5:1 O Lord, reflect on what has happened to us;
consider and look at our disgrace.
2Our inheritance is turned over to strangers;
foreigners now occupy our homes.
3We have become fatherless orphans;
our mothers have become widows.
4We must pay money for our own water;
we must buy our own wood at a steep price.
5We are pursued—they are breathing down our necks;
we are weary and have no rest.
6We have submitted to Egypt and Assyria
in order to buy food to eat.
7Our forefathers sinned and are dead,
but we suffer their punishment.
8Slaves rule over us;
there is no one to rescue us from their power.
9At the risk of our lives we get our food
because robbers lurk in the wilderness.
10Our skin is as hot as an oven
due to a fever from hunger.
11They raped women in Zion,
virgins in the towns of Judah.
12Princes were hung by their hands;
elders were mistreated.
13The young men perform menial labor;
boys stagger from their labor.
14The elders are gone from the city gate;
the young men have stopped playing their music.
15Our hearts no longer have any joy;
our dancing is turned to mourning.
16The crown has fallen from our head;
woe to us, for we have sinned!
17Because of this, our hearts are sick;
because of these things, we can hardly see through our tears.
18For wild animals are prowling over Mount Zion,
which lies desolate.
19But you, O Lord, reign forever;
your throne endures from generation to generation.
20Why do you keep on forgetting us?
Why do you forsake us so long?
21Bring us back to yourself, O Lord, so that we may return to you;
renew our life as in days before,
22unless you have utterly rejected us
and are angry with us beyond measure.(NET Bible)
52:1 For the music director, a well-written song by David. It was written when Doeg the Edomite went and informed Saul: “David has arrived at the home of Ahimelech.”
Why do you boast about your evil plans, O powerful man?
God’s loyal love protects me all day long.
2Your tongue carries out your destructive plans;
it is as effective as a sharp razor, O deceiver.
3You love evil more than good,
lies more than speaking the truth. (Selah)
4You love to use all the words that destroy,
and the tongue that deceives.
5Yet God will make you a permanent heap of ruins.
He will scoop you up and remove you from your home;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. (Selah)
6When the godly see this, they will be filled with awe,
and will mock the evildoer, saying:
7“Look, here is the man who would not make God his protector.
He trusted in his great wealth
and was confident about his plans to destroy others.”
8But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God;
I continually trust in God’s loyal love.
9I will continually thank you when you execute judgment;
I will rely on you, for your loyal followers know you are good.(NET Bible)
2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days— 17these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! 18Let no one who delights in false humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. 19He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
20If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? 21“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” 22These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. 23Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body—a wisdom with no true value—they in reality result in fleshly indulgence.(NET Bible)
In his Enarratio Capitis Noni Esaiae, of 1543-44 (printed 1546), [Luther] confesses: “ I am much displeased with myself and I hate myself because I know that all that Scripture says concerning Christ is true, that there is nothing besides it that can be greater, more important, sweeter or joyful, and that it should intoxicate me with the highest joy because I see that Scripture is consonant in all and through all and agrees with itself in such a measure that it is impossible to doubt the truth and certainty of such a weighty matter in any detail—and yet I am hindered by the malice of my esh and I am ‘bound by the law of sin’ that I cannot let this favor permeate into all my limbs and bones and even into my marrow as I should like.”
On January 17, 1546, Luther preached his last sermon in Wittenberg. It is necessary to read that sermon, in which he speaks more disparagingly of reason than ever before, to see how at the very end of his life he clung to the literalness of Scripture as the only authority in matters of faith. (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.