1:1 א (Alef)
Alas! The city once full of people
now sits all alone!
The prominent lady among the nations
has become a widow!
The princess who once ruled the provinces
has become a forced laborer!
She weeps bitterly at night;
tears stream down her cheeks.
She has no one to comfort her
among all her lovers.
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.
Judah has departed into exile
under affliction and harsh oppression.
She lives among the nations;
she has found no resting place.
All who pursued her overtook her
in narrow straits.
The roads to Zion mourn
because no one travels to the festivals.
All her city gates are deserted;
her priests groan.
Her virgins grieve;
she is in bitter anguish!
Her foes subjugated her;
her enemies are at ease.
For the Lord afflicted her
because of her many acts of rebellion.
Her children went away
captive before the enemy.
All of Daughter Zion’s splendor
Her leaders became like deer;
they found no pasture,
so they were too exhausted to escape
from the hunter.
when she became a poor homeless person,
all her treasures
that she owned in days of old.
When her people fell into an enemy’s grip,
none of her allies came to her rescue.
Her enemies gloated over her;
they sneered at her downfall.
Jerusalem committed terrible sin;
therefore she became an object of scorn.
All who admired her have despised her
because they have seen her nakedness.
She groans aloud
and turns away in shame.
Her menstrual flow has soiled her clothing;
she did not consider the consequences of her sin.
Her demise was astonishing,
and there was no one to comfort her.
She cried, “Look, O Lord, on my affliction
because my enemy boasts!”
An enemy grabbed
all her valuables.
Indeed she watched in horror as Gentiles
invaded her holy temple—
those whom you had commanded:
“They must not enter your assembly place.”
All her people groaned
as they searched for a morsel of bread.
They exchanged their valuables
for just enough food
to stay alive.
“Look, O Lord! Consider
that I have become worthless!”
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by on the road?
Look and see!
Is there any pain like mine?
The Lord has afflicted me,
he has inflicted it on me
when he burned with anger.
He sent down fire
into my bones, and it overcame them.
He spread out a trapper’s net for my feet;
he made me turn back.
He has made me desolate;
I am faint all day long.
My sins are bound around my neck like a yoke;
they are fastened together by his hand.
He has placed his yoke on my neck;
he has sapped my strength.
The Lord has handed me over
to those whom I cannot resist.
He rounded up all my mighty ones;
the Lord did this in my midst.
He summoned an assembly against me
to shatter my young men.
The Lord has stomped like grapes
the virgin daughter, Judah.
I weep because of these things;
my eyes flow with tears.
For there is no one in sight who can comfort me
or encourage me.
My children are desolated
because an enemy has prevailed.
Zion spread out her hands,
but there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob;
his neighbors have become his enemies.
Jerusalem has become
like filthy garbage in their midst.
The Lord is right to judge me!
Yes, I rebelled against his commands.
Please listen, all you nations,
and look at my suffering!
My young women and men
have gone into exile.
I called for my lovers,
but they had deceived me.
My priests and my elders
perished in the city.
Truly they had searched for food
to keep themselves alive.
Look, O Lord! I am distressed;
my stomach is in knots!
My heart is pounding inside me.
Yes, I was terribly rebellious!
Out in the street the sword bereaves a mother of her children;
inside the house death is present.
They have heard that I groan,
yet there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my trouble;
they are glad that you have brought it about.
Bring about the day of judgment that you promised
so that they may end up like me!
Let all their wickedness come before you;
just as you have afflicted me
because of all my acts of rebellion.
For my groans are many,
and my heart is sick with sorrow.(NET Bible)
45:1 For the music director, according to the tune of “Lilies”; by the Korahites, a well-written poem, a love song.
My heart is stirred by a beautiful song.
I say, “I have composed this special song for the king;
my tongue is as skilled as the stylus of an experienced scribe.”
2You are the most handsome of all men.
You speak in an impressive and fitting manner.
For this reason God grants you continual blessings.
3Strap your sword to your thigh, O warrior.
Appear in your majestic splendor.
4Appear in your majesty and be victorious.
Ride forth for the sake of what is right,
on behalf of justice.
Then your right hand will accomplish mighty acts.
5Your arrows are sharp
and penetrate the hearts of the king’s enemies.
Nations fall at your feet.
6Your throne, O God, is permanent.
The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice.
7You love justice and hate evil.
For this reason God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of joy, elevating you above your companions.
8All your garments are perfumed with myrrh, aloes, and cassia.
From the luxurious palaces comes the music of stringed instruments that makes you happy.
9Princesses are among your honored women.
Your bride stands at your right hand, wearing jewelry made with gold from Ophir.
10Listen, O princess.
Observe and pay attention!
Forget your homeland and your family.
11Then the king will be attracted by your beauty.
After all, he is your master. Submit to him.
12Rich people from Tyre
will seek your favor by bringing a gift.
13The princess looks absolutely magnificent,
decked out in pearls and clothed in a brocade trimmed with gold.
14In embroidered robes she is escorted to the king.
Her attendants, the maidens of honor who follow her,
are led before you.
15They are bubbling with joy as they walk in procession
and enter the royal palace.
16Your sons will carry on the dynasty of your ancestors;
you will make them princes throughout the land.
17I will proclaim your greatness through the coming years,
then the nations will praise you forever.(NET Bible)
3:1 Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! To write this again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.
2Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! 3For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials 4—though mine, too, are significant. If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, I have more: 5I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. 6In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless. 7But these assets I have come to regard as liabilities because of Christ. 8More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things —indeed, I regard them as dung!—that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness—a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness. 10My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.(NET Bible)
Here (II Samuel 23:2, ‘The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue’) it becomes too marvelous and soars too high for me. God grant that I may at least partially attain to it, for he here begins to speak of the Holy Triune essence of the divine Godhead. First he mentions the Holy Ghost; to Him he ascribes all that the prophets foretell. It is these and similar statements to which St. Peter refers in the II Epistle 1:21, ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men, etc … ’Therefore we sing in the Creed, concerning the Holy Ghost, ‘Who spake by the Prophets.’ So we refer all of Scripture to the Holy Ghost.” In the same way he refers to Dan. 7:13, 14. “So it is the Spirit who speaks through Daniel, for such secret thing no one could know if the Holy Ghost had not revealed it through the prophets as we have frequently said before, that Holy Scripture has been spoken by the Holy Ghost.” (36–37)
–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.