The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday December 21, 2017 (NIV)

Zechariah 1

Turn from Your Evil Ways

In the eighth month of Darius’ second year as king, Yahweh spoke his word to the prophet Zechariah, who was the son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo. He said, Yahweh was very angry with your ancestors. Tell the people, ‘This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Return to me, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth, and I will return to you, says Yahweh Tsebaoth.’ Don’t be like your ancestors, who heard the earlier prophets preach to them, ‘This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds.’ But they didn’t listen or pay attention to me, declares Yahweh. Your ancestors—where are they now? And the prophets—are they still alive? Didn’t my warnings and my laws, which I’ve commanded my servants the prophets to preach, finally catch up with your ancestors? Then your ancestors turned away from their sins and said, ‘Yahweh Tsebaoth has done to us what he had planned to do. He has dealt with us as our ways and deeds deserve.’”

The Lord Will Comfort Zion

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (the month of Shebat) in Darius’ second year as king, Yahweh spoke his word to the prophet Zechariah, who was the son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo.

During that night I saw a man riding on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, chestnut, and white horses.

“What do these horses mean, sir?” I asked.

The angel who was speaking with me answered, “I will show you what they mean.”

10 The man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They’re the horses Yahweh has sent to patrol the earth.” 11 Then they reported to the Messenger of Yahweh standing among the myrtle trees, “We have patrolled the earth. The whole world is at rest and in peace.”

12 Then the Messenger of Yahweh said, “Yahweh Tseboath, how much longer until you show compassion to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? You’ve been angry with them for 70 years.” 13 Yahweh responded to the angel who was speaking with me, using kind and comforting words.

14 The angel who was speaking with me said, “Announce: This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: I’m very jealous about Jerusalem and Zion, 15 and I’m very angry with the nations who think they are at ease. I was only a little angry, but they made things worse. 16 This is what Yahweh says: I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion. My house will be rebuilt in it, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. A measuring line will be used to rebuild Jerusalem.

17 “Announce again: This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: My cities will overflow with prosperity once more. Yahweh will again comfort Zion and will again choose Jerusalem.”[a]

Punishment for the Nations That Scattered Judah

18 I looked up and saw four animal horns. 19 So I asked the angel who was speaking with me, “What do these horns mean?”

He said to me, “These are the horns of the nations that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”

20 Then Yahweh showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are they going to do?”

He answered, “Those horns scattered Judah so widely that no one could lift up his head. But the craftsmen have come to terrify them, to throw down the horns of the nations. The nations raised their horns to scatter the land of Judah.”

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 1:17 Zechariah 1:18–21 in English Bibles is Zechariah 2:1–4 in the Hebrew Bible.
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Revelation 12:1-17

Two Signs

12 A spectacular sign appeared in the sky: There was a woman who was dressed in the sun, who had the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant. She cried out from labor pains and the agony of giving birth.

Another sign appeared in the sky: a huge fiery red serpent with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky and threw them down to earth. The serpent stood in front of the woman who was going to give birth so that it could devour her child when it was born. She gave birth to a son, a boy, who is to rule all the nations with an iron scepter. Her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where God had prepared a place for her so that she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

Then a war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels had to fight a war with the serpent. The serpent and its angels fought. But it was not strong enough, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge serpent was thrown down. That ancient snake, named Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was thrown down to earth. Its angels were thrown down with it.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

“Now the salvation, power, kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah have come.
The one accusing our brothers and sisters,
the one accusing them day and night in the presence of our God,
has been thrown out.
11 They won the victory over him because of the blood of the lamb
and the word of their testimony.
They didn’t love their life so much that they refused to give it up.
12 Be glad for this reason, heavens and those who live in them.
How horrible it is for the earth and the sea
because the Devil has come down to them with fierce anger,
knowing that he has little time left.”

13 When the serpent saw that it had been thrown down to earth, it persecuted the woman who had given birth to the boy. 14 The woman was given the two wings of the large eagle in order to fly away from the snake to her place in the wilderness, where she could be taken care of for a time, times, and half a time. 15 The snake’s mouth poured out a river of water behind the woman in order to sweep her away. 16 The earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river which had poured out of the serpent’s mouth. 17 The serpent became angry with the woman. So it went away to fight with her other children, the ones who keep God’s commands and hold on to the testimony of Yeshua.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Psalm 140

Psalm 140

For the choir leader; a psalm by David.

Rescue me from evil people, O Yahweh.
Keep me safe from violent people.
They plan evil things in their hearts.
They start fights every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a snake’s fang.
Their lips hide the venom of poisonous snakes. Selah

Protect me from the hands of wicked people, O Yahweh.
Keep me safe from violent people.
They try to trip me.
Arrogant people have laid a trap for me.
They have spread out a net with ropes.
They have set traps for me along the road. Selah

I said to Yahweh, “You are my El.”
O Yahweh, open your ears to hear my plea for pity.
O Yahweh Adonay, the strong one who saves me,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
O Yahweh, do not give wicked people what they want.
Do not let their evil plans succeed,
or they will become arrogant. Selah

Let the heads of those who surround me
be covered with their own threats.
10 Let burning coals fall on them.
Let them be thrown into a pit, never to rise again.
11 Do not let slanderers prosper on earth.
Let evil hunt down violent people with one blow after another.

