Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – August 25, 2019

2 Kings 21:1–18

21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother was Hephzibah. 2He did evil in the sight of the Lord and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole just like King Ahab of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky and worshiped them. 4He built altars in the Lord’s temple, about which the Lord had said, “Jerusalem will be my home.” 5In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky. 6He passed his son through the fire and practiced divination and omen reading. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits, and appointed magicians to supervise it. He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 7He put an idol of Asherah he had made in the temple, about which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home. 8I will not make Israel again leave the land I gave to their ancestors, provided that they carefully obey all I commanded them, the whole law my servant Moses ordered them to obey.” 9But they did not obey, and Manasseh misled them so that they sinned more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed from before the Israelites.

10So the Lord announced through his servants the prophets: 11“King Manasseh of Judah has committed horrible sins. He has sinned more than the Amorites before him and has encouraged Judah to sin by worshiping his disgusting idols. 12So this is what the Lord God of Israel has said, ‘I am about to bring disaster on Jerusalem and Judah. The news will reverberate in the ears of those who hear about it. 13I will destroy Jerusalem the same way I did Samaria and the dynasty of Ahab. I will wipe Jerusalem clean, just as one wipes a plate on both sides. 14I will abandon this last remaining tribe among my people and hand them over to their enemies; they will be plundered and robbed by all their enemies, 15because they have done evil in my sight and have angered me from the time their ancestors left Egypt right up to this very day!’”

16Furthermore Manasseh killed so many innocent people, he stained Jerusalem with their blood from end to end, in addition to encouraging Judah to sin by doing evil in the sight of the Lord.

17The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign and all his accomplishments, as well as the sinful acts he committed, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 18Manasseh passed away and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzzah, and his son Amon replaced him as king.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 54

54:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song by David. It was written when the Ziphites came and informed Saul: “David is hiding with us.”

O God, deliver me by your name!

Vindicate me by your power!

2O God, listen to my prayer!

Pay attention to what I say!

3For foreigners attack me;

ruthless men, who do not respect God, seek my life. (Selah)

4Look, God is my deliverer!

The Lord is among those who support me.

5May those who wait to ambush me be repaid for their evil!

As a demonstration of your faithfulness, destroy them!

6With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you!

I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good!

7Surely he rescues me from all trouble,

and I triumph over my enemies.

(NET Bible)

Matt. 25:31–46

25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 43I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

(NET Bible)

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

Luther was not unaware of the difficulties that arise when parallel passages in the Gospels are compared with each other. So in the Lenten Postil, of 1525, he discusses the order of time in the three temptations of our Lord. He makes this statement: “The order in which these temptations came to Christ cannot be determined with certainty, for the evangelists do not agree. What Matthew places in the middle, Luke places at the end, and what he places in the middle, Matthew places at the end, as though he  placed little importance on the order. If we want to preach about it or discuss it, the order of Luke would be the best, for it makes a fine sequence that the devil first attacks through need and misfortune and, when this does not bring results, follows with fortune and honor. Finally, when this is all in vain, he strikes out with all force with errors, lies, and other spiritual deceits. But because they do not occur thus in our daily experience, but, as it happens, a Christian is tempted now with the last, now with the first, Matthew did not pay much attention to the order, as would be fitting for a preacher. And perhaps Christ was so tempted during the forty days that the devil did not observe any particular order but came today with the one temptation, tomorrow with the other, after ten days again with the first and so on as it happened to take place.” (45)

–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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