Lamentations 1:1-2:22, Philemon 1:1-25, Psalms 101:1-8, Proverbs 26:20
Today is the 29th day of October. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today as we continue our journey through this week and through, of course, the month and the year and the Bible. And we have come to a day where we are making some changes into some new territory, new books, new letters in both the Old and the New Testaments today. So, obviously, we begin with the Old Testament and we’ll be beginning the book of Lamentations today. So, we can see there’s an arc, there’s kind of a flow that the Bible takes us through. And, so, we reach certain books like Job or Ecclesiastes and issues of the heart that we don’t normally deal with are brought up and that’s what the book of Lamentations does as we move into kind of mournful territory. Again, the idea of mourning or lamenting or regret or grief, you don’t usually sign up for those things. They visit us all, but we don’t usually get in line for them. But the Bible leads us into all of the territory that we will experience as human beings and that…that’s where were headed and it comes at a good time. As we’re preparing to move into the final push of the year. It’s important that we explore this territory.
Introduction to the book of Lamentations:
The book of Lamentations is actually composed of five poems and they’re poems of lament over the fall and the destruction of Jerusalem. And it’s right here that we need to just pause for second and put ourselves in the right frame of mind. We can think of the ancient fall of the Roman Empire, the ancient fall of Jerusalem and go like, “that happened thousands of years ago. Like it doesn’t really affect me.” And if we were to name any modern city like, you know, lamenting over the fall of Tokyo or lamenting over the fall of New York or the fall of London, I mean even saying that snaps us to attention because we can only imagine what that would…what that would do to the world and what that would be like. So, when Jerusalem fell at the time of the writing of Lamentations it would’ve been like any of the major cities that we just named or any of them around the world falling. So, we can try, at least, to appreciate the magnitude of the soul wrenching emotion that these poems are coming from. Jerusalem was lost and we’ve been…we’ve been reading the prophecies and the stories of that destruction, and the exile that came as a result of it. The temple of the Almighty God had been destroyed, right? Fire consumed the city, ash was thick in the air, blood was in the streets. In Hebrew, the book of Lamentations is called “eicha”, which means “how”, “how could this happen”. And we know…like…we know that it did happen. The Babylonians finally breached the wall of Jerusalem and subsequently destroyed the wall and the city, and there’s plenty of archaeological evidence of this conquest that can be seen in Jerusalem even till today. How it could happen was…was largely the topic we were covering as we read through the prophecies of Jeremiah. We just concluded that yesterday. Jeremiah warned for decades of the impending doom that would befall God’s people if they didn’t turn from…from the trajectory that they were on. And now, here in Lamentations the prophecies have come true. This book doesn't…doesn’t explicitly name its author. So, that makes things a little bit more difficult, but the traditions of the book was written by Jeremiah, which is one of the reasons why Lamentations follows Jeremiah in the Bible. But that…that’s been up for debate among biblical scholars for centuries. And there’s plenty of compelling theories that are in favor of Jeremiah being the author, but there’s many compelling reasons why he couldn’t be the author. But there is a general consensus on one thing, whoever wrote Lamentations was probably an eyewitness to the destruction of the holy city. The Babylonians did conquer Jerusalem and they did utterly destroy Jerusalem in 586 BC. And, so, Lamentations was probably written shortly after that today. And today in the Hebrew culture, on the ninth day of Av, Lamentations is read on a day of fasting to commemorate the fall of Jerusalem and the reading of each of the poems is a backdrop for personal lamentation, personal reflection, personalizing the story in our lives. And like we said a little bit ago, nobody signs up for that. Lamenting isn’t an easy thing. Grief is hard but…but it has a way, right? It may never ever quite leave us, but it has a way of washing us clean. It whittles us down. It strips off all of the fluff until all that’s left is what is true, what is bedrock, what is real. And even though it’s intensely painful it’s also freeing. When we’ve gone into the depths of sadness and we’ve reached the bottom then there’s hope there for the future. And lamenting helps us to not stuff things inside, and name them and give them voice. Lamenting helps give us a language for suffering and it gives us a language that acknowledges that things have changed and may never ever be the same again and that we have to let go of how it was or how we once were, and be renewed again, begin again. And we’ll find in this book of Lamentations that sort of language and we’ll find it in our own lives as we enter into the book of Lamentations. And, so, we begin. We’re reading from the Amplified Bible this week. Lamentations chapter 1 and 2.
