52:24 The captain of the royal guard took Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest who was second in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 25From the city he took an official who was in charge of the soldiers, seven of the king’s advisers who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens for military service, and 60 citizens who were discovered in the middle of the city. 26Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27The king of Babylon ordered them to be executed at Riblah in the territory of Hamath.
So Judah was taken into exile away from its land. 28Here is the official record of the number of people Nebuchadnezzar carried into exile: In the seventh year, 3,023 Jews; 29in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year, 832 people from Jerusalem; 30in Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, carried into exile 745 Judeans. In all, 4,600 people went into exile.
31In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, King Evil Merodach of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 32He spoke kindly to him and gave him a more prestigious position than the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 33Jehoiachin took off his prison clothes and ate daily in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. (NET Bible)
44:1 For the music director, by the Korahites; a well-written song.
O God, we have clearly heard;
our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
in ancient times.
2You, by your power, defeated nations and settled our fathers on their land;
you crushed the people living there and enabled our ancestors to occupy it.
3For they did not conquer the land by their swords,
and they did not prevail by their strength,
but rather by your power, strength, and good favor,
for you were partial to them.
4You are my king, O God.
Decree Jacob’s deliverance.
5By your power we will drive back our enemies;
by your strength we will trample down our foes.
6For I do not trust in my bow,
and I do not prevail by my sword.
7For you deliver us from our enemies;
you humiliate those who hate us.
8In God we boast all day long,
and we will continually give thanks to your name. (Selah)
9But you rejected and embarrassed us.
You did not go into battle with our armies.
10You made us retreat from the enemy.
Those who hate us take whatever they want from us.
11You handed us over like sheep to be eaten;
you scattered us among the nations.
12You sold your people for a pittance;
you did not ask a high price for them.
13You made us an object of disdain to our neighbors;
those who live on our borders taunt and insult us.
14You made us an object of ridicule among the nations;
foreigners treat us with contempt.
15All day long I feel humiliated
and am overwhelmed with shame,
16before the vindictive enemy
who ridicules and insults me.
17All this has happened to us, even though we have not rejected you
or violated your covenant with us.
18We have not been unfaithful,
nor have we disobeyed your commands.
19Yet you have battered us, leaving us a heap of ruins overrun by wild dogs;
you have covered us with darkness.
20If we had rejected our God,
and spread out our hands in prayer to another god,
21would not God discover it,
for he knows a person’s secret thoughts?
22Yet because of you we are killed all day long;
we are treated like sheep at the slaughtering block.
23Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
Wake up! Do not reject us forever.
24Why do you look the other way,
and ignore the way we are oppressed and mistreated?
25For we lie in the dirt,
with our bellies pressed to the ground.
26Rise up and help us.
Rescue us because of your loyal love.(NET Bible)
2:12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, 13for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God. 14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world 16by holding on to the word of life so that on the day of Christ I will have a reason to boast: that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice together with all of you. 18And in the same way you also should be glad and rejoice together with me.
19Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I, too, may be encouraged by hearing news about you. 20For there is no one here like him who will readily demonstrate his deep concern for you. 21Others are busy with their own concerns, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know his qualifications that like a son working with his father, he served with me in advancing the gospel. 23So I hope to send him as soon as I know more about my situation, 24though I am confident in the Lord that I, too, will be coming to see you soon.
25But for now I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. For he is my brother, coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to me in my need. 26Indeed, he greatly missed all of you and was distressed because you heard that he had been ill. 27In fact he became so ill that he nearly died. But God showed mercy to him—and not to him only, but also to me—so that I would not have grief on top of grief. 28Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you can rejoice and I can be free from anxiety. 29So welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30since it was because of the work of Christ that he almost died. He risked his life so that he could make up for your inability to serve me.(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.