The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday August 31, 2017 (NIV)

Job 37-39

37 “My heart pounds as I think of this.
It trembles within me.
Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice
as it rolls from his mouth.
It rolls across the heavens,
and his lightning flashes in every direction.
Then comes the roaring of the thunder—
the tremendous voice of his majesty.
He does not restrain it when he speaks.
God’s voice is glorious in the thunder.
We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power.

“He directs the snow to fall on the earth
and tells the rain to pour down.
Then everyone stops working
so they can watch his power.
The wild animals take cover
and stay inside their dens.
The stormy wind comes from its chamber,
and the driving winds bring the cold.
10 God’s breath sends the ice,
freezing wide expanses of water.
11 He loads the clouds with moisture,
and they flash with his lightning.
12 The clouds churn about at his direction.
They do whatever he commands throughout the earth.
13 He makes these things happen either to punish people
or to show his unfailing love.

14 “Pay attention to this, Job.
Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
15 Do you know how God controls the storm
and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
16 Do you understand how he moves the clouds
with wonderful perfection and skill?
17 When you are sweltering in your clothes
and the south wind dies down and everything is still,
18 he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror.
Can you do that?

19 “So teach the rest of us what to say to God.
We are too ignorant to make our own arguments.
20 Should God be notified that I want to speak?
Can people even speak when they are confused?[a]
21 We cannot look at the sun,
for it shines brightly in the sky
when the wind clears away the clouds.
22 So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God.[b]
He is clothed in dazzling splendor.
23 We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty;
but even though he is just and righteous,
he does not destroy us.
24 No wonder people everywhere fear him.
All who are wise show him reverence.[c]

The Lord Challenges Job

38 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

“Who is this that questions my wisdom
with such ignorant words?
Brace yourself like a man,
because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions
and stretched out the surveying line?
What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[d] shouted for joy?

“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
10 For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
11 I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
Here your proud waves must stop!’

12 “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
13 Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?
14 As the light approaches,
the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
it is robed in brilliant colors.[e]
15 The light disturbs the wicked
and stops the arm that is raised in violence.

16 “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
Have you explored their depths?
17 Do you know where the gates of death are located?
Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
18 Do you realize the extent of the earth?
Tell me about it if you know!

19 “Where does light come from,
and where does darkness go?
20 Can you take each to its home?
Do you know how to get there?
21 But of course you know all this!
For you were born before it was all created,
and you are so very experienced!

22 “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of hail?
23 (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war.)
24 Where is the path to the source of light?
Where is the home of the east wind?

25 “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?
Who laid out the path for the lightning?
26 Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
in a desert where no one lives?
27 Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
and make the tender grass spring up?

28 “Does the rain have a father?
Who gives birth to the dew?
29 Who is the mother of the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
30 For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,
and the surface of the water freezes.

31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars—
binding the cluster of the Pleiades
or loosening the cords of Orion?
32 Can you direct the constellations through the seasons
or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?
33 Do you know the laws of the universe?
Can you use them to regulate the earth?

34 “Can you shout to the clouds
and make it rain?
35 Can you make lightning appear
and cause it to strike as you direct?
36 Who gives intuition to the heart
and instinct to the mind?
37 Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
38 when the parched ground is dry
and the soil has hardened into clods?

39 “Can you stalk prey for a lioness
and satisfy the young lions’ appetites
40 as they lie in their dens
or crouch in the thicket?
41 Who provides food for the ravens
when their young cry out to God
and wander about in hunger?

The Lord’s Challenge Continues

39 “Do you know when the wild goats give birth?
Have you watched as deer are born in the wild?
Do you know how many months they carry their young?
Are you aware of the time of their delivery?
They crouch down to give birth to their young
and deliver their offspring.
Their young grow up in the open fields,
then leave home and never return.

“Who gives the wild donkey its freedom?
Who untied its ropes?
I have placed it in the wilderness;
its home is the wasteland.
It hates the noise of the city
and has no driver to shout at it.
The mountains are its pastureland,
where it searches for every blade of grass.

“Will the wild ox consent to being tamed?
Will it spend the night in your stall?
10 Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow?
Will it plow a field for you?
11 Given its strength, can you trust it?
Can you leave and trust the ox to do your work?
12 Can you rely on it to bring home your grain
and deliver it to your threshing floor?

13 “The ostrich flaps her wings grandly,
but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth,
letting them be warmed in the dust.
15 She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them
or a wild animal might destroy them.
16 She is harsh toward her young,
as if they were not her own.
She doesn’t care if they die.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom.
He has given her no understanding.
18 But whenever she jumps up to run,
she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.

19 “Have you given the horse its strength
or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Did you give it the ability to leap like a locust?
Its majestic snorting is terrifying!
21 It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength
when it charges out to battle.
22 It laughs at fear and is unafraid.
It does not run from the sword.
23 The arrows rattle against it,
and the spear and javelin flash.
24 It paws the ground fiercely
and rushes forward into battle when the ram’s horn blows.
25 It snorts at the sound of the horn.
It senses the battle in the distance.
It quivers at the captain’s commands and the noise of battle.

26 “Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar
and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle rises
to the heights to make its nest?
28 It lives on the cliffs,
making its home on a distant, rocky crag.
29 From there it hunts its prey,
keeping watch with piercing eyes.
30 Its young gulp down blood.
Where there’s a carcass, there you’ll find it.”

Footnotes:

  1. 37:20 Or speak without being swallowed up?
  2. 37:22 Or from the north; or from the abode.
  3. 37:24 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads He is not impressed by the wise.
  4. 38:7 Hebrew the sons of God.
  5. 38:14 Or its features stand out like folds in a robe.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10

13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”[a] 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,[b] will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[c] being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

New Bodies

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.[d] While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:13 Ps 116:10.
  2. 4:14 Some manuscripts read who raised Jesus.
  3. 4:16 Greek our inner being is.
  4. 5:3 Greek we will not be naked.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 44:9-26

But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor.
You no longer lead our armies to battle.
10 You make us retreat from our enemies
and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
11 You have butchered us like sheep
and scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your precious people for a pittance,
making nothing on the sale.
13 You let our neighbors mock us.
We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us the butt of their jokes;
they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15 We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
shame is written across our faces.
16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
All we see are our vengeful enemies.

17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
We have not strayed from your path.
19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
You have covered us with darkness and death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
21 God would surely have known it,
for he knows the secrets of every heart.
22 But for your sake we are killed every day;
we are being slaughtered like sheep.

23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Get up! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you look the other way?
Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
25 We collapse in the dust,
lying face down in the dirt.
26 Rise up! Help us!
Ransom us because of your unfailing love.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 22:13

13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there!
If I go outside, I might be killed!”

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


8/09/2017 DAB Transcript

Ezra 8:21-9:15; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Psalms 31:1-8; Proverbs 21:1-2

Today is the 9th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. I am thrilled to be here with you today for the next step forward in the scriptures as we passed the halfway point of this week. We’re reading from the Good News translation and we’re working our way through the story of the return of the exiles back to Jerusalem and all the obstacles that they had to overcome as we move through the book of Ezra, which is not that long. We will finish it tomorrow. But we’re not there yet. We’re here. We’re today. Ezra chapter 8 verse 21 through 9:15 and we’re reading from the Good News translation this week.