Introduction to the letter to Philemon:
Okay. So, now we’re moving into our New Testament portion, obviously, and we’re entering into some new territory there as well and it’s another personal letter from the apostle Paul, this one not a pastoral letter. This one, a personal letter to an individual person in a church. And this book or this letter or epistle is 25 verses long. So, we’ll be beginning and completing it in today’s reading. And this is the final letter clearly attributed to the apostle Paul. And it probably accompanied the delivery of the letter to the Colossians, which was a congregation that Philemon was a leader in. So, our likely scenario is that Philemon was likely one of the more wealthy and influential people in the church in Colossae and according to the letter a congregation met in his home and he had a servant who was named Onesimus and this servant ran away, probably stealing from Philemon in the process, which would’ve been an offense punishable by death in those days. So, Onesimus probably fled to Rome with the idea of disappearing. At the same time Paul was in Rome under house arrest, awaiting trial, and in a strange twist of divine providence Onesimus came into contact with Paul and under Paul’s instruction became a follower of Jesus, and after beginning to follow the Lord he served Paul’s needs in Rome. So, you have Onesimus the slave being freed to move around to serve Paul and you have Paul, the Roman citizen who’s been arrested for his religious convictions who is under arrest. So, sometime later Paul wrote a letter to the church in Colossae with the intention of sending Tychicus on the journey to hand deliver it, but in the process Paul also wrote a personal note that’s been preserved to Philemon and sent Onesimus the runaway slave to accompany Tychicus back to his hometown and his…his master, which would've…which would’ve been a frighteningly large step of faith, one in which he was taking his life into his hands, but the influence of Paul in his life and watching him as he was imprisoned gave Onesimus the faith, the boldness, to leave his life in God’s hands as Paul was doing and do the right thing. And this letter actually packs…packs a punch it. It shows the importance of forgiveness and shows us that no matter how much authority we have or how much power we have over someone if…if they’re a believer in Jesus then they’re a brother or a sister, part of the family of God and none of us, no matter how much we have or don’t have deserve that. It’s God’s gift His love for us. And this little letter gives us a real-life example of how God does work things together for the good of those who love him. And, so, we begin, and we’ll read in its entirety the letter to Philemon.
Father we thank You for Your word and we thank You for bringing us into two new different territories in the New Testament today, but we also thank You for the closing reminder, that gossip keeps the fire burning in a bad way, in a consuming way, in a destructive way. And yet when that is removed, the fuel is taken from the fire and contention quiets down. And, so help us Father, not to be…not to be gossips, not to run around today saying things about people behind their back, even just in conversation. And help us Father, perhaps even more importantly to not be consumers of this kind of behavior, to not listen, to not participate in it, because it does no good. It gives us offenses to carry around that we don’t have, and it blurs things and infects our relationships in a very negative way. So, come Holy Spirit into our words today we ask in the precious name of Jesus. 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 Daily Audio Bible family this is a Leonora calling from the Florida Panhandle. Six years ago, I started listening to DAB. It was an awakening to God’s word like I’ve never had. It burst a closer and growing relationship with our Father. I am 35 years married to a man I love very dearly and have been unequally yoked to a nonbeliever. Five years ago, I called in asking for prayer that after my husband soon retired, I shall continue to have quiet time with our Lord and stay focused on my walk with him. Now, five years later I confess it has not been an easy path. The enemy has a field day with my husband, and I am constantly tested. I need your prayers for strength, for focus, and self-discipline. I have just retired from my nursing career and it seems even harder than ever now to stay focused and make time for our Father and I am ashamed of that. My husband is a good man, but he will not yield to a God he is so unsure of. Please Lord, give me the strength to live through You and in You and every word and deed so that I may show my husband your faithful love. May the scales drop from his eyes in Jesus’ name I pray. I love you all so very much. I listen, I cry with you and pray for you always. Thank you, dear family. This is Leonora calling from the Florida Panhandle. I love you.
I’m sitting here with a patient. I’m a psychiatrist and I’m just reaching out to the Daily Audio Bible family to pray for her suffering from depression and anxiety. It’s affecting her whole life and she’s really scared right now with the different logistical effects it’s having on her including finances and connection. So, please pray for her Daily Audio Bible family. I’m really grateful for you. Take care.
