Zephaniah 1:1-3:20, Revelations 10:1-11, Psalms 138:1-8, Proverbs 30:11-1
Today is the 19th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s wonderful to be here with you today in this most wonderful time of the year. And even as we count down the days until Christmas, we’re counting down the books that remain in the Bible to read this year. And we’ll move through one of those books in its entirety today as we get to our Old Testament reading. We’ll read the book of Zephaniah.
Zephaniah is another of the books of minor prophecy, obviously, contained in the Old Testament. It’s written in full in three chapters. And, although Zephaniah’s prophetic words are for the children of Israel, they’re also a call to repentance for all of the surrounding nations and, for that matter, even the whole world. Zephaniah’s prophecy contains similar themes to some of the other books of prophecy. It announces the onset of judgment, the judgment of God. It’s a call to repentance and a declaration of restoration. God always restores. And we find that theme throughout the entire Bible. And even though these words were written, probably, in the seventh century BC, we can look at them through the lens of the 21st-century and find dramatic relevance there. The heart of man, the drive and passions of mankind are remarkably similar, and if we change the names and places, things look remarkably now as they did then. And, so, we begin reading from the Names of God Bible. Zephaniah, chapter 1 verse 1 through 3 verse 20.
Okay. So, in the book of Revelation we’ve been moving through trumpet blasts and there are supposed to be seven trumpet blasts and we’ve gotten through six of them and were expecting the seventh one, but in today’s reading we kind of encounter another aside. A similar thing happened were going through the scrolls just before this. Six scrolls were opened and there was kind of like an aside before the seventh seal. So, what we encounter in chapter 10 of the book of Revelation is a powerful angel coming down from heaven and several things have been noted about this. First of all, it seems like a change of location for John, because previous to this he had been kind of caught up into the presence of the Lord in heaven, but now he appears to be back on earth because he sees this angel coming down from heaven. And this isn’t an angel being cast down, like a star falling from the sky kind of imagery. And it’s been observed that this angel is unlike any other angel, at least in description. He was dressed in a cloud. And there was a rainbow over his head and his face was like the sun and his feet were like columns of fire and he must’ve been awesome in appearance to be able to stand on the sea and stand on the land at the at the same time. And he shouted with a voice like a lion. And as with just about every other word in this book, you know, it’s been examined from every conceivable angle and there are various interpretations. Obviously, from a literal perspective, this is an angel. And then we describe what this angel looked like. But a good many interpreters would say this imagery, of a being with the face like the sun, coming in the clouds with a voice like the roar of a lion, this is more than an angel, this is a divine being. And some would say, for sure, this is Jesus, while others would say this is the angel of God, or God himself. So, coming in the cloud, voice of a lion, rainbow, face like the sun, standing on the land and the sea, this is a picture of ultimate sovereignty, complete control. Which is fascinating to think about because it’s coming between trumpet blasts, it’s coming between the sixth and the seventh trumpet blasts that this happens, where Jesus or a spectacular divine representative comes down in the midst of this showing complete dominance and control and authority and sovereignty and when he speaks the thunders respond. So, it seems like kind of a big deal. And the seven thunders speak and John was going to write down what they had to say, but then he was told not to, to seal it up, and not write it down. Which has caused many, obviously, to wonder, okay, what was said? What was it that wasn’t written down? But, I mean, it wasn’t written down. John was told not to write it down. So, I guess, at the end of the day, it wasn’t written down. So, we don’t know for sure and this has puzzled many a scholar. Some say that God was making a point, that He was withholding, that He was demonstrating that He was sovereign and in complete control by not revealing all the future judgments. And, so, everyone not knowing all of the judgments forced those who believe to be more dependent, press in deeper. Others have drawn parallels with the apostle Paul, who claimed to be caught up into the third heaven and heard things that he couldn’t retell, that he couldn’t write down. Others have speculated that God had disclosed many things about the transformation of the apocalypse and the judgments and what would come from them, but He’s unwilling to totally reveal his complete plans. They will be hidden from humanity until they happen, until the end of history. Others argue, convincingly, that this is a pause, that God isn’t going to do whatever those things being spoken were, that he’s relenting, that he’s pulling back, which is true in many prophetic instances in the