20:1 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, some of the elders of Israel came to seek the Lord, and they sat down in front of me. 2The Lord’s message came to me: 3“Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and tell them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Are you coming to seek me? As surely as I live, I will not allow you to seek me, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ 4Are you willing to pronounce judgment on them? Are you willing to pronounce judgment, son of man? Then confront them with the abominable practices of their fathers, 5and say to them:
“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel I swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt. I swore to them, “I am the Lord your God.” 6On that day I swore to bring them out of the land of Egypt to a land that I had picked out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. 7I said to them, “Each of you must get rid of the detestable idols you keep before you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” 8But they rebelled against me and refused to listen to me; no one got rid of their detestable idols, nor did they abandon the idols of Egypt. Then I decided to pour out my rage on them and fully vent my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9I acted for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations among whom they lived, before whom I revealed myself by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
10“‘So I brought them out of the land of Egypt and led them to the wilderness. 11I gave them my statutes and revealed my regulations to them. The one who carries them out will live by them! 12I also gave them my Sabbaths as a reminder of our relationship, so that they would know that I, the Lord, sanctify them. 13But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; they did not follow my statutes and they rejected my regulations (the one who obeys them will live by them), and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I decided to pour out my rage on them in the wilderness and destroy them. 14I acted for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 15I also swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them to the land I had given them—a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. 16I did this because they rejected my regulations, did not follow my statutes, and desecrated my Sabbaths; for their hearts followed their idols. 17Yet I had pity on them and did not destroy them, so I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.
18“‘But I said to their children in the wilderness, “Do not follow the practices of your fathers; do not observe their regulations, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19I am the Lord your God; follow my statutes, observe my regulations, and carry them out. 20Treat my Sabbaths as holy and they will be a reminder of our relationship, and then you will know that I am the Lord your God.” 21But the children rebelled against me, did not follow my statutes, did not observe my regulations by carrying them out (the one who obeys them will live by them), and desecrated my Sabbaths. I decided to pour out my rage on them and fully vent my anger against them in the wilderness. 22But I refrained from doing so and acted instead for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23I also swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the lands. 24I did this because they did not observe my regulations, they rejected my statutes, they desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols. 25I also gave them decrees that were not good and regulations by which they could not live. 26I declared them to be defiled because of their sacrifices—they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire—so that I might devastate them, so that they would know that I am the Lord.’
27“Therefore, speak to the house of Israel, son of man, and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In this way too your fathers blasphemed me when they were unfaithful to me. 28I brought them to the land that I swore to give them, but whenever they saw any high hill or leafy tree, they offered their sacrifices there and presented the offerings that provoked me to anger. They offered their soothing aroma there and poured out their drink offerings. 29So I said to them, “What is this high place you go to?”’ (So it is called “High Place” to this day.)
30“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will you defile yourselves like your fathers and engage in prostitution with detestable idols? 31When you present your sacrifices—when you make your sons pass through the fire—you defile yourselves with all your idols to this very day. Will I allow you to seek me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will not allow you to seek me!
32“‘What you plan will never happen. You say, “We will be like the nations, like the clans of the lands, who serve gods of wood and stone.” 33As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, with a powerful hand and an outstretched arm and with an outpouring of rage, I will be king over you. 34I will bring you out from the nations and will gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a powerful hand and an outstretched arm and with an outpouring of rage! 35I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will enter into judgment with you face-to-face. 36Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Sovereign Lord. 37I will make you pass under the shepherd’s staff, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38I will eliminate from among you the rebels and those who revolt against me. I will bring them out from the land where they have been residing, but they will not come to the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
39“‘As for you, O house of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Each of you go and serve your idols, if you will not listen to me. But my holy name will not be profaned again by your sacrifices and your idols. 40For there on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord, all the house of Israel will serve me, all of them in the land. I will accept them there, and there I will seek your contributions and your choice gifts, with all your holy things. 41When I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, I will accept you along with your soothing aroma. I will display my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42Then you will know that I am the Lord when I bring you to the land of Israel, to the land I swore to give to your fathers. 43And there you will remember your conduct and all your deeds by which you defiled yourselves. You will despise yourselves because of all the evil deeds you have done. 44Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for the sake of my reputation and not according to your wicked conduct and corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
45(21:1) The Lord’s message came to me: 46“Son of man, turn toward the south, and speak out against the south. Prophesy against the open scrub land of the Negev, 47and say to the scrub land of the Negev, ‘Listen to the Lord’s message! This is what the Sovereign Lord has said: Look here, I am about to start a fire in you, and it will devour every green tree and every dry tree in you. The flaming fire will not be extinguished, and the whole surface of the ground from the Negev to the north will be scorched by it. 48And everyone will see that I, the Lord, have burned it; it will not be extinguished.’”
49Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord! They are saying of me, ‘Does he not simply speak in eloquent figures of speech?’”(NET Bible)
81:1 For the music director, according to the gittith style; by Asaph.
Shout for joy to God, our source of strength!
Shout out to the God of Jacob!
2Sing a song and play the tambourine,
the pleasant-sounding harp, and the ten-stringed instrument.
3Sound the ram’s horn on the day of the new moon
and on the day of the full moon when our festival begins.
4For observing the festival is a requirement for Israel;
it is an ordinance given by the God of Jacob.
5He decreed it as a regulation in Joseph,
when he attacked the land of Egypt.
I heard a voice I did not recognize.
6It said: “I removed the burden from his shoulder;
his hands were released from holding the basket.
7In your distress you called out and I rescued you.
I answered you from a dark thundercloud.
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. (Selah)
8I said, ‘Listen, my people!
I will warn you.
O Israel, if only you would obey me!
9There must be no other god among you.
You must not worship a foreign god.
10I am the Lord, your God,
the one who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.’
11But my people did not obey me;
Israel did not submit to me.
12I gave them over to their stubborn desires;
they did what seemed right to them.
13If only my people would obey me!
If only Israel would keep my commands!
14Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
and attack their adversaries.”
15(May those who hate the Lord cower in fear before him.
May they be permanently humiliated.)
16“I would feed Israel the best wheat,
and would satisfy your appetite with honey from the rocky cliffs.”(NET Bible)
1:1 From Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness, 2in hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before time began. 3But now in his own time he has made his message evident through the preaching I was entrusted with according to the command of God our Savior. 4To Titus, my genuine son in a common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior!
5The reason I left you in Crete was to set in order the remaining matters and to appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion. 7For the overseer must be blameless as one entrusted with God’s work, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain. 8Instead he must be hospitable, devoted to what is good, sensible, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9He must hold firmly to the faithful message as it has been taught, so that he will be able to give exhortation in such healthy teaching and correct those who speak against it.
10For there are many rebellious people, idle talkers, and deceivers, especially those with Jewish connections, 11who must be silenced because they mislead whole families by teaching for dishonest gain what ought not to be taught. 12A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13Such testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply that they may be healthy in the faith 14and not pay attention to Jewish myths and commands of people who reject the truth. 15All is pure to those who are pure. But to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They profess to know God but with their deeds they deny him, since they are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed.(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.