Habakkuk 1:1-3:19 ~ Revelation 9:1-21 ~ Psalm 137:1-9 ~ Proverbs 30:10
Today is the 18th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible and welcome to a brand new week. This is the last Sunday in the season of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas that we have traditionally as a Christian church used to contemplate the mystery of the arrival of God among us and with us and to also continue to long for his second advent, his return to us, so we have one more week in this season. Of course, one week from today is Christmas Day.
SONG played on today’s DAB “O Come O Come Emmanuel” Trinity Music http://apple.co/2hvVmei
So as we move into this final week of Advent and prepare for the hurry and scurry and mad dash that it can be toward Christmas Day, may we not forget the longing and may we not forget the mystery of what is going on here. May we not exchange it for a lot of bright lights and glitter. May we stay rooted in what is happening here and the reason for all the celebration. Part of the way we do that is continuing with the rhythm of the scriptures in our lives, so that is what we’ll do.
We’re in a new week. We’ll read from the Holman Christian Standard Bible this week and continuing to kind of move quickly through so many of the different smaller books of the Bible and we’ll read another one in its entirety today, the book of Habakkuk.
Introduction of a New Book (Old Testament)
The book of Habakkuk is the eighth of the minor prophet books in the Old Testament. We don’t know a whole lot about Habakkuk, but there is Jewish rabbinical tradition that tells us that Habakkuk was the son of the Shunamite Elisha raised from the dead in the book of 2 Kings.
Because of the way the narrative is written, many scholars believe that Habakkuk may have been a temple prophet. In most cases this would mean that he was a prophetic musician gifted on instruments like the lyre or the harp or the cymbals. Some scholars believe that Habakkuk’s lyrical and poetic nature indicates that he was probably a Levite or a king in the temple as a temple prophet.
In his writings, Habakkuk is wondering aloud what God is doing in his time. He sees injustice. He sees misfortune around him and has what seems to be some doubt. He dares question and God dares answer.
Once again we’re shown in the scripture that we do not know all we think we know. In fact, we know very little of what is really going on and Habakkuk presses into that. We see in this book one of the most beautiful pictures of the story of our lives, a story of doubt and questions being transformed into absolute trust and interconnection with the sovereign Lord. So although we’ll be reading it in its entirety today, hopefully it will have a lingering impact on our lives. I love the book of Habakkuk.
So we begin Habakkuk chapter 1 verse 1 through 3:19.
Father, we thank you for your word. Here we are in the last two weeks of this year, and we thank you for all that you have done and all that you have yet to do in our lives through your word in this year. So even as we enter into perhaps the busiest time of the year, we are also staying very present to what you are speaking and we enter into this great mystery that you would come for us, to rescue us, to restore us. It is unspeakably beautiful and the hope of our salvation. So as we go through this week, this Christmas week where everything speeds up, it also becomes apparent that everything around us all over the world is telling the story. We may have given it its own nuances and it made it a great marketing thing, but all around the world we are telling the story, the story of the Savior come to save us as a little child. So we invite you into all of that as everywhere we notice reminders of our story. So even as we’re busy, help us to stay present to the fact that the whole earth is crying the story out and may we, with our whole hearts rejoice in it. Come Holy Spirit, we pray in the name of Jesus, amen.
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Man, here we are! This is Christmas week. It feels just really to me like a couple of weeks ago it was just Christmas week last year. I mean when I sit down and think about it and lay out all that has happened in the last year, yeah, it’s been a long, hard year on a lot of levels and I can see that, but it just seems like the year went by really fast when I’m just kind of glimpsing at it real quick. Here we are, Christmas week and I’m excited to celebrate the arrival of the Savior.
Where would we be if this had not happened? That is what Advent is about, thinking about that, that we were longing for a Savior to come and rescue us and the people who followed the Lord God waited and waited and then he came and then they didn’t even recognize his coming until the victory was won. Then here we are now waiting for another arrival, the one that puts all things right. So I plan to use this week in all its activities and festivities to kind of keep that kernel, that core as we move ourselves toward Christmas Day. I hope you’ll do the same.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It is where you find out what is going on around here. The Prayer Wall is there and things that people are praying for even through this season. You can see them at a glance and stay connected and respond and dialogue can happen there.
