44:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah concerning all the Judeans who were living in the land of Egypt, those in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the region of southern Egypt. 2“The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel says, ‘You have seen all the disaster I brought on Jerusalem and all the towns of Judah. Indeed, they now lie in ruins and are deserted. 3This happened because of the wickedness the people living there did. They made me angry by worshiping and offering sacrifice to other gods whom neither they nor you nor your ancestors previously knew. 4I sent my servants the prophets to you people over and over again warning you not to do this disgusting thing I hate. 5But the people of Jerusalem and Judah would not listen or pay any attention. They would not stop the wickedness they were doing nor quit sacrificing to other gods. 6So my anger and my wrath were poured out and burned like a fire through the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. That is why they have become the desolate ruins that they are today.’
7 “So now the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, asks, ‘Why will you do such great harm to yourselves? Why should every man, woman, child, and baby of yours be destroyed from the midst of Judah? Why should you leave yourselves without a remnant? 8That is what will result from your making me angry by what you are doing. You are making me angry by sacrificing to other gods here in the land of Egypt where you live. You will be destroyed for doing that! You will become an example used in curses and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth. 9Have you forgotten all the wicked things that have been done in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem by your ancestors, by the kings of Judah and their wives, by you and your wives? 10To this day your people have shown no contrition! They have not revered me nor followed the laws and statutes I commanded you and your ancestors.’
11 “Because of this, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel says, ‘I am determined to bring disaster on you, even to the point of destroying all the Judeans here. 12I will see to it that all the Judean remnant that was determined to go and live in the land of Egypt will be destroyed. Here in the land of Egypt they will fall in battle or perish from starvation. People of every class will die in war or from starvation. They will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 13I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt with war, starvation, and disease just as I punished Jerusalem. 14None of the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah. Though they long to return and live there, none of them shall return except a few fugitives.’”
15Then all the men who were aware that their wives were sacrificing to other gods, as well as all their wives, answered Jeremiah. There was a great crowd of them representing all the people who lived in northern and southern Egypt. They answered, 16“We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us! 17Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 18But ever since we stopped sacrificing and pouring out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven, we have been in great need. Our people have died in wars or of starvation.” 19The women added, “We did indeed sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven. But it was with the full knowledge and approval of our husbands that we made cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her.”(NET Bible)
25:1 By David.
O Lord, I come before you in prayer.
2My God, I trust in you.
Please do not let me be humiliated;
do not let my enemies triumphantly rejoice over me!
3Certainly none who rely on you will be humiliated.
Those who deal in treachery will be thwarted and humiliated.
4Make me understand your ways, O Lord!
Teach me your paths!
5Guide me into your truth and teach me.
For you are the God who delivers me;
on you I rely all day long.
6Remember your compassionate and faithful deeds, O Lord,
for you have always acted in this manner.
7Do not hold against me the sins of my youth or my rebellious acts!
Because you are faithful to me, extend to me your favor, O Lord!
8The Lord is both kind and fair;
that is why he teaches sinners the right way to live.
9May he show the humble what is right!
May he teach the humble his way!
10The Lord always proves faithful and reliable
to those who follow the demands of his covenant.
11For the sake of your reputation, O Lord,
forgive my sin, because it is great.
12The Lord shows his faithful followers
the way they should live.
13They experience his favor;
their descendants inherit the land.
14The Lord’s loyal followers receive his guidance,
and he reveals his covenantal demands to them.
15I continually look to the Lord for help,
for he will free my feet from the enemy’s net.
16Turn toward me and have mercy on me,
for I am alone and oppressed!
17Deliver me from my distress;
rescue me from my suffering!
18See my pain and suffering!
Forgive all my sins!
19Watch my enemies, for they outnumber me;
they hate me and want to harm me.
20Protect me and deliver me!
Please do not let me be humiliated,
for I have taken shelter in you!
21May integrity and godliness protect me,
for I rely on you!
22O God, rescue Israel
from all their distress!(NET Bible)
26:12 “While doing this very thing, as I was going to Damascus with authority and complete power from the chief priests, 13about noon along the road, Your Majesty, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around me and those traveling with me. 14When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by kicking against the goads.’ 15So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you. 17I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you 18to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with repentance. 21For this reason the Jews, after they seized me while I was in the temple courts, were trying to kill me. 22I have experienced help from God to this day, and so I stand testifying to both small and great, saying nothing except what the prophets and Moses said was going to happen: 23that the Christ was to suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, to proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
24As Paul was saying these things in his defense, Festus exclaimed loudly, “You have lost your mind, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!” 25But Paul replied, “I have not lost my mind, most excellent Festus, but am speaking true and rational words. 26For the king knows about these things, and I am speaking freely to him, because I cannot believe that any of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. 27Do you believe the prophets, King Agrippa? I know that you believe.” 28Agrippa said to Paul, “In such a short time are you persuading me to become a Christian?” 29Paul replied, “I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains.”
30So the king got up, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them, 31and as they were leaving they said to one another, “This man is not doing anything deserving death or imprisonment.” 32Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.”(NET Bible)
From the year 1534 we note this declaration: “As Moses is the source from which all the holy prophets and apostles have drawn the divine knowledge and power of redemption and of the way of salvation through the inspiration, (beneficio) of the Holy Ghost, so we cannot arrange our labors better or more correctly than if we lead the students and scholars to the same source and seed of divine wisdom, which the Holy Ghost has sown through Moses, in such a manner that no reason nor strength of human understanding can acknowledge or understand it apart from the support of the Holy Ghost.” (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.