Home > Devotions > Daily Reading – February 8, 2019

1 Samuel 14:1–23 (ESV)

Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

14 One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave at Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men, including Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Within the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. 14 And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land. 15 And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.

16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude was dispersing here and there. 17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count and see who has gone from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. 18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people of Israel. 19 Now while Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. 23 So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven.

Psalm 37 (ESV)

He Will Not Forsake His Saints

37  Of David.

Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!

For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10  In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

11  But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.

12  The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,

13  but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.

14  The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;

15  their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.

16  Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.

17  For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18  The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will remain forever;

19  they are not put to shame in evil times;
in the days of famine they have abundance.

20  But the wicked will perish;
the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21  The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
but the righteous is generous and gives;

22  for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23  The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;

24  though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.

25  I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.

26  He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.

27  Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.

28  For the Lord loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

29  The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.

30  The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.

31  The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.

32  The wicked watches for the righteous
and seeks to put him to death.

33  The Lord will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34  Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35  I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.

36  But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.

37  Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.

38  But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39  The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.

40  The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Ephesians 3:1–13 (ESV)

The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

In general, there is evident in the sermons [of Luther] preached before the posting of the Theses, as far as they have been preserved, a strong emphasis on the Word as the Means of Grace. In the sermon of October 5, 1516, even this sentence is found, “faith surrenders itself captive to the Word of Christ”—surely a strong emphasis on the authority of Scripture. (15)

–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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