Ezekiel 7:1-9:11, Hebrews 5:1-14, Psalm 105:1-15, Proverbs 26:28
Today is the third day of November, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is wonderful to be here with you today, as we continue to move through this first week of the 11th month, just getting moved into this 11th month of the year and we will obviously be picking up where we left off, which will take us back into the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament and the letter to the Hebrews in the new. So, let’s dive in, we’re reading from the English Standard Version this week, Ezekiel chapters 7, 8 and 9 today.
Okay, let’s just camp out here in this one sentence that Proverbs offered us today. “A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” This is obviously something that was wisdom thousands of years ago. And so, it was certainly poignant then, but my goodness, it, it isn’t, doesn’t seem like it could be any less poignant now, than it was then. It might even be more poignant. And this Proverb should kinda confront some things inside of us, the false aspects of our lives. Like if…if we have a lying tongue, which essentially means that…that we are willing to puff up or shrink back what the truth actually is, kind of form it and shape it for our purposes, to protect ourselves from something, or to manipulate somebody into doing something, but it’s not coming from a place of truth so, we are lying. Then we need to understand that we are expressing hatred to the one we are lying to. And it’s easy enough to go, hang on, hang on, hang on, that’s not fair, there’s a lot of nuances here. I would just say well, okay let’s just go back to, Proverbs and let’s look at this again, “A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” Full stop. What makes this so confrontational or one of the ways in which the word of God is actually piercing to the place where soul and spirit divide, as we were talking about from the book of Hebrews yesterday, is that our culture is built on many, many shades of gray. And I don’t mean that like a provocative book or movie. I mean like, nuances after nuances, after nuances, and that definitely tells us that life has its complexities. It also tells us that we curate and massage things in such a way to get things that we want done or to get people to do things that we want them to do, all the time. In so many ways we just assume a layer of falseness exists over the top of everything and we don’t even pay attention to the ways that we participate in that. It’s just the Proverbs won’t let us do that. Proverbs is telling us, if you’re gonna be dishonest, like if you’re going to be false, if you’re going to have a lying tongue, then you are expressing hatred. That is a lot to hold onto. Like that really requires us observing ourselves and really inviting God into this. Because Jesus was true and Jesus is the one, we are to imitate but if we look at the ways that we participate in life and in culture, we realize there may indeed be some tremendous work to do and actually exposing the truth in our lives and letting the truth be who we are. But there’s more to this Proverb than just telling a lie. I mean, a lying tongue expresses hatred, but the mouth can do more than lie and the Proverb tells us that a flattering mouth works ruin. And this isn’t the kind of flattery that’s like hey, that was a really good job or hey, that thing that you spoke to me really helped, or thanks for taking the time to give me these instructions and help me get this thing done. Like, that’s gratitude, that’s affirmation. The flattery that we’re talking about here is words of affirmation or encouragement that are used for a purpose, not to just be goodwill, not to just express gratitude but things are said to puff somebody up in order to manipulate them or to manipulate an opening into their life for our gain, for our control. Then that ends in ruin for everyone. I mean let’s just take a pause here, step back and think about it, because we know what manipulation is, we know what false flattery looks like, we’ve probably been manipulated before in some small or very, very big ways in our lives. If we think about the times where we have discovered that we have been manipulated, is that a time to throw a party, like is that the time for rejoicing? Hey, I got taken advantage of. I’ve been manipulated. I have ruined aspects of my life over this, but I’ve discovered now that I’ve been manipulated, let’s rejoice together. I don’t know anybody like that, that certainly isn’t true of my life and my story. Rather, manipulation and discovering manipulation, simply reveals that there has been a false reality that is been spun out for us that we’ve believed in, and we’ve discovered that it’s false and it may have caused tremendous amount of ruin in our lives. And we could flip the coin over and look at the times that we’ve tried to be convincing through flattery, we’ve tried to set the stage just right and grease the wheels, so that we can get what we want from somebody. Like, even when we say it, even as I’m describing it sitting right here next to the Scriptures, it’s so icky. And this one sentence in the book of Proverbs, tells us that it leads to ruin. So, if our aim is to be icky and express hatred then yeah, we should have a deceptive, flattering mouth and a lying tongue, because that will indeed, get us where we’re going, which is ultimately, though, ruin. So, if ruin is the goal, here’s how to get there. If ruin is not the goal, then we need to jump off that train, stop lying to each other, stop deceiving each other, stop manipulating each other, stop with the false flattery, stop with the falseness and rather speak the truth in love.
And so, Holy Spirit, we invite You into that and we thank You for this confrontation that challenges each of us in our own ways and in our own stories. We ask that You would lead us deeper into the word of God. We were told yesterday that the word of God can reach the point where our soul and spirit divide. And so far, can’t think of a place more deep than that, that seems to be the place where the truth of who we are would actually be. Come speak truth there, to the power of the word of God and the power of Your spirit to guide us. Lead us as we ask so often, into all truth, which means away from partial lies or full lies. Lead us into all truth and away from all faults. We ask in the name of Jesus, the true one. Amen.
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What’s going on around here right now, is the release of a brand-new resource into the community here, it’s called Sleep, A Contemplative Journey. And it is a, it is a musical resource intended to create space for rest and that came out a couple of days ago, on Tuesday. So, just letting everybody know, we’ve been talking about for a couple weeks, but it is widely available now, wherever you get your music, wherever it is you stream your music or purchase your downloadable digital music, whatever outlet that is, you should be able to find Sleep, A Contemplative Journey. And it’s only been a couple of days, but already kind of getting some feedback. And I went to sleep with it the first night and I just, I love that, it’s so rewarding to get that feedback. And so, just enjoy rest. I am doing the same thing, knowing what, like, what I’ve been saying all along, we’re right out in front. A couple weeks from now we’re going to be entering into the busier, maybe busiest time of the year when rest and calm and sleep are a little bit more hard to come by and have to be contended for. So, releasing this, out in front of it, getting this resource kind of into our hands and letting it just be a resource that’s available, especially if the anxiety is keeping our eyes from closing or if we’re resting fitfully. This is made to make space that’s safe for sleeping. And so, so check it out.
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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.
Prayer and Encouragements: Will be posted tomorrow, 4NOV22