7:1 So the king and Haman came to dine with Queen Esther. 2On the second day of the banquet of wine the king asked Esther, “What is your request, Queen Esther? It shall be granted to you. And what is your petition? Ask for up to half the kingdom, and it shall be done.”
3Queen Esther replied, “If I have met with your approval, O king, and if the king is so inclined, grant me my life as my request, and my people as my petition. 4For we have been sold—both I and my people—to destruction and to slaughter and to annihilation. If we had simply been sold as male and female slaves, I would have remained silent, for such distress would not have been sufficient for troubling the king.”
5Then King Ahasuerus responded to Queen Esther, “Who is this individual? Where is this person to be found who is presumptuous enough to act in this way?”
6Esther replied, “The oppressor and enemy is this evil Haman!”
Then Haman became terrified in the presence of the king and queen. 7In rage the king arose from the banquet of wine and withdrew to the palace garden. Meanwhile, Haman stood to beg Queen Esther for his life, for he realized that the king had now determined a catastrophic end for him.
8When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet of wine, Haman was throwing himself down on the couch where Esther was lying. The king exclaimed, “Will he also attempt to rape the queen while I am still in the building?”
As these words left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. 9Harbona, one of the king’s eunuchs, said, “Indeed, there is the gallows that Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke out on the king’s behalf. It stands near Haman’s home and is 75 feet high.”
The king said, “Hang him on it!” 10So they hanged Haman on the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. The king’s rage then abated.(NET Bible)
59:1 For the music director, according to the al-tashcheth style; a prayer of David, written when Saul sent men to surround his house and murder him.
Deliver me from my enemies, my God.
Protect me from those who attack me.
2Deliver me from evildoers.
Rescue me from violent men.
3For look, they wait to ambush me;
powerful men stalk me,
but not because I have rebelled or sinned, O Lord.
4Though I have done nothing wrong, they are anxious to attack.
Spring into action and help me. Take notice of me.
5You, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,
rouse yourself and punish all the nations.
Have no mercy on any treacherous evildoers. (Selah)
6They return in the evening;
they growl like dogs
and prowl around outside the city.
7Look, they hurl insults at me
and openly threaten to kill me,
for they say,
8But you, O Lord, laugh in disgust at them;
you taunt all the nations.
9You are my source of strength. I will wait for you.
For God is my refuge.
10The God who loves me will help me;
God will enable me to triumph over my enemies.
11Do not strike them dead suddenly,
because then my people might forget the lesson.
Use your power to make them homeless vagabonds and then bring them down,
O Lord who shields us.
12They speak sinful words.
So let them be trapped by their own pride
and by the curses and lies they speak.
13Angrily wipe them out. Wipe them out so they vanish.
Let them know that God rules
over Jacob and to the ends of the earth. (Selah)
14They return in the evening;
they growl like dogs
and prowl around outside the city.
15They wander around looking for something to eat;
they refuse to sleep until they are full.
16As for me, I will sing about your strength;
I will praise your loyal love in the morning.
For you are my refuge
and my place of shelter when I face trouble.
17You are my source of strength. I will sing praises to you.
For God is my refuge, the God who loves me.(NET Bible)
1 Thess. 3:6–13
3:6 But now Timothy has come to us from you and given us the good news of your faith and love and that you always think of us with affection and long to see us just as we also long to see you! 7So in all our distress and affliction, we were reassured about you, brothers and sisters, through your faith. 8For now we are alive again if you stand firm in the Lord. 9For how can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel because of you before our God? 10We pray earnestly night and day to see you in person and make up what may be lacking in your faith.
11Now may God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you, 13so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.(NET Bible)
Luther was not unaware of the difficulties that arise when parallel passages in the Gospels are compared with each other. So in the Lenten Postil, of 1525, he discusses the order of time in the three temptations of our Lord. He makes this statement: “The order in which these temptations came to Christ cannot be determined with certainty, for the evangelists do not agree. What Matthew places in the middle, Luke places at the end, and what he places in the middle, Matthew places at the end, as though he placed little importance on the order. If we want to preach about it or discuss it, the order of Luke would be the best, for it makes a fine sequence that the devil first attacks through need and misfortune and, when this does not bring results, follows with fortune and honor. Finally, when this is all in vain, he strikes out with all force with errors, lies, and other spiritual deceits. But because they do not occur thus in our daily experience, but, as it happens, a Christian is tempted now with the last, now with the first, Matthew did not pay much attention to the order, as would be fitting for a preacher. And perhaps Christ was so tempted during the forty days that the devil did not observe any particular order but came today with the one temptation, tomorrow with the other, after ten days again with the first and so on as it happened to take place.” (45)
–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.