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2 Chron. 28:5–21

28:5 The Lord his God handed him over to the king of Syria. The Syrians defeated him and deported many captives to Damascus. He was also handed over to the king of Israel, who thoroughly defeated him. 6In one day Pekah son of Remaliah killed 120,000 warriors in Judah, because they had abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors. 7Zikri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed the king’s son Maaseiah, Azrikam, the supervisor of the palace, and Elkanah, the king’s second-in-command. 8The Israelites seized from their brothers 200,000 wives, sons, and daughters. They also carried off a huge amount of plunder and took it back to Samaria.

9Oded, a prophet of the Lord, was there. He went to meet the army as they arrived in Samaria and said to them: “Look, because the Lord God of your ancestors was angry with Judah he handed them over to you. You have killed them so mercilessly that God has taken notice. 10And now you are planning to enslave the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Yet are you not also guilty before the Lord your God? 11Now listen to me! Send back those you have seized from your brothers, for the Lord is very angry at you!” 12So some of the Ephraimite family leaders, Azariah son of Jehochanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jechizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai confronted those returning from the battle. 13They said to them, “Don’t bring those captives here! Are you planning on making us even more sinful and guilty before the Lord? Our guilt is already great and the Lord is very angry at Israel.” 14So the soldiers released the captives and the plunder before the officials and the entire assembly. 15Men were assigned to take the prisoners and find clothes among the plunder for those who were naked. So they clothed them, supplied them with sandals, gave them food and drink, and provided them with oil to rub on their skin. They put the ones who couldn’t walk on donkeys. They brought them back to their brothers at Jericho, the city of date palm trees, and then returned to Samaria.

16At that time King Ahaz asked the king of Assyria for help. 17The Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah and carried off captives. 18The Philistines had raided the cities of Judah in the foothills and the Negev. They captured and settled in Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco and its surrounding villages, Timnah and its surrounding villages, and Gimzo and its surrounding villages. 19The Lord humiliated Judah because of King Ahaz of Israel, for he encouraged Judah to sin and was very unfaithful to the Lord. 20King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came, but he gave him more trouble than support. 21Ahaz gathered riches from the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and the officials and gave them to the king of Assyria, but that did not help.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 100

100:1 A thanksgiving psalm.

Shout out praises to the Lord, all the earth!

2Worship the Lord with joy!

Enter his presence with joyful singing!

3Acknowledge that the Lord is God!

He made us and we belong to him;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

and his courts with praise!

Give him thanks!

Praise his name!

5For the Lord is good.

His loyal love endures,

and he is faithful through all generations.

(NET Bible)

Luke 13:6–17

13:6 Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7So he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, ‘For three years now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue to deplete the soil?’ 8But the worker answered him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. 9Then if it bears fruit next year, very well, but if not, you can cut it down.’”

10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, 11and a woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten herself up completely. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her to him and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” 13Then he placed his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14But the president of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, “There are six days on which work should be done! So come and be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from its stall, and lead it to water? 16Then shouldn’t this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be released from this imprisonment on the Sabbath day?” 17When he said this all his adversaries were humiliated, but the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things he was doing.

(NET Bible)

This word of Luther spoken at Worms has o en, unfortunately, been misconstrued. It has been inferred from it that Luther here demanded an unrestricted liberty of thought and conscience, according to which there is no such thing as an objective authority outside of ourselves, and man is responsible to no one but himself, his own subjective, arbitrary conscience. It is not to be denied that natural man would find his greatest delight in such an absolute freedom of thought and conscience, just as such freedom sooner or later always leads to a dissolution of morality and religion but never serves to fortify the same. Such unrestricted individualism, centering only in itself, divorced from all objective authority, was, perhaps, advocated by Italian humanism but never by Luther. This needs no further proof even though historians like Harnack saw fit to write: “ The Reformation protested against all formal, external authority in matters of religion. Thus Luther also protested against the authority of the letter of the Bible.” Whoever appeals to the confession of Luther at Worms in support of this deliberately closes his eyes to the fact that Luther expressly declared, “my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” (19)

–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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