12/31/2016 DAB Transcript

Malachi 3:1-4:6 ~ Revelation 22:1-21 ~ Psalm 150:1-6 ~ Proverbs 31:25-31

Today is the 31st day of December.  Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible and knowing that it is the 31st day of December, we know that this is the end of the year, which means we will complete the Bible today, this journey that we have been on all year, since last January 1st.  It has brought us to this point and now we can look back over the year and see how the Bible every day in our lives makes a profound difference to the way that we look and feel about the world we live in and ourselves.  It’s a day of contemplation and maybe a little melancholy, but much rejoicing.  God has been faithful to us and it has been a beautiful journey.  

But we can talk about that maybe a little bit more at the end, but right now we should get to what we get to every day, the word of God, and we will finish today.  Malachi chapter 3 verse 1 through 4 verse 6.  

Commentary

Well done, friends.  Well done.

Prayer

Jesus, we thank you.  We thank you for this year, this year of stretching and growing in so many ways. We thank you for your faithfulness to us and the gift of your word and the gift of community and for allowing us to be on this planet at this time where this kind of technology can draw us together all over the world.  We thank you. We thank you for this community, Lord. We have done our best to love each other well and to honor you and it has been a beautiful trip around the sun again. We thank you for the sun rising and setting each and every day, constant, as constant as your word in our lives. And along with the book of Revelation, we mimic that and say come.  Come, come Lord Jesus.  Yes, we are longing for your ultimate arrival when all things will be made new, but we are saying in the meantime continue to come for us. Continue to renew us.  Continue to restore us.  Continue to make us whole again that we might be men and women created in your image, intertwined with your spirit and making an impact in restoring this world.  So come Jesus.  Come into our hearts.  Come into our minds, our bodies.  Come into our spheres of influence and all those who are around us.  Come, Lord Jesus, however you choose.  We just want to be near you.  We just want to be wherever you are going.  So as we end this year, we do so in worship and honor to you, your name, your glory, your authority, your power in our lives and in the world.  As we turn the page, we prepare to jump in again, to jump into a new year, a fresh start and we want every day of the next year to be one that we walk in lockstep with you in the great dance of life that you have invited us into.  So come, come Jesus, we ask in your name.  Amen.  

Announcements

Well, we get to the end of the year and it is like we’ve said all the words of the Bible, what else is there to say?  It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it?  A really fascinating year indeed.  So today completes 11 years, 7 days a week of the Bible being read fresh daily.  That blows my mind.  I can’t believe we’ve done this.  I can’t believe I sat down in front of the microphone like this.  I think back 11 years and it is a different life, but it is a different life because of God’s word and you.  We have done something really, really remarkable together in taking the adventure of a lifetime through the scripture and seeing just how profoundly it changes things. So well done, well done for another year.  

Every year I kind of say something similar to this:  I realize that this is a melancholy goodbye to some of you. I realize that some of you may go on into something else so I just bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit as you continue your faith journey.  I encourage you to never let the Bible be absent from your life, no matter how that looks.  

Then I also realize probably for most of us we’ll turn the page together and leap into a new year.  That really is what we’ll be doing.  We’ll be taking this step of faith across the hour of midnight and releasing the year 2016 into our own personal history and it will become a piece of history and we will be present in a new year.  I long for that.  I look forward to that fresh start because it is a representation of what is happening inside of us every day.  We get this fresh start with some fresh goals, dreams, aspirations.  May those be centered around the rhythm of the scripture in our lives because it keeps our lives moving in a proper and appropriate direction.  We may do all kinds of things that are mistakes or that are even intentional, just walking away, but having the Bible as the center rhythm of our lives keeps us constantly knowing which way to go.

So we’ll take this leap together tomorrow, but we’re here right now.  We’re here in the waning moments of a year, of a difficult year, an inspiring year, a productive year, a good year.  It’s been so good, all of you that I’ve gotten to meet in person this year.  Thank you for coming to say hello.  That has been a joy and I look forward to the same in the coming year.  So may we all find rest, rest in knowing that we can release, we can let go of the year gone by and hope that we can step forward into what is to come.  May we do it with joy and peace and rest.  There is a hope that is beyond hope and it is planted in the most ancient and deep parts of who we are and we know it.  If we would heed it, if we would rest in God as we move into the new year, we will find balance and margin in our lives that allows us to live from a full and true place and spread this peace, this wholeness, this shalom to everything around us.  

So may the Lord bless you and keep you.  May he make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May he lift up his countenance on you and give you peace. May the strength of God go with you. May the wisdom of God instruct you. May the hand of God protect you. May the word of God direct you. May you be sealed in Christ this day and forevermore.  Amen.  

I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here next year.  

SONG Played on today’s DAB “Be Still My Soul” Kari Jobe http://apple.co/2hhusag

12/30/2016 DAB Transcript

Malachi 1:1-2:17 ~ Revelation 21:1-27 ~ Psalm 149:1-9 ~ Proverbs 31:10-24

Today is the 30th day of December.  Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible.  I am Brian.  It is awesome to be here with you on the eve of New Year’s Eve.  We have today and we have tomorrow and we will have completed another revolution through the entire Bible, which is, of course, super exciting. Another thing that is exciting is that today we begin the final book of the Bible and that, of course, is the book of Malachi.  

Introduction of a New Book (Old Testament)

Malachi is the final of the 12 minor prophets, these books in the Old Testament that we’ve been moving quickly through, and it is the last book of the Old Testament.  It will be 400 years before God sends another prophet named John the Baptist.

As with all the other prophets, God’s central message is clear:  Come back to me.  Return to me, coupled with an amazing promise of restoration.  In Malachi’s case, he’s also speaking to the priests who have simply begun to not take the law seriously.  For example, the Mosaic Law required sacrifices that were pure and spotless.  The priests in Malachi’s time have begun using blemished and blind animals, but there is more to it.  Throughout the culture, men had begun treating the wives of their youth disrespectfully and still expected God to accept their sacrifices.  And on it goes.  Same story, different writer, different book.  Of course, the parallels are striking and it doesn’t take a degree in theology to apply the circumstances to the culture today.  God isn’t pleased when we rebel or disobey him because we are choosing anything but life when we do that.  So it is not that God is just a self-absorbed tyrant.  It is because he knows what is best, the path that leads to life, and he is best for us in all circumstances.

So we conclude the Old Testament with an oracle of the Lord spoken through his servant Malachi:  Turn back to God.  So we begin the book of Malachi, reading from The Voice translation, chapter 1 verse 1 through 2 verse 17.  

Prayer

Father, we thank you for your word.  Lord, here we are.  We have one more day in this year and you have been faithful.  Your faithful love endures forever.  While we have one more day, that means we are still in this year and so we stay present to you in this, this journey of a lifetime through the word of God in a year among friends.  We thank you that you have given us the technology and the ability to do this.  We rejoice in what you said in your word today, that all things are being made new. And this gives us something to look out in front of us toward with great hope, but it also gives us something to look inward at with great hope, that this renewal, this all things being made new isn’t something that is just in the future.  It is something that is happening now and you are making us new. You are renewing us each and every day. So we embrace this with the greatest of hope because no matter where we’ve been this year, last year or the last decade, all things are being made new again.  So come Holy Spirit.  We welcome you.  We open ourselves fully to you, to your newness, to your re-creation, your renewal of our spirits day by day, making us more and more like you.  Come Holy Spirit, we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Announcements

Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website.  It’s home base.  It’s where you find out what is going on around here and I guess the last thing that I should mention here in this year is the More Gathering for Women is coming up this April.  We have the advanced pricing going through tomorrow, so through the end of the year. If it has been on your list of things to check out or if you’ve been meaning to register and just haven’t gotten to it, if you want to take advantage of this, make sure you do it by tomorrow at midnight.  You can get all the information at www.DailyAudioBible.com.  

