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’m Brian and it is a pleasure and an honor to be coming to you for the last time this time from the Sea of Galilee. We’ll be leaving here today and moving our way throughout the day and ending up in the holy city of Jerusalem. But that is a story for another time because we are not there yet and we’ve got a full day in front of us, not that any of these other days aren’t full. They are. I told everyone it’s like drinking from a fire hose and I’m pretty sure everyone now knows what I’m talking about and believes me fully. I’m sure there were a few who were like yeah, yeah, yeah. No big deal. It’s like drinking from a fire hose. So another fire hose day in front of us that will end us up in Jerusalem tonight. We can talk about all that in a little while, but let’s get into the scriptures for today. Alright, we’ll continue our journey through the book of Daniel today and we’re reading from the New Living Translation this week. Daniel chapter 6 verse 1 through verse 28.
In the book of Daniel we come to one of the most famous stories in all the Bible, Daniel in the lion’s den, and in it we see some of the political intrigue of the time and the place. The same kind of stuff was going on in the book of Esther when we read of Haman and Mordecai. The king is counseled really against his own interests and issues a law that is designed to affirm the king and his power and authority and even his god-like attributes. That appeals to these kings and they issue these decrees but they haven’t really understood what the domino effect is going to be.
In this case, Daniel is going to be thrown to the lions and he is. Of course, the lion, the king of the jungle, the dominant beast of the field, the feared and revered animal throughout human history has been used to describe the evil one – that he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour. It is also described in terms of Jesus – the lion of Judah. So lions are throughout the scriptures as something regal, noble, also something cunning and to be feared. I suppose if you’re in a society that throws people into lion’s dens so they could be devoured alive, that would build even more fear throughout the culture.
Certainly we can make this immediate to our lives by just considering the things that we have been facing or are facing and we can look at them as we’re facing the lions, but in order to really get at what is going on in our lives, we have to be willing to own our lives enough to ask ourselves how did I get in this den in the first place? This is kind of the first step. Am I here facing this because of my own choices systematically and my own stupidity or my own rebellion? Or am I in here because of my righteousness?
Being honest with ourselves about the predicament that we may find ourselves in is important because we have a tendency to put ourselves in the lion’s den and then blame God for it, which is not the story of Daniel. Even if we find that we are really in the den with the lions because of our own stupidity, that does not mean there isn’t rescue. That does not mean that there isn’t mercy. It just means that we own the fact that we kind of got ourselves into this den and we can’t blame everyone else, the world and God for everything that we do. A lot of times we find ourselves facing lions that we never had to face in the first place.
Daniel had to face lions and he didn’t deserve it at all. He was thrown to the lions because of his righteousness, his faith and trust in God that was unmovable and irreversible, to the point of death. So Daniel goes into the lion’s den and God rescues him.
We see wonderful pictures of God’s mercy in many lives throughout the scriptures. King David is a great example. He has this affair with Bathsheba. We were talking about this not too long ago. He kills her husband in battle on purpose and her husband, Uriah the Hittite, was one of his top 30 men, most trusted. An unbelievable betrayal by David. And although there are consequences, David is rescued. David does this census. There is this choice put before David, sort of a lion that he is facing and he throws himself on God’s mercy. We see this play out in the psalms where he owns what he’s done. “I and I alone have done this.” And he asks for mercy.
It is a totally different story when we find ourselves facing the hardship or challenge or a metaphorical lion and trying to make it everyone else’s fault and then try to make it God’s fault. That completely changes the posture of our heart. So often we end up getting devoured in the process and then blame God for that.
So rather than going into a big long thing, because I certainly want to talk about all the stuff that is going on here in the land of Israel, the things that we’re seeing and experiencing, let’s at least take some time to analyze the situations in our lives that feel like a lion’s den, like we’re in an impossible situation and understand that we got there somehow, but we have a Father who does not want to see us devoured by lions. But when our posture of heart is to turn to assumption and blame and begin inventing stories about our righteousness that isn’t real in a situation, then we are only isolating ourselves and estranging ourselves and isolation will get us killed. If you want to talk about lions, just watch them in the wild. Watch them storm a herd and kill the one that gets isolated.
