12:5 The Lord answered,
“If you have raced on foot against men and they have worn you out,
how will you be able to compete with horses?
And if you feel secure only in safe and open country,
how will you manage in the thick undergrowth along the Jordan River?
6As a matter of fact, even your own brothers
and the members of your own family have betrayed you too.
Even they have plotted to do away with you.
So do not trust them even when they say kind things to you.
7 “I will abandon my nation.
I will forsake the people I call my own.
I will turn my beloved people
over to the power of their enemies.
8The people I call my own have turned on me
like a lion in the forest.
They have roared defiantly at me.
So I will treat them as though I hate them.
9The people I call my own attack me like birds of prey or like hyenas.
But other birds of prey are all around them.
Let all the nations gather together like wild beasts.
Let them come and destroy these people I call my own.
10Many foreign rulers will ruin the land where I planted my people.
They will trample all over my chosen land.
They will turn my beautiful land
into a desolate wilderness.
11They will lay it waste.
It will lie parched and empty before me.
The whole land will be laid waste.
But no one living in it will pay any heed.
12A destructive army will come marching
over the hilltops in the wilderness.
For the Lord will use them as his destructive weapon
against everyone from one end of the land to the other.
No one will be safe.
13My people will sow wheat, but will harvest weeds.
They will work until they are exhausted, but will get nothing from it.
They will be disappointed in their harvests
because the Lord will take them away in his fierce anger.
14 “I, the Lord, also have something to say concerning the wicked nations who surround my land and have attacked and plundered the land that I gave to my people as a permanent possession. I say: ‘I will uproot the people of those nations from their land and I will free the people of Judah who have been taken there. 15But after I have uprooted the people of those nations, I will relent and have pity on them. I will restore the people of each of those nations to their own lands and to their own country. 16But they must make sure to learn to follow the religious practices of my people. Once they taught my people to swear their oaths using the name of the god Baal. But then, they must swear oaths using my name, saying, “As surely as the Lord lives, I swear.” If they do these things, then they will be included among the people I call my own. 17But I will completely uproot and destroy any of those nations that will not pay heed,’” says the Lord.(NET Bible)
129:1 A song of ascents.
“Since my youth they have often attacked me,”
let Israel say.
2 “Since my youth they have often attacked me,
but they have not defeated me.
3The plowers plowed my back;
they made their furrows long.
4The Lord is just;
he cut the ropes of the wicked.”
5May all who hate Zion
be humiliated and turned back!
6May they be like the grass on the rooftops
which withers before one can even pull it up,
7which cannot fill the reaper’s hand,
or the lap of the one who gathers the grain!
8Those who pass by will not say,
“May you experience the Lord’s blessing!
We pronounce a blessing on you in the name of the Lord.(NET Bible)
7:54 When they heard these things, they became furious and ground their teeth at him. 55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56“Look!” he said. “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57But they covered their ears, shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 58When they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60Then he fell to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he died. 8:1 And Saul agreed completely with killing him.
Now on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. 2Some devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. 3But Saul was trying to destroy the church; entering one house after another, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
4Now those who had been forced to scatter went around proclaiming the good news of the word. 5Philip went down to the main city of Samaria and began proclaiming the Christ to them. 6The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what Philip said, as they heard and saw the miraculous signs he was performing. 7For unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, were coming out of many who were possessed, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8So there was great joy in that city.(NET Bible)
During the summer [Luther] defended himself in a German as well as in a Latin treatise against the attack by King Henry VIII of England. I will quote only the brief word from the Latin writing, “They demand that we believe them; I do not demand that men should believe me but that they should believe the clear words of God.” From the German we quote: “But that he (King Henry) cites the statements of several of the Fathers and ridicules my arrogance that I alone would be smart whereas I am the greatest fool, does not a affect me. For me it is enough that King Heinz can not quote a single Scripture … But I place against the sayings of all Fathers, all angels’, men’s, devils’ artifice and word, the Scripture and the gospel. Here I stand, here I bid defiance, here I strut about and say, God’s Word for me is above everything; divine majesty stands by me (i.e., in and with the Word); therefore I will not give a hair though a thousand Augustines, a thousand Heinze-Churches were also against me, and I am certain that the true Church with me holds fast to the Word of God.” (22–23)
–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.