Bible. But the fact still remains that whatever was spoken that John was going to write down, he was told not to write down, so he didn’t write it down, so we don’t know what it was. Immediately after this exchange, the angel who’s standing on the sea and on the land, raises his hand and swears an oath to heaven, ‘by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and everything in it, the earth and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it. So, the oath is being sworn in the name of the Almighty Sovereign God. And the oath is, there will be no more delay. In the days when the seventh angel was ready to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be completed as he had made this good news known to his servants the prophets. So, whenever this seventh trumpet does blow, the mystery of God will be completed as God had spoken through the prophets. So, in other words, the long overarching plan of God’s redemption is completed, as had been foretold by the prophets. And there’s been plenty of conjecture on exactly what this mystery of God is, but most will land somewhere around the fact that this is God’s plan all along, this is his plan of redemption all along. And, basically, Jesus arrival signifies the beginning of the end. And the end is the beginning of the New World. So, God’s plan of redemption had been foretold all along through the Scriptures. But the mystery of God’s plan began when Jesus was revealed in his first coming. And this idea comes from Paul’s letter to the Romans, from the 16th chapter of Romans, where it says, ‘now to him who is able to establish you according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested. And by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God has been made known to the nations.’ So, that’s pretty compelling evidence that the mystery of God spoken of here in the book of Revelation is exactly that. So, the idea here is that the mystery of God is the way that he brought about redemption. He came in the flesh, and by human standards, by cultural standards, he was utterly defeated. So, he came into the world and he was light in the world, but the world didn’t see the light and instead tried to stamp the light out. And, so, Jesus was crucified and died in what looked like absolute complete defeat. But the mystery is that this was God’s plan. And Jesus was resurrected as the firstborn of essentially a new species, the family of God. And, essentially, that was the beginning of the end. And, so, as we read through the book of Revelation, then, the troubling things that are happening on earth are part of that plan. The hardships catalyze who is with God, and who is against God, who is God’s enemy. And as the enemies of God persecute the people of God, it could look like utter and complete defeat. It could look like the faith is being stamped out, like the light is being extinguished, God’s enemies triumphing over God’s people. But following along with the mystery of God’s plan as played out in the life of Jesus, you find your life by losing it. And, so, what looks like utter defeat and humiliation is actually complete and total victory. The next thing John is told to do is go and take this small scroll from the angel and eat it. And it will be sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach. And that’s exactly what happened. John eats the little book or scroll and its sweet in his mouth and bitter in his stomach. And we end today’s reading with John being instructed, after he has eaten this, that he must continue to speak what God is revealed. So, a literal reading here, I guess, is theoretically possible. He could have somehow eaten a parchment that, somehow, tasted sweet to him, but soured his stomach, but most think this is symbolic. Some would say that this is a commissioning or a recommissioning of John himself as a prophet, like he’s taking these words and putting them inside himself, and this is a symbol that he is being set aside as a prophetic voice. And the reason for this is because the prophet Ezekiel was told to do something very similar, and that’s pretty compelling. But what’s also interesting is that John eats the words and they’re sweet and then they become bitter and his stomach. So, we have a bittersweet thing going on here. So, on the one hand, John is experiencing sustenance and sweetness in the words of God, but what he has to prophesy is also difficult. So, it’s bittersweet. Another way of looking at this would be that, the word of God as its ingested is a sweet sustaining thing, but when it goes inside of us it disrupts, it brings up all kinds of things that have to be dealt with. And that could be what this imagery is representing. Others have looked at this imagery and concluded that the sweetness is a reference to the overall plan, God’s redemptive grace, long-suffering, and kindness in his plan of salvation. But the reality that exists throughout the entire New Testament is that perseverance, endurance in the face of suffering, is part of the story. Grace is experienced in hardship. So, no matter how we look at this, we can say that the bitter and the sweet are intermingled and that John is instructed, in spite of the bitter and the sweet, to continue to speak what God has revealed. And that’s where we end up in our reading from the book of Revelation today.
