Daniel 6:1-28, 2 Peter 3:1-18, Psalm 119:129-152, Proverbs 28:21-22
Today is the 29th 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 the journey forward and our next step forward together, here around the Global Campfire, is in the book of Daniel. So, let’s dive in, today, Daniel chapter six.
Okay, guys, so we are about to finish the month of November. Tomorrow’s the last day of November, and we concluded Peter’s second letter, known as second Peter, today, and there is an exceptional and intense lesson for us in the final chapter of second Peter. Actually, a lesson large enough to be life-changing, like a change of perspective that then could transform how we live. But to get at it, we kind have to go into some context, because one of the things we see in the last chapter of second Peter is what we have seen not only in the ministry of Jesus, but throughout the New Testament, and that is essentially an apocalyptic worldview. And that sounds ominous enough, but ironically, we, we too, we share an apocalyptic view, whether we understood it in those terms are not, we share it. Basically, we believe that the world we live in is changing and that will continue to happen, a dawning of a new era is coming. And for, we who believe in Jesus, we are awaiting the inauguration of the kingdom with the king on the throne. And of course, when I say King, I’m talking about Jesus. We believe we are headed in that direction. But before that can happen things have to get really bad, very challenging, hardships for the world are out in front, unrest everywhere. But as with the rest of the stories in the Bible, when all hope seems lost, rescue columns and a new thing will be born. And in this case a new heaven and a new earth, in a nutshell, that’s an apocalyptic worldview. And this view was in the water in the first century, during the time of the New Testament. It’s one of the things that made people curious about Jesus. Here’s the thing though, although we share this view like, that we are on a trajectory that is going somewhere and that in the and all things will be new again, that this is going somewhere good, even though it may be difficult to get there, this is all going somewhere good. We share it a little bit differently than our brothers and sisters a couple of thousand years ago, and the differences those couple of thousand years because it’s been a couple of thousand years and second Peter was written. But a couple of thousand years ago, a couple of thousand years hadn’t passed yet and they were expecting this to happen in their life. They were expecting Jesus to return and establish this kingdom imminently. If you are expecting the imminent arrival of something and, for example, a decade passes as you wait. Something that you thought was immediate and a decade passes, then you start to wonder about that, you may not lose your hope in it, but you might think that you got your signals crossed somewhere. And then if another decade passes right, like so as the decades go by people start wondering like, what a second, the Savior was supposed to return, and we have been enduring and things are only getting worse like, the closer we draw to Jesus the more terrible things happen to us. They were waiting for the same thing we are waiting for. They just expected it to happen a lot sooner and we’re still waiting for it to happen, we have the benefit of knowing like okay, it wasn’t going to happen in the first century because were in the 21st century, so it’s going to happen, but when, we don’t really know, so we live our lives, accordingly, knowing that this is the trajectory, but we don’t know when. The time that second Peter is written, years have passed, Jesus didn’t return, what everybody thought was going to happen didn’t happen the way everybody thought it was going to happen. So, it is left giant question marks and it brought about a lot of doubt and people were disappearing into the woodwork again. And so, Peter addresses this and so let me quote a couple verses from second Peter chapter 3 that we read today. “Above all, be sure to remember that in the last days mockers will come following their own desires and taunting you saying so what happened to the promise second coming of Jesus for everything keeps going, just the way it has since our ancestors fell asleep in death. Since the beginning of creation, nothing changed.” Then Peter goes on to say, “don’t imagine dear friends that God’s timetable is the same as ours. As the Psalm says, for with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day. Lord is not slow about enacting his promise, slow is how some people want to characterize it, no, he is not slow but patient and merciful to you, not wanting anyone to be destroyed but wanting everyone to turn away from following his own path and turn toward God’s.” And this is where this lesson that is so impactful, can begin to descend upon us. They’re being a patient because they’re expecting something. We live inpatient because we’re expecting something and it didn’t make sense to them and it doesn’t make sense to us, why we have to endure. Like, let’s get on with it. Let’s bring the perfection. Let heaven come down on earth as it is in heaven, let’s do this. Peter calls that impatience like, he flips the whole thing around like we’re expecting something, but is God just delaying for no reason, or are we being impatient. According to Peter, we’re being impatient and we’re being impatient about something we should not be impatient about. So, let me quote Peter again, “the Lord is not slow about enacting his promise, He is not slow but patient and merciful to you, not wanting anyone to be destroyed.” So, we get impatient about God’s patience and mercy. The reason He is be being patient, the reason this is taking so long, isn’t because He just wants us to have to endure more generations of hardship, it’s that He is merciful and doesn’t want to lose anyone, doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. Or I’ll just quote it from Peter, “not wanting anyone to be destroyed but wanting everyone to turn away from following his own path and turn toward God’s.” That means, brothers and sisters, when we endure, we are collaborating with God’s patience and mercy for the world. When we endure, we are the light of the world. We are the witness for the good news in this world, so that no one will be led into destruction. The work is obviously not done. We are a part of it. So, if we just sit under our rooves, hiding out in closets and reading Bibles and awaiting the eastern sky to split, we’re not collaborating at all. The reason God would be patient is because He doesn’t want to lose anybody. Why are we so willing to lose the rest of the world, just so that we can get out of here and get on with it. That’s pretty convicting stuff, at least for me. I do not like to endure, any more than anybody else, at all. I want on earth as it is in heaven, like I want everything to be put back together again. I want to know what it feels like to have a day like that and I’m looking forward to a forever like that. But that starts with a day like that. And it’s so easy to just throw our hands up in the air, I give, like I give up. And then we get think, ah, that’s what I’m supposed to do, I’m supposed to surrender. But to understand that God isn’t withholding so that we have to suffer, but that He is withholding in His mercy to be patient, so that all might hear the good news. That’s a totally different way of looking at our lives. When we come by this passage each year I literally have to sit down and think it through again, not think it through, like is this true, but think it through like man, I am, I have so much work to do, like what if God had not been patient and merciful toward me? Where would I be? Where would you be? And to consider that there are brothers and sisters in their life story, that are on their way, that are on a collision course with Jesus, they just don’t know it yet. Like, would we be like not too bad man, I have endured enough, Jesus come back. I am, I mean they should have already figured this out, just come back and make things right again, so that I don’t have to endure anything anymore. Man, that exposes something in us. The thing that we need to understand is that the reason that this is taking so long, isn’t because God’s trying to rest up and have enough strength. It’s because He doesn’t want to lose anybody. May we align our hearts with the heart of God on this and understand that when we do have to endure, when we do have to face hardship, when there is suffering, especially when it’s related to our faith, that we are collaborating with God and that we too, are marveling at how patient He is. I mean, in my lifetime alone, if I had to be the sovereign God, and I don’t even know how to think about that, but I’m not sure this world would still be standing right. Like, at some point you go, enough of this. The patience of God is remarkable. The patience of God has allowed us to be here today. If the brothers and sisters who were growing impatient in the first century got what they wanted, we wouldn’t be here. And so, it is for the sake of the world and the sake of the generations, that we get on board with the heart of God and do whatever it takes to be a light in the darkness, that all may know.
And Father, we invite You into. It’s very, very, very convicting. It exposes a bunch of stuff inside of each one of us. And forgive us, forgive us for being so self-absorbed that what we want is for You to make things right for us, when You want to make things right period. And we have nowhere near the vantage point that You do. And so, we trust You, we love You, we thank You for allowing us to be a part of the story at all. We thank You for your patience. Your patience with us, Your patience with the earth, may we be a part of the story that puts things back together again. Thank you for inviting us, we pray this in Your precious name. Amen.