We have to own what is true. Only through owning what is true and what truly happened can we then rely and utterly depend on God’s mercy and kindness and his great strength and love on our behalf. Because believe me, our Father is far more ferocious than any lion and he is coming to rescue those he loves. So may we own our lives and understand that sometimes we face things unexpectedly and completely out of our control, but more often than not we have laid a significant if not the significant role in navigating ourselves into the situation. So may we own that and trust in the Father’s goodness and grace to send his Holy Spirit to navigate and advance before us the way out.
Father, your kindness is beyond description. Your patience is beyond any words that we could string together in some sort of sentence to articulate. You are supporting the world. You are supporting our very lives. You are deeply invested in our maturity. So help us, Father, to grow up and own the truth. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
So man, recapping yesterday. Yesterday was a day that we began at the Sea of Galilee but we’re moving away from the Sea of Galilee, out of the lowest fresh water lake one earth, which is the Sea of Galilee, and then up onto what is known as the Golan Heights with several stops along the way, beginning with the ancient stronghold of Hatzor, which is an amazing place. It’s a world heritage site. There were excavations that have uncovered 21 different civilizations there, different time periods of occupation there, but it finds its way into the story of the Bible during the conquest as Joshua is leading the people across the Jordan and into the promised land and it’s settling. I mean, if you put it into context, you have to think about the city you live in being destroyed. If the city you lived in were destroyed it would probably make the news, especially if you live in a large city. And Jericho was the first city to be conquered and the walls fell down. So that just didn’t happen in a vacuum and no one else knew about it. That happened and it spread throughout all of the land and made its way north to Hatzor which was the strongest city of the area. The king of Hatzor was sort of the most powerful king of the area and he got with other kings of other cities and they decided they needed to form a common army to push these invaders out but, as we know, it didn’t work.
So Hatzor finds its way into the biblical narrative. It’s a beautiful location. The preservation of everything from the palace to the water system which is incredibly intriguing, you look at it and go how did they do that? That happens a lot of times. It’s just a beautiful, serene place to start the day. Beautiful views of Mount Hermon. It was a little bit hazy here, but it began our day.
Then we moved up to the ancient city of Dan and accomplished from Dan to Beersheba so the span from north to south of the promised land. It is also an amazing place where after the kingdom divided into northern and southern kingdoms, King Jeroboam erected temples with golden calves for his people to worship in the north and in the south of his kingdom. So we explored that a little bit and talked about those alters and in particular the story where God asks, commands a prophet to leave Judah and enter into Bethel where the duplicate of the alter we were looking at in Dan was and he was to curse it and then leave and not go by the way he came back home. Straight in. Straight out. But he didn’t do that. Another prophet had come and did the ‘God told me to tell you this’ thing that eventually got the prophet killed. So we just considered that we have to own our own relationship with God. We have to. Yes, community is very valuable for finding the will of God, especially in the gray areas, but without an underlying conversational relationship with God to begin with, all we’re doing is running around looking for an oracle and that, like I say often, is just not how it works. So we considered that.
Then also near ancient Dan, within walking distance on our way out we were able to see the ancient Canaanite Gate, one of two of the oldest gates in Israel. It dates all the way back to the book of Genesis, all the way back to Abram before he became Abraham. That is mind-blowing in and of itself. It is worth going there just for that. So we did that, had some lunch. That was nice.
And then we went into Caesarea Philippi where Jesus asked his disciples “what is everyone saying about me?” and ends with really probably the most important question of all, “who do you say that I am?” We just contextualized Caesarea Philippi with the geography that Jesus was describing when he said the gates of hell will not prevail against this church.
And then we moved all the way as far north as we could go, right to the border of Syria, accomplishing as far north as you can go, as far south as you can go, as far east as you can go, and as far west as you can go in this land. We’ll be spending today kind of moving our way to Jerusalem but then the interior for the rest of this trip.
We gazed into Syria and just contemplated the fact that brothers and sisters… It’s just so hard to be confronted face-to-face with this, not on the news, but to be confronted face-to-face where you’re looking across a border and realizing the chasm is so great that you’re looking into a country that although you can’t see it from there has been in civil war for a long time. The uprising of things like Isis is there and just knowing that we have brothers and sisters that are dying for their faith, that is just tough but necessary. So we prayed a prayer of intercession for them. May that stick. May that stick for this entire community. We have brothers and sisters around the world that are exhibiting a faith that we are rarely challenged with, that we aren’t faced with the fact that we’re being hunted like animals or that we’re being killed. So we prayed. We asked God for his mercy over them before beginning the journey back to the Galilee.