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here as the year is still 2016, and if you want that for 2016, obviously it has to be 2016, which is today and tomorrow, of course.  Thank you for your partnership in allowing the Daily Audio Bible to exist at all. As I’ve said so many times throughout the year, we are a community.  We are a family and everything that we’ve ever done, we’ve done together for all of these years.  So thank you for your continued partnership in allowing everything to continue into the new year and for another year.  There is a link on the home page of www.DailyAudioBible.com.  Or 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 mailing address is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.

And, of course, as always, we’re a community.  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 will be waiting for you here tomorrow.  

Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports

Hey everybody.  This is Ron down in Southern California.  I haven’t called in a couple of years.  I have a very dear friend who has a heart infection.  He is on life support and not expected to make it.  There are people all over the world praying for him already, but I can’t think of a better group to ask to pray for my friend, Steve, than the Daily Audio Bible community.  I would just ask that you reach out healing hands over this great man of God.  I would appreciate it.  Thank you.  

Hello.  This is Diane from Indiana and this message is for anybody out there who is lonely and depressed or mad or angry or sad or angry at others, angry at God.  I just want you to know that just hang in there. Don’t give up.  Fifteen years ago my 2-year-old son passed away and then 14 years ago my dad passed away and then four years ago my husband passed away, and so, especially during Christmas, it is hard.  It is hard and I’ve felt all those emotions.  I’ve come a long way and I’m so thankful to have found the Daily Audio Bible family, but I remember Brian talking earlier this year (I apologize, I don’t remember the scripture and exactly what you said).  He had been talking about his mom and he just let us all know about his mom and kind of the struggle he was going through.  He was telling all of us about something to the words of ‘when you think you just can’t do it anymore, yes you can.’  I just want to let everybody know out there yes, you can.  I’m standing here today and it’s a step-by-step process, but don’t give up. Reach out to people.  Reach out to somebody.  Join a support group.  Do something to help you get through.  I just want to say I love everyone and that’s all.  

Hi, this is Victorious Soldier, just calling tonight to pray for some of the Dabbers.  Just wanted to say that this is a wonderful time of the year and we have to remember the reason for the season, that God has great and wonderful things for us. Those that are alone, that God doesn’t want you to feel like you’re alone and doesn’t want you to be alone, so I pray that we connect with some people and come together and enjoy the Lord with them, even if we just write each other, even if we just call and talk to each other.  I’m going to just pray for the people right now.  Gracious Father, in the name of Jesus, Lord, you know that at this time of the year.  O Lord, I’ve been through it many times myself and you have brought me through it when I realized that you are able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think.  Lord, you are marvelous and a wonderful and an awesome God.  Lord, you touch them, Lord, and let them know that you are with them. You show yourself so mighty to them that they will have no doubts in their heart that they are not only your child, but that you love them with an everlasting love and that is one of the reasons that you came, that you came that we might have life.  You came while we were yet sinners.  Lord, help them to hold on, that while we were yet sinners, you died for us, Lord.  You died and gave us a right to the tree of life and you weren’t like the world.  You weren’t a bully, but you were a loving God and you left it open so that we can have a right to the tree of life, so that we can have joy, so that we can have peace, so that we can have the victory in Christ Jesus.  Lord, I just thank you and I praise you and I give you the glory.  O Lord, I give you the glory for the wonderful day that you have in store for those…

Hi family.  It’s Jordan from Michigan.  To be honest with you right now, I just woke up and I wanted to start the day off right, so day 19 of my 30-day challenge also happens around Christmas Eve, so today the positive thing in my life that I would like to acknowledge is a very simple truth, that the one who created me, who created you, who created the whole cosmos, loves me and loves you.  That is the greatest truth of all.  As we celebrate the birth of Christ, I pray that we meditate on that truth today and let it wash over us and give us new life.  Byron from Florida, I just want to thank you again for helping me realize that truth.  Have a blessed day everybody.

Hey DAB.  This is Curtis from Cali.  Just wanted to call in a request for my son.  His name is Kingston Parker and we took him to UCLA like four days ago and they had to run a biopsy on his thyroid.  They found some nodules growing on it.  Yeah, so we’re just kind of in this waiting period of seeing what that is and what is going on with him.  He’s been kind of sick.  He has hypothyroidism, that is what they’re calling it, Hashimoto’s I guess, so we’re really nervous, really scared.  So if you guys can please lift up Kingston, my 7-year-old boy.  You know, it’s my life right there and I just pray that nothing too crazy is going on and that all these things will be healed.  So thank you, DAB.  I love you guys.  I’ll talk to you later.  

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday December 31, 2016 (NIV)

Malachi 3-4

These are the words of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies:

Eternal One: Pay attention! I am sending My messenger,
and he will clear the road ahead for Me.[a]
The Lord you seek will suddenly arrive at His temple.
And the Messenger of God’s covenant, your soul’s delight,
Watch, because He, too, is coming.

God declares His Anointed One will come, and the way will be prepared. Notice has been given: be ready.

Can anyone live through the day when He arrives?
Will anyone be left standing when He appears?
He is a purifying fire;
He is like lye soap.
Like a refiner of silver,
He will purify the descendants of Levi—
Until they are pure, unalloyed gold and silver.
Then they will draw near to the Eternal One,
Presenting offerings with righteous, clean hands.

Then the Eternal One will unequivocally accept the sweet offering of Judah and Jerusalem as He did in the days of old, as in the former years when the covenant was new.

Eternal One: Then I will approach you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the constant sorcerers; the chronic adulterers; the habitual liars; those who continue cheating wages from their hired laborer, a widow, or an orphan; and those who always reject the immigrant, not fearing Me, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. Because I am the Eternal One, I never change; as a result, you children of Jacob have not been destroyed though your blessing may have been delayed.

From the days when your ancestors served Me, you have turned from and ignored My statutes. Return to Me and I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will return to you. But you shameless people ask, “How will we return? Will someone steal from God?” Yet you are always stealing from Me! But you self-centered people still ask, “How have we stolen from You?” In the tithes and the offerings you have not given Me as the law requires! You are cursed with a curse, for as an entire nation you are stealing from Me. 10 To rectify this situation, you must bring the entire tithe into the storage house in the temple so that there may be food for Me and for the Levites in My house. Feel free to test Me now in this. See whether or not I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will open the windows of heaven to you and pour a blessing down upon you until all needs are satisfied. 11 I will rebuke the swarm of locusts devouring your crops, and the devourer will not cause the produce you have grown in the earth to decay or the vines in the field to drop their grapes. 12 And all the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight. I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, promise you this.

13 Your words of rebellion against Me have been strong. Yet you ask, “What have we said against You?” 14 You have said, “Serving God is a waste of time,” and, “What benefits have we received by following Him as we mourned on our journey before the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies? 15 Now we believe the bluster of the arrogant and agree they are blessed; we encourage the wicked who also test God and escape.”

16 Then those who fear the Eternal One consulted each other about God’s charges, each one to his neighbor, and the Eternal One paid attention and heard. A book of remembrance was written before Him for those who honored the Eternal One and valued His name and the good reputation.

Eternal One: 17 And they will be Mine on that day when I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, make My unique treasure—which is the kingdom of Israel. I will have pity on them as a man has pity on his son who serves him.

18 And you will return and notice the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those serving God and those not serving Him.

Eternal One: For behold the day of burning will come, smoldering like a furnace. The arrogant and the evil will be set ablaze like the worthless chaff of grain. Neither roots nor branch will remain. I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, promise this. But for you, the ones who tremble at the sound of My name, a warm sun of righteousness will come forth with healing in its rays, and you will go out, springing from the stalls like calves in open pasture. Then you will trample the criminal; your feet will make them ash on the day I am preparing. I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, promise this.

