1:1 The following events happened in the days of Ahasuerus. (I am referring to that Ahasuerus who used to rule over 127 provinces extending all the way from India to Ethiopia.) 2In those days, as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa the citadel, 3in the third year of his reign he provided a banquet for all his officials and his servants. The army of Persia and Media was present, as well as the nobles and the officials of the provinces.
4He displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his majestic greatness for a lengthy period of time—180 days, to be exact! 5When those days were completed, the king then provided a seven-day banquet for all the people who were present in Susa the citadel, for those of highest standing to the most lowly. It was held in the court located in the garden of the royal palace. 6The furnishings included white linen and blue curtains hung by cords of the finest linen and purple wool on silver rings, alabaster columns, gold and silver couches displayed on a floor made of valuable stones of alabaster, mother-of-pearl, and mineral stone. 7Drinks were served in golden containers, all of which differed from one another. Royal wine was available in abundance at the king’s expense. 8There were no restrictions on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his supervisors that they should do as everyone so desired. 9Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in King Ahasuerus’ royal palace.
10On the seventh day, as King Ahasuerus was feeling the effects of the wine, he ordered Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven eunuchs who attended him, 11to bring Queen Vashti into the king’s presence wearing her royal high turban. He wanted to show the people and the officials her beauty, for she was very attractive. 12But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s bidding conveyed through the eunuchs. Then the king became extremely angry, and his rage consumed him.
13The king then inquired of the wise men who were discerners of the times—for it was the royal custom to confer with all those who were proficient in laws and legalities. 14Those who were closest to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan. These men were the seven officials of Persia and Media who saw the king on a regular basis and had the most prominent offices in the kingdom. 15The king asked, “By law, what should be done to Queen Vashti in light of the fact that she has not obeyed the instructions of King Ahasuerus conveyed through the eunuchs?”
16Memucan then replied to the king and the officials, “The wrong of Queen Vashti is not against the king alone, but against all the officials and all the people who are throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17For the matter concerning the queen will spread to all the women, leading them to treat their husbands with contempt, saying, ‘When King Ahasuerus gave orders to bring Queen Vashti into his presence, she would not come.’ 18And this very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media who have heard the matter concerning the queen will respond in the same way to all the royal officials, and there will be more than enough contempt and anger. 19If the king is so inclined, let a royal edict go forth from him, and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media that cannot be repealed that Vashti may not come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king convey her royalty to another who is more deserving than she. 20And let the king’s decision that he will enact be disseminated throughout all his kingdom, vast though it is. Then all the women will give honor to their husbands, from the most prominent to the lowly.”
21The matter seemed appropriate to the king and the officials. So the king acted on the advice of Memucan. 22He sent letters throughout all the royal provinces, to each province according to its own script and to each people according to their own language, that every man should be ruling his family and should be speaking the language of his own people.(NET Bible)
53:1 For the music director, according to the machalath style; a well-written song by David.
Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.”
They sin and commit evil deeds;
none of them does what is right.
2God looks down from heaven at the human race,
to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.
3Everyone rejects God;
they are all morally corrupt.
None of them does what is right,
not even one!
4All those who behave wickedly do not understand—
those who devour my people as if they were eating bread
and do not call out to God.
5They are absolutely terrified,
even by things that do not normally cause fear.
For God annihilates those who attack you.
You are able to humiliate them because God has rejected them.
6I wish the deliverance of Israel would come from Zion!
When God restores the well-being of his people,
may Jacob rejoice,
may Israel be happy!(NET Bible)
3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 5So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. 6Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 7You also lived your lives in this way at one time, when you used to live among them. 8But now, put off all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 10and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. 11Here there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.
12Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. 14And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond. 15Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.(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.