44:1 Then he brought me back by way of the outer gate of the sanctuary that faces east, but it was shut. 2The Lord said to me: “This gate will be shut; it will not be opened, and no one will enter by it. For the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it will remain shut. 3Only the prince may sit in it to eat a sacrificial meal before the Lord; he will enter by way of the porch of the gate and will go out by the same way.”
4Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. As I watched, I noticed the glory of the Lord filling the Lord’s temple, and I threw myself face down. 5The Lord said to me: “Son of man, pay attention, watch closely, and listen carefully to everything I tell you concerning all the statutes of the Lord’s house and all its laws. Pay attention to the entrances to the temple with all the exits of the sanctuary. 6Say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Enough of all your abominable practices, O house of Israel! 7When you bring foreigners, those uncircumcised in heart and in flesh, into my sanctuary, you desecrate it—even my house—when you offer my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant by all your abominable practices. 8You have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have assigned foreigners to keep charge of my sanctuary for you. 9This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner who is uncircumcised in heart and flesh among all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel will enter into my sanctuary.
10“‘But the Levites who went far from me, straying off from me after their idols when Israel went astray, will be responsible for their sin. 11Yet they will be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple, and serving the temple. They will slaughter the burnt offerings and the sacrifices for the people, and they will stand before them to minister to them. 12Because they used to minister to them before their idols and became a sinful obstacle to the house of Israel, consequently I have made a vow concerning them, declares the Sovereign Lord, that they will be responsible for their sin. 13They will not come near me to serve me as priest, nor will they come near any of my holy things, the things that are most sacred. They will bear the shame of the abominable deeds they have committed. 14Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, all its service, and all that will be done in it.
15“‘But the Levitical priests, the descendants of Zadok who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, will approach me to minister to me; they will stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16They will enter my sanctuary and approach my table to minister to me; they will keep my charge.
17“‘When they enter the gates of the inner court, they must wear linen garments; they must not have any wool on them when they minister in the inner gates of the court and in the temple. 18Linen turbans will be on their heads and linen undergarments will be around their waists; they must not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat. 19When they go out to the outer court to the people, they must remove the garments they were ministering in and place them in the holy chambers; they must put on other garments so that they will not transmit holiness to the people with their garments.
20“‘They must not shave their heads nor let their hair grow long; they must only trim their heads. 21No priest may drink wine when he enters the inner court. 22They must not marry a widow or a divorcee, but they may marry a virgin from the house of Israel or a widow who is a priest’s widow. 23Moreover, they will teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the ceremonially unclean and the clean.
24“‘In a controversy they will act as judges; they will judge according to my ordinances. They will keep my laws and my statutes regarding all my appointed festivals and will observe my Sabbaths.
25“‘They must not come near a dead person or they will be defiled; however, for father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or unmarried sister, they may defile themselves. 26After a priest has become ceremonially clean, they must count off a period of seven days for him. 27On the day he enters the sanctuary into the inner court to serve in the sanctuary, he must offer his sin offering, declares the Sovereign Lord.
28“‘This will be their inheritance: I am their inheritance, and you must give them no property in Israel; I am their property. 29They may eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering, and every devoted thing in Israel will be theirs. 30The first of all the firstfruits and all contributions of any kind will be for the priests; you will also give to the priest the first portion of your dough, so that a blessing may rest on your house. 31The priests will not eat any bird or animal that has died a natural death or was torn to pieces by a wild animal.(NET Bible)
104:19 He made the moon to mark the months,
and the sun sets according to a regular schedule.
20You make it dark and night comes,
during which all the beasts of the forest prowl around.
21The lions roar for prey,
seeking their food from God.
22When the sun rises, they withdraw
and sleep in their dens.
23People then go out to do their work,
and they labor until evening.
24How many living things you have made, O Lord!
You have exhibited great skill in making all of them;
the earth is full of the living things you have made.
25Over here is the deep, wide sea,
which teems with innumerable swimming creatures,
living things both small and large.
26The ships travel there,
and over here swims the whale you made to play in it.
27All your creatures wait for you
to provide them with food on a regular basis.
28You give food to them and they receive it;
you open your hand and they are filled with food.
29When you ignore them, they panic.
When you take away their life’s breath,
they die and return to dust.
30When you send your life-giving breath, they are created,
and you replenish the surface of the ground.
31May the splendor of the Lord endure.
May the Lord find pleasure in the living things he has made.
32He looks down on the earth and it shakes;
he touches the mountains and they start to smolder.
33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I exist.
34May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I will rejoice in the Lord.
35May sinners disappear from the earth,
and the wicked vanish.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord.(NET Bible)
11:13 These all died in faith without receiving the things promised, but they saw them in the distance and welcomed them and acknowledged that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth. 14For those who speak in such a way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15In fact, if they had been thinking of the land that they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He had received the promises, yet he was ready to offer up his only son. 18God had told him, “Through Isaac descendants will carry on your name,” 19and he reasoned that God could even raise him from the dead, and in a sense he received him back from there. 20By faith also Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning the future. 21By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshiped as he leaned on his staff. 22By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the sons of Israel and gave instructions about his burial.
23By faith, when Moses was born, his parents hid him for three months because they saw the child was beautiful and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24By faith, when he grew up, Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to be ill-treated with the people of God than to enjoy sin’s fleeting pleasure. 26He regarded abuse suffered for Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for his eyes were fixed on the reward. 27By faith he left Egypt without fearing the king’s anger, for he persevered as though he could see the one who is invisible. 28By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the one who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. (NET Bible)
Even in the introduction [to his lectures on Galatians delivered between 1535 and 1545] Luther discussed how the six days of creation are to be understood. He recalls that Hilary and Augustine, these two great lights of the church, were of the opinion that the world was created suddenly and not gradually in the course of six days. Then he opposes this view and writes: “Because we are not sufficiently able to understand how these days occurred nor why God wished to observe such distinctions of times, we shall rather admit our ignorance than attempt to twist the words unnecessarily into an unnatural meaning. As far, therefore, as St. Augustine’s opinion is concerned, we hold that Moses spoke literally not allegorically or figuratively, that is, the world and all its creatures was created within the six days as the words declare. Because we are not able to comprehend we shall remain disciples and leave the instructorship to the Holy Ghost.” (51)
–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.