Daniel 4:1-37 ~ 2 Peter 1:1-21 ~ Psalm 119:97-112 ~ Proverbs 28:17-18
Today is the 27th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today from the Sea of Galilee, from the Galilee region where we’re kind of camping out for a few and just immersing ourselves in the stories of Jesus that mark and have marked this location, this region really permanently and forever. So it is a joy to bring us all together right here in the center, the epicenter of the story and we’ll talk about what we’re doing and kind of what we’re seeing in a little bit.
Today is the first Sunday in Advent and many of you know that. If that is a new idea to you, Advent is a season on the Christian calendar that leads us in a beautiful way toward Christmas Day for a specific reason. Just like when we were moving our way toward Easter, we spent the season understanding the weight of sin and what it actually cost to bring salvation to us, Advent puts us in a couple of positions. One, it leads us through the process of waiting for the arrival. So as the people waited for the Savior to come, we kind of put ourselves in that position, waiting for the arrival and understanding and giving the gravity and weightiness that Christmas actually deserves, understanding how it would have been for the people waiting and longing for a savior, but it also reminds us that we are waiting for Christ’s second advent. Advent means arrival, so we use this season certainly for celebration and all the things that go with Christmas, but underneath all that, to give ourselves some space to long and to consider and deeply contemplate the arrival of the Son of God, that God would leave perfection and infinity and step into the fray. It makes Christmas rich and true. The Savior has come.
SONG played on today’s DAB: "Gloria" MissionSong - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/advent-god-with-us/id1175769853
So it’s a brand new week and we will read from the New Living Translation this week. And, of course, picking up where we left off yesterday with Daniel and his interaction with King Nebuchadnezzar, and then when we get to the New Testament reading, we will begin Peter’s second letter also known as 2 Peter. But first, Daniel chapter 4 verses 1-37.
Introduction of a New Book (New Testament)
So like I was saying at the beginning, we finished 1 Peter yesterday, which brings us to the second letter of the apostle Peter. This is the final writing of the old saint. Over the years some scholars have believed this text to be pseudepigraphical or a text that is written in the name of someone who has already died, but if we’re to accept 2 Peter as the inspired Word of God, then we have to at least accept that Peter claims authorship of the text in the text. And if this is the case, it was probably written in the late 60s AD, just prior to Peter’s martyrdom where he was crucified upside down. Church tradition tells us that the apostle Paul had been arrested for the second time and somewhere around this same time Peter was killed.
He does not say explicitly who he is writing to in this letter. He just says that “this is my second letter to you,” so we can assume that he is writing to the same people that he was writing to in his first letter and that would be the Gentile Christians who had been scattered throughout the Roman province of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor and Bithynia. All of these are in modern day Turkey and he is writing to remind Christians to strengthen their faith that has been born in hope and to guard what they had learned and not be swept away or carried away by everybody with a new idea, every false teacher that comes along. So rather than just blowing by this, it’s important to know that Peter knows that he is about to die. He says as much.
This is the man who walked with Jesus along the Sea of Galilee, something that those of us who are here now can see and understand and relate to. He saw Jesus Christ perform miracles. He laughed with him. He cried with him. He lived with him. He ate his last supper with him. He denied him and then he overcame the regret of that mistake and he watched Jesus being nailed through the hands and feet to a cross. He watched his friend die. Then he saw him raised back to life. Peter was there in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came with tongues of fire and transformed him. He preached that first sermon when 3000 people came to know Jesus. He was an early church father and devoted his life to the Savior. These words that we’re about to read, these are the final living words of the apostle Peter. They should carry some weight in our lives. So we begin 2 Peter chapter 1.
Father, we thank you for your word. Here we are in the land of the Bible greeting a brand new week and, Jesus, we invite you not only for us who are experiencing this here, but for our entire community that is virtually along, that are taking this journey as we take this journey in the land that the Bible takes place but also in our journey through the scriptures this year. We invite you into this new week because before this week is out we will be entering the final stretch, the last month of the year. You have been so faithful, so good, so holy and righteous and you have changed us so irreversibly. So we welcome you into this new week, into this transition of a week and a month. Come Holy Spirit, we pray. In the name of Jesus we ask, a men.
Okay, so big doings here in the land of Galilee and I realized we all, our whole group, were so tired by the time we got to Galilee and I was trying to remember all of the things we did and talk about them and I forgot maybe the one most important thing yesterday. So let me tell you about that.
While we were out near Jericho we went to the Jordan River and baptized a number of the people on this trip in the Jordan River, which is always a highlight for me personally because it is one of the things I appreciate and enjoy most, just to be included in that intimate moment with Jesus, to be a witness there for it and to kind of guide that process. A pastor friend of ours who is on this trip, Darren, assisted and helped me. It is just so moving. For everyone who is here and was baptized yesterday, thank you for letting me be a part of that story, your journey with Jesus. That is amazing.
