4:1 “If you, Israel, want to come back,” says the Lord,
“if you want to come back to me,
you must get those disgusting idols out of my sight
and must no longer go astray.
2You must be truthful, honest, and upright
when you take an oath saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’
If you do, the nations will pray to be as blessed by him as you are
and will make him the object of their boasting.”
3Yes, this is what the Lord has said
to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Break up your unplowed ground, do not cast seeds among thorns.
4Commit yourselves to the Lord;
dedicate your hearts to me
people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Otherwise, my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you
that no one will be able to extinguish.
That will happen because of the evil you have done.”
5The Lord said,
“Announce this in Judah and proclaim it in Jerusalem:
‘Sound the trumpet throughout the land!’
Shout out loudly,
‘Gather together! Let us flee into the fortified cities!’
6Raise a signal flag that tells people to go to Zion.
Run for safety! Do not delay!
For I am about to bring disaster out of the north.
It will bring great destruction.
7Like a lion that has come up from its lair,
the one who destroys nations has set out from his home base.
He is coming out to lay your land waste.
Your cities will become ruins and lie uninhabited.
8So put on sackcloth!
Mourn and wail, saying,
‘The fierce anger of the Lord
has not turned away from us!’
9When this happens,” says the Lord,
“the king and his officials will lose their courage.
The priests will be struck with horror,
and the prophets will be speechless in astonishment.”
10In response to all this I said, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have surely allowed the people of Judah and Jerusalem to be deceived by those who say, ‘You will be safe!’ But in fact a sword is already at our throats.”
11At that time the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be told,
“A scorching wind will sweep down
from the hilltops in the wilderness on my dear people.
It will not be a gentle breeze
for winnowing the grain and blowing away the chaff.
12No, a wind too strong for that will come at my bidding.
Yes, even now I, myself, am calling down judgment on them.
13Look! The enemy is approaching like gathering clouds.
The roar of his chariots is like that of a whirlwind.
His horses move more swiftly than eagles.”
I cry out, “We are doomed, for we will be destroyed!”
14O people of Jerusalem, purify your hearts from evil
so that you may yet be delivered.
How long will you continue to harbor up
wicked schemes within you?
15For messengers are coming, heralding disaster,
from the city of Dan and from the hills of Ephraim.
16They are saying,
“Announce to the surrounding nations,
‘The enemy is coming!’
Proclaim this message to Jerusalem:
‘Those who besiege cities are coming from a distant land.
They are ready to raise the battle cry against the towns in Judah.’
17They will surround Jerusalem
like men guarding a field
because they have rebelled against me,”
says the Lord.
18“The way you have lived and the things you have done
will bring this on you.
This is the punishment you deserve, and it will be painful indeed.
The pain will be so bad it will pierce your heart.”(NET Bible)
119:121 ע (Ayin)
I do what is fair and right.
Do not abandon me to my oppressors.
122Guarantee the welfare of your servant.
Do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123My eyes grow tired as I wait for your deliverance,
for your reliable promise to be fulfilled.
124Show your servant your loyal love.
Teach me your statutes.
125I am your servant. Give me insight,
so that I can understand your rules.
126It is time for the Lord to act—
they break your law.
127For this reason I love your commands
more than gold, even purest gold.
128For this reason I carefully follow all your precepts.
I hate all deceitful actions.(NET Bible)
1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives (which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away). 13When they had entered Jerusalem, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James were there. 14All these continued together in prayer with one mind, together with the women, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. 15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a gathering of about 120 people) and said, 16“Brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit foretold through David concerning Judas—who became the guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17for he was counted as one of us and received a share in this ministry.” 18(Now this man Judas acquired a field with the reward of his unjust deed, and falling headfirst he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19This became known to all who lived in Jerusalem, so that in their own language they called that field Hakeldama, that is, “Field of Blood.”) 20“For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his house become deserted, and let there be no one to live in it,’ and ‘Let another take his position of responsibility.’ 21Thus one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time the Lord Jesus associated with us, 22beginning from his baptism by John until the day he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness of his resurrection together with us.” 23So they proposed two candidates: Joseph called Barsabbas (also called Justus) and Matthias. 24Then they prayed, “Lord, you know the hearts of all. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25to assume the task of this service and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26Then they cast lots for them, and the one chosen was Matthias; so he was counted with the eleven apostles.(NET Bible)
In his Rationis Latomianae Confutatio, written in June during his stay at Wartburg Castle and published in September, Luther declares: “I would rather drink from the fountain than from the brook—will you forbid this? A twofold fact moves me to do this. First, that I would have the Holy Scripture pure in its own power, untainted by any touch, even that of saintly men, and unmixed with any earthly spice.” (21)
–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.