Commentary:

Ok. So, some heavy stuff going on in both Old and New Testaments and they are remarkably linked together and generate the same kind of shock and awe among the writers, Ezra and Paul. So, we’re going to have to go a little bit theological here. And, look, I love theology. That is what I studied. But also, I understand that the worship of theology, like the trying to tweak out your theology to get it more perfect and thinking that that is actually pulling you deeper into relationship with God, because you’re tweaking what you believe, just constantly tinkering with that. I don’t think that’s a replacement for a relationship with God. In fact, I think I would go further than to say I don’t think that. I would say, it’s not, which is precisely the premise of my book, Reframe - From The God We’ve Made To God With Us. However, even in that work, I acknowledge that, look, theology is the framework. It’s the studs in the wall that hold the walls up. And, so, especially in First Corinthians, we reach this particular passage where there’s some really weird stuff going on, that we’ll talk about in a second, that to understand what Paul is instructing, you have to have a theological underpinning. But more than a theological underpinning, a social and cultural underpinning and an understanding who Paul is writing to and what is going on there, in that spot, at that time. That matters. If you want you explanation of Jesus to be correct, you’re unpacking of the whole thing, your understanding and explanation of the whole thing to be correct, while acknowledging that a number of things, lots and lots and lots and lots of things in the bible have been theologically debated and wrestled with all along. And devout, completely gifted, and sold out theologians who were completely in pursuit of God have arrived at different conclusions or nuanced understandings. That is normal. And it’s not new. It’s, like, old. Super, super old. And this has always been going on. In fact, it is a part of the Jewish tradition from which our faith in Jesus comes. Israel means the one who wrestles with God. And that is a part of their DNA, to approach the scriptures and wrestle with them and allow them to go inside and disrupt things and wrestle with things and come together around the ideas that are brought up because the bible, as we all know because we’ve been going through it every day since beginning of the year, the bible becomes a mirror and it brings up things in our own life that aren’t necessarily explicit on the page. The Holy Spirit surfaces things. So, let’s take a look. Go back Ezra and the people have gone into exile. We watched all this happen. The northern and the southern kingdoms disintegrated. The ten tribes of the north of Israel fell to the Assyrians and disappeared from history. Judah and Benjamin were conquered by the Babylonians and taken into exile. And Ezra is us watching them be able to come back, come back to a Jerusalem that has been completely destroyed and begin putting rock upon rock to rebuild the temple. But let’s go back to before there were northern and southern tribes. Let’s go all the way back to the other side of the Jordan river when we’re just with Moses. And you remember that, when we got cross the Jordan river and finally be in the promised land with these guys. One of the reasons that they were going to be able to go into this land and displace the people and have a land of their own was what the people were doing. And they were doing things that God said, I haven’t even thought of these things. Like, they’re doing things that I have never conceived in my mind. And part of that was the rituals in their idolatrous worship of their false gods, some of things they were doing with each other, even some of the things that they were doing with animals. Just all kinds of stuff that included, like, infant sacrifice. Things that that no one should ever think of. And, so, as Moses leads the people into the land, there’s a code, there’s a law. There is sort of a governing document that prescribes what life together, what community life together, will look like. And one of those things is that you don’t mix when you go into this new land. You’re not going to mix. And there’s been all kinds of interpretation around what that actually means. But God was specific enough to say, the reason that you don’t mix is because your heart will eventually be seduced away and you won’t be this chosen people with this construct given by God for how to govern yourselves anymore. That will all fall apart because you will start mixing it all up. In fact, this was one of Moses final warnings. When you get there and you are not in struggle anymore. When you are not fighting to survive every single day. When you get into this land that’s flowing with milk and honey and everything is peaceful around you, that’s when you’re at your most vulnerable position, to the slow but steady intertwining of other things that will seduce you away. Now, if we pause right there, we can look at it a number of ways. But if we just look at it in terms of our own lives, we can say that idea is true because, yes, when I am in hardship, when I am struggling to survive day by day, I am lock step with the Lord. I am trusting, I am pleading, I am crying out, I am focused, I am trying to move beyond this. But when you get beyond that, things settle down, everything is good, you’re having a good season of prosperity or whatever, then, that’s when the slippage begins to happen because beginning to intermingle -  and mix and we’re not even talking people here, we’re just saying - everything becomes looser and eventually, when that’s not maintained, it becomes a problem. Right? So, that’s or talking about here. So, when Ezra gets to Jerusalem with a lot of supplies, a lot of wealth, a lot of people, and they’re sort of settling in to the process of participating in the rebuilding, and Ezra realizes that some of the very highest leaders of the exiles have begun mixing with the surrounding people again. He is horrified because this is what undid them in the first place. And it’s not about, it’s not about personal judgment of another kind of people. It’s about the seduction of the heart away from God. And we can see in our own lives and that we have this tendency. But we can also look at people, like, the wisest person ever. Right? Solomon, king Solomon devoted his life to God and brought Israel to its absolute apex, it’s civilizations apex. But then he fell away because he had collected the most beautiful women in the world to be his wives. Part of these were, like, treaties and alliances with other nations. Part of it was that he loved beauty.  So, Solomon, wisest man in the world has the most beautiful women in the world available to him at any time and that eventually seduces his heart away from God. And it’s not the woman that seduced him away. It’s that she came from somewhere else. And eventually converted him to her religion. And this happened with a number of people. And, so, Solomon starts building shrines and stuff for his wives to worship in and then other people start worshiping there and then all of the sudden this thing starts to fall apart. Ok, so, all of that unrest. All of that thought over all kinds of time about why Israel fell apart, why they went into exile, why they were lost, why they got to come back as exiles. That stuff informs Paul’s personal theology and understanding of the world because he is a trained Pharisee. So, like, no matter how much he’s converted to Jesus, his theological underpinning is in Judaism and he is a trained scholar in it, an articulate communicator in it. So much of what Paul writes is back at those people saying, look, here’s why Jesus connects to our story. So, this same kind of situation arises in the church in Corinth with a man having sex with his stepmother. Whether they somehow got married or they were living together, or whatever. They’re sleeping together. And that would not be accepted very well even today, in our very open cultures, especially sexually open cultures. Even that, even today, even a couple of thousand years later is still a little weird. Maybe even more than a little weird because its incestuous. That’s immediately what comes up. It’s incestuous. So, even though this man and this woman weren’t, like, biologically connected to each other, incestuously, still kind of like a mother / son relationship. And, so, Paul addresses it. But he’s addressing it kind of through the lens that we just talked about. So, Paul says, now, it is actually being said that there is sexual immorality among you so terrible that not even the heathen would be guilty of it. Right? So, this mimics those ideas that God was saying in the Old Testament - I haven’t even thought of these things, the things that these people are doing, I haven’t even thought of these things. And we hearken back Ezra, sitting there, waiting for the evening sacrifice, lamenting and mourning, God you have rescued us so many times and we just keep doing the same thing to destroy ourselves. This is part of Paul’s worldview and this is what he’s seeing happen in the church in Corinth. And, so, what he says is, how can you be proud? So, what’s happening is, that this is going on. Right? This mother’s son kind of stepmother, stepson relationship, that’s odd, that the church in Corinth is completely accepting that it’s fine. And, so, many scholars over a long period of time have kind of read between the lines to find that this relationship between this, this mother son relationship, this alliance, probably held power in the church. Probably wealth for the church. Status for the church. And, so, these two people, who are doing this in the open, probably had a prestigious position in the church. Probably because they had money. Because it would be that kind of influence that would make everybody ok with everything. This wouldn’t normally be ok with most anybody, even today. So, Paul’s just calling it out. How can you be proud of this? You should be filled with sadness. Right? Which is just like Ezra. The man who has done such a thing should be expelled from your fellowship. Which immediately twists us because it’s like, what about this inclusive gospel the Paul’s talking about where everybody in the world can come in through Jesus and grace and mercy abound and a multitude of sins is covered over. Like, why are we kicking people out all of the sudden? And Paul partially clarifies that a little bit later when he’s like, look, we’re not talking about judging the whole world here. People are going to do what people are going to do and you’d have not even be in on the planet earth to get away from all of that. So, specifically, what Paul said is, in the letter that I wrote you, I told you - by the way, as a side note here, there’s a lot of thought that there is another letter to the Corinthian church that we don’t have, that has not been preserved, and we don’t know exactly what it said, but it’s because of this, Paul says, in the letter that I wrote you, and this is First Corinthians, so, what is that other letter, I would love to read that letter, but we don’t have it - in the letter that I wrote you, I told you not to associate with immoral people. Which means, this had already been a problem in the church in Corinth. Paul has already begun to address this problem with the church in Corinth and then all of the sudden there’s, like, leadership positions in the church where a stepson and his stepmother are having sex and we don’t know where the father is but either way, that’s what’s going on. And the church is fine, completely fine with it. So, this has kind of been an issue in the Corinthian church already. But Paul says, I did not mean - when I said don’t associate immoral people - I didn’t mean pagans who are immoral or greedy or are thieves or who worship idols. You’d have to be not on earth to avoid that completely. What I meant was that you shouldn’t associate with a person who calls themselves a believer but then doesn’t in any way act like a believer - their immoral, greedy, they worship idols, their slanderers, their drunkards, and thieves. Those people that are claiming Jesus and could not be farther away from Jesus, that’s who I was talking about when I wrote to you. But I’ve said all of what I’ve said up until this point to get us right here, Paul’s instructions. You need any kick this guy out. This can’t happen. You can’t say that this is OK. This has got to be confronted. And Paul says, you’re to hand this man over to Satan for his body to be destroyed so that his Spirit may be saved, ultimately, in the day of the Lord. And so much of the theology of church discipline hinges on versus like this. And a lot of people have been hurt in this kind of context. And, so, ultimately, what we’re talking about here is mixture - that which would seduce a person’s heart away from God and toward idolatry, toward giving one’s heart in worship to something else. And when that happens community wide all the sudden you have a new normal. And that new normal will become another new normal that will become another new normal and eventually look nothing like when you started. And like I said just a little bit ago, we can we can see that tendency in our own lives all by ourselves. We’ve all experienced this. So, it’s not like a fake thing and it’s not like an exclusive thing. It’s, like, a human thing - when we access and reintegrate our fallen-ness. It’s just our tendency. So, what is Paul actually saying to do here? What does it mean that you are to hand this man over to Satan for his body to be destroyed so that his Spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord? Because that’s very ominous sounding. And, literally throughout New Testament church history, this has been debated. I mean, some have concluded, as a church body you are to kill this person so that their Spirit may be saved. And that kind of understanding has found its way into church history all over the place. People have been burned at the stake to destroy their body to set their Spirits free for all kinds of reasons, mostly associated with theological differences. And when an interpretation like that runs amok, you end up with something worse than you had in the first place – power, terror, fear, shutting down, closing off. Taking a singular interpretation about a singular event that was happening in a singular church in a singular place and applying that globally. So, you can do your own wrestling and start going down the wormhole as far as you want to go. It’s going to take you a while but I’ll at least say that I arrive with what I believe is the consensus with the majority of the scholarship on this. That is that there are two issues here, pride and sexual immorality - incest. The pride is on the part of the man involved here and the congregation. Paul says, how can you be proud of this? You should be filled with sadness. So the pride, all the way around, Paul rebukes. But to this incestuous behavior, he condemns. But I don’t believe he was saying, look, Sunday morning, right after worship, before the offering, all of you need to get together and execute this guy. Rather, I think Paul is saying this can’t be going on, this can’t be affirmed, the pride around this can’t continue, that’s going to establish a new normal, that’s going to establish a new normal, that’s going to establish a new normal, and is eventually going to destroy you. You need to withdraw the protection of the community and call this what it is. And you need to acknowledge your own pride in this. So, like, maybe this guy was funding the building program and who knows what else he or they were involved in. There’s no way to know. So, it’s not just what this guy was doing. It’s what the church was doing response. And everyone is culpable. Everyone has to take ownership and there needs to be repentance all the way around. And if there is no repentance on the part of this person then there’s not whole lot else to say, other than, they’re going to reap what they sew. Other than that, they’re going to destroy themselves. This isn’t going to work. But, better that then they be lost forever. They’re going to leave in a huff. They’re going to take a bunch of people with them. They’re all going to get together and bad mouth everyone else. They’re going to post mean things on social media. They’re going to broadcast it all over the town. But all that is spiteful. All that is coming from the root of pride and arrogance and eventually that all dies down and a person has to look in the mirror again and deal with their own lives. And, so, once they’ve exhausted all of that they going to have to deal with their own lives. And wherever this path goes, it’s going to lead to their destruction, until they repent. So, better that that happen, so then in the end his Spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. And then Paul goes back right back into to the idea of mixture. It is not right for you to be proud. You know the saying, a little bit of yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise. You must remove the old yeast of sin so that you will be entirely pure. Then you will be like a new batch of dough without any yeast, as indeed I know you actually are.