The Jordan River, it usually isn’t what people think. There are lots of places along the Jordan River. It is a long river, but in search of the place where Jesus was baptized, the gospels tell us that John the Baptist was baptizing out in the Judean wilderness outside of Jericho. So that is where we went. There is a place that we could do it there. The Jordan River would have looked like where we were somewhere along those little shores, that little stretch. That is where it happened. It is narrow, maybe 50 feet, maybe 40 feet across and on the other side of the Jordan is the country of Jordan so you’re really looking immediately into it. There is church on that side too where believers can be baptized as well. That is beautiful. To see our common faith with our brothers and sisters who may be a world away culturally or a world away politically or geographically is amazing.
I’ve never been to the Jordan River in November. I’ve only come in February all these years. The Jordan River has been cold and I wondered if it might be a little warmer since it’s just kind of coming out of the summer, but no. No, it’s not. It’s jolting. It’s cold enough to take your breath away. You kind of come under the water and there is something to be said about that because it’s striking. It’s shocking. That is a good thing when you’re doing something that is supposed to be memorable for the rest of your life.
So each person would come down the stairs and I could just watch. The cold, I had already experienced it. We had already gotten into the water. And we just watched everyone go, “wow, this is cold!” as they came down into the water and professed faith in Christ, leaving behind in the waters everything that ever existed without Christ, to be born anew in the waters of baptism. It’s amazing. So we did that and there was some video of that on Facebook. And yeah, so I completely spaced on that.
So yesterday, waking up in the Galilee, finally in the light as the sun is rising and shining down, we got our first glimpses of the Sea of Galilee. It’s so completely different than the wilderness. So drastically different. It was kind of a reset. We left the wilderness. We wandered. It’s been hard. It’s been hard travel. It’s been a lot of moving around and to settle in here now, moving into this story, this part of the story is really beautiful.
We went over to Cana. Cana, of course, is the place where Jesus’ first miracle took place, the changing of the water into wine. That happened at a wedding feast and so we went to the spot and so many of the couples representing centuries of marriage, some couples celebrating 40 years of marriage renewed their vows. To be part of that story as well is such a deep and abiding honor with me. So we did that. It was a joyous occasion just to have friends and family around and celebrating the moment and just contemplating Jesus changing the water into wine. Beautiful. Beautiful.
And then we moved from there to an ancient city called Beth Shein. Very old. Pre Old Testament old. An ancient Canaanite city that became an Israelite city and then became a Philistine city. It was fought for its large confluence of pathways and roads. It is a large, large ruin that is so deeply intact from especially the Roman and Byzantine era. The ancient tell that was ancient Israel and Philistine is also there and it is the place where King Saul, after having been killed in battle, his body was recovered by the Philistines and taken and hung from the walls of Beth Shein according to the Bible. So that is morbid but it is a piece of biblical history. And then just kind of looking into how things were. It is a Decapolis city, one of the big self-governing city states that was around this area during the time of Jesus. So this is one of the cities of the Decapolis. We took some time to kind of wander around. It really is pretty remarkable to see with the large amphitheater and the columned roads and just all of the stuff that is there.
We spent some time there and then moved back along the shores of the Sea of Galilee on the eastern side to a place called Kursi. This is the place where Jesus cast the demons, the legion of demons into the swine, setting a person free. We entered into that story and just kind of looked around. There is so much to think about there. Putting ourselves in the story and contemplating who we would be in that story, there is a bunch to think about. It is a very serene place to be.
Then to end the day, we went up onto the Golan Heights overlooking another Decapolis city called Hippos-Sussita. That is one that is not easy to get to. This is a place where you can look down and see it, see what is going on, get the lay of the land around the Sea of Galilee because you can really see it up there, and it is also another that no one goes. There are other places to look down upon the Sea of Galilee, but this is one that is just a little more remote, a little less traveled. Getting up there just to kind of enjoy the end of the day and the sun going down, a beautiful, beautiful end to the day.
And then back to where we’re staying for dinner and then last night’s Facebook Live. We all got together as a community just to kind of debrief. After so many days, every day feels kind of like five. That is no joke. It feels like it is multiple days. It feels like we’ve been here for a long, long, long time. So to just kind of all come together and enjoy each other’s fellowship, share some stories, it is really, really rich and kind of binds the community together in one heart, one mind as we continue the pilgrimage forward.
Looking forward to another great day today and looking forward to reporting back on all of that tomorrow. We thank you, of course, for your continued prayers. There is never going to be a time that we don’t need you interceding for us. We feel it. We thank you so profoundly that we can do this together and use technology to bring us all closer. So thank you for your prayers.