Of course, there is the Daily Audio Bible Friends Facebook page. Just search for DAB Friends and you can get into the dialogue that is continually happening there.
There are lots of ways. If this is a season where you’re maybe a little down, maybe feeling a little alone, because I get the Christmas blues too, I hope what we can hold onto is we cannot be alone. Jesus did come and he is within us, intertwined with us. We cannot be alone. But at times at family gatherings and stuff like that that happen around the holidays, if there is not much going on, then it can feel like we’re alone, but there are places to reach out. We have each other. I mean, we’re virtual. We’re all over the world, that is true, although thousands and thousands of friendships and relationships have developed over the years in many, many cities all around the world. There are places to reach out inside this community just to hear and be heard and respond and be responded to so that you know that you’re not alone.
We’ll be having our annual Family Christmas, virtual Christmas party this week. If you find yourself by yourself or the season isn’t what you’ve had in the past, it’s a little different, looks a little different this year and it has kind of gotten you maybe in the blues, the annual Christmas party is something you can play. It lasts the length of a party and you can keep that on and hear the voices of your brothers and sisters and know that you’re not alone. So all this will be available.
Then I should mention today is the final day for any kind of shipping from Daily Audio Bible for Christmas. And that is domestic. So if you’re in the United States and kind of wrapping up some things and just looking for final ideas, maybe the Daily Audio Bible Shop will have some for you and then we can get those to you, but it has to be ordered today so we can get it out first thing in the morning and then that will finalize all the shipping that we’ll be doing for Christmas this year. It gets a bit insane in the Colorado warehouse where we roast the coffee and ship everything. It gets a little bit crazy and that craziness is slowing down, thankfully, so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at www.DailyAudioBible.com. There is a link. It is on the home page and it lives there. As we end the year together, thank you for your partnership in helping the New Year begin well. The link is on the home page. If you’re using the app, you can push the More button in the lower right-hand corner. And, of course, the mailing address, if you prefer that, is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.
And of course we are a community and a beautiful one at that. If you have a prayer request or comment, (877) 942-4253 is the number to dial.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian. I love you. I’ll be waiting for you right here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hi again my Daily Audio Bible family. This is Homeward Bound. I wanted to share something very special with you that encouraged us very much and I pray it will encourage and bless your heart as well. A few weeks ago a lady from our church, Diane, passed away. Her family asked my husband, her pastor, to do the memorial service. Four days before the service my husband had a dream about heaven. He had recently taught from the book of Revelation about the colors of the jewels, foundation, the throne and the streets of pure gold. He experienced all of this in his dream and saw the amazing vivid colors, the bright light from the throne and the light reflecting off of all his people. When he looked around he saw our friend Diane who had passed away. He then saw the Book of Life and there was her name written there. My husband woke up and wept because he had never experienced this before and it was so real. We believe God gave my husband the dream to share with the family and also to share at the memorial service. I pray this will encourage those of you who have recently lost loved ones. Heaven is truly for real. God bless each of you more than you could ever imagine. This is Homeward Bound. Bye-bye.
Hello. Leaving a message for my sister, Elaine O. We’ve been separated for over four years because of something terrible we did, my husband and I to her and her husband. I love her. I am so sorry. I am deeply sorry this took place. I miss her so much. I’m now 71 years old and I was hoping there is some way I could get to see her before I die. I am not dying now, but time is just flying by. I have a wonderful family I would love her to meet and I would love to meet her family. Please, Lord, bless all of us and may we see each other. At one time we were all such a caring family when greed got into, __________ ruined everything. I trusted my sister with everything and I understand her but it was just an amount of money that we never, ever, ever…that I would never be able to repay and I am so deeply, deeply sorry. I __________ the last penny to them.
