The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday September 20, 2017 (NIV)

Isaiah 33:10-36:22

10 But the Lord says,
“Now I will do something
and be greatly praised.
11 Your deeds are straw
that will be set on fire
by your very own breath.
12 You will be burned to ashes
like thorns in a fire.
13 Everyone, both far and near,
come look at what I have done.
See my mighty power!”

Punishment and Rewards

14 Those terrible sinners
on Mount Zion tremble
as they ask in fear,
“How can we possibly live
where a raging fire
never stops burning?”

15 But there will be rewards
for those who live right
and tell the truth,
for those who refuse
to take money by force
or accept bribes,
for all who hate murder
and violent crimes.
16 They will live in a fortress
high on a rocky cliff,
where they will have food
and plenty of water.

The Lord Is Our King

17 With your own eyes
you will see the glorious King;
you will see his kingdom
reaching far and wide.
18 Then you will ask yourself,
“Where are those officials
who terrified us and forced us
to pay such heavy taxes?”
19 You will never again have to see
the proud people who spoke
a strange and foreign language
you could not understand.

20 Look to Mount Zion
where we celebrate
our religious festivals.
You will see Jerusalem,
secure as a tent with pegs
that cannot be pulled up
and fastened with ropes
that can never be broken.
21 Our wonderful Lord
will be with us!
There will be deep rivers
and wide streams
safe from enemy ships.[a]

The Lord Is Our Judge

22 The Lord is our judge
and our ruler;
the Lord is our king
and will keep us safe.
23 But your nation[b] is a ship
with its rigging loose,
its mast shaky,
and its sail not spread.

Someday even you that are lame
will take everything you want
from your enemies.
24 The Lord will forgive your sins,
and none of you will say,
“I feel sick.”

The Nations Will Be Judged

34 Everyone of every nation,
the entire earth,
and all of its creatures,
come here and listen!
The Lord is terribly angry
with the nations;
he has condemned them
to be slaughtered.
Their dead bodies will be left
to rot and stink;
their blood will flow
down the mountains.
Each star[c] will disappear—
the sky will roll up
like a scroll.[d]
Everything in the sky
will dry up and wilt
like leaves on a vine
or fruit on a tree.

Trouble for Edom

After the sword of the Lord
has done what it wants
to the skies above,[e]
it will come down on Edom,
the nation that the Lord
has doomed for destruction.

The sword of the Lord
is covered with blood
from lambs and goats,
together with fat
from kidneys of rams.
This is because the Lord
will slaughter many people
and make a sacrifice of them
in the city of Bozrah
and everywhere else
in Edom.
Edom’s leaders are wild oxen.
They are powerful bulls,
but they will die
with the others.
Their country will be soaked
with their blood,
and its soil made fertile
with their fat.

The Lord has chosen
the year and the day,
when he will take revenge
and come to Zion’s defense.
Edom’s streams will turn into tar
and its soil into sulfur—
then the whole country
will go up in flames.
10 It will burn night and day
and never stop smoking.
Edom will be a desert,
generation after generation;
no one will ever travel
through that land.
11 Owls, hawks, and wild animals[f]
will make it their home.
God will leave it in ruins,
merely a pile of rocks.

The End of Edom

12 Edom will be called
“Kingdom of Nothing.”
Its rulers will also be nothing.
13 Its palaces and fortresses
will be covered with thorns;
only wolves and ostriches
will make their home there.
14 Wildcats and hyenas
will hunt together,
demons will scream to demons,
and creatures of the night
will live among the ruins.
15 Owls will nest there
to raise their young
among its shadows,[g]
while families of buzzards
circle around.

16 In The Book of the Lord[h]
you can search
and find
where it is written,
“The Lord brought together
all of his creatures
by the power of his Spirit.
Not one is missing.”
17 The Lord has decided
where they each should live;
they will be there forever,
generation after generation.

God’s Splendor Will Be Seen

35 Thirsty deserts will be glad;
barren lands will celebrate
and blossom with flowers.
Deserts will bloom everywhere
and sing joyful songs.
They will be as majestic
as Mount Lebanon,
as glorious as Mount Carmel
or Sharon Valley.
Everyone will see
the wonderful splendor
of the Lord our God.

God Changes Everything

Here is a message for all
who are weak,
trembling,
and worried:
“Cheer up! Don’t be afraid.
Your God is coming
to punish your enemies.
God will take revenge on them
and rescue you.”

The blind will see,
and the ears of the deaf
will be healed.
Those who were lame
will leap around like deer;
tongues once silent
will begin to shout.
Water will rush
through the desert.
Scorching sand
will turn into a lake,
and thirsty ground
will flow with fountains.
Grass will grow in wetlands,
where packs of wild dogs
once made their home.[i]

God’s Sacred Highway

A good road will be there,
and it will be named
“God’s Sacred Highway.”
It will be for God’s people;
no one unfit to worship God
will walk on that road.
And no fools can travel
on that highway.[j]
No lions or other wild animals
will come near that road;
only those the Lord has saved
will travel there.

10 The people the Lord has rescued
will come back singing
as they enter Zion.
Happiness will be a crown
they will always wear.
They will celebrate and shout
because all sorrows
and worries
will be gone far away.

The Assyrians Surround Jerusalem

36 Hezekiah had been king of Judah for fourteen years when King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded the country and captured every walled city except Jerusalem. The Assyrian king ordered his army commander to leave the city of Lachish and to take a large army to Jerusalem.

The commander went there and stood on the road near the cloth makers' shops along the canal from the upper pool. Three of the king’s highest officials came out of Jerusalem to meet him. One of them was Hilkiah’s son Eliakim, who was the prime minister. The other two were Shebna, assistant to the prime minister, and Joah son of Asaph, keeper of the government records.

The Assyrian commander told them:

I have a message for Hezekiah from the great king of Assyria. Ask Hezekiah why he feels so sure of himself. Does he think he can plan and win a war with nothing but words? Who is going to help him, now that he has turned against the king of Assyria? Is he depending on Egypt and its king? That’s the same as leaning on a broken stick, and it will go right through his hand.

Is Hezekiah now depending on the Lord, your God? Didn’t Hezekiah tear down all except one of the Lord’s altars and places of worship?[k] Didn’t he tell the people of Jerusalem and Judah to worship at that one place?

The king of Assyria wants to make a bet with you people! He will give you two thousand horses, if you have enough troops to ride them. How could you even defeat our lowest ranking officer, when you have to depend on Egypt for chariots and cavalry? 10 Don’t forget that it was the Lord who sent me here with orders to destroy your nation!

11 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said, “Sir, we don’t want the people listening from the city wall to understand what you are saying. So please speak to us in Aramaic instead of Hebrew.”

12 The Assyrian army commander answered, “My king sent me to speak to everyone, not just to you leaders. These people will soon have to eat their own body waste and drink their own urine! And so will the three of you!”

13 Then, in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, he shouted out in Hebrew:

Listen to what the great king of Assyria says! 14 Don’t be fooled by Hezekiah. He can’t save you. 15 Don’t trust him when he tells you that the Lord will protect you from the king of Assyria. 16 Stop listening to Hezekiah. Pay attention to my king. Surrender to him. He will let you keep your own vineyards, fig trees, and cisterns 17 for a while. Then he will come and take you away to a country just like yours, where you can plant vineyards and raise your own grain.

18 Hezekiah claims the Lord will save you. But don’t be fooled by him. Were any other gods able to defend their land against the king of Assyria? 19 What happened to the gods of Hamath, Arpad, and Sepharvaim? Were the gods of Samaria able to protect their land against the Assyrian forces? 20 None of these gods kept their people safe from the king of Assyria. Do you think the Lord, your God, can do any better?

21-22 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah had been warned by King Hezekiah not to answer the Assyrian commander. So they tore their clothes in sorrow and reported to Hezekiah everything the commander had said.

Footnotes:

  1. 33.21 safe. . . ships: This probably means that Jerusalem will have a lot of water, without the danger of attacks from enemy ships.
  2. 33.23 your nation: Possibly Judah or Assyria.
  3. 34.4 star: Stars were worshiped as gods.
  4. 34.4 scroll: A roll of paper or specially prepared leather used for writing on.
  5. 34.5 has done. . . above: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls “appears in the skies above.”
  6. 34.11 Owls. . . animals: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 34.15 Owls. . . shadows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. 34.16 The Book of the Lord: The book that Isaiah refers to is unknown.
  9. 35.7 where. . . home: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  10. 35.8 And. . . highway: Or “And not even a fool can miss that highway.”
  11. 36.7 worship: Hezekiah actually had torn down the places where idols were worshiped, and he had told the people to worship the Lord at the one place of worship in Jerusalem. But the Assyrian leader was confused and thought these were also places where the Lord was supposed to be worshiped.

Galatians 5:13-26

13 My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love. 14 All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. 15 But if you keep attacking each other like wild animals, you had better watch out or you will destroy yourselves.

God’s Spirit and Our Own Desires

16 If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. 17 The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. 18 But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.

19 People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. 20 They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are 21 envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom.

22 God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, 23 gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. 24 And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. 25 God’s Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit. 26 But don’t be conceited or make others jealous by claiming to be better than they are.

Psalm 64

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

Celebrate because of the Lord

64 Listen to my concerns, God,
and protect me
from my terrible enemies.
Keep me safe from secret plots
of corrupt and evil gangs.
Their words cut like swords,
and their cruel remarks
sting like sharp arrows.
They fearlessly ambush
and shoot innocent people.

They are determined to do evil,
and they tell themselves,
“Let’s set traps!
No one can see us.”[a]
They make evil plans and say,
“We’ll commit a perfect crime.
No one knows our thoughts.”[b]

But God will shoot his arrows
and quickly wound them.
They will be destroyed
by their own words,
and everyone who sees them
will tremble with fear.[c]
They will be afraid and say,
“Look at what God has done
and keep it all in mind.”

10 May the Lord bless his people
with peace and happiness
and let them celebrate.

Footnotes:

  1. 64.5 us: One ancient translation; Hebrew “them.”
  2. 64.6 thoughts: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
  3. 64.8 tremble with fear: Or “turn and run.”