Remember the instructions which Moses, My faithful servant, received from Me at Mount Horeb and gave to all Israel. Remember its statutes and judgments.

Keep watch. I am sending Elijah the prophet to you before the arrival of the great and terrible day of the Eternal One, and he will return parents’ hearts to their children and children’s hearts to their parents, or else I will come and strike the land of promise with a curse of annihilation.

These verses simultaneously display retrospective and prospective dimensions of Malachi’s conversation with the people, especially the temple priests, of Jerusalem. Malachi calls his contemporaries to remember the life and message of Moses and future generations to look forward to the life and message of the Elijah who is to come. As Ezra in the fifth century b.c. is like Elijah, reflecting these expectations, so John the Baptist is the messenger par excellence 400 years later when he prepares the world for Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Anointed One.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Revelation 22

John had never seen a city without a temple. In fact, every city John ever entered had many temples dedicated to many gods—all, of course, except Jerusalem, which only had one temple. But now in his vision, he sees a different kind of city, the holy city, the new Jerusalem. As he looks around its streets of gold and magnificent buildings, he sees no temple reaching into the sky. No temple is needed in this city because God and the Lamb live with them, constantly in view. Their throne sits prominently in the city. Their light forever illumines its streets and citizens.

22 My heavenly guide brought me to the river of pure living waters, shimmering as brilliantly as crystal. It flowed out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, flowing down the middle and dividing the street of the holy city. On each bank of the river stood the tree of life, firmly planted, bearing twelve kinds of fruit and producing its sweet crop every month throughout the year. And the soothing leaves that grew on the tree of life provided precious healing for the nations.

Fed by a crystal clear river is the tree of life. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were prevented from eating from the tree once they were expelled from the garden of Eden. Divine creatures and a flaming sword then stood guard at the entrance to the garden (Genesis 3:24). Now the tree of life returns to the story, a single tree situated on both sides of the river. No one is denied access to its luscious fruit and healing leaves.

No one or nothing will labor under any curse any longer. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will sit prominently in the city. God’s servants will continually serve and worship Him. They will be able to look upon His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads. Darkness will never again fall on this city. They will not require the light of a lamp or of the sun because the Lord God will be their illumination. By His light, they will reign throughout the ages.

Guide (speaking to me): These words are faithful and true.

And the Lord, the God who inspired the prophets, has sent His heavenly messenger to show to His servants what must soon take place.

The Anointed One: Look now, I am coming soon! The one who remains true to the prophetic words contained in this book will truly be blessed.

I, John, am the one who heard and witnessed these visions. And when I heard and witnessed them, I fell prostrate at the feet of the heavenly guide who showed them to me. But he refused.

Guide: You must not do that! I am a servant with you, with your brothers and sisters the prophets, and with those who keep the words contained in this book. Worship God instead!

10 (continuing) Do not seal up the prophetic words contained in this book for another day, for the finale is near. 11 Let the one given to evil continue down evil’s path and the one addicted to filth continue to be its servant. But let the one who is righteous journey along the righteous road, and let the holy continue in holy ways.

The Anointed One: 12 See, I am coming soon, and I will bring My reward with Me. I will pay back every person according to the deeds he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and Omega, the First One and the Last One, the beginning and the end.

14 Blessed are those who wash their garments. In the end, they have rightful access to the tree of life and will enter the city through its gates. 15 The dogs, the sorcerers, those who commit immoral acts, the murderers, the idolaters, and all who love and practice deception must remain outside the gates for all eternity.

Jesus: 16 I, Jesus, have sent My messenger to show you and guide you so that you in turn would share this testimony with the churches. I am the Root and the Descendant of David, the Bright Morning Star.

The Spirit and the Bride: 17 Come.

And let everyone who hears these words say, “Come.”

And let those who thirst come.
All who desire to drink, let them take and drink freely from the water of life.

John closes his book with a warning to safeguard the integrity of his prophecy.

18 Beware, everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book. Know this for certain: if anyone adds to these words, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone subtracts from the prophetic words of this book, God will remove that person’s access to the tree of life and to the holy city which are described in this book.

20 The One who testifies to these realities makes this promise:

The Anointed One: Yes. I am coming soon.

To which we say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus [the Anointed One][a] be with all [the saints].[b] Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:21 Some manuscripts omit this portion.
  2. 22:21 The earliest manuscripts omit this portion.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 150

Psalm 150

If Psalm 150 is any indication, then the worship of the one True God ought to be full of life and energy. Consider what it must have looked and sounded like in those days: voices lifted, shouting for joy, trumpets blaring, stringed instruments playing, people dancing, pipes humming, tambourines keeping rhythm, cymbals crashing. There are times when worship ought to break out in joy. Is it possible that our worship is too quiet, too reserved, too structured?

Praise the Eternal!
Praise the True God inside His temple.
Praise Him beneath massive skies, under moonlit stars and rising sun.
Praise Him for His powerful acts, redeeming His people.
Praise Him for His greatness that surpasses our time and understanding.

3-4 Praise Him with the blast of trumpets high into the heavens,
and praise Him with harps and lyres
and the rhythm of the tambourines skillfully played by those who love and fear the Eternal.
Praise Him with singing and dancing;
praise Him with flutes and strings of all kinds!
Praise Him with crashing cymbals,
loud clashing cymbals!
No one should be left out;
Let every man and every beast—
every creature that has the breath of the Lord—praise the Eternal!
Praise the Eternal!

This doxology not only closes Book Five, but it also closes the entire Book of Psalms. Up until now, the songs in this book have reminded us of all the reasons we should praise God. Some songs have even commanded us to praise Him. But this closing remark takes the command to praise one step further: everything alive—humans, animals, and heaven’s creatures—must praise Him. Praise is what God created us to do; it is one of our highest purposes in life. So it is no wonder that the longest book of the Bible is purely devoted to helping us do just that.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31:25-31

25 Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear,
she smiles when she thinks about the future.
26 She conducts her conversations with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is ever her concern.
27 She directs the activities of her household,
and never does she indulge in laziness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her.
Her husband, too, joins in the praise, saying:
29 “There are someindeed many—women who do well in every way,
but of all of them only you are truly excellent.”
30 Charm can be deceptive and physical beauty will not last,
but a woman who reveres the Eternal should be praised above all others.
31 Celebrate all she has achieved.
Let all her accomplishments publicly praise her.[a]

Marrying the right person is one of the most important decisions most people ever make, so they must choose wisely and carefully. The Book of Proverbs ends with a tribute to a wise choice in a wife. She is strong, independent, capable, and cares for her husband, her family, and the poor. She runs the whole household. In ancient Israel, this would mean a large extended family—including servants with all of their activities—and the family business. Her husband would sing her praises publicly before the community leaders. Those who know her would admire her for her skills, her industry, and her character.

Footnotes:

  1. 31:10-31 A Hebrew acrostic poem
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday December 30, 2016 (NIV)

Malachi 1-2

The Eternal One burdened His messenger, Malachi, with these words to deliver to Israel.

Eternal One: I have loved you as someone loves his dear family.

Israelites: How have You loved us?

Eternal One: Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? Even still I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.[a] I chose you, and I rejected him. I have made his highlands desolate and his inheritance for scavenging jackals in the wilderness.

Edom (vowing): We are defeated now, but we will be back. We will return and rebuild out of the destruction.

Eternal One: They can build again, but I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will tear Esau’s descendants down again and again and brand them as a land of wickedness and as a people whom the Eternal will despise forever. You will see what I’ve done for you with your own eyes, Jacob’s children, and you will say, “May the Eternal One be magnified beyond the border of Israel.”