Okay, www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. Of course. Of course, maybe a little Hebrew rubbing off on me. Of course. And that is where you find out what is going on around here. It is the holiday season now so the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box is available now. We always sell out of these, so jump in if it is something you’re interested in. We pack all the resources that we can into one box and make it as economical as we possibly can. So there are things in there that you’ll want to keep. There are things in there that you’ll want to give as gifts. It is a great box. Every year we try to outdo ourselves the best we can.
This year’s Christmas Box has the Promised Land films which is a two DVD set, four hours of content. It is just an immersive experience of this land, where we are right now. All of the places that I’m talking about and sharing about that we are going to, they are all included in the Promised Land as well as just a number of other places, places that we’ve worked hard, like had to have four-wheel drive vehicles or hiked to get to, places that we could never take buses. Just really encompassing the land of the Bible, the Promised Land and so you can get a good look for yourself. That is included. The Bible Stories About Jesus double CD set, age-appropriate reading of the book of Mark, introducing the story of Jesus for kids is included. The Family Christmas CD that is out now is available in the Christmas Box. Jill, my wife’s newest CD is in there. My latest book, Reframe, is in there and the Reframe – From the God We’ve Made to God With Us Films that we made as a companion to the Reframe book, they are included as well. And this will be the last time they are available on DVD, so they are in the box. Get them while you can. When they’re gone, they’re gone. Your choice of Windfarm Coffee or Windfarm Tea is available so that, our house blend of coffee is one of the choices or our English Breakfast Tea is another choice if you’re a tea drinker. The Daily Audio Bible Annual Christmas Bulb that is only available in the Christmas Box is in there. It is beautiful this year. A beautiful royal blue color. I’ve got all of the years hanging from my tree because we put it up just before we left because we knew when we got back from this trip the holiday season would be well underway. And so it has Daily Audio Bible 2016 and the word for the year, healthy, on it. So that is in there as well as a pack of 20 of the Daily Audio Bible 2016 Christmas cards. It’s a great, great box. You can check it out at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Shop and it is available now.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at www.DailyAudioBible.com. There is a link on the home page. Thank you here in this final stretch of the year for your partnership in helping us finish the year strong. Thank you for being a part of this community. It is remarkable. This has only ever been a community affair. It is just a family that we have here at the Daily Audio Bible and we center ourselves on this rhythm of the scriptures every day. Thank you for helping that to be here every day by clicking that link. If you use the Daily Audio Bible App, you can push the More button in the lower right-hand corner. Or if you prefer the mail, the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, (877) 942-4253 is the number to dial.
That’s it for today. I’m Brian. I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hey family. Its Arjen from Florida again. It’s the 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving. You guys will probably hear this afterwards. I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers, like from the bottom of my heart and let you know how sincerely I mean this. Just hearing my name being spoken by you guys, it’s beautifully humbling. I can’t tell you how much it means to me and how much it actually has had a positive effect. I so very much want you guys to know that hearing your prayers and seeing them, it’s very evident that they’re working, so thank you guys. Praise God. I wish I took down all the names. Irma from Alberta, Eric from Indiana, I thank you both. And I’m praying for you. I also just wanted to extend prayers for Jordan from Michigan. I know we’re all praying, but I just wanted to cast my lot in there. Bro, I’m praying for you too. I am right there with you. We all know, I think, what it feels like to feel discouraged. What it feels like when the enemy makes us question whether we are actually in our calling or not. I just want you to know, brother, yes, we are in a war, but no, we’re not fighting it alone. I’m throwing my weapons in there and I’m joining you with my armor and I’m fighting this battle with you, bro. My email address is AlexIyer12@gmail.com. To all of you, please feel free to email me individually and just contact on that level. I love getting to know you guys by listening.
Yeah, this is Blind Tony, y’all. I’m not calling with a poem this time, but I’m calling with a request for prayer and a praise report at the same time because I had the attack on me that left me blind __________, then I had the cancer hit me, then I had the problem recently with my back, the sciatic nerve. Anyway, I got the results back from the MRI and the doctor consulted me and he said there is so much damage to the disk in my back that he doesn’t think that physical therapy or chiropractic would benefit me. So they want to do back surgery and I’m not really with that at this point. On top of all that, it seems like something so small could create so much problem. I got a piece of dust or dirt in my eye and it was so annoying. I tried to blink it out, cry it out. Anyway, it wouldn’t come out for two days. I ended up going to the urgent care center and they flushed it out. We thought we got it out, but it was still there and the next day I had to go back which was yesterday. They tried and tried and tried and couldn’t get it out. They ended up sending me to an eye specialist. Eventually we got it out but now my eye is so swollen up, the epitheliums are torn and my eye has been traumatized once again. Anyway, you know in the Bible you had Jacob. And he said that when he was fleeing from his brother he said that “if you bring me back, God, I’ll serve you.” Then you have Job who said “even if you slay me, yet will I trust you.” Well, I’ve got a faith like Job’s at this point. Even if he slays me, yet will I trust in him because you know what? We’ve come this far by faith and God has been good to me. If this is the best that Satan can do with all these physical attacks on my body, he’s got another thing coming. It aint gonna work. He’ll have to come from a different angle because even if he slays me, yet will I trust in God.
