2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21, Romans 11:13-36, Psalm 22:1-18, Proverbs 20:7
Today is the 28th day of July, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian, it’s great to be here with you as we round the corner and push to conclude another one of our months together in a few days and continuing our journey, step-by-step and day-by-day. Right now, through the book of second Chronicles and the letter to the Romans. And so, let’s dive in, we’re reading from the Contemporary English Version this week, second Chronicles chapters 21, 22 and 23 today.
Okay, let’s look at what we’ve read from the book of Psalms today and let’s think about honesty. And we are just a couple of steps away from concluding the seventh month of the year and so, we are past the halfway point so, we can look back over this year so far. And probably as we look back, we can see some peaks and valleys right, some ups and some downs. And if we’ve been taking this journey since the beginning of the year than we can also see this thread of constancy of the Scriptures being in our lives, through it all. But that doesn’t mean everything’s been easy, it’s because we’ve been reading the Bible every day. And as we look to the Bible today, we see again what we’ve seen all. It wasn’t so easy for the people in the Bible either. And so, David, who we’ve gotten to know fairly well. We know of his life and how he came out of insecurity as a young shepherd boy and became a national hero and killed a giant and ultimately became the king of Israel, but not before he had to learn a whole lot of stuff that he probably never thought he needed to know, like how to stay alive when the king wants to assassinate you. So, David has had plenty of ups and downs in his life and we know from the Scriptures that David was a skilled musician and so, it’s not an unusual thing to think of a musician wanting to pour their heart out as a songwriter and try to find the right words that actually capture the emotion of the situation or the right metaphor that can speak pages and pages and pages of information with just a picture. And so, how’s this for a picture “my God, why have You deserted me, why are You so far away. Won’t You listen to my groans and come to my rescue? I cry out day and night but You don’t answer and I can never rest.” Yeah, so that kind of paints a picture of pretty good desperation. Does it not? And oddly enough, aren’t those words that even Jesus quoted from the cross, why you forsaken me. The interesting thing is that if that is in the Bible, because we just quoted from the Bible. If that is in the Bible, then how is it that we get pulled into pretending that these things, these emotions, these feelings, these circumstances, that they don’t exist, that they’re not real. Part of it is, certainly the cultures that we live in. We have a need to live up to the culture and the culture generally speaking, tells us to keep our best foot forward and a smile on and a happy face and fake it till you make it, and then shake and bake it. As Christian people, we also have these ideas like we’re in the world but not of the world. We’re set apart, we shouldn’t be like the world, we should be distinctly different and yet even in our subculture, the…the Christian subculture around the world, we walk in to any kind of gathering or whatever, as in overcomer, for the most part, and that is sort of the mask that we wear, even if it feels like the bottom is falling out of our lives. And then we become aware of all of the different kinds of superficial relationships that we have because like, if we’re in church and we’re doing the usual, how’s everybody, how are you, how are you? We’re expecting everybody to say good, doing great, I’m an overcomer, all that. But if somebody’s like the bottom of my life is falling out and I don’t know if I can live through this day. We often don’t know how to enter into that story, other than maybe to quote some kind of victorious verse of some sort and say some kind of victorious prayer. We do this kind of stuff all of the time. It’s just, that’s not, that’s not how the Bible does it. We don’t, hear in our faith gatherings very often “my God, why have you deserted me, why are you so far away from me, won’t you listen to my groans and come to my rescue. I’m crying out day and night, but you’re not answering and I can’t rest.” And yet, that’s just a quote from the Bible. And so, the question is, are we being honest because a lot of time, we’re trying to overcome the feeling of being down in some way or challenged in some way, by simply amping up like, the praise and that is right and good and proper and helpful. But so often, it’s like, we do that without acknowledging how things really are first and letting that place that we are actually in and that thing that we are actually struggling with to be named, and for that broken place to be the place of worship an honest place. If we think about the deepest relationships in our lives, is that not what we expect, honesty. And honesty sometimes can be difficult and cause difficult conversations to happen, but isn’t that what we’re looking for, the truth. We want to trust in the truth between us, that binds us together in relationship. So, why would we think that God wouldn’t want us to be honest? And honesty isn’t always a yelling match at the sky, just so you can get out the anger. Honesty is being where you are and pouring it out before God. Maybe music is involved, maybe poetry is involved. Maybe journaling is involved, maybe speaking aloud is involved, maybe quietly contemplating is involved, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we be honest, be honest about the things that we’re using to distract us and pull us in all kinds of other directions. Be honest about what we’re trying to get through or overcome, or move beyond. One of the most honest moments in the Bible for me, is in the book of Job. When Job, after losing it like, literally losing everyone and everything, determines that he needs to find God. And even if he finds God and God kills him, he will still trust in God. Honesty is all throughout the Bible. So, as we have these couple of days and we’re bringing another month to a close, maybe that is a place to meditate upon, as we prepare to embark on a brand-new month, and as we head deeper into the summer months here in the northern hemisphere. This is a good time to sit down, reflect, and get honest. Because honesty gives us a place to move forward from that’s true, instead of false fabrication and pretending and posing. And so, may we find some time and some space, have an honest conversation with the Lord today and in the coming days.
And Father, we begin that conversation here right now just talking about it, being honest about it. This can be hard to walk the narrow path that leads to life, to navigate, to know and then to deal with all of the stuff that flies at us all the time. It can very easily bring us to a place of desperation, it can very easily bring us to a place of depression, it can very easily become anxiety in our lives that is so balled up inside of us, we don’t even know how to start untangling it. We can never remember everything that the anxiety is attached to, anymore. So even to pour out our heart before You and speak honestly and truthfully about what we’re experiencing. We need Your help, even for that. We can’t even figure our own selves out and yet You know all about us. Even in desperation, David cries out from the day I was born, I have been in Your care and from the time of my birth You have been my God. Don’t stay far off when I am in trouble with no one to help me. So, we confess Lord, we don’t know ourselves as well as You know us. You know everything and we need You desperately. So, we humble ourselves before You, lowering ourselves and acknowledging Your mighty power. Holy Spirit, come into the broken places inside of us and grant us eyes to see perspective and healing balm to restore us. We ask this in Your name, Jesus. The name above every name, the only name we can flee to. We run to You. And ask for You to restore us. We ask in Your name. Amen.