(to the priests who despise the name of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies) A son respects his father, and a servant fears[b] his master. If I am your Father, then where is My respect from you? And if I am your glorious Master, then where is your fear of Me? From your self-centered oblivion you ask, “How have we despised Your name?” As you put polluted grain offerings on My clean altar, you ask, “In what way have we polluted You?” Your actions tell your fellow priests and the people whose sacrifices you offer that you all may despise the Eternal One’s table. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, isn’t that evil? And when you present sick and lame animals, isn’t that evil? Try bringing these useless animals to your foreign governor when you need his favor; will he grant your request and lift up your face to his to dignify you? Of course not.

So said the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

And now beg before the face of God and try to please Him so He might show you favor. With these offerings you present, will He lift up your face to His to show His approval?

God demands that they close the temple door; it is better to have no sacrifice than to offer service without full devotion. He wants devoted followers giving their best.

Eternal One: 10 Who among you would shut the doors that would keep Me from smelling your sacrifice and you from wasting time kindling the fire on My altar? I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, don’t delight in you. I will not accept any grain offering you present, 11 for from the rising of the sun to its descent, My name is great among the nations and in every place smoke of a pure offering rises up to Me. Even those nations whom I haven’t chosen as My own recognize My name is great—those who don’t recognize Me as the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

12 But you, My chosen ones, are soiling My name when you say, “The table of the Lord is dirty, and the food on it is despised,” 13 and when you sigh contemptuously and say, “Don’t you see how boring all these required rituals are?” You bring stolen or dirty gifts—your own lame and sick animals or animals you found torn apart by beasts in the wilderness—to the offering. Should I accept what you present? 14 I say, cursed is the deceiver who promises to sacrifice the finest male in his flock if I grant his request but who sacrifices the imperfect one to the Lord instead. I tell you, I am a great King. My name is feared among the nations who aren’t even My own.

So says the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

And now this command is for your benefit, O priests who despise the One you serve.

God’s message to Judah through Malachi is a double entendre. On one level, God is rebuking people who commit adultery and abandon their spouses. God hates divorce because of its disastrous consequences on lives, families, and communities. The effects of broken marriages can last a lifetime, even if people fool themselves into thinking otherwise. God stands as the first and most important witness to every marriage contract, and He desires for His people to take those vows seriously. On another level, however, God is rebuking all of Israel—His bride—who has committed adultery against the Eternal One by abandoning Him to worship other gods. As chronic adulterers, God’s people don’t realize their illicit relationships with pagan goddesses and foreign governments have broken their covenant with Him and are causing them to stray from God’s requirements. They mix cultic rituals with God’s prescribed rituals, and they genuinely don’t understand why God won’t respond to their prayers, blessings, and sacrifices. Israel demonstrates how people can become insensitive to frequent sin and how that sin can affect their contemporaries and future generations. According to the prophet, naiveté is no excuse for breaking His commands.

Eternal One: If you will not listen and if you will not devote yourselves to giving glory to My name, then I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will send the curse on you and will curse those blessings you give to Me on behalf of yourselves and your laypeople. In fact, I have cursed those blessings since you are refusing to dedicate yourselves to Me. Look, I am rebuking your children—your seed whom you offer. I will spread dung on your faces, the dung of your festival offerings, and someone will take you away with it.[c] Then you will know I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, sent this command to you as a reminder of My covenant with Levi and your responsibilities regarding it.[d] My covenant with Levi was filled with life and peace, and I gave those gifts to him out of respect. He feared Me, and he was in awe of My name and all I was purported to be. He spoke the law of truth, and falsehood was not found on his lips. In peace and justice he walked with Me, and he turned many from iniquity by his words and example; the lips of the priest should be a gateway to knowledge, and the laypeople should seek the law from his mouth because he is the messenger of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. 8-9 But you priests have turned from the straight and smooth way you should be guarding. You have caused many to stumble upon the law; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi! So I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, have made you hated and humiliated as you sit in that dung heap in front of all the people because you are not keeping My ways. Instead you are picking and choosing which of My laws to teach and follow.

10 Do we not all share one father? Has not one God created us all? Why do we all act deceitfully with our brothers and sisters and soil the covenant between God and our ancestors? 11 First of all, Judah has acted deceitfully, and an atrocity has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem because Judah has soiled the holy place of the Eternal One—His earthly throne which He loves—by marrying a daughter of a foreign god, by joining pagan families and worshiping pagan goddesses. 12 May the Eternal One cut off from His community among the tents of Jacob the man who does this—the one stirring, answering,[e] and presenting a grain offering to the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. 13 And this is a second thing you do: you cover the altar of the Eternal One not with the blood of perfect sacrifices but with your own tears, weeping and groaning as if you were worshiping other gods because He does not accept the grain offering you present or receive it with delight. 14 Yet you ask, “Why won’t He accept our offerings?” It is because the Eternal One has been a witness to the way you have dealt deceitfully with the wife of your youth, although she is your companion and covenant wife, by going off with that foreign woman! 15 Has He not made you and your wife one? You belong to Him, body and spirit. And what does He seek from such a union? Godly children.[f] So guard yourselves; be true to the wife of your youth, and stop being unfaithful.

Eternal One: 16 For I, the God of Israel, hate divorce! I, the Commander of heavenly armies, despise it when people wrap themselves in violence like a garment. So guard yourselves; be true to your wife and not unfaithful.

17 Your constant blathering has exhausted the Eternal One. Yet you ask, “How have we wearied Him with our prayers?” It is because you say, “All evildoers are good in the eyes of the Eternal One, and He delights in them,” or you ask, “Where is the God of justice?”

Footnotes:

  1. 1:2–3 Romans 9:13
  2. 1:6 Most manuscripts omit “fears.”
  3. 2:3 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  4. 2:4 Deuteronomy 33:8–11
  5. 2:12 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  6. 2:15 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Revelation 21

21 I looked again and could hardly believe my eyes. Everything above me was new. Everything below me was new. Everything around me was new because the heaven and earth that had been passed away, and the sea was gone, completely. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride on her wedding day, adorned for her husband and for His eyes only. And I heard a great voice, coming from the throne.

A Voice: See, the home of God is with His people.
He will live among them;
They will be His people,
And God Himself will be with them.
The prophecies are fulfilled:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.[a]
Death will be no more;
Mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more,
For the first things have gone away.

And the One who sat on the throne announced to His creation,

The One: See, I am making all things new. (turning to me) Write what you hear and see, for these words are faithful and true. It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will see to it that the thirsty drink freely from the fountain of the water of life. To the victors will go this inheritance: I will be their God, and they will be My children. It will not be so for the cowards, the faithless, the sacrilegious, the murderers, the sexually immoral, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all those who deal in deception. They will inherit an eternity in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

John sees an amazing sight. It is something no one had ever seen nor will ever see until that day arrives. Scene by blessed scene passes before the prophet. Finally he is transported to the end of history only to discover it is no end at all; it is a new beginning. The prophecies—every last one of them—are coming true. God’s plan will be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven when the new Jerusalem comes down and He lives among His people. All things will become new.

And then one of the seven messengers in charge of the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came over to me.

Heavenly Messenger: Come with me, and I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.

10 He took me away in the Spirit and set me on top of a great, high mountain. As I waited for what I thought was a bride, he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 It gleamed and shined with the glory of God; its radiance was like the most precious of jewels, like jasper, and it was as clear as crystal. 12 It was surrounded with a wall, great and high. There were twelve gates. Assigned to each gate was a messenger, twelve in all. And on the gates were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of Israel’s sons. 13 On the east wall were three gates. On the north wall were three gates. On the south wall were three gates. On the west wall were three gates. 14 And the city wall sat perfectly on twelve foundation stones, and on them were inscribed the names of the twelve emissaries[b] of the Lamb.

