Zechariah 12:1-13:9, Revelation 19:1-21, Psalms 147:1-20, Proverbs 31:1-7
Today is the 28th day of December welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian and it is fantastic to be here with you today as we enjoy a sort of the final stretch of the year. Mere days, not weeks or months, mere days until we get a fresh start and a brand-new shiny sparkly new year, and we get to do it again. But that is getting out in front of ourselves by at least a few days. We have these few days to work through together. I’m excited we can take these steps toward the end of the year as a community around the Global Campfire. And our next step leads us back into the book of Zechariah. Today we will read chapters 12 and 13.
Okay, so we are continuing our journey through the last week of the year. This strangest of all weeks…maybe not strangest of all weeks…I don’t know…it’s one of the strangest weeks of the year for me to experience, that…that…it’s like a lull before a brand-new start. And even if it’s a busy week, even if it’s got travel in it or whatever’s going on, it’s just different than any other week of the year. It’s almost like inside in our interior lives we can sense that something is coming to a close and that there is a new beginning, which is why we begin to think of what the new beginning is gonna look like, which is why we ultimately end up forming our New Year’s resolutions. I’m not sure we would do that if there weren’t this lull. It’s like Christmas comes and then New Year’s comes and there’s this one week gap, where even if it’s a normal week it still feels a little different than any other week. And I’m starting to see things show up in the news and on social media, like these sort of reflective posts, or like a look back at the year and some of the major events that happened in the year. And then we read through those articles and go, I forgot about that, that was this year or, you know, like people we lost this year in entertainment or sports, like people who are celebrated, are celebrities, people who are known who we’ve lost this year. And, so, as we move through this we also look to the Scriptures, especially since we’re being a little more reflective than normal and setting some goals and making some hopes and dreams for what this brand-new sparkly year that is upon us is going to look like, we look to the Scriptures to speak into that and give us some things to carry forward, which is what the Scriptures have been doing all year and this week is no different. In the book of Psalms today we have something to carry us forward toward the new year. In the Psalms we’re told, “the Lord delights in those who fear Him who put their hope in His unfailing love.” So, hope is the expectancy, the…the longing, the waiting for something that we desire to come to pass. We have all kinds of hopes, and we have desired outcomes attached to those different hopes. Like for example, if we have a career and we have a family and we’re thinking about what the later years of our lives might look like and we’re having those kind of conversations and thoughts, we decide what we need to do is to save money. Like, we need to save money so that we can have some stability and some predictability as we get older. That’s not an uncommon thought. There are all kinds of TV commercials inviting us into that…that scenario and that…that conversation. And, so, we take a little bit of money that we have, and we put it into some kind of fund for our retirement, for our later years, and we add to it and then we wait because those latter years haven’t come yet. And what we’re doing is saving up, putting hope in the expectation that we will have the resources that we need later. The kind of person that Psalms is describing today is a person who has invested their hope. And what they are investing their hope in is the unfailing love of God. And what would the payoff be? That the Lord might delight in them. So, here’s the deal. We might be making resolutions. Most of the resolutions that we make are focused around ourselves or include ourselves, whether…whether it’s a spiritual goal or whether it’s just a goal like to get more healthy or to get a better job. And that’s not inherently selfish. We’re reflecting on how to improve, how to be better people. But if we stop, take two steps back from that list for a second and think, how might my life be changed if my goal were to become the Lord’s delight? How can I invest in that? Put all your help chips in one basket. Put your hope in God and be in awe and fear of the Lord and then wait, wait expectantly in His unfailing love, and the Lord will delight in you. That has got to go on the list, right? And then we realize so many of our goals are outside in, right? If can rearrange things, if I can get a promotion, if I can get more healthy, if I can save more money, then…then how my life feels will be better when actually it’s inside out. A piece of the Lord with in us spills out into every eventuality of our lives. And, so, let’s give it some thought today in these final days of the year, that we invest our hope in God and wait expectantly in his unfailing love, and the Lord will delight in us.
