50:17 “The people of Israel are like scattered sheep
that lions have chased away.
First the king of Assyria devoured them.
Now, last of all, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones.
18So I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, say:
‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
just as I punished the king of Assyria.
19But I will restore the flock of Israel to their own pasture.
They will graze on Mount Carmel and the land of Bashan.
They will eat until they are full
on the hills of Ephraim and the land of Gilead.
20When that time comes,
no guilt will be found in Israel.
No sin will be found in Judah.
For I will forgive those of them I have allowed to survive.
I, the Lord, affirm it!’”
21The Lord says,
“Attack the land of Merathaim
and the people who live in Pekod.
Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them!
Do just as I have commanded you!
22The noise of battle can be heard in the land of Babylonia.
There is the sound of great destruction.
23Babylon hammered the whole world to pieces.
But see how that ‘hammer’ has been broken and shattered!
See what an object of horror
Babylon has become among the nations!
24I set a trap for you, Babylon;
you were caught before you knew it.
You fought against me;
so you were found and captured.
25I have opened up the place where my weapons are stored.
I have brought out the weapons for carrying out my wrath.
For I, the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
have work to carry out in the land of Babylonia.
26Come from far away and attack Babylonia!
Open up the places where she stores her grain.
Pile her up in ruins. Destroy her completely!
Do not leave anyone alive!
27Kill all her soldiers.
Let them be slaughtered.
They are doomed, for their day of reckoning has come,
the time for them to be punished.
28Listen! Fugitives and refugees are coming from the land of Babylon.
They are coming to Zion to declare there
how the Lord our God is getting revenge,
getting revenge for what they have done to his temple.
29“Call for archers to come against Babylon!
Summon against her all who draw the bow.
Set up camp all around the city.
Do not allow anyone to escape!
Pay her back for what she has done.
Do to her what she has done to others.
For she has proudly defied me,
the Holy One of Israel.
30So her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord.
31“Listen! I am opposed to you, you proud city,”
says the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“Indeed, your day of reckoning has come,
the time when I will punish you.
32You will stumble and fall, you proud city;
no one will help you get up.
I will set fire to your towns;
it will burn up everything that surrounds you.”(NET Bible)
37:1 By David.
Do not fret when wicked men seem to succeed.
Do not envy evildoers.
2For they will quickly dry up like grass,
and wither away like plants.
3Trust in the Lord and do what is right.
Settle in the land and maintain your integrity.
4Then you will take delight in the Lord,
and he will answer your prayers.
5Commit your future to the Lord.
Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf.
6He will vindicate you in broad daylight,
and publicly defend your just cause.
7Wait patiently for the Lord!
Wait confidently for him!
Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner,
a man who carries out wicked schemes.
8Do not be angry and frustrated.
Do not fret. That only leads to trouble.
9Wicked men will be wiped out,
but those who rely on the Lord are the ones who will possess the land.
10Evil men will soon disappear;
you will stare at the spot where they once were, but they will be gone.
11But the oppressed will possess the land
and enjoy great prosperity.
12Evil men plot against the godly
and viciously attack them.
13The Lord laughs in disgust at them,
for he knows that their day is coming.
14Evil men draw their swords
and prepare their bows,
to bring down the oppressed and needy,
and to slaughter those who are godly.
15Their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16The little bit that a godly man owns is better than
the wealth of many evil men,
17for evil men will lose their power,
but the Lord sustains the godly.
18The Lord watches over the innocent day by day,
and they possess a permanent inheritance.
19They will not be ashamed when hard times come;
when famine comes they will have enough to eat.
20But evil men will die;
the Lord’s enemies will be incinerated—
they will go up in smoke.
21Evil men borrow, but do not repay their debt,
but the godly show compassion and are generous.
22Surely those favored by the Lord will possess the land,
but those rejected by him will be wiped out.(NET Bible)
4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live worthily of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, 3making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured captives; he gave gifts to men.” 9Now what is the meaning of “he ascended,” except that he also descended to the lower regions, namely, the earth? 10He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. 11And he himself gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature. 14So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. 15But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. 16From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body builds itself up in love.(NET Bible)
In 1535 Luther’s Lectures on Galatians, delivered in 1531, were published. In these he said: “This vice lies in us that we admire persons and respect them more than the Word while God desires that we adhere to and have our mind fixed alone upon the very Word. … He does not want us to admire or adore the apostolate in Peter and Paul but Christ who speaks in them and the very Word of God which comes from their mouth.” In speaking of the occurrence at Antioch (Gal. 2:11-14) Luther concedes that even prophets err and fail but only when they speak in their own spirit, not inspired by the Holy Ghost, as Nathan did when out of his own spirit (ex suo spiritu) he told David that he should build a house for the Lord. “This prophecy was immediately corrected by divine revelation.” Here Luther declares that even Gal. 3:16, a passage so o en ridiculed, was written out of genuine apostolic spirit and understanding, and repeats that it is impossible that Scripture should contradict itself, and that a single tittle of Scripture is of greater importance than heaven and earth. Scripture he calls the queen that alone should reign. (34–35)
–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.