9:1 O Israel, do not rejoice jubilantly like the nations,
for you are unfaithful to your God.
You love to receive a prostitute’s wages
on all the floors where you thresh your grain.
2Threshing floors and wine vats will not feed the people,
and new wine only deceives them.
3They will not remain in the Lord’s land.
Ephraim will return to Egypt;
they will eat ritually unclean food in Assyria.
4They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the Lord;
they will not please him with their sacrifices.
Their sacrifices will be like bread eaten while in mourning;
all those who eat them will make themselves ritually unclean.
For their bread will be only to satisfy their appetite;
it will not come into the temple of the Lord.
5So what will you do on the festival day,
on the festival days of the Lord?
6Look! Even if they flee from the destruction,
Egypt will take hold of them,
and Memphis will bury them.
The weeds will inherit the silver they treasure—
thornbushes will occupy their homes.
7The time of judgment is about to arrive!
The time of retribution is imminent!
Israel will be humbled!
The prophet is considered a fool—
the inspired man is viewed as a madman—
because of the multitude of your sins
and your intense animosity.
8The prophet is a watchman over Ephraim on behalf of God,
yet traps are laid for him along all his paths;
animosity rages against him in the land of his God.
9They have sunk deep into corruption
as in the days of Gibeah.
He will remember their wrongdoing.
He will repay them for their sins.
10When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the wilderness.
I viewed your ancestors like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season.
Then they came to Baal Peor, and they dedicated themselves to shame—
they became as detestable as what they loved.
11Ephraim will be like a bird;
what they value will fly away.
They will not bear children—
they will not enjoy pregnancy—
they will not even conceive!
12Even if they raise their children,
I will take away every last one of them.
Woe to them!
For I will turn away from them.
13Ephraim, as I have seen, has given their children for prey;
Ephraim will bear his sons for slaughter.
14Give them, O Lord—
what will you give them?
Give them wombs that miscarry,
and breasts that cannot nurse!
15Because of all their evil in Gilgal,
I hate them there.
On account of their evil deeds,
I will drive them out of my land.
I will no longer love them;
all their rulers are rebels.
16Ephraim will be struck down—
their root will be dried up;
they will not yield any fruit.
Even if they do bear children,
I will kill their precious offspring.
17My God will reject them,
for they have not obeyed him;
so they will be fugitives among the nations.(NET Bible)
74:1 A well-written song by Asaph.
Why, O God, have you permanently rejected us?
Why does your anger burn against the sheep of your pasture?
2Remember your people whom you acquired in ancient times,
whom you rescued so they could be your very own nation,
as well as Mount Zion, where you dwell.
3Hurry to the permanent ruins,
and to all the damage the enemy has done to the temple.
4Your enemies roar in the middle of your sanctuary;
they set up their battle flags.
5They invade like lumberjacks
swinging their axes in a thick forest.
6And now they are tearing down all its engravings
with axes and crowbars.
7They set your sanctuary on fire;
they desecrate your dwelling place by knocking it to the ground.
8They say to themselves,
“We will oppress all of them.”
They burn down all the places in the land where people worship God.
9We do not see any signs of God’s presence;
there are no longer any prophets,
and we have no one to tell us how long this will last.
10How long, O God, will the adversary hurl insults?
Will the enemy blaspheme your name forever?
11Why do you remain inactive?
Intervene and destroy him.
12But God has been my king from ancient times,
performing acts of deliverance on the earth.
13You destroyed the sea by your strength;
you shattered the heads of the sea monster in the water.
14You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you fed him to the people who live along the coast.
15You broke open the spring and the stream;
you dried up perpetually flowing rivers.
16You established the cycle of day and night;
you put the moon and sun in place.
17You set up all the boundaries of the earth;
you created the cycle of summer and winter.
18Remember how the enemy hurls insults, O Lord,
and how a foolish nation blasphemes your name.
19Do not hand the life of your dove over to a wild animal.
Do not continue to disregard the lives of your oppressed people.
20Remember your covenant promises,
for the dark regions of the earth are full of places where violence rules.
21Do not let the afflicted be turned back in shame.
Let the oppressed and poor praise your name.
22Rise up, O God. Defend your honor.
Remember how fools insult you all day long.
23Do not disregard what your enemies say
or the unceasing shouts of those who defy you.(NET Bible)
7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 8But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. 9And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment, sin became alive 10and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! 11For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. 14For we know that the law is spiritual—but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin. 15For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want—instead, I do what I hate. 16But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good. 17But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 18For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.
21So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 23But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.(NET Bible)
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.
–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.