2:1 א (Alef)
Alas! The Lord has covered
Daughter Zion with his anger.
He has thrown down the splendor of Israel
from heaven to earth;
he did not protect his temple
when he displayed his anger.
The Lord destroyed mercilessly
all the homes of Jacob’s descendants.
In his anger he tore down
the fortified cities of Daughter Judah.
He knocked to the ground and humiliated
the kingdom and its rulers.
In fierce anger he destroyed
the whole army of Israel.
He withdrew his right hand
as the enemy attacked.
He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob;
it consumed everything around it.
He prepared his bow like an enemy;
his right hand was ready to shoot.
Like a foe he killed everyone,
even our strong young men;
he has poured out his anger like fire
on the tent of Daughter Zion.
The Lord, like an enemy,
He destroyed all her palaces;
he ruined her fortified cities.
He made everyone in Daughter Judah
mourn and lament.
He destroyed his temple as if it were a vineyard;
he destroyed his appointed meeting place.
The Lord has made those in Zion forget
both the festivals and the Sabbaths.
In his fierce anger he has spurned
both king and priest.
The Lord rejected his altar
and abhorred his temple.
He handed over to the enemy
Jerusalem’s palace walls;
the enemy shouted in the Lord’s temple
as if it were a feast day.
The Lord was determined to tear down
Daughter Zion’s wall.
He prepared to knock it down;
he did not withdraw his hand from destroying.
He made the ramparts and fortified walls lament;
together they mourned their ruin.
Her city gates have fallen to the ground;
he smashed to bits the bars that lock her gates.
Her king and princes were taken into exile;
there is no more guidance available.
As for her prophets,
they no longer receive a vision from the Lord.
The elders of Daughter Zion
sit on the ground in silence.
They have thrown dirt on their heads;
they have dressed in sackcloth.
Jerusalem’s young women stare down at the ground.
My eyes are worn out from weeping;
my stomach is in knots.
My heart is poured out on the ground
due to the destruction of my helpless people;
children and infants faint
in the town squares.
Children say to their mothers,
“Where are food and drink?”
They faint like a wounded warrior
in the city squares.
They die slowly
in their mothers’ arms.(NET Bible)
46:1 For the music director, by the Korahites; according to the alamoth style; a song.
God is our strong refuge;
he is truly our helper in times of trouble.
2For this reason we do not fear when the earth shakes,
and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea,
3when its waves crash and foam,
and the mountains shake before the surging sea. (Selah)
4The river’s channels bring joy to the city of God,
the special, holy dwelling place of the Most High.
5God lives within it, it cannot be moved.
God rescues it at the break of dawn.
6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms are overthrown.
God gives a shout, the earth dissolves.
7The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is on our side.
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. (Selah)
8Come, Witness the exploits of the Lord,
who brings devastation to the earth.
9He brings an end to wars throughout the earth.
He shatters the bow and breaks the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10He says, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God.
I will be exalted over the nations! I will be exalted over the earth!”
11The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is on our side!
The God of Jacob is our stronghold! (Selah)(NET Bible)
3:12 Not that I have already attained this—that is, I have not already been perfected—but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, 14with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Therefore let those of us who are “perfect” embrace this point of view. If you think otherwise, God will reveal to you the error of your ways. 16Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained.
17Be imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and watch carefully those who are living this way, just as you have us as an example. 18For many live, about whom I have often told you, and now, with tears, I tell you that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, they exult in their shame, and they think about earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven—and we also eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself.
4:1 So then, my brothers and sisters, dear friends whom I long to see, my joy and crown, stand in the Lord in this way, my dear friends!(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.