Father, that is our desire that You would delight in us, we Your children, that we would make You proud. And throughout this year and throughout the Scriptures we have learned that we are, whether…whether we recognize it or not, we are utterly dependent upon You. There is nowhere else to put our hope. And, so, our hope is in You, and we wait expectantly in Your unfailing love, that You might delight in us. Come Holy Spirit and lead us into what that looks like for us as we contemplate the changing of the year we pray in the name of Jesus expectantly. 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:
Hello DAB family it’s December 22 and this is Craig from southwest Sweden __. I thank the Lord for Brian and DAB. First Corinthians 14:20 reminds me that the Holy Spirit brings out adult thinking, maturity, and innocence regarding evil. And I can hear this in the Hardin family when they read and their comments around what they read in the Bible. We stick around, we grow. I’m praying for my wife to be relieved from work stress. Her idea is to retire to work part time and I’m studying language and I haven’t been able to…to…to find work so far because of needing to finish my course. I’m trying to find something I can do in the meantime in a country where English isn’t the first language. I’m praying for my mother-in-law Ava to stop throwing up all of the food that she eats immediately after eating and for her heart will hold up and that she won’t feel so much pain as she goes through life. So, it’s for work stress of Magita and for my mother-in-law. Thank you. So, I missed family Christmas. So, I just want to say Merry Christmas to everyone on DAB. I’m remembering Victoria Soldier Blind Tony, Sister from Maryland and everyone else I haven’t mentioned you are remembered in prayer. God bless.
Heidi ho siblings or should I say Heidi ho ho ho siblings it’s your little sis, His little Sharie in Canada just days away from Christmas and I am sitting at my Cchapel table this morning. It’s minus 30 degrees Celsius out I don’t know what that is Fahrenheit something like cold, cold times 20. And God has been at work painting his diamond canvas, painting on the canvas of my window a beautiful intricate feathered diamond painting. And I think that our friend From Junk to Treasure requested that next time this happened that I would post a picture. So, I’m gonna try to do that, take a picture of this gorgeous thing and post it on the Friends page so that you guys can see how beautiful it can be when God decides to turn something bitter and harsh into something lovely. I don’t know, I think He does His best artistry in really brutal conditions. So, I just wanted to remind you of that today. If it feels like it’s minus 30…minus 30 in your soul look for how God might be painting a diamond picture on that canvas. I love you guys. Thank you for listening to my little chapel table reports. Merry Christmas.
Hello Daily Audio Bible this is Joy Merrifield from __. I wanna wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. And as we read in psalms it says to come early in the morning.
Hi family this is Purely Pampered of Maine. Today is Thursday December 22nd and on behalf of all I wanted to call and say thank you to Brian for adding in the Revelation commentary at the end of the day’s programs. I’d forgotten how you went through it in detail a few years back and appreciating how you give us a survey of the prevailing scholarly views when trying to understand what is in this letter. Listening to it again is my Christmas present this year. I’ll end with the thought that Brian closed with in the end of today’s broadcast about taking the Longview. And to each of us coping with loss the season maybe the thought he shared bring you peace and contentment right now. He said, “the end of our physicality isn’t the end of anything.” I love you, family. Bye for now.
Hi this is Carol. I just listened to the prayers on December 22nd. And Victorious, I think I’m getting your name right, you prayer really touched me today. It was so selfless, especially praying for first responders and people who are out there in this horrible weather in sometimes tragic circumstances just helping other people while their families are at home celebrating or whatever and to those of you who are alone this holiday season as I am whose family has either rejected you or doesn’t want anything to do with you or, you know, they’re happy and celebrating and you’re sitting at home alone feeling alone. Please don’t think you’re alone. You’re not. Many of us are in that position and I just pray for all of you. I could list a bunch of stuff I need prayer for but I think, you know, my way of celebrating the holidays is just saying I hope you all have a better year and that…that you're…you’re feeling comforted and somehow your prayers are answered and if not you'll…you’ll have the strength to get through whatever your particular needs are this time of year. It’s not joyous for a lot of us. It’s very difficult for a lot of us. And I feel that with you. But Victorious, your prayer especially being so selfless. God bless you for that. And I hope all of you get touched in some wonderful way by the Lord this coming year. It may not be easy but we’re in it together, we’re all human, and we all are in pain in some way even those that may not seem like they are. So, happy holidays everyone. Even if that doesn’t mean always a smile, it might mean a tear but you’re not alone. God bless you all.
Hi this is Amy in Olympia WA and I’ve been following along with the…the Revelation notes at the end and wow Brian I just have to say like it has been so helpful and I feel like the overview has just been so good and your breakdown has been just really understandable. And I had kind of been like…like just put off by Revelation just like for a while because like years ago I did and inductive study with a Bible study and it just was really overwhelming and just too much for me at the time with like 2 little kids. I was already overwhelmed, and I feel like it really put me off and made like revelation really like I don’t know just like kind of scary and I just, you know, I didn’t even want to read it. But I just wanted to say like for anyone that’s been just intimidated by Revelation I feel like you should go back and listen to what Brian has been saying at the end the last few days because I just feel like it’s just made Revelation a lot more approachable for me and just…just it’s been so helpful. I also just wanted to say to the dad that just put his autistic son in the…the…the states…the states care, I just want to say my heart goes out to you and I’ve been praying for you. I have a brother that I’m probably going to be taking care of someday. So, my heart is with you, and I just want you to know that you’re in my prayers. Thanks guys. Bye.
