52:12 On the tenth 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. 13He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem, including every large house. 14The whole Babylonian army that came with the captain of the royal guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. 15Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took into exile some of the poor, the rest of the people who remained in the city, those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. 16But he left behind some of the poor and gave them fields and vineyards.
17The Babylonians broke the two bronze pillars in the temple of the Lord, as well as the movable stands and the large bronze basin called “The Sea.” They took all the bronze to Babylon. 18They also took the pots, shovels, trimming shears, basins, pans, and all the bronze utensils used by the priests. 19The captain of the royal guard took the gold and silver bowls, censers, basins, pots, lampstands, pans, and vessels. 20The bronze of the items that King Solomon made for the Lord’s temple (including the two pillars, the large bronze basin called “The Sea,” the 12 bronze bulls under “The Sea,” and the movable stands) was too heavy to be weighed. 21Each of the pillars was about 27 feet high, about 18 feet in circumference, three inches thick, and hollow. 22The bronze top of one pillar was about 7½ feet high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate-shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its pomegranate-shaped ornaments was like it. 23There were 96 pomegranate-shaped ornaments on the sides; in all there were 100 pomegranate-shaped ornaments over the latticework that went around it.(NET Bible)
43:1 Vindicate me, O God!
Fight for me against an ungodly nation.
Deliver me from deceitful and evil men.
2For you are the God who shelters me.
Why do you reject me?
Why must I walk around mourning
because my enemies oppress me?
3Reveal your light and your faithfulness.
They will lead me;
they will escort me back to your holy hill,
and to the place where you live.
4Then I will go to the altar of God,
to the God who gives me ecstatic joy,
so that I may express my thanks to you, O God, my God, with a harp.
5Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks
to my God for his saving intervention.(NET Bible)
2:1 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, 2complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. 3Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. 4Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. 5You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had,
6 who, though he existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
7but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave,
by looking like other men,
and by sharing in human nature.
8He humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death
—even death on a cross!
9As a result God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow
—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—
11and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father.(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.