Habakkuk 1:1-3:19, Revelations 9:1-21, Psalms 137:1-9, Proverbs 30:10
Today is the 18th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today. One week, one week from today is Christmas day and we are in the thick of this Advent and Christmas season. And today we will read, at least from our Old Testament reading, we will read the entirety of the book of Habakkuk.
And this book is the eighth one, eighth of the minor prophets in the Old Testament. And we don’t know a whole lot about Habakkuk, but Jewish rabbinical tradition would tell us that Habakkuk was the son of the Shunamite woman that Elisha raised from the dead in the book of second Kings. So, we don’t know that, but that is definitely the tradition. And because of the way the narrative is written, many scholars believe that Habakkuk may have been a Temple profit. In most cases, this would mean that he was a prophetic musician, gifted in the instruments of the time, like the liar, the harp, or the cymbals. And some scholars believe that Habakkuk’s lyrical and poetic nature indicates that he was probably a Levite working in the temple as a Temple profit. Habakkuk wonders aloud in this prophetic book what God is doing in his time. Right? So, we often wonder the same things. Habakkuk sees injustice. He sees misfortune around him. And he has what seems to be doubt. He dares question. Something that we frown upon in this day in age for some reason. But he dares question and God dares answer. And, once again, we’re shown in Scripture that don’t know all that we think we know. In fact, we know very little of what is really going on. And Habakkuk presses into that. And we see in this book one of the most beautiful pictures of the story of our lives, a story of doubt and questions that are then transformed into absolute trust in the sovereign Lord. So, we’re reading from the names of God Bible this week. Habakkuk 1:1 through 3:19.
Okay. So, we read from the ninth chapter of Revelation today. So, let’s just remember, we started Revelation with this image of Jesus, seven golden lampstands that represented seven churches, seven letters were written, one to each of these churches, and then a scroll was revealed that no one could open and it had seven seals on it. And the lamb steps forward, and he is the only one, Jesus is the only one that can open the seals. So, he breaks the seals and what is held by those seals is then revealed. Then we have seven angels before the throne of God who are given trumpets and they’re each now blowing their trumpets. And we went to the first four trumpets yesterday. And the fifth and sixth angels blow their trumpets today. And, so, we begin when the fifth angel blew his trumpet, I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky and the star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. Okay, so we have to kind of go back into the different ways that this can be read. So, you read this literally, because we’ve seen a bunch of stuff falling from the sky. And, so, a star falls from the sky and then the star, the rock, this star somehow is given a key and opens up a shaft it’s on earth, but it’s a bottomless pit. And, so, you can see how, like, from a literal perspective, it would be kind of hard for a star to hold a key and turn a key lock. It would be hard to find something bottomless on earth. Like, if you started digging now, right, if it was even possible, we’d go through the center of the earth and out the other side and that would then end up in space on the other side of the world. How could that be bottomless? So, a completely literal reading of the book of Revelation…I mean…would be very challenging. The star falling from the sky, has been interpreted a number of ways, mostly dealing with that the star is actually an angel. But then the question becomes, is this a good angel or is this a bad angel. And it’s been noted by scholars that the star falling from the sky imagery usually refers to a judgment of some kind. And that there is no other reference in the Scriptures to, like, a good, a godly angel falling from the sky, like a star. That only happens when an angel is judged and cast down. So, for example, in the gospel of Luke, Jesus said, I saw Satan fall like a star from the heavens. So, many commentators, not all, but many commentators would say, this has to be the judgment of an angel that is being cast down. This may be Satan himself being cast down to do this task because he is under the sovereignty of God or one of his minions. So, this entity is given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. It opens the bottomless pit, and of course, the bottomless pit is probably a metaphor for the realm of the judged. And when this pit is opened smoke comes out of the shaft like the smoke from a large furnace and the smoke darkens the sun and the air. So, there’s a number of interpretations around this. I mean, so, if you’re reading literally, then its smoke, like there’s a lot of smoke, enough to darken the sun and the air. So, a serious amount of pollution. If we’re from looking a little more allegorically, then darkness is usually the metaphor for like a spiritual darkness, a blindness. And, so, this comes pouring out of the bottomless pit and darkens the world. And immediately following the smoke and the darkness, locusts come flying out of the bottomless pit, out of the smoke, onto the earth and that they’re given power, like that of the scorpion. And they’re not allowed to harm nature, like they cannot harm the grass or green plants or the trees. They can only torment the people. And they can only bring this judgment on those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. So, obviously from a