Ezekiel 1:1-3:15, Hebrews 3:1-19, Psalm 104:1-23, Proverbs 26:24-26
Today is the first day of November, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is wonderful to be here with you around the Global Campfire. Come on in, find a place, everyone’s here, we’re altogether as we greet this brand-new month and take the next step forward in the Scriptures. Today is the 305th day of the year, of 365 days in a year, which means that we will have 60 days remaining in this year, 60 steps to complete our journey and it is a pleasure and a joy to be here to greet the 11th month of the year, together with you. A brand-new, shiny, sparkly month out in front of us.
Introduction to the Book of Ezekiel:
And as we begin this brand-new month, we have a brand-new, shiny, sparkly book to move into, the book of Ezekiel. And so, having journeyed through the prophecies of Jeremiah, all of the warnings that happened over decades and then seeing them come true and then grieving over them coming true in the book of Lamentations, and for that matter, allowing Lamentations to simply lead us into and through grief and giving language and words to things that are hard to put into words, feelings that are really, really hard to articulate adequately because language fails. Like we can say I’m really hurting right now and that can be really, really true, but that’s probably an understatement. It’s really, really difficult at times to truly put to words what…what is beyond language. And so, Lamentations gives us language and leads us through that territory, which now brings us to the threshold of a brand-new book, even as we are at the threshold of a brand-new month. This is the book of Ezekiel. And Ezekiel was well educated and he was very loyal to God, very loyal to the traditions of the people, he came from a priestly family. And like Jeremiah, he was instructed by God to use his life to symbolically act out prophecies. And Jeremiah and Ezekiel were somewhat contemporaries; Jeremiah prophesied before Ezekiel did, but he also prophesied alongside or during Ezekiel’s time. It’s just that Jeremiah and Ezekiel are kind of on the opposite ends of the story of the exile of the…of well, the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem and the Jewish exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. So, Jeremiah is prophesying from Jerusalem, as this is happening; Ezekiel is prophesying from exile in Babylon. So, they’re both prophesying at a time that has great up upheaval, there’s international struggle, the Babylonian Empire has defeated the Assyrian Empire, the Egyptian Empire and the Babylonian Empire are clashing with each other, within the land of Israel. And we can wonder like, why, why is all the fighting happening in this particular piece of land, but it’s like whoever controlled that piece of land actually controlled the major trade routes between lands, especially to the north and east, all the way down into the continent of Africa. So, even though the territory was contentious and was fought for, a lot of times Jerusalem hadn’t been destroyed. Even though things changed hands and there was loyalties that shifted, Jerusalem hadn’t been destroyed. Like if Judah was conquered, they’d pay tribute, they’d be a vassal but their city, the capital city, the holy city of Jerusalem and God’s temple hadn’t been destroyed. In 597 BC the Babylonians defeated Jerusalem, deported its people and Ezekiel was among the first to go into exile. And Babylon set a king in Jerusalem named Zedekiah who eventually rebelled against the Babylonian Empire, even though Jeremiah was there in Jerusalem very, very clearly saying this is not a good, don’t do this, this will lead to destruction. And then in 588 BC the Babylonians did come back to Jerusalem and it took em a couple years, but a couple years later, Jerusalem was leveled to the ground. But before that happened, before Jerusalem was destroyed, Ezekiel was in exile in Babylon, prophesying of the destruction of Jerusalem. Even as Jeremiah was prophesying the same thing, from the city of Jerusalem. But after this destruction, Ezekiel’s prophecies begin to transform and they become some beautiful, hopeful messages, hope of all things being made new again, restoration. Some of the most beautiful promises of restoration that we’ll find in the Bible. And Ezekiel also has these really, really strange, to be frank, really strange imagery, really strange imagery. Almost like, special-effects cinema, kind of imagery, that aren’t unlike the visions we find in the book of Daniel, or even in the book of Revelation. So, Ezekiel, at least that portion of Ezekiel, is often used in eschatological studies, which are the study of the end times in the apocalyptic worldview. But these strange visions that Ezekiel had, definitely impacted him as a person and we’re going to read about them. And so, we can only imagine what he saw and allow it to affect us in the same way. And as with other books of prophecy, yeah, there may be words of doom and gloom on the horizon, but there’s always words of restoration and hope to follow and there’s plenty of symbolic language. And so, if we read through the book of Ezekiel and allow our hearts to be open and allow what we’re reading and the texture of it, to speak to our hearts, to simply see what it brings up in us, instead of trying to figure everything out. I’ve often explained this like the difference between greeting a morning and watching the sunrise or greeting that same morning, with that same beautiful sunrise but ignoring the sunrise in order to read the newspaper to get information. Like, the morning spoke to us in totally different ways because we were spending our time focused in totally different directions. If we’ll move through the book of Ezekiel with an open heart, like we’re watching sunrise, instead of like reading the newspaper for information, we’ve put ourselves in a good position to receive. So, with all of that said, here we are, we’re reading from the English Standard Version this week, Ezekiel chapter 1 verse 1 through 3 verse 15.
