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. It’s great to be here with you as we prepare to end another work week, move ourselves into the weekend and then move into a shiny, sparkly, new week out in front of us. But we’re here now. This is the 9th day of August, and the next step forward will take us…well…we’ll pick up right where we left off. So, we’re reading from the Gods Word Translation this week. Ezra chapter 8 verse 21 through 9 verse 15 today.
Okay. So, in our reading from the book of Ezra today we’ve been tracing Ezra’s journey from Babylon to Jerusalem with this remnant of Israelites who had survived the exile. And, of course, we read that whole journey when we read Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. We read all the stories. We realized how Israel and Judah, the northern and the southern kingdom were eventually carried away. So, those who had survived, which is just a small amount of the people that there were beginning to have permission and are beginning to move back toward Jerusalem, and this had been going on for a little while. So, when Ezra arrives, he learns that they’ve basically just gone back to where they left off. So, all of the things that they were doing to rebel against God and denounce God, they just kind of picked up where they left off. And, so, Ezra’s like tearing his clothes and pulling out his hair and pulling out his beard and he sat down for the rest of the day, shocked. I mean it was fundamentally idolatry that led to all this and so they’ve come back and begun to practice all of the worship of the false gods of the people around them that they weren’t even supposed that the morning and supposed to intermingle with. And, so, Ezra just prays. Like “God, like, we’re ashamed. We can’t even look up to you. Our sins are piled higher than our heads. Our guilt reaches all the way to heaven.”
So, then in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians we see the same kind of willful rebellion taking place 600 years later. And now this is beyond like remnant Hebrew culture coming back from exile, this is in the church, the early church. Basically, a man and his stepmother were openly having a sexual relationship and the community around thought that that was fine. And, so, Paul was ultimately just as appalled as Ezra and he speaks very similar to the way Ezra did. So, we basically have to step back and go, “okay two very, very powerful man in the Scriptures are very vocally expressing essentially disgust and shame and we can certainly look into our own lives and to look for the seeds that would grow up into this kind of behavior, whether it be returning exiles who are beginning to worship other gods again or whether it be what’s happening here in the early church. But if we boil it down to its core then what we’re witnessing here are the extremes of deception. And, so, the exiles, they knew the truth, the early believers, they knew the truth. Deception and pride just let them begin to rationalize their immorality. And we can contend them really easily because you can see it in black and white in the Bible, but we’re doing this constantly and it basically boils down to the fact that if we allow deception to have its way with us inside of us we are going to end up being led into some sort of immoral behavior in some sort of way. And because we’re wound up in this deception and pride, we’ll try to justify anything. So, if we just step back away from the examples that we’re given, right, like idolatry and intermingling in the Old Testament and this situation between a man and his stepmom in the New Testament, if we step away from it we realize that intermingling with sin in ways that we already know are not right, that’s gonna lead us deeper into sin and into deception and into destruction. It’s like, you know, we have a 25-year-old example, we have a 2000-year-old example in the New Testament and then we have today. Like, we could just look around us in our own lives and see the examples. And fundamentally what we’re doing is, you know, messing around with things we know better than and then creating a new normal for ourselves so that they’re not wrong anymore. And then we don’t realize that we’ve been so deceived until like we’re actually staring destruction in the face. So, let’s consider today what we’re rationalizing, right, what we’re justifying, what our inner narrative that kinda keeps the story of our life going inside of us. What are we justifying that we already know like we have no business messing with? The voice of deception will tell us there’s nothing wrong, like there’s nothing wrong. It’ll tell us that freedom is no boundaries. Like, you can do whatever you want, however you want. That’s freedom. I don’t think that’s freedom. I think…I think the kind of freedom that we’re looking for in our spiritual…like what we are honestly looking for…what real freedom would look like for us is that we have nothing false within us and we have nothing to hide from anybody. That would be freedom. So, we have plenty of examples in the Bible and we have plenty of examples in our own lives about where our quote unquote freedoms may lead us. I guess the question becomes, how free do you actually really want to be? Because that dictates how true we must become. And we actually have an example for it when we look at the Savior.