15 My guide held a golden measuring rod. With it he measured the city and the gates and the walls. 16 And the city is laid out with four corners in a perfect square, the length the same as its width. He measured the city with his measuring rod, and the result was that its length and width and height are equal: 1,444 miles, a perfect cube. 17 And my guide measured the wall; it was nearly 72 yards high, in human measurements, which was the instrument the guide was using. 18 The wall was made of jasper, while the city itself was made of pure gold, yet it was as clear as glass. 19 The foundation stones of the wall of the city were decorated with every kind of jewel: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate expertly crafted from a single beautiful pearl. And the city street was pure gold, yet it was as transparent as glass.

22 And in the city, I found no temple because the Lord God, the All Powerful, and the Lamb are the temple. 23 And in the city, there is no need for the sun to light the day or moon the night because the resplendent glory of the Lord provides the city with warm, beautiful light and the Lamb illumines every corner of the new Jerusalem. 24 And all peoples of all the nations will walk by its unfailing light, and the rulers of the earth will stream into the city bringing with them the symbols of their grandeur and power. 25 During the day, its gates will not be closed; the darkness of night will never settle in. 26 The glory and grandeur of the nations will be on display there, carried to the holy city by people from every corner of the world. 27 Nothing that defiles or is defiled can enter into its glorious gates. Those who practice sacrilege or deception will never walk its streets. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:4 Isaiah 25:8
  2. 21:14 Literally, apostles
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 149

Psalm 149

Praise the Eternal!
Write new songs; sing them to Him with all your might!
Gather with His faithful followers in joyful praise;
Let all of Israel celebrate their Maker, their God, their friend;
let the children of Zion find great joy in their true King.
So let the music begin; praise His name—dance and sing
to the rhythm of the tambourine, and to the tune of the harp.
For the Eternal is listening, and nothing pleases Him more than His people;
He raises up the poor and endows them with His salvation.
Let His faithful followers erupt in praise,
singing triumphantly wherever they are, even as they lie down for sleep in the evening.
With the name of God and praise in their mouths,
with a two-edged sword in their hands,
Let them take revenge on all nations who deny God.
Let them punish the peoples.
Kings and nobles will be locked up,
and their freedom will be bound in iron shackles.
This judgment against them, decreed by a holy God, will be carried out.
It’s an honor for all His faithful followers to serve Him.
Praise the Eternal!

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31:10-24

King Lemuel’s mother warns him of the dangers of women and wine. In different ways, both have brought down great leaders. Both are certainly distractions to a king’s true work—defending the poor.

10 Who can find a truly excellent woman? One who is superior in all that she is and all that she does?
Her worth far exceeds that of rubies and expensive jewelry.
11 She inspires trust, and her husband’s heart is safe with her,
and because of her, he has every good thing.
12 Every day of her life she does what is best for him,
never anything harmful or hurtful.
13 Delight attends her work and guides her fingers
as she selects the finest wool and flax for spinning.
14 She moves through the market like merchant ships
that dock here and there in distant ports,
finally arriving home with food she’s carried from afar.
15 She rises from bed early, in the still of night,
carefully preparing food for her family
and providing a portion to her servants.
16 She has a plan. She considers some land and buys it;
then with her earnings, she plants a vineyard.
17 She wraps herself in strength, carries herself with confidence,
and works hard, strengthening her arms for the task at hand.
18 She tastes success and knows it is good,
and under lamplight she works deep into the night.
19 Her hands skillfully place the unspun flax and wool on the distaff,
and her fingers twist the spindle until thread forms.
20 She reaches out to the poor
and extends mercy to those in need.
21 She is not worried about the cold or snow for her family,
for she has clothed them all in warm, crimson coats.
22 She makes her own bed linens
and clothes herself in purple and fine cloth.
23 Everyone recognizes her husband in the public square,
and no one fails to respect him as he takes his place of leadership in the community.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them in the market,
and she supplies belts for tradesmen to carry across the sea.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday December 30, 2016 (NIV)

Malachi 1-2

The Eternal One burdened His messenger, Malachi, with these words to deliver to Israel.

Eternal One: I have loved you as someone loves his dear family.

Israelites: How have You loved us?

Eternal One: Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? Even still I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.[a] I chose you, and I rejected him. I have made his highlands desolate and his inheritance for scavenging jackals in the wilderness.

Edom (vowing): We are defeated now, but we will be back. We will return and rebuild out of the destruction.

Eternal One: They can build again, but I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will tear Esau’s descendants down again and again and brand them as a land of wickedness and as a people whom the Eternal will despise forever. You will see what I’ve done for you with your own eyes, Jacob’s children, and you will say, “May the Eternal One be magnified beyond the border of Israel.”

(to the priests who despise the name of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies) A son respects his father, and a servant fears[b] his master. If I am your Father, then where is My respect from you? And if I am your glorious Master, then where is your fear of Me? From your self-centered oblivion you ask, “How have we despised Your name?” As you put polluted grain offerings on My clean altar, you ask, “In what way have we polluted You?” Your actions tell your fellow priests and the people whose sacrifices you offer that you all may despise the Eternal One’s table. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, isn’t that evil? And when you present sick and lame animals, isn’t that evil? Try bringing these useless animals to your foreign governor when you need his favor; will he grant your request and lift up your face to his to dignify you? Of course not.

So said the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

And now beg before the face of God and try to please Him so He might show you favor. With these offerings you present, will He lift up your face to His to show His approval?

God demands that they close the temple door; it is better to have no sacrifice than to offer service without full devotion. He wants devoted followers giving their best.

Eternal One: 10 Who among you would shut the doors that would keep Me from smelling your sacrifice and you from wasting time kindling the fire on My altar? I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, don’t delight in you. I will not accept any grain offering you present, 11 for from the rising of the sun to its descent, My name is great among the nations and in every place smoke of a pure offering rises up to Me. Even those nations whom I haven’t chosen as My own recognize My name is great—those who don’t recognize Me as the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

12 But you, My chosen ones, are soiling My name when you say, “The table of the Lord is dirty, and the food on it is despised,” 13 and when you sigh contemptuously and say, “Don’t you see how boring all these required rituals are?” You bring stolen or dirty gifts—your own lame and sick animals or animals you found torn apart by beasts in the wilderness—to the offering. Should I accept what you present? 14 I say, cursed is the deceiver who promises to sacrifice the finest male in his flock if I grant his request but who sacrifices the imperfect one to the Lord instead. I tell you, I am a great King. My name is feared among the nations who aren’t even My own.

So says the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

And now this command is for your benefit, O priests who despise the One you serve.

God’s message to Judah through Malachi is a double entendre. On one level, God is rebuking people who commit adultery and abandon their spouses. God hates divorce because of its disastrous consequences on lives, families, and communities. The effects of broken marriages can last a lifetime, even if people fool themselves into thinking otherwise. God stands as the first and most important witness to every marriage contract, and He desires for His people to take those vows seriously. On another level, however, God is rebuking all of Israel—His bride—who has committed adultery against the Eternal One by abandoning Him to worship other gods. As chronic adulterers, God’s people don’t realize their illicit relationships with pagan goddesses and foreign governments have broken their covenant with Him and are causing them to stray from God’s requirements. They mix cultic rituals with God’s prescribed rituals, and they genuinely don’t understand why God won’t respond to their prayers, blessings, and sacrifices. Israel demonstrates how people can become insensitive to frequent sin and how that sin can affect their contemporaries and future generations. According to the prophet, naiveté is no excuse for breaking His commands.