Father, as we contemplate these things that we have read from Your word, not just from the book of Revelation, but also from the book of Zephaniah, and the Psalms, and the Proverbs, we invite Your Holy Spirit to continue to churn and grow our faith. We see clearly in the Scriptures our utter dependence on You for life itself and we see the ways in which we turn to other things to sustain us. But we also see clearly that, in the end, there is nothing but You, there is no other place to put our hope. And, so, we take this moment to turn our hearts toward our utter dependence on You and You alone. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Audio Bible Chronological – Interview with Brian Hardin and China Hardin
Brian: dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. And, so, I have a big surprise for you today. I am sitting next to my daughter, China. Hi China.
Brian: How are you?
China: I’m good. How are you?
Brian: I’m good. And we have a bit of an announcement to make today. There’s so many things that you and I could talk about right now that I don’t know that everybody knows. You have been reading the Bible every day almost as long as me.
Brian: Almost. I think 2010. Right? 2010 was the first year.
China: Ah, yea.
Brian: I think that’s right. I’d have to look at some old calendars or something to figure that out, but I think that’s about right. And you were 10 years old. Right?
China: Yea. So, this is finishing my 9th year.
Brian: Yea, every day, seven days a week since you were 10 years old and you’re just finishing your ninth year. And you’ve just turned 20. So, it was really your vision to launch Daily Audio Bible Kids back in those days.
China: Way back when.
Brian: Way back when, in another life, when you were half your age. And, so, we did that together and then you went on to do that by yourself for many, many years. And then the day came when you’re like I’m not a kid anymore.
China: As all kids do.
Brian: As all kids do. And, so, Daily Audio Bible Teen grew out of that. But now you’re not a teen anymore.
China: I know.
Brian: And, so, but your desire for reading the Bible and having that as the rhythm of your life and continuing what you’ve been doing for, you know, for nine years was still your desire. And, so, we were talking about that during the summer and even during the spring. And, so, now we’re about to launch something brand-new in the Daily Audio Bible family of programs called Daily Audio Bible Chronological. And you had that idea, actually, for this year, 2017. And that’s kind of how you’ve read through the Bible on DAB Teen this year. And you found some love for that. What is attracting you to the chronological reading?
China: I think, ultimately, starting in the New Testament with the kids for a long time definitely gets you interested in the character of Jesus. But then, moving forward in teens, then having the desire to read all of Gods word and doing just the old testament for a year and then doing both. I was like, I think it would be cool to switch it up, to read it, like, in order. And I honestly didn’t even know that chronological was a word or, like, what it was. And, so, I remember coming to you and praying for what 2017 was supposed to look like and saying that I just wanted to read the bible in order, in sequence of events, and I don’t care if it doesn’t make sense in terms of, like, the books of the Bible as being a little bit interrupted with each other. And I really didn’t understand what that would look like. And you were like, okay, chronological. And I was like, ah, sure. I don’t know what that word is. But then understanding that people had even, like, asked for it, or had a desire for it was really just confirmation that the Lord had spoken and said I want you to read this. And not only just that but placed that desire in my heart. And, so, I just was like, well, I’m going to do it this year and commit to it. I can’t really back out half way through and we’ll see how far we go into this before I’m like either totally in love with it or totally, like, never doing that again. But I think, honestly, it was the second week that I was, like, ready to, like, fully commit to this. And you were like, well, we’ve got to wait until next year. And I remember thinking, okay, like, I’ll give this a full year. I’m going to devote a year to this and see where this goes. And I think, like, more than half way through the year we were still in the old testament and I was like man, like, this is going to go on forever, like, is there, where does Jesus come into this? But then going into the New Testament and having those same stories of the gospels being read, like maybe the same story three times within a day, helps you retain the information better. And just understanding the sequence of events, like, it makes it feel a little bit more real to me because the story keeps going. And, so, I personally, I just loved it as a person who really likes order and things to make sense. It really did for me. And, so, we haven’t finished the year yet. Still, I think we’re entering into the last couple of books of the New Testament, but I’m already kind of like, man, this year really flew by just with reading in a year, going through. I mean, we’ve done this forever, it feels like, but to have the same story but reading it in order brings a different perspective to things.
