1:1 This is an oracle, the Lord’s message to Israel through Malachi:
2“I have shown love to you,” says the Lord, but you say, “How have you shown love to us?”
“Esau was Jacob’s brother,” the Lord explains, “yet I chose Jacob 3and rejected Esau. I turned Esau’s mountains into a deserted wasteland and gave his territory to the wild jackals.”
4Edom says, “Though we are devastated, we will once again build the ruined places.” So the Lord of Heaven’s Armies responds, “They indeed may build, but I will overthrow. They will be known as the land of evil, the people with whom the Lord is permanently displeased. 5Your eyes will see it, and then you will say, ‘May the Lord be magnified even beyond the border of Israel!’”
6“A son naturally honors his father and a slave respects his master. If I am your father, where is my honor? If I am your master, where is my respect? The Lord of Heaven’s Armies asks you this, you priests who make light of my name! But you reply, ‘How have we made light of your name?’ 7You are offering improper sacrifices on my altar, yet you ask, ‘How have we offended you?’ By treating the table of the Lord as if it is of no importance. 8For when you offer blind animals as a sacrifice, is that not wrong? And when you offer the lame and sick, is that not wrong as well? Indeed, try offering them to your governor! Will he be pleased with you or show you favor?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 9“But now plead for God’s favor that he might be gracious to us.” “With this kind of offering in your hands, how can he be pleased with you?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
10“I wish that one of you would close the temple doors, so that you no longer would light useless fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will no longer accept an offering from you. 11For from the east to the west my name will be great among the nations. Incense and pure offerings will be offered in my name everywhere, for my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12“But you are profaning it by saying that the table of the Lord is common and its offerings despicable. 13You also say, ‘How tiresome it is.’ You turn up your nose at it,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and instead bring what is stolen, lame, or sick. You bring these things for an offering! Should I accept this from you?” asks the Lord. 14“There will be harsh condemnation for the hypocrite who has a valuable male animal in his flock but vows and sacrifices something inferior to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is awesome among the nations.”(NET Bible)
147:1 Praise the Lord,
for it is good to sing praises to our God.
Yes, praise is pleasant and appropriate.
2The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem
and gathers the exiles of Israel.
3He heals the brokenhearted
and bandages their wounds.
4He counts the number of the stars;
he names all of them.
5Our Lord is great and has awesome power;
there is no limit to his wisdom.
6The Lord lifts up the oppressed,
but knocks the wicked to the ground.
7Offer to the Lord a song of thanks.
Sing praises to our God to the accompaniment of a harp.
8He covers the sky with clouds,
provides the earth with rain,
and causes grass to grow on the hillsides.
9He gives food to the animals
and to the young ravens when they chirp.
10He is not enamored with the strength of a horse,
nor is he impressed by the warrior’s strong legs.
11The Lord takes delight in his faithful followers
and in those who wait for his loyal love.
12Extol the Lord, O Jerusalem.
Praise your God, O Zion.
13For he makes the bars of your gates strong.
He blesses your children within you.
14He brings peace to your territory.
He abundantly provides for you the best grain.
15He sends his command through the earth;
swiftly his order reaches its destination.
16He sends the snow that is white like wool;
he spreads the frost that is white like ashes.
17He throws his hailstones like crumbs.
Who can withstand the cold wind he sends?
18He then orders it all to melt;
he breathes on it, and the water flows.
19He proclaims his word to Jacob,
his statutes and regulations to Israel.
20He has not done so with any other nation;
they are not aware of his regulations.
Praise the Lord!(NET Bible)
20:1 Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. 2He seized the dragon—the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan—and tied him up for a thousand years. 3The angel then threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.)
4Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
7Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. 9They went up on the broad plain of the earth and encircled the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. 10And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever.(NET Bible)
[Luther writes:] “Paul takes them all together, himself, an angel from heaven, teachers upon earth, and masters of all kinds, and subjects them to the holy Scripture. Scripture must reign as queen (haec regina debet dominari), her all must obey and be subject to. Not teachers, judges, or arbiters over her, but they must be simple witnesses, pupils and confessors of it, whether they may be the Pope or Luther or Augustine or Paul or an angel from heaven” … —“I let you cry in your hostility that Scripture contradicts itself, ascribing righteousness now to faith and then to works. It is impossible that Scripture contradict itself; it only seems so to foolish, coarse, and hardened hypocrites” … — “We abandon the talk of the Jews and stick to St. Paul’s understanding which, not without cause, emphasizes the little word ‘seed’ and thereby indicates that Holy Scripture in Gen. 12:3 and 22:18 speaks of a single seed not of many, and says plainly that Christ is such seed. Paul does so out of a genuine apostolic spirit and understanding. We Christians do not care if such interpretation does not please the Jews. Paul’s interpretation weighs more with us than all glosses of the rabbis” … — “One letter, even a single tittle of Scripture means more to us than heaven and earth. Therefore we cannot permit even the most minute change.” (82–83)
–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.