hands!

Shout out to God in celebration!

2For the Lord Most High is awe-inspiring;

he is the great king who rules the whole earth!

3He subdued nations beneath us

and countries under our feet.

4He picked out for us a special land

to be a source of pride for Jacob, whom he loves. (Selah)

5God has ascended his throne amid loud shouts;

the Lord has ascended amid the blaring of ram’s horns.

6Sing to God! Sing!

Sing to our king! Sing!

7For God is king of the whole earth!

Sing a well-written song!

8God reigns over the nations!

God sits on his holy throne!

9The nobles of the nations assemble,

along with the people of the God of Abraham,

for God has authority over the rulers of the earth.

He is highly exalted!

(NET Bible)

Matt. 23:1–22

23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2“The experts in the law and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. 3Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing even to lift a finger to move them. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by people, for they make their phylacteries wide and their tassels long. 6They love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues 7and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces, and to have people call them ‘Rabbi.’ 8But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers. 9And call no one your ‘father’ on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 “But woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven! For you neither enter nor permit those trying to enter to go in.

15 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You cross land and sea to make one convert, and when you get one, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves!

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple is bound by nothing. But whoever swears by the gold of the temple is bound by the oath.’ 17Blind fools! Which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing. But if anyone swears by the gift on it he is bound by the oath.’ 19You are blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and the one who dwells in it. 22And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and the one who sits on it.

(NET Bible)

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

In his Enarratio Capitis Noni Esaiae, of 1543-44 (printed 1546), [Luther] confesses: “ I am much displeased with myself and I hate myself because I know that all that Scripture says concerning Christ is true, that there is nothing besides it that can be greater, more important, sweeter or joyful, and that it should intoxicate me with the highest joy because I see that Scripture is consonant in all and through all and agrees with itself in such a measure that it is impossible to doubt the truth and certainty of such a weighty matter in any detail—and yet I am hindered by the malice of my esh and I am ‘bound by the law of sin’ that I cannot let this favor permeate into all my limbs and bones and even into my marrow as I should like.”

On January 17, 1546, Luther preached his last sermon in Wittenberg. It is necessary to read that sermon, in which he speaks more disparagingly of reason than ever before, to see how at the very end of his life he clung to the literalness of Scripture as the only authority in matters of faith. (37)

–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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