Home > Reading > Daily Reading – July 19, 2020

Jer. 38:7–28

38:7 An Ethiopian, Ebed Melech, a court official in the royal palace, heard that Jeremiah had been put in the cistern. While the king was holding court at the Benjamin Gate, 8Ebed Melech departed the palace and went to speak to the king. He said to him, 9“Your royal Majesty, those men have been very wicked in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah. They have thrown him into a cistern and he is sure to die of starvation there because there is no food left in the city.” 10Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty men with you from here and go pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.” 11So Ebed Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasure room in the palace. He got some worn-out clothes and old rags from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12Ebed Melech called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed. 13So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse.

14Some time later Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance of the Lord’s temple. The king said to Jeremiah, “I would like to ask you a question. Do not hide anything from me when you answer.” 15Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I answer you, you will certainly kill me. If I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” 16So King Zedekiah made a secret promise to Jeremiah and sealed it with an oath. He promised, “As surely as the Lord lives who has given us life and breath, I promise you this: I will not kill you or hand you over to those men who want to kill you.”

17Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, ‘You must surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon. If you do, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down. Indeed, you and your whole family will be spared. 18But if you do not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians and they will burn it down. You yourself will not escape from them.’” 19Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Babylonians. The Babylonians might hand me over to them and they will torture me.” 20Then Jeremiah answered, “You will not be handed over to them. Please obey the Lord by doing what I have been telling you. Then all will go well with you and your life will be spared. 21But if you refuse to surrender, the Lord has shown me a vision of what will happen. Here is what I saw: 22All the women who are left in the royal palace of Judah will be led out to the officers of the king of Babylon. They will taunt you saying,

‘Your trusted friends misled you;

they have gotten the best of you.

Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,

they have turned their backs on you.’

23 “All your wives and your children will be turned over to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape from them but will be captured by the king of Babylon. This city will be burned down.”

24Then Zedekiah told Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about the conversation we have had. If you do, you will die. 25The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’ 26If they do this, tell them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’” 27All the officials did indeed come and question Jeremiah. He told them exactly what the king had instructed him to say. They stopped questioning him any further because no one had actually heard their conversation. 28So Jeremiah remained confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse until the day Jerusalem was captured.

The following events occurred when Jerusalem was captured.

(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)

Acts 22:30–23:11

22:30 The next day, because the commanding officer wanted to know the true reason Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council to assemble. He then brought Paul down and had him stand before them.

23:1 Paul looked directly at the council and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God to this day.” 2At that the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit there judging me according to the law, and in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” 4Those standing near him said, “Do you dare insult God’s high priest?” 5Paul replied, “I did not realize, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’”

6Then when Paul noticed that part of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, he shouted out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead!” 7When he said this, an argument began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8(For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) 9There was a great commotion, and some experts in the law from the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10When the argument became so great the commanding officer feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, he ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

11The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Have courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

(NET Bible)

In [Luther’s] Sermon on the Christian Armor, of 1532, we read: “When the devil has succeeded in bringing matters so far that we surrender one article to him, he is victorious, and it is just as bad as though all of them and Christ himself were already lost. Afterward he can unsettle and withdraw others because they are all intertwined and bound together like a golden chain, so that if one link be broken, the whole chain is broken, and it pulls apart. And there is no article that cannot be overthrown if it once comes to pass that reason intrudes and tries to speculate and learns to turn and twist the Scripture so that it does agree with its conclusions. at penetrates like a sweet poison.” (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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