literal perspective we’re talking about insect like creatures that look like locusts, but have stingers like scorpions, and they plague the earth. If you’re looking allegorically, then, I mean, when you look at something allegorically you can interpret it however you interpret it, which is why this is such diversity and interpretations that are everything from rational to far-fetched, and many in conflict with each other because you don’t know exactly what the symbolism means. But if we’re taking a pragmatic scholarship perspective, trying to draw comparisons with similar visions that happen in other places in the Bible, then these locusts can represent those beings that have been held in the bottomless pit. And a good many scholars would say that that’s associated with the fallen angels, demonic forces that have been held there and they are loosed upon the earth, but they can’t hurt the earth’s nature and they can’t hurt those who have been sealed with the seal of God on their foreheads. And, so, God allows the trumpet blast to happen. This star, this angel falls and is sent down to earth with the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit, it’s opened, and all kinds of things come spilling out on the earth, things that can’t harm those with God’s seal on their foreheads, but those who don’t, they’re definitely receiving judgment. And that judgment will either harden their hearts and lead them toward their ultimate destruction or soften their hearts and they turn to God. And for a lot of scholars this whole picture, this whole scene, reveals that the judgment that was formerly limited to those demonic forces who are in this pit is now extending all across the earthly realm. Because of Christ’s victory through his death and resurrection, judgment has begun. Not only in the bottomless pit, but also upon the earth, and that is happening through the darkness coming out of the pit. People are being blinded in the darkness and tormented and oppressed, but this isn’t happening to those who have been sealed by God. And there is a bit of a parallel here in Jesus words from the Gospel of Luke, ‘I was watching Satan fall from heaven like a lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall harm you. Your names are recorded in heaven.’ So, if this parallel is correct, then those sealed by God, have authority over these things that are coming up out of the abyss. They have authority over them and can’t be harmed by them, which would lead us to believe that this is allegorical. The imagery is symbolic. And then the sixth angel blows his trumpet and the sixth angel was instructed to release the four angels who are held at the great Euphrates River. Some would say these are like dark ark angels. So, like very, very powerful demonic forces. Some draw parallels with the four angels that were from the four corners of the earth and the four winds, but most translators and commentators would say these are evil, they’re being held against their will for a specific time for a specific task and their loosed. And, whereas in the fifth trumpet, everything coming up out of the abyss wasn’t allowed to kill anyone, wasn’t allowed to harm nature, wasn’t allowed to touch anyone with the seal of God on their forehead, and wasn’t allowed to kill anybody. It was just tormenting and oppressing people. Whereas in the sixth trumpet, when these four angels are loosed, they’re loosed, they’re loosed to kill one third of humanity. And John says that the number of those forces were 20,000×10,000. So, that’s 200 million. So, if you’re reading literally, then four actual angels have been being held at the great Euphrates River for a time period that we don’t have any way of knowing, but they’ve been held for a specific hour and day and month and year. And they’re released and there’s 200 million soldiers on horses that are loosed to do this task of killing one third of humanity. If we’re looking at this a little more allegorically, let’s remember, if we’re looking at things allegorically, then everything can have a meaning. So, if we’re looking at this allegorically, but with a pragmatic view, then powerful dark forces are released. They have been held for an indefinite period of time, but held for this time, this time of judgment that were reading about. And there’s a vast horde involved. And they unleashed three plagues: fire, smoke and sulfur. And these come out of their mouth’s. So, allegorically, what’s coming out of their mouths is bringing darkness, blindness, the inability to see clear. The power of these forces is in their mouths and in their tails. So, like, in their words and in their deeds. They are bringing such spiritual darkness and chaos and torment and depression that the result is death, and this affects a third of the earth’s population. Or if we’re not taking that number literally, a lot of people are affected by this darkness and death that spreads because of this. And then as we end our reading for today, with the sixth trumpet there’s kind of an aside, God’s commentary here. The people who survived these plagues still did not turn to me and change the way they were thinking and acting. If they had, they would’ve stopped worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. They did not turn away from committing murder, practicing witchcraft, sinning sexually, or stealing. So, using the formula that the Bible gives us for judgment, that it can have a refining and perfecting and purifying outcome or it can have a hardening outcome that leads a person who rejects it to their own destruction, we can see that, in spite of all that is going on, there are still those who have not died, but who are still rejecting God.
