5:1 It so happened that on the third day Esther put on her royal attire and stood in the inner court of the palace, opposite the king’s quarters. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the palace, opposite the entrance. 2When the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she met with his approval. The king extended to Esther the gold scepter that was in his hand, and Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter.
3The king said to her, “What is on your mind, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even as much as half the kingdom will be given to you.”
4Esther replied, “If the king is so inclined, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for the king.” 5The king replied, “Find Haman quickly so that we can do as Esther requests.”
So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6While at the banquet of wine, the king said to Esther, “What is your request? It shall be given to you. What is your petition? Ask for as much as half the kingdom, and it shall be done.”
7Esther responded, “My request and my petition is this: 8If I have found favor in the king’s sight and if the king is inclined to grant my request and approve my petition, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet that I will prepare for them. At that time I will do as the king wishes.”
9Now Haman went forth that day pleased and very much encouraged. But when Haman saw Mordecai at the king’s gate, and he did not rise or tremble in his presence, Haman was filled with rage toward Mordecai. 10But Haman restrained himself and went on to his home.
He then sent for his friends to join him, along with his wife Zeresh. 11Haman then recounted to them his fabulous wealth, his many sons, and how the king had magnified him and exalted him over the king’s other officials and servants. 12Haman said, “Furthermore, Queen Esther invited only me to accompany the king to the banquet that she prepared. And also tomorrow I am invited along with the king. 13Yet all this fails to satisfy me so long as I have to see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”
14Haman’s wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows 75 feet high built, and in the morning tell the king that Mordecai should be hanged on it. Then go with the king to the banquet contented.”
It seemed like a good idea to Haman, so he had the gallows built.(NET Bible)
57:1 For the music director, according to the al-tashcheth style; a prayer of David, written when he fled from Saul into the cave.
Have mercy on me, O God. Have mercy on me.
For in you I have taken shelter.
In the shadow of your wings I take shelter
until trouble passes.
2I cry out for help to God Most High,
to the God who vindicates me.
3May he send help from heaven and deliver me
from my enemies who hurl insults. (Selah)
May God send his loyal love and faithfulness.
4I am surrounded by lions;
I lie down among those who want to devour me,
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5Rise up above the sky, O God.
May your splendor cover the whole earth.
6They have prepared a net to trap me;
I am discouraged.
They have dug a pit for me.
They will fall into it. (Selah)
7I am determined, O God. I am determined.
I will sing and praise you.
8Awake, my soul!
Awake, O stringed instrument and harp!
I will wake up at dawn.
9I will give you thanks before the nations, O Lord.
I will sing praises to you before foreigners.
10For your loyal love extends beyond the sky,
and your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
11Rise up above the sky, O God.
May your splendor cover the whole earth.(NET Bible)
1 Thess. 2:1–16
2:1 For you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, about our coming to you—it has not proven to be purposeless. 2But although we suffered earlier and were mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of much opposition. 3For the appeal we make does not come from error or impurity or with deceit, 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we declare it, not to please people but God, who examines our hearts. 5For we never appeared with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is our witness— 6nor to seek glory from people, either from you or from others, 7 although we could have imposed our weight as apostles of Christ; instead we became little children among you. Like a nursing mother caring for her own children, 8with such affection for you we were happy to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9For you recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery: By working night and day so as not to impose a burden on any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and so is God, as to how holy and righteous and blameless our conduct was toward you who believe. 11As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his own children, 12exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you live in a way worthy of God who calls you to his own kingdom and his glory. 13And so we too constantly thank God that when you received God’s message that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human message, but as it truly is, God’s message, which is at work among you who believe. 14For you became imitators, brothers and sisters, of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, because you too suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they in fact did from the Jews, 15who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us severely. They are displeasing to God and are opposed to all people 16because they hinder us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they constantly fill up their measure of sins, but wrath has come upon them completely.(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.