2 Kings 18:13-19:37, Acts 21:1-17, Psalms 149:1-9, Proverbs 18:8
Today is the 1st day of the month of July welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you today as…as we move into the back half. Welcome to the back half of the year, month number seven. Man…I get to this point every year and think the same thing, probably similar things what you’re thinking, “where has the year gone? It was just January.” But new reflections too. Like, “what a strange first half of this year.” And nevertheless, here we are. We made it to this point, and we’ll keep making it to all of the points if we just keep taking steps forward, day by day step-by-step. So, our next step leads us back, even though we’re in a new month, back into the books that we were reading last month. We are continuing our journey through second Kings. And yesterday…yesterday we saw the end of Israel, the 10 tribes of the north, as the Assyrian empire conquered Samaria and then deported the tribes out and brought new people in and just try to kind of sit with the fact that we watched these people be formed and we watched them grow up and watched them be slaves and we watched them in the wilderness and now…now they’re not really a people anymore. They’ve been dispersed. They’re in the diaspora as it’s called. So, at this point, we have to turn to Judah and the kings that are in Judah. And we briefly were able to come to me it’s King, Hezekiah of Judah, and we were told that there was no king like him before or after, like he had a zeal for restoring the people to God. And, so, we’ll pick up with that story. Second Kings chapter 18 verse 13 through 19 verse 37. And we are reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week.
Okay. So, in the book of second Kings Today we see that the Assyrian Empire who had conquered Samaria and the 10 northern tribes of Israel and…and deported them, took them into exile and imported new people then set their sights on Judah. And, so, Assyria’s conquering and they’re in the city of Lachish and the ruins of Lachish or Lachish still exist today down in the low lands, but at the time Lachish was a walled city second only to Jerusalem. So, like it was this like the second most powerful city in the region as far as fortifications go and its conquered. And, so, from there king Sennacherib sends his envoys to Jerusalem basically to inform them that they are next and Judah’s goona fall and, you know, a lot of intimidation, right? You can…I mean you can just read in in the things that are being said in the letters that are being sent, a lot of intimidation tactics happening. But the pitch is basically surrender and you can live. You can even stay where you are right now. Like you can just chill out here until I can come get you and I’m gonna take you to another land that’s like this one. It’ll be awesome. That’s the pitch. But the king, Hezekiah, like we’re told is a reforming king, he’s in a bad situation and what he does is what we should pay attention to. He humbles himself. He’s the king, he doesn’t rise up in pride and arrogance. He humbles himself because this is a certain defeat. You know, if the Assyrians come and surround Jerusalem like they surrounded Samaria that may take a minute but they’re gonna starve everybody to death and there's…there’s no way out and they don’t have a force that can compete. And, so, Hezekiah, the king, humbles himself and goes into God’s presence with this letter and spreads it out before the Lord and basically says, “you are our only hope. May you hear what they’re saying about you and rescue us because it’s true, they have annihilated every kingdom that they have invaded and it’s true that those gods could not protect those people but you are the true God. And, so, we need you now.” And man…man…we can take a lesson from that because so often we’re challenged and then we try to either, in pride, rise up or in anger and rage try to dominate or whatever, but the posture here is that Hezekiah knows what he’s aware of the situation that he’s in. And, so, he fully humbles himself before God, essentially putting his life and the lives of his people in God’s hands saying, “we…we have no power in our own strength to do this and no one has been able to withstand them. You alone are God. You are our only hope.” I’m certain there are many of us within the sound of my voice now that can use that reminder.
We get into the book of Acts today and Paul is determined to go to Jerusalem, and he’s been warned everywhere he goes not to do that. And the book of Acts is essentially saying the Holy Spirit is speaking to other people to warn Paul about going. Now Paul has also said his piece, which is, “but the Holy Spirit has told me I have to go to Jerusalem and has told me that affliction and bondage are in my future.” So, we’ve got an interesting situation here. What do you do when you’ve heard from God, but then other people tell you that they’ve heard from God as well and it’s different than what you heard from God? This isn’t the first time we’ve encountered this kind of territory. You remember the story back when Israel and Judah…like when the kingdoms were dividing and Jeroboam the son of Nebat caused Israel to go into sin by idolatry by worshiping these golden calves. And remember the story, God told a prophet to come curse the altar and then go home a different way. Don’t eat or drink anything. And then there was this other prophet who found that guy and said God told me to tell you you don’t have to go back. You can come to my house and stay.” And that man lost his life. So, we have this situation here with Paul and other people telling Paul don’t go and Paul feeling God’s telling him to go. So, what do you do? Do you just ignore all of the council and the wisdom of the people that are around you? No. But in the case of Paul, Paul feels very clearly that God has told him what to do. In that case then we obey God. Like we obey God no matter what, which is what Paul’s gonna do. And the wisdom of Paul’s friends as far as it’s a bad idea, that's…that’s absolutely the truth, it’s a bad idea and bad things are gonna happen to Paul, but good things are going to happen in the kingdom and we will watch that play out in the coming days.
