Zechariah 14:1-21, Revelation 20:1-15, Psalms 148:1-14, Proverbs 31:8-9
Today is the 29th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and it is great to be here with you as we sail through these last couple of days of the year and…and disembark from the journey that we’ve been on all year. Obviously, of course, we’ll be beginning a new journey into a new year, but we are…we are on the home stretch. So, we’ve got a brand-new week and before this week is over, we will have entered a new year and a new decade. So, new is all around us and we will be experiencing the coming of the new this…this week in profound ways if we pay attention. And one way that we certainly do pay attention what’s going on inside of ourselves and in our lives is to pay attention to what the Scriptures are teaching us each and every day, which is why we come around the Global Campfire in community and share this time every day. So today, the next step forward would take us back into the book of Zechariah this week we’ll read from the Christian Standard Bible. And today, Zechariah chapter 14.
Alright. Let’s talk about justice because this is important…an important thing to talk about as we move into a new year and as we’re considering our priorities and the things that we’re resolving to accomplish in the new year. And the idea of justice may not be on the short list of New Year’s resolutions. And the word itself immediately takes us into the political arena. And, so, that can get supercharged in a quick minute but that’s not actually where we’re going here. We’re talking about this because the Bible brought this up today for us to talk about. The Bible in the last chapter of the book of Proverbs told us, “speak up for those who have no voice. For the justice of all who are dispossessed, speak up, judge righteously and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.” So, I suppose globally and culturally we could, you know, we could politicize this and start bending it to our will, but that's…that’s not…that’s not the point…that’s not what I’m trying…that’s not what we’re doing here. We have been instructed from the Scriptures and the Scriptures have spoken into our lives. And, so, it’s up to us to figure out what we’re supposed to do with what the Bible is telling us. So, the proverb isn’t like dispensing suggestions for a more comfortable life or isn’t just kind of stating things that might be good to aim toward, it…it’s actually giving action words to what it’s saying, right? So, speak up is an action, right? Speak up for those who have no voice. In other words, be the voice of the voiceless. Speak up for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously. These are actions. And defend, this is an action, the cause of the oppressed and needy. So, the voice of wisdom isn’t giving us things to think about. The voice of wisdom is suggesting things that must be participated in. And its super easy to get very surface-y and and…and…and get very supercharged. The rhetoric starts flying and the talking points come out, right? Oh….and as we move here in the United States into a new year that happens to be an election year then its just gonna get…its gonna get louder and louder and louder. So, here we are kind of out in front of all that and here’s the Bible saying, “you know, wisdom would be that that justice was on your radar.” Like I said at the beginning, this kind of thing, like justice, this probably isn’t on our New Year’s resolution list but that doesn’t mean it’s not important for the new year. It’s very important for the new year because…because the sense of justice that we have, that…that shapes us, the sense of what is right and what is wrong and what is just and what is unjust. And we have spent this entire year working our way through the stories in the Bible. And some of them very, very in depth. And, so, we have seen what happens to people when…when justice is blurred, when justice is suppressed. And if we ignore this idea of justice then we’re ignoring something that we believe is a foundational fundamental characteristic of the God that we serve. We believe that He is just and good, that His mercy endures forever. So, it’s not…it’s not something we can just ignore or just think that it has nothing to do with us, that the way that we participate in justice is to cast a vote or the way that we participate in justice is to stand back and ask God to be just and bring his justice to the poor and needy. But we’ve been on a journey together all year and the Bible has never given us those kinds of instructions about anything. Instead of that, if we begin to understand what we’ve learned from the Bible this year then we’ve…then we’ve become aware that the voice of wisdom is calling out from every corner and those who are looking for her will find her. We’ve been told that the Holy Spirit, the same one that raised Jesus from the dead, the Spirit of the Almighty God indwells us, is within us, and is transforming us day by day setting us apart as holy, sanctifying us to Him. We are His hands and feet. We are the flesh and bone that brings God’s light and blessing to the earth and one of those blessings are supposed to be that…that the poor and helpless are treated justly, especially if they have no voice. And…and how that hits us and what that means for our lives in the coming year, I…I have no idea. It will be different for all of us, but we shouldn’t just get sucked into that this idea is only a political idea. These are the ways of God’s kingdom. This is what He’s asking us to participate in, and it may not be waving signs, right? It may be just finding the needy and helping however…however possible. I’m not here to say like, “here are the three fundamental ways we should participate in this, and here’s what we should do and here’s what God’s gonna do because that.” Proverbs is speaking the voice of ancient and deep wisdom into our lives and ancient and deep wisdom, the wisdom of God, says that justice matters to humanity. It is our dignity. It is the work of God through us in this world. And it’s being brought up because the Proverbs have brought it up today, like on this day, but this is a great day for it to be brought up because we’re thinking about what the New Year’s gonna look like and this needs to be a category. Not so much a category that we, you know, have outlines all of the different things that we might do, but a category to invite God into. “God, how do I look at this world and see through your eyes what would be just and righteous and then how can I, in my life, participate in that? What does that look like for me in the coming year? How can I simply be aware? That would be a good posture as we pray ourselves into this new year.
And, so, Father we’re at this threshold of a shiny, sparkly, new week and we’re walking into this new week and it’s going to lead us into a new year. And as we move into that new year it’s going to lead us into a new decade. And, so, big new beginnings are upon us and the Proverbs have brought up this idea of the voiceless and the helpless and…and…and a posture toward them. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit to begin speaking to us in this regard and to begin opening our eyes and breaking our hearts in this regard, so that our hearts and our motives and the trajectory of our lives lines up with Your will and Your heart. We are Your children after all. You have adopted us and made us Your sons and daughters and turned us loose upon this world to reflect Your glory upon it and part of that is that we pay attention to justice. And, so, come Holy Spirit in whatever way that You want to, in whatever situations You…You allow us to encounter in the new year, we ask that You help us be awake and aware. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
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Can you believe it? Like this is the last Sunday of the year, the last beginning of a week for a decade. So, that’s kind of what’s going on around here. So, all the preparations to do…well…to turn this ship around and get ready to set sail again in a few days. And just all of the activity that goes around that as well as just moments of trying to be thoughtful and in reflecting and reflective over all that has taken place in last year. So, you’re probably doing the same thing, I mentioned that yesterday, you’re probably doing the same similar…we all kind of do similar things as we prepare to turn the page and move into a new year. So, I hope you are encouraged and excited about the journey in front of us as we begin again in a few days.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you hear tomorrow.