I stand at the patio door watching snow fall upon the deck, the lawn, and the bushes beyond. The lilac leaves hold the gathering flakes as cupped hands receiving a gift. No wind disturbs the downward journey. As the flakes collect upon the deck I think of a summer day when I walked in prayer during the Daily Audio Bible long walk cottonwoods cast their seeds into the air swirling in unseen eddies and gathering near buildings and curbs in great clubs resembling snowdrifts. My praise rises to our Creator. This snow may disappear within a few hours but for now a silent fall of white upon white speaks peace. Oh Lord Jesus my heart aches for those who feel no peace. I lift up my brothers and sisters for whom each day holds pain and anguish. I ask for Your provision for those seeking work and safe homes. I pray for restoration of relationships. I pray for children who have lost their way. I seek Your forgiveness for those who took the wealth of Your house and spent it on pleasure only to find themselves living among the pigs. I weep with those who mourn for loved ones, beloved pets, or the loss of a life they once knew. Show them the path to move forward. Send light on their darkness and comfort their pain. I rejoice with those who rejoice. I stand with many who wait in faith not yet seeing the result of their hope but trusting in You anyway. May Your blessing fall upon this ministry as generously as the snow. Keep us united in love across the oceans, rivers, and hills that separate us. Keep us united until all the world here’s Your word. Amen.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family this is Heather. I’ve been listening for about five years and I’ve always been too scared to call in, but I love to listen and pray with you my family all around the world. Brian, thank you for the work you do. It’s so wonderful and soothing to hear your voice and God’s word every day at the touch of a button and I love praying along with each and every one of you that calls in. And today I’m calling to ask for prayer for my family. My husband recently retired from the military and it’s been five months and it’s been hard to find a job. He’s had a few interviews and a few rejections and most of all he’s starting to lose hope. I’m not really sure of his salvation but my prayer is that not only would he find a job, but God would use this to really get a hold of his heart and show him where his true identity lies. Thank you so much for praying for our family. I love you.
Hello Daily Audio Bible my name is Melissa and I just want to clarify that our Lord is awesome and powerful and mighty and wonderful and He’s working in our lives even when we don’t know what He’s doing. Today is my birthday and I just talked with my birth father that I have never known for 50 years for the very first time. And this all came about because the Lord…I don’t know…He provided an illness in me I guess…He provided it but I had adrenal tumor and I had to go through many problems seeing doctors, psychiatrists, Prozac, and they found out…I said, “there’s something’s wrong”, God was speaking to me, He led me to see an endocrinologist and they removed my adrenal. So, I’ve been on steroids since April. So, just pray that my right adrenal will wake up. But in the meantime, I searched out my family birth history that I’ve never desired or wanted to do before, and I’ve already contacted my birth mother and my birth father, and it’s been amazing stories and an amazing 10 months. And I slip back, and I see how God has worked and He has used all this to bring about other people in my lives and to witness to them about how awesome He is and how He’s just worked in my life to do all this. I’m still struggling from how the effects of the adrenal mess with my system and the hormones but I’m working on it every day and with faith and trust in the Lord and you can do it too. Just love Him and just He’s amazing and awesome and I just pray for anybody who’s struggling, that you might not see what’s happening at the moment but you look back and I see how he’s been working His hand on me the whole time and He was there and I thank you Jesus for that. So, always keep Him in mind and look up.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family this is Amari. I’m asking for prayer for my marriage. Been in my marriage for almost 30 years. Last 10 or 15 the been really really rough on me. We’ve come back from infidelity on his behalf and we’ve been trying our best to come back from that. Our marriage…our intimate relationship is just zero. We’re the best of friends and we’re good parents and we take care of business. We just don’t have an intimate relationship. And I admit that during…out of this conflict that I even had an affair because I was trying to fill a void that I wasn’t getting for my husband. But I knew it was wrong, so I broke it off because I was trying to be what God wanted me to be. But still things haven’t changed and now I’m at a crossroads where I’m ready to give up because I want to be loved and I want to be cared for and I want to be happy. Just want the hundred percent of our marriage and not just bits and pieces. So, pray my strength and pray that God would repair our marriage because I want it from my husband…no one else. And I’ll continue to pray for you all and I thank you, Brian for this platform. God bless all of you all and continue to pray for me and thank you in advance for the prayers and God blessing me and my marriage.