8:18 Then I said,
“There is no cure for my grief!
I am sick at heart!
19I hear my dear people crying out
throughout the length and breadth of the land.
They are crying, ‘Is the Lord no longer in Zion?
Is her divine King no longer there?’”
The Lord answers,
“Why then do they provoke me to anger with their images,
with their worthless foreign idols?”
20“They cry, ‘Harvest time has come and gone and the summer is over,
and still we have not been delivered.’
21My heart is crushed because my dear people are being crushed.
I go about crying and grieving. I am overwhelmed with dismay.
22There is still medicinal ointment available in Gilead!
There is still a physician there!
Why then have my dear people
not been restored to health?
9:1 (8:23) I wish that my head were a well full of water
and my eyes were a fountain full of tears!
If they were, I could cry day and night
for those of my dear people who have been killed.
2(9:1) I wish I had a lodging place in the wilderness
where I could spend some time like a weary traveler.
Then I would desert my people
and walk away from them
because they are all unfaithful to God,
a congregation of people that has been disloyal to him.”
3The Lord says,
“These people are like soldiers who have readied their bows.
Their tongues are always ready to shoot out lies.
They have become powerful in the land,
but they have not done so by honest means.
Indeed, they do one evil thing after another
and do not pay attention to me.
4Everyone must be on his guard around his friends.
He must not even trust any of his relatives.
For every one of them will find some way to cheat him.
And all his friends will tell lies about him.
5One friend deceives another,
and no one tells the truth.
These people have trained themselves to tell lies.
They do wrong and are unable to repent.
6They do one act of violence after another,
and one deceitful thing after another.
They refuse to pay attention to me,”
says the Lord.
7Therefore the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“I will now purify them in the fires of affliction and test them.
The wickedness of my dear people has left me no choice.
What else can I do?
8Their tongues are like deadly arrows.
They are always telling lies.
Friendly words for their neighbors come from their mouths,
but their minds are thinking up ways to trap them.
9I will certainly punish them for doing such things!” says the Lord.
“I will certainly bring retribution on such a nation as this!”
“I will weep and mourn for the grasslands on the mountains;
I will sing a mournful song for the pastures in the wilderness
because they are so scorched no one travels through them.
The sound of livestock is no longer heard there.
Even the birds in the sky and the wild animals in the fields
have fled and are gone.”
11The Lord said,
“I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
Jackals will make their home there.
I will destroy the towns of Judah
so that no one will be able to live in them.”(NET Bible)
123:1 A song of ascents.
I look up toward you,
the one enthroned in heaven.
2Look, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a female servant look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes will look to the Lord, our God, until he shows us favor.
3Show us favor, O Lord, show us favor!
For we have had our fill of humiliation, and then some.
4We have had our fill
of the taunts of the self-assured,
of the contempt of the proud.(NET Bible)
5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. 2He kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought only part of it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. 3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of the land? 4Before it was sold, did it not belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? You have not lied to people but to God!”
5When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped all who heard about it. 6So the young men came, wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. 7After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, but she did not know what had happened. 8Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you paid this amount for the land?” Sapphira said, “Yes, that much.” 9Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 10At once she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear gripped the whole church and all who heard about these things.
12Now many miraculous signs and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By common consent they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 13None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high honor. 14More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, crowds of both men and women. 15Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 16A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. They were all being healed.(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.