Proverbs 23:23

23 Invest in truth and wisdom,
discipline and good sense,
and don’t part with them.

8/17/2017 DAB Transcript

Nehemiah 12:27-13:31; 1 Corinthians 11:1-16; Psalms 35:1-16; Proverbs 21:17-18

Today is the 17th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and it is wonderful to be here with you for another day and another step forward together. And in this step, today’s step, we will conclude the book of Nehemiah. So, from the Holman Christian Standard Bible this week. Nehemiah chapter 12 verse 27 to 13 verse 31.

Commentary:

Alright. So, we concluded the book of Nehemiah just a few minutes ago. And Nehemiah is not a super long book but it gives us a really, really good depiction and look at leadership, especially in its first part. We saw that Nehemiah brought great reforms and restoration to the traditions of Israel among exiles who did not grow up with the temple in Jerusalem but came back and rebuilt it and were re-inaugurating the customs and rituals of Judaism. And, so, Nehemiah and Ezra were both very instrumental in this on the ground with the exiles rebuilding. But Nehemiah had to return to the king. And then he was able to come back at a later time, only to find out that it was starting to crumble again. Things that should not be going on were going on and it was sort of the beginning of the slide backward again. And it was horrifying to him. And there’s plenty that we can look at in our own lives in the ways that we begin to slide in certain directions that aren’t going to be healthy or helpful or we can see this going on in communities or in other’s lives or in societies. And, so, Nehemiah has done and does all that he can do and then he turns to God as we all should. And for Nehemiah, his prayer is, remember what I’ve done of done my best, remember me with favor. Because he knows, although he is very influential, he only has so much influence. And although he would like to see certain things happen there’s only so much you can do. And, so, his ultimate concern is that he’s done all that he can and that he himself, in his own heart, has stayed true to his convictions. And sometimes that’s how it works in leadership, since Nehemiah is so much about that. Sometimes that’s all there is. People are going to do what people are going to do. And once you’ve done everything that you can and have committed to your own integrity, then you can only go to God and say, continue to make me better, continue to make me stronger and truer, continue to grow my understanding in what it is you’re calling me to do, remember me. And, so, it’s fitting way to end the book of Nehemiah.

And then we get to Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and we run headlong into a fog. We’ve got to talk about authority. We’ve got to talk about Angels. We’ve got to talk about head coverings. We’ve got to talk about men and women in roles. And since I happen to have the microphone I have to do one of three things - not talk about it, talk about it as if I know what I’m talking about, or tell you the truth. I don’t. And I don’t know why that’s so hard this day and age - for a leader to say I don’t know. But I think it comes from a tradition of needing to have all the answers in a nice linear fashion, so that everything makes complete logical sense, so that an airtight dogma can be wrapped around a subject that is universally true. And that’s mixed with the subtle pressure for leader to have all the answers, to somehow have transcended all mystery. I just don’t think that’s possible. And this passage, in First Corinthians, if nothing else, brings that front and center. Because the interpretations for this particular passage have been wrestled with for centuries coming to a wide array of conclusions that are all over the map. And usually how that works is that a scholar will look at previous scholarship and a pastor will look at scholarship trying to find the path. And, so, you may have heard brilliant sermons or teachings or read amazing things on this that make perfect sense. And that’s awesome. But I know that in the course of my faith journey, I’ve spent hours and hours on this - consulting old and new scholarship. So, rather than me trying give you a teaching us something that I’m not hundred percent sure about, I think I’ll just be honest and kind of show you how this works and share some conclusions that I think are safe and true. So, one of the biggest issues, you know, should a woman cover her head in church? And it looks like Paul is answering a question that he hasn’t been asked. So, allot of this letter Paul’s answering questions. But in this case, he’s just saying, I’m glad you are following the tradition I gave you about this. And he begins to unpack why give the tradition in the first place. So, Paul begins, I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man and the man is the head of the woman and God is the head of Christ. So, from a scholarship perspective, just that one verse, the one thing you’ve got to know is, what are we talking about when we’re talking about the head? What does that mean? Are we talking about authority or are we talking about a person’s head? And the way that this gets complicated is taking the paragraph as a whole. So, the way that it goes is, I want you to know that Christ is the head of everyman, the man is the head of the woman, God is the head of Christ. And then he immediately says every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head, but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head. So, it’s like, we’re talking about authority, maybe or are we talking about the real head? Because it’s all in the same paragraph, all in the same breath. What are we talking about? And it gets even more complicated when cultural nuance language, where there may be a play on words, doesn’t translate into another language well. And, so, if there is a scholarly consensus, it would be that the first part of that is using the term head as a reference to authority and the second part is a person’s head. And, so we could say that Paul is revealing that there is an order to things that is then outwardly expressed physically. And I think that’s a safe enough reading of it. But even in that, embedded into that, is a tradition that almost nobody practices. I mean, I’ve been to hundreds of churches in many, many countries and if a woman has her head covered in church it’s more a matter of style. It’s like the outfit that she’s wearing as opposed to a spiritual discipline or expression. And I’ve been in lots of churches where men are wearing hats and covering their heads. So, why are we so willing to blatantly disregard this? And it gets even more complicated because in different traditions around the world covering your head to show reverence for God is part of the tradition. So, in the Jewish tradition, a man does cover his head. That’s what the yamaka is about. So, if you’re in Israel and you want to go pray at the Western Wall. Number one, men and women will be segregated from each other, they don’t pray together. And if you’re a man…I mean…like I’ve never been on the women’s side…because I’ve never been a woman…but I’ve been to the men’s side of it many times. So, if you’re going to approach the wall to pray and you’ve got a baseball hat on, you’re good. But if you have nothing on your head then they’ve got these little throw away yamaka’s that you can throw on your head because you need to cover your head to go approach God that way. Whereas Paul’s saying, you shouldn’t have a hat on at all. And the Jews are just following their traditional interpretation of the Torah. So, with Paul, we can at least clearly say that he’s making gender distinctions and saying that within those distinctions are different components that make up a whole. So, let’ just read through this and I will stop at the places where there have been differences of opinion and interpretation and you can pray into it yourself. I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man. So again, what is the head? We just talked about that. Of every man. What are we talking about? Males or mankind? And the man is the head of the woman. Okay. Pause. Is Paul instituting a patriarchal new way of looking at things or is Paul simply stating what is obvious in the culture in which he lives? And God is the head of Christ. So, we have this head thing again. Does that mean that God was actually Jesus physical head or was God in Jesus physical mind or brain or is it that God has the authority over Christ in some way, even though they are one in the same? What I think is safe to say is that Paul is revealing that there is an order to things. And in referring to the order, Paul then talks about covering or not covering your head. Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. So, is he dishonoring his head? Like, you know, where his eyes and nose and mouth and ears and hair are or is he dishonoring the authority to which he has submitted himself? But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved. Before we get to that, the way that this passage kind of moves around, some scholars have wondered if this whole portion of the letter isn’t a part of, maybe of that earlier letter that Paul talked about, or some other letter and these have been kind of consolidated. I don’t particularly think that because there’s no evidence for it and most scholars don’t but some do. But anyway, a woman should cover head because if she doesn’t she’s dishonoring her head. So, maybe her head with her face or that which she has submitted to, which would be God, which could also be an indicator of the fact that she’s in the covenant of marriage and you see that allot of these can be both. And, well Paul says if she doesn’t, she should have her head shaved, which, I mean, that’s definitely a sign of shame. In Paul’s day and age and place in the world and culture, a woman who had had her head shaved would be someone who had committed a sin like adultery. And, so, her head would be shaved and then she would, kind of, walk around with that shame. But it would grow back and she would be restored, which is not unlike what happened in David’s time. Remember, when David sent some emissaries to another country and they dishonored them by shaving their beards? And, so, David to go to Jericho and let it all grow back and then come back to Jerusalem. So, in that culture the beard was sort of the sign of masculinity and cultural standing and even religious devotion. For that to get shaved off would be quite a dishonor. Or it could be a sign of a vow. Many people would shave their head as they took a vow to God and let it grow back. Or Sampson could never cut his hair. And, so, as we move forward we begin to get a clue that Paul is talking about authority when he is talking about head even though he’s talking about covering a physical head. So, he’s kind of talking about an order of things as he unpacks this. A man, in fact, should not cover his head because he is God’s image and glory but woman is man’s glory for man did not come from woman but woman came from man and man was not created for woman but woman for man. This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head. And, so, well, allot of people would say this is kind of demeaning, maybe, to a female then? While others would say no, this is actually kind of affirming and elevating because man is God’s image and glory but woman is what gives man glory and God glory. And, so, a woman being created for man by God simply revealed man’s inadequacy without her. But anyway, Paul is saying, it’s a symbol of authority. This is why a woman should cover her head. But then he says something cryptic – ‘because of the Angels’. This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. So, what is that about? And those interpretations are all over the map because it’s even cryptic in the original language. And there are esoteric interpretations as well as practical. So, like, on the esoteric side of things, I’ve seen interpretations that this is referring to the sons of God and the daughters of Eve in the Old Testament and that a woman’s uncovered head is so intoxicating that even spiritual beings are seduced. And that this whole thing was about protection and protecting the beauty of femininity. Other interpretations of these angels will come from places like the book of Revelation, where there is an angel for a church and this angel would report back to God the goings on. Others would say that Angels means messengers and this is a messenger. So, it could be people visiting from other churches and Paul wanted uniformity in certain traditions. But then Paul turns the conversation again. In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man and man is not independent of woman for just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God. So, on the one hand, part of this, people have seen this very patriarchal and then he says that and it’s not. And in other letters, he says, in the Lord that there is no male or female, like we’re all the same. But then we get to the end of what Paul is saying in this passage. Judge for yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it’s a disgrace to him but if a woman has long hair it’s her glory for her hair is given to her as a covering. But if any anyone wants to argue about this, we don’t have any other customs in the church. So, what Paul is saying here is, it’s kind of obvious, which is clearly referencing his time and place, because now all of those things are quite as obvious in this time and place. Women cover their heads or they don’t. Men have long hair or they don’t. I had long hair for a lot of my life and I might still if it were falling out but it never felt like it was dishonoring…it was just never a dishonor or honor thing. That’s not the culture I grew up in. So, you can see why I can come before you as a brother and just say I’m not sure, because linguistic scholars or theological scholars or cultural scholars have all wrestled with this and have come to different conclusions. And as hard as I am after God in my life, as deeply as I am aiming my heart toward knowing God, the further that I go, the more I realize that I have barely begun to scratch the surface. And the Bible continues to show me that I don’t know all I think I know. And that posture has actually opened me wide, to simply sit with the fact that I don’t know all that I think that I know. And there will always be more and it’s going to take billions of years in eternity, with God, in collaboration and in love with God to know what I want to know. And I think, even then, there’ll be more.