A powerful day it was indeed. So you can continue to follow this journey that we are on, this pilgrimage that we are on where every day feels like a good four days, if not a week. It just feels like we’re just drinking it in so quickly, sucking it up so fast and our hearts are open and they are being carried in the wave. I mean, yesterday morning I completely spaced, but we began the day on the Sea of Galilee in a boat worshipping Jesus. It was such a powerful thing. So many different kinds of experiences, all telling the same story from different angles, making this composite, making the Bible a living thing, making it the living thing that it is while giving us history and context and meditation and reflection. So it’s been good. We thank you for your continued prayers. There is not a moment we don’t need your covering and we thank you for it.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It is where you find out what is going on around here. Of course, other than the fact that we’re on this pilgrimage and doing it as a community, whether in person or whether virtually, I guess the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box is the thing that we’re talking about right now. That is available and chockful of the resources that we have at Daily Audio Bible that are for this community, for our family here. So check it out at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Shop. You’ll find that there are things in there you’ll want to keep for yourself and there are things in there that you want to give away. Yeah, so check it out and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at www.DailyAudioBible.com. There is a link on the home page. Thank you here as we move toward the end of the year. Thank you for your partnership and allowing the Daily Audio Bible to exist at all. Thank you. If you use the Daily Audio Bible App, you can push the More button in the lower right-hand corner or if you prefer, the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.
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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 Requests and Praise Reports
Hi family. This is Salvation is Mine. It is Thanksgiving, November 24th in the United States. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I hope you had a great day. I’m calling in tonight for my nightly prayer and this is for prisoners. Dear Heavenly Father, gracious Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit our comforter, we come before you right now lifting up those who are in prison all over this world tonight. We especially lift up those who are innocent, Lord. We lift them up to you that you will give them strength, that you will come and give them comfort, that you will give them peace, that this is just a season in their lives and that things will work out for the good of them in you in whatever the outcome is supposed to be. For those who are in prison tonight, Lord, who are guilty, we ask you to forgive their sins. We pray that they have bowed before you and asked sincerely for forgiveness and have made atonement to those they have wronged. Dear Lord, there is so much hurt and there is so much crowding in prisons. We just ask you to just send the Comforter in there and let there be peace in the prisons. There are so many gangs and racial strife, Lord God. We just ask that those who are there will have safety as well as the guards and the ones, that they will do their jobs properly and not abuse their authority. We just ask, Lord God, that the families who visit these people in prisons will find some peace as well. Lord God, we love you and we know you are the ruler of all and take care of all. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen. Thank you family. Have a blessed night. Bye-bye.
Hi. This is Victorious Soldier. I was calling to pray for Amatha. I think that was her name. She sounded like she was so down. I really wanted to pray for you, my sister, and lift you up because your blessing is right there. Do not give up. I just want to encourage you. Do not give up. I’m talking to Biola and her sister, Chante from Detroit. Hi Chante. Good to hear from you. Blind Tony, good to hear from you. Wayne from Maine, good to hear from you. Definitely want to shout-out and continue to pray for you, my brothers and sisters. O Father, in the name of Jesus, Lord, you touch Amatha. She sounded like she was already to give up, Lord. And her blessing is right there, Lord. O Lord, the joy of the Lord is her strength. Lord, you give her the joy. Lord, you touch her right now with your Holy Spirit. O Father, in the name of Jesus, Lord, you touch her, Lord, and you lift her up, Lord. O Father, in the name of Jesus, I magnify you Lord that she may be lifted up, Lord. O Lord, in the name of Jesus, you touch my sister, Lord, and let her know that you love her and that you are right there, that she doesn’t have to look but you are closer than she ever thought you could be. You may even be carrying her, Lord. O Lord, in the name of Jesus, Lord, we thank you for touching the Dabbers who call today. We thank you for touching Brian and Jill and little Ezekiel, Lord. We thank you, Lord, for touching Pastor Gene, Lord. O Lord, continue to see the miracle in the good in her challenges. In the name of Jesus, Lord, we just praise you. We give you the glory. We thank you for this Thanksgiving Day. We thank you, Lord. We give you thanks and glory, O Father, in the name of Jesus.
