Ezra 8:21-9:15 , 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 , Psalms 31:1-8 , Proverbs 21:1-2
Today is the 9th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it’s great to be here with you in the steamy summer months here in the rolling hills of Tennessee. And I trust that it is pleasant and beautiful wherever it is that you may be in the world, but it’s always pleasant here around the global campfire that we enjoy each and every day. And, so, let’s settle in and allow God’s word to come washing over us as we take the next step forward. This week we’re reading from the English Standard Version and picking up where we left off yesterday. Ezra chapter 8 verse 21 through 9:15.
Okay. So, in our reading from Ezra today. We followed Ezra’s journey to the remnant of Israelites who had survived the exile and had been allowed to return to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. And when Ezra got there, he quickly learned about the behavior of those survivors and that he was appalled, right? So, he sat, he tore his clothes. He sat all day long, completely shocked. And what shocked Ezra so bad was the fact that the few who had survived the exile were participating in the very behaviors that had undermined and destroyed their culture to begin with. They were immorally intermingling with the neighboring cultures and this was leading them into idolatry and rebellion against God. And they knew better but they were willfully rebelling against God. And, so, Ezra’ like, God, I’m ashamed, like my face is blushing. I can’t even face You for our sins are piled higher than our heads.
Now, when we get to Paul’s letter, we’ve got the same kind of willful rebellion going on and it was taking place 600 years later. So a man and his stepmother were openly having sex within the church at Corinth. And they were being affirmed by the community. And Paul was as appalled as Ezra had been. And, so, Paul’s like…I can’t…I can’t even believe what I’m hearing that’s happening there. So, in both stories, both Old and New Testament stories, we see the extreme of deception, right. The people involved knew the truth, but deception and pride allowed them to rationalize their immorality and the same thing happens…the same thing happens to us. When we allow deception to get a hold of us and start growing within us, we’re invariably going to be lead into some sort of immoral behavior, and as we go that way we’ll justify just about anything, right? Intermingling with sin in ways that we know are wrong will destroy us in the end. If there’s anything the Bible has shown us so far this year it’s that and it’s the same now as it was 2500 years ago for Ezra and 2000 years ago for Paul. It’s because these behaviors establish a new normal so what we once avoided slowly becomes acceptable. And as the process repeats itself in our lives you don’t realize that sin is taking hold of us and don’t often become aware until destruction is upon us. So, let’s consider what we’re rationalizing and justifying that we know is wrong. The voice of deception is going to say, there isn’t a problem, we’re free to do whatever we want. But we have to remember with the Scriptures have told us. Real freedom happens when there is nothing false within us and there’s nothing to hide. So, if we consider what we might be hiding we’re going to find the presence of deception and pride.
Holy Spirit, we invite you into that. We have some fairly stark examples from the Scriptures today. We have some fairly stark responses from Scripture today. And, so, we humble ourselves as we invite your Holy Spirit to speak to us individually about the places that we’re allowing deception to grow. And if we continue to let it grow it will lead us on a path away from life, away from the path that we want to be walking on. So, come Holy Spirit we surrender to You. We invite Your presence. We ask that You show us the places that we’re allowing this. And we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, it’s, of course, where you find what’s going on around here. So, be sure to check it out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, if this global campfire that is our community brings life and good news into your world, then thank you for being life-giving so that we continue each and every day. So, there’s a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner 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 and Praise:
Hey what’s up everybody? It’s Miguel from Santa Rosa. Leaving a message for James the Teacher in LA. James, it’s ironic because a while ago he had left a comical message about hearing me call in and you thought you were listening to yourself. A couple weeks ago you had left your prayer request for your marriage for struggle against pornography and it was ironic because I was struggling with that as well about this time last year. So, it was like I was listening to myself. So, I wanted to call and encourage you as a brother that’s on the other side of things because my story was very similar. Me and my wife were going through some very tough postpartum challenges. It affected our marriage. It affected my struggle with old sin that had been put away and had reared its ugly head again. But I want to encourage you with what I found to be the most powerful thing was, that the cure that I saw was also the thing I was most scared of, which was inviting my wife into the struggle, to invite her to pray for me. I had to say, look, I am struggling with this thing and you are my greatest strength. Of course, other than Jesus, but she’s there and she’s our strength. So, invite your wife to pray for you and I will be praying for you brother because I’ve been there and I’ve walked through it. So, James I love you. I’m praying for you. May the Lord strengthen you and equip you to fight this battle. You’re not alone my brother. You’re not alone. You will not be left alone. Bless you.
Hi. This is Valerie. I’m calling from south of Atlanta. I’m a couple of days behind and I just listened to August the 4th and my heart just went out to Will in Montana who is feeling discouraged and he’s struggling. Will, at the end of your call where you said Jesus is Lord and at first you seemed hesitant, like he still wasn’t sure, and as you kept repeating it your voice got stronger and stronger and just really touched me, that it seems like you were just really not sure anymore but then the power of God just kinda filled you up and you became reassured and you knew that is where your strength comes from. And I just want to let you know that brother I’m praying for you, I’m praying for your family, and your finances. I know what it’s like and I always tell people you just have to ride the wave. When you’re down you just got to know that you’re going to come back up soon and that God’s going to be there and that He is in everything. And I just want you to know I’m praying for you brother. And also for Asia in Chicago, you called right after that and you’re dealing with a verbally abusive father and you feel like you’re not loved. And I just want to tell you my sweet, your loved, your loved with an abundant love and even when…even when we can’t see it from those around us you just need to know sweetie that there are people that love you, they just don’t know how to show it. They’re struggling in their own way to show how much they love because they’re struggling in themselves. And in those times you just have to put your trust in God that He loves you and that He will be your daddy, that He gave everything He had for you and He’s reaching out for you and He wants to engulf you and hold you and comfort you. And just draw on that. And just know that, above all, you are loved. God bless.
Hello my DAB family. This is Mark Street from Sydney Australia. Today is Tuesday the 7th of August and I’m ringing…I’ve got a lot __ word. I’ve just been thinking about…I’ve been thinking about John from Bethlehem. I’ve been thinking about…today…Show Me God’s Love and I’ve been thinking about Michael from the Tribe of Joseph, the Israelite. And also Rebecca from Michigan. But Gods’ really put on my heart today to pray for Rebecca from Michigan. So, let me pray. Rebecca, I know that you’ve been longing to find a good Christian partner to share your life with and to follow with God. And God really put on my heart to reach out to you and say He hasn’t forgotten about you. I haven’t heard from you for a while Rebecca but, dear heavenly Father we come to You lost sometimes and have grief for not finding a partner, not finding somebody that can love us, forgetting sometimes that You love us more than anybody in this earthly world can. Sometimes Lord we find it hard to feel that human touch from You Lord…and….humans need to think Lord. Lord we lift up Rebecca once again Lord. Fill her with Your love so she feels needed, she feels wanted, she feels cared for by You Lord. And we know You do care for her Lord. Lord, in Your name we ask for these things. I love you Rebecca and I hope things are going well for you. Lee from New Jersey, I heard your message and, yes, we do indeed need to get in contact with each other. Love you family. Talk to you soon again. Bye.
My beloved friends, this is Angel from California. Prayer changes things. God is on the throne and does change things. Don’t forget that. It’s very important that we always remember that when we pray God is the silent listener to every conversation. I was calling today because I’m going to go for brain surgery on Friday and I need your prayers. I have already agreed in the word that the Lord has healed me and when I go in, when the doctors look around, they will not find anything wrong with me because He is, I am in this world. I would very much appreciate your prayers. I love you. And may God bless each and every one of you. Angel from California.