So, I bring this up today not to be disconcerting in any way. Although I don’t mind being disruptive. But this passage does give us an opportunity to come face-to-face with our dogmas and the ways in which we think everything, every problem, has to have a logical answer when life rarely works like that. When we’re able to hold in our hands the mystery and acknowledge that we don’t know all that we think that we do, we are no longer relying on our own strength. And if there’s one thing the metanarrative of the Bible teaches us is that we are hopelessly powerless without God. But another thing that is undeniable in the scriptures is that God is passionately desiring to be involved in our lives. Those things are fundamental and foundational and it becomes more important to say, I don’t know the answer but I do know God. And it is within that tension that we grow and ironically that is woven into the fabric of the culture in which the Bible, from which, the Bible came. Israel means one who wrestles with God. And, so, from that tradition is a different way of absorbing the Scriptures. It’s less about what you’re going to figure out and create a dogma around and more about what is happening to you, what you are wrestling with. And we’ve seen that so many times already this year in the Bible, where it becomes this mirror into our souls and begins to speak about things much deeper inside of us. It becomes less about reading words on a page and realizing those words are reading our mail. They are reading us. A mirror has been put up in front of us and we have to look squarely into our own hearts and it unlocks places in us that that we didn’t know. And allot of times, if I’m wrestling through or trying to understand something, I’ll go to Jesus first, I’ll go to the Gospels. But even Jesus practiced this. There’s this beautiful story, where a scholar, someone who had been trained came to Jesus and asked him about the great commandments in relation to eternal life. And Jesus says, you’re an expert, how do you read it? Which is so fascinating t me. We talk about it in the book, Sneezing Jesus. Because I think it’s so compelling that God would invite a man to talk about how he has wrestled with and understands the scriptures. That’s remarkably fascinating to me. And even Paul, in this passage, says, judge for yourselves, wrestle with this yourselves. At the end of the day, and Paul says this, at the end of the day this is just what we do. This is the custom. We don’t have any other custom. So, when I read a passage like the one we read today, I have to say, there is an understanding or was an understanding in the Corinthian culture that didn’t need to be explained that everyone knew. And we’ve lost that. And here’s kind of how that works. If I were to say to any of you, hey, you going to watch the game on Sunday? I don’t have to explain what I’m talking about. We know, generally speaking. Like, if you’re if you’re a sports fan and you, like, watch sports all year round. I could say, you going to watch the game on Saturday, you going to watch the game on Sunday or whatever. Depending on what season it is, you know exactly what game and what sport we’re likely talking about depending on where we are. If I’m in Tennessee I might be watching a specific game that is a professional team of our city. And for you it might be different in a different city but we kind of know what we’re talking about. But if we try to ask this question a couple hundred years ago, it would mean something completely different if we understood it at all. And if we take Paul’s writings in their totality, we know his heart. We know that all he wanted was for people to know Jesus and to grow strong in their faith. We know that he went through allot for that cause. We know that he was an outsider and cast away from his own people in his own culture who wanted to do away with him because of it. We know that this guy gave his life for the cause of Christ. And when he wrote this letter to the Corinthians, he wasn’t trying to put people in any kind of bondage. He had given his life to set people free from bondage. I don’t know why covering our heads or uncovering our heads was so important at that particular time but I do know that those traditions follow through. Why does a woman walk down the aisle with the veil and her head covered to give herself to her husband before God and to enter into a covenant with God and her husband? I’ve been to lots of weddings. I’ve performed lots of weddings. I have yet to find a bride that isn’t thrilled with the tradition. That she gets to walk down the aisle and she’s covered and her heads covered and she looks like a radiant daughter of God. And I have seen that image level the husband to be. I have watched husbands lift the veil in tears. And, so, our traditions, when they mean something, they mean something true. So, whatever was going on here is for good.

Prayer:

Father, we thank You for Your word and its ability to bring us to the end of ourselves and to bring us into Your presence because we know You are good and kind and merciful and loyal been beyond what we know how to articulate. And You love us and we love You back. And we sit with mystery knowing that it unfolds day by day by day by day and will continue to do this forever. And in Your kindness we get to live inside that adventure. So, come, Holy Spirit, implant the words in our lives and may it yield good fruit for your kingdom. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Announcements:

dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here.

I have mentioned that we have Sneezing Jesus available in the Daily Audio Bible shop now and we’ve brought back the 10 pack with all of the associated goodies that went with that. You can get that straight from the Daily Audio Bible now. We even have cases for those of you who are giving them way as gifts to everyone you know or giving it to visitors for your church or for your group or for whatever. It’s all there in the Daily Audio Bible shop. There’s even a category for it. So, be sure to check that out.

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. If the community here is a life-giving one for you and for your journey. Thank you for your partnership in helping to keep it happening. Everything we’ve done since the beginning of this we’ve done together. So, thank you. There’s a link on the homepage of dailyaudiobible.com. If using the app, you can press the more button in the lower right-hand corner, or if you prefer the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill TN 37174.

And of course, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.

And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.

Community Prayers and Praise Reports:

Good morning from the UK, Nottingham. It’s August the 14th. Hello and blessings from the UK. I want to pray for us all. Lord, I thank You for community. I thank you that you brought us together under Your name, the name above all names, Jesus. And I bless each and every one of us that we can really find our purpose and goal in life and serve you with all our heart and mind. Even in our wondering, we’ll just gravitate back to You today. In Jesus’ name. Bless this community, I pray. Community, I’d like for you to pray for a lady in my life, that has come into my life…for friends really…in needing on our journey of faith to discovering Jesus. Her names Patsy or Samantha. She’s had a difficult time in relationships with her health. But the Lord has drawn her to my church. And she keeps wanting to come on Sundays and she’s very, very interested and loves children, particularly, my daughter. I’m a divorced dad and see my daughter weekends. And…you know…the Lords will be done. I’ve been divorced for nearly three years now, separated for eight. And…you know…I trust the Lord, that he has the right partner for me but who knows with this lady…dear friend. Pray for her that she’ll find…her eyes will be open to faith and discover more of Him and who He is and that distractions will disappear and the enemy will keep his hands off her by sending wrong people towards her. And I pray that she’ll have wisdom in all that she does. Thank you. family. God bless. Bye-bye.

My name is Rachel. I’m phoning from Scotland. I’ve just listened to the Daily Audio Bible podcast for the day the 14th of August and I wanted to pray for Mary C. from Georgia. And I wondered if she hears this if Mary, if you will contact me? My email is jemassage01@gmail.com. Father God, we pray for Your servant Mary. You know that she banged her head Father, and You know that she’s been suffering ever since. And her and her mother are going to be moving shortly and you know she’s not going to be able to go to school and we just pray that You will touch her today Lord, that You will heal her. That You will restore her to full health. Lord, we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen. God bless everybody. Take care. Jesus loves you. Bye.

Good morning. I’m a new listener. I love this app. I love what you’re doing. A friend of mind gave me your information and I started listening just a few days ago. God bless you for being there. I do have a prayer request. Number one is my son, Brice, who is Spirit filled, lost his job a couple months ago and he only has enough money for another month. He is Christian and Spirit filled but he’s getting very anxious and nervous. And my daughter in law is having a very hard time. Her name is Kelly. Brice and Kelly. I know God has a job for him and I know He has a job that when He opens the doors that no man can close. I just ask for your prayers for them, for their peace and that they would go in the right direction, the place that God wants them and that they would draw closer to God and they both need to know the Father’s love. And in this I’m praying and I want you to agree with me, that they know the Father’s love and that they have a testimony of what God did and what He’s doing and what He’s already done. And I thank you for praying. I also developed a rash on my abdomen and I don’t know what it is but I just want prayer for complete healing. And, again, God bless you for being there and I intend to keep listening daily. Thank you. In Jesus’ name…

Good morning DAB family. Deborah, Providence RI. Brain and family and all the other’s thanks for all that you do. I listened to the podcast on the 14th of August and this is for Valeri whose father is in hospice and mother who recently passed. Valeri, my prayers are with you honey. I pray and agree with you for your prayer for your dad’s peaceful and happy transition. I know it’s tough but just hold on knowing that they are both going to be in a better place. I pray peace in your heart. Also, for the young lady, the 16-year-old that got hurt and is asking for prayers for her healing, her home, a better home when they move, and for her sisters return to Christ. I stand in full agreement with You. God Bless Byron. Thank you for the story about the track with your son. Very uplifting. Tony, Blind Tony, I just pray for your healing brother and glorify God for you for the gift that you share with us regularly. I know there are calls about you not calling yourself Blind Tony. I tend to agree buddy. Honey, you are who you are, free of healing. I pray you’ll continue to hold onto your healing. It will come. No matter what you call yourself. You’re a child of God and you will be healed. In Jesus’ name. Thank you everyone. God bless. Bye.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday September 19, 2017 (NIV)

Isaiah 30:12-33:9

12 Now this is the answer
of the holy God of Israel:
“You rejected my message,
and you trust in violence
and lies.
13 This sin is like a crack
that makes a high wall
quickly crumble 14 and shatter
like a crushed bowl.
There’s not a piece left
big enough to carry hot coals
or to dip out water.”

Trust the Lord

15 The holy Lord God of Israel
had told all of you,
“I will keep you safe
if you turn back to me
and calm down.
I will make you strong
if you quietly trust me.”

Then you stubbornly 16 said,
“No! We will safely escape
on speedy horses.”

But those who chase you
will be even faster.
17 As few as five of them,
or even one,
will be enough
to chase a thousand of you.
Finally, all that will be left
will be a few survivors
as lonely as a flag pole
on a barren hill.

The Lord Will Show Mercy

18 The Lord God is waiting
to show how kind he is
and to have pity on you.
The Lord always does right;
he blesses those who trust him.

19 People of Jerusalem, you don’t need to cry anymore. The Lord is kind, and as soon as he hears your cries for help, he will come. 20 The Lord has given you trouble and sorrow as your food and drink. But now you will again see the Lord, your teacher, and he will guide you. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying, “This is the road! Now follow it.” 22 Then you will treat your idols of silver and gold like garbage; you will throw them away like filthy rags.

