Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – August 19, 2019

2 Kings 17:1–23

17:1 In the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign over Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria for nine years. 2He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not to the same degree as the Israelite kings who preceded him. 3King Shalmaneser of Assyria marched up to attack him; so Hoshea became his subject and paid him tribute. 4The king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was planning a revolt. Hoshea had sent messengers to King So of Egypt and had not sent his annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and imprisoned him. 5The king of Assyria marched through the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years. 6In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.

7This happened because the Israelites sinned against the Lord their God, who brought them up from the land of Egypt and freed them from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods; 8they observed the practices of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before them, and followed the example of the kings of Israel. 9The Israelites said things about the Lord their God that were not right. They built high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 11They burned incense on all the high places just like the nations whom the Lord had driven away from before them. Their evil practices made the Lord angry. 12They worshiped the disgusting idols in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command.

13The Lord solemnly warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and all the seers, “Turn back from your evil ways; obey my commandments and rules that are recorded in the law. I ordered your ancestors to keep this law and sent my servants the prophets to remind you of its demands.” 14But they did not pay attention and were as stubborn as their ancestors, who had not trusted the Lord their God. 15They rejected his rules, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the laws he had commanded them to obey. They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to the Lord. They copied the practices of the surrounding nations in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command. 16They abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God; they made two metal calves and an Asherah pole, bowed down to all the stars in the sky, and worshiped Baal. 17They passed their sons and daughters through the fire, and practiced divination and omen reading. They committed themselves to doing evil in the sight of the Lord and made him angry.

18So the Lord was furious with Israel and rejected them; only the tribe of Judah was left. 19Judah also failed to keep the commandments of the Lord their God; they followed Israel’s example. 20So the Lord rejected all of Israel’s descendants; he humiliated them and handed them over to robbers, until he had thrown them from his presence. 21He tore Israel away from David’s dynasty, and Jeroboam son of Nebat became their king. Jeroboam drove Israel away from the Lord and encouraged them to commit a serious sin. 22The Israelites followed in the sinful ways of Jeroboam and did not repudiate them. 23Finally the Lord rejected Israel just as he had warned he would do through all his servants the prophets. Israel was deported from its land to Assyria and remains there to this very day.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 48

48:1 A song, a psalm by the Korahites.

The Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise

in the city of our God, his holy hill.

2It is lofty and pleasing to look at,

a source of joy to the whole earth.

Mount Zion resembles the peaks of Zaphon;

it is the city of the great king.

3God is in its fortresses;

he reveals himself as its defender.

4For look, the kings assemble;

they advance together.

5As soon as they see, they are shocked;

they are terrified, they quickly retreat.

6Look at them shake uncontrollably,

like a woman writhing in childbirth.

7With an east wind

you shatter the large ships.

8We heard about God’s mighty deeds, now we have seen them,

in the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,

in the city of our God.

God makes it permanently secure. (Selah)

9We reflect on your loyal love, O God,

within your temple.

10The praise you receive as far away as the ends of the earth

is worthy of your reputation, O God.

You execute justice!

11Mount Zion rejoices;

the towns of Judah are happy,

because of your acts of judgment.

12Walk around Zion! Encircle it!

Count its towers!

13Consider its defenses!

Walk through its fortresses,

so you can tell the next generation about it!

14For God, our God, is our defender forever!

He guides us!

(NET Bible)

Matt. 23:23–36

23:23 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others. 24Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside may become clean too!

27 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of the bones of the dead and of everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have participated with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31By saying this you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up then the measure of your ancestors! 33You snakes, you offspring of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

34 “For this reason I am sending you prophets and wise men and experts in the law, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35so that on you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, this generation will be held responsible for all these things!

(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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