So, there’s our little theological discussion today. But I normally like to tie things off in terms of, ok, what do I, like, how does this apply to me? Because I am really big on personal responsibility for our relationships - all of our relationships - including our relationship with God, owning our stuff. How do I behave? And what this passage in First Corinthians does for me is force me to put myself in the position of this man. What are the places in me of pride and arrogance so big that I’m willing to flaunt it even if it’s not right? And even if I’m not flaunting it to the world, you know, like even, just inside of me. What are the areas that I have begun to allow the mixture that is only going to eventual create a new normal in me? And the Holy Spirit will begin to bring those things up. We already know what they might be. And we can immediately turn toward condemnation of someone else or of ourselves. We can immediately turn toward dogma and fundamentalism and go, like, I’ve got to build a thicker wall around myself to keep myself away from whatever. But that kind of behavior closes us when we are to live open. That kind of behavior, eventually is exactly what Paul was talking about in Romans when we were talking about the law. Nobody’s going to be able to do this perfectly on their own. Nobody’s going to get before God and say, I deserve to be here because I was that good. So, the only thing that we can do - and this is going to sound esoteric because it’s also something that is very individual - we have to walk with God. And what that looks like for you is going to be different than what that looks like for me because we all have different stories but we do have a heavenly father that knows us intimately, wove us together in our mother’s womb, has known us before we even knew we existed. He understands our story in his willing to walk through life, collaborating with us in that story. And, so, this whole thing becomes less about kicking people out of church to me and more about dealing with my own hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance. UGH!! Right? It’s just easier to kick someone out of the club than to deal with that kind of darkness within. But it’s like Jesus said to the man next to the pool at Bethesda, do you want to get well?

Jesus, of course we want to get well. We just don’t want to have to do anything. We don’t want to have to do any hard work. We don’t want to have to change anything. We just want a miracle. We just want you to touch us. But, like this man, we are going to have to reach toward you in faith and collaborate in that change and some of that is going to be dealing with old new normals that we have systematically created for ourselves, that have allowed darkness to exist inside of us. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit into those places. And we do this often because we need to do this often and because Your word keeps bringing these kinds of things up in us often. And, so, there things that we have to be vigilant and constant about. It’s not like we’re going to just fix this once and then we don’t ever have to deal with it again. You continue to come back for deeper cut. You keep coming back, taking us further. And we raise our hands in worship and ask You to take us out into the deep but we don’t always really mean that. It just sounds good. But we need to be able to trust You to go beyond the shore, to go into the darkness where we can’t see anything and there is only You and allow You to have access to those places in us that we might be healed. And that the power of Your resurrection might occupy the space that was once filled with darkness. And, so, this is meaning a lot of things for a lot of us and we’re inviting You into all of those things and we’re asking that we are beginning something today that isn’t going to end. This isn’t something we aren’t going to be vigilant over ever again. We’re inviting Your Holy Spirit because we do want to fall deeper in love with You. We do want to be lost in You. We do want it to be You who lives within us, shining out Your glory into the world as we continue to represent You and infect this world with light and good news. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus name. Amen. 

SONG played on today’s DAB “Cleanse Me” Brian Cook & Power Nation http://apple.co/2v0XmAZ

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday August 30, 2017 (NIV)

Job 34-36

Elihu Accuses Job of Arrogance

34 Then Elihu said:

“Listen to me, you wise men.
Pay attention, you who have knowledge.
Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears
just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’
So let us discern for ourselves what is right;
let us learn together what is good.
For Job also said, ‘I am innocent,
but God has taken away my rights.
I am innocent, but they call me a liar.
My suffering is incurable, though I have not sinned.’

“Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job,
with his thirst for irreverent talk?
He chooses evil people as companions.
He spends his time with wicked men.
He has even said, ‘Why waste time
trying to please God?’

10 “Listen to me, you who have understanding.
Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin!
The Almighty can do no wrong.
11 He repays people according to their deeds.
He treats people as they deserve.
12 Truly, God will not do wrong.
The Almighty will not twist justice.
13 Did someone else put the world in his care?
Who set the whole world in place?
14 If God were to take back his spirit
and withdraw his breath,
15 all life would cease,
and humanity would turn again to dust.

16 “Now listen to me if you are wise.
Pay attention to what I say.
17 Could God govern if he hated justice?
Are you going to condemn the almighty judge?
18 For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’
and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’
19 He doesn’t care how great a person may be,
and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor.
He made them all.
20 In a moment they die.
In the middle of the night they pass away;
the mighty are removed without human hand.

