Jeremiah 22:1-23:20, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12, Psalms 83:1-18, Proverbs 25:11-14
Today is the 13th day of October, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today. Here we are now. In these next few days we move through the center of another month and the time…well…the times not speeding up, it’s just going the same as it always does day by day step-by-step but sometimes it sure feels like time is flying. And here we are in the middle of another month. But that’s that is how it works, day step-by-step. So, we will dive back in picking up where we left off yesterday, which in the Old Testament will lead us to the book…back into the book of Jeremiah and then we get to the New Testament portion of our reading today we have new territory to move into, second Thessalonians, another letter from the apostle Paul and we’ll talk about that when we get there. First, we’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Jeremiah chapter 22 verse 1 through 23 verse 20.
Introduction to second Thessalonians:
Okay. So, as we were mentioning at the beginning a little bit ago we have some new territory to move into in the New Testament, another letter. This letter known as second Thessalonians. And obviously, we read first Thessalonians over the last couple of days. And, so, now we’re at second Thessalonians, which is another letter to the church in Thessalonica. And if we remember, persecution descended upon this congregation, and people were after Paul right from the get-go. And, so, this is a brand-new baby church of believers that has never ever been anything but under fire. And now second Thessalonians is a little bit different than first Thessalonians in terms of scholarship. There is division about the authorship of second Thessalonians in a way that first Thessalonians isn’t questioned. Most biblical scholars believe first Thessalonians is an authentic…authentic letter written by the apostle Paul and many biblical scholars believe first Thessalonians is the first preserved letter of the apostle Paul, which would make it likely the oldest Christian document in the Bible in the New Testament. But when it comes a second Thessalonians there’s a little bit more division. There is a different tone and there are nuances theologically, that aren’t in any of the other letters of Paul. And, so, this makes scholars who are trained in like textual criticism, to question, is this the same person. Doesn’t mean the material doesn’t belong in the Bible. We don’t know who the author of the letter to the Hebrews is, for example. Although talk to 10 people and you’ll get a bunch of opinions if they’ve ever thought about this. And, so, it's…it’s like that. There are so many aspects of the Scriptures, because, well, first of all, the Bible is quite old. It’s been around on earth for a very very long time but it’s also the most studied book the world has ever known. And scholars come to nuanced convictions about what they’re studying. And, so, nuanced or different discoveries have been made that are not all compatible with each other. We’re human beings and we draw different conclusions about different things based on all kinds of different criteria. And there are plenty of scholars who determined this is letter written by the apostle Paul, not somebody writing in Paul’s name because they subscribe to Paul’s theology or Paul’s way of living, or they were familiar with Paul’s teaching and the church is that he founded. For our purposes, and this isn’t that long of a letter, for our purposes, this is Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica and it probably was written not too long after the first letter to the Thessalonians was written. And Paul clarifies some of what he had said, but he also uses the letter to correct some inaccuracies. Like Paul stresses the importance of people needing to work to provide for themselves and their families and the community because some people were believing that the return of Christ was imminent and so there’s no point in working anymore. And, so, they’re quitting their jobs and doing nothing but meddling, meddling in each other’s business. My goodness, this is 2000 years ago, but if you’ve been around church culture that long, you realize that’s still going on and meddling in each other’s business in our faith communities is usually a recipe for bad things. And, so, Paul ends up telling them, look if you’re not gonna work then you can’t eat. You…like, nobody just gets a free ride here and just lives off the community. Everybody’s got to do their part. But there’s other things Paul’s correcting in this second letter to the Thessalonians. Some had come and told the Thessalonian church that Jesus already came and basically, they just missed it. And these things were being told to the Thessalonians in Paul’s name as if this is what Paul had said. And, so, Paul corrects that basically, saying I…I would never say such a thing. But it’s not only correction that is in this little letter that we know as second Thessalonians. Remember, these guys, the way that this church was formed was under pressure and so this little congregation hadn’t known anything else. And if you’re under pressure continually you know you need encouragement continually, that you can make it, that It’s gonna be okay, that you can endure this, that you’re not alone, that you’re not abandoned. And, so, partly Paul wants to encourage them that their endurance and what they’re facing isn’t going unnoticed, it’s not being overlooked, that the process that they’re going through makes them worthy of God’s kingdom. And he reminds them that in the end, justice will prevail. And, so, once again with these letters we get a glimpse, we get to look back at our brothers and sisters as this story was forming and being carried forward, the story that we are still living and carrying forward ourselves. What a rare and beautiful opportunity to look at the kinds of things that they were facing and realize they may have different nuances and complexions but we’re still facing so many of the same things and we still have so much to learn. And, so, with that we begin. Second Thessalonians chapter 1.
Father, we thank you for your word. We thank you for another day together around the Global Campfire. We thank you for this community. We thank you for giving us to each other and letting us share these days, day by day step-by-step as we immerse ourselves in the Scriptures. Thank you. Thank you for all that you have done in this year so far. Thank you for what you are doing in us and thank you for what you are yet to do as we continue this journey. And as we now move through second Thessalonians, Holy Spirit come. Lead us into all truth. As we continue Jeremiah, lead us into all truth. As we step forward each and every day it is you we seek, your guidance in our lives, and the truths that we need to know. And not just now but understand and live into. And as with all things we’re only so strong we’re only so powerful. We can’t do any of this on our own. We need you in all of it. And, so, we humble ourselves before you, inviting you to continue the work that you have begun in us. And may we not be an impediment to our own growth. May we not rebel against you, but rather collaborate with you. We pray this in the mighty 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:
Will be posted soon…