And then finally in the book of Proverbs…man. “A gossips words are like choice food that goes down to one’s innermost being.” That is a proverb that snags me every year because, you know, gossip is prevalent. Everybody talks about everybody. But it’s not right. That’s the thing. It’s not. I mean, the Scriptures on a continual regular basis point back to the fact that this isn’t right. Gossip isn’t healthy. It doesn’t do anything good. It only breeds dissension. So, here we have ancient wisdom screaming out of the Bible at us, telling us gossip is like delicious choice exotic food that goes down into one’s innermost being. So, in other words, it’s tasty to hear that story, right? It’s intriguing and exotic to hear that bit of information that’s secret passed around. And it’s also the same to be the deliverer, right? To hear something and then pass it around. Even though it’s gossip and unhealthy, it’s delicious. But if you’re gonna eat it it’s not gonna go into your stomach it’s gonna go into your innermost being. It’s gonna become a part of the fabric of who you really are. Do we want that kind of stuff in our innermost being? Is that what we want to be true of us, that we are full of gossip and dissension? Definitely something to think about today. We have heard the phrase probably most of our lives, “you are what you eat.” Yeah, that might apply to gossip to. Let’s think about it.
Father, we invite You into all of this. We see the humility of King Hezekiah and…and…and we look at our own lives when we’re in strange situations. And we can say we’ve responded with full humility in the past, but we’ve also responded in rage and arrogance and all the other things too. We see a clear path here and I want to follow that path by humbling ourselves under Your mighty hand. And we also see in the book of Acts is really really difficult journey that Paul is on back to Jerusalem and You told him to go and he’s gonna obey You regardless and that is something for us to observe and watch as well. Father we pray that we might hear Your voice and be confident in what we’ve heard, regardless of what the report is, that we must obey You above all. And then we are also thankful for the challenge that our words, the things we spread around, they matter, they stick with us, they become a part of our innermost being. And, so, Holy Spirit come and give us the discipline over our mouths that we won’t spread these things around, and give us the discipline over our ears that…that we won’t participate allowing these things to go into our innermost being. Come Holy Spirit because what we want is You and Your light and life in our innermost being, spilling out from us words of encouragement and comfort. So, come Holy Spirit we pray and lead us into all truth in the name of Jesus we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the web site, home base, where you find out what’s going on around here. So, certainly stay tuned and stay connected in any way that you can.
And I know what’s going on around here. The next thing up on the calendar is a week from yesterday, the 7th of July and that is the day of our own little holiday, the Daily Audio Bible long walk. And it’s a day that we set aside and do that, go for a long walk with God understanding that we’re in the middle of the year and this has been an exceptional year, said that a lot, but it doesn't…I mean every year we get to the middle of the year and realize, “I could really regroup. I could really consider what the next half year, what the next six months is gonna look like.” We kind of do this sort of thing when we’re reaching the end of year, right? When we’re moving beyond the Christmas holiday and toward New Year’s we start thinking about, “what’s the new year gonna be like?” And then we get into the new year and we have all of our goals and plans and dreams and hopes and by the time we get to the center point of the year, you know, some of that’s going strong, some of that’s achieved, some of its fallen by the wayside. It’s time to regroup and consider what the second half this year is gonna look like and take a day, go out in the beauty enjoy it, drink it in, allow it to rejuvenate us, spend the day with God. Whether were talking or whether we’re not talking. And you might be thinking, “I can’t go for a long walk with God and talk all day long. I…I can barely pray for five minutes, 10 at the outstretch if I’m bringing in everybody that I love.” Like that’s not exactly how it works. Like, when you have fallen in love with someone and you are committed to that person and you’ve been together for a while and you’ve kind of…some of the rough edges that happen are kind of whittled down into some understandings then you can be with that person just presently, right? Like, you don’t have to be flooding the room with words and everybody’s talking all like…you can be silent together and still be in each other’s presence and it still be life giving beyond words because your offering your presence to each other. Go for a long walk. Say what you need to say be quiet when you want to be quiet listen when you want to listen. Allow the day to be what the day becomes, a great adventure with the lover of your soul. So, that’s the 7th of July. That’s coming up and this year we have a brand-new resource that’s becoming available on the 7th of July. It’s called Heart, a contemplative journey. And I guess I’ve talked about that for a week so I kind of we what it is but it’s just my own musical explorations about the emotions, the