Zephaniah 1:1-3:20 ~ Revelation 10:1-11 ~ Psalm 138:1-8 ~ Proverbs 30:11-14
Today is the 19th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you this lovely Christmas week that is certain to be full of busyness and it even kind of gets busy in the Bible as we move through quite a few books. Today is no different. Today we’ll be reading an entire book in the Old Testament as we move our way toward the end of the year. Of course, in the New Testament we are in the final book of the New Testament, the book of Revelation, but in the Old Testament we’ve come to the book of Zephaniah.
Introduction of a New Book (Old Testament)
The book of Zephaniah is also a book that is part of the books of minor prophesy contained in the Old Testament. It is written in full in three chapters which we’ll read today. Although the prophetic word is for the children of Israel, it is also a call to repentance for all the surrounding nations and even the whole world.
Zephaniah contains similar themes to some of the other books of prophesy. It announces the impending judgment of God. It is a call to repentance and a declaration of restoration. God always restores. And even though these words were uttered and transcribed in the 7th century BC, we can look at them through the lens of the 21st century AD and find dramatic relevance there. If we change the names and places, things look remarkably now as they did then, which is the case in so much of the Bible as it becomes this mirror into our souls.
So we begin Zephaniah chapter 1 verse 1 through 3:20 today, the entire book of Zephaniah, and we’re reading from the Holman Christian Bible this week.
So as we’ve been moving through these minor prophets and are kind of moving toward the final book in the Old Testament as we near the end of the year, I hope you’re seeing the arc that is contained in all of the books of prophesy. Some of the books of prophesy are longer and we’ve been through them, so the development of the story takes a little longer, but in these minor prophets, things we can read in one sitting, you see it completely where there is injustice and abandonment of the relationship, the intertwining of God and man that is broken and mankind moving in completely inappropriate and destructive directions.
God comes and says this is not going to work and if you continue on this path, I’m going to make sure it doesn’t work because this is totally not the way it is supposed to be at all, not as individuals, not as people groups and tribes, not as nations. It is not moving in the right direction. It is moving in the wrong direction. So I will come and judge this. I will come and break it apart because it is total annihilation waiting to happen. I will break this down. I’m not putting up with this. But I will take you back. I still love you. You have cheated on me beyond description, but I cannot not love you. I do love you. I will take you back if you will return to me, if you will come home, if you will come back and live faithfully. I will restore everything that you have made a mess of, things that I cannot allow to continue because of the evil that you are creating, but if you come back, if you return to me, I will take you back and I will restore everything.
That is the arc of all of the prophets. That is the arc of the whole Bible and it can be incredibly helpful in the arc of our own story. We can locate ourselves in these stories very specifically at times and kind of know where we are, which begins to explain all of the things around us and what we are going through. But it doesn’t matter where we are in the continuum, we are always headed toward redemption if we will return to God. We will only ever be heading toward restoration if we will return and be faithful to the Lord who will not surrender us and will keep coming and coming for us. Then if we will return, if we will repent, if we will come home and come back and live in a faithful relationship that is collaborative, we will be heading toward wholeness the whole time. We’ve pointed these things out along the way, but I was just noticing it in reading the prophet Zephaniah today. I was seeing it once again and it was just leaping out to me. I’m bringing it up to us. Even as we come to the end of the year, may we notice the arc in our own lives and even as we approach the New Year, may we go into it understanding this. It is one of the beautiful ways that the scriptures stay so dynamic and so relevant in our lives.
Father, we are deeply, deeply grateful and now that we’ve spent another almost year in the scriptures, we see once again this is not a thick book of mysteries that no one can decipher. It is a dynamic book that is alive and can speak into our identity. It can go so deep that it goes down to what is only true of us. So we invite you, Holy Spirit, to plant these words into our hearts and minds that they may affect everything about us, mind, body and spirit. Come Jesus, we pray in your precious and powerful name, amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com, that is home base and that is where you find out what is going on around here, so be sure to stay connected. The Prayer Wall is there and people are praying all of the time, so check that out.
Other ways to stay connected, like I mentioned yesterday, one great way would be the Daily Audio Bible Friends Facebook page. So just look for DAB Friends and there is a conversation that is continually there. There is like always somebody around, so that is a beautiful thing, as well as the Daily Audio Bible Facebook page which would be www.Facebook.com/DailyAudioBible. So be sure those are on your list if you do social media. Check that out.
The date for Christmas shipping from Daily Audio Bible has come and gone, but the More Gathering for Women, that has not come and gone. That is coming. That is coming this April. I’ve been talking about it. That is something that you can still consider as a very, very unique Christmas opportunity for the woman or women in your lives. You can find the information about it that you would want to know at www.DailyAudioBible.com. You’ll find the More Gathering. It is pretty easy. It is hard to miss. All of the details are there, so check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here in the last days of the year, thank you so much. Thank you so much. We are a community and we’ve never been anything but this, so thank you for your partnership in allowing Daily Audio Bible to keep all the servers spinning out the spoken word of God to anyone who will listen to it, anywhere no matter what is going on in life, anytime no matter where you are in the world. So there is a link for that at www.DailyAudioBible.com on the home page. It can be found in the app if you push the More button that lives in the lower right-hand corner of the app. Then if you like the mail the best, 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, that is the number to dial.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian kind of moving through Christmas week just like you are. It’s lovely to have each other. Really. Really lovely to have each other this time of year and move through this together and keep the rhythm of God’s word in our lives even in some of the busiest days of the year. So that’s it for today. I’m Brian. I love you and I will be here waiting for you tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hi everyone. This is Mary Jo in St. Louis. This message is for my friend Paul in Barcelona. I just wanted to tell you that I am praying for the people in Syria and I confess that it is easy in our lives to get caught up in our own little worlds and our own little prayer concerns, but on the Israel trip we were at the very north top of Israel and we stood on a mountaintop and looked over into Syria and Brian led us in a prayer, to stretch our hands and pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria. I have to tell you that the Spirit of God moved over me in such a powerful way and ever since then I continue to pray for them. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t see responses on social media or on the prayer line. You do have brothers and sisters praying along with you. And that is for everyone. Love you all. God bless.