23 The Lord will send rain to water the seeds you have planted—your fields will produce more crops than you need, and your cattle will graze in open pastures. 24 Even the oxen and donkeys that plow your fields will be fed the finest grain.[a]

25 On that day people will be slaughtered and towers destroyed, but streams of water will flow from high hills and towering mountains. 26 Then the Lord will bandage his people’s injuries and heal the wounds he has caused. The moon will shine as bright as the sun, and the sun will shine seven times brighter than usual. It will be like the light of seven days all at once.

Assyria Will Be Punished

27 The Lord is coming
from far away
with his fiery anger
and thick clouds of smoke.[b]
His angry words flame up
like a destructive fire;
28 he breathes out a flood
that comes up to the neck.
He sifts the nations
and destroys them.
Then he puts a bridle
in every foreigner’s mouth
and leads them to doom.

29 The Lord’s people will sing as they do when they celebrate a religious festival[c] at night. The Lord is Israel’s mighty rock,[d] and his people will be as happy as they are when they follow the sound of flutes to the mountain where he is worshiped.

30 The Lord will get furious. His fearsome voice will be heard, his arm will be seen ready to strike, and his anger will be like a destructive fire, followed by thunderstorms and hailstones. 31 When the Assyrians hear the Lord’s voice and see him striking with his iron rod, they will be terrified. 32 He will attack them in battle, and each time he strikes them, it will be to the music of tambourines and harps.

33 Long ago the Lord got a place ready for burning the body of the dead king.[e] The place for the fire is deep and wide, the wood is piled high, and the Lord will start the fire by breathing out flaming sulfur.

Don’t Trust the Power of Egypt

31 You are in for trouble
if you go to Egypt for help,
or if you depend on
an army of chariots
or a powerful cavalry.
Instead you should depend on
and trust
the holy Lord God
of Israel.
The Lord isn’t stupid!
He does what he promises,
and he can bring doom.
If you are cruel yourself,
or help those who are evil,
you will be destroyed.

The Egyptians are mere humans.
They aren’t God.
Their horses are made of flesh;
they can’t live forever.
When the Lord shows his power,
he will destroy the Egyptians
and all who depend on them.
Together they will fall.

The Lord All-Powerful
said to me,
“I will roar and attack
like a fearless lion
not frightened by the shouts
of shepherds
trying to protect
their sheep.
That’s how I will come down
and fight on Mount Zion.
I, the Lord All-Powerful,
will protect Jerusalem
like a mother bird circling
over her nest.”

Come Back to the Lord

People of Israel, come back!
You have completely turned
from the Lord.
The time is coming
when you will throw away
your idols of silver and gold,
made by your sinful hands.

The Assyrians will be killed,
but not by the swords
of humans.
Their young men will try
to escape,
but they will be captured
and forced into slavery.
Their fortress[f] will fall
when terror strikes;
their army officers
will be frightened
and run from the battle.
This is what the Lord has said,
the Lord whose fiery furnace
is built on Mount Zion.

Justice Will Rule

32 A king and his leaders
will rule with justice.
They will be a place of safety
from stormy winds,
a stream in the desert,
and a rock that gives shade
from the heat of the sun.
Then everyone who has eyes
will open them and see,
and those who have ears
will pay attention.
All who are impatient
will take time to think;
everyone who stutters
will talk clearly.

Fools will no longer
be highly respected,
and crooks won’t be given
positions of honor.
Fools talk foolishness.
They always make plans
to do sinful things,
to lie about the Lord,
to let the hungry starve,
and to keep water
from those
who are thirsty.
Cruel people tell lies—
they do evil things,
and make cruel plans
to destroy the poor and needy,
even when they beg
for justice.
But helpful people
can always be trusted
to make helpful plans.

Punishment for the Women of Jerusalem

Listen to what I say,
you women
who are carefree
and careless!
10 You may not have worries now,
but in about a year,
the grape harvest will fail,
and you will tremble.

11 Shake and shudder,
you women without a care!
Strip off your clothes—
put on sackcloth.
12 Slap your breasts in sorrow
because of what happened
to the fruitful fields
and vineyards,
13 and to the happy homes
in Jerusalem.
The land of my people
is covered with thorns.

14 The palace will be deserted,
the crowded city empty.
Fortresses and towers
will forever become
playgrounds for wild donkeys
and pastures for sheep.

God’s Spirit Makes the Difference

15 When the Spirit is given to us
from heaven,
deserts will become orchards
thick as fertile forests.
16 Honesty and justice
will prosper there,
17 and justice will produce
lasting peace and security.

18 You, the Lord’s people,
will live in peace,
calm and secure,
19 even if hailstones
flatten
forests and cities.
20 You will have God’s blessing,
as you plant your crops
beside streams,
while your donkeys and cattle
roam freely about.

Jerusalem Will Be Safe

33 You defeated my people.

Now you’re in for trouble!
You’ve never been destroyed,
but you will be destroyed;
you’ve never been betrayed,
but you will be betrayed.
When you have finished
destroying and betraying,
you will be destroyed
and betrayed in return.

Please, Lord, be kind to us!
We depend on you.
Make us strong each morning,
and come to save us
when we are in trouble.
Nations scatter when you roar
and show your greatness.[g]
We attack our enemies
like swarms of locusts;[h]
we take everything
that belongs to them.[i]

You, Lord, are above all others,
and you live in the heavens.
You have brought justice
and fairness to Jerusalem;
you are the foundation
on which we stand today.
You always save us and give
true wisdom and knowledge.
Nothing means more to us[j]
than obeying you.

The Lord Will Do Something

Listen! Our bravest soldiers
are running through the streets,
screaming for help.[k]
Our messengers hoped for peace,
but came home crying.
No one travels anymore;
every road is empty.
Treaties are broken,
and no respect is shown
to any who keep promises.[l]
Fields are dry and barren;
Mount Lebanon wilts
with shame.
Sharon Valley is a desert;
the forests of Bashan and Carmel
have lost their leaves.

Footnotes:

  1. 30.24 the finest grain: The Hebrew text refers to grain with the husks removed.
  2. 30.27 with. . . smoke: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 30.29 a religious festival: Probably Passover.
  4. 30.29 mighty rock: See the note at 17.10.
  5. 30.33 burning. . . king: Or “sacrificing the king” or “sacrificing to Molech.” Human sacrifices were sometimes offered to Molech, a god whose name sounds like the Hebrew word for “king” (see 2 Kings 23.10; Jeremiah 32.35).
  6. 31.9 fortress: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which may refer to the Assyrian god or king, or to their army.
  7. 33.3 greatness: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 3.
  8. 33.4 locusts: Insects like grasshoppers that travel in swarms and cause great damage to crops.
  9. 33.4 them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 4.
  10. 33.6 Nothing. . . us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  11. 33.7 Listen. . . help: Or “The Lord heard our shouts and will come to help us.”
  12. 33.8 to any. . . promises: The Dead Sea Scrolls; the Standard Hebrew Text “to those in the cities.”

Galatians 5:1-12

Christ Gives Freedom

Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again.

I, Paul, promise you that Christ won’t do you any good if you get circumcised. If you do, you must obey the whole Law. And if you try to please God by obeying the Law, you have cut yourself off from Christ and his wonderful kindness. But the Spirit makes us sure that God will accept us because of our faith in Christ. If you are a follower of Christ Jesus, it makes no difference whether you are circumcised or not. All that matters is your faith that makes you love others.

You were doing so well until someone made you turn from the truth. And that person was certainly not sent by the one who chose you. A little yeast can change a whole batch of dough, 10 but you belong to the Lord. That makes me certain that you will do what I say, instead of what someone else tells you to do. Whoever is causing trouble for you will be punished.

11 My friends, if I still preach that people need to be circumcised, why am I in so much trouble? The message about the cross would no longer be a problem, if I told people to be circumcised. 12 I wish that everyone who is upsetting you would not only get circumcised, but would cut off much more!

Psalm 63

(A psalm by David when he was in the desert of Judah.)

God’s Love Means More than Life

63 You are my God. I worship you.
In my heart, I long for you,
as I would long for a stream
in a scorching desert.

I have seen your power
and your glory
in the place of worship.
Your love means more
than life to me,
and I praise you.
As long as I live,
I will pray to you.
I will sing joyful praises
and be filled with excitement
like a guest at a banquet.

I think about you
before I go to sleep,
and my thoughts turn to you
during the night.
You have helped me,
and I sing happy songs
in the shadow of your wings.
I stay close to you,
and your powerful arm
supports me.

All who want to kill me
will end up in the ground.
10 Swords will run them through,
and wild dogs will eat them.

11 Because of you, our God,
the king will celebrate
with your faithful followers,
but liars will be silent.

Proverbs 23:22

-16-

22 Pay attention to your father,
and don’t neglect your mother
when she grows old.

8/16/2017 DAB Transcript

Nehemiah 11:1-12:26; 1 Corinthians 10:14-33; Psalms 34:11-22; Proverbs 21:14-16

Today is the 16th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is great to be here with you today as we approach the middle of the week. And we’ve already passed the center of the book of Nehemiah that we’ve been reading for last few days. So, we’ll be in the book of Nehemiah from our old testament reading today and we will conclude it tomorrow. So, from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Nehemiah chapter 11 verse 1 through 12 verse 26 today.

