Ezekiel 18:1-19:14, Hebrews 9:1-10, Psalms 106:32-48, Proverbs 27:10
Today is the 8th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you today as we…well…move toward the end of the week by taking the next step forward in the Scriptures. And we’ve been reading from the Contemporary English Version this week, which is what we will continue to do until there is no more of this week left, which takes us back out into the book of Ezekiel. Today we’ll read chapters 18 and 19 before moving into our next step forward in the book of Hebrews. But first, Ezekiel chapter 18.
Okay. We mentioned this before. As we move into the books of prophecy there are plenty of prophetic utterances that…that, you know, that you read like page after page of destruction. This is one of the ways in which…well…basically that God’s got this reputation as this ornery tyrant up in heaven who occasionally gets up on the wrong side of the bed and destroys something. And, so, we can subtly get just a little bit of an unease, a little bit of a sense of unpredictability. Of course, we never look at our own unpredictability’s and our…our own attitudes, but we want God to be this constant, always benevolent, always in a good mood, always happy, always just really, really thrilled to shower flowers of blessings regardless of what we’ve been up to here on earth. So, we can read to the prophets and start wondering about all of that, which is how we get this angry God idea. This is what we’ve got to remember. Ezekiel, which is what we’re reading, but the prophets, they were prophesying, right? They were foretelling an outcome that had not yet happened. And even though things were very difficult for the Hebrew people, especially throughout the biblical narratives, all of it was avoidable, which is what God spoke about in Ezekiel today. So, God said through the prophet Ezekiel, “I the Lord God don’t like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live.” Okay. So, God didn’t send these prophets and the things that they said didn’t get written down somewhere and preserved all the way until today simply to show us how unpredictable God might be if he gets up on the wrong side of the bed. God was carefully explaining over decades why things were moving in the wrong direction. And usually this was because the people were breaking their covenant. And we could go all into the idea of covenant and all of this in the Old Testament context, but this is not so foreign. Like, covenant is not an idea that we don’t have in our modern era. We still do enter into covenants we just usually call them contracts or some sort of an agreement. But if you’ve ever signed a contract drawn up by a lawyer, you…you…it will say that, “we warrant and covenant about the things we are agreeing to.” And when you sign it, you’re binding yourself to the covenant. So, obviously, some covenants aren’t worth the paper that they were written on, but a real covenant, an actual covenant is a deeper thing than the paper it’s written on. The paper is simply there to refer to if somebody thinks it’s being broken. So…so like if we were to break the covenant of marriage by stepping out on our spouse and committing adultery with another then…I mean some of us have experienced that and other…others of us have been around someone who’s experienced that but all of us can understand what we’re talking about here. If that happens the pain that comes, the destruction that follows happens but it’s not God’s fault you broke the covenant. Like we can frame God for it. We…we try to blame God on all…all kinds of things He has nothing to do with. But…but at the end of the day we…we will reap what we sow. And the prophets are talking to people who had been sowing wickedness for generations and…and time was up. They were about to move into the harvest portion of what they’d sown, and it wasn’t gonna look good. And we’re far enough into the Bible at this point now that we’ve seen God’s people break the covenant over and over repetitively, habitually. And the prophets served basically as an advance warning system. Like, God could have judged people the second they broke the covenant immediately. So, these profits coming in and saying bad things, they’re on their way, is actually God being long-suffering and kind. He didn’t have to warn anybody about anything. He gave them a chance to return to Him, to come back, to reverse course, to change their minds. So, as we read Ezekiel, as we read through the prophets, we just need to remember, if we boil everything down and take the circumstances and all the different things that are in these Scriptures out and try to get to the essence of the prophetic message, basically God is saying, “we were in covenant…like…we agreed…we entered into a covenant together. a covenant like marriage” because those are the kinds of images God uses. And God’s saying, “you cheated, you stepped out, you broke the covenant and we agreed. We agreed on the benefits and curses. Like we agreed on what would happen if this happened. So, you are inheriting the curses of the covenant. You broke it and you separated us. You broke our agreement. You broke our relationship. We are separated. And that separation is not what you want at all. You are going to destroy yourself. You are leading yourself into trouble want to face. But if you’re gonna do that, if that is really, really…if you’re own destruction is really what you’re after, then that’s what you can do. But if you do that, I’m still not gonna forget you because your own doom…like the path that you are walking yourself into, the fire that you’re gonna walk through, at some point you’re gonna realize, “this isn’t what I wanted. This isn’t where I was trying to go. I didn’t understand. And now I have lost everything, and I have been ground to powder.” And God is like on the other side of that, “I will be waiting to restore you. I will be waiting for you to come back someday. Someday I will win your heart again and I will restore you.” And, that’s sort of my paraphrase but just…let’s just read from the book of Ezekiel. “I will judge each of you for what you’ve done, so stop sinning or else you will certainly be punished. Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts and be faithful to me. Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? I, the Lord God don’t want to see that happen to anyone. So, stop sinning and live.” So, God’s not on the wrong side of the bed wanting to destroy people as we read Ezekiel. He wanted to destroy wickedness. Anything that was able to seduce God’s people into wickedness was eventually gonna entice them to break the covenant and, if left unchecked to its final conclusion would be utter destruction for them. And to personalize this, we’ve talked about the fact that we have volition. Like, we can make a choice and that choice gets to matter and we have a bad habit of making a choice and blaming God for the outcome when he didn’t make the choice, we did. And the choices that we make, they make the story of our lives. I mean, we write those pages with the choices that we make. And, so, we have the same choice. Like we’re either gonna stay in covenant or we’re not. But God’s heart is that we…that we will because He is remaining faithful. He loves us enough to stay true to us, to be faithful toward us so that we might live. And, so, if we want all the benefits of this new covenant we’ve been reading about in the book of Hebrews, if we want all the benefits that are promised, which…which is everything that we believe, then we have to be faithful. Like that’s how it works. We’re in covenant. There are terms. Like, so if your married…if you’re married, you have entered into a covenant. There are terms. We don’t necessarily drag out those terms and try to interpret them, but we know, and we have to live within them, and we have to respond to them. If we’re gonna navigate our lives and into destruction it’s not God’s fault, but no matter where we are on that progression we can always repent. This is a love that is beyond anything we can describe. We can always come running home. And what would life be like if we never left again because the choice is ours to make.
Father we thank You for Your love that is so persistent, so disruptive at times, so unstoppable. Your pursuit of us is unspeakable and if we…if we could love You with every fiber of our being, we still do not understand or comprehend the kind of love that You have bestowed upon us. And yet it is our desire to love You with every fiber of our being because this is all we have. What You’ve given us, this identity, this body, this mind, this soul, these emotions, we give them to You. We have been trying to fight our own battles and we have been walking away from You estranged because we’re blaming You for what we’ve done. This has gotten so twisted and we repent. You haven’t hurt us. We’ve hurt ourselves and blamed You or we’ve been broken in this fallen world by other people and other actions and blamed You when You’re the only one that could ever, ever, ever show us how to navigate any of this. And, so, we return to You. Come Holy Spirit. We ask forgiveness for our pride, for our arrogance, for our assumptions about You. We return. We want to live inside this covenant and remain faithful so that we might live. Come Holy Spirit we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Daily Audio Bible family, I am a new listener my name is Laura I live in South Florida and I just started listening in August of this year and I haven’t missed one single day because I just love it so much. I can only just say wow, what God has done through all of you. I love the way you love each other and that you pray for each other. And I also am praying. I’m thanking God for Brian that he listened to the Holy Spirit’s leading whenever he started this podcast many years ago. I also am praying specifically for Aaron from Oklahoma. Every time I open the podcast, I think of you Aaron and your wife. Your wife is a person who needs to listen to what God has in store for her and I just pray that she would stop and listen. I pray…I know that over 40 years ago I was in her position and I have so many regrets from my past. But I now, 40 years later, know that I’m forgiven and I know that God can restore marriages and I know that He can restore your marriage between the two of you and be an example to the world of what He can do in marriage. And I also pray for Shannon in Aberdeen. I don’t know if you got the jobs yet Shannon but I just pray that you will not give up, that you will think of three things every day that God has blessed you with and that you would be grateful and that your gratefulness will proceed what you do every day. And I just pray that you will soon get a job and that someone will find favor with you, an employer woud find favor if you haven’t got a job yet. Hang in there, girl. I love you, love all of you. Thank you, Brian.
Hi DAB family this is Nadine from New Hampshire. I feel like I broken record every time I call in. Just asking you to continue to lift my husband and I up in prayer. This weekend some things happened, and some things were said, and I just feel like maybe restoration is not gonna be a possibility because of these things that were said. I pray to God that that isn’t the case. This has been just such a hard and trying time and sometimes I feel hopeless and today is one of those days. I don’t know what God’s will is for my marriage but I’m giving it to Him and I’m praying that restoration is in our future and if not, I know that whatever happens there’s a better plan. But I just feel like there’s so much destruction between my husband and I sometimes that I don’t know if restoration is possible. It really…it’s really awful. So, could you please just lift us up in prayer and pray for him for forgiveness and pray for peace for my husband. Thank you, family.