Eternal One: If you will not listen and if you will not devote yourselves to giving glory to My name, then I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will send the curse on you and will curse those blessings you give to Me on behalf of yourselves and your laypeople. In fact, I have cursed those blessings since you are refusing to dedicate yourselves to Me. Look, I am rebuking your children—your seed whom you offer. I will spread dung on your faces, the dung of your festival offerings, and someone will take you away with it.[c] Then you will know I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, sent this command to you as a reminder of My covenant with Levi and your responsibilities regarding it.[d] My covenant with Levi was filled with life and peace, and I gave those gifts to him out of respect. He feared Me, and he was in awe of My name and all I was purported to be. He spoke the law of truth, and falsehood was not found on his lips. In peace and justice he walked with Me, and he turned many from iniquity by his words and example; the lips of the priest should be a gateway to knowledge, and the laypeople should seek the law from his mouth because he is the messenger of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. 8-9 But you priests have turned from the straight and smooth way you should be guarding. You have caused many to stumble upon the law; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi! So I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, have made you hated and humiliated as you sit in that dung heap in front of all the people because you are not keeping My ways. Instead you are picking and choosing which of My laws to teach and follow.

10 Do we not all share one father? Has not one God created us all? Why do we all act deceitfully with our brothers and sisters and soil the covenant between God and our ancestors? 11 First of all, Judah has acted deceitfully, and an atrocity has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem because Judah has soiled the holy place of the Eternal One—His earthly throne which He loves—by marrying a daughter of a foreign god, by joining pagan families and worshiping pagan goddesses. 12 May the Eternal One cut off from His community among the tents of Jacob the man who does this—the one stirring, answering,[e] and presenting a grain offering to the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. 13 And this is a second thing you do: you cover the altar of the Eternal One not with the blood of perfect sacrifices but with your own tears, weeping and groaning as if you were worshiping other gods because He does not accept the grain offering you present or receive it with delight. 14 Yet you ask, “Why won’t He accept our offerings?” It is because the Eternal One has been a witness to the way you have dealt deceitfully with the wife of your youth, although she is your companion and covenant wife, by going off with that foreign woman! 15 Has He not made you and your wife one? You belong to Him, body and spirit. And what does He seek from such a union? Godly children.[f] So guard yourselves; be true to the wife of your youth, and stop being unfaithful.

Eternal One: 16 For I, the God of Israel, hate divorce! I, the Commander of heavenly armies, despise it when people wrap themselves in violence like a garment. So guard yourselves; be true to your wife and not unfaithful.

17 Your constant blathering has exhausted the Eternal One. Yet you ask, “How have we wearied Him with our prayers?” It is because you say, “All evildoers are good in the eyes of the Eternal One, and He delights in them,” or you ask, “Where is the God of justice?”

Footnotes:

  1. 1:2–3 Romans 9:13
  2. 1:6 Most manuscripts omit “fears.”
  3. 2:3 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  4. 2:4 Deuteronomy 33:8–11
  5. 2:12 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  6. 2:15 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Revelation 21

21 I looked again and could hardly believe my eyes. Everything above me was new. Everything below me was new. Everything around me was new because the heaven and earth that had been passed away, and the sea was gone, completely. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride on her wedding day, adorned for her husband and for His eyes only. And I heard a great voice, coming from the throne.

A Voice: See, the home of God is with His people.
He will live among them;
They will be His people,
And God Himself will be with them.
The prophecies are fulfilled:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.[a]
Death will be no more;
Mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more,
For the first things have gone away.

And the One who sat on the throne announced to His creation,

The One: See, I am making all things new. (turning to me) Write what you hear and see, for these words are faithful and true. It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will see to it that the thirsty drink freely from the fountain of the water of life. To the victors will go this inheritance: I will be their God, and they will be My children. It will not be so for the cowards, the faithless, the sacrilegious, the murderers, the sexually immoral, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all those who deal in deception. They will inherit an eternity in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

John sees an amazing sight. It is something no one had ever seen nor will ever see until that day arrives. Scene by blessed scene passes before the prophet. Finally he is transported to the end of history only to discover it is no end at all; it is a new beginning. The prophecies—every last one of them—are coming true. God’s plan will be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven when the new Jerusalem comes down and He lives among His people. All things will become new.

And then one of the seven messengers in charge of the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came over to me.

Heavenly Messenger: Come with me, and I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.

10 He took me away in the Spirit and set me on top of a great, high mountain. As I waited for what I thought was a bride, he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 It gleamed and shined with the glory of God; its radiance was like the most precious of jewels, like jasper, and it was as clear as crystal. 12 It was surrounded with a wall, great and high. There were twelve gates. Assigned to each gate was a messenger, twelve in all. And on the gates were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of Israel’s sons. 13 On the east wall were three gates. On the north wall were three gates. On the south wall were three gates. On the west wall were three gates. 14 And the city wall sat perfectly on twelve foundation stones, and on them were inscribed the names of the twelve emissaries[b] of the Lamb.

15 My guide held a golden measuring rod. With it he measured the city and the gates and the walls. 16 And the city is laid out with four corners in a perfect square, the length the same as its width. He measured the city with his measuring rod, and the result was that its length and width and height are equal: 1,444 miles, a perfect cube. 17 And my guide measured the wall; it was nearly 72 yards high, in human measurements, which was the instrument the guide was using. 18 The wall was made of jasper, while the city itself was made of pure gold, yet it was as clear as glass. 19 The foundation stones of the wall of the city were decorated with every kind of jewel: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate expertly crafted from a single beautiful pearl. And the city street was pure gold, yet it was as transparent as glass.

22 And in the city, I found no temple because the Lord God, the All Powerful, and the Lamb are the temple. 23 And in the city, there is no need for the sun to light the day or moon the night because the resplendent glory of the Lord provides the city with warm, beautiful light and the Lamb illumines every corner of the new Jerusalem. 24 And all peoples of all the nations will walk by its unfailing light, and the rulers of the earth will stream into the city bringing with them the symbols of their grandeur and power. 25 During the day, its gates will not be closed; the darkness of night will never settle in. 26 The glory and grandeur of the nations will be on display there, carried to the holy city by people from every corner of the world. 27 Nothing that defiles or is defiled can enter into its glorious gates. Those who practice sacrilege or deception will never walk its streets. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:4 Isaiah 25:8
  2. 21:14 Literally, apostles
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 149

Psalm 149

Praise the Eternal!
Write new songs; sing them to Him with all your might!
Gather with His faithful followers in joyful praise;
Let all of Israel celebrate their Maker, their God, their friend;
let the children of Zion find great joy in their true King.
So let the music begin; praise His name—dance and sing
to the rhythm of the tambourine, and to the tune of the harp.
For the Eternal is listening, and nothing pleases Him more than His people;
He raises up the poor and endows them with His salvation.
Let His faithful followers erupt in praise,
singing triumphantly wherever they are, even as they lie down for sleep in the evening.
With the name of God and praise in their mouths,
with a two-edged sword in their hands,
Let them take revenge on all nations who deny God.
Let them punish the peoples.
Kings and nobles will be locked up,
and their freedom will be bound in iron shackles.
This judgment against them, decreed by a holy God, will be carried out.
It’s an honor for all His faithful followers to serve Him.
Praise the Eternal!

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31:10-24

King Lemuel’s mother warns him of the dangers of women and wine. In different ways, both have brought down great leaders. Both are certainly distractions to a king’s true work—defending the poor.