things I’ve been going through over the last to stretch of road in my own life, things that I spoke about using the language of music, beyond towards, right? Not filling the world with all the words about how I feel. Rather, speaking beyond words, allowing music to do what music does - engage with our emotional lives and open us up. And over several years of just doing this slowly, if something would become overwhelming, I would just really ask, “what is this feeling…like what is going on here?” And then display it into music. This is how it feels. And then from there, arrange, compose, create. And these were very, very personal things and I just began to walk and pray through the things and collect a bunch of emotions together and you move through them and it just felt so cleansing and cleaning and clarifying. And I realized I’m not the only one that feels these things. These are common to people. This is not like some kind of special “me” thing. This could be good for all of us and in the…in the community. And, so, that’s available on the 7th of July and it’s really meant to be a conversation starter. Like, it…you go for a long walk and just go through the process of just opening yourselves up…opening yourself up to the emotions that are apparent in life, open it up to God and allow Him to speak through music and nature and…and His Holy Spirit’s guidance in our lives. So, that’s available now for preorder and it’ll be all nice and downloaded and ready for you to go on the 7th of July. So, you can get it at the iTunes store, the Google Play store. Just search for Heart, a contemplative journey or search for my name and you should be able to find it. And I actually am very, very much looking forward to how that…how that goes…how that goes for you all around the world as we walk together, as we walk together alone, right? It’s an individual…it’s an individual thing, but we’ll be doing it together. And the other thing about it that makes it a community experience is that wherever you go, whether you’re just, you now, going for a walk around the block or a walk around the parking lot or whether you’re getting in your car and you’re driving somewhere far away that’s really beautiful and meaning to you…meaningful to you, take a picture, take a little video and post that as a comment to the Daily Audio Bible Facebook page and then we’ll post it up on the page and we have all of these little windows into each other’s lives. People that we know by voice. People who are on this journey with us through this year. And it’s really lovely and wonderful. So, that’s less than a week away on the 7th of July. So, make plans for that.
If you want to partner with Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link on the homepage, and I thank you humbly and profoundly for your partnership. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or, if you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you’ve a prayer request or encouragement, you can hit the Hotline button in app, the little red button at the top or you can dial 877-942-4253.
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, this is Melody from Canada this is my third take. I’m just…It’s hard finding the words but Pelham your prayer really moved me. It reminded me of when I was in the hospital after swallowing a whole bottle of Tylenol with codeine. And I had such a powerful encounter with Jesus there. I had a vision of him crying tears of love over me and His call for a full life for me and He said that your story will be powerful, that you will share a people…with people and bring them freedom. And, at the moment I had so much joy. The psychiatrist was kind of bewildered and I was gonna be homeless and I ended up being able to move back to the family I was living with because of my encounter with Jesus. And it wasn’t an overnight change. I still went back to self-harm a little bit. I never swallowed Tylenol again, but it was still a really uphill battle for a while, and I have an experienced addiction in the way that you’re struggling with. I don’t know the details, but I just want to encourage you that God is with you and that you have a story and that there is a reason that you’re alive, a very good reason and that He has saved you and, yeah, I’m really excited to hear what he does in your life. So, hold on, keep pressing in, trust in His grace it is there, and we love you. And also, just want to quickly say thanks for those who pray for me. It’s been really great listening every day and engaging with the prayers and I’ve had a real change of heart. And, yeah, I’m really bonding with you all. So, thanks. Blessings.
Hello Daily Audio Bible my name is Regis I’m calling from Kenya Nairobi in Africa. Thank you, Brian and Jill and China and everyone involved in audio making. Thank you so much. I am a longtime listener and here to ask for prayer before my pastor’s daughter, her name is Linda. She has gone missing since the 23rd of June and we have no news. We don’t know what has happened to her. Please, family pray for her, play for Linda. Call her back home. We need her back. We pray together with our pastor. Please family I just wanted to reach out to you for this prayer. May God bless you, bless each and every one of you. I listen to you every day, pray with you every day even if I don’t call but I always pray and hear you. I know most of you for many years. May God bless you, bless you so much. Bye-bye. This is Regis calling from Nairobi Kenya in Africa. Bye-bye I love you. Bye.