Good afternoon Daily Audio Bible family. This is Lee from New Jersey. Today is December 14th and I’m listening to the December 13th podcast, if I’m not mistaken. I was a little bit behind. So I listened to the end of the prayer requests from a gentleman who did not leave his name. Hee was behind, he has been a listener for six years and he got into a fight and he got stabbed on the back of the knee. Brother, I’m praying for you, man, because you know whenever I hear the brothers call in, situations like this, I can relate. So I’m just going to pray for you, my brother, that God will intervene in your situation right now, that God will help you find peace, whether that be through your walk every day with God and by meeting godly people, that different people will __________ you and will help you find God and also find peace within your heart. Also so God will give you mercy for the some of the things that you have done and, of course, that does not label you. That is not who you are. That is not who you are going to be for the future. So God has given you a name already. God has a future planned out for you already. All you got to do is listen. So God bless you, my brother. Call in and give your name. Give your name so we can all be praying for you, for you to find inner peace, to find comfort in the Lord, and to know that God loves you regardless of the mistakes that you have made, it does not matter what they are. God bless you. We love you, my brother. Virtual hugs from a brother to a brother. We’re here for you. Keep calling in. God bless.
Hi DAB family. This is Joyce from California. I wanted to call many times the past couple weeks but couldn’t because it has been really rough. I recently heard eyewitness testimony that my parents began abusing me the day I was born, which was December 20th. As the day draws near, my birthday, I find myself struggling. The abuse continued pretty much every day and it got worse and when I was a kid they leave me in this bedroom __________ made up strange stories and couldn’t be trusted so as to prevent people from believing me. I also learned that they purposely sabotaged my studies which I wasn’t aware of. They want me to fail out of medical school because it contradicts the stories they told about me for a long time and I think it was because they had to keep up appearances because my dad was a pastor. After learning all this, I realized I can’t allow them in my life at this point, even at a distance. By the grace of God, I forgave them and I treated them kindly for many years, but hearing this made me realize I have to know how to contend for the dreams that God has put in my heart. I want to be a physician scientist after his own heart. I know God will use our brokenness for his kingdom. I believe he will restore and turn everything around like he did with Joseph and his 12 brothers. There is no suffering that is an accident that he can’t use. So please pray with me for this. I know I’m not alone and God is pleased with me, but my heart is hurt. Thanks family. I love you. Joyce from California.
Hi, this is Matt from Fargo. I’m a long time listener but first time caller and I really need prayer today. First off, I was laid off from pretty much my dream job last Friday and this week I’m dealing with some kind of skin infection on my feet. This is on top of a struggle I’ve been dealing with for a long time, really pretty much my whole life with a sexual sin addiction. So I’m asking you to pray for me. Please first off, pray for God to set me free from sexual sin. Second off, please ask God to heal my skin on my feet and on the rest of my body. And third, please ask God to help lead and guide me to the next employment that he has for me in my life. Thank you so much for listening and for praying.
Hey DAB brothers and sisters. This is Byron out in Florida. And Mark N., shout-out to you out in Davie, FL. I’ll be praying for your cousin, Bucky. I hope everything goes well with his heart surgery, but please give us a call and check in and let us know how that goes. Your rendition of God Bless America got my heart to beating out of my chest. I wanted to run outside and rip the nearest flagpole out of the ground and run through the streets with it, bellowing the chorus with you with tears streaming out of the my eyes. That was awesome. Thank you. I know we like to believe it sometimes but it isn’t true that God has only blessed America. I want to hear what our Aussie brothers and sisters, our English ones, those in Africa, Asia, I want to hear what your guys’ version of God Bless America is whether you think you’re a good singer or not, whether it is in English or not. I would like you to call in and just sing that so we can all get that same feeling, what it feels like from a different country because one day we know for sure that a multitude that no man can number from every single nation will be together and we’ll all be singing the same song finally, worshipping the Lamb that was slain. I’m looking forward to that day and I would love to hear all your guys’ songs for just a picture of that glorious day to come. I love all you guys. Talk to you later.