Lamentations 1:1-2:22, Philemon 1:1-25, Psalms 101:1-8, Proverbs 26:20
Today is the 29th day of October, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian and it is great to be here with you as we take the next step forward together all around the Global Campfire here. We have totally new territory to move into today, both in the old and the new Testaments. So, we have some ground cover. This is one of the rare days on our journey through the Scriptures where we come to brand-new books or letters in old and New Testament on the same day. So, as we move into the Old Testament portion of our reading today we will remember that we concluded the book of Jeremiah yesterday, which leads us now into the book of Lamentations
Introduction to Lamentations:
And to kind of get ourselves into the right mindset here let’s just consider that whatever nation that we live in. Like one of the major cities…think about your capital city, a major city in the land that you live in. So, here in the United States there are a bunch of big cities that have millions of people in them. Think of anyone of them and think that it is destroyed. Like not some buildings, but like the city is destroyed and the survivors are fleeing and confused, and nobody knows what to do. Imagine that. But we can bring it more immediate and just consider wars that are occurring on the earth today and people whose homes have been destroyed and lives have been torn apart. And like we can see on the news what it looks like for blocks and blocks of a city to just be leveled. Think about the aftermath of that, the years on down the line and the way that what happened is processed through the eyes of a historian, but also processed through the eyes of the artist. Like I can remember when I was kid there was this song. I cannot remember how…I think we probably…in elementary school we studied it or something because it was like an oldie when I was a kid. But it was a song about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and that this was a boat, a big ship that sank in Lake Superior up in Michigan waters. And that was a tragedy, and the crew was lost, but as things reverberated into history, right? And there’s this song and like the artist community speaks forth. And, so, there’s this song that holds this whole story together of tragedy and loss. The book of Lamentations that we are moving into now is a book composed of five poems. And they’re sad abundance of lament. They’re lamenting over the fall and destruction of Jerusalem, a city, a city that was the icon of a people, a representative of the people and their identity, a capital city destroyed. And we have read about that destruction. In fact, even as we concluded the book of Jeremiah we’re reading about the destruction, the Babylonian invasion and the capture and destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the carrying off of the people into exile. And the more you think about it and put yourself in the position of the Jewish people then you realize just how deep of a thing this is. This isn’t the destruction of a suburb. This is the destruction of the capital city. This is the destruction of the Temple of the most-high God. The city is on fire. Everything seems gray and overcast because of the ash in the air. Dead bodies are strewn everywhere. Blood is on the walls and running down the streets. In the Hebrew. this book Lamentations is called Icah. And this word means how. Like, how? How could this happen? Through the other scriptures that we read we know that it happened, and we know how it happened. And technically speaking Babylonian’s finally broke through the wall of Jerusalem and flooded into the city and destroyed it. And there is archaeological evidence of the conquest of the Babylonians that can be found in Jerusalem still until today. How the people got into this position spiritually, how this could happen is so much of what we’ve read in the prophecies of Jeremiah. Jeremiah warned people for decades that this…that this was coming, that impending doom would eventually arrive if they didn’t turn from their wickedness. And now as we turn the page out of Jeremiah and into Lamentations it happened. The prophecies came true. It happened. Though, how could this happen. Like, how do you put words to that? The book of limitations doesn’t tell us who wrote the book of Lamentations, at least inside the text. The tradition is that Jeremiah wrote Lamentations being known as the weeping prophet, which is one of the reasons why Lamentations follows Jeremiah. But like so many things there’s no way to know for sure. There’s just compiling of evidence and gathering it together and making the best hypothesis. One thing that most scholars agree on, though, is that whoever did write Lamentations was probably an eyewitness to the destruction of the holy city of Jerusalem. In history this happen in 586 BC. The Babylonians invaded Judah and eventually conquered and completely leveled the city of Jerusalem. And, so, Lamentations was probably written pretty quickly after during that reverberation as things go out into history. And the historians look at things and try to figure out how and what happened when the artists use metaphor to describe emotions that just can’t be put into words. In Jewish culture today on the ninth day of Ov Lamentations is read and it’s read on a day of fasting that commemorates the fall of Jerusalem. And reading each of the poems in the book of Lamentations gives this backdrop. Not only to look back at…at like the history of a people, but also to offer personal reflection and offer words giving language to loss and lament. And this is a topic. Like being sad, lamenting, embracing the feeling of it. That’s not something that we really are programmed to do. In fact, it’s what we’re programmed to avoid. It’s not just in Christian culture. It’s in culture in general. Let’s avoid what’s hard and exalts what is easy, and good and pleasurable. Lamenting isn’t easy. It’s just that grief touches everybody. Like, eventually grief touches us and hurts and it’s painful and it’s hard to put into words and it feels disorienting and like a slog, but also if we’ve gone through grief we know that kind of purges us as well. It simplifies things. It reminds us of what actually is important. I kind of washes away the superficial, it kind of gets us down to the rock, the bedrock of our life and it is intensely painful, but it also is freeing, because when we have reached the depths of our sadness eventually, we begin to realize there is hope for the future. And lamenting his language to that suffering. And putting words to something that is hard to put into words helps us to release, to begin to open our hands and to begin to think about newness of life even in the midst of the pain. And, so, that is the territory that we are heading into as we move into the book of Lamentations. And, so, we can open ourselves to it. This is where the Bible is leading us. This is where we are now. And although these kinds of emotions are not the kinds of emotions we dwell or definitely seek out, they come to us. And when we don’t try to deflect or disassociate, when we try to allow them to come, allow them to be what they are, invite God into what we’re feeling, allow things like the book of Lamentations to give language to what we’re feeling then we begin to realize that as painful as it may be, we are moving forward, new life will come. And, so, with that we begin. Lamentations, chapters 1 and 2.
