Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – August 24, 2019

2 Kings 20:1–21

20:1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord has said, ‘Give your household instructions, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” 2He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3“Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, and how I have carried out your will.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4Isaiah had not yet left the middle courtyard when the Lord’s message came to him, 5“Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David has said: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. The day after tomorrow you will go up to the Lord’s temple. 6I will add fifteen years to your life and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.”’” 7Isaiah ordered, “Get a fig cake.” So they did as he ordered and placed it on the ulcerated sore, and he recovered.

8Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What is the confirming sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord’s temple the day after tomorrow?” 9Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said. Do you want the shadow to move ahead ten steps or to go back ten steps?” 10Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for it to go back ten steps.” 11Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.

12At that time Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he had heard that Hezekiah was ill. 13Hezekiah welcomed them and showed them his whole storehouse, with its silver, gold, spices, and high quality olive oil, as well as his armory and everything in his treasuries. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and in his whole kingdom. 14Isaiah the prophet visited King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say? Where do they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They come from the distant land of Babylon.” 15Isaiah asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” Hezekiah replied, “They have seen everything in my palace. I showed them everything in my treasuries.” 16Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the Lord’s message, 17‘Look, a time is coming when everything in your palace and the things your ancestors have accumulated to this day will be carried away to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. 18‘Some of your very own descendants whom you father will be taken away and will be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 19Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Lord’s message which you have announced is appropriate.” Then he added, “At least there will be peace and stability during my lifetime.”

20The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign and all his accomplishments, including how he built a pool and conduit to bring water into the city, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 21Hezekiah passed away and his son Manasseh replaced him as king.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 53

53:1 For the music director; according to the machalath style; a well-written song by David.

Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.”

They sin and commit evil deeds;

none of them does what is right.

2God looks down from heaven at the human race,

to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.

3Everyone rejects God;

they are all morally corrupt.

None of them does what is right,

not even one!

4All those who behave wickedly do not understand –

those who devour my people as if they were eating bread,

and do not call out to God.

5They are absolutely terrified,

even by things that do not normally cause fear.

For God annihilates those who attack you.

You are able to humiliate them because God has rejected them.

6I wish the deliverance of Israel would come from Zion!

When God restores the well-being of his people,

may Jacob rejoice,

may Israel be happy!

(NET Bible)

Matt. 25:14–30

25:14 “For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work and gained five more. 17In the same way, the one who had two gained two more. 18But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it. 19After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. 20The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22The one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ 23His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 27Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! 28Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. 29For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

(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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