Family, Biola from Maryland. How are you all doing? Brian, thank God for journeying mercies and a safe trip to Israel. I pray in the name of Jesus that everything will fall into place while you’re there, God protects each one of you. I cancel and reject every plan of the devil concerning you, Jill, the family, and every single person that is there with you, in the name of Jesus. Tito, good to hear from you, brother. I’m praying that God would give the doctors wisdom so they can properly diagnose your son. And most importantly, I pray that Jesus, the Son of Righteousness, will arise with healing in his wings over your son and heal him according to Malachi 4:2, in the name of Jesus. Scott, I’m praying for healing for your son, that God would touch his spirit, mind and body. I pray for his healthcare team, that God would give them wisdom and they will know how to properly care for him, in the name of Jesus. Lucas, I’m praying for sweet Joy. I join my faith with yours, that God would touch her body and heal her from that throat cancer, that everything that the devil is trying to steal from her, her joy and her voice, in the name of Jesus, I neutralize every effect in Jesus’ name and I pray that God would open her voice and she will sing again, in the name of Jesus. And I pray that everything that is bothering her right now, God would give her peace and calm, in the name of Jesus. Blind Tony, shout-out to you. I hope you’re doing much better. I’m still praying for you. Victorious Soldier, my dear sister, God bless you. I pray that God would continue to strengthen you and fulfill your heart’s desire according to God’s will, in the name of Jesus. Family, I’m praying for everyone who is struggling with one kind of illness, addiction or the other. I pray that Jesus, the Son of Righteousness will arise with healing in his wings over you and your loved ones during this Thanksgiving period in the US. Every day is a day of thanks for a child of God and I just pray that God would heal you all, in the name of Jesus. Jenny my friend, I’m praying for you and your job situation. God bless you.
Hi, this is Bonnie from Virginia reaching out for prayer. As I have feared before, my son is in jail since May 18th of this year. He just had turned 18 on May 3rd. He wanted to participate in a RISE program for alcoholism and drug-addicted people. Although he was not addicted to drugs or alcohol, he did try to take marijuana sometimes. He got kicked out from that program because the petty officer found him sleeping during his 15 minute break. Always someone is scheduled for courtesy call. That is what my son said, so he thought he could hear him and wake himself up to go to the next session, but the guy did not call for a courtesy call. He only had two weeks to complete this program. I don’t know whether this will affect his hearing, but he wanted to participate in this program to look good on his hearing. December 21st is his sentencing hearing date. I am continuously praying to God, but things do not seem like going right way. I think I have started questioning on faith, even though I know one I believe is to God. I cannot accept any other faith, Hindu faith, because that faith had abandoned me when I was an infant child. I cannot think of any other faith because my heart does not want to accept it.
__________ calling from Honolulu, HI. I’m a first-time caller and I heard Teri from Missouri call in whose sister is battling stage IV cancer. First off, Teri, I just want to lift you up in prayer to the Lord. And Matthew 11:28 came to mind where the Lord says “come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. You will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Teri, I pray that you just take that verse to heart and go to the Lord with your problems for he can take them. And I pray over you. I’ve gone through cancer in my daughter this year, that the Lord would be your comfort in this with your family. I’m so grateful that we have a God that we can serve who is defender of the weak and loves us more than we can ever know and who will deliver us by the blood of his Son. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. Today is Friday, November 26th and I just want to pray specifically today for my dear sister Alleah who I just love. I love hearing your voice, Alleah. I’m sorry you weren’t feeling good and you weren’t feeling strong. I just want to pray over you. Father God, I present Alleah to you. Father God, I present her mind, her spirit. Father God, cause her to be filled with your Holy Spirit. Father God, help her to walk in your power and your spirit, Father God. I just want to say a little prayer too for all of us. I pray for Brian. I pray for everyone who is listening, everyone who calls in for requests, everyone who did not call in for requests. I just lift everyone up, Father God, all of my Daily Audio Bible brothers and sisters and their families and their requests, Father God. Guide us in the right way. This day is our pilgrimage, Father God. When we are daunted by the day’s tasks, give us strength. When we are weary by the same path, help us to see you in all things. When forgiving is an uphill struggle, Father God, grant us your help. When we are overwhelmed by obstacles, Father God, lift us up. When the load we carry is heavy, come to us and give us rest, Father God. When we are fearful of unexpected twists and turns, assure us that you are here. Assure us of your presence. When we are worried about which path to take, guide us in the right way, Father God. And at the end of the journey, at the end of this day, Father God, may our hearts be burning with your knowledge that we have walked with you and that you have walked with us. In Jesus’ mighty and precious name I pray. Amen.