25:15 So the Lord, the God of Israel, spoke to me in a vision. “Take this cup from my hand. It is filled with the wine of my wrath. Take it and make the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16When they have drunk it, they will stagger to and fro and act insane. For I will send wars sweeping through them.”
17So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand. I made all the nations to whom he sent me drink the wine of his wrath. 18I made Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and its officials drink it. I did it so Judah would become a ruin. I did it so Judah, its kings, and its officials would become an object of horror and of hissing scorn, an example used in curses. Such is already becoming the case! 19I made all of these other people drink it: Pharaoh, king of Egypt; his attendants, his officials, his people, 20the foreigners living in Egypt; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of the land of the Philistines, the people of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, the people who had been left alive from Ashdod; 21all the people of Edom, Moab, Ammon; 22all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon; all the kings of the coastlands along the sea; 23the people of Dedan, Tema, Buz, all the desert people who cut their hair short at the temples; 24all the kings of Arabia who live in the desert; 25all the kings of Zimri; all the kings of Elam; all the kings of Media; 26all the kings of the north, whether near or far from one another; and all the other kingdoms which are on the face of the earth. After all of them have drunk the wine of the Lord’s wrath, the king of Babylon must drink it.
27Then the Lord said to me, “Tell them that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel says, ‘Drink this cup until you get drunk and vomit. Drink until you fall down and can’t get up. For I will send wars sweeping through you.’ 28If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink it, tell them that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says ‘You most certainly must drink it! 29For take note, I am already beginning to bring disaster on the city that I call my own. So how can you possibly avoid being punished? You will not go unpunished! For I am proclaiming war against all who live on the earth. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, affirm it!’
30 “Then, Jeremiah, make the following prophecy against them:
‘Like a lion about to attack, the Lord will roar from the heights of heaven;
from his holy dwelling on high he will roar loudly.
He will roar mightily against his land.
He will shout in triumph like those stomping juice from the grapes
against all those who live on the earth.
31The sounds of battle will resound to the ends of the earth.
For the Lord will bring charges against the nations.
He will pass judgment on all humankind
and will hand the wicked over to be killed in war.’
The Lord so affirms it!
32The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says,
‘Disaster will soon come on one nation after another.
A mighty storm of military destruction is rising up
from the distant parts of the earth.’
33Those who have been killed by the Lord at that time
will be scattered from one end of the earth to the other.
They will not be mourned over, gathered up, or buried.
Their dead bodies will lie scattered over the ground like manure.
34Wail and cry out in anguish, you rulers!
Roll in the dust, you who shepherd flocks of people!
The time for you to be slaughtered has come.
You will lie scattered and fallen like broken pieces of fine pottery.
35The leaders will not be able to run away and hide.
The shepherds of the flocks will not be able to escape.
36Listen to the cries of anguish of the leaders.
Listen to the wails of the shepherds of the flocks.
They are wailing because the Lord
is about to destroy their lands.
37Their peaceful dwelling places will be laid waste
by the fierce anger of the Lord.
38The Lord is like a lion who has left his lair.
So their lands will certainly be laid waste
by the warfare of the oppressive nation
and by the fierce anger of the Lord.”(NET Bible)
148:1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the sky!
Praise him in the heavens!
2Praise him, all his angels!
Praise him, all his heavenly assembly!
3Praise him, O sun and moon!
Praise him, all you shiny stars!
4Praise him, O highest heaven,
and you waters above the sky!
5Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he gave the command and they came into existence.
6He established them so they would endure;
he issued a decree that will not be revoked.
7Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea creatures and all you ocean depths,
8O fire and hail, snow and clouds,
O stormy wind that carries out his orders,
9you mountains and all you hills,
you fruit trees and all you cedars,
10you animals and all you cattle,
you creeping things and birds,
11you kings of the earth and all you nations,
you princes and all you leaders on the earth,
12you young men and young women,
you elderly, along with you children!
13Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty extends over the earth and sky.
14He has made his people victorious,
and given all his loyal followers reason to praise –
the Israelites, the people who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!(NET Bible)
15:1 Now some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2When Paul and Barnabas had a major argument and debate with them, the church appointed Paul and Barnabas and some others from among them to go up to meet with the apostles and elders in Jerusalem about this point of disagreement. 3So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they were relating at length the conversion of the Gentiles and bringing great joy to all the brothers. 4When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all the things God had done with them. 5But some from the religious party of the Pharisees who had believed stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise the Gentiles and to order them to observe the law of Moses.”
6Both the apostles and the elders met together to deliberate about this matter. 7After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago God chose me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message of the gospel and believe. 8And God, who knows the heart, has testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9and he made no distinction between them and us, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.”
12The whole group kept quiet and listened to Barnabas and Paul while they explained all the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13After they stopped speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14Simeon has explained how God first concerned himself to select from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written,
16 ‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David;
I will rebuild its ruins and restore it,
17 so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord,
namely, all the Gentiles I have called to be my own,’ says the Lord, who makes these things 18known from long ago.
19 “Therefore I conclude that we should not cause extra difficulty for those among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20but that we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things defiled by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood. 21For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, because he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath.”(NET Bible)
As early as 1523 [Luther] wrote in Vom Anbetendes Sakraments: “Beware of this; forget knowledge and understanding that are so vainly exercised as to how it is possible for flesh and blood to be present, and because they cannot comprehend it refuse to believe it. Hold fast to the word that Christ spoke, ‘Take, this is my body, this is my blood.’ We must not wickedly trifle with God’s words as those who, without any clearly expressed warrant, want to give another meaning to some word differing from its natural meaning, as those do who sacrilegiously try to twist the word is into meaning ‘it signifies,’ and so distort this statement of Christ, ‘ is is my body,’ that it is to mean, ‘this signifies my body.’ But we shall and will simply stand by Christ’s words; He will not betray us, and we will repel such error with no other sword than the fact that Christ does not say, ‘this signifies my body, but this is my body.’ For if such evil frivolity be permitted in one place so that we could say, without any foundation in Scripture, that ‘is’ means ‘signifies,’ there would be no protection against a similar interpretation in any other case, and all Scripture would be nullified because there would be no reason why such wicked trifling could be permitted in one case and denied in another.” (30)
–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.