Daniel 11:2-35 ~ 1 John 3:7-24 ~ Psalm 122:1-9 ~ Proverbs 29:1
Today is the 3rd day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you for the last day in Jerusalem and for the last day on this particular pilgrimage to the land of the Bible. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here with you and it is quite a day today. And it was quite a day yesterday. I’ll tell you about that in a little bit, but let’s center ourselves now and take that deep breath and exhale and step away from the cares of life and the hustle and bustle that is beginning to surround us for the holidays and orient ourselves to God through his word.
So as we end another week, we will be reading from the New Living Translation which is what we’ve read from this entire week. Diving back into the book of Daniel, today chapter 11 verses 2 through 35.
Father, as we prepare to end our time here in the land of the Bible, the scriptures are as poignant as ever. So as we are here in the city of Jerusalem, we mimic the scriptures together. We pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say may you have peace. For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem. May it be so. In the victorious name of the Risen Christ we ask, amen.
So yesterday, yesterday was a fight for everything that we got. We had been kind of skirting rain that was coming in and had been able to, for some reason, be in the right place at the right time until yesterday. Yesterday there was nowhere we could go. It rained and then it rained some more and then it rained some more.
So yesterday we boarded security buses to go to some of the places that we were going to go and the first stop out of Jerusalem was to head northward all the way to the top of Mount Gerizim. Mount Gerizim, of course, scripturally is the Mount of Blessing. If you remember when Joshua led the children of Israel across the Jordan River and into this land, they made their way to Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, the Mount of Blessing, the Mount of Cursing, and they recited the blessings of the covenant and the curses of breaking the covenant. This is where Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
So we got to the top of Mount Gerizim in the pouring rain and it being on the top of a mountain, it is completely exposed, so the pouring rain blowing sideways with the wind in the clouds so that everything, everything was obscured. The view from Mount Gerizim is actually spectacular and the biblical history, the crossroads of what happens right there on the mountain and right beneath it, because just at the base of the mountain is ancient Shechem, so much history in that place that can be seen from this one location. So we made the effort, a long bus ride to get there, only to be in the clouds and in the sideways blowing wind and rain.
It was an interesting thing because maybe one of the more profound moments for me personally on this journey happened in that. As we’re moving on our way, I’m like, “Lord, clear the sky. We need to see this, Lord. Lord, just give us a few minutes.” And we got to the top of the mountain and it was absolutely just socked in. We’re praying for this to clear and I just felt like the Lord was saying, “I’m in this. I’m in this.” I just had to kind of reset my expectations, which is what we continually have to do in our lives. And I felt like okay, okay, whoever wants to go and get out in this, we’re going.
About half of us, I guess, got off that bus and got out into that and just kind of stepped to the side where we could see just a little bit and stood there and worshipped God and just considered the fact that he led them with a fire by night and a cloud by day and here we were, standing at the top of the Mount of Blessing. Rain in this land is a sign of blessing and we just said, “Here we are, God. Whatever it is, here we are. We are socked in in our lives lots of times where we do not know where to go because we cannot see in front of us. We do not know. But we’re going to remember we stood here and we surrendered ourselves to you on this Mount of Blessing. We stood here. Here we are before you and we will follow you and this wind may blow and this rain may chill us to the bone, but we will not be shaken. You are good. You are God and we love you and we will serve you.”
We just spent some time right there letting it all blow, letting it all swirl, just being present to it all. It was good. It’s been a tough year for lots of people. So to just stand there in the thick of it, in the thick of the storm, knowing our feet were planted at the top of the Mount of Blessing was really rich, really different than what was planned, but really truly memorable. I will never forget that moment and I’m grateful for it.
So we made our way back to the buses, cold, wet, but full inside and just kind of shared the things that happened there. Shechem is just a crossroads. So many biblical things happened there. It is such an important place, so we just reviewed some of that before making our way down from the mountain and back southward toward Jerusalem with a stop at the ancient city of Shiloh.
Shiloh, of course, is the place where the Tabernacle was set up in a semi-permanent way as the children of Israel were conquering and settling the promised land. This was the heart of worship. It was there as the center for almost four centuries.
And the rain came and they rain went and the rain came and the rain went. So a little reprieve and we got soaked again, but we fought for it and we got what we got. We got to be in that location and understand it and understand what happened there and why and how and just see the extent of the ruins dating all the way back to the Judge and Prophet Samuel’s time.
We climbed back on the bus wet, chilled to the bone, but having accomplished what we came to do. Then we made our way to lunch and a beautiful lunch it was. There is a lovey winery in the area that we have visited in the past. They just set a table before us and it was warm and it was dry. It was delicious. It was rich as a community to share in this meal. Yeah, beautiful, beautiful indeed. So a wonderful stepping out of all the cold and rain and lunchtime.
