34:1 The Lord’s message came to me: 2“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not shepherds feed the flock? 3You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the choice animals, but you do not feed the sheep! 4You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled over them. 5They were scattered because they had no shepherd, and they became food for every wild beast. 6My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over the entire face of the earth with no one looking or searching for them.
7“‘Therefore, you shepherds, listen to the Lord’s message: 8As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, my sheep have become prey and have become food for all the wild beasts. There was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my flock, but fed themselves and did not feed my sheep. 9Therefore, you shepherds, listen to the Lord’s message. 10This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand my sheep from their hand. I will no longer let them be shepherds; the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, so that they will no longer be food for them.
11“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out. 12As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day. 13I will bring them out from among the peoples and gather them from foreign countries; I will bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams and all the inhabited places of the land. 14In a good pasture I will feed them; the mountain heights of Israel will be their pasture. There they will lie down in a lush pasture, and they will feed on rich grass on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will feed my sheep and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16I will seek the lost and bring back the strays; I will bandage the injured and strengthen the sick, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them—with judgment!
17“‘As for you, my sheep, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats. 18Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture that you must trample the rest of your pastures with your feet? When you drink clean water, must you muddy the rest of the water by trampling it with your feet? 19As for my sheep, they must eat what you trampled with your feet and drink what you have muddied with your feet!
20“‘Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: Look, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21Because you push with your side and your shoulder, and thrust your horns at all the weak sheep until you scatter them abroad, 22I will save my sheep; they will no longer be prey. I will judge between one sheep and another.
23“‘I will set one shepherd over them, and he will feed them—namely, my servant David. He will feed them and will be their shepherd. 24I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken!
25“‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and will rid the land of wild beasts, so that they can live securely in the wilderness and even sleep in the woods. 26I will turn them and the regions around my hill into a blessing. I will make showers come down in their season; they will be showers that bring blessing. 27The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the earth will yield its crops. They will live securely on their land; they will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28They will no longer be prey for the nations, and the wild beasts will not devour them. They will live securely, and no one will make them afraid. 29I will prepare for them a healthy planting. They will no longer be victims of famine in the land and will no longer bear the insults of the nations. 30Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they are my people, the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31And you, my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are my people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”(NET Bible)
95:1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord.
Let us shout out praises to our Protector who delivers us.
2Let us enter his presence with thanksgiving.
Let us shout out to him in celebration.
3For the Lord is a great God,
a great king who is superior to all gods.
4The depths of the earth are in his hand,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5The sea is his, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land.
6Come, let us bow down and worship.
Let us kneel before the Lord, our Creator.
7For he is our God;
we are the people of his pasture,
the sheep he owns.
Today, if only you would obey him.
8He says, “Do not be stubborn like they were at Meribah,
like they were that day at Massah in the wilderness,
9where your ancestors challenged my authority
and tried my patience, even though they had seen my work.
10For 40 years I was continually disgusted with that generation,
and I said, ‘These people desire to go astray;
they do not obey my commands.’
11So I made a vow in my anger,
‘They will never enter into the resting place I had set aside for them.’”(NET Bible)
7:1 Now this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him. 2To him also Abraham apportioned a tithe of everything. His name first means king of righteousness, then king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, he has neither beginning of days nor end of life but is like the son of God, and he remains a priest for all time. 4But see how great he must be, if Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe of his plunder. 5And those of the sons of Levi who receive the priestly office have authorization according to the law to collect a tithe from the people, that is, from their fellow countrymen, although they, too, are descendants of Abraham. 6But Melchizedek who does not share their ancestry collected a tithe from Abraham and blessed the one who possessed the promise. 7Now without dispute the inferior is blessed by the superior, 8and in one case tithes are received by mortal men, while in the other by him who is affirmed to be alive. 9And it could be said that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid a tithe through Abraham. 10For he was still in his ancestor Abraham’s loins when Melchizedek met him.(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.