Introduction to Philemon:
Okay. So, we have talked about and begun the book of Lamentations but we also have new territory in the New Testament to enter today. This will be the final letter of the apostle Paul. And, so, at this point, we will leave the apostle Paul and move forward in the New Testament, but we’ve have been traveling with Paul since we finished the book of Acts. So, for a while now. This final letter of the apostle Paul is called Philemon and we’re gonna read…well…it’s a letter. First of all, it’s a letter and we’ll read the whole letter today, which means we have some new territory to move into in the New Testament tomorrow, but Philemon is a short personal letter to a person named Philemon who was a leader in the church at Colossae. Based on what’s in the letter, it’s likely that Philemon was one of the more wealthy and influential people in the church at Colossae. In the letter we read of a congregation that meets in his house. Philemon had a servant and the servant’s name was Onesimus and Onesimus ran away from Philemon, probably stealing from Philemon on his way out. That would’ve been an offense very severely punishable, maybe even by death. And Onesimus likely fled to Rome. He ended up in Rome but he likely fled to Rome. That’s a populous city full of culture and all kinds of people coming in and all kinds of people going out. And, so, that would’ve been a good place to disappear. But instead of disappearing Onesimus ran into the apostle Paul who was under house arrest awaiting his trial. And, so, as things turned out Onesimus the runaway slave comes into contact with the apostle Paul and under Paul’s instruction becomes a follower of Jesus and then Onesimus served Paul and his needs while he was in Rome. And, so, then sometime later Paul wrote a letter to the church and Colossae, right? Colossians as we know it. And the intention was to send Tychicus on the journey to hand deliver the letter to the church at Colossae. And as he wrote Colossians he also writes this personal note to Philemon and sends Onesimus back with Tychicus back to Colossae and Onesimus back to his master, Philemon, which would’ve been a great step of faith for the runaway Onesimus because that could be life or death. But under Paul’s leadership Onesimus takes this step of faith and leaves his life in God’s hands and does the right thing. And, so, Paul writes a brief letter to Philemon that packs a punch because it shows us the importance of not only forgiveness but also shows that no matter what kind of authority, we have over somebody else, if they’re a believer in the Lord, then we are to treat them as a brother or sister. And this final letter of the apostle Paul in the New Testament also shows us that indeed God does work all things together for those who love Him. And, so, we begin and will read in its entirety Philemon.
Father, we thank You for Your word. And we have moved in and even through brand-new territory today. And, so, as we engage with the book of Lamentations, we invite Your Holy Spirit. It is not easy to face the pain that we suffer inside emotionally. It’s hard to give it language. It’s something that we try to avoid. But as the Scriptures have led us into this territory, we embrace this territory and invite Your Holy Spirit to speak to us. Lead us into wounds that we still carry with us. We invite You into those places and ask for Your healing there. And as we have just moved through the final letter of the apostle Paul, we not only take to heart what Philemon has to teach us but we also take the heart that we were moving forward and away from the voice of the apostle Paul. And, so, we give it the honor that it is due. We spent a lot of weeks together with Paul, but we also look forward to all that You have yet to teach us through the Scriptures. And, so, come Holy Spirit, we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And what is going on around here is that we are mere days away from the release of a brand-new resource for the community. We’ve been talking about it for I guess a week and a half. It’s called Sleep, a contemplative journey. And it is exactly that. It’s kinda self-explanatory. That’s what it’s for, is for providing space, an atmosphere of rest, an atmosphere that will not only lull us into calm and sleep and rest, but also kind of just play over us as we rest and dream. And, so, looking forward to…to this…to this very much. It was created out of necessity. It was created out my own need for rest and space for that. And it’s interesting, when we create spaces for things then we go into that space we kind of know what it’s for. And, so, creating space for sleep and rest was the intention here. And I am very much looking forward to that being released. You can preorder it now wherever it is that you get your music. I have mentioned…and it’s not like a preference…well I guess it is kind of a preference thing, but I’m not saying like one is…one distribution outlet is better than another. Like if you’re Spotify user or Amazon music or whatever, it’s everywhere. And there are a bunch of different distributors around the world as well. And I don’t even know all their names. I use iTunes. I use Apple music. And, so, you would go to the iTunes store and just search for Sleep, a contemplative journey or my name Brian Hardin. You’ll find it with no problem there. And I assume that that will be similar wherever it is that you are looking. And, so, certainly check this out. Very much excited for Tuesday to come. I can’t wait for this to enter into the world. I spent a bunch of time talking about how just creating this in Dolby Atmos, creating this in spatial audio so that it’s very enveloping. Like, I’m really looking forward to this getting out there. And, so, check it out.