Commentary:

Ok. So, Paul’s making some distinctions today because there’s an underlying question that he’s answering. And the question is basically, ‘can we eat food that has come through a temple that is not to God, that has been sacrificed to a false God? Does the fact that it has been sacrificed to a false God do anything to the meat that we shouldn’t eat it? And if we do then were participating in idolatry?’ So, the way Paul answered this question creates a distinction. So, what we have to understand is that meat would find its way into the meat market after it had gone through a temple and been sacrificed to whatever deity that the person sacrificing was worshiping. So, that meat could sometimes find its way back into the meat market. And, so, people were worried. Like, what do you do about meat that was sacrificed to an idol? And how would we even know? And, so, Paul’s making a little bit of a distinction by saying, look, the meat is the meat. The idol isn’t a real thing. But the people who have given their hearts over in worship to this false thing, that’s real and you do not want to be wrapped up in that. You’re part of a different covenant. You’re part of a body - the body of Christ. And you can’t have one foot there and one foot in the worship of another god. So, in the end, the question isn’t really about the meat. Paul says, eat everything and sold in the me market. You don’t need to ask questions about where it came from. I’m laughing because it’s like…of course…you want to know where it came from. But the point is, you don’t have to ask, ‘hey which is the meat that was not sacrificed to an idol?’ So, what this shows us is that the Corinthian people were, obviously, in a mixed culture and believers in Jesus had interaction and even friendships with people who did not believe in Jesus but who believed in another god and worshiped another god. And were they allowed to continue with that interaction and even go over to other people’s houses and eat without asking those kind of questions – ‘wait a minute, wait a minute, I worship Jesus, you worship Artemis, I just need to make sure that this lamb chop was not sacrificed to Artemis because if it was than I can’t eat it.’ Which would create incredible awkward social interactions and destruction of friendships. Which would be kind of like if we’re like a really, really, really food conscious and we go over to a friend’s house and start asking whether or not everything on the table is organic and grain fed and all that. Which is totally fine, but awkward if you impose how you do what you do as a guest in someone else’s house. And Paul’s instructions are that we should be looking out for the good of the other person. Paul says it like this, if one of the unbelievers invites you over and you want to go, eat everything that’s set before you without raising questions of conscience but if someone says to you, this food has been offered to an idol, because they know your convictions and they’re giving you the heads up and the warning, then don’t eat it because they’ve warned you. You’re being considerate for them at that point and considerate for yourself. So, this organic analogy that we were just using a second ago, your sitting down at somebody’s dinner table and they say to you, ‘oh listen I know how conscious you are about certain things and you need to know that this, this, and this is not organic’. Well, then they’ve given you permission and a heads up. So, you can follow your own conscience and you are being considerate to them in the process. So, Paul’s answering a specific question but the answer applies in all kinds of contexts in our lives. That it is not we who are trying to super impose our style of doing things on somebody else but we are thinking of them the whole time, especially with our friends who are unbelievers. Which harkens back to Paul’s ministry posture of being all things to all people - being able to move in and out of all kinds of circumstances. And, so, Paul boils the whole thing down in a way that applies to any kind of scenario like this one. He says, ‘listen whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory. Give no offense to the Jews who do things this way or the Greeks who do things this other way or the people of God who do things another way. Do everything that you do for God’s glory. Just as I also try to please all people in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of many so that they may be saved, so that they may come to understand the good news of Jesus.’

Prayer:

Jesus, we enter into that space with You because we do have our lists of do’s and don'ts and our lists of rules and allot of times they don’t have anything to do with anyone else other than for us to superimpose what we think that we know and what we think is right on them. And this is kind of a counterproductive posture. So, we invite Your Holy Spirit to come and help us to continue to develop the eyes of grace, the ears of mercy, and the lips of the Kingdom. Help us in all things to look at how it’s going to impact the person that we are interacting with. Help us to look at the other and become their servants as opposed to trying to superimpose what we think we know upon them. Help us to be like You because that’s really the bottom line. How is it that in any situation we can be Christ-like, we can be You in this world as Your body in this world? How is it we can interact exactly as You do because You are in us? Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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I mentioned yesterday that we’ve brought back all of the Sneezing Jesus stuff through the Daily Audio Bible store. Now we can do that. And, so we have the 10 pack with all the stuff that we had in the first place with the medallion with the Sneezing Jesus films all available, as well as those resources available individually and for those of you who continue to sneeze Jesus using this resource, using the work, Sneezing Jesus. So, we have it all there as economical as we can make it. So, check it out. It’s in the Daily Audio Bible shop at dailyaudiobible.com.  

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com as well and I can’t thank you enough for your partnership. There’s a link on the homepage. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app, you can press the More button in the lower right-hand corner or if you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill TN 37174.

And of course, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.

And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.

Community Prayers and Praise Reports:

Good morning DAB. I pray that each and every one of you are well. Just know that all of you are always in my prayers. But today the God that we serve has prompted me to call in for Lee from NJ, I was just listening to you in regard to your twin sister whose lost in the world and I just want you to know that right there with you brother. I’m praying for her. I know exactly what it’s like to be lost. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless and I don’t her story, exactly, and I’m sure it’s not like mine and I cannot imagine what she’s been through but I will tell you this, that I am lifting her up in prayer. I am lifting you up in prayer and your entire family in the name of Jesus. She will be found, in the name of Jesus. Also, pastor Gene, I know that your husband going to be fine.  The Lord that we serve, Pastor Gene, and you know that as well as I do, that God is a God of miracles. And God is our healer. God will restore him, in the name of Jesus.  I am believing in all of this. Asia from Munich, I’m still there with you sister, praying for you, and know that God is listening to you. Victoria S., you are amazing. I just want you to know that. We love you and we need you to call in. Blind Tony, I can’t even say Blind Tony because you have a vision far beyond many that are those that I have connected with, in the name of Jesus. Salvation is mine, you are truly saved, in the name of Jesus. And I am believing in all of you. I thank you for being a part of the family. I thank you for calling in. I thank you even when you don’t call in because I know that you’re there listening in the background and praying for each and every one of us. Jill and Brian, may God bless you in this ministry, in Jesus’ name. The is Ester from Flushing, NY. God bless you.

Lord, as I walk in Your spirit today
Please keep my pride and my ego at bay
They often times surface and get in the way
Negatively affecting the things that I say
Lead me and guide me I don’t want to stray
I long to Yours Lord I want to obey
Because Satan is watching just waiting to slay
Being cut off from You God is too much to pay
Help me stay humble and spiritually led
It’s not just the words Lord it’s how they are said
And not just the how, Lord teach me when
If the timing not right then the words get in
The flow from my lips to listeners ear
May inflate my ego but the listener won’t hear
He’ll just get resentful and throw my words back
Anger will enter in and we’ll both go off track
Lord what is my purpose as I go through this day
That’s a rhetorical question Lord show me the way
Help me keep ego and pride out of the way
Place on my lips Lord the right words to say
Help me walk upright and continually pray
I want to yours Lord come whatever may

blindtony1016@gmail.com. I’d like to give a shout out to Byron in FL. Hope you’re well my brother…and also Slave of Jesus. I love the both of ya’ll. And, also, once again I’d like to give a shout out of love to Brian Harding and his entire family, that they may continue in the good work. And let the Holy Spirit keep flowin’. It is flowin’, ya’ll. Let it flow. Alright…bye-bye.

By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing. It is the gift of God. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. I believe. Help my unbelief.  Whoever keeps His word in Him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in Him. Faith working through love. Faith apart from works is useless.  We walk by faith not sight. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. Though  you have not seen Him you love Him. Though you do not know see Him you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. DAB family, this is something that I am telling myself. It’s called The Fruit of the Spirit is Faithfulness. I read this on August 1st in my daily devotional and I just want to encourage anyone who is going through this depression or sadness, battling sickness, going through a divorce, going through a trial, just to remember, we walk by faith and not by sight. I am feeling led, like Jay in NJ, to just pray for all of those who are just truggling with depression. It’s such a stronghold. It is a disease, like any other disease. And I just want to encourage anyone out there that you know you are loved, you’re not alone, God is with you, we are with you. Brian and Jill Hardin, thank you so much for this community. Thank you for this body of prayer warriors and everyone behind the scenes who makes DAB our special home. Cheers. Asia in Munich.

Hi. this is Elaine from Victoria. I was just to a wedding last night and there was a lot of drinking and things going on but they were happy and nobody was causing problems. But I choose not to drink. Also, I took my little grandchildren to that wedding and expected to take them back but it was ok. A relative who was not drinking either brought them home. But I checked my phone this morning and found out that the table were I was sitting at….it’s my son-in-law’s brother, Mike, and his wife, Shanna, their son and their niece were in a head on collision. But they came out of it! It was a miracle of God and I shared God with them. I said God is in the protection business. He loves all He creates. And…ah…I just said…I pray they weren’t hurt. And…I…just…I’ve been praying for these people. Is this a sign Lord, that you’ve answered my prayer, that they woke up to a God that loves all His creation? Praise God today! Even though I am praying too for my daughter to stop drinking, will this be a wakeup call for her? So, anyway, love you guys. I love this program…Brian. Just…bless you all today. In God’s’ name I pray. In Jesus that redeemed us from the curse and the Holy Spirit that lives. Amen.

Hello Daily Audio Bible listeners. To precious Brian Hardin. This is Diana B. from Newburgh Indiana and I’m joining in praying for Sam, for him be out of that wheel chair. I am letting him down from the roof. I have another friend I’m adding and I’ve been praying for Lenny. And also, Danny. And so, I include Sam with my prayers, letting him down through the roof to Jesus feet to be free from that wheelchair. And I also want to say to all those in depression. I went through that. I had depression…great depression. And I know what you’re going through. And just remember this, God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers and never silent to your pain. He sees, He hears, and He will deliver. And, so, I encourage. Continue to listen every day to Brian read the Daily Audio Bible and listen to his encouraging prayer afterwards. And get on and encourage someone or even leave a prayer request. Because this community is very precious to me. God bless. Shalom. Shalom. Nothing is missing and nothing is broken.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday September 18, 2017 (NIV)

Isaiah 28:14-30:11

False Security Is Fatal

14 You rulers of Jerusalem
do nothing but sneer;
now you must listen
to what the Lord says.
15 Do you think you have
an agreement with death
and the world of the dead?
Why do you trust in your lies
to keep you safe from danger
and the mighty flood?

16 And so the Lord says,
“I’m laying a firm foundation
for the city of Zion.
It’s a valuable cornerstone
proven to be trustworthy;
no one who trusts it
will ever be disappointed.
17 Justice and fairness
will be the measuring lines
that help me build.”

Hailstones and floods
will destroy and wash away
your shelter of lies.
18 Your agreement with death
and the world of the dead
will be broken.
Then angry, roaring waves
will sweep over you.
19 Morning, noon, and night
an overwhelming flood
will wash you away.
The terrible things that happen
will teach you this lesson:
20 Your bed is too short,
your blanket too skimpy.[a]

21 The Lord will fiercely attack
as he did at Mount Perazim[b]
and in Gibeon Valley.[c]
But this time the Lord
will do something surprising,
not what you expect.
22 So you had better stop sneering
or you will be in worse shape
than ever before.
I heard the Lord All-Powerful
threaten the whole country
with destruction.

All Wisdom Comes from the Lord

23 Pay close attention
to what I am saying.
24 Farmers don’t just plow
and break up the ground.
25 When a field is ready,
they scatter the seeds
of dill and cumin;
they plant the seeds
of wheat and barley
in the proper places.
26 They learn this from their God.

