42:1 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah and all the people of every class, went to the prophet Jeremiah. 2They said to him, “Please grant our request and pray to the Lord your God for all those of us who are still left alive here. For, as you yourself can see, there are only a few of us left out of the many there were before. 3Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 4The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “Agreed! I will indeed pray to the Lord your God as you have asked. I will tell you everything the Lord replies in response to you. I will not keep anything back from you.” 5They answered Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not do just as the Lord your God sends you to tell us to do. 6We will obey what the Lord our God to whom we are sending you tells us to do. It does not matter whether we like what he tells us or not. We will obey what he tells us to do so that things will go well for us.”
7Ten days later the Lord’s message came to Jeremiah. 8So Jeremiah summoned Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people of every class. 9Then Jeremiah said to them, “You sent me to the Lord God of Israel to make your request known to him. Here is what he says to you: 10‘If you will only stay in this land, I will build you up. I will not tear you down. I will firmly plant you. I will not uproot you. For I am filled with sorrow because of the disaster that I have brought on you. 11Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him because I will be with you to save you and to rescue you from his power. I, the Lord, affirm it! 12I will have compassion on you so that he in turn will have mercy on you and allow you to return to your land.’
13“You must not disobey the Lord your God by saying, ‘We will not stay in this land.’ 14You must not say, ‘No, we will not stay. Instead we will go and live in the land of Egypt where we will not face war, or hear the enemy’s trumpet calls, or starve for lack of food.’ 15If you people who remain in Judah do that, then listen to the Lord’s message. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, has said, ‘If you are so determined to go to Egypt that you go and settle there, 16the wars you fear will catch up with you there in the land of Egypt. The starvation you are worried about will follow you there to Egypt. You will die there. 17All the people who are determined to go and settle in Egypt will die from war, starvation, or disease. No one will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, ‘If you go to Egypt, I will pour out my wrath on you just as I poured out my anger and wrath on the citizens of Jerusalem. You will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. You will never see this place again.’
19“The Lord has told you people who remain in Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be very sure of this: I warn you here and now. 20You are making a fatal mistake. For you sent me to the Lord your God and asked me, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us what the Lord our God says, and we will do it.’ 21This day I have told you what he said. But you do not want to obey the Lord your God by doing what he sent me to tell you. 22So now be very sure of this: You will die from war, starvation, or disease in the place where you want to go and live.”(NET Bible)
23:1 A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
2He takes me to lush pastures,
he leads me to refreshing water.
3He restores my strength.
He leads me down the right paths
for the sake of his reputation.
4Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff reassure me.
5You prepare a feast before me
in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh my head with oil;
my cup is completely full.
6Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days,
and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.(NET Bible)
25:13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. 14While they were staying there many days, Festus explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. 15When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone before the accused had met his accusers face-to-face and had been given an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 17So after they came back here with me, I did not postpone the case, but the next day I sat on the judgment seat and ordered the man to be brought. 18When his accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. 19Rather they had several points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a man named Jesus who was dead, whom Paul claimed to be alive. 20Because I was at a loss how I could investigate these matters, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges. 21But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 22Agrippa said to Festus, “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, “you will hear him.”
23So the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience hall, along with the senior military officers and the prominent men of the city. When Festus gave the order, Paul was brought in. 24Then Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace petitioned me both in Jerusalem and here, shouting loudly that he ought not to live any longer. 25But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, and when he appealed to His Majesty the Emperor, I decided to send him. 26But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this preliminary hearing I may have something to write. 27For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating the charges against him.”(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.