Greetings Daily Audio Bible family this is Egbert by the way of California living here in the country of Belize __ for the last four years. I called in a couple times. I greet you in the precious name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want to say thank you to the Hardin family for those behind the scenes. I want to say thank you for the prayer warriors, too numerous to mention but to mention a few, Biola, Asia from Munich, Tony, Delta Trot Fox, the many others, you know you are. I want to thank you. The actual new DABbers that do call-in, I want to encourage you to continue to call in and to submit your requests. No matter how small it may be or seems, know that there are prayer warriors. I myself listen to the Daily Audio Bible every day. I hear your requests and I do pray for you and I can say with confidence that the many others pray for you as well. So, I want to thank you for being a part of this great community and to continue to be encouraged. I want to extend a invitation to support this ministry as much as you can and to know that we shall reap the harvest of our labor if we faint not. So, continue to be encouraged and to know that God is on His throne and the challenging time that we do face we know that He’s coming back for those who believe and trust in Him. Bless you. May God keep you and cause His face to shine upon you.
Hello this is Alan from Australia it has been of about a year since I called and asked for prayer as we were preparing to come to this country. It’s so cool because as I’m listening to the July 20th or the June 25th it’s actually the 26th here and I’m listening to seagulls on the background sounds while Brian’s reading and I’m actually, today, watching whales. You guys, God is awesome! He is mightier than the waves crashing here in front of me and He is more majestic than the whales that are swimming out in front of me. It’s just amazing. And I just want to thank you for praying and thank you for those that did lift us up. We got here just before the virus shut down the world and travel and we have been working here in this community. We’ve had two Uni students come to Christ and be baptized and we’ve met several international families that are also here from their home countries. And it’s just amazing how God’s working and we get the juts be a part of God’s plan. And He is awesome, and He is sovereign, and I just want to encourage you guys to continue to lift each other up. Your prayers do help, and they do make things happen. God is working and He is moving. This is Alan from Australia and I love you and I appreciate all your comments and I love you Brian and thank you for this ministry…
Hello, my name is Brian I am a college student and I am just now getting back into Christ. I’m going through a lot of hardship; a lot of my relationships are starting to crumble apart and it’s starting to get harder and harder by the minute. I am always tired. I’m completely drained. I just need the time. And I know that the Lord will do anything that is for His children and I just ask that I start a new life and that I give everything to Him. I give Him my life, I give Him all of my worries, all of my pain, all to Him. I don’t know what God is trying to show me but I’m hoping that at the end it was worth all the pain and all the suffering that I went through. And just pray for me for a good life. And I pray that whatever it is that I go through, I do it through Him and not by sight, I do it by the walk of faith.
Hi DAB family this is Will from beautiful Bozeman Montana, and I have not weighed in on this racial thing that’s going on. I’ve had many a conversations with my white friends, brothers and sisters in Christ and every time I’ve spoken I’ve spoken from Scripture because that’s all I know. And I know that many of us have been hurt and are carrying that pain and that hurt but my challenge is, what does God’s word say? And I always focus on and have been focusing on Jeremiah 29. And everybody skips to that verse, “for I knows the plans I have for you,” but they don’t read the stuff before that and Brian’s talked about it. And, as matter of fact, he was my influence with this Scripture verse. But verse seven he says, “pray for the peace and prosperity of the place to which I have sent you captive. Pray to the Lord for it for when it experiences peace and prosperity so will you.” And the challenge is to pray to the Lord for it. He realizes that where you’ve been sent, no matter where you are, you’ve been sent to a place captive to do a job. He said to live. If you read before that he said have babies, build families, get your kids married, do all that stuff. God said breathe, live life. But not only that, pray. And if it hasn’t experienced peace and prosperity continue to pray. But give all the hurt and everything to God. And we need to just, you know, love everybody the way we need to. I love you DAB family and I’m continually praying through this thing and I, yeah, I have experiences to as a black man, but I don’t call anybody else but the Lord to deal with those things. And, so, hang in there everyone, keep praying …
Hey, my incredible DAB fam this is Kingdom Seeker Daniel from Chicago. To my dearly beloved brother in the Lord and officer Dennis from LA. My brother, my brother, my brother, as a black man I want to let you know, first of all, I salute you as a man of God first and foremost but then as law enforcement, thank you for everything you do. For 31 years you have put it on the line and I want to let you know as a proud black man, I give God glory for you and I am one that was taught by my dad who came up in the civil rights era who taught us that. He was a Navy man. So, he understood what it meant to be on the…on the front line with men of all backgrounds. But he taught us, a family of 13 children, how to love every man despite their color, see their color but honor them for who they are, and my dad was not a believer. But that is why there is no struggle whatsoever in my heart concerning race and this whole outrage of what’s happening. It’s a sad time that we’re living in, but I struggle not about my white brothers and others of various ethnicities. And, so, I want to…I want to let you know my dear brother I…I stand with you and I am praying that the peace of God will be with you, protect you and all your fellow law enforcement and that God would watch over our nation and cause us to realize, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. God bless you brother Dennis, officer Dennis…