Then we got back on the buses and went to Nebi Samwil. This is the gravesite, the tomb of the Prophet Samuel. So having just been in Shiloh where Samuel was brought by his mother Hannah because she had promised the Lord that if she were to have a son, she would give him back to God, and she did. So we ended up where he is buried. This is also the place that we can go that overlooks ancient Gibeah, Gibeah of Saul. We reviewed the story of the Tribe of Benjamin and its near demise. I mean, there was an incident that happened that caused 11 tribes to move against the one tribe of Benjamin and nearly annihilated them completely. But it is also a story of redemption because it was from the Tribe of Benjamin that the first king of Israel, Saul, came from. So we just kind of reviewed all of that even though it was raining, even though it was cold, even though we were out there in the thick of it exposed. We were able to fight for what we got. That is what it was, just kind of fighting, contending for it. Easily the preference on a pilgrimage like this and in life is for every day to be sunny and good, but there are days that you have to stand firm and weather it, and that is exactly what we did. We weathered it.
And then we moved our way into Jerusalem for the final stop of the day which was at the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, for a time of prayer. Most people, having weathered what we weathered, wanted to pray. It was wet and they were rained upon and they were blown upon and they stood firm.
So that is how that day went. I can remember one other time being in Israel getting kind of soaked. It happened at Caesarea Maritima, on the ocean. Just absolutely drenched. But yesterday was a day like no other, a day I won’t forget. A hard day. A good day. A rich day. A day that mimics life at times with the constant rain. It only briefly let up here and there and watered the ground and blessed the people and we were out in the middle of it.
So today is our final day. Many, many of those who have journeyed all the way here will be leaving late tonight for late night flights back to all points around the world.
We will be retracing the final days of Jesus today. So we continue to thank you for your prayers, stamina, health, weather, flights, technology, all of it. Continue to cover us as we all begin to make our way back to where we’ve got to go. Me, myself personally, we have an early morning flight tomorrow to make our way back to the rolling hills of Tennessee. So we thank you and covet your prayers.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what is going on around here and it is the Christmas Box that is going on around here. It is chockful of resources that we’ve arranged and packed it full for you, stuff in there that you’ll want to keep, stuff in there that you’ll want to give away and you can see it all at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Shop. You are encouraged, if it is something that you’re interested in, to go ahead and grab it. We sell out of them every year, so go ahead and grab them while we have them.
I would also like to announce the women’s conference that we will be having – The More Gathering for Women – this coming April, so April 2017. We announce it at this time because it is just a fantastic gift idea. If you’re looking for a way to bring life to the woman in your life, then consider this, the More Gathering. Right now until the end of the year, we have advance pricing that goes away at the end of the year for those of you who are wanting to kind of take advantage of it as a gift. We try to do everything we can to make it as accessible as possible. You can check the entire thing out, all the details about it that you would want to know at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Initiatives section. You’ll find The More Gathering there, or even in the Events section. If you’re looking around you won’t miss it. You can read all about it. That is available.
Man, we meet so many women who are like, “I didn’t know. My husband got this for me for Christmas. I didn’t know how Jesus was going to come for me. I didn’t know that this was going to be more than a trip and it has been so rich.” So More Gathering 2017 is now available for registration at www.DailyAudioBible.com.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at www.DailyAudioBible.com. There is a link. It is sitting right on the home page where it lives and I thank you humbly, profoundly, deeply for your partnership here at the end of the year. If you use the Daily Audio Bible App, you can press the More button in the lower right-hand corner or, if you prefer, the mailing address is 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.
And that is it for today. I’m Brian. I love you. I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Eyes wide with wonder, the world is big and small. A picture of perfection scarred, askew since Adam’s fall. Ears open to the gospel, the words come right from him. If only we would hear them, our lights would never dim. Hearts of humble servants, our neighbor waiting to hear the hopeful song we carry that takes away our fear. Arms waiting for the helpless, the ones who need a hand, the people who we were ourselves, are saved just as he planned. A life that speaks His story, lived out from day to day, we’re waiting on his mercy, He shows it when we pray. A love that is only holy, a God who knows our frame. A grace that is unfurled for a sinner Jesus saves.
