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Job 20 (ESV)

Zophar Speaks: The Wicked Will Suffer

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

“Therefore my thoughts answer me,
because of my haste within me.
I hear censure that insults me,
and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
Do you not know this from of old,
since man was placed on earth,
that the exulting of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
Though his height mount up to the heavens,
and his head reach to the clouds,
he will perish forever like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
He will fly away like a dream and not be found;
he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
The eye that saw him will see him no more,
nor will his place any more behold him.
10  His children will seek the favor of the poor,
and his hands will give back his wealth.
11  His bones are full of his youthful vigor,
but it will lie down with him in the dust.

12  “Though evil is sweet in his mouth,
though he hides it under his tongue,
13  though he is loath to let it go
and holds it in his mouth,
14  yet his food is turned in his stomach;
it is the venom of cobras within him.
15  He swallows down riches and vomits them up again;
God casts them out of his belly.
16  He will suck the poison of cobras;
the tongue of a viper will kill him.
17  He will not look upon the rivers,
the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18  He will give back the fruit of his toil
and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of his trading
he will get no enjoyment.
19  For he has crushed and abandoned the poor;
he has seized a house that he did not build.

20  “Because he knew no contentment in his belly,
he will not let anything in which he delights escape him.
21  There was nothing left after he had eaten;
therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22  In the fullness of his sufficiency he will be in distress;
the hand of everyone in misery will come against him.
23  To fill his belly to the full,
God will send his burning anger against him
and rain it upon him into his body.
24  He will flee from an iron weapon;
a bronze arrow will strike him through.
25  It is drawn forth and comes out of his body;
the glittering point comes out of his gallbladder;
terrors come upon him.
26  Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures;
a fire not fanned will devour him;
what is left in his tent will be consumed.
27  The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against him.
28  The possessions of his house will be carried away,
dragged off in the day of God’s wrath.
29  This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
the heritage decreed for him by God.”

Psalm 105:1–22 (ESV)

Tell of All His Wondrous Works

105 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!

Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!

Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!

Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,

O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.

He remembers his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,

10  which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

11  saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as your portion for an inheritance.”

12  When they were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,

13  wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,

14  he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,

15  saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”

16  When he summoned a famine on the land
and broke all supply of bread,

17  he had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.

18  His feet were hurt with fetters;
his neck was put in a collar of iron;

19  until what he had said came to pass,
the word of the Lord tested him.

20  The king sent and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free;

21  he made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions,

22  to bind his princes at his pleasure
and to teach his elders wisdom.

Luke 12:48–13:5 (ESV)

48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Not Peace, but Division

49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Interpreting the Time

54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Settle with Your Accuser

57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

Repent or Perish

13 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

[Luther] had previously expressed himself in a similar fashion in his sermons on Genesis of the year 1527. In these he said: “I have often said that anyone who wishes to study Holy Scripture shall see to it that he sticks to the simple meaning of the words, as far as possible, and does not depart from them unless he be compelled to do so by some article of the faith that would demand another meaning than the literal one. For we must be sure that there is no plainer speech on earth than that which God has spoken. Therefore, when Moses writes that God in six days created heaven and earth and all that therein is, let it so remain that there were six days, and you dare not find an explanation that six days were one day. Give the Holy Ghost the honor of being wiser that yourself, for you should so deal with Scripture that you believe that God Himself is speaking. Since it is God who is speaking, it is not fitting frivolously to twist His words to mean what you want them to mean, unless necessity should compel a departure from their literal meaning, namely when faith does not permit the literal meaning.” (51)

–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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