Deep dive into the book of Revelation:
Okay. So, clearly, we only have a few days left in this year. So, clearly we are coming to the final days in the book of Revelation as well, which we’ve been kind of diving into this year. And today we…we come to a great banquet but also a great battle in which the dark…the dark forces of the evil one are conquered and the evil one itself is done away with. And the scene begins with “a loud…a huge crowd from heaven saying hallelujah, salvation and glory and power belong to our God. His judgments are true and fair. He has condemned the notorious prostitute who corrupted the world with her sexual sins. He has taken revenge on her for the blood of his servants.” And of course, this is coming on the heels of what we read yesterday and the downfall of Babylon, this world system ruled by evil fractures, implodes, is judged, falls, is done away with. So, we should observe the contrasts that are happening in today’s reading. So, Babylon, these dark forces of evil that have been controlling the world, they fall apart. They’ve been condemned. The notorious prostitute that is this whole system has been condemned because it corrupted the world with her sexual sins. So, we could certainly go like. okay this…this evil empire is very very sexual in nature and so this is definitely speaking about sexuality. But also we should understand this kind of language from an allegorical perspective or a figurative view is about union. I mean at the most basic level, that’s what sex is, union, giving yourself over to someone. So, these dark forces demanded worship, demanded loyalty and allegiance, demanded the union, and the result of that was a war on God’s people, a cosmic attempt to stamp out God’s plan. That is in stark contrast to the second song or poem coming from this large crowd that…that is so big it sounds like raging waters. On the one hand they’re applauding and worshiping God for the judgment, the downfall of evil. But then they have more to say. “Hallelujah, the Lord our God, the Almighty has become king. Let us rejoice and be happy and give Him glory, because it’s time for the marriage of the Lamb. His bride has made herself ready. She has been given the privilege of wearing dazzling pure linen.” So, contrasted with the great prostitute or whore of Babylon this bride was true and faithful and sought union with no one but God and gave her loyalty and devotion to no one but God. And then in the next scene, we see heaven standing open. There’s a white horse with a rider on it named Faithful and True and that he’s going…he’s going to battle. And the armies of heaven are wearing pure white linen, like we just talked about, are following along on white horses of their own. And a sharp sword comes out of his mouth to defeat the nation’s. Some scholars would say these are the Angel armies. This is Jesus with the angel armies going to finish the judgment, finish the final battle, while other scholars would say no, this is…these are God’s people going along with Jesus to finish this final battle so that this banquet can begin. And an angel cries out to the birds, “come gather for the great banquet of God. Eat the flesh of kings, generals, warriors, horses and their riders and all the people and slaves, both important and insignificant people.” And it’s been noted that this is probably a parody. So, on the one hand there is this a great banquet, this great wedding feast where darkness and evil have no place. And not only just have no place, it doesn’t exist, this beautiful banquet, this consummation of all things being made new. And that contrasts with what the angel is saying to the birds. There’s gonna be this great banquet for you because all evil is being extinguished. So, it’s like two sides of the same coin. On the one side there’s judgment. On the other side there is salvation. And, so, the battle commences and the beast and the false prophet who had done miracles for the beast were captured and were subsequently thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. So, the forces that were at work in this dark evil kingdom were cast away and the rider on the horse, on the white horse had a sword coming out of his mouth and finished the battle and a great banquet happen for the birds, even as a great banquet in heaven was getting ready to begin.
Father, we thank you for your word. This is the 362nd day of this year and every day we have feasted upon your word and there are just a few days remaining and we invite your Holy Spirit to continue to speak deeply to us, transforming us on so many levels. We are most certainly at the place that we can look in the mirror and see that were not the same as we were when we started this journey on January 1st and we’re thankful for that. We’ve been through plenty. It’s been a challenging year, but you have been faithful, and you have guided us through your word and through the power of your Holy Spirit and we’re grateful. This builds confidence in our faith. You are maturing us. And, so, we welcome this to continue. And even though we will finish this year and we will finish it well we look forward to all that you will speak to us through your word in the coming year. Come Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.