Ezekiel 31:1-32:32, Hebrews 12:14-29, Psalms 113:1-114:8, Proverbs 27:18-20
Today is the 15th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is always a joy to be here with you as we do what we’ve come to do, come around the global campfire together as a community and step forward as we move through the Scriptures. So, here we are in the middle of the month, middle of the 11th month. And we’ve been reading from the Voice Translation this week, which is what we will continue to do while it’s still this week. Today, Ezekiel chapter 31 verse 1 to 32 verse 32.
Okay. So, we’ve spent the last few days in Hebrews pondering faith and how necessary faith is in our lives. And, so, as we’re doing this we went down the hall of faith, right, this list of examples starting in Genesis and working forward through the Hebrew Scriptures to see that faith is not a new concept. And, so, through the examples in the hall of faith we learn that it’s no different for us. We’re not gonna be able to enter into a new covenant with God through Jesus, unless we have faith and endurance. So, Hebrews has given as an anchor for the gospel for sure and it certainly outlines the shape of faith, but this wasn’t the purpose or rat least the only purpose of Hebrews. It was intended to remind Hebrew believers of what they were taught and to warn them against apostasy because too many of the early brothers and sisters were giving into the pressures and the marginalization and persecution that began to surround the faith. And, so, they were hiding their belief in Jesus, just kind of keeping it on the down low completely or renouncing it, going back to their former old covenant understanding. So, the writer of Hebrews issued a word of prophetic counsel in our reading today and he did that by quoting from the prophet Hagei. So, quoting from Hebrews who is quoting from Hagei, “see that you don’t turn away from the one who is speaking. For if the ones who heard and refused the one who spoke on earth faced punishment then how much more will we suffer if we turn away from the one speaking from heaven, the one whose voice in earlier times shook the earth and now makes another promise. Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. The phrase yet once more means that those things that can be shaken will be removed and taken away. Namely, the first creation. As a result, those things that remain cannot be shaken.” So for Hebrew believers in the first century when this letter was written and distributed, this would’ve been a timely word when they first believed they were able to see through the eyes of faith what God had done in fulfilling the law and inaugurating a new covenant that would pave the way for true fellowship and intimacy with God. And they understood that it was no longer necessary to sacrifice animals in order to atone for sin. It was Jesus blood who made all who believe righteous before God. But, and this is a big one, most of the Hebrew culture did not embrace this good news, right? Mostly they fought against it as they ultimately had fought against Jesus, which meant that those who received this letter that we now know as the book of Hebrews, those who did believe in Jesus, they were being absolutely opposed aggressively. Their lives were being shaken. So, the intention of the writer of Hebrews wasn’t just to encourage persecuted Hebrew believers to endure, it was to reveal that the shaking they were sensing around them was something that had been foretold in prophecy and things were gonna keep shaking until only what was unshakable was left. So, when things are shaking in our lives everything does feel unstable and it feels like we can’t keep our balance. And for the most part we hate it, right? We don’t view it as a positive thing, as like a surprise. Like, what a pleasant surprise, everything is shaking in my life. And, so, our prayers are centered around asking God to stop the shaking, but what if God is doing the shaking as foretold. So, I mean, maybe before all of our crying out to God to make whatever is making us uncomfortable go away and smooth it all out, maybe we should put a step before that step and discern and embrace what God might be doing within us because the shaking might really be uncomfortable like it always is for me, but in the end, what’s happening here is that all that cannot be shaken is what remains. And we begin to realize that we’ve glued our lives together with all kinds of stuff that is unshakable, it’s not solid. The writer of Hebrews encouraged the Hebrew believers to embrace shaking, knowing that there was purpose, like it what was in for no reason. God was instituting a new and unshakable covenant in an unshakable kingdom being populated by the people who had endured until the end and were unshakable. Quoting Hebrews, “Therefore, let us all be thankful that we are a part of an unshakable kingdom and offer to God worship that pleases him and reflects the awe and reverence we have toward him, for He is like a fierce fire that consumes everything.” So, we probably all have a little bit of shaking going on, right? I mean, we all experience these seasons. I certainly have shaking going on, but let’s give some thought to exactly what is shaking in our lives over these last months or this year or the last season. Maybe we’ve been working so hard to keep things together when actually maybe God’s been shaking things loose - the things that will not endure, right? We talked about this yesterday, there may be some things we need to lose, and those things may amount to the weight that is slowing us down. So, if we lose the weight that is slowing us down and allow everything to shake so that all that is left is what is unshakable, I mean, isn’t this ultimately what we are asking God for in our lives. We just keep all these expectations on it and to the point that we don’t know what we’re asking anymore and we’re exhibiting a lack of faith and an absence of trust because we’re just trying to keep it all together so that it can be the most comfortable experience possible. I mean, is that the pursuit of our lives, the most comfortable scenario possible for us or is it that that we become intertwined in a love affair with the God of all things and walk through this life upon the earth His creation where he knows every nook and cranny and we’re an adventure together? Maybe some the shaking happening in our lives is to draw us close. Maybe some of the shaking in our lives actually an answer to prayer.
Father, we invite You into that. We invite Your Holy Spirit to show us what it is You are shaking and what we are fighting You on, trying to hold onto when it’s not going to endure and it’s a weight that is slowing us down. Come Holy Spirit, lead us into all truth. You have promised to do this, and we open ourselves to it fully. Come Jesus we pray. In Your precious name we ask. Amen.
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I cannot believe, like it’s a week away till Thanksgiving. Now, that may not mean much to all of you all over the earth but that’s a pretty big national holiday in United States and kind of marks the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. Like, so, man, we are here and this kind of time of year we can experience lots of shaking on lots of levels. And, so, the book of Hebrews has given us a timely word today and let’s live into that and stay in community as we move through this season. So, yup, dailyaudiobible.com is the place to find out what’s going on around here. So, stay connected that way.
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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.