51:24 “But I will repay Babylon
and all who live in Babylonia
for all the wicked things they did in Zion
right before the eyes of you Judeans,”
says the Lord.
25The Lord says, “Beware! I am opposed to you, Babylon!
You are like a destructive mountain that destroys all the earth.
I will unleash my power against you;
I will roll you off the cliffs and make you like a burned-out mountain.
26No one will use any of your stones as a cornerstone;
no one will use any of them in the foundation of his house.
For you will lie desolate forever,”
says the Lord.
27“Raise up battle flags throughout the lands.
Sound the trumpets calling the nations to do battle.
Prepare the nations to do battle against Babylonia.
Call for these kingdoms to attack her:
Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz.
Appoint a commander to lead the attack.
Send horses against her like a swarm of locusts.
28Prepare the nations to do battle against her.
Prepare the kings of the Medes.
Prepare their governors and all their leaders.
Prepare all the countries they rule to do battle against her.
29The earth will tremble and writhe in agony;
for the Lord will carry out his plan.
He plans to make the land of Babylonia
a wasteland where no one lives.
30The soldiers of Babylonia will stop fighting.
They will remain in their fortified cities.
They will lose their strength to do battle.
They will be as frightened as women.
The houses in her cities will be set on fire.
The gates of her cities will be broken down.
31One runner after another will come to the king of Babylon;
one messenger after another will come bringing news.
They will bring news to the king of Babylon
that his whole city has been captured.
32They will report that the fords have been captured,
the reed marshes have been burned,
the soldiers are terrified.
33For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says,
‘Fair Babylon will be like a threshing floor
that has been trampled flat for harvest.
The time for her to be cut down and harvested
will come very soon.’
34“King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
devoured me and drove my people out.
Like a monster from the deep he swallowed me.
He filled his belly with my riches;
he made me an empty dish.
He completely cleaned me out.”
35The person who lives in Zion says,
“May Babylon pay for the violence done to me and to my relatives.”
“May those living in Babylonia pay for the bloodshed of my people.”
36Therefore the Lord says,
“I will stand up for your cause.
I will pay the Babylonians back for what they have done to you.
I will dry up their sea;
I will make their springs run dry.
37Babylon will become a heap of ruins.
Jackals will make their home there.
It will become an object of horror and of hissing scorn,
a place where no one lives.
38The Babylonians are all like lions roaring for prey;
they are like lion cubs growling for something to eat.
39When their appetites are all stirred up,
I will set out a banquet for them.
I will make them drunk
so that they will pass out,
they will fall asleep forever,
they will never wake up,”
says the Lord.
40“I will lead them off to be slaughtered
like lambs, rams, and male goats.
41“See how Babylon has been captured!
See how the pride of the whole earth has been taken!
See what an object of horror
Babylon has become among the nations!
42The sea has swept over Babylon.
She has been covered by a multitude of its waves.
43The towns of Babylonia have become heaps of ruins.
She has become a dry and barren desert.
No one lives in those towns any more;
no one even passes through them.
44I will punish the god Bel in Babylon.
I will make him spit out what he has swallowed.
The nations will not come streaming to him any longer.
Indeed, the walls of Babylon will fall.
45“Get out of Babylon, my people!
Flee to save your lives
from the fierce anger of the Lord!
46Do not lose your courage or become afraid
because of the reports that are heard in the land.
For a report will come in one year.
Another report will follow it in the next.
There will be violence in the land
with ruler fighting against ruler.
47“So the time will certainly come
when I will punish the idols of Babylon.
Her whole land will be put to shame.
All her mortally wounded will collapse in her midst.
48Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
will sing for joy over Babylon.
For destroyers from the north will attack it,”
says the Lord.
49“Babylon must fall
because of the Israelites she has killed,
just as the earth’s mortally wounded fell
because of Babylon.
50You who have escaped the sword,
go, do not delay.
Remember the Lord in a faraway land.
Think about Jerusalem.
51‘We are ashamed because we have been insulted.
Our faces show our disgrace.
For foreigners have invaded
the holy rooms in the Lord’s temple.’
52Yes, but the time will certainly come,” says the Lord,
“when I will punish her idols.
Throughout her land the mortally wounded will groan.