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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 this is Blessed to Serve in Georgia and I’m actually calling it and praying for Karen, the young lady who found out today, this is October 25th, that she has been diagnosed with cancer. Karen, I…my heart breaks for you and so many around the world like you that get kind of news every day. And it just shocks us when we get news like this, but it never shocks our Savior. It never shocks God. And, so, my prayer is that he would choose Lord right now to bring instant healing for you Father. The next time you go to a doctor visit they can’t find the cancer, they don’t know what it is, and that they are astounded and that you would proclaim loudly for the world to hear that God chose to heal you. And then I also pray that if God chooses to use the physicians or He chooses to use medicines, that you would do the same exact thing. And then lastly if God chooses to bring you eventually to Him and that is not our desire, but if that is His desire, that you would have a peace, that your family would have a comfort and assurance to know that you are face to face, you would be face to face with the Creator the one that loves you more than that we could ever love you. And then what we look at is painful and as sad your…you would be able to tell us don’t feel sorry for me, feel grateful for me, feel envious of me for the fact that I am with my savior. For your family I pray for great healing and blessings and comfort as you all grew through this together. And again my number one prayer request Karen would be that you’re totally healed and that God would be glorified through all of this. You’re not alone.
Good morning DAB family this is June in Maryland calling in to pray for Karen. I heard your per request today for your prognosis of cancer and my heart just broke for you and I’m praying for you. So, let’s pray. Holy Spirit, I pray God for a miraculous healing over Karen’s body as she goes through this…this trial…this trial. This is just a trial. This is just a phase. God, we pray God for miraculous healing over your body. We pray that you be there to raise your two beautiful children and see your children’s children into the next generation and even into the third generation. We pray that God give you all the wisdom strength and love around you as you go through this trial. What God cannot do does not exist. What God cannot do does not exist. What God cannot do does not exist. So, you believe, you keep calling in, you keep praying, you keep the faith, you pray. When you wake up in the middle of the night you wake up and you pray, when you’re driving and you think about it you pray, anytime you think about it you pray, anytime you feel fear about it you pray. You pray Karen because God is there for you. God is with you. He loves you and God never fails. Everyone have a blessed day.
Hi everyone, this is Toni from Germany, and this is for regarding the reading and message from October 25th especially Brian’s comment about it didn’t feel fair the manner in Paul died. And you talked about endurance. And this resonated with me in part because the summer the Lord had me go through a discernment process as to whether I would stay in Germany to do my ministry or do it back in the states. And he made it clear that whatever I decided that would really be final. And I made the decision that it would be here. And I knew though in making that decision in the trials of life I wouldn’t have the support of family with the exception like emails or phone calls and that even I would likely die alone. But my father has been a role model in this regard. During the beginning of the pandemic, he and my mom were in the nursing home and then my mom died, and the nursing home was in lock down. And my father had to go through the grieving process without the support of family. No one could visit him. The only contact was really with the iPad where I connected and in mass with him once a week. It was beautiful. I remember asking him, dad you feel the presence of the Lord, right? And he said yes. The Lord is appearing to you isn’t he? He is. So, for all of us who have to make these kinds of decisions or in these kinds of situations the Lord is with us. And we will say it’s worth it. God bless.
Hello, my DAB family this is Mark Street from Sydney Australia today’s Tuesday the 25th of October and I’m just ringing in because I’ve been listening to this week’s community prayer and I heard Blind Tony calling in saying that he wants some prayers for his prostate cancer. And I don’t know if I have the words to say…so let me just pray. Heavenly father we offer Blind Tony up to You. Lord he’s such an important part of our community here. He gives his love and Your love through him to all of us Lord. And selfishly I suppose we all want to still to be here to spread Your message to us Lord and his wonderful poetry and music and his personality Lord. We know that You can heal him. Please heal him Lord so that he can spread Your message more through this community in Your name I pray Amen. Love you Blind Tony and I’m sure everybody else will be calling in for you too. Mark Street from Sydney Australia. Bye.