Father, we thank You for Your word. We thank You for bringing us into this brand-new month, the 11th month of the year already. We thank You for bringing us into this brand-new territory, the book of Ezekiel. We open our hearts to You, we love You, we adore You, we worship You, we humble ourselves before You. We ask for Your leadership and guidance in our lives and of course, You’re not withholding from us, we’re often not paying attention, help us pay attention, as it’s now time to begin to consider how this year is going to end. And we want to finish strong. And so, we will have to listen and follow Your leadership and stay in lockstep together as we, day-by-day, step-by-step, continue through the journey of the word of God. So, come Holy Spirit, lead us into all truth. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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So, today is the day, we’ve talked about it for a couple of weeks and so what is immediate on our radar, what is going on around here is that today, is release day for this brand-new resource that is coming into the world today and coming into the community today, it’s called Sleep, A Contemplative Journey. And we’ve done a bunch of talking about it, the way that it was created, the why that it was created, what it is supposed to do for us in creating space for rest and sleep and calm. And it’s November friends and so, this, this is like we’re out in front of it right now. But before this month is over, we will be, we will be engaging with the busiest time and seasons of our year. And so, this is out in front of it. It is releasing here, out in front of it all so that we have this resource, that when things get a little bit crazy, when we get a little bit too tired and were not thinking clear and we’re not thinking straight. We…we have space that we can go into that will bring calm and rest and bring the Scriptures washing over us as we calm our spirits down or meditate or rest, go to sleep. So, it is available now, wherever you get your music. And I am, I’ve been waiting for this day. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time and so I am really excited for this to kind of land out there and be put to use as a resource around the Global Campfire. One more resource for the journey forward, one more way to remind ourselves that just living our lives with the pedal to the metal on 10, all of the time is not healthy or helpful. That rest is a part of the story, it’s part of the story of creation, it’s part of the story of the Bible, it’s a part of the story of humanity, it’s a necessity for us to be at our best. And this is the time of the year that we need, we need to be at our best. And so, Sleep, A Contemplative Journey, is now available wherever it is that you get your music. And I look forward to hearing your experiences.
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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.
Prayer and Encouragements:
Hi family, it’s Makayla from Glosser. This is just an update really. I can’t remember if I told you guys but my dad and his partner Sue, got married after ten years. They got married earlier this year. And so, you know, those connections that were there on a kind of like, have that official title of like, stepmother, stepsister, stepbrother, step-nephew and all that. But anyway, I would really appreciate prayer for my nephew Taylor. He is 16, he is struggling so much with his mental health. You know, that whole, what’s the point, everything I do, you know, I ruin everyone’s lives I touch and all that sort of stuff. And he’s not ready to hear or accept that that is not true. You and I both know that that is not true at all. You know, I can tell him and tell him and tell him and all I can do is, you know, love him, spend time with him and show him how much he’s valued. And the same, you know, with my stepsister Kate, his mom. Or his mother of choice, very, very complicated but you know, God knows. But yeah, I definitely really value your prayers for Kate and for Taylor and for Arthur and my step-mum, Sue, my dad, Mark. And for Taylor’s dad Jay, there’s a lot of stuff going on. God knows, and yeah, thank you guys. Bye.