Hi DAB family. This is Christy, English missionary to the Philippines. I haven’t called in more than a year I think it is, but I have been listening with you all every day. Last year I called in for prayer for Jerry. Jerry is a Christian inmate in one of the jails we visit weekly here in the Philippines. He’s been in jail now for more than 20 years just waiting for his trial to come to an end. Last year when I called in he was seriously ill and gone blind with TB so that was an additional problem to having this terrible situation. So praise God for answered prayer. Jerry has been healed of his TB so we praise God for that and praise God too that his long wait is coming to an end. His case, he’s been accused of finding jobs for people abroad illegally but at last, on December 7th the judge will pronounce her verdict, __________ on December 7th, so we’re praying for God to pour out his mercy and grace and set Jerry free in time for Christmas. So we would be really grateful if all our DAB family would join us to pray for this. I told Jerry that you will all be praying all over the world just to let him know he’s not alone in this. So again just thank you all for just being there, having an ear to hear and being willing to offer up a prayer for others in need. So thanks again DAB family. Love you all. God bless. Bye.
Hi. This is Not Shaken. I called a while back about my son Brian. And I just wanted to say that I really appreciate all the prayers. They were wonderful and I do see, even if I do sound bad, I do see some movement forward that God is working in his life. We tried to have him over for Thanksgiving and he became verbally abusive to the point with his language sounding like the devil was talking to me himself. He became so violent in his words and slammed a piece of furniture down that we actually had to call 911 to come and make him leave. He has just become extremely self-centered and paranoid and to people that he loves he just treats disgracefully. It’s frightening. I wanted to say that even though that sounds terrible, I feel like God is really working on this and I’m so thankful to those of you who prayed. Victorious Soldier, thank you. You prayed twice. And Arjen prayed and I know many others pray along with me so I’m not alone. Well, I have my family. We are not alone. I also wanted to pray for a sister’s son Vincent who became abusive with his mother and is now living with his drug-abusing father. I also wanted to pray for my sister’s son Chris who is also addicted. I’m just praying a curse on the very thought of drugs and alcohol, that it will make them so sick to even think about it that they won’t ever touch it again.
Hello DAB family. This is Chante calling from Detroit and I am calling in because I need everyone’s prayers like never before. Basically I am being pressed on every side right now, from home to work to cub scouts. There is so much coming at me that it is allowing me to just really press into God and I was just reading in Psalm 78:34 and it says whenever God slew them, they would seek him. And it has taken me to this place of seeking God like never before which I’m thankful for, but I really wish I could get to the point where I would seek him like never before in those seasons where there aren’t any trials or it’s not as hard. I need your prayers with cub scouts. We have a meeting this week. We don’t have an activity and we need help with that. I am now transitioning to the __________ department and there is a lot of hostility in my company in general and there is a lot of slander that is going on. I am sort of concerned that I’ll be taking on the brunt of the slander myself, that my name will be slandered if I don’t perform the way that they want me to perform. And also we need repairs to our furnace. We’re praising God that we’ve had such mild weather that we’ve been able to really not need it that much, so I’m thankful for that, but we still just…
Hi family, this is Pastor Gene from Bradenton, FL. I love you guys. Working my way up. Have a big backload but working on it and praying with all of you guys. Just a shout-out to specific people. Jean, I’m praying for your daughter and her addiction. Jen the Warrior Princess, I have been praying for Abbie and for a special touch of God over her life. Cherry C., I love you. Chante, thank you for your joyful spirit every time you call. __________, you are in college and are asking for opportunity to serve and just turned 21 years old. Congratulations! I’m so glad that you are walking with Christ and that you are trying to serve. That is a prayer the Lord will answer. And I just love you guys. I’m praying with each one of your prayer requests even if I’m not calling although I am going to start calling probably more often. I am starting to go back to work, back into the fire as the Lord asked me on December 5th, so I cherish your prayers for strength and full health. I take a step of faith and go back to this place because I need to work and I need the income and I’m the sole breadwinner in my house. Thank you for praying for the work of the __________ which continues to advance the kingdom. I love you guys. Brian, thank you. Thank you that this __________ that even when we are in exile, as Jeremiah 29:11 says, we can still trust our God, that the plans he has for us are to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future. That is God’s plan for all of us. Love you guys. Pastor Gene from Bradenton, FL. Bye-bye.
Hello Daily Audio Bible. This is Pam from Oklahoma. I’m a first year listener and a first time caller. When I heard Teri from Missouri call in about her baby sister who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer I knew I had to call. I should have called sooner and I apologize for that, Teri. A little over six years ago I lost my sister when she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and I was the baby sister in this case. She was my best friend and I could hear that same pain of possibly losing a best friend in your voice, but I want you to be encouraged. There are so many advancements that have been made in lung cancer now that stage IV is no longer a death sentence and I know that with prayer and faith your sister can beat this. Keep up your faith and your prayers and trust that God will always deliver. Please know that I will be praying for you daily and I’m sure all of your Daily Audio Bible family will be and we’ll be lifting you and Baby Sister up in prayer. Thank you.