9:1 Now when these things had been completed, the leaders approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the local residents who practice detestable things similar to those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2Indeed, they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has become intermingled with the local residents. Worse still, the leaders and the officials have been at the forefront of all this unfaithfulness!”
3When I heard this report, I tore my tunic and my robe and ripped out some of the hair from my head and beard. Then I sat down, quite devastated. 4Everyone who held the words of the God of Israel in awe gathered around me because of the unfaithful acts of the people of the exile. Devastated, I continued to sit there until the evening offering.
5At the time of the evening offering I got up from my self-abasement, with my tunic and robe torn, and then dropped to my knees and spread my hands to the Lord my God. 6I prayed:
“O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God! For our iniquities have climbed higher than our heads, and our guilt extends to the heavens. 7From the days of our fathers until this very day our guilt has been great. Because of our iniquities we, along with our kings and priests, have been delivered over by the local kings to sword, captivity, plunder, and embarrassment—right up to the present time.
8“But now briefly we have received mercy from the Lord our God, in that he has left us a remnant and has given us a secure position in his holy place. Thus our God has enlightened our eyes and has given us a little relief in our time of servitude. 9Although we are slaves, our God has not abandoned us in our servitude. He has extended kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, in that he has revived us to restore the temple of our God and to raise up its ruins and to give us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
10“And now what are we able to say after this, our God? For we have forsaken your commandments 11which you commanded us through your servants the prophets with these words: ‘The land that you are entering to possess is a land defiled by the impurities of the local residents! With their abominations they have filled it from one end to the other with their filthiness. 12Therefore do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons, and do not take their daughters in marriage for your sons. Do not ever seek their peace or welfare, so that you may be strong and may eat the good of the land and may leave it as an inheritance for your children forever.’
13“Everything that has happened to us has come about because of our wicked actions and our great guilt. Even so, our God, you have exercised restraint toward our iniquities and have given us a remnant such as this. 14Shall we once again break your commandments and intermarry with these abominable peoples? Would you not be so angered by us that you would wipe us out, with no survivor or remnant? 15O Lord God of Israel, you are righteous, for we are left as a remnant this day. Indeed, we stand before you in our guilt. However, because of this guilt no one can really stand before you.”(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)
1 Peter 2:1–12
2:1 So get rid of all evil and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2And yearn like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation, 3if you have experienced the Lord’s kindness.
4So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and precious in God’s sight, 5you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it says in scripture, “Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and whoever believes in him will never be put to shame.” 7So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, 12and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.(NET Bible)
Regarding the statement in Gen. 24:22, that Eliezer had given Rebekah an earring and two bracelets, with a specification as to their weight, Luther makes this comment: “What is here told appears to reason to deal with carnal and worldly matters, and I myself wonder why Moses has so much to say concerning such trifling things and speaks so briefly concerning far more sublime matters. However, there is no doubt that the Holy Ghost wished that these things should be written for our instruction, for there is nothing small, nothing useless presented to us in Holy Scripture; but all things that were written, were written for our learning, Rom. 15:4. For God wishes to be recognized in all things, both small and great.” (54)
–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.