Zechariah 10:1-11:17, Revelations 18:1-24, Psalms 146:1-10, Proverbs 30:33
Today is the 27th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is great to be here with you today, man, as we really focus in on the end of the year. After today there’s only four days left in the year 2017. So, let’s press in. Let’s finish strong and finish well and begin the new year well by keeping the rhythm of the Scriptures in our lives, each and every day a part of that story. So, we’re reading from the Gods Word translation this week. Today, Zechariah chapter 10 verse 1 through 11 verse 17. And we’ll read that before we dive back into Revelation chapter 18. But first, Zechariah chapter 10.
Okay. So, in the book of Revelation we witness the fall and destruction of Babylon in today’s reading. And again, as I’ve been saying like a broken record, we have to decide how we are going to look at this. Mostly why I bring that up today has to do with time. When we started the book of Revelation we talked about time. Like, when is this happening? Where is this happening? How? All of these questions that come up. And you can read the book of Revelation from front to back as a linear book and go, well, this happens, then this happens, then this, then this, then this, because it’s all in order. While many scholars would point out, this is probably the order that John saw things in, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the order in which they will occur, which is completely valid. And to pour some more vegetables into that stew and stir it around, a very generous portion of the scholarship on the book of Revelation identifies the fact that it’s cyclical. And a lot of confusion arises trying to read it linear because it feels like were jumping all over the place and it’s hard to grasp the flow of time. But if you’re reading from a cyclical perspective, you begin to realize that your reading the same story from different perspectives several times. So, we read of the judgment and destruction of Babylon, but Babylon has been a theme that we’ve been kind of traveling with throughout the book of Revelation. And we’ve looked at literal views of it, we’ve looked at historical views of it, we’ve looked allegorical views of it, we’ve looked at futuristic views of it, presentest views of it, and have come to realize that we have to, at least in part, be willing to look figuratively. And, so, Babylon, figuratively, represents ancient Rome, but likely from the perspective of John, the writer, and the time that John was writing in, but more broadly it represents an entire world system of evil that is set on total domination and control so that the evil one can make an attempt at establishing sovereignty of some sort, and attempt to battle with God. So, figuratively, what we read today is the judgment of that entire system. The façade of this world system is exposed for the façade that it is and its underpinnings are exposed, the skeleton is exposed. And, at the core, there is only evil, the serpent, the evil one has been guiding this all along. And in this judgment, it is completely exposed. And then another angel from heaven calls God’s people out. ‘Come out of Babylon my people so that you do not participate in her sins and suffer from any of her plagues.’ And this is patterned after Isaiah’s prophecy in the 48th chapter and the 52nd chapter, but also from Jeremiah, where were told in the 51st chapter, ‘come forth from her midst my people.’ And since were talking figuratively, we’re not talking about God’s people fleeing a city, like literally fleeing from a city to try to hide somewhere else. Rather, this is a call to not participate in the sins that brought, like, the evil that brought the whole thing down. Don’t participate in any of that, which doesn’t mean, don’t go to grocery store or buy groceries, don’t buy clothes, like, don’t participate in the economy, like, that’s not what’s being said here. This is a spiritual thing. Do not get involved with the darkness. It is being exposed. It is being judged. It is being done away with. Don’t find yourself in that camp. And this understanding goes all the way back to the church fathers. And it’s been pointed out that this is likely a parallel or a reference to clean and unclean, a concept that’s introduced in the Torah and that follows throughout the entire Bible. So, although this isn’t speaking in reference to physical cleanness and uncleanness by the Torah, this is talking about the same thing, spiritually - get away from what is unclean, don’t touch it, don’t make yourself unclean, don’t disqualify yourself, stay away from it, stay away from evil altogether. And then judgment comes. And it affects everything. And the great and powerful who had participated with Babylon, who had participated in this darkness, who’d grown rich because of it, who had found fame and prestige because of it, they’re all standing back watching the whole thing fall apart. And they lament because of the implications. It’s going to affect them so profoundly. And God’s people are invited to rejoice over this, not in an arrogant or insensitive way, but rather, this system of utter evil that had dominated and had done everything conceivable to stamp out the gospel and the witness, the lampstands, from the earth to do away with God’s people completely has failed. Evil has been judged and those who have given themselves in worship to evil, who have given themselves over to the to the dark side have no power to come against God’s people any longer. And that’s where we end up today.
I also want to draw attention to our reading from Proverbs today because it’s simple, stark, direct, and elegant in the way that it simply tells us the truth. And if we would commit it to memory, if we would remember it and incorporate it into our lives, it would be such a rescue from so much conflict. So, the proverb tells us, as churning milk produces butter. Right? So, that’s just a fact. If you’re going to churn milk you will eventually produce butter. I’ve done it myself. So, it’s one of those obvious things. If you churn milk you will produce butter. If you punch someone in the nose, that’s going to produce a bloody nose. So, we can see that the proverb is just saying, stating the obvious, but it’s the last one that’s not quite so obvious to us. So, stirring up anger produces a fight. It produces a fight in the same way that churning milk produces butter or punching a nose produces a bloody nose. Stirring up anger produces a fight. And yes, sometimes in life you’ve got to step into that territory of confrontation, but stirring up anger certainly produces a lot of conflict that doesn’t have to happen and we would do well to remember that.