21 “For God watches how people live;
he sees everything they do.
22 No darkness is thick enough
to hide the wicked from his eyes.
23 We don’t set the time
when we will come before God in judgment.
24 He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone,
and he sets up others in their place.
25 He knows what they do,
and in the night he overturns and destroys them.
26 He strikes them down because they are wicked,
doing it openly for all to see.
27 For they turned away from following him.
They have no respect for any of his ways.
28 They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention.
He hears the cries of the needy.
29 But if he chooses to remain quiet,
who can criticize him?
When he hides his face, no one can find him,
whether an individual or a nation.
30 He prevents the godless from ruling
so they cannot be a snare to the people.

31 “Why don’t people say to God, ‘I have sinned,
but I will sin no more’?
32 Or ‘I don’t know what evil I have done—tell me.
If I have done wrong, I will stop at once’?

33 “Must God tailor his justice to your demands?
But you have rejected him!
The choice is yours, not mine.
Go ahead, share your wisdom with us.
34 After all, bright people will tell me,
and wise people will hear me say,
35 ‘Job speaks out of ignorance;
his words lack insight.’
36 Job, you deserve the maximum penalty
for the wicked way you have talked.
37 For you have added rebellion to your sin;
you show no respect,
and you speak many angry words against God.”

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Justice

35 Then Elihu said:

“Do you think it is right for you to claim,
‘I am righteous before God’?
For you also ask, ‘What’s in it for me?
What’s the use of living a righteous life?’

“I will answer you
and all your friends, too.
Look up into the sky,
and see the clouds high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect God?
Even if you sin again and again,
what effect will it have on him?
If you are good, is this some great gift to him?
What could you possibly give him?
No, your sins affect only people like yourself,
and your good deeds also affect only humans.

“People cry out when they are oppressed.
They groan beneath the power of the mighty.
10 Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator,
the one who gives songs in the night?
11 Where is the one who makes us smarter than the animals
and wiser than the birds of the sky?’
12 And when they cry out, God does not answer
because of their pride.
13 But it is wrong to say God doesn’t listen,
to say the Almighty isn’t concerned.
14 You say you can’t see him,
but he will bring justice if you will only wait.[a]
15 You say he does not respond to sinners with anger
and is not greatly concerned about wickedness.[b]
16 But you are talking nonsense, Job.
You have spoken like a fool.”

36 Elihu continued speaking:

“Let me go on, and I will show you the truth.
For I have not finished defending God!
I will present profound arguments
for the righteousness of my Creator.
I am telling you nothing but the truth,
for I am a man of great knowledge.

“God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone!
He is mighty in both power and understanding.
He does not let the wicked live
but gives justice to the afflicted.
He never takes his eyes off the innocent,
but he sets them on thrones with kings
and exalts them forever.
If they are bound in chains
and caught up in a web of trouble,
he shows them the reason.
He shows them their sins of pride.
10 He gets their attention
and commands that they turn from evil.

11 “If they listen and obey God,
they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.
All their years will be pleasant.
12 But if they refuse to listen to him,
they will cross over the river of death,
dying from lack of understanding.
13 For the godless are full of resentment.
Even when he punishes them,
they refuse to cry out to him for help.
14 They die when they are young,
after wasting their lives in immoral living.
15 But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
For he gets their attention through adversity.

16 “God is leading you away from danger, Job,
to a place free from distress.
He is setting your table with the best food.
17 But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged.
Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.
18 But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth.[c]
Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.
19 Could all your wealth[d]
or all your mighty efforts
keep you from distress?
20 Do not long for the cover of night,
for that is when people will be destroyed.[e]
21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil,
for God sent this suffering
to keep you from a life of evil.

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Power

22 “Look, God is all-powerful.
Who is a teacher like him?
23 No one can tell him what to do,
or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’
24 Instead, glorify his mighty works,
singing songs of praise.
25 Everyone has seen these things,
though only from a distance.

26 “Look, God is greater than we can understand.
His years cannot be counted.
27 He draws up the water vapor
and then distills it into rain.
28 The rain pours down from the clouds,
and everyone benefits.
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds
and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?
30 See how he spreads the lightning around him
and how it lights up the depths of the sea.
31 By these mighty acts he nourishes[f] the people,
giving them food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts
and hurls each at its target.
33 The thunder announces his presence;
the storm announces his indignant anger.[g]

Footnotes:

  1. 35:13-14 These verses can also be translated as follows: 13 Indeed, God doesn’t listen to their empty plea; / the Almighty is not concerned. / 14 How much less will he listen when you say you don’t see him, / and that your case is before him and you’re waiting for justice.
  2. 35:15 As in Greek and Latin versions; the meaning of this Hebrew word is uncertain.
  3. 36:18 Or But don’t let your anger lead you to mockery.
  4. 36:19 Or Could all your cries for help.
  5. 36:16-20 The meaning of the Hebrew in this passage is uncertain.
  6. 36:31 Or he governs.
  7. 36:33 Or even the cattle know when a storm is coming. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


2 Corinthians 4:1-12

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,[a] we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.[b] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1 Or ministry.
  2. 4:7 Greek We now have this treasure in clay jars.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 44:1-8

Psalm 44

For the choir director: A psalm[a] of the descendants of Korah.

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
in days long ago:
You drove out the pagan nations by your power
and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
and set our ancestors free.
They did not conquer the land with their swords;
it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
for you loved them.

You are my King and my God.
You command victories for Israel.[b]
Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
only in your name can we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow;
I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
you disgrace those who hate us.
O God, we give glory to you all day long
and constantly praise your name. Interlude

Footnotes:

  1. 44:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  2. 44:4 Hebrew for Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 22:10-12

10 Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.
Quarrels and insults will disappear.

11 Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech
will have the king as a friend.

12 The Lord preserves those with knowledge,
but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday August 30, 2017 (NIV)

Job 34-36

Elihu Accuses Job of Arrogance

34 Then Elihu said:

“Listen to me, you wise men.
Pay attention, you who have knowledge.
Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears
just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’
So let us discern for ourselves what is right;
let us learn together what is good.
For Job also said, ‘I am innocent,
but God has taken away my rights.
I am innocent, but they call me a liar.
My suffering is incurable, though I have not sinned.’

“Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job,
with his thirst for irreverent talk?
He chooses evil people as companions.
He spends his time with wicked men.
He has even said, ‘Why waste time
trying to please God?’

10 “Listen to me, you who have understanding.
Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin!
The Almighty can do no wrong.
11 He repays people according to their deeds.
He treats people as they deserve.
12 Truly, God will not do wrong.
The Almighty will not twist justice.
13 Did someone else put the world in his care?
Who set the whole world in place?
14 If God were to take back his spirit
and withdraw his breath,
15 all life would cease,
and humanity would turn again to dust.

16 “Now listen to me if you are wise.
Pay attention to what I say.
17 Could God govern if he hated justice?
Are you going to condemn the almighty judge?
18 For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’
and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’
19 He doesn’t care how great a person may be,
and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor.
He made them all.
20 In a moment they die.
In the middle of the night they pass away;
the mighty are removed without human hand.

21 “For God watches how people live;
he sees everything they do.
22 No darkness is thick enough
to hide the wicked from his eyes.
23 We don’t set the time
when we will come before God in judgment.
24 He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone,
and he sets up others in their place.
25 He knows what they do,
and in the night he overturns and destroys them.
26 He strikes them down because they are wicked,
doing it openly for all to see.
27 For they turned away from following him.
They have no respect for any of his ways.
28 They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention.
He hears the cries of the needy.
29 But if he chooses to remain quiet,
who can criticize him?
When he hides his face, no one can find him,
whether an individual or a nation.
30 He prevents the godless from ruling
so they cannot be a snare to the people.

31 “Why don’t people say to God, ‘I have sinned,
but I will sin no more’?
32 Or ‘I don’t know what evil I have done—tell me.
If I have done wrong, I will stop at once’?

33 “Must God tailor his justice to your demands?
But you have rejected him!
The choice is yours, not mine.
Go ahead, share your wisdom with us.
34 After all, bright people will tell me,
and wise people will hear me say,
35 ‘Job speaks out of ignorance;
his words lack insight.’
36 Job, you deserve the maximum penalty
for the wicked way you have talked.
37 For you have added rebellion to your sin;
you show no respect,
and you speak many angry words against God.”

