2 Chron. 36:1–23
36:1 The people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. 2Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. 3The king of Egypt prevented him from ruling in Jerusalem and imposed on the land a special tax of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 4The king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Necho seized his brother Jehoahaz and took him to Egypt.
5Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God. 6King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked him, bound him with bronze chains, and carried him away to Babylon. 7Nebuchadnezzar took some of the items in the Lord’s temple to Babylon and put them in his palace there.
8The rest of the events of Jehoiakim’s reign, including the horrible sins he committed and his shortcomings, are recorded in the Scroll of the Kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiachin replaced him as king.
9Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord. 10At the beginning of the year King Nebuchadnezzar ordered him to be brought to Babylon, along with the valuable items in the Lord’s temple. In his place he made his relative Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.
11Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. 12He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God. He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, the Lord’s spokesman. 13He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him vow allegiance in the name of God. He was stubborn and obstinate, and refused to return to the Lord God of Israel. 14All the leaders of the priests and people became more unfaithful and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations. They defiled the Lord’s temple which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.
15The Lord God of their ancestors continually warned them through his messengers, for he felt compassion for his people and his dwelling place. 16But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his warnings, and ridiculed his prophets. Finally the Lord got very angry at his people and there was no one who could prevent his judgment. 17He brought against them the king of the Babylonians, who slaughtered their young men in their temple. He did not spare young men or women, or even the old and aging. God handed everyone over to him. 18He carried away to Babylon all the items in God’s temple, whether large or small, as well as what was in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king and his officials. 19They burned down the God’s temple and tore down the wall of Jerusalem. They burned all its fortified buildings and destroyed all its valuable items. 20He deported to Babylon all who escaped the sword. They served him and his sons until the Persian kingdom rose to power. 21This took place to fulfill the Lord’s message spoken through Jeremiah and lasted until the land experienced its sabbatical years. All the time of its desolation the land rested in order to fulfill the seventy years.
22In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in fulfillment of the Lord’s message spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord motivated King Cyrus of Persia to issue a proclamation throughout his kingdom and also to put it in writing. It read:
23“This is what King Cyrus of Persia says:
‘The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Anyone of his people among you may go up there and may the Lord his God be with him!”(NET Bible)
112:1 Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the one who obeys the Lord,
who takes great delight in keeping his commands.
2His descendants will be powerful on the earth;
the godly will be blessed.
3His house contains wealth and riches;
his integrity endures.
4In the darkness a light shines for the godly,
for each one who is merciful, compassionate, and just.
5It goes well for the one who generously lends money,
and conducts his business honestly.
6For he will never be shaken;
others will always remember one who is just.
7He does not fear bad news.
He is confident; he trusts in the Lord.
8His resolve is firm; he will not succumb to fear
before he looks in triumph on his enemies.
9He generously gives to the needy;
his integrity endures.
He will be vindicated and honored.
10When the wicked see this, they will worry;
they will grind their teeth in frustration and melt away;
the desire of the wicked will perish.(NET Bible)
19:1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2Now a man named Zacchaeus was there; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3He was trying to get a look at Jesus, but being a short man he could not see over the crowd. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, because Jesus was going to pass that way. 5And when Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, because I must stay at your house today.” 6So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully. 7And when the people saw it, they all complained, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8But Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, half of my possessions I now give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times as much!” 9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this household, because he too is a son of Abraham! 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”(NET Bible)
Wilhelm Walther truthfully says: “It never entered the mind of Luther to deny all authority in the Church. Rather, by dethroning the mass of false authorities to which men bowed during the Catholic period, he enthroned another authority as the only one duly authenticated. Indeed, only to this end did he militate against the infallibility of the Church Fathers, Popes, Councils, and universities with such force, to make room for the ‘Empress’ who alone is worthy of all sovereignty, the Holy Scripture. Anyone to whom this must rst be proved lacks even elementary knowledge in the eld of the history of the Reformation. (19)
–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.