Home > Reading > Daily Reading – November 21, 2020

Neh. 2

2:1 Then in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought to me, I took the wine and gave it to the king. Previously I had not been depressed in the king’s presence. 2So the king said to me, “Why do you appear to be depressed when you aren’t sick? What can this be other than sadness of heart?” This made me very fearful.

3I replied to the king, “O king, live forever! Why would I not appear dejected when the city with the graves of my ancestors lies desolate and its gates destroyed by fire?” 4The king responded, “What is it you are seeking?” Then I quickly prayed to the God of heaven 5and said to the king, “If the king is so inclined and if your servant has found favor in your sight, dispatch me to Judah, to the city with the graves of my ancestors, so that I can rebuild it.” 6Then the king, with his consort sitting beside him, replied, “How long would your trip take, and when would you return?” Since the king was pleased to send me, I gave him a time. 7I said to the king, “If the king is so inclined, let him give me letters for the governors of Trans-Euphrates that will enable me to travel safely until I reach Judah, 8and a letter for Asaph the keeper of the king’s nature preserve, so that he will give me timber for beams for the gates of the fortress adjacent to the temple and for the city wall and for the house to which I go.” So the king granted me these requests, for the good hand of my God was on me. 9Then I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, and I presented to them the letters from the king. The king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard all this, they were very displeased that someone had come to seek benefit for the Israelites.

11So I came to Jerusalem. When I had been there for three days, 12I got up during the night, along with a few men who were with me. But I did not tell anyone what my God was putting on my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no animals with me, except for the one I was riding. 13I proceeded through the Valley Gate by night, in the direction of the Well of the Dragons and the Dung Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem that had been breached and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14I passed on to the Gate of the Well and the King’s Pool, where there was not enough room for my animal to pass with me. 15I continued up the valley during the night, inspecting the wall. Then I turned back and came to the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had been doing, for up to this point I had not told any of the Jews or the priests or the nobles or the officials or the rest of the workers. 17Then I said to them, “You see the problem that we have—Jerusalem is desolate and its gates are burned. Come on! Let’s rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that this reproach will not continue.” 18Then I related to them how the good hand of my God was on me and what the king had said to me. Then they replied, “Let’s begin rebuilding right away!” So they readied themselves for this good project. 19But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard all this, they derided us and expressed contempt toward us. They said, “What is this you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20I responded to them by saying, “The God of heaven will prosper us. We his servants will start the rebuilding. But you have no just or ancient right in Jerusalem.”

(NET Bible)

Ps. 119:121–128

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 John 5:1–12

5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been fathered by God, and everyone who loves the father loves the child fathered by him. 2By this we know that we love the children of God: whenever we love God and obey his commandments. 3For this is the love of God: that we keep his commandments. And his commandments do not weigh us down, 4because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world.

This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith. 5Now who is the person who has conquered the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6Jesus Christ is the one who came by water and blood—not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify, 8the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three are in agreement.

9If we accept the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater because this is the testimony of God that he has testified concerning his Son. 10(The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made him a liar because he has not believed in the testimony that God has testified concerning his Son.) 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life.

(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.

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