God bless you this is Matthew Fouts from Fairhope Alabama. This morning, the words, “but now what.” I’m praying for the “now what” for understanding. What I mean by the “now what” is, I went through a period of time in my life where, basically, the statement or the question is, “okay, I’m saved, so now what.” So, I pray for understanding for me, for you, for all of us. The Lord says in Proverbs, “in all your getting, get understanding.” So, Father in Jesus’ name I’m asking for understanding about the now what, how we fit into the body, what offices we’re supposed to fill, what things we’re supposed to do, what…who we’re supposed to work with, where we’re supposed to be, how we’re supposed to do things. God, I pray for understanding for the now what, for each of our lives that we’ll know that we’re in the right place and if we’re not the right place we know where we should be. And God, You make the provision. You send us where we need to go. We’re opening…we ask God, open our ears so we hear You clearly and give us boldness and strength to walk on the path that You have set before us. God, You’ve ordained our steps. God we’re asking for boldness to step…take that step to where we’re supposed to go and into the “now what” with You in Jesus’ name. God bless you.
Please pray Herman __ he’s a homeless gentleman that lives in Atlanta. He needs a place to live. He’s a veteran. He’s 73 years old and just pray that a door will open so that he can have a permanent residence for the remaining years of his life. He did accept Jesus as his Lord but again if you can please pray that some way, he will have favor and he will be able to get into a retirement home. He has a limited income and the wait list is very long for __. So, again thank you for praying that Herman will have favor and will have a place to live and not sleep on the bench anymore. He’s been sleeping on the bench for almost 2 years that I’ve seen him. Thank you.
Hi this is Victoria Soldier calling in. I just wanted to pray for the DABbers. My heart went out to Mark, he’s in a hospital, he was feeling worse and I just wanted to call, and I wanted to pray for you Mark and let you know that you’re not alone. I want to also pray for Terry and Jason. And I want to pray for Kim and her mother in law in Chicago. And I wanted to pray for those who are going through depression and those who are going through in their marriage. And I want to pray a special healing for Mark. Mark and those who are going through a sick in their bodies, I want to pray that God work His miracle. Gracious Father I praise You today and I magnify You. Lord that You are a God that can do anything that You said You wouldn’t hold any good thing a from them. Lord, Mark needs You today Lord. He’s going through, he needs You in his body Lord. You just do as You always do Lord, You do it Your way and You do it so magnificently. Lord You heal his body, You heal his body Lord in the name of Jesus. Take away the pain Lord in the name of Jesus. Lord You touch those who are going through in their marriages. You touch those Young people who are going through, who have lost their way Lord. You have…You help them to find their way in the wilderness Lord even in…in…in You. Oh Lord we just thank You Lord for having Your way in the lives of our children, in the lives of Mark and the life of all those DABbers who are going through all those DABbers who are going through in their marriage and the enemy is trying to come in the midst. Lord You have Your way. You never leave us nor forsake us. Lord let them begin to worship and praise You and…and…and rejoice in the victory, that they receive it in the name of Jesus. And Lord we thank You for touching Brian and Jill and…
Hi Daily Audio Bible family this is Tracy calling from Baltimore. I felt led to call in to pray for marriages, especially long-term marriages after hearing the prayer requests end of October from Leonora a retired nurse with a retired spouse and she’s worried about her ability to maintain a relationship with God and the DAB. And then another lady called in shortly after that who had been married for 35 years but lost intimacy with her husband. And I just really related to these women and I wanted to call and pray for marriages, especially long-term marriages. So, God we just thank You and we glorify You, we exalt Your holy name. We thank You God for choosing us, for choosing something as intimate as marriage to minister to us, to grow us, and to draw us closer to You. We ask that You please give us a heart, give us Your heart for our spouse, give us Your heart for acceptance, for love, for patience, and for grace and mercy. God please rid us of all jealousy and covetousness, that we think our marriage should look a certain way or be a certain way or look wake was on TV. Help us reveal the truth God, reveal Your will for our marriage. Open our eyes to see what marriage really is supposed to look like, what it’s really supposed to be, and how it’s supposed to minister to this world. You know God what our marriages stand in need of and we confess that we do not, and we just ask God that You give us the answers and open our eyes so that we can see the truth. Amen…