27 After dill and cumin
have been harvested,
the stalks are pounded,
not run over with a wagon.
28 Wheat and barley are pounded,
but not beaten to pulp;
they are run over with a wagon,
but not ground to dust.
29 This wonderful knowledge comes
from the Lord All-Powerful,
who has such great wisdom.

Jerusalem Will Suffer

The Lord said:

29 Jerusalem, city of David,
the place of my altar,[d]
you are in for trouble!
Celebrate your festivals
year after year.
I will still make you suffer,
and your people will cry
when I make an altar of you.[e]
I will surround you and prepare
to attack from all sides.[f]
From deep in the earth,
you will call out for help
with only a faint whisper.

Then your cruel enemies
will suddenly be swept away
like dust in a windstorm.
I, the Lord All-Powerful,
will come to your rescue
with a thundering earthquake
and a fiery whirlwind.

Every brutal nation
that attacks Jerusalem
and makes it suffer
will disappear like a dream
when night is over.
Those nations that attack
Mount Zion
will suffer from hunger
and thirst.
They will dream of food and drink
but wake up weary and hungry
and thirsty as ever.

Prophets Who Fool Themselves

Be shocked and stunned,
you prophets!
Refuse to see.
Get drunk and stagger,
but not from wine.
10 The Lord has made you drowsy;
he put you into a deep sleep
and covered your head.

11 Now his message is like a sealed letter to you. Some of you say, “We can’t read it, because it’s sealed.” 12 Others say, “We can’t read it, because we don’t know how to read.”

13 The Lord has said:

“These people praise me
with their words,
but they never really
think about me.
They worship me by repeating
rules
made up by humans.
14 So once again I will do things
that shock and amaze them,
and I will destroy the wisdom
of those who claim to know
and understand.”

15 You are in for trouble,
if you try to hide your plans
from the Lord!
Or if you think what you do
in the dark can’t be seen.
16 You have it all backwards.
A clay dish doesn’t say
to the potter,
“You didn’t make me.
You don’t even know how.”

Hope for the Future

17 Soon the forest of Lebanon
will become a field with crops,
thick as a forest.[g]
18 The deaf will be able to hear
whatever is read to them;
the blind will be freed
from a life of darkness.
19 The poor and the needy
will celebrate and shout
because of the Lord,
the holy God of Israel.

20 All who are cruel and arrogant
will be gone forever.
Those who live by crime
will disappear,
21 together with everyone
who tells lies in court
and keeps innocent people
from getting a fair trial.

22 The Lord who rescued Abraham
has this to say
about Jacob’s descendants:
“They will no longer
be ashamed and disgraced.
23 When they see how great
I have made their nation,
they will praise and honor me,
the holy God of Israel.
24 Everyone who is confused
will understand,
and all who have complained
will obey my teaching.”

Don’t Expect Help from Egypt

30 This is the Lord’s message for his rebellious people:

“You follow your own plans
instead of mine;
you make treaties
without asking me,
and you keep on sinning.
You trust Egypt for protection.
So you refuse my advice
and send messengers to Egypt
to beg their king for help.

You will be disappointed,
completely disgraced
for trusting Egypt.
The king’s power reaches
from the city of Zoan
as far south as Hanes.[h]
But Egypt can’t protect you,
and to trust that nation
is useless and foolish.”

This is a message
about the animals
of the Southern Desert:
You people carry treasures
on donkeys and camels.
You travel to a feeble nation
through a troublesome desert
filled with lions
and flying fiery dragons.
Egypt can’t help you!
That’s why I call that nation
a helpless monster.”[i]

Israel Refuses To Listen

The Lord told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there forever. They have turned against the Lord and can’t be trusted. They have refused his teaching 10 and have said to his messengers and prophets:

Don’t tell us what God has shown you and don’t preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if it’s false. 11 Stop telling us what God has said! We don’t want to hear any more about the holy God of Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 28.20 Your bed. . . skimpy: Isaiah quotes a popular saying to teach that the treaty made with Egypt (verse 18) cannot give the nation security from its enemies.
  2. 28.21 Mount Perazim: This may refer to David’s defeat of the Philistines at Baal Perazim (2 Samuel 5.17-21).
  3. 28.21 Gibeon Valley: This refers to Joshua’s victory at Gibeon (Joshua 10.1-11).
  4. 29.1 the place of my altar: One possible meaning for “ariel, ariel” of the Hebrew text. In Hebrew “ariel” can mean “God’s hero” or “God’s lion” or “God’s altar.”
  5. 29.2 when. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. 29.3 from all sides: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. One ancient translation has “like David.”
  7. 29.17 with. . . forest: Or “and Mount Carmel will be covered with forests.”
  8. 30.4 Zoan. . . Hanes: Or “Your messengers have reached the city of Zoan and gone as far as Hanes.” Zoan was in northeast Egypt; Hanes was to the south.
  9. 30.7 a helpless monster: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Galatians 3:23-4:31

23 The Law controlled us and kept us under its power until the time came when we would have faith. 24 In fact, the Law was our teacher. It was supposed to teach us until we had faith and were acceptable to God. 25 But once a person has learned to have faith, there is no more need to have the Law as a teacher.

26 All of you are God’s children because of your faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And when you were baptized, it was as though you had put on Christ in the same way you put on new clothes. 28 Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. 29 So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham’s family,[a] and you will be given what God has promised. Children who are under age are no better off than slaves, even though everything their parents own will someday be theirs. This is because children are placed in the care of guardians and teachers until the time their parents have set. That is how it was with us. We were like children ruled by the powers of this world.

But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him. His Son obeyed the Law, so he could set us free from the Law, and we could become God’s children. Now that we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. And his Spirit tells us that God is our Father. You are no longer slaves. You are God’s children, and you will be given what he has promised.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Before you knew God, you were slaves of gods that are not real. But now you know God, or better still, God knows you. How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers?[b] 10 You even celebrate certain days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am afraid I have wasted my time working with you.

12 My friends, I beg you to be like me, just as I once tried to be like you. Did you mistreat me 13 when I first preached to you? No you didn’t, even though you knew I had come there because I was sick. 14 My illness must have caused you some trouble, but you didn’t hate me or turn me away because of it. You welcomed me as though I were one of God’s angels or even Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where is that good feeling now? I am sure that if it had been possible, you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Am I now your enemy, just because I told you the truth?

17 Those people may be paying you a lot of attention, but it isn’t for your good. They only want to keep you away from me, so you will pay them a lot of attention. 18 It is always good to give your attention to something worthwhile, even when I am not with you. 19 My children, I am in terrible pain until Christ may be seen living in you. 20 I wish I were with you now. Then I would not have to talk this way. You really have me puzzled.

Hagar and Sarah

21 Some of you would like to be under the rule of the Law of Moses. But do you know what the Law says? 22 In the Scriptures we learn that Abraham had two sons. The mother of one of them was a slave, while the mother of the other one had always been free. 23 The son of the slave woman was born in the usual way. But the son of the free woman was born because of God’s promise.

24 All of this has another meaning as well. Each of the two women stands for one of the agreements God made with his people. Hagar, the slave woman, stands for the agreement that was made at Mount Sinai. Everyone born into her family is a slave. 25 Hagar also stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia[c] and for the present city of Jerusalem. She[d] and her children are slaves.

26 But our mother is the city of Jerusalem in heaven above, and she isn’t a slave. 27 The Scriptures say about her,

“You have never had children,
but now you can be glad.
You have never given birth,
but now you can shout.
Once you had no children,
but now you will have
more children
than a woman
who has been married
for a long time.”

28 My friends, you were born because of this promise, just as Isaac was. 29 But the child who was born in the natural way made trouble for the child who was born because of the Spirit. The same thing is happening today. 30 The Scriptures say, “Get rid of the slave woman and her son! He won’t be given anything. The son of the free woman will receive everything.” 31 My friends, we are children of the free woman and not of the slave.

Footnotes:

  1. 3.29 you are now part of Abraham’s family: Paul tells the Galatians that faith in Jesus Christ is what makes someone a true child of Abraham and of God (see the note at 3.7).
  2. 4.9 powers: Spirits were thought to control human lives and were believed to be connected with the movements of the stars.
  3. 4.25 Hagar also stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia: Some manuscripts have “Sinai is a mountain in Arabia.” This sentence would then be translated: “Sinai is a mountain in Arabia, and Hagar stands for the present city of Jerusalem.”
  4. 4.25 She: “Hagar” or “Jerusalem.”

Psalm 62

(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)

God Is Powerful and Kind

62 Only God can save me,
and I calmly wait for[a] him.
God alone is the mighty rock[b]
that keeps me safe
and the fortress
where I am secure.

I feel like a shaky fence
or a sagging wall.
How long will all of you
attack and assault me?
You want to bring me down
from my place of honor.
You love to tell lies,
and when your words are kind,
hatred hides in your heart.

Only God gives inward peace,
and I depend on him.
God alone is the mighty rock
that keeps me safe,
and he is the fortress
where I feel secure.
God saves me and honors me.
He is that mighty rock
where I find safety.

Trust God, my friends,
and always tell him
each one of your concerns.
God is our place of safety.

We humans are only a breath;
none of us are truly great.
All of us together weigh less
than a puff of air.
10 Don’t trust in violence
or depend on dishonesty
or rely on great wealth.

11 I heard God say two things:
“I am powerful,
12 and I am very kind.”
The Lord rewards each of us
according to what we do.

Footnotes:

  1. 62.1 calmly wait for: Or “am at peace with.”
  2. 62.2 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Proverbs 23:19-21

-15-

19 Listen to me, my children!
Be wise and have enough sense
to follow the right path.
20 Don’t be a heavy drinker
or stuff yourself with food.
21 It will make you feel drowsy,
and you will end up poor
with only rags to wear.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday September 18, 2017 (NIV)

Isaiah 28:14-30:11

False Security Is Fatal

14 You rulers of Jerusalem
do nothing but sneer;
now you must listen
to what the Lord says.
15 Do you think you have
an agreement with death
and the world of the dead?
Why do you trust in your lies
to keep you safe from danger
and the mighty flood?

16 And so the Lord says,
“I’m laying a firm foundation
for the city of Zion.
It’s a valuable cornerstone
proven to be trustworthy;
no one who trusts it
will ever be disappointed.
17 Justice and fairness
will be the measuring lines
that help me build.”

