Ezekiel 18:1-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalms 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10
Today is November 8. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you today around the global campfire, this place that we can come in out of the cold and dark and warm ourselves, and illuminate our paths, and be together in community. I brought my coffee along, like I do every day, it’s right here to my left. And of course, I brought my microphone, or you wouldn’t be hearing me. And hopefully some of you brought stuff to make s’mores. So, let’s dive into what the Scriptures have for us today. We’re reading from the Good News translation this week. Today, Ezekiel chapter 18 verse 1 through 19 verse 14.
Okay. In the book of Ezekiel, we have an important distinction or clarification that further reveals God’s heart through this prophetic book. But let’s quickly work our way toward that. I’ve mentioned this before in other books of prophecy, there’s a lot of discussion about what’s going to happen and what’s going to happen is in good. And God is speaking very directly. So, it’s easy for us, you know, page after page, day after day of impending judgment, to begin to shift our hearts toward God as angry, vengeful and without much grace or mercy, which is where this widespread angry God idea comes from. But in all these prophecies the whole thing turns and God reveals why he feels so strongly about what he’s saying. And it becomes very clear that this isn’t just about Him waking up on the wrong side of the bed and being angry at people on earth and smiting them. He carefully reveals their culpability, which usually boils back to a covenantal relationship that has been broken. And within a covenantal relationship are terms and they are spelled out. So, if you enter into the covenant or contract of marriage or any other business contract or any kind of agreement, there’s going to be terms. They are the terms that you’re agreeing to so that it’s spelled out very plainly what will happen if that happens so that nobody is confused. And that’s a lot of what we see. But what we see is that God sends a prophetic voice of warning way in advance. So, like, we read the book of Jeremiah just recently and that covered the scope of decades of warnings and patience and trying to rectify the situation and pleading and inviting back and all of this. And we have to pay attention to that as we move through these prophecies because, not only are they warnings before hand, they are also promises after the fact. So, like, you’re breaking the covenant, if you continue to break the covenant then this is what’s going to happen, this is what you are leading yourself into. But if you are going to go ahead and continue that and destroy yourself then even after the fact I’m not going to forget you and there will come a day when it all will be restored again. And we need to remember this and see this as we move through these books of prophecy. But in today’s reading in the book of Ezekiel, God is highlighting personal culpability and responsibility, which is an important clarification because this society is largely made up of tribes, clans and families. And each family has a family leader and it’s an extended family, what we would think of as an extended family, not just like man and his wife and their kids. It’s usually a multigenerational thing and they all work together for the common good of the family. So, decisions are made and everyone falls in line and they work together as one. So, this is where things like the arrangement for a marriage or a bride price being paid, all of this kind of comes from that. So, like, if a woman is going to marry a man, she’s going to join his family and become a part of that family. And, so, the family that she’s leaving, her birth family, might be compensated for the loss of her presence and her work in the family. That’s just the tip of the iceberg but just an example to say, like, here’s kind of what we’re talking about, which leads us closer to this clarification, this distinction. So, the general way that these prophecies would’ve been read would’ve been family centric. So, for example, family leader A leads his family into bail worship, the family follows along and begins to worship bail because their leader made these decisions, and so everybody worships bail and they’re culpable before God for idol worship. And they’re all held responsible because of this family leader. So, they all face the same judgment, kind of like we saw in the book of Jeremiah with the story of Aiken, who did not obey God in the battle of Jericho and made his entire family guilty. Today, God clarifies personal responsibility. So, he says, ‘why do you quote the proverb concerning the land of Israel, that the parents have eaten the sour grapes but their children’s mouth pucker at the taste’. Which is just alluding to what we just talked about. So, in terms of what God is saying to the people, through Ezekiel, He responds - ‘As surely as I live, says the sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel, for all people are Mine to judge, both parents and children alike and this is My rule. The person who sins is the one who will die’. And then there are a number of examples of this, clarifying that each individual person is personally responsible for the covenantal relationship with God and each person will reap what they sow. Which leads us to God revealing His heart about all this. ‘Do you think’, God said, ‘that I like to see wicked people die, says the sovereign Lord? Of course not, I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live’. And there it is. There’s God’s posture of heart toward the people that he’s speaking to. And he goes on to say, ‘repent, turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you. Put all your rebellion behind you and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, O people of Israel? I want you to die, says the sovereign Lord. Turn back and live’. And of course, we’ve all heard the word repent. Repentance is to change, to change what’s going on inside you, to change the way you’re looking at things, to go a different way. So, God is saying, look, each of you have this choice and this choice affects your destiny and I’m telling you flat out I want you to live and prosper. It’s all I’ve ever wanted for you. But this is a covenant and there are terms and if you want the benefits of the covenant, the benefits of Me being your God, then you will have to obey the covenant. I am obeying it. I expect you to be faithful and loyal to it as well, but the choice is yours. And that my friends, echoes its way across history and plops itself squarely in our own laps. You can’t blame God for what you have done but you can repent and come running home and the choice is yours.
