33:1 The Lord’s message came to me: 2“Son of man, speak to your people, and say to them, ‘Suppose I bring a sword against the land, and the people of the land take one man from their borders and make him their watchman. 3He sees the sword coming against the land, blows the trumpet, and warns the people, 4but there is one who hears the sound of the trumpet yet does not heed the warning. Then the sword comes and sweeps him away. He will be responsible for his own death. 5He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, so he is responsible for himself. If he had heeded the warning, he would have saved his life. 6But suppose the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people. Then the sword comes and takes one of their lives. He is swept away for his iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for that person’s death.’
7“As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must warn them on my behalf. 8When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you must certainly die,’ and you do not warn the wicked about his behavior, the wicked man will die for his iniquity, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 9But if you warn the wicked man to change his behavior, and he refuses to change, he will die for his iniquity, but you have saved your own life.
10“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you have said: “Our rebellious acts and our sins have caught up with us, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 11Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefer that the wicked change his behavior and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil deeds! Why should you die, O house of Israel?’
12“And you, son of man, say to your people, ‘The righteousness of the righteous will not deliver him if he rebels. As for the wicked, his wickedness will not make him stumble if he turns from it. The righteous will not be able to live by his righteousness if he sins.’ 13Suppose I tell the righteous that he will certainly live, but he becomes confident in his righteousness and commits iniquity. None of his righteous deeds will be remembered; because of the iniquity he has committed he will die. 14Suppose I say to the wicked, ‘You must certainly die,’ but he turns from his sin and does what is just and right. 15He returns what was taken in pledge, pays back what he has stolen, and follows the statutes that give life, committing no iniquity. He will certainly live—he will not die. 16None of the sins he has committed will be counted against him. He has done what is just and right; he will certainly live.
17“Yet your people say, ‘The behavior of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their behavior that is not right. 18When a righteous man turns from his godliness and commits iniquity, he will die for it. 19When the wicked turns from his sin and does what is just and right, he will live because of it. 20Yet you say, ‘The behavior of the Lord is not right.’ House of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his behavior.”
21In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth of the month, a refugee came to me from Jerusalem saying, “The city has been defeated!” 22Now the hand of the Lord had been on me the evening before the refugee reached me, but the Lord opened my mouth by the time the refugee arrived in the morning; he opened my mouth and I was able to speak once more. 23The Lord’s message came to me: 24“Son of man, the ones living in these ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land, but we are many; surely the land has been given to us for a possession.’ 25Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You eat the meat with the blood still in it, pray to your idols, and shed blood. Do you really think you will possess the land? 26You rely on your swords and commit abominable deeds; each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Will you possess the land?’
27“This is what you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword, those in the open field I will give to the wild beasts for food, and those who are in the strongholds and caves will die of disease. 28I will turn the land into a desolate ruin; her confident pride will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate no one will pass through them. 29Then they will know that I am the Lord when I turn the land into a desolate ruin because of all the abominable deeds they have committed.’
30“But as for you, son of man, your people (who are talking about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses) say to one another, ‘Come hear the word that comes from the Lord.’ 31They come to you in crowds, and they sit in front of you as my people. They hear your words, but do not obey them. For they talk lustfully, and their heart is set on their own advantage. 32Realize that to them you are like a sensual song, a beautiful voice, and skilled musician. They hear your words, but they do not obey them. 33When all this comes true—and it certainly will—then they will know that a prophet was among them.”(NET Bible)
94:1 O Lord, the God who avenges!
O God who avenges, reveal your splendor.
2Rise up, O judge of the earth.
Pay back the proud.
3O Lord, how long will the wicked,
how long will the wicked celebrate?
4They spew out threats and speak defiantly;
all the evildoers boast.
5O Lord, they crush your people;
they oppress the nation that belongs to you.
6They kill the widow and the resident foreigner,
and they murder the fatherless.
7Then they say, “The Lord does not see this;
the God of Jacob does not take notice of it.”
8Take notice of this, you ignorant people.
You fools, when will you ever understand?
9Does the one who makes the human ear not hear?
Does the one who forms the human eye not see?
10Does the one who disciplines the nations not punish?
He is the one who imparts knowledge to human beings!
11The Lord knows that peoples’ thoughts
are morally bankrupt.
12How blessed is the one whom you instruct, O Lord,
the one whom you teach from your law
13in order to protect him from times of trouble,
until the wicked are destroyed.
14Certainly the Lord does not forsake his people;
he does not abandon the nation that belongs to him.
15For justice will prevail,
and all the morally upright will be vindicated.
16Who will rise up to defend me against the wicked?
Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?
17If the Lord had not helped me,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18If I say, “My foot is slipping,”
your loyal love, O Lord, supports me.
19When worries threaten to overwhelm me,
your soothing touch makes me happy.
20Cruel rulers are not your allies,
those who make oppressive laws.
21They conspire against the blameless
and condemn to death the innocent.
22But the Lord will protect me,
and my God will shelter me.
23He will pay them back for their sin.
He will destroy them because of their evil;
the Lord our God will destroy them.(NET Bible)
6:9 But in your case, dear friends, even though we speak like this, we are convinced of better things relating to salvation. 10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name, in having served and continuing to serve the saints. 11But we passionately want each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of your hope until the end, 12so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises.
13Now when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself, 14saying, “Surely I will bless you greatly and multiply your descendants abundantly.” 15And so by persevering, Abraham inherited the promise. 16For people swear by something greater than themselves, and the oath serves as a confirmation to end all dispute. 17In the same way God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, and so he intervened with an oath, 18so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, 20where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.(NET Bible)
In the passage cited above, that is taken from the Exposition of the First and Second Chapter of John, 1537 and 1538, there is the statement: “But these are questions that remain questions which I will not solve and that do not give me much concern, only there are people so sly and keen that they raise all kinds of questions for which they want to have answers. If one, however, has a correct understanding of Scripture and possesses the true statement of our faith that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has su ered and died for us, it will not be a serious defect if we are not able to answer them.” And following this: “When discrepancies occur in Holy Scripture (namely concerning such chronological questions as these: how many years Jesus taught openly, how the account of the Temple cleansing in John agrees with Matthew, and similar questions) and we cannot harmonize them, let it pass, it does not endanger the article of the Christian faith.” In these statements Luther does not say that it is a matter of indi erence to him whether they contain errors or not but only that his faith would not be endangered, if, in spite of his best efforts, he would be unable to solve the apparent contradictions or to prove the inconsequence of all skeptical questions. He dismisses the matter if he cannot prove it conclusively, but his inability to do so neither commits him to the opinion that these passages really contain error, nor is his faith in salvation thereby imperiled. (49–50)
–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.