51:1 The Lord says:
“I will cause a destructive wind to blow
against Babylon and the people who inhabit Babylonia.
2I will send people to winnow Babylonia like a wind blowing away chaff.
They will winnow her and strip her land bare.
This will happen when they come against her from every direction,
when it is time to destroy her.
3Do not give her archers time to string their bows
or to put on their coats of armor.
Do not spare any of her young men.
Completely destroy her whole army.
4Let them fall slain in the land of Babylonia,
mortally wounded in the streets of her cities.
5“For Israel and Judah will not be forsaken
by their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
For the land of Babylonia is full of guilt
against the Holy One of Israel.
6Get out of Babylonia quickly, you foreign people.
Flee to save your lives.
Do not let yourselves be killed because of her sins,
for it is time for the Lord to wreak his revenge.
He will pay Babylonia back for what she has done.
7Babylonia had been a gold cup in the Lord’s hand;
she had made the whole world drunk.
The nations had drunk from the wine of her wrath,
so they have all gone mad.
8But suddenly Babylonia will fall and be destroyed.
Cry out in mourning over it!
Get medicine for her wounds;
perhaps she can be healed!
9Foreigners living there will say,
‘We tried to heal her, but she could not be healed.
Let’s leave Babylonia and each go back to his own country.
For judgment on her will be vast in its proportions.
It will be like it is piled up to heaven, stacked up into the clouds.’
10The exiles from Judah will say,
‘The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for us!
Come on, let’s go and proclaim in Zion
what the Lord our God has done!’
11“Sharpen your arrows!
Fill your quivers!
The Lord will arouse a spirit of hostility in the kings of Media,
for he intends to destroy Babylonia.
For that is how the Lord will get his revenge—
how he will get his revenge for the Babylonians’ destruction of his temple.(NET Bible)
38:1 A psalm of David, written to get God’s attention.
O Lord, do not continue to rebuke me in your anger.
Do not continue to punish me in your raging fury.
2For your arrows pierce me,
and your hand presses me down.
3My whole body is sick because of your judgment;
I am deprived of health because of my sin.
4For my sins overwhelm me;
like a heavy load, they are too much for me to bear.
5My wounds are infected and starting to smell,
because of my foolish sins.
6I am dazed and completely humiliated;
all day long I walk around mourning.
7For I am overcome with shame,
and my whole body is sick.
8I am numb with pain and severely battered;
I groan loudly because of the anxiety I feel.
9O Lord, you understand my heart’s desire;
my groaning is not hidden from you.
10My heart beats quickly;
my strength leaves me.
I can hardly see.
11Because of my condition, even my friends and acquaintances keep their distance;
my neighbors stand far away.
12Those who seek my life try to entrap me;
those who want to harm me speak destructive words.
All day long they say deceitful things.
13But I am like a deaf man—I hear nothing;
I am like a mute who cannot speak.
14I am like a man who cannot hear
and is incapable of arguing his defense.
15Yet I wait for you, O Lord!
You will respond, O Lord, my God!
16I have prayed for deliverance, because otherwise they will gloat over me;
when my foot slips they will arrogantly taunt me.
17For I am about to stumble,
and I am in constant pain.
18Yes, I confess my wrongdoing,
and I am concerned about my sins.
19But those who are my enemies for no reason are numerous;
those who hate me without cause outnumber me.
20They repay me evil for the good I have done;
though I have tried to do good to them, they hurl accusations at me.
21Do not abandon me, O Lord.
My God, do not remain far away from me.
22Hurry and help me, O Lord, my deliverer.(NET Bible)
5:1 Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children 2and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. 3But among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. 4Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting—all of which are out of character—but rather thanksgiving. 5For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be sharers with them, 8for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live like children of light— 9for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention. 13But all things being exposed by the light are made visible. 14For everything made visible is light, and for this reason it says:
“Awake, O sleeper!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you!”
15Therefore consider carefully how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16taking advantage of every opportunity because the days are evil. 17For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is. 18And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.(NET Bible)
In 1538 and 1539 Luther wrote his powerful book Von den Conciliis un Kirchen and published it in 1539. In this he says: “If anyone would see still farther that the dear holy fathers were men, let him read the little book on the four chapters to the Corinthians by Dr. Pommer, our pastor. From it we must learn that St. Augustine was right when he said … that he will not believe any of the fathers unless he has the Scriptures on his side. Dear Lord God, if the Christian faith were to depend on men and be founded in human words, what were the need for the Holy Scriptures, or why has God given them? Let us draw them under the bench and lay the councils and the fathers on the desk instead! Or if the fathers were not men, how shall we men be saved? If they were men, they must also have thought, spoken, and acted sometimes as we think, speak, and act, and then said, like us, the prayer, ‘Forgive us our trespasses,’ especially since they have not the promise of the Spirit, like the apostles, and must be pupils of the apostles … When they build without the Scriptures, i.e., without gold, silver, precious stones, they have to build wood, straw, and hay; therefore we must follow the judgment of St. Paul and know how to distinguish between gold and wood, silver and straw, precious stones and hay.” (36)
–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.