Joel 1:1-3:21, Revelations 1:1-20, Psalms 128:1-6, Proverbs 29:18
Today is the 9th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and, of course, it is always great to be together around the global campfire. And as it gets colder and colder outside, it’s warmer and warmer when we’re snuggled up in community. So, it’s great to be here with you today. And today marks a little bit of a shift. And that is this, for the last little while we’ve been moving more rapidly through the New Testament, as we read through a lot of letters and those are shorter documents. Today, we reached the final book of the New Testament and will be spending the rest of the year in that book, the book of Revelation. At the same time, we’re moving through, what is known as the minor prophets, not so much because the profits were minor, but because the books are shorter, some as short as the letters that we read in the New Testament. And we’ll start moving more rapidly through the Old Testament. So, for example, in just a second, we’re going to read in its entirety, the book of Joel from the Old Testament.
So, let’s talk about the book of Joel. The prophet, Joel, wrote this book of prophecy, more than likely, somewhere around the mid-800s BC. So, we’re talking seven or eight centuries before Jesus. And he writes of a vast horde of locusts that have invaded the land and subsequently obliterated the crops and just about everything else causing great famine. And he uses this natural disaster as his backdrop to call the children of Israel toward repentance. And, as is true with most of the Bible, this brings the children of Israel to a fork in the road where a choice must be made. They can return to God and enjoy his blessings and restoration or they can continue to reject God and face what is called the day of the Lord, the day of God’s judgment. And of course, as we can see the arching narrative of the Bible, it’s not ever God’s will that His people suffer these terrible repercussions. So, He’s constantly calling them back, just like He still does today. And we’ll see that there is some of the most beautiful promises of restoration and hope that we’ll find in the entire Bible. And they are spoken in this very short book of prophecy, the book of Joel. And, so, we begin with Joel chapter 1 verse 1 through 3:21. And we’re reading from the English Standard Version this week.
Okay. So, as we move into the New Testament, like I said at the beginning, we’re moving into the final book of the Bible. But the book of Revelation is not really a book at all. It’s more like a letter. But from a literary perspective, it would be classified as apocalyptic, apocalyptic literature. In fact, for a long time this writing was known as the Apocalypse or the Apocalypse of John. And apocalypse is Greek, it means Revelation. And we know this writing by that name because that’s what an Apocalypse is, a revelation. It’s this unveiling of things that were not known previously and that couldn’t be known outside of the Revelation, outside of the unveiling. And we normally think of, like, the word apocalypse as a scary word that speaks of like the ultimate end in destruction of everything, but there’s all a lot more going on in the book of Revelation than that. And there are a lot of other apocalypses. Like, so, there’s a lot of other apocalyptic writing in many cultures, and other apocalyptic writings that were, or that came out of the Christian tradition, the early Christian tradition. This one was canonized into the New Testament. And traditionally, the author has been thought to be the apostle John. And that this was written on the isle of Patmos, where he had been exiled. And there’s a lot of scholarly debate, there has been a lot of scholarly debate for a long time, about who this John is. Is this really the apostle John, or was this a Christian prophet who was a follower of John, or whose name happened to be John? And that continues to be debated. However, early Christian writers, apostolic fathers, so like the second generation after the apostles, so like the grandchildren of the apostle’s generation, identify John the apostle as the John of Revelation. And the isle of Patmos is an island that’s southwest of Ephesus. And the Romans used this island to banish people who had committed crimes against Rome’s. So, if we’re talking about the apostle John writing this from the Isle of Patmos, he would’ve been a very old man at this point. And he wrote this letter to different churches that had been established during the time of Paul’s missionary journeys in the early church’s activity some 50 years earlier. So, some of the earliest Christian churches that were now into and moving into their second generation. And Revelation is one of the more controversial or misunderstood books of the Bible, but no matter which school of interpretation you adhere to, when you boil this all down, it’s a call to repentance and spiritual renewal. It’s a letter to encourage Christians, not to scare them and freak them out, to encourage Christians and bolster their faith in the face of tribulation and trial. And it’s actually a letter of great hope, because once again it shows that our Lord and Savior, Jesus, is in fact all-powerful. And in the end, He remains victorious and because He remains victorious we can remain victorious with Him. And, so, we begin the final book of the New Testament, Revelation chapter 1.
Father, we thank You so much as we do every day for Your word and the gift that it truly is in our lives. And we see the promise today from the book of Joel that You will pour out Your Spirit on all people, and Lord, let us be those people. Our hearts are open to You God. we ask that Your Holy Spirit lead and guide us, rebuke us, correct us, shape us as we move deeper and deeper into the relationship that You have offered us. Come Jesus. Come, we pray in Your holy name. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here. And a lot of Christmas things are going on around here right now.
And one of those things is your calls, your holiday greetings back into the Daily Audio Bible community. We do this every year. It’s a joy, a joyous time. It’s our version, as a virtual community, of our annual Christmas party, our family gathering for Christmas time. So, we take these calls for a period of time and then we start assembling this all together and move through the Christmas story and talk about the year and hear from each other and it’s just a wonderful time. And you can get involved in that. You should get involved in that. All you have to do is call the prayer line. 877-942-4253 is the number. But you can call any of the prayer lines. If you’re in the UK or Europe, 44-20-3608-8078, or if you’re in Australia or that part of the world, 61-3-8820-5459 is the number. And you just call in your Christmas greetings. And the only rule about that, because these are the prayer lines, are that you don’t mix a holiday greeting with a prayer request in the same call. Make those separate. And it’ll just be a beautiful time as it always is. So, we’re doing that right now for the next few days.
The Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box is available and it’s full of resources and goodies - some that you’ll give away as gifts, some that you’ll want to keep for yourself and you get to kind of go through and pick. So, that’s available in the Daily Audio Bible shop at dailyaudiobible.com.
Registration, early registration, is open for the More Gathering for women that’s coming up this April. That’s our annual women’s conference. And you can find out all about that at dailyaudiobible.com as well. Just go to the Initiatives section and you’ll find the More Gathering 2018. And all the information that you want or need to know is there. So, check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible as we approach the end of the year, thank you. Thank you, humbly, profoundly, deeply, gratefully for your partnership. There’s a link on the homepage of dailyaudiobible.com. If you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And I mentioned the numbers before, but if you have a prayer request, or comment, or holiday greeting, 877-942-4253 is the number.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports:
Hello my DAB family. This is Goddess, the Kings Daughter. I am praying for every single request that comes through. As I’ve stated on here before, I’m not really the one to call in but I am praying in the background. I feel that is where I am called to operate. So, I am calling to speak to my sister Gloria. I’ve been praying about your mom’s situation, and also the situation between your brother and yourself. And all I hear in my spirit is that you should be still and know that God is God. Be still and know that he is God. I will encourage you to read Psalm 46, with emphasis on verse 10, saying that be still know He is God. He is our refuge in times of need. He is not going to…He hasn’t abandoned you. He is fighting for you. Because you’re not hearing from Him doesn’t mean that He’s not working. So, be still and have that peace in your heart my dear and know that God is working on your behalf. You may not see it, but I for one, if I have to tell you what I’ve been through, what I went through all of last year, and I’m still going through, which I need to actually call for a prayer request for myself and I haven’t done so yet. My sister be still and know that that God is with you. All is well. Praying for you. Bye-bye.
Good morning DAB family. This is Spoken By Faith from New York City. Today is December 5th and I’m calling to just let you guys know that I’m praying and I heard Christi from New York asking for prayer for marriages and that’s always been on my heart. I’ve have a request also for my sister in Virginia, she’s doing much better. She was bleeding out from a vain in her esophagus and have made several transfusions and now they are finding bandings and therapy so hopefully they will stop the bleeding and she won’t need a __. I’m asking for prayers for her. Her name is __. And I ask for prayer for my brother also in his marriage. And today my heart is broken because my son’s wife, just yesterday, told him that she needed space and just…my grandson…and I’m just broken hearted for him. That’s why I just feel such a burden, I’ve always had such a burden for marriages, and I’m praying with him to be able to…just… hold onto the Lord as so many are going through…spouses that just want out for no reason…they want space…whatever it is…it just doesn’t make any sense. God is in control and I pray that you would intercede with Him as he’s going through this very trying time. And I intercede with those that are also in difficult marriages and difficult situations and need healing. Whatever your need is, and I’ve been listening every day and I pray and intercede and I ask you to keep my son in prayer as he’s also going through this and that. That God would speak to…
Hello Daily Audio Bible community. This is Greg from Stow, Ohio. And my prayer request is for all international students that are visiting our country, that they would hear the gospel and respond to the gospel, especially during this holiday season. There’s over a million international students from countries where the gospel is not really proclaimed. So, let’s pray that God draws them to Himself while they are here visiting us and that Americans would reach out to them. Lord, thank You God for bringing these people from all across these nations, from all across the world to our doorstep and God, I pray that You would draw them to yourself and that Christians would be motivated to invite them to church services, to Christmas programs, to befriend them, and to share the love of Jesus with them. I pray that many would find Christ and become missionaries to their own countries. Thank You Lord. And I pray for the missionaries that work with these students, that You would bless them and protect them from the enemy, protect them from the spiritual warfare they encounter and guard their marriages, provide for them, funding wise. And I just thank You for their work and I thank You for the amazing opportunity we have as believers to share the gospel with people who don’t know You. Help us to do it with this with boldness but with humility. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. Thanks a lot. This is Greg. I’m on Instagram actually on @daily_bible_devotional or you can find me at gospeldriven.org. God bless you guys. Thank you so much for your ministry. I’ve been reading through the bible every year for the last 20 years and your audio broadcast…
Lord, our God, how majestic is Your name in all the air. The heavens and creation all around us declare Your glory. You are the source of all things. You sustain all things. You keep this world spinning and my feet moving. Lord, the cares of this world are threatening to overwhelm me. You know what they are. Help me to let them go and give them to you. Help me to cast my anxieties on You. Help me to trust in Your love, Your strength, and Your provision. Help me learn to be content. Help me know that I can do all things through You who gives me strength. I’m sorry Lord for all the times I’ve relied on myself to get me through when I should have trusted and relied on You. I’m sorry for the times I’ve doubted. Help me to remember Lord that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank You Lord for how you’ve made me and help me to remember that I am loved by You and that You made me to be me. [singing] If I were a butterfly, I thank You Lord for giving me wings. And if I were a robin in a tree, I thank You Lord that I could sing. And if I were a fish in the sea, I’d wiggle my tail and I’d giggle with thee. But I just thank You Father for making me me. For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile. You gave me Jesus and You made me your child but I just thank You God for making me...