Based on 2 Chronicles 1:1-17
The daily reading plan now moves from Micah to 2 Chronicles, beginning just after the death of King David in 1 Chronicles 29:26-30. The first act recorded, then, is Solomon’s gathering of all Israel, all commanders, judges, rulers and heads of houses. King Solomon gathered them at the “high place” that was at Gibeon, where the Tent of Meeting was, the ark of God and the bronze altar. And Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it. His first act was to gather the Lord God’s people for worship and to make an acceptable gift to the Lord.
What follows is a moving account of a visitation by God, to Solomon, in a dream. The story of the kings so far in the history of God’s people has been one of rebellion, sin, judgment and finally restoration and peace. The Lord God asked, “What shall I give you?” Would Solomon ask for possessions, wealth, worldly honor or the death of his enemies? What king wouldn’t? Instead, realizing the heavy burden of rule, Solomon asks for wisdom and knowledge, for the sake of God’s people. And that he was given, as well as riches, possessions and honor.
What do we value most in life? Wealth? Position? Power and control? Career? God’s wisdom and knowledge seem to have fallen out of favor in our day. Perhaps church leaders might ask a portion of that as well, today.
Prayer: Lord God, bless us with wisdom and knowledge, to know and do what is right. Amen.
Lenten response: What would you choose? Great wisdom and knowledge or riches and power?
This year’s devotional was prepared by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC assistant to the bishop for ministry and ecumenism. To learn more about A Lenten Walk Through the Word, visit thenalc.org/lent.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
2 Chron. 1:1–17
1:1 Solomon son of David solidified his royal authority, for the Lord his God was with him and magnified him greatly.
2Solomon addressed all Israel, including those who commanded units of a thousand and a hundred, the judges, and all the leaders of all Israel who were heads of families. 3Solomon and the entire assembly went to the worship center in Gibeon, for the tent where they met God was located there, which Moses the Lord’s servant had made in the wilderness. 4(Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. 5But the bronze altar made by Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, was in front of the Lord’s tabernacle. Solomon and the entire assembly prayed to him there.) 6Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the Lord which was at the meeting tent, and he offered up 1,000 burnt sacrifices.
7That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Tell me what I should give you.” 8Solomon replied to God, “You demonstrated great loyalty to my father David and have made me king in his place. 9Now, Lord God, may your promise to my father David be realized, for you have made me king over a great nation as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10Now give me wisdom and discernment so I can effectively lead this nation. Otherwise no one is able to make judicial decisions for this great nation of yours.”
11God said to Solomon, “Because you desire this, and did not ask for riches, wealth, and honor, or for vengeance on your enemies, and because you did not ask for long life, but requested wisdom and discernment so you can make judicial decisions for my people over whom I have made you king, 12you are granted wisdom and discernment. Furthermore I am giving you riches, wealth, and honor surpassing that of any king before or after you.”
13Solomon left the meeting tent at the worship center in Gibeon and went to Jerusalem, where he reigned over Israel.
14Solomon accumulated chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses . He kept them in assigned cities and in Jerusalem. 15The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones; cedar was as plentiful as sycamore fig trees are in the foothills. 16Solomon acquired his horses from Egypt and from Que; the king’s traders purchased them from Que. 17They paid 600 silver pieces for each chariot from Egypt and 150 silver pieces for each horse. They also sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria.(NET Bible)
69:1 For the music director, according to the tune of “Lilies”; by David.
Deliver me, O God,
for the water has reached my neck.
2I sink into the deep mire
where there is no solid ground;
I am in deep water,
and the current overpowers me.
3I am exhausted from shouting for help.
My throat is sore;
my eyes grow tired from looking for my God.
4Those who hate me without cause
are more numerous than the hairs of my head.
Those who want to destroy me,
my enemies for no reason,
They make me repay what I did not steal.
5O God, you are aware of my foolish sins;
my guilt is not hidden from you.
6Let none who rely on you be disgraced because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Let none who seek you be ashamed because of me,
O God of Israel.
7For I suffer humiliation for your sake
and am thoroughly disgraced.
8My own brothers treat me like a stranger;
they act as if I were a foreigner.
9Certainly zeal for your house consumes me;
I endure the insults of those who insult you.
10I weep and refrain from eating food,
which causes others to insult me.
11I wear sackcloth
and they ridicule me.
12Those who sit at the city gate gossip about me;
drunkards mock me in their songs.
13O Lord, may you hear my prayer and be favorably disposed to me.
O God, because of your great loyal love,
answer me with your faithful deliverance.
14Rescue me from the mud. Don’t let me sink.
Deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep water.
15Don’t let the current overpower me.
Don’t let the deep swallow me up.
Don’t let the Pit devour me.
16Answer me, O Lord, for your loyal love is good.
Because of your great compassion, turn toward me.
17Do not ignore your servant,
for I am in trouble. Answer me right away.
18Come near me and redeem me.
Because of my enemies, rescue me.
19You know how I am insulted, humiliated, and disgraced;
you can see all my enemies.
20Their insults are painful and make me lose heart;
I look for sympathy, but receive none,
for comforters, but find none.
21They put bitter poison into my food,
and to quench my thirst they give me vinegar to drink.
22May their dining table become a trap before them.
May it be a snare for that group of friends.
23May their eyes be blinded.
Make them shake violently.
24Pour out your judgment on them.
May your raging anger overtake them.
25May their camp become desolate,
their tents uninhabited.
26For they harass the one whom you discipline;
they spread the news about the suffering of those whom you punish.
27Hold them accountable for all their sins.
Do not vindicate them.
28May their names be deleted from the scroll of the living.
Do not let their names be listed with the godly.
29I am oppressed and suffering.
O God, deliver and protect me.
30I will sing praises to God’s name.
I will magnify him as I give him thanks.
31That will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull
with horns and hooves.
32The oppressed look on—let them rejoice.
You who seek God, may you be encouraged.
33For the Lord listens to the needy;
he does not despise his captive people.
34Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
along with the seas and everything that swims in them.
35For God will deliver Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah,
and his people will again live in them and possess Zion.
36The descendants of his servants will inherit it,
and those who are loyal to him will live in it.(NET Bible)
4:14 Then Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the surrounding countryside. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by all.
16Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and the regaining of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.” 22All were speaking well of him, and were amazed at the gracious words coming out of his mouth. They said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” 23Jesus said to them, “No doubt you will quote to me the proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ and say, ‘What we have heard that you did in Capernaum, do here in your hometown too.’” 24And he added, “I tell you the truth, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up three and a half years and there was a great famine over all the land. 26Yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, yet none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard this, all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, forced him out of the town, and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.(NET Bible)
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.
Let me mention at least a few testimonies from the year 1520. In June, Luther wrote to the same Dungersheim, “We wish to be judged by Scripture; you wish to judge it … If the Fathers are to be read without selection and judgment, the Scripture is taken away.” (17–18)
–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.