Father, we thank You for Your word. We thank You for the way that it speaks to us, the way that it unsettles us, the way that it stirs things up within us, the way that it comforts us, and directs, and guides our steps. It touches everything about us and we thank You for the gift of it and we invite Your Holy Spirit to plant these words deep in our lives. Help us to hold onto the hope that Babylon will fall, that evil will be eradicated from our experience, ultimately. And help us to stay true and keep the light burning. And Father, part of that is certainly not stirring up anger that produces a fight for no reason. It is sure to happen, just like churning milk or punching a nose. And, so, we take that to heart as well as we move forward. Help us to remember the proverb that tells us, a gentle answer turns away wrath. 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 and Praise:
Hello my name is Femi. I’m calling from London. I’m calling regarding the call that Noni played today, the 22nd of December. Noni, you are loved. You have come to the right place in the midst of the loved ones. You are not alone, not any more. I’m so proud of you to have called and you are on the right path and you will be such a blessing in the kingdom of God. Keep it up. You have nothing to fear. And I’ll pray along with you that God, Lord God almighty, will empower you and God will show himself faithful unto you. At your age, desire to get closer to God…ah…God will get closer to you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You are such, so loved. Don’t worry about anything. God is always with you. Jesus is always with you. Jesus is your Emanuel. Stay blessed and be happy and enjoy the ride. It is going to be wonderful. And 2018 is going to be glorious for you. Just keep it up. You’ve got nothing to fear. God loves you and Jesus loves you much, much, much more. Stay blessed. God bless you. Femi from London. Thank you.
Hey guys. Couple things. One, I just heard a prayer for…a sister called in saying you don’t have any friends, that you don’t have anyone to go through the bible with, you just started, you’re just getting close to the Lord again. And I just want you to know sister, you are definitely not alone doing this. We’re all here with you. All kinds of people are praying for you and heard your prayer request. Maybe check out the new app, there’s a prayer, I mean, a prayer wall. Check out DAB friends on Facebook, that’s a great way to stay in touch with other believers and just not be alone during all of this. So, we all love you, praying for you, keep us updated, and God bless you. And also, guys, if you could pray for my wife and I, she is pregnant with twins and she’s hurting. She still has six weeks to go, Lord willing. And she’s having a bunch of contractions, like, practice ones and just having a lot of issues and we’re trying to figure out how to get the right amount of time off from work so I can…I’m trying to balance it because I don’t want her to overdo while…before the babies come, we want them in there as long as they can be in there. We just…we’ve got a lot of decisions…and there’s a lot of stress…and scares. The babies have a bunch of extra food and stuff but my wife knew they were going to come earlier and all kinds of stuff. I know God’s got it in control. I’ve got a lot peace about it. Just…I guess…I need a wisdom and peace for my wife and prayers for the babies and our other daughter…all kinds of stuff. That a lot. But I love you guys. I’m praying for you. If you could pray for us that’d be great. And…
Hello Daily Audio Bible. It’s Duane from Wisconsin. All praise and glory to God. I’m calling from beautiful North Carolina today. We are here visiting my wife’s youngest daughter, the one I spoke to you about. She had a little baby girl the other day. So, I just want to thank you for all your prayers. So, we’re visiting our granddaughter. But I’m calling in with a heavy heart. I told you about my nephew, Nicholas, and the cancer he was the fighting over the last year and then he had a stroke and they did an artificial heart surgery. My sister called yesterday and they are moving him to hospice. They are only giving him a couple of days, so, I ask for your prayers please. He’s so young. So, I ask you please lift up Nicholas and there be a miracle and he’d be okay. But if not, that’s God will and I pray You’ll be with his wife Erin, my mother, my sister Connie, and dad, Dennis, and his sister Shavon and the rest of family and friends. If you’d please lift them up in prayer Daily Audio Bible, I’d appreciate it. This is Duane from Wisconsin. All praise and glory is to God and Merry Christmas to you all. In Jesus name. Amen. And God bless.
thought that I was standing tall but really I was down
Smiling broadly ear to ear trying to hide that frown
Believing I could do all things while running from the doubt
Saying straight and narrow is the path but walking in and out
Confident and self-assured trying to hide my fear
Growing stronger day by day yet dying every year
Life is one big paradox
We say and still don’t do
Heavenly Lord we reconcile and surrender all to you
firstname.lastname@example.org Like to give a shout out to Kim and Dean S., and Sherlock W., and Michelle from LA, and also Drew from the bay area. Hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday. You know you are in my prayers every day. And, once again, my love to go the Hardin family. Thank you, Brian, for this wonderful podcast for God’s Holy Spirit to flow through the earth. Keep it flowin’ y’all. Alright. Bye-bye.