Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – August 21, 2019

2 Kings 18:13–37

18:13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14King Hezekiah of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria, who was at Lachish, “I have violated our treaty. If you leave, I will do whatever you demand.” So the king of Assyria demanded that King Hezekiah of Judah pay three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15Hezekiah gave him all the silver in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace. 16At that time King Hezekiah of Judah stripped the metal overlays from the doors of the Lord’s temple and from the posts which he had plated and gave them to the king of Assyria.

17The king of Assyria sent his commanding general, the chief eunuch, and the chief adviser from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, along with a large army. They went up and arrived at Jerusalem. They went and stood at the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. 18They summoned the king, so Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went out to meet them.

19The chief adviser said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is your source of confidence? 20Your claim to have a strategy and military strength is just empty talk. In whom are you trusting that you would dare to rebel against me? 21Now look, you must be trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed staff. If a man leans for support on it, it punctures his hand and wounds him. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt does to all who trust in him. 22Perhaps you will tell me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God.’ But Hezekiah is the one who eliminated his high places and altars and then told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem.’ 23Now make a deal with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, provided you can find enough riders for them. 24Certainly you will not refuse one of my master’s minor officials and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen. 25Furthermore it was by the command of the Lord that I marched up against this place to destroy it. The Lord told me, ‘March up against this land and destroy it.’”’”

26Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief adviser, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Judahite dialect in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 27But the chief adviser said to them, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. His message is also for the men who sit on the wall, for they will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you.”

28The chief adviser then stood there and called out loudly in the Judahite dialect, “Listen to the message of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for he is not able to rescue you from my hand! 30Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord when he says, “The Lord will certainly rescue us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 31Don’t listen to Hezekiah!’ For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, 32until I come and take you to a land just like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.” 33Have any of the gods of the nations actually rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Indeed, did any gods rescue Samaria from my power? 35Who among all the gods of the lands has rescued their lands from my power? So how can the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’” 36The people were silent and did not respond, for the king had ordered, “Don’t respond to him.”

37Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported to him what the chief adviser had said. (NET Bible)

Ps. 50

50:1 A psalm by Asaph.

El, God, the Lord has spoken,

and summoned the earth to come from the east and west.

2From Zion, the most beautiful of all places,

God has come in splendor.

3“May our God come

and not be silent.”

Consuming fire goes ahead of him

and all around him a storm rages.

4He summons the heavens above,

as well as the earth, so that he might judge his people.

5He says:

“Assemble my covenant people before me,

those who ratified a covenant with me by sacrifice!”

6The heavens declare his fairness,

for God is judge. (Selah)

7He says:

“Listen my people! I am speaking!

Listen Israel! I am accusing you!

I am God, your God!

8I am not condemning you because of your sacrifices,

or because of your burnt sacrifices that you continually offer me.

9I do not need to take a bull from your household

or goats from your sheepfolds.

10For every wild animal in the forest belongs to me,

as well as the cattle that graze on a thousand hills.

11I keep track of every bird in the hills,

and the insects of the field are mine.

12Even if I were hungry, I would not tell you,

for the world and all it contains belong to me.

13Do I eat the flesh of bulls?

Do I drink the blood of goats?

14Present to God a thank-offering!

Repay your vows to the Most High!

15Pray to me when you are in trouble!

I will deliver you, and you will honor me!”

16God says this to the evildoer:

“How can you declare my commands,

and talk about my covenant?

17For you hate instruction

and reject my words.

18When you see a thief, you join him;

you associate with men who are unfaithful to their wives.

19You do damage with words,

and use your tongue to deceive.

20You plot against your brother;

you slander your own brother.

21When you did these things, I was silent,

so you thought I was exactly like you.

But now I will condemn you

and state my case against you!

22Carefully consider this, you who reject God!

Otherwise I will rip you to shreds

and no one will be able to rescue you.

23Whoever presents a thank-offering honors me.

To whoever obeys my commands, I will reveal my power to deliver.”

(NET Bible)

Matt. 24:3–14

24:3 As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4Jesus answered them, “Watch out that no one misleads you. 5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come. 7For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these things are the beginning of birth pains.

9 “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of my name. 10Then many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will appear and deceive many, 12and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the person who endures to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

(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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