Home > Reading > Daily Reading – July 18, 2020

Jer. 37:11–38:6

37:11 The following events also occurred while the Babylonian forces had temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem because the army of Pharaoh was coming. 12Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the territory of Benjamin. He wanted to make sure he got his share of the property that was being divided up among his family there. 13But he only got as far as the Benjamin Gate. There an officer in charge of the guards named Irijah, who was the son of Shelemiah and the grandson of Hananiah, stopped him. He seized Jeremiah and said, “You are deserting to the Babylonians!” 14Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” But Irijah would not listen to him. Irijah put Jeremiah under arrest and took him to the officials. 15The officials were very angry at Jeremiah. They had him flogged and put in prison in the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary, which they had converted into a place for confining prisoners.

16So Jeremiah was put in prison in a cell in the dungeon in Jonathan’s house. He was kept there for a long time. 17Then King Zedekiah had him brought to the palace. There he questioned him privately and asked him, “Is there any message from the Lord?”Jeremiah answered, “Yes, there is.” Then he announced, “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 18Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, “What crime have I committed against you, or the officials who serve you, or the people of Judah? What have I done to make you people throw me into prison? 19Where now are the prophets who prophesied to you that the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 20But now please listen, your royal Majesty, and grant my plea for mercy. Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary. If you do, I will die there.” 21Then King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be committed to the courtyard of the guardhouse. He also ordered that a loaf of bread be given to him every day from the baker’s street until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah was kept in the courtyard of the guardhouse.

38:1 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah had heard the things that Jeremiah had been telling the people. They had heard him say, 2“The Lord says, ‘Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives.’” 3They had also heard him say, “The Lord says, ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon. They will capture it.’” 4So these officials said to the king, “This man must be put to death. For he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in the city as well as all the other people there by these things he is saying. This man is not seeking to help these people but is trying to harm them.” 5King Zedekiah said to them, “Very well, you can do what you want with him. For I cannot do anything to stop you.” 6So the officials took Jeremiah and put him in the cistern of Malkijah, one of the royal princes, that was in the courtyard of the guardhouse. There was no water in the cistern, only mud. So when they lowered Jeremiah into the cistern with ropes he sank in the mud.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 18:1–30

18:1 For the music director; by the Lord’s servant David, who sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord rescued him from the power of all his enemies, including Saul.

He said:

“I love you, Lord, my source of strength!

2The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer.

My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter,

my shield, the horn that saves me, and my refuge.

3I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and I was delivered from my enemies.

4The waves of death engulfed me,

the currents of chaos overwhelmed me.

5The ropes of Sheol tightened around me,

the snares of death trapped me.

6In my distress I called to the Lord;

I cried out to my God.

From his heavenly temple he heard my voice;

he listened to my cry for help.

7The earth heaved and shook;

the roots of the mountains trembled;

they heaved because he was angry.

8Smoke ascended from his nose;

fire devoured as it came from his mouth;

he hurled down fiery coals.

9He made the sky sink as he descended;

a thick cloud was under his feet.

10He mounted a winged angel and flew;

he glided on the wings of the wind.

11He shrouded himself in darkness,

in thick rain clouds.

12From the brightness in front of him came

hail and fiery coals.

13The Lord thundered in the sky;

the Most High shouted.

14He shot his arrows and scattered them,

many lightning bolts and routed them.

15The depths of the sea were exposed;

the inner regions of the world were uncovered

by your battle cry, Lord,

by the powerful breath from your nose.

16He reached down from above and took hold of me;

he pulled me from the surging water.

17He rescued me from my strong enemy,

from those who hate me,

for they were too strong for me.

18They confronted me in my day of calamity,

but the Lord helped me.

19He brought me out into a wide open place;

he delivered me because he was pleased with me.

20The Lord repaid me for my godly deeds;

he rewarded my blameless behavior.

21For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands;

I have not rebelled against my God.

22For I am aware of all his regulations,

and I do not reject his rules.

23I was innocent before him,

and kept myself from sinning.

24The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds;

he took notice of my blameless behavior.

25You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful;

you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent.

26You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless,

but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse.

27For you deliver oppressed people,

but you bring down those who have a proud look.

28Indeed, you light my lamp, Lord.

My God illuminates the darkness around me.

29Indeed, with your help I can charge against an army;

by my God’s power I can jump over a wall.

30The one true God acts in a faithful manner;

the Lord’s promise is reliable;

he is a shield to all who take shelter in him.

(NET Bible)

Acts 22:22–29

22:22 The crowd was listening to him until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Away with this man from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live!” 23While they were screaming and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust in the air, 24the commanding officer ordered Paul to be brought back into the barracks. He told them to interrogate Paul by beating him with a lash so that he could find out the reason the crowd was shouting at Paul in this way. 25When they had stretched him out for the lash, Paul said to the centurion standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen without a proper trial?” 26When the centurion heard this, he went to the commanding officer and reported it, saying, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27So the commanding officer came and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” He replied, “Yes.” 28The commanding officer answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” “But I was even born a citizen,” Paul replied. 29Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away from him, and the commanding officer was frightened when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had had him tied up.

(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 [1524], 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.

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