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Justice

35 Then Elihu said:

“Do you think it is right for you to claim,
‘I am righteous before God’?
For you also ask, ‘What’s in it for me?
What’s the use of living a righteous life?’

“I will answer you
and all your friends, too.
Look up into the sky,
and see the clouds high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect God?
Even if you sin again and again,
what effect will it have on him?
If you are good, is this some great gift to him?
What could you possibly give him?
No, your sins affect only people like yourself,
and your good deeds also affect only humans.

“People cry out when they are oppressed.
They groan beneath the power of the mighty.
10 Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator,
the one who gives songs in the night?
11 Where is the one who makes us smarter than the animals
and wiser than the birds of the sky?’
12 And when they cry out, God does not answer
because of their pride.
13 But it is wrong to say God doesn’t listen,
to say the Almighty isn’t concerned.
14 You say you can’t see him,
but he will bring justice if you will only wait.[a]
15 You say he does not respond to sinners with anger
and is not greatly concerned about wickedness.[b]
16 But you are talking nonsense, Job.
You have spoken like a fool.”

36 Elihu continued speaking:

“Let me go on, and I will show you the truth.
For I have not finished defending God!
I will present profound arguments
for the righteousness of my Creator.
I am telling you nothing but the truth,
for I am a man of great knowledge.

“God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone!
He is mighty in both power and understanding.
He does not let the wicked live
but gives justice to the afflicted.
He never takes his eyes off the innocent,
but he sets them on thrones with kings
and exalts them forever.
If they are bound in chains
and caught up in a web of trouble,
he shows them the reason.
He shows them their sins of pride.
10 He gets their attention
and commands that they turn from evil.

11 “If they listen and obey God,
they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.
All their years will be pleasant.
12 But if they refuse to listen to him,
they will cross over the river of death,
dying from lack of understanding.
13 For the godless are full of resentment.
Even when he punishes them,
they refuse to cry out to him for help.
14 They die when they are young,
after wasting their lives in immoral living.
15 But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
For he gets their attention through adversity.

16 “God is leading you away from danger, Job,
to a place free from distress.
He is setting your table with the best food.
17 But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged.
Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.
18 But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth.[c]
Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.
19 Could all your wealth[d]
or all your mighty efforts
keep you from distress?
20 Do not long for the cover of night,
for that is when people will be destroyed.[e]
21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil,
for God sent this suffering
to keep you from a life of evil.

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Power

22 “Look, God is all-powerful.
Who is a teacher like him?
23 No one can tell him what to do,
or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’
24 Instead, glorify his mighty works,
singing songs of praise.
25 Everyone has seen these things,
though only from a distance.

26 “Look, God is greater than we can understand.
His years cannot be counted.
27 He draws up the water vapor
and then distills it into rain.
28 The rain pours down from the clouds,
and everyone benefits.
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds
and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?
30 See how he spreads the lightning around him
and how it lights up the depths of the sea.
31 By these mighty acts he nourishes[f] the people,
giving them food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts
and hurls each at its target.
33 The thunder announces his presence;
the storm announces his indignant anger.[g]

Footnotes:

  1. 35:13-14 These verses can also be translated as follows: 13 Indeed, God doesn’t listen to their empty plea; / the Almighty is not concerned. / 14 How much less will he listen when you say you don’t see him, / and that your case is before him and you’re waiting for justice.
  2. 35:15 As in Greek and Latin versions; the meaning of this Hebrew word is uncertain.
  3. 36:18 Or But don’t let your anger lead you to mockery.
  4. 36:19 Or Could all your cries for help.
  5. 36:16-20 The meaning of the Hebrew in this passage is uncertain.
  6. 36:31 Or he governs.
  7. 36:33 Or even the cattle know when a storm is coming. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


2 Corinthians 4:1-12

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,[a] we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.[b] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1 Or ministry.
  2. 4:7 Greek We now have this treasure in clay jars.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 44:1-8

Psalm 44

For the choir director: A psalm[a] of the descendants of Korah.

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
in days long ago:
You drove out the pagan nations by your power
and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
and set our ancestors free.
They did not conquer the land with their swords;
it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
for you loved them.

You are my King and my God.
You command victories for Israel.[b]
Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
only in your name can we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow;
I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
you disgrace those who hate us.
O God, we give glory to you all day long
and constantly praise your name. Interlude

Footnotes:

  1. 44:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  2. 44:4 Hebrew for Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 22:10-12

10 Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.
Quarrels and insults will disappear.

11 Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech
will have the king as a friend.

12 The Lord preserves those with knowledge,
but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


8/08/2017 DAB Transcript

Ezra 7:1-8:20 ~ 1 Corinthians 4:1-21 ~ Psalm 30:1-12 ~ Proverbs 20:28-30

Today is August 8th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you today. And a fine day that it is, no matter what’s going on outside in the weather, no matter what’s going on in our lives right now. It’s a fine day to spend some time together as a community and take the next step forward in the scriptures. And, so, that’s exactly what we’ll do. We are reading from the Good News translation this week. Ezra chapter 7 verse 1 through 8 verse 20.

Commentary:

Ok, so, yesterday in First Corinthians we were talking about how Paul was saying, look you can’t get an identity by who follow. You can’t get an identity any other way. We are all built upon the same foundation and we are building upon that foundation, which is Christ. And what we build matters but in the end, it’s all in God’s hands. His judgment is His judgment and what we think about that has no bearing and what we walk around telling each other about what God is going to do, we are, like, talking in a way that we don’t understand. We’re trying to use the world’s wisdom to make us seem wise, when, actually, God looks at that wisdom and sees it as nonsense. So, there is only one foundation and we are all built upon it and struggling for identity and who we follow or our rituals and customs, that’s not going to get us there. It’s all already ours. Paul continues, obviously because we’re just in the next day and we’re reading the next portion of the letter, he continues with some of that thought, he expands upon that thought, which is a bit of dismantling the places that we naturally gravitate toward to get identity. Right? In judging each other. And Paul is saying, I don’t even judge myself. And that’s not to say that I can just do whatever I want. I just understand that I have a conscience that’s clear before God. But that doesn’t mean I’m innocent. It’s just…this is the best I have and the Lord is the judge and we should apply that to ourselves and to each other. So, quoting from First Corinthians, ‘you should not pass judgment on anyone before the right time comes. Final judgment must wait until the Lord comes. None of you should be proud of one person and despise another. Who made you superior to others? Didn’t God give you everything you have? So, then how can you boast as if what you have were not a gift?’ I mean, this is a huge invitation because Paul’s saying, this struggle for identity by competition by comparison by who you follow, by who don’t follow, by who you read, by who you don’t read, by who you listen to, by who don’t listen to, by what church you go to, by what by what denomination you are part of, these things are kind of beside the point and none of you should be proud of one person and despise another. Who made you superior? Everything you have is from God. Stop pretending it’s not a gift. It is for all of us. And it’s interesting, because Paul pulls back the veil on ministry. So, he’s basically inferring, you want to follow me, you follow Apollos, you want that to be your identity? Let me tell you with this is really like. So, to quote Paul, ‘it seems to me that God has given the very last place to us apostles. We’re like people condemned to die in public as a spectacle for the whole world of angels and of human beings. For Christ’s sake we are fools. To this very moment we go hungry and thirsty. We are clothed in rags. We are beaten. We wander from place to place. We wear ourselves out with hard work.’