Hailstones and floods
will destroy and wash away
your shelter of lies.
18 Your agreement with death
and the world of the dead
will be broken.
Then angry, roaring waves
will sweep over you.
19 Morning, noon, and night
an overwhelming flood
will wash you away.
The terrible things that happen
will teach you this lesson:
20 Your bed is too short,
your blanket too skimpy.[a]

21 The Lord will fiercely attack
as he did at Mount Perazim[b]
and in Gibeon Valley.[c]
But this time the Lord
will do something surprising,
not what you expect.
22 So you had better stop sneering
or you will be in worse shape
than ever before.
I heard the Lord All-Powerful
threaten the whole country
with destruction.

All Wisdom Comes from the Lord

23 Pay close attention
to what I am saying.
24 Farmers don’t just plow
and break up the ground.
25 When a field is ready,
they scatter the seeds
of dill and cumin;
they plant the seeds
of wheat and barley
in the proper places.
26 They learn this from their God.

27 After dill and cumin
have been harvested,
the stalks are pounded,
not run over with a wagon.
28 Wheat and barley are pounded,
but not beaten to pulp;
they are run over with a wagon,
but not ground to dust.
29 This wonderful knowledge comes
from the Lord All-Powerful,
who has such great wisdom.

Jerusalem Will Suffer

The Lord said:

29 Jerusalem, city of David,
the place of my altar,[d]
you are in for trouble!
Celebrate your festivals
year after year.
I will still make you suffer,
and your people will cry
when I make an altar of you.[e]
I will surround you and prepare
to attack from all sides.[f]
From deep in the earth,
you will call out for help
with only a faint whisper.

Then your cruel enemies
will suddenly be swept away
like dust in a windstorm.
I, the Lord All-Powerful,
will come to your rescue
with a thundering earthquake
and a fiery whirlwind.

Every brutal nation
that attacks Jerusalem
and makes it suffer
will disappear like a dream
when night is over.
Those nations that attack
Mount Zion
will suffer from hunger
and thirst.
They will dream of food and drink
but wake up weary and hungry
and thirsty as ever.

Prophets Who Fool Themselves

Be shocked and stunned,
you prophets!
Refuse to see.
Get drunk and stagger,
but not from wine.
10 The Lord has made you drowsy;
he put you into a deep sleep
and covered your head.

11 Now his message is like a sealed letter to you. Some of you say, “We can’t read it, because it’s sealed.” 12 Others say, “We can’t read it, because we don’t know how to read.”

13 The Lord has said:

“These people praise me
with their words,
but they never really
think about me.
They worship me by repeating
rules
made up by humans.
14 So once again I will do things
that shock and amaze them,
and I will destroy the wisdom
of those who claim to know
and understand.”

15 You are in for trouble,
if you try to hide your plans
from the Lord!
Or if you think what you do
in the dark can’t be seen.
16 You have it all backwards.
A clay dish doesn’t say
to the potter,
“You didn’t make me.
You don’t even know how.”

Hope for the Future

17 Soon the forest of Lebanon
will become a field with crops,
thick as a forest.[g]
18 The deaf will be able to hear
whatever is read to them;
the blind will be freed
from a life of darkness.
19 The poor and the needy
will celebrate and shout
because of the Lord,
the holy God of Israel.

20 All who are cruel and arrogant
will be gone forever.
Those who live by crime
will disappear,
21 together with everyone
who tells lies in court
and keeps innocent people
from getting a fair trial.

22 The Lord who rescued Abraham
has this to say
about Jacob’s descendants:
“They will no longer
be ashamed and disgraced.
23 When they see how great
I have made their nation,
they will praise and honor me,
the holy God of Israel.
24 Everyone who is confused
will understand,
and all who have complained
will obey my teaching.”

Don’t Expect Help from Egypt

30 This is the Lord’s message for his rebellious people:

“You follow your own plans
instead of mine;
you make treaties
without asking me,
and you keep on sinning.
You trust Egypt for protection.
So you refuse my advice
and send messengers to Egypt
to beg their king for help.

You will be disappointed,
completely disgraced
for trusting Egypt.
The king’s power reaches
from the city of Zoan
as far south as Hanes.[h]
But Egypt can’t protect you,
and to trust that nation
is useless and foolish.”

This is a message
about the animals
of the Southern Desert:
You people carry treasures
on donkeys and camels.
You travel to a feeble nation
through a troublesome desert
filled with lions
and flying fiery dragons.
Egypt can’t help you!
That’s why I call that nation
a helpless monster.”[i]

Israel Refuses To Listen

The Lord told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there forever. They have turned against the Lord and can’t be trusted. They have refused his teaching 10 and have said to his messengers and prophets:

Don’t tell us what God has shown you and don’t preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if it’s false. 11 Stop telling us what God has said! We don’t want to hear any more about the holy God of Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 28.20 Your bed. . . skimpy: Isaiah quotes a popular saying to teach that the treaty made with Egypt (verse 18) cannot give the nation security from its enemies.
  2. 28.21 Mount Perazim: This may refer to David’s defeat of the Philistines at Baal Perazim (2 Samuel 5.17-21).
  3. 28.21 Gibeon Valley: This refers to Joshua’s victory at Gibeon (Joshua 10.1-11).
  4. 29.1 the place of my altar: One possible meaning for “ariel, ariel” of the Hebrew text. In Hebrew “ariel” can mean “God’s hero” or “God’s lion” or “God’s altar.”
  5. 29.2 when. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. 29.3 from all sides: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. One ancient translation has “like David.”
  7. 29.17 with. . . forest: Or “and Mount Carmel will be covered with forests.”
  8. 30.4 Zoan. . . Hanes: Or “Your messengers have reached the city of Zoan and gone as far as Hanes.” Zoan was in northeast Egypt; Hanes was to the south.
  9. 30.7 a helpless monster: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Galatians 3:23-4:31

23 The Law controlled us and kept us under its power until the time came when we would have faith. 24 In fact, the Law was our teacher. It was supposed to teach us until we had faith and were acceptable to God. 25 But once a person has learned to have faith, there is no more need to have the Law as a teacher.

26 All of you are God’s children because of your faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And when you were baptized, it was as though you had put on Christ in the same way you put on new clothes. 28 Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. 29 So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham’s family,[a] and you will be given what God has promised. Children who are under age are no better off than slaves, even though everything their parents own will someday be theirs. This is because children are placed in the care of guardians and teachers until the time their parents have set. That is how it was with us. We were like children ruled by the powers of this world.

But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him. His Son obeyed the Law, so he could set us free from the Law, and we could become God’s children. Now that we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. And his Spirit tells us that God is our Father. You are no longer slaves. You are God’s children, and you will be given what he has promised.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Before you knew God, you were slaves of gods that are not real. But now you know God, or better still, God knows you. How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers?[b] 10 You even celebrate certain days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am afraid I have wasted my time working with you.

12 My friends, I beg you to be like me, just as I once tried to be like you. Did you mistreat me 13 when I first preached to you? No you didn’t, even though you knew I had come there because I was sick. 14 My illness must have caused you some trouble, but you didn’t hate me or turn me away because of it. You welcomed me as though I were one of God’s angels or even Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where is that good feeling now? I am sure that if it had been possible, you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Am I now your enemy, just because I told you the truth?

17 Those people may be paying you a lot of attention, but it isn’t for your good. They only want to keep you away from me, so you will pay them a lot of attention. 18 It is always good to give your attention to something worthwhile, even when I am not with you. 19 My children, I am in terrible pain until Christ may be seen living in you. 20 I wish I were with you now. Then I would not have to talk this way. You really have me puzzled.

Hagar and Sarah

21 Some of you would like to be under the rule of the Law of Moses. But do you know what the Law says? 22 In the Scriptures we learn that Abraham had two sons. The mother of one of them was a slave, while the mother of the other one had always been free. 23 The son of the slave woman was born in the usual way. But the son of the free woman was born because of God’s promise.

24 All of this has another meaning as well. Each of the two women stands for one of the agreements God made with his people. Hagar, the slave woman, stands for the agreement that was made at Mount Sinai. Everyone born into her family is a slave. 25 Hagar also stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia[c] and for the present city of Jerusalem. She[d] and her children are slaves.

26 But our mother is the city of Jerusalem in heaven above, and she isn’t a slave. 27 The Scriptures say about her,

“You have never had children,
but now you can be glad.
You have never given birth,
but now you can shout.
Once you had no children,
but now you will have
more children
than a woman
who has been married
for a long time.”

28 My friends, you were born because of this promise, just as Isaac was. 29 But the child who was born in the natural way made trouble for the child who was born because of the Spirit. The same thing is happening today. 30 The Scriptures say, “Get rid of the slave woman and her son! He won’t be given anything. The son of the free woman will receive everything.” 31 My friends, we are children of the free woman and not of the slave.

Footnotes:

  1. 3.29 you are now part of Abraham’s family: Paul tells the Galatians that faith in Jesus Christ is what makes someone a true child of Abraham and of God (see the note at 3.7).
  2. 4.9 powers: Spirits were thought to control human lives and were believed to be connected with the movements of the stars.
  3. 4.25 Hagar also stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia: Some manuscripts have “Sinai is a mountain in Arabia.” This sentence would then be translated: “Sinai is a mountain in Arabia, and Hagar stands for the present city of Jerusalem.”
  4. 4.25 She: “Hagar” or “Jerusalem.”

Psalm 62

(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)

God Is Powerful and Kind

62 Only God can save me,
and I calmly wait for[a] him.
God alone is the mighty rock[b]
that keeps me safe
and the fortress
where I am secure.

I feel like a shaky fence
or a sagging wall.
How long will all of you
attack and assault me?
You want to bring me down
from my place of honor.
You love to tell lies,
and when your words are kind,
hatred hides in your heart.

Only God gives inward peace,
and I depend on him.
God alone is the mighty rock
that keeps me safe,
and he is the fortress
where I feel secure.
God saves me and honors me.
He is that mighty rock
where I find safety.

Trust God, my friends,
and always tell him
each one of your concerns.
God is our place of safety.

We humans are only a breath;
none of us are truly great.
All of us together weigh less
than a puff of air.
10 Don’t trust in violence
or depend on dishonesty
or rely on great wealth.

11 I heard God say two things:
“I am powerful,
12 and I am very kind.”
The Lord rewards each of us
according to what we do.

