Job 3 (ESV)
Job Laments His Birth
3 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 And Job said:
3 “Let the day perish on which I was born,
and the night that said,
‘A man is conceived.’
4 Let that day be darkness!
May God above not seek it,
nor light shine upon it.
5 Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
Let clouds dwell upon it;
let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6 That night—let thick darkness seize it!
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
let it not come into the number of the months.
7 Behold, let that night be barren;
let no joyful cry enter it.
8 Let those curse it who curse the day,
who are ready to rouse up Leviathan.
9 Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
let it hope for light, but have none,
nor see the eyelids of the morning,
10 because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,
nor hide trouble from my eyes.
11 “Why did I not die at birth,
come out from the womb and expire?
12 Why did the knees receive me?
Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?
13 For then I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
14 with kings and counselors of the earth
who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
15 or with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child,
as infants who never see the light?
17 There the wicked cease from troubling,
and there the weary are at rest.
18 There the prisoners are at ease together;
they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
19 The small and the great are there,
and the slave is free from his master.
20 “Why is light given to him who is in misery,
and life to the bitter in soul,
21 who long for death, but it comes not,
and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22 who rejoice exceedingly
and are glad when they find the grave?
23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?
24 For my sighing comes instead of my bread,
and my groanings are poured out like water.
25 For the thing that I fear comes upon me,
and what I dread befalls me.
26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest, but trouble comes.”
Psalm 88 (ESV)
I Cry Out Day and Night Before You
88 A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.
1 O Lord, God of my salvation,
I cry out day and night before you.
2 Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!
3 For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
5 like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
6 You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah
8 You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
9 my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O Lord;
I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But I, O Lord, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.
Luke 8:9–18 (ESV)
The Purpose of the Parables
9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
A Lamp Under a Jar
16 “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
In his Exposition of the Prophet Zechariah, of 1527, in the explanation of the passage 11:12 ., Luther raises the question, “Why does Matthew (27:9) attribute the text of the thirty pieces of silver to the prophet Jeremiah when it appears here in Zechariah?” He answers: “It is true, this and similar questions do not mean much to me since they are of no particular profit, and Matthew has done enough when he has cited a genuine text even if he does not have the correct name, just as in other places he cites texts but does not give them in the exact words of Scripture; we can pass that by, and it does no harm that he does not use the exact words, for the sense has been preserved, and so here, what does it matter if he does not give the name exactly, because more depends on the words than on the name. And that is the manner of all apostles who do the same thing, citing the statements of Scripture without such meticulous care concerning the text. Wherefore it would be much harder to question their procedure than to question Matthew here about the name of Jeremiah. Let anyone who loves idle questions ask on. He will find more to question than he can answer.” (49)
–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.