7:30 The Lord says, “I have rejected them because the people of Judah have done what I consider evil. They have set up their disgusting idols in the temple which I have claimed for my own and have defiled it. 31They have also built places of worship in a place called Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they can sacrifice their sons and daughters by fire. That is something I never commanded them to do! Indeed, it never even entered my mind to command such a thing! 32So, watch out!” says the Lord. “The time will soon come when people will no longer call those places Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom. But they will call that valley the Valley of Slaughter and they will bury so many people in Topheth they will run out of room. 33Then the dead bodies of these people will be left on the ground for the birds and wild animals to eat. There will not be any survivors to scare them away. 34I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness, or the glad celebration of brides and grooms throughout the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. For the whole land will become a desolate wasteland.”
8:1 The Lord says, “When that time comes, the bones of the kings of Judah and its leaders, the bones of the priests and prophets and of all the other people who lived in Jerusalem will be dug up from their graves. 2They will be spread out and exposed to the sun, the moon and the stars. These are things they adored and served, things to which they paid allegiance, from which they sought guidance, and worshiped. The bones of these people will never be regathered and reburied. They will be like manure used to fertilize the ground. 3However, I will leave some of these wicked people alive and banish them to other places. But wherever these people who survive may go, they will wish they had died rather than lived,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
4The Lord said to me,
“Tell them, ‘The Lord says,
Do people not get back up when they fall down?
Do they not turn around when they go the wrong way?
5Why, then, do these people of Jerusalem
continually turn away from me in apostasy?
They hold fast to their deception.
They refuse to turn back to me.
6I have listened to them very carefully,
but they do not speak honestly.
None of them regrets the evil he has done.
None of them says, “I have done wrong!”
All of them persist in their own wayward course
like a horse charging recklessly into battle.
7Even the stork knows
when it is time to move on.
The turtledove, swallow, and crane
recognize the normal times for their migration.
But my people pay no attention
to what I, the Lord, require of them.
8How can you say, “We are wise!
We have the law of the Lord”?
The truth is, those who teach it have used their writings
to make it say what it does not really mean.
9Your wise men will be put to shame.
They will be dumbfounded and be brought to judgment.
Since they have rejected the Lord’s message,
what wisdom do they really have?
10 So I will give their wives to other men
and their fields to new owners.
For from the least important to the most important of them,
all of them are greedy for dishonest gain.
Prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.
11They offer only superficial help
for the hurt my dear people have suffered.
They say, “Everything will be all right!”
But everything is not all right!
12Are they ashamed because they have done such disgusting things?
No, they are not at all ashamed!
They do not even know how to blush!
So they will die just like others have died.
They will be brought to ruin when I punish them,
says the Lord.
13I will take away their harvests, says the Lord.
There will be no grapes on their vines.
There will be no figs on their fig trees.
Even the leaves on their trees will wither.
The crops that I gave them will be taken away.’”
14The people say,
“Why are we just sitting here?
Let us gather together inside the fortified cities.
Let us at least die there fighting,
since the Lord our God has condemned us to die.
He has condemned us to drink the poison waters of judgment
because we have sinned against him.
15We hoped for good fortune, but nothing good has come of it.
We hoped for a time of relief, but instead we experience terror.
16The snorting of the enemy’s horses
is already being heard in the city of Dan.
The sound of the neighing of their stallions
causes the whole land to tremble with fear.
They are coming to destroy the land and everything in it!
They are coming to destroy the cities and everyone who lives in them!”
17The Lord says,
“Yes indeed, I am sending an enemy against you
that will be like poisonous snakes which cannot be charmed away.
And they will inflict fatal wounds on you.”(NET Bible)
122:1 A song of ascents, by David.
I was glad because they said to me,
“We will go to the Lord’s temple.”
2Our feet are standing
inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
3Jerusalem is a city designed
to accommodate an assembly.
4The tribes go up there,
the tribes of the Lord,
where it is required that Israel
give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5Indeed, the leaders sit there on thrones and make legal decisions,
on the thrones of the house of David.
6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love her prosper!
7May there be peace inside your defenses,
and prosperity inside your fortresses!
8For the sake of my brothers and my neighbors
I will say, “May there be peace in you!”
9For the sake of the temple of the Lord our God
I will pray for you to prosper.(NET Bible)
4:32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 33With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 34For there was no one needy among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling them and bringing the proceeds from the sales 35and placing them at the apostles’ feet. The proceeds were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 36So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), 37sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and placed it at the apostles’ feet.(NET Bible)
At the end of November the Reformer published his writing, On the Abuse of the Mass. At the beginning of this we read: “ Therefore let the unreasonable sophists, the ignorant bishops, monks, and parsons, the Pope with all his Gomorrahs know that we were not baptized in the name of Augustine, Bernard, Gregory, Peter or Paul, nor yet in the name of those from Paris but only in the name of Jesus Christ. Him only, and Him not otherwise than crucified, and no other do we acknowledge as our Master. Paul does not desire that we should believe him or an angel, unless Christ lives and speaks in him. … The saints were subject to error in their writings and to sin in their lives; Scripture cannot err.” Again, “It is not the Word of God because the Church says so, but because God’s Word said so, therefore is the Church. The Church does not make the Word but is made by the Word.” (22)
–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.