Good morning DAB family. I am a burning bush that will not be devoured for the glory of our God and King. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of his testimony, and God’s testimony is seen in our lives every single day when we overcome. I want to praise God today for my brother-in-law Solomon who is celebrating almost a year of miraculous healing from bone marrow cancer and I pray that his testimony will be sown out there as a power to overcome. While I say this, I would like to ask the group to pray with me for my mother. It has not been six months since my father passed away, inside of nine months. I lose count. And now my mother has been diagnosed with colon cancer. So I ask that you join me in prayer for her. I believe there is nothing impossible for God. I also want to pray for our sisters, Irma and Alma. I heard your requests today, November 23rd. I pray for healing over Alma’s body right now, in the name of Jesus, Father. I pray that you would reach into her body and her soul, Lord, and just inject your healing, your holiness, O God, that will bring forth healing. I pray your blood over the top of her head to the soles of her feet. I also pray for our sister, Alma, who is coming to you, Father God, and surrendering all to you, God. Her urges and desires, O God, in her heart. Lord, I pray you create in her a clean heart. Richard, our brother from Canada, we love you so much and I praise God for your testimony. We pray that your ex-wife will find a job. We thank you, God. Thank you, God, for his love and just for restoring that relationship. We thank you. Oh, I love you guys and I’m out. In these I pray, in Jesus’ name. Love you guys. Bye.
Good afternoon DAB family. It’s the 23rd of November. I’m Carol from the UK and first time caller. I would appreciate your prayers for my family. My husband is now in his mid-80s and is a believer, but he believes that Jesus is the son of God and was that crucified for our sins and rose again, but as yet has not made that commitment. And also for my daughter who has had two failed relationships. Please pray that she can meet someone who can make her happy and content. She really deserves it. And for my son who is an atheist and just doesn’t believe in God but does respect me as a Christian believer. And for my grandson who made a commitment when he was 10 years old and was baptized in my church, but when my son moved 200 miles away to Wales with his new wife and took my grandson with him, he just didn’t get the nurturing and necessary help that he required and __________. But I think he still believes in God. He is now 26 and has met a beautiful girl, is getting married next year. Please pray that he will make a recommitment and know Jesus again. And finally for myself, I’m being greedy here, I know, as I don’t enjoy the best of health but know that God is taking care of me. Thank you, Brian, for bringing the Bible to life to me every day. God bless you all. Bye now.
Hi Daily Audio Bible. This is Marian in Illinois and I am just reaching out to lift up in prayer the team that is in Israel, for Brian and all the people there who are supporting him, for the people who are on this amazing trip, and I just pray for safety and sleep and just attentiveness to what God has for all of you there, for the technology, issues don’t become overwhelming if they should go awry. But anyway, just God’s blessings on all of you. I wanted to give a quick update on my dad. He had a feeding tube placed three weeks ago and it was going fairly well until recently and now it has to be removed and redone. Complications there that I don’t need to go into the details, but just pray for him. He gets really discouraged. He’s 85. It’s just not easy. Anyway, he’s seen a little too much of the medical community recently and it is hard. And also pray for my daughter. She is 16. She has been really challenging. You know, I just don’t know what is going on with her sometimes. Maybe there is some food anxiety/eating disorders. I’m not sure. So just pray for wisdom for my husband and myself, for our family. Thank you everyone. I appreciate your prayers. I am lifting up everybody daily as I listen to your prayers. God bless you all. Bye-bye.
Hey there, my name is Krista from Saskatchewan, Canada, and I’m just calling to ask for prayer from you guys for myself. I’m going through a deep valley of my body has just kind of succumbed to anxiety and depression to the point where I’m not eating much, like very little, nauseous for a majority of the day, unable to sleep without sleeping aids, and I just am at my wits end here. I’m on a medication but my doctor thinks maybe we should switch it and therefore that causes me to be anxious as well because I don’t know if I’ll have withdrawal symptoms. I just really need your prayers mostly I think to actually feel God’s nearness in this. I’m feeling really alone and I just ask for you guys to pray for me. I need to get out of this valley and your support means a lot to me. Thank you very much for praying for me.