1:1 This is the oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw:
2How long, Lord, must I cry for help?
But you do not listen!
I call out to you, “Violence!”
But you do not deliver!
3Why do you force me to witness injustice?
Why do you put up with wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence confront me;
conflict is present and one must endure strife.
4For this reason the law lacks power,
and justice is never carried out.
Indeed, the wicked intimidate the innocent.
For this reason justice is perverted.
5“Look at the nations and pay attention!
You will be shocked and amazed!
For I will do something in your lifetime
that you will not believe even though you are forewarned.
6Look, I am about to empower the Babylonians,
that ruthless and greedy nation.
They sweep across the surface of the earth,
seizing dwelling places that do not belong to them.
7They are frightening and terrifying;
they decide for themselves what is right.
8Their horses are faster than leopards
and more alert than wolves in the desert.
Their horses gallop,
their horses come a great distance;
like vultures they swoop down quickly to devour their prey.
9All of them intend to do violence;
every face is determined.
They take prisoners as easily as one scoops up sand.
10They mock kings
and laugh at rulers.
They laugh at every fortified city;
they build siege ramps and capture them.
11They sweep by like the wind and pass on.
But the one who considers himself a god will be held guilty.”(NET Bible)
116:1 I love the Lord
because he heard my plea for mercy
2and listened to me.
As long as I live, I will call to him when I need help.
3The ropes of death tightened around me,
the snares of Sheol confronted me.
I was confronted with trouble and sorrow.
4I called on the name of the Lord,
“Please, Lord, rescue my life!”
5The Lord is merciful and fair;
our God is compassionate.
6The Lord protects the untrained;
I was in serious trouble and he delivered me.
7Rest once more, my soul,
for the Lord has vindicated you.
8Yes, Lord, you rescued my life from death,
kept my eyes from tears
and my feet from stumbling.
9I will serve the Lord
in the land of the living.
10I had faith when I said,
“I am severely oppressed.”
11I rashly declared,
“All men are liars.”
12How can I repay the Lord
for all his acts of kindness to me?
13I will celebrate my deliverance
and call on the name of the Lord.
14I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
before all his people.
15The Lord values
the lives of his faithful followers.
16Yes, Lord! I am indeed your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your female servant.
You saved me from death.
17I will present a thank offering to you,
and call on the name of the Lord.
18I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
before all his people,
19in the courts of the Lord’s temple,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!(NET Bible)
20:8 Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by whose authority I do these things.”
9Then he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10When harvest time came, he sent a slave to the tenants so that they would give him his portion of the crop. However, the tenants beat his slave and sent him away empty-handed. 11So he sent another slave. They beat this one too, treated him outrageously, and sent him away empty-handed. 12So he sent still a third. They even wounded this one and threw him out. 13Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my one dear son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14But when the tenants saw him, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir; let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours!’ 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “May this never happen!” 17But Jesus looked straight at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? 18Everyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.” 19Then the experts in the law and the chief priests wanted to arrest him that very hour because they realized he had told this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
20Then they watched him carefully and sent spies who pretended to be sincere. They wanted to take advantage of what he might say so that they could deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21Thus they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly, and show no partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22Is it right for us to pay the tribute tax to Caesar or not?” 23But Jesus perceived their deceit and said to them, 24“Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25So he said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26Thus they were unable in the presence of the people to trap him with his own words. And stunned by his answer, they fell silent.(NET Bible)
On April 28, thus ten days later [a er Worms], [Luther] wrote his well-known letter to Emperor Charles. … “But I, who was always humble and zealously ready to do and to suffer all that in me lay, could not obtain this one concession, this most Christian prayer, that the Word of God should remain free and unbound, and that I should submit my books to your Sacred Majesty and the Estates of the Empire on that condition, nor that in yielding to the decree of a Council I should not submit to anything contrary to the gospel of God, nor should they make any such decree. is was the crux of the whole controversy.” Luther then continues: “For God, the searcher of hearts, is my witness that I am most ready to submit to and obey your Majesty either in life or in death, to glory or to shame, for gain or for loss. As I have o ered myself, thus I do now, excepting nothing save the Word of God, in which not only (as Christ teaches in Matthew 4) does man live, but which also the angels of Christ desire to see (I Peter 1). As it is above all things it ought to be held free and unbound in all, as Paul teaches (II Timothy 2:9). It ought not to depend on human judgment nor to yield to the opinion of men, no matter how great, how numerous, how learned, and how holy they are. Thus does St. Paul in Galatians. I dare to exclaim with emphasis, ‘If we or an angel from heaven teach you another gospel, let him be anathema,’ and David says, ‘Put not your trust in princes, in the sons of men, in whom is no safety,’ Ps. 146:3. Nor is anyone able to trust in himself, as Solomon says, ‘He is a fool who trusts in his heart’; Prov. 28:26, and Jeremiah 17, ‘Cursed is he who trusteth in man’ … For to trust in man in matters of salvation is to give to the creature the glory due to the creator alone.” (20–21)
–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.