So, there it is. This is what you’re following. This is what it really looks like. And every pastor in the sound of my voice, God bless you. You know this is true. And everyone in the sound of my voice that has a pastor, you need to know, this is how it is. It is hard, hard work. I love being in ministry but it is the hardest thing I have ever done. But it sends me to my core on a daily basis. There is no way to survive without this foundation, this sure foundation of Christ. And, so, whenever you’re looking at the person with the microphone who’s on the stage saying words or you’ve got your earbuds in and you’re listening to somebody saying words that’s in ministry, and you think, O, I just wish I could do that or O, I just wish I could have a relationship with Christ like that. Trust me you can. And trust me, this is not easy. And, so, Paul’s just kind of demystifying the whole thing, sort of, like, pulling back the curtain and saying, OK you guys keep trying to find an identity on, like, you’re of Apollo’s, you’re of Paul, you’re of Peter, you go to first Baptist, you go to first assembly of God, you go to first United Methodist Church. I mean, on and on we could go. Paul’s saying, behind the identity you have are people who are working themselves crazy to pour out their lives for you as servants. Paul says it like this, ‘we wear ourselves out with hard work. When we are cursed, we have to bless. That is hard work. When we are persecuted, we endure. That is hard work. When we are insulted, we answer back with kind words. Again, that is hard work.’ And it’s the work that we’re all invited into. All of us, not just pastors and teachers. We’re all invited into this collaboration of building upon the foundation that is Jesus Christ. And then, in a little bit of his own defense, Paul says, look, I’m not telling you this, like, I’m not pulling back the curtain, I’m not saying the things that I’m saying to make you then feel sympathetic toward me because this is such a hard job. I’m not trying to make you feel ashamed. I am just trying to instruct you because there may be many voices in your life or as Paul says, you may have 10,000 guardians in your Christian life but you only have one father. And Paul is looking at the Corinthian church through the Father’s eyes. He planted this. He’s cultivated and nurtured this. And, so, he’s saying, like, in your union with Christ, I’ve become your father because I brought the good news to you. And, so, if you’ll look at me that way then I’m begging you to follow my example, the example of not being judgmental, of understanding that God is over it all, of understanding that Christ is the foundation upon which we are building, the understanding that there is no identity in comparison and competition. It’s not how this Kingdom works at all. It’s nonsense to God. Try to live that way. And I mean, this can be kind of condemning. Like, we can go, like, wow, he’s kind of coming right at it. But it’s not that. It’s an invitation to freedom. It’s this plea. You don’t have to do this. It’s not going anywhere. It’s all already yours. There is actually work to be done but it’s not against each other. There’s such freedom and invitation in that.

Prayer:

Father, once again, just like yesterday, here we are, inviting You to dismantle these false constructs that we have arrived at to find an identity, even an identity in our faith that is nonsense to You. But we don’t want to live that way, not when You are inviting us into freedom. But it requires a reframing of a lot of things that we thought we knew - about each other, about Your church, about You. It forces us to come clean and it forces us to come as individuals before You. And, so, here we are. Holy Spirit, dismantle whatever You want to take down. Things that we’ve been working on for years, You have permission to smash that. Things that we’ve thought our whole lives, if they are leading us away from truth, then dismantle them. We’re with You. We entrust our identity to You, fully. Which means, You can dismantle whatever You want to and insert whatever You want to. We are here to serve You. We are here to collaborate with You. We are here to be friends. We are here to be in love. And we have done everything but that. And, so, forgive us God. We step away from all of that, that false creation of an identity, and step into an identity with You and You alone. Come Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Announcements:

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

And, while you’re there, if you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, there’s a link that lives on the homepage. If you are using the Daily Audio Bible app, you can press the More button in the lower right hand corner or if you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill TN 37174.

And of course, if you have a prayer request or comment, if you’re shouldering burdens that…that are just too heavy…and that you shouldn’t be carrying by yourself…there’s tens of thousands of people that will pray for you. The number you can call is 877-942-4253.

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

Community Prayers and Praise Reports:

This call is in response to a message I just heard tonight. It’s Friday night. It is late. It’s August 5th now. Jake, I am praying for you my brother in Christ. You called about your father taking his life and I want you to know that I will continue to pray for strength for you. And I want to give you a Psalm. This is Psalm 29:11 - The Lord gives strength to His people. The Lord blesses His people with peace. Clearly, you are one of His people. You reached out to Him in your pain and your brothers and sisters here, we hear you and we love you and I’m sure there is a lot of prayer coming your way. God bless you my brother in Christ.

Hi. This is Elaine from Victoria and its Saturday, August 5th. And I heard Jake Oaks pain about his father committing suicide. I know this pain. I had a stepson, he might as well have been called my son, because I was close to him, and he committed suicide. So, I know that grief that you are feeling. But I want to encourage you from Isaiah from the Old Testament. Isaiah 41:10. So it’s, do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. And He is holding you, Jake, by your hand. Go with this today, knowing that God is walking you through this very difficult, stressful time. I love you. I love you Brian for this ministry and all your family and all the Daily Audio Bible family. Bless you all today and go with God. Amen.

Hello. This is the greatest trucker from way out west listening to the Daily Audio prayer line on the 5th of August and at the end the last caller was Jake Oaks after his father had taken his life last weekend. I don’t know when that was. Jake, I want you to know that we are praying for you in the most fervent way that we could pray for you and your family in this hour of confusion and despair. And I don’t really have any words to describe how I feel about what happened with your family there. It’s hard to understand and hard to comprehend and my brain doesn’t even want to go there I guess. We are going to be praying for you brother so that prayer has power to heal your family. In Jesus name.

Hi everybody this is Alicia from Kansas. It’s August the 5th. And I just listened to the readings and then the prayers afterwards and I’m calling to tell Jake, whose father took his life this past Tuesday, or whenever. Jake, I’m praying for you and I know there are hundreds if not thousands of others that are praying for you and your family. I am grieving with you and I love you precious one. Lord, Father, I thank you and I praise you so very much for Jake for his vulnerability for reaching out to his prayer family. Lord, Father, I pray that you’ll be with Jake. Wrap Your arms around him. Lord, Father, may he feel Your presence. I thank You and I praise You for his heart. I thank You and I praise You for his family. I pray, Lord, Jesus, that we would be faithful to You and to Jake, Lord, God and continue to lift him up in prayer in Your holy and precious name, I pray. Amen. I love you sweet brother. Bye-bye.

8/07/2017 DAB Transcript

Ezra 4:24-6:22 ~ 1 Corinthians 3:5-23 ~ Psalm 29:1-11 ~ Proverbs 20:26-27

Today is the 7th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you today as we take the next step forward in the scriptures this year. And we’re kind of getting into the thick of the story in the book of Ezra now. So, we listed all of the people who came out of exile back to Jerusalem to rebuild and we’ve begun to see that, even though there was the decree of the emperor to allow this, there were people back in the land that had no interest whatsoever in the Hebrew people being able to come back to their homeland and rebuild anything. And, so, there is some political intrigue and we’ll continue with the story. Ezra chapter 4 verse 24 through chapter 6 verse 22 today. And we’re reading from the Good News translation this week.

Commentary:

