6:1 It seemed like a good idea to Darius to appoint over the kingdom 120 satraps who would be in charge of the entire kingdom. 2Over them would be three supervisors, one of whom was Daniel. These satraps were accountable to them, so that the king’s interests might not incur damage. 3Now this Daniel was distinguishing himself above the other supervisors and the satraps, for he had an extraordinary spirit. In fact, the king intended to appoint him over the entire kingdom. 4Consequently the supervisors and satraps were trying to find some pretext against Daniel in connection with administrative matters. But they were unable to find any such damaging evidence because he was trustworthy and guilty of no negligence or corruption. 5So these men concluded, “We won’t find any pretext against this man Daniel unless it is in connection with the law of his God.”
6So these supervisors and satraps came by collusion to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7To all the supervisors of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, counselors, and governors it seemed like a good idea for a royal edict to be issued and an interdict to be enforced. For the next 30 days anyone who prays to any god or human other than you, O king, should be thrown into a den of lions. 8Now let the king issue a written interdict so that it cannot be altered, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed.” 9So King Darius issued the written interdict.
10When Daniel realized that a written decree had been issued, he entered his home, where the windows in his upper room opened toward Jerusalem. Three times daily he was kneeling and offering prayers and thanks to his God just as he had been accustomed to do previously. 11Then those officials who had gone to the king came by collusion and found Daniel praying and asking for help before his God. 12So they approached the king and said to him, “Did you not issue an edict to the effect that for the next 30 days anyone who prays to any god or human other than to you, O king, would be thrown into a den of lions?” The king replied, “That is correct, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed.” 13Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the edict that you issued. Three times daily he offers his prayer.”
14When the king heard this, he was very upset and began thinking about how he might rescue Daniel. Until late afternoon he was struggling to find a way to rescue him. 15Then those men came by collusion to the king and said to him, “Recall, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no edict or decree that the king issues can be changed.” 16So the king gave the order, and Daniel was brought and thrown into a den of lions. The king consoled Daniel by saying, “Your God whom you continually serve will rescue you!” 17Then a stone was brought and placed over the opening to the den. The king sealed it with his signet ring and with those of his nobles so that nothing could be changed with regard to Daniel. 18Then the king departed to his palace. But he spent the night without eating, and no diversions were brought to him. He was unable to sleep.
19In the morning, at the earliest sign of daylight, the king got up and rushed to the lions’ den. 20As he approached the den, he called out to Daniel in a worried voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, was your God whom you continually serve able to rescue you from the lions?”
21Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! 22My God sent his angel and closed the lions’ mouths so that they have not harmed me because I was found to be innocent before him. Nor have I done any harm to you, O king.”
23Then the king was delighted and gave an order to haul Daniel up from the den. So Daniel was hauled up out of the den. He had no injury of any kind because he had trusted in his God. 24The king gave another order, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den—they, their children, and their wives. They did not even reach the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
25Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and language groups who were living in all the land: “Peace and prosperity! 26I have issued an edict that throughout all the dominion of my kingdom people are to revere and fear the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God;
he endures forever.
His kingdom will not be destroyed;
his authority is forever.
27He rescues and delivers
and performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions!”
28So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
7:1 In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream filled with visions while he was lying on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream in summary fashion. 2Daniel explained: “I was watching in my vision during the night as the four winds of the sky were stirring up the great sea. 3Then four large beasts came up from the sea; they were different from one another.
4“The first one was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off, and it was lifted up from the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human being, and a human mind was given to it.
5“Then a second beast appeared, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and there were three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and devour much flesh!’
6“After these things, as I was watching, another beast like a leopard appeared, with four bird-like wings on its back. This beast had four heads, and ruling authority was given to it.
7“After these things, as I was watching in the night visions a fourth beast appeared—one dreadful, terrible, and very strong. It had two large rows of iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and anything that was left it trampled with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had 10 horns.
8“As I was contemplating the horns, another horn—a small one—came up between them, and three of the former horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things.(NET Bible)
119:49 ז (Zayin)
Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
50This is what comforts me in my trouble,
for your promise revives me.
51Arrogant people do nothing but scoff at me.
Yet I do not turn aside from your law.
52I remember your ancient regulations,
O Lord, and console myself.
53Rage takes hold of me because of the wicked,
those who reject your law.
54Your statutes have been my songs
in the house where I live.
55I remember your name during the night, O Lord,
and I will keep your law.
56This has been my practice,
for I observe your precepts.(NET Bible)
2 Peter 2:10–22
2:10 especially those who indulge their fleshly desires and who despise authority.
Brazen and insolent, they are not afraid to insult the glorious ones, 11yet even angels, who are much more powerful, do not bring a slanderous judgment against them in the presence of the Lord. 12But these men, like irrational animals—creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed—do not understand whom they are insulting, and consequently in their destruction they will be destroyed, 13suffering harm as the wages for their harmful ways. By considering it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight, they are stains and blemishes, indulging in their deceitful pleasures when they feast together with you. 14Their eyes, full of adultery, never stop sinning; they entice unstable people. They have trained their hearts for greed, these cursed children! 15By forsaking the right path they have gone astray, because they followed the way of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 16yet was rebuked for his own transgression (a dumb donkey, speaking with a human voice, restrained the prophet’s madness).
17These men are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm, for whom the utter depths of darkness have been reserved. 18For by speaking high-sounding but empty words they are able to entice, with fleshly desires and with debauchery, people who have just escaped from those who reside in error. 19Although these false teachers promise such people freedom, they themselves are enslaved to immorality. For whatever a person succumbs to, to that he is enslaved. 20For if after they have escaped the filthy things of the world through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again get entangled in them and succumb to them, their last state has become worse for them than their first. 21For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than, having known it, to turn back from the holy commandment that had been delivered to them. 22They are illustrations of this true proverb: “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and “A sow, after washing herself, wallows in the mire.”(NET Bible)
No matter how emphatically Luther emphasized the inerrancy and the consistency of the original text of Holy Scripture as the work of the Holy Ghost, he is also, on the other hand, convinced of the personal cooperation of the original authors. They are not, in his opinion, mechanical instruments and dead machines, mere amanuenses who set down on paper only what was dictated to them by the Spirit of God. He regarded them rather as independent instruments of the Spirit who spoke their faith, their heart, their thoughts; who put their entire will and feeling into the words to such an extent that from what Luther reads in each case he draws conclusions concerning the character and the temperament of the authors. So [according to Luther] the Prophet Joel reveals himself in his writing as a “gracious and gentle man, who does not scold and censure like the other prophets but implores and bewails.” Amos, on the other hand, is “violent, scolding almost all the way through his book, so that he is well called, Amos, that is a burden or what is burdensome and vexatious”; and he explains this as being due to his calling and from the fact that he was sent as a “stranger” from the Kingdom of Judah to the Kingdom of Israel, for, he continues, “because he is a shepherd and not one of the order of the prophets, as he says in the seventh chapter, moreover, he goes from the branch of Judah, from Tekoa, into the Kingdom of Israel and preaches there as a stranger.” Of Jeremiah, however, Luther says that he is always afraid that he censures too much, for which reason he compares him with Philip Melanchthon. In Paul he observes the deepest emotion because of his writings and can say of his words, “these words are violent above mea- sure, from which it is easy to see that he was much more violently moved than he was able to express in words.” Yes, he adds, “So it has come about that St. Paul under the influence of his intense thought could not control his own word so well, and his speech has become somewhat disordered and peculiar.” (60)
–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.