Brian: Yea, it does. It does. And, so, I mean, I’ve been excited to do this all year long. I’ve been excited for…literally…I’ve been looking forward to the time that we could have this conversation most of the year… just to announce this because we’ve been planning on it for most of this year. You know, since, like you said, you found a love for it.
Brian: And, so, I’m excited that we can offer this new rhythm of a way to go through the Scriptures, and now that you’re all grown up, I’m excited to see a community grow up around the chronological rhythm of the Bible as well. And, so, we’re super excited to launch Daily Audio Bible Chronological. That will begin on the 1st of January. And China will begin leading a community through the chronological Bible while I continue to move through the one year plan that we use at Daily Audio Bible. And I think it’s can be fantastic and the communities will be united, we’re the same community, this is the Daily Audio Bible. And, so, you know, all of the things that are going on in the Daily Audio Bible community will be in both of these programs, including, you know, a number to call, and the prayer calls, and the community, and all of the things that go along with the Daily Audio Bible will be in Daily Audio Bible Chronological. So, I couldn’t be more proud of you. I told you, we had a meeting about this a few days ago, that I don’t know anyone, like I’ve literally never met anyone in the world that’s your age that has been, you know, reading the Bible every single day, hasn’t missed day in this many years, and has done it just like I have. So, you’re my hero. And I’m excited to see all that God is going to do through DAB Chronological through you. So, you’ve been reading the Bible every day since you were 10 years old. We started talking about this when you were 9. I think some of what inspired this was that you and I went to India together back then.
Brian: And that was like a huge disruption for you.
Brian: It took you way, way, way out of your comfort zone. And…but it was also…just…I think…a real formative thing that happened and Daily Audio Bible Kids grew out of out of that. What happened? I mean, for you as a person, who’s done this, you know, between the ages of 10 and 20, what has having the Bible in your life everyday been like for you.
China: I think it’s meant different things at different times. I think as a kid you’re not super aware of, like, everything that you’re reading. And I think that’s ultimately why we chose the New Testament, because it is a little bit easier for a kid’s mindset to understand. And, so, growing up with that. But honestly, I think at some point it started becoming like muscle memory and just was becoming like a reading thing. And that’s ultimately when I was like, okay, I’ve got to either just stop this because this isn’t really sticking with me, it doesn’t mean anything to me. Like, I want this to become real. And I think that’s ultimately when I wanted it to be Daily Audio Bible Teens, because I wanted it to be like, you know, I’m going to make sure like, through my teenage years this is what is the foundation of it and this is what’s going hold me accountable to everything and really stay into it. But, I mean, it wasn’t always easy. It’s a sacrifice you have to create how you do it. And it’s not this really quick thing. And it’s an everyday thing. It’s not really like you can do like 5 or 6 and then be done. It’s like you need to stay freshly in it. And I think, ultimately, I became really challenged with, you know, what are you reading, and how are you applying that to your life? And that’s, ultimately, really been cool to go back and listen to some of the commentaries and listening and like this is totally Holy Spirit lead because 1) I don’t super remember this, but 2) just to hear your own voice in different places of your life and how different things stood out. And. so, I think it’s very cool that that followed me my whole life. And I think that is a really cool thing that the Lord instilled in me. And I’m really thankful that He chose to do that, like, He chose me at such a young age. And that I’m almost…not almost 21…but next year it’ll be 10 years and that’s just insane to me. But I think, ultimately, this year reading it chronologically, I was like, wow, okay, this really feels real. And especially after going to Israel and putting physical places with the words is when it really started making sense. And it was like, this is not just words. This is real life. This is a story. And, so, I think through all of that it’s been really helpful and it’s created a lot of healthy discipline that can only set one up for success. So, I think I owe a lot to the Daily Audio Bible for that.