Alright, as we continue with Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, also known as First Corinthians we kind of run into this issue that is a bit of an issue for the early church. And that’s basically the exaltation of the messenger. So, the one speaking the word, their kind of thrown up on this pedestal. And honoring the person in that position, that’s not the issue. It’s that they were trying to own this person, own this person’s a message and say, we are the right ones and everything else is nuanced or wrong. And this kind of began with the issue of whether or not gentiles were allowed into the Kingdom of God. Because that was a new and big thought, especially for the Hebrew believers. And so, there are people in this time of the early church, definitely speaking the gospel of Jesus, but nuancing how you arrive there. And, so, people would be, like, I am of Apollos, which is essentially saying, whatever Apollo’s is saying that’s what I believe. Or I am of Paul, which is saying, whatever Paul says, that’s what I believe or Peter or whoever. Paul is basically disavowing that notion by saying, who is a Apollos, who is Paul. We’re simply servants. We just happened to be the ones that were there and led you to believe. But we’re part of a larger story, a greater whole, and each person needs to be doing the work that the Lord gave them to do. And, so, it doesn’t really matter your name or your status. In my case, Paul is saying, I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God that made this whole thing grow. And, so, without that component none of this matters at all. This all comes back to God. And we are all collaborating. Or as Paul would say. We are partners working together for God and you were God’s field that we working in. But God is the foundation of it all. And, so, what Paul continues to do is invite us to own our lives, our actions, our faith, everything, instead of simply saying, this person’s my pastor, this person’s my leader, this person’s, like, a spiritual influence in my life, whatever they say, that’s what I believe. So, the way Paul puts this is, you are God’s building. And using the gift that God gave me, I laid the foundation. Someone else is building on that foundation. But each of you must be careful how you build because Jesus, and this is me paraphrasing Paul, because Jesus is the only true foundation. There can be no other foundation laid. But what gets built on that foundation, that’s where you come in. Some are going to use gold or silver or precious stones in building on the foundation. Others will use wood or grass or straw. And the quality of each person’s work will be seen when the day that Christ exposes it. So, like, what Paul is saying is, there is a foundation, it is sure, it is true. We are all building upon that foundation. We are all built upon that foundation. And we have to own our actions and faith and lives and relationships as we build upon the foundation because at the end of it all when I go be able to say, well, I was just following so-and-so and whatever they said, I believed that. I’m of Apollos, I’m of Paul, I’m of whoever. Paul’s saying, hey, look, fine but there is one foundation and you are building something upon that foundation in your faith and in the end you won’t be able to say, I was just following so-and-so. You will have to answer, individually, to God for what you built. And if what was built, and I’m quoting from First Corinthians now, if what was built on the foundation survives the fire, the fire of exposure before God, then the builder will receive a reward. But if your work is burned all up, well then, not so much. But you, yourself, will be saved. You’re on the foundation but it does matter what you build. And then Paul returns to this example that was all through Romans, this idea of how backward we look at things, how the world’s wisdom, the most wisdom that we have is, actually, nonsense to God, and then how the gospel seems like nonsense to the world. He returns to that theme in this context by saying, you should not fool yourself. If any of you think that you’re wise by this world’s standard you should become a fool in order to be really wise, which is simply echoes of what Jesus had been saying throughout all of His ministry. What this world considers to be wisdom is nonsense in God’s sight. So, nobody should be boasting about what man can do, what their leader said, and what they believe in. There should be no boasting in that. And there’s a reason though. It’s not really humility that Paul’s talking about. It’s bigger than that. It’s a lot bigger than that. Paul is saying, look, these are kind of like small arguments - I follow so-and-so, I do this this way, this is my custom, this is my ritual, it is right and you are wrong - this is all beside the point. The point is, and I’m quoting from First Corinthians again, actually, everything belongs to you - Paul does, Apollos does, Peter does. This world belongs to you - life and death, the present in the future - all these are yours. And you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God. So, Paul is saying, this kind of jostling for identity and who you’re following or what you’re doing to build upon the foundation, this search for yourself, you’re going about this the wrong way. It all already belongs to you because of the foundation, Jesus, you are a joint heir in God’s Kingdom. It’s all already yours. So, you don’t have to be following this one person and he’s the only person and whatever he says or whatever she says, that’s what you do and that’s what you believe. You’ve got to own this but in owning this and in building upon this foundation you should be aware that it’s all already yours. In other words, we already have what we need. We are all heirs to this Kingdom that we are a part of and it’s all already ours because we belong to Christ and Christ belongs God, which means we belong to God through Christ.

It’s pretty huge stuff. We need to slow down and examine our motives in our faith. What are we after here? What are we going for? What are we trying to reach for? What are we trying to build? Who are we trying to follow? Why are we trying to follow them? Is it because we’re too afraid to own our own faith and enter into a first person relationship in collaboration with God? What are the motives here? Because at the end of it all what we’re going to discover is, it was all already ours. We don’t have to be jostling for this identity in someone else, only in Christ, the foundation, which allows us to pursue God with all of our heart, mind, and strength, personally, and walk in collaboration in this life with him and not need to find some sort of substitute that we follow instead in order to get an identity. Our identity can be found in Christ and Christ alone.

Prayer:

Father, we give up then. If that’s what you’re saying, then we throw up our hands and surrender. And what we’re surrendering is our identity to You so that we are truly in pursuit of ‘it no longer being we who live but you who lives within us’. And, so, it is only You who can give us an identity. And we’ve been following the foolishness of the world, the wisdom of the world that is nonsense in your site, and trying to get an identity some other way. So, we invite You into the deepest parts of ourselves because when we’re talking about identity, we certainly have the layer of personality, the things that we present, but underneath that there is our identity. We’re inviting You into that place, the truest most guarded, most fragile, most true place within us. We invite You there to give us our true identity, sons and daughters of the most-high God. And you have already invited us and grafted us into your family. It’s all already ours. Come Holy Spirit and awaken this within us because if we believe this was true, if we believe this were true down in the deepest parts of our identity, at the truest place inside of us, so many of the constructs that we have built upon this foundation to arrive at an identity, they fall down. They’re like straw. They’re like hay. Because they’re not going anywhere. It’s all already ours. So, come Holy Spirit, dismantle what You must, rearrange what You will, order us properly, bestow upon us an identity that is unshakable because it comes from You and You alone. We submit ourselves to You and we walk with You away from the things that don’t matter and into a life of collaboration. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name, we ask. Amen.

Announcements:

dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here. So, be sure to check it out. Check out the Daily Audio Bible shop for resources that are available. Check out the Prayer Wall. Pray for someone while you’re there. Plant seeds. Build something beautiful on this foundation of Christ and Christ alone through prayer at the prayer wall. It’s a great place to connect. And you can find out everywhere we are on social media. And we are likely wherever you are. So, let’s connect and let’s stay connected. That’s what we are as a community. So, check that out.

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, in the mission that we share, this global camp fire that warms and illuminates our path every day. We do this together. That’s how it’s always been done. If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There’s a link on the homepage. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app, you can press the More button in the lower right hand corner or if you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill TN 37174.

And of course, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, there are a number of numbers you can use depending on where you are in the world. If you are in the Americas 877-942-4253 is the number to call. If you are in the UK or Europe 44-20-3608-8078. If you are in Australia, that part of the world, 61-3-8820-5459 is the number to dial.

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

Community Prayers and Praise Reports:

Hello Daily Audio Bible listeners, this is Diane Allice B. from Newburgh, Indiana. I’ve been watching and listening and just gaining so much out of my Daily Audio Bible readings. And lately I’ve been listening to the community prayer requests and I want you to know I’m praying over you, especially those who are wanting children. I have a good praise report, that me and my prayer partners, and our prayer groups have been praying for many, many, many years for grandchildren. And in December of 2014 my daughter had a grandbaby. And, also, she got married, then she got pregnant, and then she moved from her place in San Antonio Texas to Evansville Indiana, 3 blocks from the University of Indiana, where my husband is chair of the physics department. So, don’t ever give up. Don’t ever give up. Keep your prayers going. If you’re looking for a husband or a wife or a child, I have been there. My sister, my little sister had miscarriages and our prayer team prayed through two girls for her that have now graduated from college. So, nothing, nothing, nothing, is impossible to God. You just keep it up keep it. Keep it up. Keep after your heart. Your heart desires a husband or a wife or a child? God’s got that for you. Shalom, Shalom.

Hi, good morning. This is Carey from California. Today I would like to lift up my baby brother to all of you for prayer. I lift him up to Christ because he doesn’t believe that prayer works. He just is always going through so many trials because he’s an alcoholic and he can’t handle it. And last night he wrecked the work truck and he’ll probably lose his job, again. And blames everybody but himself. I just pray that he would find complete healing and grow close to God again because that’s where he will be saved. I just need healing for my baby brother so I can have him back, have the brother that I love back. I thank you everybody for your prayers.  

Hi DABbers. This is His little Sherri from Canada and there have been a couple of ladies who called in recently who really grabbed my heart - Karen in St. Louis and another lady in Houston, I think, who talked about their overwhelming longing for a mate. O, I feel like there’s so much I could say but I think the Lord just wants me to remind you today of something you already know. He understands. He really does. And not in some ‘I’m God so I know everything’ abstract way. He actually knows how you feel. I mean, imagine Jesus, a 30-year-old man, still single, watching another one of his brothers or sisters get married. His nieces and nephews running around the wedding, squealing and climbing up on their grandmother Mary’s lap. I can’t imagine that in moments like that, Jesus didn’t feel twinges of longing. Don’t you think? I mean, the fully human Jesus must have felt lonely at times but, ultimately, he chose to trust that his dreams would come true in God’s time and in God’s way and they did and they will. Right? And you’re a part of that. You’re a part of His bride. So, I am praying that God would give you a human husband and a family but to be honest my more, sincere, prayer is that you and I and women especially would experience the reality of Hosea 2:16, in that day declares the Lord, you will no longer call me your master, you will call me my husband. So, I carry you in my heart ladies. I’m praying and I’ll keep praying. God bless you today.

