Ezekiel 31:1-32:32, Hebrews 12:14-29, Psalms 113:1-114:8, Proverbs 27:18-20
Today is the 15th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you…I guess the dead center of this 11th month of the year. And I suppose we should be taking some deep breaths here because it's…it’s about to get to the busy season of the year, isn’t it? But we’re out in front of that as we come to the conclusion of another one of our weeks together and we’ll finish strong like we always do. We’ve been reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week and the next step forward is back into the book of Ezekiel. Today we’ll read chapters 31 and 32.
Okay. So, we have a pretty good view of our faith and what happens in our faith as we follow the path, the narrow path that leads to life, as we follow the way of Jesus found in the book of Hebrews today. So, the author of Hebrews is saying, “look, everybody pursue peace with each other. This is what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to pursue holiness. If you don’t have that you’re not gonna see God. So, make sure you’re pursuing these things. Make sure nobody falls short of the grace of God and that the root of bitterness doesn’t spring up and defile the community”, right? “Make sure you are in this. Make sure there isn’t any immoral or irreverent person like Esau who sold his birthright in exchange for a single meal”, right? So, putting that in terms of the gospel, it’s like you can’t carry your faith around as if it’s disposable as if you could sell it all for something that you think is better. Like that’s not how this works. So, that’s the context, that’s what’s being said here. And he’s saying, “do all these things for a reason,” And this is where we have to again remind ourselves that Hebrews was written to Hebrews, right? So, the entire context and all of the imagery is a part of the Hebrew worldview. So, the author then takes us back to the mountain, in this case Mount Sinai where Moses met with God but God’s intention was to meet with his people but when he descended upon the mountain the people were afraid to hear directly from God so they sent Moses up on the mountain. And even Moses was trembling with fear. So, the writer of Hebrews is giving that imagery and saying that, “this is how we’ve looked at God, ever since, but we…that’s not how it is and that is most certainly not how it is anymore since God in the flesh in the person of Jesus, since God himself came to rescue us and institute a new covenant, that’s not how it is anymore. Instead…” and I’m quoting Hebrews here…“Instead, you have come to Mount Zion to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to the myriads of angels, a festive gathering, to the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been written in heaven, to a judge who is God of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which says better things than the blood of Abel.” Alright, so let’s just recount where we’re going here because it can…it can be complicated. The writer of Hebrews is saying, “live upright, live holy, be at peace with everyone. Don’t let immorality, don’t let irreverence, don’t let bitterness grow among you because you’re not living in fear of God like they did at Sinai. Now you can come right in, you belong”. And then he goes on, “see to it that you don’t reject the one who speaks for if those people back then in Zion didn’t escape when they rejected him and warned him on earth then nobody’s gonna get away when they’ve been warned from heaven. “His voice shook”…we’re quoting again…“His voice shook the earth at that time but now He has promised, yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. This expression “yet once more” indicates the removal of what can be shaken, that is, created things, so that what is not shaken might remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful.” So, let’s sum this up. There are postures that we’re supposed to live into that lead us to holiness because without it we won’t see God. In the past Moses went on Mount Sinai and everybody was terrified when they heard from God but now things have changed, and we can go boldly into the presence of God. However, God is about the business of revealing and installing His kingdom forever and ever and that will require that everything that can shake will be shaken so that only what is unshakable will remain. There is the context for life friends. All that can be shaken will be shaken so that all that remains is unshakable because we are inheriting an unshakable kingdom. So, I don’t know about you but there’s been some shaking going on in my world and in my life this year and I’ve…usually a few times now…usually have the where with all to embrace and invite God in to the shaking and saying, “I believe you are in this as uncomfortable as this might be.” And I’ve been shaken plenty of times in my life and I know that when all that can shake has been shaken off then all that’s left is what is true. So, maybe rather than the anger and the frustration and all of the associated emotions that go with that, that eventually get us shaking our fist at the heavens and being angry with God. Like maybe we need to reframe what’s happening here. We are being made unshakable and the only way that happens is that all that can shake has been shaken off.