10 Who can find a truly excellent woman? One who is superior in all that she is and all that she does?
Her worth far exceeds that of rubies and expensive jewelry.
11 She inspires trust, and her husband’s heart is safe with her,
and because of her, he has every good thing.
12 Every day of her life she does what is best for him,
never anything harmful or hurtful.
13 Delight attends her work and guides her fingers
as she selects the finest wool and flax for spinning.
14 She moves through the market like merchant ships
that dock here and there in distant ports,
finally arriving home with food she’s carried from afar.
15 She rises from bed early, in the still of night,
carefully preparing food for her family
and providing a portion to her servants.
16 She has a plan. She considers some land and buys it;
then with her earnings, she plants a vineyard.
17 She wraps herself in strength, carries herself with confidence,
and works hard, strengthening her arms for the task at hand.
18 She tastes success and knows it is good,
and under lamplight she works deep into the night.
19 Her hands skillfully place the unspun flax and wool on the distaff,
and her fingers twist the spindle until thread forms.
20 She reaches out to the poor
and extends mercy to those in need.
21 She is not worried about the cold or snow for her family,
for she has clothed them all in warm, crimson coats.
22 She makes her own bed linens
and clothes herself in purple and fine cloth.
23 Everyone recognizes her husband in the public square,
and no one fails to respect him as he takes his place of leadership in the community.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them in the market,
and she supplies belts for tradesmen to carry across the sea.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

12/29/2016 DAB Transcript

Zechariah 14:1-21 ~ Revelation 20:1-15 ~ Psalm 148:1-14 ~ Proverbs 31:8-9

Today is December 29th.  Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible.  I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you for the final steps of the year and we’ll take that next step.  We only have three steps left today and in today’s reading we’ll conclude the book of Zechariah which will bring us tomorrow to the final book of the Bible.  So today, reading from The Voice translation, Zechariah chapter 14 verses 1 through 21.

Prayer

Father, we thank you for another day in your word and we look forward with longing.  Now that we’ve gone through this Christmas season of Advent, we look forward with longing to what we read of in the book of Revelation, this great white throne, this wonderful, wonderful resurrection, this end to death.  So we put our hope in you and our lives in your hands.  Where else would we go?  What other hope is there?  So we ask, Lord, as we truly do prepare to end this year that we might stay present in these next couple of days and that we might have open hearts to all that you might say to us through your word.  We thank you for the gift of this community and this year and we want to finish well.  So come Holy Spirit, we pray.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Announcements

Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website.  It’s home base.  It’s where you find out what is going on around here and so like I was saying, there are a lot of moving parts that go into resetting and preparing for a brand new year, so we’re in the thick of all of that.  But where it would touch you is that if you have some episodes from this year that you need to go back and listen to or whatever, you need to go ahead and download them while you can.  When we start the new year, the final week of December remains, but we’re moving into a new year and a new rhythm of that year so the entire reading from 2016, the entire readings from all of the Daily Audio Bible for all of these years are available in the Daily Audio Bible Shop, but if you’re just wanting to kind of fill in the blanks and finish off 2016, go ahead and grab those while you can.  Next year we will be beginning, of course, at the book of Genesis and starting the year over with a new focus and a new word that we revealed on the Daily Audio Bible Family Christmas.  That word is ‘margin.’  We’ll kind of dive into that.  So if you haven’t had a chance to listen to Daily Audio Bible Family Christmas yet, make sure that you do, at least the first part of it, because it helps to set up where we’re going next year.  So check those things out.  

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here in the final days of the year, thank you profoundly, deeply, humbly.  There is a link on the home page of www.DailyAudioBible.com.  You can push the More button if you’re using the app.  Or the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.  

Then we’ve been talking about the More Gathering for Women that will take place this April for a little bit here and the advanced pricing for that conference ends on the 31st, so just a couple more days.  Just mentioning it for those of you who have been meaning to check it out.  Please do.

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

Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports

Hi Daily Audio Bible family.  My name is Sarah.  I’ve called before.  Tonight I’m about ready to go to bed and as I usually do, I’ll listen to my Daily Audio Bible as I fall asleep, but I’m told recently that sin, when it is in our heads, is really strong, but when it is let out or shared with others, then it weakens, so let’s pray.  God, thanks for today.  Thank you for the Daily Audio Bible.  I ask that you would give me aloneness to take your thoughts that are true and pure and noble and right and let go of the thoughts that I or Satan like to put in my head.  I ask that you would give me wisdom on how to make good choices in who I befriend and who I talk with in life.  Thank you so much for the Daily Audio Bible family.  I ask that you would do amazing things in and through the people in this group and that you would show us your fingerprints, that you would give us a firm belief that we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Help us to be strong, take heart and wait for you.  It is really hard to do sometimes.  I ask that you would encourage the hearts of the discouraged and those that are contemplating ending their lives, that you would just surge such hope in them and through your word, through anything, you’re a creative God, so that you would just give them a new outlook on life.  Amen.  

Hey Daily Audio Bible family.  This is Becky in Orlando.  I finished listening to the Daily Audio Bible Christmas and it was awesome.  Every year it makes me cry and I rejoice and I just love all of you.  I love the mosaic sound of your voices from all around the world.  I love the variety show of the songs that are being sung, the instruments that are being played, the poems that are being read.  I just love all of you guys like crazy.  Let me tell you, I was so happy to hear from Bill B. this morning, so yeah, I’m so happy to hear that you’re doing well, Bill. If that is the best thing that happens to me all day long, I am going to rejoice in that.  I’m under a little bit of weather right now.  I seemed to have gotten that Christmas cold, so I’m praying that I will recover quickly from that.  I’m also trying to hit my goal for the end of the year right now where I work, so if you guys could pray for me, that would be awesome.  I love you guys like crazy and I look forward to hearing you every day.  I’m finally caught up for the year so I’ll be finishing strong.  Love you lots!  Bye-bye.

Hello, my name is Reyna.  I’ve called a few times before for my children and now I’m calling for myself. I’m battling now with alcoholism. I’m very depressed this season and my youngest son, Vincent, had to leave the house because he got into a confrontation and he still hasn’t spoken to me.  It’s been over a month now and I miss him terribly.  He is 17 and he is living with his father who isn’t a very good influence on him.  Obviously, for whatever reason, now I’m just battling with alcoholism and my oldest son as well.  We are alone at the house and we’re quiet, but we just drink and I just go to sleep. I try to just forget how sad I am. I miss my boyfriend.  We still talk and we have a relationship and God is building a relationship between us, but we live separately now.  My daughter lives with her boyfriend, so it is a very broken home for me right now.  I miss my mother who died years ago but I still miss her terribly.  Pray that God would deliver me from alcoholism.  Thank you.  I love you, Daily Audio Bible family.  I’m so grateful for all of you.  God bless you all.  And I pray for everybody.  I listen to this almost daily and I pray for everyone out there.  God bless.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.  

Hi everyone.  This is Melody from Canada.  I want to respond to a woman who called on December 22 about breaking her daughter’s trust.  Thank you so much for your vulnerability.  Really precious and God treasures that.  And I’m not a mother, but I’m a daughter and one of the most powerful things my mom did for me and still does for me is pray for me.  She made a lot of mistakes.  She broke my trust at times, but she faithfully prayed for me and that has __________.  So encouragement to you to keep praying for your daughter and trusting in the grace of God __________.  Merry Christmas everyone.  

Hello, this is Johnnie from Colorado and I was asking for prayer because we are moving and I just need prayer just to have help with new friends and this new school.  I’m kind of scared.  Just to please have prayer.  I’ll be praying for all you guys.  Thank you, Brian, for all that you do for the Daily Audio Bible.  Thank you.  Okay, bye.

