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Esther 3

3:1 Some time later King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, exalting him and setting his position above that of all the officials who were with him. 2As a result, all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate were bowing and paying homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded. However, Mordecai did not bow, nor did he pay him homage.

3Then the servants of the king who were at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why are you violating the king’s commandment?” 4And after they had spoken to him day after day without his paying any attention to them, they informed Haman to see whether this attitude on Mordecai’s part would be permitted. Furthermore, he had disclosed to them that he was a Jew.

5When Haman saw that Mordecai was not bowing or paying homage to him, he was filled with rage. 6But the thought of striking out against Mordecai alone was repugnant to him, for he had been informed of the identity of Mordecai’s people. So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews (that is, the people of Mordecai) who were in all the kingdom of Ahasuerus.

7In the first month (that is, the month of Nisan), in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus’ reign, pur (that is, the lot) was cast before Haman in order to determine a day and a month. It turned out to be the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar).

8Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a particular people that is dispersed and spread among the inhabitants throughout all the provinces of your kingdom whose laws differ from those of all other peoples. Furthermore, they do not observe the king’s laws. It is not appropriate for the king to provide a haven for them. 9If the king is so inclined, let an edict be issued to destroy them. I will pay 10,000 talents of silver to be conveyed to the king’s treasuries for the officials who carry out this business.”

10So the king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, who was hostile toward the Jews. 11The king replied to Haman, “Keep your money, and do with those people whatever you wish.”

12So the royal scribes were summoned in the first month, on the thirteenth day of the month. Everything Haman commanded was written to the king’s satraps and governors who were in every province and to the officials of every people, province by province according to its script and people by people according to their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written and sealed with the king’s signet ring. 13Letters were sent by the runners to all the king’s provinces stating that they should destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews, from youth to elderly, both women and children, on a particular day, namely the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar), and to loot and plunder their possessions. 14A copy of this edict was to be presented as law throughout every province; it was to be made known to all the inhabitants, so that they would be prepared for this day. 15The messengers scurried forth with the king’s order. The edict was issued in Susa the citadel. While the king and Haman sat down to drink, the city of Susa was in an uproar.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 55

55:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song by David.

Listen, O God, to my prayer.

Do not ignore my appeal for mercy.

2Pay attention to me and answer me.

I am so upset and distressed, I am beside myself,

3because of what the enemy says,

and because of how the wicked pressure me,

for they hurl trouble down upon me

and angrily attack me.

4My heart beats violently within me;

the horrors of death overcome me.

5Fear and panic overpower me;

terror overwhelms me.

6I say, “I wish I had wings like a dove.

I would fly away and settle in a safe place.

7Look, I will escape to a distant place;

I will stay in the wilderness. (Selah)

8I will hurry off to a place that is safe

from the strong wind and the gale.”

9Confuse them, O Lord.

Frustrate their plans.

For I see violence and conflict in the city.

10Day and night they walk around on its walls,

while wickedness and destruction are within it.

11Disaster is within it;

violence and deceit do not depart from its public square.

12Indeed, it is not an enemy who insults me,

or else I could bear it;

it is not one who hates me who arrogantly taunts me,

or else I could hide from him.

13But it is you, a man like me,

my close friend in whom I confided.

14We would share personal thoughts with each other;

in God’s temple we would walk together among the crowd.

15May death destroy them.

May they go down alive into Sheol.

For evil is in their dwelling place and in their midst.

16As for me, I will call out to God,

and the Lord will deliver me.

17During the evening, morning, and noontime

I will lament and moan,

and he will hear me.

18He will rescue me and protect me from those who attack me,

even though they greatly outnumber me.

19God, the one who has reigned as king from long ago,

will hear and humiliate them. (Selah)

They refuse to change,

and do not fear God.

20He attacks his friends;

he breaks his solemn promises to them.

21His words are as smooth as butter,

but he harbors animosity in his heart.

His words seem softer than oil,

but they are really like sharp swords.

22Throw your burden upon the Lord,

and he will sustain you.

He will never allow the godly to be shaken.

23But you, O God, will bring them down to the deep Pit.

Violent and deceitful people will not live even half a normal life-span.

But as for me, I trust in you.

(NET Bible)

Col. 4:7–18

4:7 Tychicus, a dear brother, faithful minister, and fellow slave in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. 8I sent him to you for this very purpose that you may know how we are doing and that he may encourage your hearts. 9I sent him with Onesimus, the faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.

10Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him). 11And Jesus who is called Justus also sends greetings. In terms of Jewish converts, these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12Epaphras, who is one of you and a slave of Christ, greets you. He is always struggling in prayer on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13For I can testify that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14Our dear friend Luke the physician and Demas greet you. 15Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters who are in Laodicea and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. 16And after you have read this letter, have it read to the church of Laodicea. In turn, read the letter from Laodicea as well. 17And tell Archippus, “See to it that you complete the ministry you received in the Lord.”

18I, Paul, write this greeting by my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

(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.

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