Hey, my name is Jonathan Stanfield, this is the first time I’ve ever called. And I just, I’m turning 20 today, it’s a big day for me. And I’m super excited to just ask for prayer about how I, I really just need direction in my life. And I just love to ask ya’ll for prayer about direction for a job and yeah. Thank you.
Good morning DABers, this Is Rockhound from Georgia. And this morning, I Just wanted to call in, hopefully with a word of encouragement. After listening to Brian’s commentary and talking about not only Lamentations but Philemon today, I just wanted to call and encourage my fellow listeners and believers and brothers and sisters in Christ. That if you have some wounds that really need to be healed and you’ve been walking away from those things, you’ve been avoiding them for so long. I just want to encourage you to allow the Lord to walk through those things with you. I had a situation in my life where at least 50 years, things were buried and hidden and avoided and unspoken. And finally, the Lord led me to face that. Not only myself but some others as well. And though, it was probably one of the hardest things in my life to walk through, the Lord brought me out of it with such joy and with such freedom, amazing freedom. And I just to encourage you today, that when you walk through those things, you will be able to dance. So, dance with the Lord today when you walk through those awful, awful situations. Dance with Him because that’s what He wants you to do. I love you DABers. Brian, thank you so much for your amazing gift of DAB.
Hello DABers, this is Emily of Jim in Texas and Emily in Cartef but wait, you’ve been praying for over a year for Jim to get the spouse visa so we could be together in Cartef and God answered our prayers. And so, on the 15th of November my sweetheart arrives, and I just want to give thanks to God and thank this community for praying. And ask you to pray for our reunion and as we seek the Lord for where He wants us to be, what He wants us to be doing together and all those crazy details. As we seek to serve Him as a couple. Hallelujah! And even as I say that I keep thinking about these couples like the man whose been married four years and his wife wants out and the other man whose, who was abusive and says he’s wrecked his marriage. I’m telling you guys; God restores marriages and does amazing things in marriages. So, I want to pray for you, I want to pray for everyone who is separated from their spouse and wants to be back together with them. That God would restore these relationships, in the name of Jesus. Lord, where the enemy has stolen, You restore those years, Lord God. Lord, I pray that the spouses who have been left, would seek You, would become the men and women of God, that their spouses fell in love with, and Lord I pray, that You would bring them back, bring those spouses back, Lord. Thank You Jesus. Thank You, that You are a miracle working God. And thank You that my beloved sweetheart is coming back. Yeah.
Hello DABers, this is Kay from Ohio. I am calling to pray for a sister in Christ, I think she called on September the 24th. And towards the end, she’s talking in a whisper. And I prayed for you, and I stopped it, and I prayed, and I stopped it. I know what you feel like. Hmmm, God you heard every word she said and everything she left out. Encourage her heart and know that you are in each and every prayer, each and every tear, each and every sigh, each and every scream, each and every stomp, the slamming of the doors, by her. You see her and none of this is catching You by surprise. Even a month later. God, encourage her heart and to know that she’s asking for prayer and that she’ll be open for Your response. And if You tell her to walk away, she will say okay Lord. If You say stay, you will say ok Lord. But that she would trust You in everything. This is a hard decision. This is a hard time to wait. Because sometimes we get fed up and we’re ready to go and God says not yet. So, my sister, I pray that you would trust in the Lord and know that His ways are not our ways. And His thoughts are not our thoughts. But He is God, the Supreme One. But He’s loving and He’s kind and He will not leave you comfortless. Trust in Him. Wait on His decision. Stay in prayer. Stay in consecration at all times, no matter what it looks like, no matter what it feels like. God is still working. I love you, my sister. Be blessed.