1For God alone my soul waits in | silence;*
from him comes my sal- | vation.
2He only is my rock and my salvation, my | fortress;*
I shall not be greatly | shaken.
3How long will all of you attack a man to | batter him,*
like a leaning wall, a | tottering fence?
4They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in | falsehood.*
They bless with their mouths, but inwardly | they curse.
5For God alone, O my soul, wait in | silence,*
for my hope is | from him.
6He only is my rock and my salvation, my | fortress;*
I shall not be | shaken.
7On God rests my salvation and my | glory;*
my mighty rock, my refuge | is God.
8Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart be- | fore him;*
God is a refuge | for us.
9Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a de- | lusion;*
in the balances they go up; they are together lighter | than a breath.
10Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on | robbery;*
if riches increase, set not your | heart on them.
11Once God has spoken; twice have I | heard this:*
that power belongs to God, 12and that to you, O Lord, belongs | steadfast love.
For you will render | to a man*
according | to his work.
Additional Psalm: Psalm 119:137–144
Old Testament Reading:
Atonement for Unsolved Murders
1“If in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess someone is found slain, lying in the open country, and it is not known who killed him, 2then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure the distance to the surrounding cities. 3And the elders of the city that is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer that has never been worked and that has not pulled in a yoke. 4And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to him and to bless in the name of the LORD, and by their word every dispute and every assault shall be settled. 6And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, 7and they shall testify, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it shed. 8Accept atonement, O LORD, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not set the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel, so that their blood guilt be atoned for.’ 9So you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD.
Marrying Female Captives
10“When you go out to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, 11and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, 12and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. 13And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.
Inheritance Rights of the Firstborn
15“If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him children, and if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, 16then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn, 17but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his.
A Rebellious Son
18“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, 19then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, 20and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
A Man Hanged on a Tree Is Cursed
22“And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.”
Additional Reading: Deuteronomy 22:1–24:9
New Testament Reading:
The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs
1And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test [Jesus] they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.
The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees
5When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” 8But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? 9Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Now we go forth … among our neighbors to learn how we should live with one another, everyone himself toward his neighbor. Therefore, God and government are not included in this [fifth] commandment. Nor is the power to kill taken away, which God and government have. To punish evildoers, God has delegated His authority to the government, not parents. In earlier times, as we read in Moses, parents were required to bring their own children to judgment and even to sentence them to death [Deuteronomy 21:18–21]. Therefore, what is forbidden in this commandment is forbidden to the individual in his relationship with anyone else, but not to the government.
Now, this commandment is easy enough and has often been presented, because we hear it each year in the Gospel of St. Matthew 5:20–26, where Christ Himself explains and sums it up. He says that we must not kill, neither with hand, heart, mouth, signs, gestures, help, nor counsel. Therefore, this commandment forbids everyone to be angry, except those (as we said) who are in the place of God, that is, parents and the government. For it is proper for God and for everyone who is in a divine estate to be angry, to rebuke, and to punish because of those very persons who transgress this and the other commandments [Romans 13:4].
… By the devil’s encouragement you will get many enemies who cannot bear to see you have any good, either bodily or spiritual. When we see such people, our hearts also would like to rage and bleed and take vengeance. Then there arise cursing and blows. From them misery and murder finally come. In this commandment God—like a kind father—steps in ahead of us, intervenes, and wishes to have the quarrel settled, so that no misfortune comes from it and no one destroys another person. And briefly, He would in this way protect, set free, and keep in peace everyone against the crime and violence of everyone else.
—Large Catechism I 180–182, 184–185
Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;
Curb those who by deceit or sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son
And bring to naught all He has done.
—Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word (LSB 655:1)
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us to know Your Son, Jesus, to be the way, the truth, and the life that we may boldly confess Him to be the Christ and steadfastly walk in the way that leads to life eternal; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (A74)
Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXIII (XI) 7–17