4:1 (3:31) King Nebuchadnezzar, to all peoples, nations, and language groups that live in all the land: “Peace and prosperity! 2I am delighted to tell you about the signs and wonders that the most high God has done for me.
3“How great are his signs!
How mighty are his wonders!
His kingdom will last forever,
and his authority continues from one generation to the next.”
4(4:1) I, Nebuchadnezzar, was relaxing in my home, living luxuriously in my palace. 5I saw a dream that frightened me badly. The things I imagined while lying on my bed—these visions of my mind—were terrifying me. 6So I issued an order for all the wise men of Babylon to be brought before me so that they could make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7When the magicians, astrologers, wise men, and diviners entered, I recounted the dream for them. But they were unable to make known its interpretation to me. 8Later Daniel entered (whose name is Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom there is a spirit of the holy gods). I recounted the dream for him as well, 9saying, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, in whom I know there to be a spirit of the holy gods and whom no mystery baffles, consider my dream that I saw and set forth its interpretation! 10Here are the visions of my mind while I was on my bed.
“While I was watching,
there was a tree in the middle of the land.
It was enormously tall.
11The tree grew large and strong.
Its top reached far into the sky;
it could be seen from the borders of all the land.
12Its foliage was attractive and its fruit plentiful;
on it there was food enough for all.
Under it the wild animals used to seek shade,
and in its branches the birds of the sky used to nest.
All creatures used to feed themselves from it.
13“While I was watching in my mind’s visions on my bed,
a holy sentinel came down from heaven.
14He called out loudly as follows:
‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches!
Strip off its foliage
and scatter its fruit!
Let the animals flee from under it
and the birds from its branches.
15But leave its taproot in the ground,
with a band of iron and bronze around it
surrounded by the grass of the field.
Let it become damp with the dew of the sky,
and let it live with the animals in the grass of the land.
16Let his mind be altered from that of a human being,
and let an animal’s mind be given to him,
and let seven periods of time go by for him.
17This announcement is by the decree of the sentinels;
this decision is by the pronouncement of the holy ones,
so that those who are alive may understand
that the Most High has authority over human kingdoms,
and he bestows them on whomever he wishes.
He establishes over them even the lowliest of human beings.’
18“This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, for none of the wise men in my kingdom are able to make known to me the interpretation. But you can do so, for a spirit of the holy gods is in you.”(NET Bible)
119:25 ד (Dalet)
I collapse in the dirt.
Revive me with your word.
26I told you about my ways and you answered me.
Teach me your statutes.
27Help me to understand what your precepts mean.
Then I can meditate on your marvelous teachings.
28I collapse from grief.
Sustain me by your word.
29Remove me from the path of deceit.
Graciously give me your law.
30I choose the path of faithfulness;
I am committed to your regulations.
31I hold fast to your rules.
O Lord, do not let me be ashamed.
32I run along the path of your commands,
for you enable me to do so.(NET Bible)
2 Peter 1:1–15
1:1 From Simeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, have been granted a faith just as precious as ours. 2May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!
3I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence. 4Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; 6to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; 7to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love. 8For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. 9But concerning the one who lacks such things—he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins. 10Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. For by doing this you will never stumble into sin. 11For thus an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be richly provided for you.
12Therefore, I intend to remind you constantly of these things even though you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have. 13Indeed, as long as I am in this tabernacle, I consider it right to stir you up by way of a reminder, 14since I know that my tabernacle will soon be removed because our Lord Jesus Christ revealed this to me. 15Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things.(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.