Father we embrace what You are doing in our lives and we invite Your Holy Spirit to give us eyes to see and ears to hear, because so often when we face challenge, when things start shaking it’s uncomfortable and so we immediately label it bad or evil because it’s making us uncomfortable. We don’t take that beat and invite You to help us interpret the path we’re walking and what’s happening in our lives. So, we’re taking that moment now. Come, Holy Spirit. Help us to reinterpret the circumstances that are swirling around us. Certainly, we face obstacles because we create them because of the decisions that we make. But sometimes we face seasons where it feels like everything is shaking and we’re not really sure why and the longer that it lasts the more that we cling to things that You may be trying to shake loose. And, so, we’re working against You and getting frustrated and exhausted in the process. So, You have given us some eyes to see today, that this is what is going to happen. Until Your kingdom is fully established, all that can shake will be shaken. And, so, it’s hard to invite the shaking into our own lives because it’s inviting disruption and yet we are told by the author of Hebrews today that what we’re aiming for here is holiness, what we’re aiming for here is to live at peace. And, so, we invite You. Come Holy Spirit and lead us into all truth as You’ve promised and as we believe. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hey Daily Audio Bible family this is Lola coming to you from East Asia. I don’t really call in very often but there’s a huge need in my community here right now. There’s another teacher, I’ve never actually met her, she doesn’t even teach at this place where I am, but she is dying of cancer. She…at this point she wouldn’t even make it to the airport to fly back to the US. She does not know the Lord and she is terrified. She’s dying in a place that’s not her home. Her family isn’t here, and she doesn’t know God. There…the women here at my community have been pitching in. Most of us have never met her before but we are going to the hospital so that we shall have people who speak English with her as she’s dying. But what we really need is…she needs to be lifted up so that she’ll know the Lord before she passes away. And I also…we also…I haven’t been helping much…but we need prayer for the women here in my community who are volunteering to just go and be with her. They are exhausted. So, if you could pray for that that would be wonderful.
Good morning this is Valerie from South of at Atlanta. I just wanted to call and share my heart a little bit. I find that I’m growing cynical. It’s like I just feel myself getting cold and a little bit cynical with the Lord and I don’t want to be that way and I don’t quite know what…where it’s coming from, but I do know that I need a new church home. I know that I need to surround myself with other Christians, especially Christian women that are entering into the older phase of their life. So, I ask for prayer that God will direct me and the path that I need to go. But in order for me to combat the cynicism I think that I really need to just start praying more. So, it’s going to be my goal to start calling in much more frequently and praying for the DABbers and lifting others up to God in the hope that my heart will become tender and more compassionate. So, I want to pray for Abigail right now who had found that she has cancer spots on her lungs, and she’s gone through so much already. And then to have this diagnosis, I can’t I just can’t imagine the feeling of defeat. So, I want to pray for her, and I want to pray for Janet who had her bad test results. And Janet please know that I’m praying for you. I’m praying that God will work in that situation. And I also want to pray for Sandy who had the stroke. And I’m running out of time, so I want to mention Mark who has COPD. So, I’m praying for the four of you today. You will be on my heart constantly. God bless everybody. Have a blessed day.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible readers, family, I’m calling to lift up a few of the dampers from listening to the November 11th podcast. This is Brave from New Jersey. I’m calling for Janice from the UK concerning your friend who is currently in very…a lot of difficulties, about to lose his house or apartment and he has lung cancer, he has to find out if you can go back to work after reassessment. We want to lift up your friend Janice from the UK that the Lord will visit him and as everything rushing into him as water the Lord says that although the flood brushes over us of water it will not overtake us. So, I trust God that he will not be overtaken, and our Lord will give him a reason to celebrate and know him. And as you’re lifting him up over the podcast here, you’re lifting up will not be in vain and it will receive a visitation of the Lord even where he is, and the Lord will visit Him in show him kindness. I also want to pray concerning Betsy from Michigan and her friend the teenager who is driven to the dark side that the Lord will visit her too, that the Lord will show his face to her and that also even in these dark days there will be a reason to celebrate and the Lord will be glorified. And finally, I want to pray for Dana in Arkansas and her three daughters recovering from PTSD from sexual assault. Lord, this prayer point hit hard to my heart because I have been a victim too and I pray that the Lord will truly restore their youth, restore everything concerning them.
Hi everybody it’s Margo in Liberia. I have a bit of a cold, so my voice is a bit different. I’m calling the old way. I phoned in a few times using the Hotline button but I’m not sure if mine is working so I’m trying my old way because I’d really like to connect with you guys. Just touching base letting you know I’m still here, I’m still listening, and I’m still praying for you all every day. And could you please keep me in your prayers. Don’t forget me over here in Liberia. We’re coming up to…well it’s been about six months that we’ve actually been in Liberia now and some things are getting easier. We are starting to adjust. It’s not an easy place to live. I’ve done lots and lots of volunteer work at the mission hospital which has been really fulfilling. However, it’s…it’s a big change for me and it’s…it’s very confronting and very challenging and just I need your prayers. I had my son come and visit which was amazing. He was here for a few weeks and he’s just left and him going seems to have just triggered in me the most piercing grief. It’s just not an easy life and sometimes the suffering is great. But at the same time, I love Jesus so much and it’s such a privilege and an honor to be doing what he’s called me to be…called me to do and called me to be. Anyway, time’s running out. I love you guys. Don’t forget me. I’ll talk again soon. Bye.