Hello Daily Audio Bible. This is Dawn in Piney Flats, TN. I’m calling with a prayer request for my son, Tyler D. I’m asking for some serious prayer because he is just really at a point in his life where he is completely mixed up. I don’t know what to say. I have two other children and they are not anything like him at all. He has got some major issues and problems. He’s been into a home a couple of different times for schizophrenia and he’s heard voices. I mean, I don’t even know if it’s real. I don’t even know anymore. I can’t believe anything that he says. He can’t come home. He’s 22 and he can’t come home anymore, can’t be around his other siblings, which completely breaks my heart to pieces, that I can’t even have any contact with my own son. He calls and leaves messages on our phone. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even talk to him. It’s just hard to explain. I know there are probably a lot of moms out there that think I’m terrible, but it is just… I believe it is demonic possession and that is why I’m asking for prayer. Daily Audio Bible family, just please pray for Tyler D. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to pray.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. My name is Dennis from the Seattle, WA area. This is my first time calling in. I’ve just started listening within the last couple of weeks and I’m so blessed by this ministry. I have a couple of needs that I would like to share. On October 14th of this year, one day after my wife and I celebrated 26 years of marriage, we got word that my wife’s brother was killed in a double homicide. It’s an unsolved mystery. We don’t have any real suspects on who did this. Fortunately, my wife’s brother knew the Lord. He’s home with Jesus and we’re thankful and praising God for that, but we are praying for justice for these two families that were affected and that the love of God would touch each member of these families that continues to grieve the loss of their loved one. Then secondly, I was laid off from my work of 16 years in the wireless industry earlier this year and I’ve been really struggling to find gainful employment and really, although I’m trusting the Lord for his provision and I know that he is always the one that takes care of us and meets our needs, it’s becoming challenging financially and just stressful on my wife and my relationship, so I’m just praying that God would direct me appropriately to the job and the industry that he has for me in his timing, that he is ultimately sovereign and in charge of this whole situation, but that he would __________ me financially and otherwise and help us to just rest in him and be a wonderful witness to the people around us so that we can continue to persevere in faith. So I’m just praying for those two things and I’m lifting up all of you that I hear daily on these broadcasts, just the many needs around the world. I praise God for all of you and thank you for this ministry. In Jesus’ name. Bye-bye.
This is Candace from Oregon. I want to send my greetings to the mom and dad in southwest Florida that have a son named Danny whose dad says we need a 1000 prayers, 1000 people to pray, and I’m one of them. Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for all that Danny has already accomplished in his life and all the traction that is going to be giving him as he moves forward, but it is really perplexing sometimes to know how to move forward, so we pray, Lord, that you will give him inspiration, that you will just light a fire in his heart for something that you have for him, Lord. I pray this as well for my son who is just two years older than Danny and is in a transition point knowing that he has to move on now to whatever this next thing is. Be with them, Lord, in Jesus’ name, and be with Pelham and Molly, Pelham in particular as he wants so much to be the dad that you want him to be, Lord. We agree with Pelham in this request, in Jesus’ name.
Hi, this is Bonnie from Virginia. I wanted to request you all to pray for my Vivek. His sentencing hearing is on this December 21st at 9 a.m. We are hoping to have him back home, that judge could grant him mercy since this is his first crime. It is really sad at home right now. I’m not even excited about the Christmas season because my son is not with me. If he could get out on that day and we could have him in the house with us during the Christmastime, that would be a big, big Christmas gift for me. Also pray that his dad found out about him being in jail and so he is now trying to reach out to show his love towards my son, but his dad is still accusing me for our separation, but I don’t know why he does not understand that he was the one who started having affairs with the other woman and has now his own other family with his wife and two children. It is really hard in this situation, having my son in jail and my ex-husband accusing me. Please do pray for us and help me to trust in God. Thank you and I really appreciate your prayers. Bye.
Hi everybody. This is Alicia from Kansas. Happy Friday. It’s December 16th. I want to call and mention a few names. Anthony, you called and talked about the seizures you’re experiencing from withdrawing from a medication. As a psych nurse and as a person who had to be detoxed off of probably the same medication, it took them a year to taper me off the drug to avoid seizures, so they had to put me back on the medication. You’re going to be in my prayers. Again, it took a year for them to taper me off of it, but I will be praying for this. Pastor Gene, thank you so much for your prayer. You are in my prayers also and on my list. Byron, you called with a word for Jordan: God loves you. Sometimes I’m so ashamed to call in because I’m having such a struggle right now, but Byron, your words were just beautiful. Jordan, I hope you heard them. I know I did. Biola, it’s always just a blessing to hear you, to hear you pray and for my brother with the 12-year-old daughter with a porn addiction and you’ve got a porn addiction, I think alcohol, and a son with an eating disorder. My prayers are with you. I’ve been through all of those because of my own childhood abuse issues and being handed pornography at the innocent age of 5 years old. Just know I’m praying for you all. Brian, today your message was so powerful. I’m going to actually listen to it again. I’m so very grateful that I can come here and even though I don’t see you all, I just believe and have faith that you’re praying just like I’m praying for you. God bless. Everybody have a great weekend. Bye-bye.