Home > Reading > Daily Reading – January 20, 2020

Is. 38:1–21

38:1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give instructions to your household, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” 2Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3“Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, and how I have carried out your will.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4The Lord’s message came to Isaiah, 5“Go and tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add fifteen years to your life, 6and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 7Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: 8Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.” And then the shadow went back ten steps.

9This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick and then recovered from his illness:

10 “I thought,

‘In the middle of my life I must walk through the gates of Sheol,

I am deprived of the rest of my years.’

11 “I thought,

‘I will no longer see the Lord in the land of the living,

I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world.

12My dwelling place is removed and taken away from me

like a shepherd’s tent.

I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth;

from the loom he cuts me off.

You turn day into night and end my life.

13I cry out until morning;

like a lion he shatters all my bones;

you turn day into night and end my life.

14Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,

I coo like a dove;

my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky.

O Lord, I am oppressed;

help me!

15What can I say?

He has decreed and acted.

I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief.

16O Lord, your decrees can give men life;

may years of life be restored to me.

Restore my health and preserve my life.’

17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit.

You delivered me from the Pit of oblivion.

For you removed all my sins from your sight.

18Indeed Sheol does not give you thanks;

death does not praise you.

Those who descend into the Pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.

19The living person, the living person, he gives you thanks,

as I do today.

A father tells his sons about your faithfulness.

20The Lord is about to deliver me,

and we will celebrate with music

for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.” 21 Isaiah ordered, “Let them take a fig cake and apply it to the ulcerated sore and he will get well.” (NET Bible)

Ps. 18:31–50

18:31 Indeed, who is God besides the Lord?

Who is a protector besides our God?

32The one true God gives me strength;

he removes the obstacles in my way.

33He gives me the agility of a deer;

he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.

34He trains my hands for battle;

my arms can bend even the strongest bow.

35You give me your protective shield;

your right hand supports me;

your willingness to help enables me to prevail.

36You widen my path;

my feet do not slip.

37I chase my enemies and catch them;

I do not turn back until I wipe them out.

38I beat them to death;

they fall at my feet.

39You give me strength for battle;

you make my foes kneel before me.

40You make my enemies retreat;

I destroy those who hate me.

41They cry out, but there is no one to help them;

they cry out to the Lord, but he does not answer them.

42I grind them as fine windblown dust;

I beat them underfoot like clay in the streets.

43You rescue me from a hostile army;

you make me a leader of nations;

people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects.

44When they hear of my exploits, they submit to me.

Foreigners are powerless before me;

45foreigners lose their courage;

they shake with fear as they leave their strongholds.

46The Lord is alive!

My protector is praiseworthy!

The God who delivers me is exalted as king!

47The one true God completely vindicates me;

he makes nations submit to me.

48He delivers me from my enemies;

you snatch me away from those who attack me;

you rescue me from violent men.

49So I will give you thanks before the nations, O Lord!

I will sing praises to you!

50He gives his king magnificent victories;

he is faithful to his chosen ruler,

to David and his descendants forever.”

(NET Bible)

John 8:31–47

8:31 Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33“We are descendants of Abraham,” they replied, “and have never been anyone’s slaves! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. 35The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. 36So if the son sets you free, you will be really free. 37I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. But you want to kill me, because my teaching makes no progress among you. 38I am telling you the things I have seen while with the Father; as for you, practice the things you have heard from the Father!”

39They answered him, “Abraham is our father!” Jesus replied, “If you are Abraham’s children, you would be doing the deeds of Abraham. 40But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth I heard from God. Abraham did not do this! 41You people are doing the deeds of your father.”

Then they said to Jesus, “We were not born as a result of immorality! We have only one Father, God himself.” 42Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come from God and am now here. I have not come on my own initiative, but he sent me. 43Why don’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot accept my teaching. 44You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 45But because I am telling you the truth, you do not believe me. 46Who among you can prove me guilty of any sin? If I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47The one who belongs to God listens and responds to God’s words. You don’t listen and respond, because you don’t belong to God.”

(NET Bible)

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.

Luther’s Lectures on the Psalms, 1513-1515, contain many declarations concerning the Scriptures. “What pasture is to the beast …, the nest for the birds, the stream for fish, the Scriptures are for believing souls. To the arrogant, of course, they are a stumbling block; he will have nothing to do with them, since they offer him nothing. But to him who approaches the Scriptures with humility they open themselves and themselves produce humility, change man from a desperate sinner into a child of God. They give everything which the soul needs, and it is to tempt God, if anyone will not be satisfied with the Scriptures. They are the fountain from which one must dip. Each word of the same is a source which affords an inexhaustible abundance of water to everyone who thirsts after the saving doctrine. God’s will is completely contained therein, so that we must constantly go back to them. Nothing should be presented which is not confirmed by the authority of both Testaments and agrees with them. It cannot be otherwise, for the Scriptures are divine; in them God speaks and they are His Word.” (13–14)

–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.

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