53Even if Babylon climbs high into the sky
and fortifies her elevated stronghold,
I will send destroyers against her,”
says the Lord.
54Cries of anguish will come from Babylon,
the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.
55For the Lord is ready to destroy Babylon,
and put an end to her loud noise.
Their waves will roar like turbulent waters.
They will make a deafening noise.
56For a destroyer is attacking Babylon.
Her warriors will be captured;
their bows will be broken.
For the Lord is a God who punishes;
he pays back in full.
57“I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
along with her governors, leaders, and warriors.
They will fall asleep forever and never wake up,”
says the King whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
58This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says,
“Babylon’s thick wall will be completely demolished.
Her high gates will be set on fire.
The peoples strive for what does not satisfy.
The nations grow weary trying to get what will be destroyed.”(NET Bible)
40:1 For the music director, a psalm of David.
I relied completely on the Lord,
and he turned toward me
and heard my cry for help.
2He lifted me out of the watery pit,
out of the slimy mud.
He placed my feet on a rock
and gave me secure footing.
3He gave me reason to sing a new song,
praising our God.
May many see what God has done,
so that they might swear allegiance to him and trust in the Lord.
4How blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord
and does not seek help from the proud or from liars.
5O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things;
you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us.
No one can thwart you.
I want to declare your deeds and talk about them,
but they are too numerous to recount.
6Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not your primary concern.
You make that quite clear to me.
You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings.
7Then I say,
“Look, I come!
What is written in the scroll pertains to me.
8I want to do what pleases you, my God.
Your law dominates my thoughts.”
9I have told the great assembly about your justice.
Look, I spare no words.
O Lord, you know this is true.
10I have not failed to tell about your justice;
I spoke about your reliability and deliverance.
I have not neglected to tell the great assembly about your loyal love and faithfulness.
11O Lord, you do not withhold your compassion from me.
May your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me!
12For innumerable dangers surround me.
My sins overtake me
so I am unable to see;
they outnumber the hairs of my head
so my strength fails me.
13Please be willing, O Lord, to rescue me!
O Lord, hurry and help me!
14May those who are trying to snatch away my life
be totally embarrassed and ashamed.
May those who want to harm me
be turned back and ashamed.
15May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be humiliated and disgraced.
16May all those who seek you be happy and rejoice in you.
May those who love to experience your deliverance say continually,
“May the Lord be praised!”
17I am oppressed and needy.
May the Lord pay attention to me.
You are my helper and my deliverer.
O my God, do not delay.(NET Bible)
6:5 Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ, 6not like those who do their work only when someone is watching—as people-pleasers—but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. 7Obey with enthusiasm, as though serving the Lord and not people, 8because you know that each person, whether slave or free, if he does something good, this will be rewarded by the Lord.
9Masters, treat your slaves the same way, giving up the use of threats, because you know that both you and they have the same master in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
10Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 15by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, 16and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). 18With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and petitions for all the saints. 19Pray for me also, that I may be given the right words when I begin to speak—that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.
21Tychicus, my dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make everything known to you, so that you too may know about my circumstances, how I am doing. 22I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.
23Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (NET Bible)
In 1538 and 1539 Luther wrote his powerful book Von den Conciliis un Kirchen and published it in 1539. In this he says: “If anyone would see still farther that the dear holy fathers were men, let him read the little book on the four chapters to the Corinthians by Dr. Pommer, our pastor. From it we must learn that St. Augustine was right when he said … that he will not believe any of the fathers unless he has the Scriptures on his side. Dear Lord God, if the Christian faith were to depend on men and be founded in human words, what were the need for the Holy Scriptures, or why has God given them? Let us draw them under the bench and lay the councils and the fathers on the desk instead! Or if the fathers were not men, how shall we men be saved? If they were men, they must also have thought, spoken, and acted sometimes as we think, speak, and act, and then said, like us, the prayer, ‘Forgive us our trespasses,’ especially since they have not the promise of the Spirit, like the apostles, and must be pupils of the apostles … When they build without the Scriptures, i.e., without gold, silver, precious stones, they have to build wood, straw, and hay; therefore we must follow the judgment of St. Paul and know how to distinguish between gold and wood, silver and straw, precious stones and hay.” (36)
–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.