Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – August 31, 2019

2 Kings 24:18–25:21

24:18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 19He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as Jehoiakim had done.

20What follows is a record of what happened to Jerusalem and Judah because of the Lord’s anger; he finally threw them out of his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 25:1 So King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and set up camp outside it. They built siege ramps all around it. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. 2The city remained under siege until King Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 3By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city was so severe the residents had no food. 4The enemy broke through the city walls, and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. (The Babylonians were all around the city.) Then they headed for the rift valley. 5But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with him in the rift valley plains of Jericho, and his entire army deserted him. 6They captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where he passed sentence on him. 7Zedekiah’s sons were executed while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon then had Zedekiah’s eyes put out, bound him in bronze chains, and carried him off to Babylon.

8On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard who served the king of Babylon, arrived in Jerusalem. 9He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem, including every large house. 10The whole Babylonian army that came with the captain of the royal guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. 11Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. 12But he left behind some of the poor of the land and gave them fields and vineyards.

13The Babylonians broke the two bronze pillars in the Lord’s temple, as well as the movable stands and the big bronze basin called “The Sea.” They took the bronze to Babylon. 14They also took the pots, shovels, trimming shears, pans, and all the bronze utensils used by the priests. 15The captain of the royal guard took the golden and silver censers and basins. 16The bronze of the items that King Solomon made for the Lord’s temple – including the two pillars, the big bronze basin called “The Sea,” the twelve bronze bulls under “The Sea,” and the movable stands – was too heavy to be weighed. 17Each of the pillars was about twenty-seven feet high. The bronze top of one pillar was about four and a half feet high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its latticework was like it.

18The captain of the royal guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah, the priest who was second in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 19From the city he took a eunuch who was in charge of the soldiers, five of the king’s advisers who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens for military service, and sixty citizens from the people of the land who were discovered in the city. 20Nebuzaradan, captain of the royal guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21The king of Babylon ordered them to be executed at Riblah in the territory of Hamath. So Judah was deported from its land.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 60

60:1 For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; a prayer of David written to instruct others. It was written when he fought against Aram Naharaim and Aram-Zobah. That was when Joab turned back and struck down 12,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

O God, you have rejected us.

You suddenly turned on us in your anger.

Please restore us!

2You made the earth quake; you split it open.

Repair its breaches, for it is ready to fall.

3You have made your people experience hard times;

you have made us drink intoxicating wine.

4You have given your loyal followers a rallying flag,

so that they might seek safety from the bow. (Selah)

5Deliver by your power and answer me,

so that the ones you love may be safe.

6God has spoken in his sanctuary:

“I will triumph! I will parcel out Shechem;

the Valley of Succoth I will measure off.

7Gilead belongs to me,

as does Manasseh!

Ephraim is my helmet,

Judah my royal scepter.

8Moab is my washbasin.

I will make Edom serve me.

I will shout in triumph over Philistia.”

9Who will lead me into the fortified city?

Who will bring me to Edom?

10Have you not rejected us, O God?

O God, you do not go into battle with our armies.

11Give us help against the enemy,

for any help men might offer is futile.

12By God’s power we will conquer;

he will trample down our enemies.

(NET Bible)

Matt. 27:15–31

27:15 During the feast the governor was accustomed to release one prisoner to the crowd, whomever they wanted. 16At that time they had in custody a notorious prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. 17So after they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?” 18(For he knew that they had handed him over because of envy.) 19As he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent a message to him: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man; I have suffered greatly as a result of a dream about him today.” 20But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas!” 22Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?” They all said, “Crucify him!” 23He asked, “Why? What wrong has he done?” But they shouted more insistently, “Crucify him!”

24When Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but that instead a riot was starting, he took some water, washed his hands before the crowd and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. You take care of it yourselves!” 25In reply all the people said, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” 26Then he released Barabbas for them. But after he had Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified. 27Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s residence and gathered the whole cohort around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe around him, 29and after braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand, and kneeling down before him, they mocked him: “Hail, king of the Jews!” 30They spat on him and took the staff and struck him repeatedly on the head. 31When they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

(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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