Morning everyone. This is ___ Jill and the family. ___ I’ve only been listening for about a year but it’s still amazing, even how on my bad days how it can be really difficult to get going. But you’ve been doing this for over 10 years, apparently, and that’s just amazing. So, thank you for your ministry and thank you for your family. I pray blessings over all of you in the name of Jesus. I hope that you continue to keep going with this ministry and feel strengthened each day and I pray God will ___ and that you continue to be loyal. Thank you for your loyalty again and your reading. Bye-bye.

Good morning DAB family. This is Shirley from south eastern Washington. I just got through listening to the DAB and reading it along with Brian. Brain and Jill, thank you so much for this ministry. It reaches so many and I look forward to it in the mornings. I want to say thank you to Drew in the Bay area for that word of encouragement. It helped me. I’ve been praying for healing for a while now and I’m believing that God is healing me. And for those who are praying and feel discouraged, don’t, because God is there. He’s always listening. He’s always there. Never give up. He never gives up on us. Thank you again, Drew from the bay area. God bless you all. Have a great day and a great weekend. Bye.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday August 29, 2017 (NIV)

Job 31-33

Job’s Final Protest of Innocence

31 “I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look with lust at a young woman.
For what has God above chosen for us?
What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high?
Isn’t it calamity for the wicked
and misfortune for those who do evil?
Doesn’t he see everything I do
and every step I take?

“Have I lied to anyone
or deceived anyone?
Let God weigh me on the scales of justice,
for he knows my integrity.
If I have strayed from his pathway,
or if my heart has lusted for what my eyes have seen,
or if I am guilty of any other sin,
then let someone else eat the crops I have planted.
Let all that I have planted be uprooted.

“If my heart has been seduced by a woman,
or if I have lusted for my neighbor’s wife,
10 then let my wife serve[a] another man;
let other men sleep with her.
11 For lust is a shameful sin,
a crime that should be punished.
12 It is a fire that burns all the way to hell.[b]
It would wipe out everything I own.

13 “If I have been unfair to my male or female servants
when they brought their complaints to me,
14 how could I face God?
What could I say when he questioned me?
15 For God created both me and my servants.
He created us both in the womb.

16 “Have I refused to help the poor,
or crushed the hopes of widows?
17 Have I been stingy with my food
and refused to share it with orphans?
18 No, from childhood I have cared for orphans like a father,
and all my life I have cared for widows.
19 Whenever I saw the homeless without clothes
and the needy with nothing to wear,
20 did they not praise me
for providing wool clothing to keep them warm?

21 “If I raised my hand against an orphan,
knowing the judges would take my side,
22 then let my shoulder be wrenched out of place!
Let my arm be torn from its socket!
23 That would be better than facing God’s judgment.
For if the majesty of God opposes me, what hope is there?

24 “Have I put my trust in money
or felt secure because of my gold?
25 Have I gloated about my wealth
and all that I own?

26 “Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies,
or the moon walking down its silver pathway,
27 and been secretly enticed in my heart
to throw kisses at them in worship?
28 If so, I should be punished by the judges,
for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.

29 “Have I ever rejoiced when disaster struck my enemies,
or become excited when harm came their way?
30 No, I have never sinned by cursing anyone
or by asking for revenge.

31 “My servants have never said,
‘He let others go hungry.’
32 I have never turned away a stranger
but have opened my doors to everyone.

33 “Have I tried to hide my sins like other people do,
concealing my guilt in my heart?
34 Have I feared the crowd
or the contempt of the masses,
so that I kept quiet and stayed indoors?

35 “If only someone would listen to me!
Look, I will sign my name to my defense.
Let the Almighty answer me.
Let my accuser write out the charges against me.
36 I would face the accusation proudly.
I would wear it like a crown.
37 For I would tell him exactly what I have done.
I would come before him like a prince.

38 “If my land accuses me
and all its furrows cry out together,
39 or if I have stolen its crops
or murdered its owners,
40 then let thistles grow on that land instead of wheat,
and weeds instead of barley.”

Job’s words are ended.

Elihu Responds to Job’s Friends

32 Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence.

Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him. He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God[c] appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments. Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily. Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said,

“I am young and you are old,
so I held back from telling you what I think.
I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak,
for wisdom comes with age.’
But there is a spirit[d] within people,
the breath of the Almighty within them,
that makes them intelligent.
Sometimes the elders are not wise.
Sometimes the aged do not understand justice.
10 So listen to me,
and let me tell you what I think.

11 “I have waited all this time,
listening very carefully to your arguments,
listening to you grope for words.
12 I have listened,
but not one of you has refuted Job
or answered his arguments.
13 And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us.
Only God can convince him.’
14 If Job had been arguing with me,
I would not answer with your kind of logic!
15 You sit there baffled,
with nothing more to say.
16 Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent?
Must I also remain silent?
17 No, I will say my piece.
I will speak my mind.
18 For I am full of pent-up words,
and the spirit within me urges me on.
19 I am like a cask of wine without a vent,
like a new wineskin ready to burst!
20 I must speak to find relief,
so let me give my answers.
21 I won’t play favorites
or try to flatter anyone.
22 For if I tried flattery,
my Creator would soon destroy me.

Elihu Presents His Case against Job

33 “Listen to my words, Job;
pay attention to what I have to say.
Now that I have begun to speak,
let me continue.
I speak with all sincerity;
I speak the truth.
For the Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me, if you can;
make your case and take your stand.
Look, you and I both belong to God.
I, too, was formed from clay.
So you don’t need to be afraid of me.
I won’t come down hard on you.

“You have spoken in my hearing,
and I have heard your very words.
You said, ‘I am pure; I am without sin;
I am innocent; I have no guilt.
10 God is picking a quarrel with me,
and he considers me his enemy.
11 He puts my feet in the stocks
and watches my every move.’

12 “But you are wrong, and I will show you why.
For God is greater than any human being.
13 So why are you bringing a charge against him?
Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints?
14 For God speaks again and again,
though people do not recognize it.
15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they lie in their beds.
16 He whispers in their ears
and terrifies them with warnings.
17 He makes them turn from doing wrong;
he keeps them from pride.
18 He protects them from the grave,
from crossing over the river of death.

19 “Or God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds,
with ceaseless aching in their bones.
20 They lose their appetite
for even the most delicious food.
21 Their flesh wastes away,
and their bones stick out.
22 They are at death’s door;
the angels of death wait for them.

23 “But if an angel from heaven appears—
a special messenger to intercede for a person
and declare that he is upright—
24 he will be gracious and say,
‘Rescue him from the grave,
for I have found a ransom for his life.’
25 Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s,
firm and youthful again.
26 When he prays to God,
he will be accepted.
And God will receive him with joy
and restore him to good standing.
27 He will declare to his friends,
‘I sinned and twisted the truth,
but it was not worth it.[e]
28 God rescued me from the grave,
and now my life is filled with light.’

29 “Yes, God does these things
again and again for people.
30 He rescues them from the grave
so they may enjoy the light of life.
31 Mark this well, Job. Listen to me,
for I have more to say.
32 But if you have anything to say, go ahead.
Speak, for I am anxious to see you justified.
33 But if not, then listen to me.
Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom!”

Footnotes:

  1. 31:10 Hebrew grind for.
  2. 31:12 Hebrew to Abaddon.
  3. 32:3 As in ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; the Masoretic Text reads Job.
  4. 32:8 Or Spirit; also in 32:18.
  5. 33:27 Greek version reads but he [God] did not punish me as my sin deserved.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


2 Corinthians 3

Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our[a] hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

The Glory of the New Covenant

The old way,[b] with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10 In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11 So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!

12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:2 Some manuscripts read your.
  2. 3:7 Or ministry; also in 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 43

Psalm 43

Declare me innocent, O God!
Defend me against these ungodly people.
Rescue me from these unjust liars.
For you are God, my only safe haven.
Why have you tossed me aside?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?
Send out your light and your truth;
let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you live.
There I will go to the altar of God,
to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
O God, my God!

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 22:8-9

Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,
and their reign of terror will come to an end.[a]

Blessed are those who are generous,
because they feed the poor.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:8 The Greek version includes an additional proverb: God blesses a man who gives cheerfully, / but his worthless deeds will come to an end. Compare 2 Cor 9:7.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.