4:1 א (Alef)
Alas! Gold has lost its luster;
pure gold loses value.
Jewels are scattered
on every street corner.
The precious sons of Zion
were worth their weight in gold—
Alas!—but now they are treated like broken clay pots,
made by a potter.
Even the jackals nurse their young
at their breast,
but my people are cruel,
like ostriches in the wilderness.
The infant’s tongue sticks
to the roof of its mouth due to thirst;
little children beg for bread,
but no one gives them even a morsel.
Those who once feasted on delicacies
are now starving to death in the streets.
Those who grew up wearing expensive clothes
are now dying amid garbage.
The punishment of my people
exceeds that of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment
with no one to help her.
Our consecrated ones were brighter than snow,
whiter than milk;
their bodies more ruddy than corals,
their hair like lapis lazuli.
Now their appearance is darker than soot;
they are not recognized in the streets.
Their skin has shriveled on their bones;
it is dried up, like tree bark.
Those who die by the sword are better off
than those who die of hunger,
those who waste away,
struck down from lack of food.
The hands of tenderhearted women
cooked their own children,
who became their food,
when my people were destroyed.
The Lord fully vented his wrath;
he poured out his fierce anger.
He started a fire in Zion;
it consumed her foundations.
Neither the kings of the earth
nor the people of the lands ever thought
that enemy or foe could enter
the gates of Jerusalem.
But it happened due to the sins of her prophets
and the iniquities of her priests,
who poured out in her midst
the blood of the righteous.
They wander blindly through the streets,
defiled by the blood they shed,
while no one dares
to touch their garments.
People cry to them, “Turn away! You are unclean!
Turn away! Turn away! Don’t touch us!”
So they have fled and wander about;
but the nations say, “They may not stay here any longer.”
The Lord himself has scattered them;
he no longer watches over them.
They did not honor the priests;
they did not show favor to the elders.
Our eyes continually failed us
as we looked in vain for help.
From our watchtowers we watched
for a nation that could not rescue us.
Our enemies hunted us down at every step
so that we could not walk about in our streets.
Our end drew near, our days were numbered,
for our end had come!
Those who pursued us were swifter
than eagles in the sky.
They chased us over the mountains;
they ambushed us in the wilderness.
Our very life breath—the Lord’s anointed king—
was caught in their traps,
of whom we thought,
“Under his protection we will survive among the nations.”
Rejoice and be glad for now, O people of Edom,
who reside in the land of Uz.
But the cup of judgment will pass to you also;
you will get drunk and take off your clothes.
O people of Zion, your punishment will come to an end;
he will not prolong your exile.
But, O people of Edom, he will punish your sin
and reveal your offenses!(NET Bible)
51:1 For the music director, a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love.
Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts.
2Wash away my wrongdoing.
Cleanse me of my sin.
3For I am aware of my rebellious acts;
I am forever conscious of my sin.
4Against you—you above all—I have sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
So you are just when you confront me;
you are right when you condemn me.
5Look, I was guilty of sin from birth,
a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.
6Look, you desire integrity in the inner man;
you want me to possess wisdom.
7Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be pure;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
8Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven.
May the bones you crushed rejoice.
9Hide your face from my sins.
Wipe away all my guilt.
10Create for me a pure heart, O God.
Renew a resolute spirit within me.
11Do not reject me.
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance.
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey.
13Then I will teach rebels your merciful ways,
and sinners will turn to you.
14Rescue me from the guilt of murder, O God, the God who delivers me.
Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your righteousness.
15O Lord, give me the words.
Then my mouth will praise you.
16Certainly you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it;
you do not desire a burnt sacrifice.
17The sacrifice God desires is a humble spirit—
O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject.
18Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her.
Fortify the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then you will accept the proper sacrifices, burnt sacrifices and whole offerings;
then bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.(NET Bible)
2:6 Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 11In him you also were circumcised—not, however, with a circumcision performed by human hands, but by the removal of the fleshly body, that is, through the circumcision done by Christ. 12Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your faith in the power of God who raised him from the dead. 13And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. 14He has destroyed what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. 15Disarming the rulers and authorities, he has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross.(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.