Father, Father, we don’t want any part of that. We don’t want any part of rejecting You. And yet, we confess that we have done exactly that in our thoughts, words and deeds, by what we’ve done and by what we’ve left undone. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit to continue to refine and purify us. And we reframe the suffering that we’ve endured in this world. We hate it. We don’t want to go through it. We want You to take it away. These are so much of the content of our prayers. And, although we will continue to ask You for Your counsel on how to navigate through things that are very difficult and unexpected, we choose to also look at what You are doing in these things, that You’ve got us, and these things refine and purify us. And truly, we want to be pure before You, true before You. We want to be sealed in You for all of eternity. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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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 Prayer Requests and Praise Reports:
Hi. This is Victoria S. I just wanted to call and say something to my sister Joyce. I wanted to say to her that God knew that you were such a special baby, that even though your mother and dad didn’t see it in you, God saw it in you and stopped them. And God wanted me to tell you, before you get ready to take that test, you do the studying you do, but before you get ready to take that test, to pray about it and let the Holy Ghost bring all things to your remembrance and you __ that test because we need doctors with hearts like yours. And I want to pray for the DABbers that have been going through, those that have been going through in their marriages, those that have been having anxieties and things that the enemies been attacking. And we know why he’s attacking, because we’ve got something. The devil isn’t going to attack us if we don’t have nothing. So, let’s give Him the praise and let God have His way. God wants to show us that He is God and above Him there is no other. Continue, my brothers and sisters, to be strong in the Lord and to look to Him. Don’t let anything between you __. I don’t mind waiting, because remember, when we wait on the Lord He will renew our strength and we shall mount up with wings as eagles. We shall run and not be weary. So, continue to be blessed. I wanted to bless to Brian and Jill, and to little Ezekiel. I wanted to say hi to Blind Tony and Pastor Gene and Viola and all the people of God and my sister in New York, who she’s trying to get her mother. I wanted to say, be strong my sister, it’s alright. You can make it. In Jesus name. Have a blessed day. Bye-bye.
Hey Unis from New Jersey. I’m here to pray for you. Lord God I just lift up Unis, Father, in her diagnosis of cancer. Lord God, I hear her brokenness in her heart and I just pray right now for her to have strength. Lord, I pray that your spirit would come and rest on her in the name of Jesus. And that there would be peace that wraps her heart and that she would have strength unlike any other day, Lord God, so that no second is wasted. Father, that You will put Your hand on her, You will give her just the amount of energy and strength. Father, I pray that You would just make her bold. Father, these days are not here to show her numbers of the end, Lord God, they’re here to give her life right now, and that You intend for her to have life right now, abundantly, right now. So, I just pray that You would strengthen her for this last bit that she has…her leg of the race, I pray for healing over her body. I pray for her to have wisdom and boldness. I pray for her family to stand strong with her Lord God. I pray that You would give wisdom to the doctors overseeing her. And Lord, just give her joy. Pour out Your joy upon her that she will walk in a manner worthy of You, fully pleasing, that everyone she contacts and walks around in these days, her friends, her doctors, her nurses, Lord God, that they will be impacted and changed because Unis from New Jersey relies on You and that she trusts the Lord with all of her heart and with all of her mind and all of her strength. Sister, I’m praying for you. And I know it hurts and I know it’s hard to walk in, but you’re not alone and I love you.
Hi fellow DABbers. It’s Joe the Protector from Georgia. It’s December 13th I believe, 14th sorry. And it’s about 8 o’clock in the morning. I just got finished listening to the 14th podcast and just calling in over a couple of the prayer requests that came through on…in the end. The first one was the lady, not sure where you’re from, I forgot, or your name, but you said you were having twins and there’s some complications going on, and you’re just concerned about that, which is a natural thing to be concerned about. But just remember to keep trusting God and don’t doubt His promises and what He has in store for you and the children. The second one was the lady in New Jersey who has just received word that she’s got stage 4 cancer. And, first of all, I am sorry to hear that, but it sounded like you’re fairly rooted and strong Christian. And just remember to stay grounded, to stay deeply rooted in His word. And just ask His will, just allow His will in your life to reign over you. And the third one was Pelham in Birmingham. Pelham, sorry to hear about the loss of your job or business or…and you know…but Gods got another door to open up for you somewhere. He knows His children that are faithful…
Good morning my DAB family. It’s December 14th. This is Lawrence, the Yahweh’s Warning Sign on the Narrow Path. I have a special request to Diane Olive B. If you could call in please and pronounce your Shalom, Shalom, nothing is missing nothing is broken. I don’t know why…everything is going my way. Everything going my way right now in my divorce proceedings. And yet, I’m overwhelmingly sad. I don’t know why. So, if you could please, Diane call in. I need to hear you say those words. Thank you.
Hello, this message is for Unis on the Daily Audio Bible of the 14th off December this year. And Unis, bless you, disclosing your stage 4 cancer. I was very touched by your prayer…or by your prayer request. I’ve never rung in before. I don’t normally do this kind of stuff. And when I hear people opening up I think they’re mad. I felt moved to pray for you Unis. And I’m going to try to pray every day for you. And I recorded a song and I joined a nutter club. I mean that in the nicest way. I really felt the need to sing my prayer to God but I haven’t found a way to be able to share it. So, my name doesn’t matter, it’s not about me. Sister, it’s about you. I’m Walter in a different country. I will be praying for you every day. We are around the campfire. And I pray to, that if it’s God will, you be healed as he did for my son three years ago. Have faith sister. Keep on going and thank you for moving this hard heart to actually do something. Bless you. Bye-bye.