37:1 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim as king. He was elevated to the throne of the land of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 2Neither he nor the officials who served him nor the people of Judah paid any attention to what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah.
3King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah to say, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf.” 4(Now Jeremiah had not yet been put in prison. So he was still free to come and go among the people as he pleased. 5At that time the Babylonian forces had temporarily given up their siege against Jerusalem. They had had it under siege, but withdrew when they heard that the army of Pharaoh had set out from Egypt. ) 6The Lord’s message came to the prophet Jeremiah, 7“This is what the Lord God of Israel has said, ‘This is what you must say to the king of Judah who sent you to seek my help. “Beware, Pharaoh’s army that was on its way to help you is about to go back home to Egypt. 8Then the Babylonian forces will return. They will attack the city and will capture it and burn it down. 9Moreover, I, the Lord, warn you not to deceive yourselves into thinking that the Babylonian forces will go away and leave you alone. For they will not go away. 10For even if you were to defeat all the Babylonian forces fighting against you so badly that only wounded men were left lying in their tents, they would get up and burn this city down.”’”(NET Bible)
17:1 A prayer of David.
Lord, consider my just cause!
Pay attention to my cry for help!
Listen to the prayer
I sincerely offer!
2Make a just decision on my behalf!
Decide what is right!
3You have scrutinized my inner motives;
you have examined me during the night.
You have carefully evaluated me, but you find no sin.
I am determined I will say nothing sinful.
4As for the actions of people –
just as you have commanded,
I have not followed in the footsteps of violent men.
5I carefully obey your commands;
I do not deviate from them.
6I call to you for you will answer me, O God.
Listen to me!
Hear what I say!
7Accomplish awesome, faithful deeds,
you who powerfully deliver those who look to you for protection from their enemies.
8Protect me as you would protect the pupil of your eye!
Hide me in the shadow of your wings!
9Protect me from the wicked men who attack me,
my enemies who crowd around me for the kill.
10They are calloused;
they speak arrogantly.
11They attack me, now they surround me;
they intend to throw me to the ground.
12He is like a lion that wants to tear its prey to bits,
like a young lion crouching in hidden places.
13Rise up, Lord!
Confront him! Knock him down!
Use your sword to rescue me from the wicked man!
14 Lord, use your power to deliver me from these murderers,
from the murderers of this world!
They enjoy prosperity;
you overwhelm them with the riches they desire.
They have many children,
and leave their wealth to their offspring.
15As for me, because I am innocent I will see your face;
when I awake you will reveal yourself to me.(NET Bible)
22:6 As I was en route and near Damascus, about noon a very bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around me. 7Then I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 9Those who were with me saw the light, but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10So I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything that you have been designated to do.’ 11Since I could not see because of the brilliance of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of those who were with me. 12A man named Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who live there, 13came to me and stood beside me and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ And at that very moment I looked up and saw him. 14Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors has already chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear a command from his mouth, 15because you will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.’ 17When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18and saw the Lord saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19I replied, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues who believed in you. 20And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing nearby, approving, and guarding the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ 21Then he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”(NET Bible)
It was not only in connection with the Sacrament that Scripture was for Luther the absolute and uncorrupted authority. Throughout the following years he held to the same view. We shall cite a few examples … .
In the exposition of the Second Epistle of St. Peter, of the same year , is the statement: “Says Peter, what has been written and proclaimed in the Prophets has not been imagined nor invented by men, but holy and devout men have spoken it through the Holy Ghost.”
Between 1524 and 1526 Luther held his Praelectiones in prophetas minors. In these, in the exposition of Joel, he says: “ The prophets do not state what they imagined and thought good but what they had heard from God himself and what He, who had created all things, disclosed to them either through dreams or vision; this they reveal and display to us. Consequently they are true hearers
of God’s Word, for the eternal, almighty God, the Spirit of God governs their hearts and tongues.”
In the year 1526, commenting on Jeremiah 23, Luther wrote, “God’s Word is not for jesting. If you are not able to understand it, take off your hat before it.”
In his Declamationes in Genesin, of 1527, he emphasizes again and again: Even if we do not grasp the reason for what is written we honor the Holy Ghost and trust that he knows better.
Between 1530 and 1533 Luther preached on week- days on John 6 to 8. Here he repeatedly emphasized the thought that the Word of God is the touchstone (Prüfstein, Streichstein), the rule and plumbline, that tells us what should be preached and whether it is in agreement with God’s will and revelation. …
In Praelectio in Psalmum 45, of 1532, he asks, If one could attain to these [divine] things by his reason and senses, what need would there be for faith, what need for a Scripture that is given us from above through the Holy Ghost? … “In theology only one thing is necessary: that we hear and believe and conclude in our heart: God is truthful, however absurd what He says in his Word may seem to our reason.” (33–34)
–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.