1:1 In the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was among the exiles at the Kebar River, the heavens opened and I saw a divine vision. 2(On the fifth day of the month—it was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile— 3the Lord’s message came to the priest Ezekiel the son of Buzi, at the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. The hand of the Lord came on him there.)
4As I watched, I noticed a windstorm coming from the north—an enormous cloud, with lightning flashing, such that bright light rimmed it and came from it like glowing amber from the middle of a fire. 5In the fire were what looked like four living beings. In their appearance they had human form, 6but each had four faces and four wings. 7Their legs were straight, but the soles of their feet were like calves’ feet. They gleamed like polished bronze. 8They had human hands under their wings on their four sides. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, 9their wings touched each other; they did not turn as they moved, but went straight ahead.
10Their faces had this appearance: Each of the four had the face of a man, with the face of a lion on the right, the face of an ox on the left, and also the face of an eagle. 11Their wings were spread out above them; each had two wings touching the wings of one of the other beings on either side and two wings covering their bodies. 12Each moved straight ahead—wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13In the middle of the living beings was something like burning coals of fire or like torches. It moved back and forth among the living beings. It was bright, and lightning was flashing out of the fire. 14The living beings moved backward and forward as quickly as flashes of lightning.
15Then I looked, and I saw one wheel on the ground beside each of the four beings. 16The appearance of the wheels and their construction was like gleaming jasper, and all four wheels looked alike. Their structure was like a wheel within a wheel. 17When they moved they would go in any of the four directions they faced without turning as they moved. 18Their rims were high and awesome, and the rims of all four wheels were full of eyes all around.
19When the living beings moved, the wheels beside them moved; when the living beings rose up from the ground, the wheels rose up too. 20Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise up beside them because the spirit of the living being was in the wheel. 21When the living beings moved, the wheels moved, and when they stopped moving, the wheels stopped. When they rose up from the ground, the wheels rose up from the ground; the wheels rose up beside them because the spirit of the living being was in the wheel.
22Over the heads of the living beings was something like a platform, glittering awesomely like ice, stretched out over their heads. 23Under the platform their wings were stretched out, each toward the other. Each of the beings also had two wings covering its body. 24When they moved, I heard the sound of their wings—it was like the sound of rushing waters, or the voice of the Sovereign One, or the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.
25Then there was a voice from above the platform over their heads when they stood still. 26Above the platform over their heads was something like a sapphire shaped like a throne. High above on the throne was a form that appeared to be a man. 27I saw an amber glow like a fire enclosed all around from his waist up. From his waist down I saw something that looked like fire. There was a brilliant light around it, 28like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds after the rain. This was the appearance of the surrounding brilliant light; it looked like the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I threw myself face down, and I heard a voice speaking.(NET Bible)
63:1 A psalm of David, written when he was in the Judean wilderness.
O God, you are my God. I long for you.
My soul thirsts for you,
my flesh yearns for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
2Yes, in the sanctuary I have seen you,
and witnessed your power and splendor.
3Because experiencing your loyal love is better than life itself,
my lips will praise you.
4For this reason I will praise you while I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
5As with choice meat you satisfy my soul.
My mouth joyfully praises you,
6whenever I remember you on my bed,
and think about you during the nighttime hours.
7For you are my deliverer;
under your wings I rejoice.
8My soul pursues you;
your right hand upholds me.
9Enemies seek to destroy my life,
but they will descend into the depths of the earth.
10Each one will be handed over to the sword;
their corpses will be eaten by jackals.
11But the king will rejoice in God;
everyone who takes oaths in his name will boast,
for the mouths of those who speak lies will be shut up.(NET Bible)
2 Thess. 2:1–12
2:1 Now regarding the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to be with him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2not to be easily shaken from your composure or disturbed by any kind of spirit or message or letter allegedly from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. 3Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. 4He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God. 5Surely you recall that I used to tell you these things while I was still with you. 6And so you know what holds him back, so that he will be revealed in his own time. 7For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way, 8and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival. 9The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan’s working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders, 10and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. 11Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. 12And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned.(NET Bible)
Luther was not unaware of the difficulties that arise when parallel passages in the Gospels are compared with each other. So in the Lenten Postil, of 1525, he discusses the order of time in the three temptations of our Lord. He makes this statement: “The order in which these temptations came to Christ cannot be determined with certainty, for the evangelists do not agree. What Matthew places in the middle, Luke places at the end, and what he places in the middle, Matthew places at the end, as though he placed little importance on the order. If we want to preach about it or discuss it, the order of Luke would be the best, for it makes a fine sequence that the devil first attacks through need and misfortune and, when this does not bring results, follows with fortune and honor. Finally, when this is all in vain, he strikes out with all force with errors, lies, and other spiritual deceits. But because they do not occur thus in our daily experience, but, as it happens, a Christian is tempted now with the last, now with the first, Matthew did not pay much attention to the order, as would be fitting for a preacher. And perhaps Christ was so tempted during the forty days that the devil did not observe any particular order but came today with the one temptation, tomorrow with the other, after ten days again with the first and so on as it happened to take place.” (45)
–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.