4:1 Listen to the Lord’s message, you Israelites!
For the Lord has a covenant lawsuit against the people of Israel.
For there is neither faithfulness nor loyalty in the land,
nor do they acknowledge God.
2There is only cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery.
They resort to violence and bloodshed.
3Therefore the land will mourn,
and all its inhabitants will perish.
The wild animals, the birds of the sky,
and even the fish in the sea will perish.
4Do not let anyone accuse or contend against anyone else,
for my case is against you priests!
5You stumble day and night,
and the false prophets stumble with you;
you have destroyed your own people.
6You have destroyed my people
by failing to acknowledge me!
Because you refuse to acknowledge me,
I will reject you as my priests.
Because you reject the law of your God,
I will reject your descendants.
7The more the priests increased in numbers,
the more they rebelled against me.
They have turned their glorious calling
into a shameful disgrace!
8They feed on the sin offerings of my people;
their appetites long for their iniquity!
9I will deal with the people and priests together:
I will punish them both for their ways,
and I will repay them for their deeds.
10They will eat, but not be satisfied;
they will engage in prostitution, but not increase in numbers
because they have abandoned the Lord
by pursuing other gods.
11Old and new wine
take away the understanding of my people.
12They consult their wooden idols,
and their diviner’s staff answers with an oracle.
The wind of prostitution blows them astray;
they commit spiritual adultery against their God.
13They sacrifice on the mountaintops
and burn offerings on the hills;
they sacrifice under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
because their shade is so pleasant.
As a result, your daughters have become cult prostitutes,
and your daughters-in-law commit adultery!
14I will not punish your daughters when they commit prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery.
For the men consort with harlots;
they sacrifice with temple prostitutes.
It is true: “A people that lacks understanding will come to ruin!”
15Although you, O Israel, commit adultery,
do not let Judah become guilty!
Do not journey to Gilgal.
Do not go up to Beth Aven.
Do not swear, “As surely as the Lord lives!”
16Israel has rebelled like a stubborn heifer!
Soon the Lord will put them out to pasture
like a lamb in a broad field.
17Ephraim has attached himself to idols;
Do not go near him!
18They consume their alcohol,
then engage in cult prostitution;
they dearly love their shameful behavior.
19A whirlwind has wrapped them in its wings;
they will be brought to shame because of their idolatrous worship.(NET Bible)
69:1 For the music director, according to the tune of “Lilies”; by David.
Deliver me, O God,
for the water has reached my neck.
2I sink into the deep mire
where there is no solid ground;
I am in deep water,
and the current overpowers me.
3I am exhausted from shouting for help.
My throat is sore;
my eyes grow tired from looking for my God.
4Those who hate me without cause
are more numerous than the hairs of my head.
Those who want to destroy me,
my enemies for no reason,
They make me repay what I did not steal.
5O God, you are aware of my foolish sins;
my guilt is not hidden from you.
6Let none who rely on you be disgraced because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Let none who seek you be ashamed because of me,
O God of Israel.
7For I suffer humiliation for your sake
and am thoroughly disgraced.
8My own brothers treat me like a stranger;
they act as if I were a foreigner.
9Certainly zeal for your house consumes me;
I endure the insults of those who insult you.
10I weep and refrain from eating food,
which causes others to insult me.
11I wear sackcloth
and they ridicule me.
12Those who sit at the city gate gossip about me;
drunkards mock me in their songs.
13O Lord, may you hear my prayer and be favorably disposed to me.
O God, because of your great loyal love,
answer me with your faithful deliverance.
14Rescue me from the mud. Don’t let me sink.
Deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep water.
15Don’t let the current overpower me.
Don’t let the deep swallow me up.
Don’t let the Pit devour me.
16Answer me, O Lord, for your loyal love is good.
Because of your great compassion, turn toward me.
17Do not ignore your servant,
for I am in trouble. Answer me right away.
18Come near me and redeem me.
Because of my enemies, rescue me.
19You know how I am insulted, humiliated, and disgraced;
you can see all my enemies.
20Their insults are painful and make me lose heart;
I look for sympathy, but receive none,
for comforters, but find none.
21They put bitter poison into my food,
and to quench my thirst they give me vinegar to drink.
22May their dining table become a trap before them.
May it be a snare for that group of friends.
23May their eyes be blinded.
Make them shake violently.
24Pour out your judgment on them.
May your raging anger overtake them.
25May their camp become desolate,
their tents uninhabited.
26For they harass the one whom you discipline;
they spread the news about the suffering of those whom you punish.
27Hold them accountable for all their sins.
Do not vindicate them.
28May their names be deleted from the scroll of the living.
Do not let their names be listed with the godly.
29I am oppressed and suffering.
O God, deliver and protect me.
30I will sing praises to God’s name.
I will magnify him as I give him thanks.
31That will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull
with horns and hooves.
32The oppressed look on—let them rejoice.
You who seek God, may you be encouraged.
33For the Lord listens to the needy;
he does not despise his captive people.
34Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
along with the seas and everything that swims in them.
35For God will deliver Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah,
and his people will again live in them and possess Zion.
36The descendants of his servants will inherit it,
and those who are loyal to him will live in it.(NET Bible)
4:13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 15For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression either. 16For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants—not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17(as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). He is our father in the presence of God whom he believed—the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. 18Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.” 19Without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21He was fully convinced that what God promised he was also able to do. 22So indeed it was credited to Abraham as righteousness.
23But the statement it was credited to him was not written only for Abraham’s sake, 24but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.(NET Bible)
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.
–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.