17:1 The Lord’s message came to me: 2“Son of man, offer a riddle and tell a parable to the house of Israel. 3Say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘A great eagle with broad wings, long feathers,
with full plumage that was multihued,
came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar.
4He plucked off its topmost shoot;
he brought it to a land of merchants
and planted it in a city of traders.
5He took one of the seedlings of the land,
placed it in a cultivated plot;
a shoot by abundant water,
like a willow he planted it.
6It sprouted and became a vine,
spreading low to the ground;
its branches turning toward him, its roots were under itself.
So it became a vine; it produced shoots and sent out branches.
7“‘There was another great eagle
with broad wings and thick plumage.
Now this vine twisted its roots toward him
and sent its branches toward him
to be watered from the soil where it was planted.
8In a good field, by abundant waters, it was planted
to grow branches, bear fruit, and become a beautiful vine.’
9“Say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Will it prosper?
Will he not rip out its roots
and cause its fruit to rot and wither?
All its foliage will wither.
No strong arm or large army
will be needed to pull it out by its roots.
10Consider! It is planted, but will it prosper?
Will it not wither completely when the east wind blows on it?
Will it not wither in the soil where it sprouted?’”
11Then the Lord’s message came to me: 12“Say to the rebellious house of Israel: ‘Don’t you know what these things mean?’ Say: ‘See here, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took her king and her officials prisoner and brought them to himself in Babylon. 13He took one from the royal family, made a treaty with him, and put him under oath. He then took the leaders of the land 14so it would be a lowly kingdom that could not rise on its own but had to keep its treaty with him in order to stand. 15But this one from Israel’s royal family rebelled against the king of Babylon by sending his emissaries to Egypt to obtain horses and a large army. Will he prosper? Will the one doing these things escape? Can he break the covenant and escape?
16“‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, surely in the city of the king who crowned him, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke—in the middle of Babylon he will die! 17Pharaoh with his great army and mighty horde will not help him in battle, when siege ramps are erected and siege walls are built to kill many people. 18He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Take note—he gave his promise and did all these things. He will not escape!
19“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will certainly repay him for despising my oath and breaking my covenant! 20I will throw my net over him and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylon and judge him there because of the unfaithfulness he committed against me. 21All the choice men among his troops will die by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken!
22“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘I will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and plant it.
I will pluck from the top one of its tender twigs;
I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
23I will plant it on a high mountain of Israel,
and it will raise branches and produce fruit and become a beautiful cedar.
Every bird will live under it;
every winged creature will live in the shade of its branches.
24All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord.
I make the high tree low; I raise up the low tree.
I make the green tree wither, and I make the dry tree sprout.
I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it!’”(NET Bible)
78:36 But they deceived him with their words
and lied to him.
37They were not really committed to him,
and they were unfaithful to his covenant.
38Yet he is compassionate.
He forgives sin and does not destroy.
He often holds back his anger
and does not stir up his fury.
39He remembered that they were made of flesh
and were like a wind that blows past and does not return.
40How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and insulted him in the wastelands.
41They again challenged God
and offended the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember what he had done,
how he delivered them from the enemy,
43when he performed his awesome deeds in Egypt
and his acts of judgment in the region of Zoan.
44He turned their rivers into blood,
and they could not drink from their streams.
45He sent swarms of biting insects against them,
as well as frogs that overran their land.
46He gave their crops to the grasshopper,
the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47He destroyed their vines with hail
and their sycamore-fig trees with driving rain.
48He rained hail down on their cattle
and hurled lightning bolts down on their livestock.
49His raging anger lashed out against them.
He sent fury, rage, and trouble
as messengers who bring disaster.
50He sent his anger in full force.
He did not spare them from death;
he handed their lives over to destruction.
51He struck down all the firstborn in Egypt,
the firstfruits of their reproductive power in the tents of Ham.
52Yet he brought out his people like sheep;
he led them through the wilderness like a flock.
53He guided them safely along, and they were not afraid;
but the sea covered their enemies.
54He brought them to the border of his holy land,
to this mountainous land that his right hand acquired.
55He drove the nations out from before them;
he assigned them their tribal allotments
and allowed the tribes of Israel to settle down.
56Yet they challenged and defied God Most High
and did not obey his commands.
57They were unfaithful and acted as treacherously as their ancestors;
they were as unreliable as a malfunctioning bow.
58They made him angry with their pagan shrines
and made him jealous with their idols.
59God heard and was angry;
he completely rejected Israel.
60He abandoned the sanctuary at Shiloh,
the tent where he lived among men.
61He allowed the symbol of his strong presence to be captured;
he gave the symbol of his splendor into the hand of the enemy.
62He delivered his people over to the sword
and was angry with his chosen nation.
63Fire consumed their young men,
and their virgins remained unmarried.
64Their priests fell by the sword,
but their widows did not weep.
65But then the Lord awoke from his sleep;
he was like a warrior in a drunken rage.
66He drove his enemies back;
he made them a permanent target for insults.
67He rejected the tent of Joseph;
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68He chose the tribe of Judah
and Mount Zion, which he loves.
69He made his sanctuary as enduring as the heavens above,
as secure as the earth, which he established permanently.
70He chose David, his servant,
and took him from the sheepfolds.
71He took him away from following the mother sheep,
and made him the shepherd of Jacob, his people,
and of Israel, his chosen nation.
72David cared for them with pure motives;
he led them with skill.(NET Bible)
2 Tim. 3:10–17
3:10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, 11as well as the persecutions and sufferings that happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra. I endured these persecutions, and the Lord delivered me from them all. 12Now in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13But evil people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. 14You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you 15and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.(NET Bible)
[Luther continues in his exposition of John chapters 1 and 2]: “But we have to reckon, as all the histories do, that Christ was baptized in the thirtieth year of His life, that He began to preach a er His baptism and preached for three full years. e remaining time that followed the third year and was the beginning of the fourth, beginning with either the Festival of the Circumcision or Epiphany Day and continuing until Easter (which can be reckoned as almost a half year), He continued to preach, because He preached three and a half years (though it fell a little short of that time). So it could easily have been that when Christ was thirty years old and after He had been baptized, that in the first year of His activity and at the first Easter [Passover] of that period He did this, but it is a matter of no importance. When discrepancies occur in the Holy Scriptures and we cannot harmonize them, let it pass, it does not endanger the article of the Christian faith, because all the evangelists agree in this that Christ died for our sins. As for the rest, concerning His acts and miracles they observe no particular order, because they often place what took place later at an earlier date.” (46)
–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.