11:20 There will arise after him one who will send out an exactor of tribute to enhance the splendor of the kingdom, but after a few days he will be destroyed, though not in anger or battle.
21“Then there will arise in his place a despicable person to whom the royal honor has not been rightfully conferred. He will come on the scene in a time of prosperity and will seize the kingdom through deceit. 22Armies will be suddenly swept away in defeat before him; both they and a covenant leader will be destroyed. 23After entering into an alliance with him, he will behave treacherously; he will ascend to power with only a small force. 24In a time of prosperity for the most productive areas of the province, he will come and accomplish what neither his fathers nor their fathers accomplished. He will distribute loot, spoils, and property to his followers, and he will devise plans against fortified cities, but not for long. 25He will rouse his strength and enthusiasm against the king of the south with a large army. The king of the south will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to prevail because of the plans devised against him. 26Those who share the king’s fine food will attempt to destroy him, and his army will be swept away; many will be killed in battle. 27These two kings, their minds filled with evil intentions, will trade lies with one another at the same table. But it will not succeed, for there is still an end at the appointed time. 28Then the king of the north will return to his own land with much property. His mind will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action, and then return to his own land. 29At an appointed time he will again invade the south, but this latter visit will not turn out the way the former one did. 30The ships of Kittim will come against him, leaving him disheartened. He will turn back and direct his indignation against the holy covenant. He will return and honor those who forsake the holy covenant. 31His forces will rise up and profane the fortified sanctuary, stopping the daily sacrifice. In its place they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32Then with smooth words he will defile those who have rejected the covenant. But the people who are loyal to their God will act valiantly. 33These who are wise among the people will teach the masses. However, they will fall by the sword and by the flame, and they will be imprisoned and plundered for some time. 34When they stumble, they will be granted some help. But many will unite with them deceitfully. 35Even some of the wise will stumble, resulting in their refinement, purification, and cleansing until the time of the end, for it is still for the appointed time.
36“Then the king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity, and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur. 37He will not respect the gods of his fathers—not even the god loved by women. He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all. 38What he will honor is a god of fortresses—a god his fathers did not acknowledge he will honor with gold, silver, valuable stones, and treasured commodities. 39He will attack mighty fortresses, aided by a foreign deity. To those who recognize him he will grant considerable honor. He will place them in authority over many people, and he will parcel out land for a price.
40“At the time of the end the king of the south will attack him. Then the king of the north will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and a large armada of ships. He will invade lands, passing through them like an overflowing river. 41Then he will enter the beautiful land. Many will fall, but these will escape: Edom, Moab, and the Ammonite leadership. 42He will extend his power against other lands; the land of Egypt will not escape. 43He will have control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, as well as all the treasures of Egypt. Libyans and Ethiopians will submit to him. 44But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many. 45He will pitch his royal tents between the seas toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.(NET Bible)
119:97 מ (Mem)
O how I love your law!
All day long I meditate on it.
98Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
for I am always aware of them.
99I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your rules.
100I am more discerning than those older than I,
for I observe your precepts.
101I stay away from every evil path,
so that I might keep your instructions.
102I do not turn aside from your regulations,
for you teach me.
103Your words are sweeter
in my mouth than honey!
104Your precepts give me discernment.
Therefore I hate all deceitful actions.(NET Bible)
1 John 2:28–3:10
2:28 And now, little children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back. 29If you know that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been fathered by him.
3:1 (See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children—and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: Because it did not know him. 2Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him because we will see him just as he is. 3And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure).
4Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness. 5And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous. 8The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil. 9Everyone who has been fathered by God does not practice sin because God’s seed resides in him, and thus he is not able to sin because he has been fathered by God. 10By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed: Everyone who does not practice righteousness—the one who does not love his fellow Christian—is not of God.(NET Bible)
It was self-evident to Luther that the evangelists gave consideration to the plan according to which they would relate the history of Jesus and, with that in mind, selected and arranged their materials accordingly, abbreviating here and expanding there. In the Church Postil Luther says in the Sermon for the Twenty- fifth Sunday after Trinity (St. Matt. 24:15-28): “In this chapter is described the conclu-sion and end of both kingdoms, that of Judah and that of the whole world. But the two evangelists, Matthew and Mark, mingle the two and do not keep the order that has been preserved in Luke, for they are concerned only about telling and repeating the words without troubling themselves as to the order in which the words were spoken.” “So understand that Matthew here weaves together and combines the end of the Jewish nation and of the world, mixes them into one dish. But if you wish to understand it you must separate it and apply the parts to their respective ends.” (60–61)
–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.