Hey everyone, my name is Kristen.  I’m having a lot of struggles in my marriage.  My husband used to be a follower of Christ and he’s been mixed in a lot of different things.  He is so far from God and it is really, really hard.  I know with God all things are possible and I know that God has a plan to restore our marriage and to bring us back together and I know this, but I need prayer for my strength to stay.  We’re separated right now.  It’s really hard.  And it’s hard for our 10-year-old to go from house to house.  Please, just everybody pray for him and for our son.  Thank you.  God bless.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday December 29, 2016 (NIV)

Zechariah 14

14 Pay attention. The day for the Eternal is coming, a day of judgment when your enemies will plunder your goods and divide them right in front of you. For I am going to incite all the nations to battle against Jerusalem. The city will be surrounded and taken. The houses will be ransacked; all of your treasured possessions will be looted. Your wives and daughters will be raped. Half of the city will be forced into exile. The other half will remain in the city to pick up the pieces. The Eternal One will join in the battle and fight against those enemy nations as your champion as He would on any day of any battle. When that day comes, His feet will stand securely on the Mount of Olives, which sits east of Jerusalem. The mountain will quake under His weight and split in two, divided by a wide valley that runs east to west. Half of the mountain will retreat to the north, the other half to the south. That valley will become your escape route because the valley of My mountains will lead as far as Azel, and you shall run as you ran from the earthquake that hit during the reign of King Uzziah of Judah. Once you are safe, the Eternal my God will come to you with all His holy ones.

On that day, there will be no light, no cold or biting frost. There will be a single, continuous day—a unique kind of day known only to the Eternal One—when night does not eclipse the day and when light shines through the evening. On that day, living waters will stream out of Jerusalem. Half of them will flow to the eastern Dead Sea; the other half will descend the hills and cross the plains to join the western Mediterranean Sea. These waters will flow throughout the dry summer as they do in the wet winter. And the Eternal will be crowned as King over all the earth. On that day, the Eternal will be one and His name will be one. 10 The mountainous land around Jerusalem will be turned into plains from Geba to Rimmon, south of the city. Jerusalem itself will then sit prominently in her place between Benjamin’s gate, the location of the first gate, and the corner gate; she’ll sit between Hananel’s Tower and the royal winepresses. 11 And Jerusalem will remain secure, bustling with residents, because she will never again be destined for destruction.

12 Every nation that attempts to wage war against Jerusalem will be struck with a plague. The Eternal will infect them with a disease making their flesh decay even as they stand, their eyes decay in their sockets, and their tongues decay in their mouths. 13 When that horrible day arrives, the Eternal will provoke them to panic, so that in their confusion they will grab each other for safety and then turn and attack each other. 14 Even Judah will be forced to fight in Jerusalem. And the riches of all the surrounding enemy nations will be gathered together—gold, silver, and costly clothing piled deep. 15 Then the same disease that plagues the enemy forces will infect the horses, mules, camels, donkeys—whatever domesticated animals are in their battle camps.

The day of the Eternal One is coming. It is a day of judgment when a great final battle is fought. Jerusalem and her people are under attack; and the city, it seems, falls to her enemies. But ultimately, God’s people do not fight alone. The Lord comes—commanding the army of heaven—to rescue and defend His people. Ultimately, He is crowned King over all the earth. In that day, Jerusalem is transformed and reinstated as God’s holy city; it becomes the center of the world, the source of life-giving waters. Even her enemies make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship and adore the one True God.

16 In days to come, all people who took up arms against Jerusalem and survived will make a choice: they will either journey to Jerusalem every year to keep the Feast of Booths and to worship the King—the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies— 17 or the families of nations will refuse the journey to Jerusalem to adore the King, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. The rains will never come to those who refuse the journey. 18 Even the family of people known as Egypt, if they do not come up to and travel through the gates of Jerusalem to present themselves to God, the Eternal will afflict them with the same plague of drought He’ll use to crush those nations who won’t keep the Feast of Booths. 19 This is the punishment Egypt and the enemy nations can expect if they refuse the journey to keep the Feast of Booths.

20 On that day, every aspect of the land will be ritually pure. Engraved on the bells worn by horses will be the same phrase on the high priest’s turban: “Sacred to the Eternal One.” The cooking pots used in the house of the Eternal will be as sacred as those collection bowls used at the altar. 21 In fact every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be treated as sacred to the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, so that anyone who offers a sacrifice may borrow them and use them to boil the meat of the sacrifice. In that day, no merchant[a] will be found in the temple of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:21 Literally, Canaanite
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Revelation 20

In one of the final, decisive battles, the rider on the white horse leads the armies of heaven against the enemy armies of the beast and the false prophet. His enemies are easily defeated, and the beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire. When the battle is over, the rider known as “King of kings and Lord of lords” turns His attention to the dragon.

20 Then I saw a messenger coming from heaven. In his hand was a key to the abyss and a great chain that had been forged in heaven. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years with the great chain. The messenger cast him into the abyss and locked it and sealed him in it so that he could not go about deceiving the nations until the 1,000 years had come to completion. Afterward he must be released for a short time.

Then I saw some thrones, and those seated in judgment were given the right to judge. Standing there were the souls of those who were beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and the word of God. They had refused to worship the beast or its detestable image and had not received the mark upon their foreheads or upon their hands. They had come back to life and reigned with the Anointed One, our Liberating King, for 1,000 years. Now as for the rest of the dead, they were not given life until the 1,000 years were completed. This is the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy are the ones who take part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power; they will serve as priests of God and His Anointed, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years.

When the 1,000 years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison. And he will crawl out of the abyss in order to deceive the nations located at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog[a] as Ezekiel described them, in order to rally them together for one final battle. They are in number as the grains of sand on the shore. They marched in unholy array over the expanse of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. As they laid siege to the city, fire rained down from heaven and incinerated them. 10 And the devil who had deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and the unholy trio will be tortured day and night throughout the ages.

Since the beginning, Satan, the dragon, has brought trouble on all the sons and daughters of Adam. Now John sees the truth of his destiny. Ultimately the one who brings such pain and sorrow upon the world will be bound and thrown into the lake of fire. But evil is not easily defeated; John watches as he mounts one last, futile attack against God’s people and His beloved. Never again will he raise his ugly head against those who remain faithful to the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.

11 The scene changed. I saw a great white throne, and One was seated upon it. The earth and heaven receded from His presence; there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in front of the throne. Some books were opened. Then another book was opened; it was called the book of life. And the dead were judged according to what had been recorded in the first books; these were the records of everything they had done. 13 And the sea surrendered its dead. Death and Hades gave up their dead as well. And all were judged according to their works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And everyone whose name could not be found among the names written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:8 Ezekiel 38–39
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 148

Psalm 148

Praise the Eternal!
All you in the heavens, praise the Eternal;
praise Him from the highest places!
All you, His messengers and His armies in heaven:
praise Him!
Sun, moon, and all you brilliant stars above:
praise Him!
Highest heavens and all you waters above the heavens:
praise Him!

Let all things join together in a concert of praise to the name of the Eternal,
for He gave the command and they were created.
He put them in their places to stay forever—
He declared it so, and it is final.

Everything on earth, join in and praise the Eternal;
sea monsters and creatures of the deep,
Lightning and hail, snow and foggy mists,
violent winds all respond to His command.

Mountains and hills,
fruit trees and cedar forests,
10 All you animals both wild and tame,
reptiles and birds who take flight:
praise the Lord.

11 All kings and all nations,
princes and all judges of the earth,
12 All people, young men and women,
old men and children alike,
praise the Lord.

13 Let them all praise the name of the Eternal!
For His name stands alone above all others.
His glory shines greater than anything above or below.
14 He has made His people strong;
He is the praise of all who are godly,
the praise of the children of Israel, those whom He holds close.
Praise the Eternal!

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,
and defend all those who have been passed over.
Open your mouth, judge fairly,
and stand up for the rights of the afflicted and the poor.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.