Footnotes:

  1. 62.1 calmly wait for: Or “am at peace with.”
  2. 62.2 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Proverbs 23:19-21

-15-

19 Listen to me, my children!
Be wise and have enough sense
to follow the right path.
20 Don’t be a heavy drinker
or stuff yourself with food.
21 It will make you feel drowsy,
and you will end up poor
with only rags to wear.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday September 17, 2017 (NIV)

Isaiah 25:1-28:13

A Prayer of Thanks to God

25 You, Lord, are my God!
I will praise you
for doing the wonderful things
you had planned and promised
since ancient times.
You have destroyed the fortress
of our enemies,
leaving their city in ruins.
Nothing in that foreign city
will ever be rebuilt.
Now strong and cruel nations
will fear and honor you.

You have been a place of safety
for the poor and needy
in times of trouble.
Brutal enemies pounded us
like a heavy rain
or the heat of the sun at noon,
but you were our shelter.
Those wild foreigners struck
like scorching desert heat.
But you were like a cloud,
protecting us from the sun.
You kept our enemies from singing
songs of victory.

The Lord Has Saved Us

On this mountain
the Lord All-Powerful
will prepare
for all nations
a feast of the finest foods.
Choice wines and the best meats
will be served.
Here the Lord will strip away
the burial clothes
that cover the nations.
The Lord All-Powerful
will destroy the power of death
and wipe away all tears.
No longer will his people
be insulted everywhere.
The Lord has spoken!

At that time, people will say,
“The Lord has saved us!
Let’s celebrate.
We waited and hoped—
now our God is here.”
10 The powerful arm of the Lord
will protect this mountain.

The Moabites will be put down
and trampled on like straw
in a pit of manure.
11 They will struggle to get out,
but God will humiliate them
no matter how hard they try.[a]
12 The walls of their fortresses
will be knocked down
and scattered in the dirt.

A Song of Victory

26 The time is coming
when the people of Judah
will sing this song:
“Our city[b] is protected.
The Lord is our fortress,
and he gives us victory.
Open the city gates
for a law-abiding nation
that is faithful to God.
The Lord gives perfect peace
to those whose faith is firm.
So always trust the Lord
because he is forever
our mighty rock.[c]
God has put down our enemies
in their mountain city[d]
and rubbed it in the dirt.
Now the poor and abused
stomp all over that city.”

The Lord Can Be Trusted

Our Lord, you always do right,
and you make the path smooth
for those who obey you.
You are the one we trust
to bring about justice;
above all else we want
your name to be honored.
Throughout the night,
my heart searches for you,
because your decisions
show everyone on this earth
how to live right.

10 Even when the wicked
are treated with mercy
in this land of justice,
they do wrong and are blind
to your glory, our Lord.
11 Your hand is raised and ready
to punish them,
but they don’t see it.
Put them to shame!
Show how much you care for us
and throw them into the fire
intended for your enemies.

12 You will give us peace, Lord,
because everything we have done
was by your power.
13 Others have ruled over us
besides you, our Lord God,
but we obey only you.
14 Those enemies are now dead
and can never live again.
You have punished them—
they are destroyed,
completely forgotten.
15 Our nation has grown
because of you, our Lord.
We have more land than before,
and you are honored.

The Lord Gives Life to the Dead

16 When you punished our people,
they turned and prayed
to you, our Lord.[e]
17 Because of what you did to us,
we suffered like a woman
about to give birth.
18 But instead of having a child,
our terrible pain
produced only wind.
We have won no victories,
and we have no descendants
to take over the earth.

19 Your people will rise to life!
Tell them to leave their graves
and celebrate with shouts.
You refresh the earth
like morning dew;
you give life to the dead.

20 Go inside and lock the doors,
my people.
Hide there for a little while,
until the Lord
is no longer angry.

The Earth and the Sea Will Be Punished

21 The Lord will come out
to punish everyone on earth
for their sins.
And when he does,
those who did violent crimes
will be known and punished.
27 On that day, Leviathan,[f]
the sea monster,
will squirm and try to escape,
but the Lord will kill him
with a cruel, sharp sword.

Protection and Forgiveness

The Lord said:

At that time you must sing
about a fruitful[g] vineyard.
I, the Lord, will protect it
and always keep it watered.
I will guard it day and night
to keep it from harm.
I am no longer angry.
But if it produces thorns,
I will go to war against it
and burn it to the ground.
Yet if the vineyard depends
on me for protection,
it will become my friend
and be at peace with me.

Someday Israel will take root
like a vine.
It will blossom and bear fruit
that covers the earth.

I, the Lord, didn’t punish and kill
the people of Israel
as fiercely as I punished
and killed their enemies.
I carefully measured out
Israel’s punishment[h]
and sent the scorching heat
to chase them far away.

There’s only one way
that Israel’s sin and guilt
can be completely forgiven:
They must crush the stones
of every pagan altar
and place of worship.

The Lord Will Bring His People Together

10 Fortress cities are left
like a desert
where no one lives.
Cattle walk through the ruins,
stripping the trees bare.
11 When broken branches
fall to the ground,
women pick them up
to feed the fire.
But these people are so stupid
that the God who created them
will show them no mercy.

12 The time is coming when the Lord will shake the land between the Euphrates River and the border of Egypt, and one by one he will bring all of his people together. 13 A loud trumpet will be heard. Then the people of Israel who were dragged away to Assyria and Egypt will return to worship the Lord on his holy mountain in Jerusalem.

Samaria Will Be Punished

28 The city of Samaria
above a fertile valley
is in for trouble!
Its leaders are drunkards,
who stuff themselves
with food and wine.
But they will be like flowers
that dry up and wilt.
Only the Lord is strong
and powerful!
His mighty hand
will strike them down
with the force of a hailstorm
or a mighty whirlwind
or an overwhelming flood.

Every drunkard in Ephraim[i]
takes pride in Samaria,
but it will be crushed.
Samaria above a fertile valley
will quickly lose its glory.
It will be gobbled down
like the first ripe fig
at harvest season.

When this time comes,
the Lord All-Powerful
will be a glorious crown
for his people who survive.
He will see that justice rules
and that his people
are able
to defend their cities.

Corrupt Leaders Will Be Punished

Priests and prophets stumble
because they are drunk.
Their minds are too confused
to receive God’s messages
or give honest decisions.
Their tables are covered,
completely covered,
with their stinking vomit.

You drunken leaders
are like babies!
How can you possibly understand
or teach the Lord’s message?
10 You don’t even listen—
all you hear is senseless sound
after senseless sound.[j]

11 So, the Lord will speak
to his people
in strange sounds
and foreign languages.[k]
12 He promised you
perfect peace and rest,
but you refused to listen.
13 Now his message to you
will be senseless sound
after senseless sound.[l]
Then you will fall backwards,
injured and trapped.

Footnotes:

  1. 25.11 no matter. . . try: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 26.1 city: Probably Jerusalem.
  3. 26.4 mighty rock: See the note at 17.10.
  4. 26.5 our enemies. . . city: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 26.16 Lord: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 16.
  6. 27.1 Leviathan: God’s victory over this monster sometimes stands for God’s power over all creation and sometimes for his defeat of his enemies, especially Egypt.
  7. 27.2 fruitful: Some Hebrew manuscripts have “lovely.”
  8. 27.8 I. . . punishment: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  9. 28.3 Ephraim: The northern kingdom of Israel; Samaria was its capital.
  10. 28.10 sound: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 9,10.
  11. 28.11 in. . . foreign languages: This probably refers to the language of the Assyrians.
  12. 28.13 Now. . . sound: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Galatians 3:10-22

10 Anyone who tries to please God by obeying the Law is under a curse. The Scriptures say, “Everyone who doesn’t obey everything in the Law is under a curse.” 11 No one can please God by obeying the Law. The Scriptures also say, “The people God accepts because of their faith will live.”[a]

12 The Law isn’t based on faith. It promises life only to people who obey its commands. 13 But Christ rescued us from the Law’s curse, when he became a curse in our place. This is because the Scriptures say that anyone who is nailed to a tree is under a curse. 14 And because of what Jesus Christ has done, the blessing that was promised to Abraham was taken to the Gentiles. This happened so that by faith we would be given the promised Holy Spirit.

The Law and the Promise

15 My friends, I will use an everyday example to explain what I mean. Once someone agrees to something, no one else can change or cancel the agreement.[b] 16 That is how it is with the promises God made to Abraham and his descendant.[c] The promises were not made to many descendants, but only to one, and that one is Christ. 17 What I am saying is that the Law cannot change or cancel God’s promise that was made 430 years before the Law was given. 18 If we have to obey the Law in order to receive God’s blessings, those blessings don’t really come to us because of God’s promise. But God was kind to Abraham and made him a promise.

19 What is the use of the Law? It was given later to show that we sin. But it was only supposed to last until the coming of that descendant[d] who was given the promise. In fact, angels gave the Law to Moses, and he gave it to the people. 20 There is only one God, and the Law did not come directly from him.

Slaves and Children

21 Does the Law disagree with God’s promises? No, it doesn’t! If any law could give life to us, we could become acceptable to God by obeying that law. 22 But the Scriptures say that sin controls everyone, so that God’s promises will be for anyone who has faith in Jesus Christ.

Footnotes:

  1. 3.11 The people God accepts because of their faith will live: Or “The people God accepts will live because of their faith.”
  2. 3.15 Once someone. . . cancel the agreement: Or “Once a person makes out a will, no one can change or cancel it.”
  3. 3.16 descendant: The Greek text has “seed,” which may mean one or many descendants. In this verse Paul says it means Christ.
  4. 3.19 that descendant: Jesus.

Psalm 61

(A psalm by David for the music leader. Use with stringed instruments.)

Under the Protection of God

61 Please listen, God,
and answer my prayer!
I feel hopeless,
and I cry out to you
from a faraway land.

Lead me to the mighty rock[a]
high above me.
You are a strong tower,
where I am safe
from my enemies.

Let me live with you forever
and find protection
under your wings, my God.
You heard my promises,
and you have blessed me,
just as you bless everyone
who worships you.

Let the king have a long
and healthy life.
May he always rule
with you, God, at his side;
may your love and loyalty
watch over him.

I will sing your praises
forever
and will always
keep my promises.

Footnotes:

  1. 61.2 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Proverbs 23:17-18

-14-

17 Don’t be jealous of sinners,
but always honor the Lord.
18 Then you will truly have hope
for the future.