Father, we allow that to sit in our laps. We sit with that. We invite Your Holy Spirit to reveal the ways that we’re breaking the covenant, that we’re being unfaithful to You. You use the word adultery and adulterer many times in these prophecies in order to explain what it feels like for You and what’s really happening. And, so, we don’t want any part of that. It’s leading nowhere but destruction. Come, Holy Spirit and show us the places that we’ve compromised ourselves, that we’re stepping out on You, that we’re cheating on You, and then blaming You for the repercussions of it. We’re sorry. We’re sorry that we’ve done this, we’re sorry that we do this. We invite Your Holy Spirit to correct us in this. We choose another way. We repent. We turn around and face You and come running back. Holy Spirit, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Looking at the calendar, the next time we will be out on the road, actually, the last time that we will be out on the road for the year will be November 19th. So, just like a week and half from now. We’ll be in the Shreveport Louisiana area, Bossier City, bringing the Sneezing Jesus message at River Valley church. So, if you’re in the area be sure to come out. You can get all the details at dailyaudiobible.com. Just go to the events section and maps and phone numbers and websites and like all that stuff are there. So, we’ll look forward to seeing you out on the road.
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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:
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is Wrapped in His Unfailing Love. I want to thank you all for all your and for ___. And…just…I am so blessed today to hear that Darryl, I don’t know why we so surprised when God answers our prayers. It’s just a wonderful, hallelujah. Lord, I want to pray for Jordan from Michigan today. I just heard your prayer request. I was reading today in my devotional. It says do not be afraid for I am close beside you, guarding and guiding all the way. So, I am always with you. You are often unaware of My presence. So Jordan, I know that you are being attacked by the enemy and right now, please family pray with me. Lord, I lift up our brother Jordan to You. He is being attacked by the spirit of anxiety and depression and right now, we just cast those terrible afflictions back down to hell where they are from. They are not meant for your people. And Lord, I pray that you would replace this with the fruit of Your Spirit in Jordan, which we already see that brings him…brings him to full fruition of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, Lord. Inundate Your servant Jordan with this. And every day, help him to put on the armor that will defeat the enemy and that he can stand his ground, that he would just put on the full armor of God, Lord, every day. Bless all our teachers, Lord, but especially Jordan. In Jesus…
This is Kim from Oklahoma and I’m calling today to hopefully bring some encouragement to Jordan from Michigan. I heard your message last year when you were a first year teacher and began to pray for you. And then I heard your message today. And I am not a teacher, but I have been an administrator at a small school for about 25 years. And I just wanted to you that one thing that we have seen over the years is that first year teachers have it really rough. And we have a Christian school, but it seems like that the students are critiquing that new teacher, parents are wanting to see what kind of teacher that they might be, and who you are, and what you stand for. And, so, I’m just calling to encourage you just to stand firm, that if you know that this is where God wants you, that you would remain steadfast, and just pray that God will help you to have good classroom management skills and to shine His light wherever you are. So, today I Pray for you Jordan. Dear Lord, I pray for Jordan. I pray that You would be his peace and his joy and that he may trust You like he’s never trusted You before during this trial, that he shine God’s light and be victorious in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is To be a Blessing from California. This morning, as I was listening to the community prayers from the 4th of November, I was just struck by so many, so many people praying for all of us, and I’ve been praying as well. It’s just an honor to be able to know that I can participate in supporting you and the requests that you have for your family, and for friends, for yourself. I’m speaking specifically of Rayna, for Sharon the Victor, for Shannon and her challenges, for Shantay, for Lee of New Jersey, for Pam in New York, and Gloria, for so many others. Father God, without a doubt, we are so grateful to be Your children. We are so grateful for Your deep love for us, knowing that because of Jesus, your son, we are victorious. Because of Jesus, we have your peace. Because of Jesus, we have your fruits of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience - so many others, Lord. I ask in the name of Jesus, that each one who listens to call…who desires call…but doesn’t feel courageous enough…for those struggling with various aspects of their lives. I ask, Father, that by Your Holy Spirit, You would draw close to them, walk beside them, wrap them in Your arms, let them know how much You love them and experience Your presence through the joys of bringing to their attention, things only you would know about that would make him happy, that would let them know…
Hi everyone, this is Sheryl in Arizona. It’s been a while since I called. I’m calling tonight, it’s going on 7 o'clock my time, to just ask for prayer. My husband and I live in Arizona and we’ve been here, the second time since 2013, and we are just so…we’re just so unhappy. Neither one of us feels like Arizona is our place and we just really miss, though there is beauty here and all of that, we really miss being somewhere where there’s seasons and we can that physical change and that transition throughout the year. He’s from Illinois and I grew up in North Carolina. Both places are just beautiful and have four seasons. And we just really do feel like we are in a desert. And he works at a job that he just absolutely hates and is experiencing burnout. It’s a very real thing. And it’s not that we are not grateful, and we definitely see the hand of the Lord and the blessings of God upon our lives. We just really, really…I’m just asking for your prayers, Daily Audio Bible, for us to have clarity and courage. We feel like it is time, we would really like to be in Illinois. We know that it gets incredibly cold there but I lived there with him for 8 months and loved it. So, please, I just ask you for your prayers. I would appreciate them. We would appreciate them so much. And I love you all and I love hearing you, it definitely makes me feel not so alone. Okay. Thank you. I love you. Bye.