18:1 The Lord’s message came to me: 2“What do you mean by quoting this proverb concerning the land of Israel:
“‘The fathers eat sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth become numb?’
3“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb in Israel anymore! 4Indeed! All lives are mine—the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one who sins will die.
5“Suppose a man is righteous. He practices what is just and right; 6does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains or pray to the idols of the house of Israel; does not defile his neighbor’s wife; does not approach a woman for marital relations during her period; 7does not oppress anyone, but gives the debtor back whatever was given in pledge; does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and clothes the naked; 8does not engage in usury or charge interest, but refrains from wrongdoing; promotes true justice between men; 9and follows my statutes and observes my regulations by carrying them out. That man is righteous; he will certainly live, declares the Sovereign Lord.
10“Suppose such a man has a violent son who sheds blood and does any of these things mentioned previously 11(though the father did not do any of them). He eats pagan sacrifices on the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12oppresses the poor and the needy, commits robbery, does not give back what was given in pledge, prays to idols, performs abominable acts, 13engages in usury, and charges interest. Will he live? He will not! Because he has done all these abominable deeds he will certainly die. He will bear the responsibility for his own death.
14“But suppose he in turn has a son who notices all the sins his father commits, considers them, and does not follow his father’s example. 15He does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains, does not pray to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, 16does not oppress anyone or keep what has been given in pledge, does not commit robbery, gives his food to the hungry and clothes the naked, 17refrains from wrongdoing, does not engage in usury or charge interest, carries out my regulations, and follows my statutes. He will not die for his father’s iniquity; he will surely live. 18As for his father, because he practices extortion, robs his brother, and does what is not good among his people, he will die for his iniquity.
19“Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not suffer for his father’s iniquity?’ When the son does what is just and right, and observes all my statutes and carries them out, he will surely live. 20The person who sins is the one who will die. A son will not suffer for his father’s iniquity, and a father will not suffer for his son’s iniquity; the righteous person will be judged according to his righteousness and the wicked person according to his wickedness.
21“But if the wicked person turns from all the sin he has committed and observes all my statutes and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. 22None of the sins he has committed will be held against him; because of the righteousness he has done, he will live. 23Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the Sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live?
24“But if a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing according to all the abominable practices the wicked carry out, will he live? All his righteous acts will not be remembered; because of the unfaithful acts he has done and the sin he has committed, he will die.
25“Yet you say, ‘The Lord’s conduct is unjust!’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my conduct unjust? Is it not your conduct that is unjust? 26When a righteous person turns back from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing, he will die for it; because of the wrongdoing he has done, he will die. 27When a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life. 28Because he considered and turned from all the sins he had done, he will surely live; he will not die. 29Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The Lord’s conduct is unjust!’ Is my conduct unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your conduct that is unjust?
30“Therefore, I will judge each person according to his conduct, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and turn from all your wickedness; then it will not be an obstacle leading to iniquity. 31Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why should you die, O house of Israel? 32For I take no delight in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!(NET Bible)
79:1 A psalm of Asaph.
O God, foreigners have invaded your chosen land;
they have polluted your holy temple
and turned Jerusalem into a heap of ruins.
2They have given the corpses of your servants
to the birds of the sky,
the flesh of your loyal followers
to the beasts of the earth.
3They have made their blood flow like water
all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury them.
4We have become an object of disdain to our neighbors;
those who live on our borders taunt and insult us.
5How long will this go on, O Lord?
Will you stay angry forever?
How long will your rage burn like fire?
6Pour out your anger on the nations that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms that do not pray to you.
7For they have devoured Jacob
and destroyed his home.
8Do not hold us accountable for the sins of earlier generations.
Quickly send your compassion our way,
for we are in serious trouble.
9Help us, O God, our deliverer!
For the sake of your glorious reputation, rescue us.
Forgive our sins for the sake of your reputation.
10Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Before our very eyes may the shed blood of your servants
be avenged among the nations.
11Listen to the painful cries of the prisoners.
Use your great strength to set free those condemned to die.
12Pay back our neighbors in full.
May they be insulted the same way they insulted you, O Lord.
13Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will continually thank you.
We will tell coming generations of your praiseworthy acts.(NET Bible)
2 Tim. 4:1–8
4:1 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. 3For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. 4And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths. 5You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry. 6For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand. 7I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith! 8Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.(NET Bible)
Here we might add what Luther said in 1528 in his Vom Abendmahl Christi, Bekenntnis … “So we must say that Matthew and Mark have placed after the New Supper what took place after the old Supper and is to be located there. For they were not greatly concerned about the order but were satisfied if they wrote history and truth. Luke, however, who wrote after them, states that the reason for his writing was that many others had written such accounts without regard to the order of events, and that he, therefore, had resolved to write them in proper order.” (47–48)
–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.