Holy Spirit we invite You into that. We can’t always find the ways that we’ve subtly been deceived but we can spend our whole lives trying to work it all out, trying to sniff it all out, but we’re not really capable. We were never meant to figure it all out without You. And, so, we’re running to You, we’re inviting You. Well up within us and show us the areas that are false and begin us on this path of ridding ourselves of every deception so that all that’s left is true and so that we are truly free indeed. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In the name of Jesus we ask. 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:
Hi family this is his little Sherry in Canada and I’m calling with a message for Patricia from New Orleans, I think it was Patricia. Your speech was slurred but much easier to understand than last time and I’m so glad you called in and requested prayer. I wanted to let you know that I will continue to pray for you, and I wondered what else I could say that would encourage you. I asked God what I should say, and I felt him say to me, “just tell her how I feel about her.” So, I pray that you will hear the voice of your Father in this. Dear one, I love you tenderly, more tenderly than any mother has loved your child. What loving parent wouldn’t do all they could to rescue their baby girl and I am moving heaven and earth to rescue you. Moment by my moment and day by day I am riding to your rescue and I promise you will be saved in every way it’s possible for person to be saved. I will take this terrible thing that has happened to you by the throat and I will make it give birth to something good, something so good that if I told you you wouldn’t believe me. You will dance in my garden. You will sing in my shade. You will be barefoot and carefree in the home I built for us. There will be curtains in the windows and apples on the sill. Summer will spring from your fingers every time you touch me, and I will weep. I won’t be able to help it. I will weep knowing that you never will, never again. My own, I am carrying you this very moment, and nothing can take you from my arms.
Good morning DABbers, this is Walta the Burning Bush that will not be Devoured for the Glory of our God and our King. Guys, I’m calling today to pray for Jake. I heard his mom call in. Jake is an 18-year-old with MS who has been suicidal lately. To the mom, I want you to know I’m praying with you for your son and I’m just praying for God to heal his Spirit, heal his heart, and for the Holy Spirit to just address that situation and let God show him that He is present and show him His will for his life at this time. And I still believe that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond our expectations. And, so, I pray and believe that God is capable of healing. And I pray for healing of his body. I also want to pray for our sister from New Orleans who also needs healing for pain. And she prayed that God would restore her voice. Father God, I pray that You will touch her vocals right now in the name of Jesus, the vocal cords or whatever it is that is not functioning as You intended it too. Father God, I pray that You relieve pain. Father You bore all. By Your stripes we are healed. And, so, God we pray oh Lord that You will bring forth that healing in her life right now in the name of Jesus. God, we thank oh Lord. We thank You that we should come boldly to Your throne of grace not by our strength and might but by Your Spirit Father and we believe Your word is true in Jesus’ name. I love you guys and I will talk to you soon. Bye.
Hi, I’m calling because I just heard the call on…I don’t know the date today unfortunately…but a woman called in talking about her two autistic boys. She was just kind of diagnosed with cancer __ even higher than it used to be and she’s __ stage for breast and brain cancer. I just wanted to tell you that I’m praying for you, to let you know that I was so inspired by your call that I was moved to continue to pray for you. So, I’ll just pray right now. Father God, thank you so much for this woman, this woman who left her mark on the world through her boys and through her books that she’s left for all of us to read and to know you more. God, I pray that in this hour of need you would be with her. I thank you for her strong safe that’s provided a foundation for her God, that’s provided her with hope for the future, whether…no matter what it holds God, that you’ve provided her with hope and God I pray that __ you would touch her body, you would heal her body, you would do a miracle. God we still believe in your hand, we still believe in your healing hand, in your miracles and power. I pray that you would touch her body, touch her boys, touch her book that it would reach people around the world. And God, I just thank you for her life and I thank you that she was a part of this community for nine years, has been a part of this community, continues to a part of this community. And I pray that we just reach out and carry her in her time of need. God, I thank you for your power, I thank you for your love in her life and I ask all this in Jesus’ name. You all, I just want us all to pray for her. Continue to give. I love you all so much and I pray that God would bless all of us. Thank you and have a good day.
Hello DABbers, this is Christopher in the pretzel city. Could you please pray for me? I just…I wish I knew what was going on, but I just am feeling completely lost and stressed and…yeah. Obviously, it seems like a lack of spiritual maturity because I should know that when you’re anxious you pray but I just need some kind of support. So, please pray for me so I can get my act together and pray for others. Thank you.
Hey family this SarahJane, yeah that SarahJane. I think you guys have heard me mention a volunteer here in Colorado by the name of Balli who’s not a Daily Audio Bible listener, but I happen to know through a knitting group, and she has helped stuff the subscriptions and things for quite a few years. Two days ago, her husband who was 50 years old collapsed and died on a Spartan race course in Colorado. So, if you could please lift her up in your prayers. She doesn’t know Jesus nor did he but all of the volunteers here in Colorado to know her. And, so, pray for them and the right words to say to her the next time I see her. And just, yeah, to get pray for her. It’s a horrible loss. He had two children that were grown but they were not Molly’s children. But I just…my heart just hurts my friend. Thanks guys. Love you. Bye.