Brian: Could not agree with you more. And I am so proud of you. So, we just wanted to get on the mic at Daily Audio Bible and just tell everybody in the community, hey, let’s all, as a community, be in prayer over this. Let’s cover China and cover this new channel in our prayers. And if you’ve wanted to go to the Bible chronologically, that can happen beginning January 1st on Daily Audio Bible Chronological. And China will be there to lead you through.
China: I think it’s always weird, like, ending a year because it makes it sound like, I’ll see you next year, but it’s like, there’s no breaks. It’s like, literally tomorrow. It’s the next day. So, it’s only a couple of weeks away, which is really exciting to finally talk about it and to announce it because now it’s not like a super secret. Like, it’s actually happening.
Brian: Yes. And the new Daily Audio Bible Chronological will be in the new Daily Audio Bible app. And we are preparing that now. A little Daily Audio Bible app update is that we’ve been beta testing this since the global campfire initiative. And a shout out to the 500 of you that have participated in that, you have been an immeasurable help to us in uncovering things that we had no way to find out without putting it out there. So, we’ve been working feverishly and uncovering things that we just didn’t know about. We’ve had some great victories and run into a couple of snags. I think we’re just running a few days behind where we wanted to be. We’ll probably end up being about a week, a week and half, behind where we wanted to be. I was hoping that the new Daily Audio Bible app would be out now but we’re not far. And it’s just the Christmas holidays have hit. And, so, we’re kind of moving through the process of moving the apps into the stores and stuff like that. So, I’ll keep you posted. But Daily Audio Bible Chronological will be in the new player, in the new app. Of course, it’ll be in the old player and the old app as well. But the day will come when that will be retired and will be all on the new system. So, continue prayers over the app and its launch and prayers over to the launch of Daily Audio Bible Chronological and over China will be so much appreciated. We’re so excited to step into this next season. So, let’s pray about that together as a community.
Father, we thank You for every single day that we’ve been able to be together over all of these years centered around the rhythm of Your word in our lives. And we thank You for the spoken word of God going out every single day for all of these years. It’s humbling that You would let us be here. And we thank You for the community that surrounds this rhythm. And, so, as we step into some new things - new app, new Daily Audio Bible Chronological - we ask Your blessing, Your direction, Your clarity, Your wisdom, in all of it. And we pray for your anointing to be on China as she begins this new quest and this new season. And we acknowledge her faithfulness throughout her childhood to Your word. And, so, we can’t wait to see what You will do with Daily Audio Bible Chronological. As we pray nearly every day, come, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible as we get here into the final days of the year, then we thank you profoundly and humbly. As I say so many times in a year, everything that we’ve ever done we’ve done together as a community and it can’t be done if we don’t do it together. So, thank you for your partnership. There’s a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com or if you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, 877-942-4253 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 Prayer Requests and Praise Reports:
Hi friends. My name is Beth B. I’m in South Carolina. I’ve been listening for a long time. I think it’s been about 4 years since I called in. I found the Daily Audio Bible when I was looking for an audible bible. I have a visual disability and my vision, you know, God healed me about 25 years ago and it was amazing because I was able to drive and watch my kids grow up and really __ in a lot of ways. My vision started to tank several years ago, maybe 6, 7 years ago. I had to stop driving. I can’t see my families faces. I cannot read. But God’s provided for me in amazing ways. However, I’m calling because He has prompted me to call you and asked you pray for healing for me. And I understand that healing comes in many forms and many ways because I’ve experienced all of them in my life as I’ve moved from brokenness to healing of my soul and my relationships and my heart and my vision. But…so…I don’t know what He has in mind now, but He definitely wanted me to call and ask y’all to pray. And our prayers are powerful. I know that and I love you all. I am so grateful for the steadfastness of this family and of Brian and your family. I wouldn’t trade much for the sweetness of the scriptures and it gets sweeter and sweeter every year. And your commentary is so important to me. So, thanks to everybody and I promise to let you know how I am healed because I know He has something in mind for me. Thank you. Merry Christmas.
Good afternoon. Good evening Daily Audio Bible family. This is Lee from New Jersey. Merry Christmas to you all and God bless you. So, I just wanted to leave out there for present family listening to the DAB I’ve ordered my Box set for the first time. So, I am really excited to receive it…and I think I ordered a few other things as well from the DAB gift shop. So, I’m really excited about that. So, if you guys are going to do it, get it done. You know how it is. Times going by fast. We’re already on the 14th day of this month. Wow! So, the rest of this call is dedicated to my sister from New Jersey, Unis. Unis, it’s your whacky brother, Lee from New Jersey. Yes, I call myself wacky because I’m always on the run, always rambling when I call. But I get it done. One way or another I pray for my brothers and sisters. And I just love you all and thank you for being so patient. So, let’s get it started. Unis, we pray in our Lord and Savior’s name for you on your behalf. We agree with you. We agree with our sister Unis Lord. We agree with her that, yes, let it be Your will, may Your will be done. Lord, I’m __ happy. I want to pray for a miracle Lord. You are the king of miracles. You are in the business of miracles. You have made miracles happen from the beginning of time and we can’t forget that You are miracle maker Lord. We ask that if it is in Your will, Lord, that You will create a miracle here so our sister Unis can give testimony to Your miracle Lord. And if not that she can give testimony to your unfailing love. Regardless of what it is, she’s willing to go all the way through and trust You all the way through with this situation Lord. And as for my sister, I am praying on her behalf that she loves You, no matter what. She’s going to love You to the end just as Job loved You no matter what he was going through, no matter what the devil…
Hey DAB family, this is Byron out in Florida. Real quick, I was at the gas station filling up my tires with air and there was this gentleman standing beside the pump with a bicycle just kind of being friendly to people. It was sort of weird. And he started talking to me. I was filling up my tires and said that someone had just given him the bike that he was standing next to. And he was very thankful for it. Just thanking God for the bike and I said okay. So, I went, and I got a track out of my car and I went to go talk to him about the Lord. And come to find out, he knew the Lord pretty well. He was homeless. He’d lost his home through an eviction and he is out in the street. And I just talked to him for a while. His name was Marvin and you could just tell he really knew the lord. He knew the Lord in a way that people who go to church all their life don’t know the Lord. It was very, very interesting. But, anyway, Marvin is diabetic and he showed me his foot. His toe has been amputated but he’s got a wound right in that area. A diabetics wound don’t really heal. So, imagine having a nasty infected wound on your foot and you being homeless and walking around everywhere. So, I want you guys to pray for Marvin for healing for his foot. He’s talking to people about Jesus. I didn’t just give him a track. I gave him dozens because he’s going to turn around and hand those things out. He’s walking for Jesus, so I want you guys to pray for Marvin for healing on his foot. I know you guys will do that and I thank you for it. Love you all. Bye.
Hi this is lance in San Diego. Hey, I was just listening to the prayer requests and Casandra it was from Arizona called in for her twin children are going to go…undergo an in-utero procedure for an issue they’re having. And I just wanted to let you to know that my heart just beat in my chest when I heard your prayer request. And I can feel the pain and anguish. And one of our children had a thing in utero also. So, I felt then…a connection there…the unknown. And, I just wanted to pray with you and lift up God’s mighty hand upon this procedure now. Lord, Jesus, Lord I just as ask in Your mighty name Lord, that You would be with those doctors, Lord, that You would guide them through this procedure, and that You would bless Casandra’s children, Lord that Your will would wrap that family in love, and community, Lord, and we, Daily Audio Bible, we just want to wish her all the love and warmth Lord, that we are there for her and we would just pray God that You would bless these little babies God. Get them through this procedure Lord and that they might come to term and be mighty women of God in the future. We just pray in Jesus name. Amen.