12 I know that Yahweh will defend the rights of those who are oppressed
and the cause of those who are needy.
13 Indeed, righteous people will give thanks to your name.
Decent people will live in your presence.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Proverbs 30:17

Disrespectful Children—Their Punishment

17 The eye that makes fun of a father and hates to obey a mother
will be plucked out by ravens in the valley and eaten by young vultures.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

12/18/2017 DAB Transcript

Habakkuk 1:1-3:19, Revelations 9:1-21, Psalms 137:1-9, Proverbs 30:10

Today is the 18th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today. One week, one week from today is Christmas day and we are in the thick of this Advent and Christmas season. And today we will read, at least from our Old Testament reading, we will read the entirety of the book of Habakkuk.

Habakkuk:

And this book is the eighth one, eighth of the minor prophets in the Old Testament. And we don’t know a whole lot about Habakkuk, but Jewish rabbinical tradition would tell us that Habakkuk was the son of the Shunamite woman that Elisha raised from the dead in the book of second Kings. So, we don’t know that, but that is definitely the tradition. And because of the way the narrative is written, many scholars believe that Habakkuk may have been a Temple profit. In most cases, this would mean that he was a prophetic musician, gifted in the instruments of the time, like the liar, the harp, or the cymbals. And some scholars believe that Habakkuk’s lyrical and poetic nature indicates that he was probably a Levite working in the temple as a Temple profit. Habakkuk wonders aloud in this prophetic book what God is doing in his time. Right? So, we often wonder the same things. Habakkuk sees injustice. He sees misfortune around him. And he has what seems to be doubt. He dares question. Something that we frown upon in this day in age for some reason. But he dares question and God dares answer. And, once again, we’re shown in Scripture that don’t know all that we think we know. In fact, we know very little of what is really going on. And Habakkuk presses into that. And we see in this book one of the most beautiful pictures of the story of our lives, a story of doubt and questions that are then transformed into absolute trust in the sovereign Lord. So, we’re reading from the names of God Bible this week. Habakkuk 1:1 through 3:19.

Commentary:

Okay. So, we read from the ninth chapter of Revelation today. So, let’s just remember, we started Revelation with this image of Jesus, seven golden lampstands that represented seven churches, seven letters were written, one to each of these churches, and then a scroll was revealed that no one could open and it had seven seals on it. And the lamb steps forward, and he is the only one, Jesus is the only one that can open the seals. So, he breaks the seals and what is held by those seals is then revealed. Then we have seven angels before the throne of God who are given trumpets and they’re each now blowing their trumpets. And we went to the first four trumpets yesterday. And the fifth and sixth angels blow their trumpets today. And, so, we begin when the fifth angel blew his trumpet, I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky and the star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. Okay, so we have to kind of go back into the different ways that this can be read. So, you read this literally, because we’ve seen a bunch of stuff falling from the sky. And, so, a star falls from the sky and then the star, the rock, this star somehow is given a key and opens up a shaft it’s on earth, but it’s a bottomless pit. And, so, you can see how, like, from a literal perspective, it would be kind of hard for a star to hold a key and turn a key lock. It would be hard to find something bottomless on earth. Like, if you started digging now, right, if it was even possible, we’d go through the center of the earth and out the other side and that would then end up in space on the other side of the world. How could that be bottomless? So, a completely literal reading of the book of Revelation…I mean…would be very challenging. The star falling from the sky, has been interpreted a number of ways, mostly dealing with that the star is actually an angel. But then the question becomes, is this a good angel or is this a bad angel. And it’s been noted by scholars that the star falling from the sky imagery usually refers to a judgment of some kind. And that there is no other reference in the Scriptures to, like, a good, a godly angel falling from the sky, like a star. That only happens when an angel is judged and cast down. So, for example, in the gospel of Luke, Jesus said, I saw Satan fall like a star from the heavens. So, many commentators, not all, but many commentators would say, this has to be the judgment of an angel that is being cast down. This may be Satan himself being cast down to do this task because he is under the sovereignty of God or one of his minions. So, this entity is given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. It opens the bottomless pit, and of course, the bottomless pit is probably a metaphor for the realm of the judged. And when this pit is opened smoke comes out of the shaft like the smoke from a large furnace and the smoke darkens the sun and the air. So, there’s a number of interpretations around this. I mean, so, if you’re reading literally, then its smoke, like there’s a lot of smoke, enough to darken the sun and the air. So, a serious amount of pollution. If we’re from looking a little more allegorically, then darkness is usually the metaphor for like a spiritual darkness, a blindness. And, so, this comes pouring out of the bottomless pit and darkens the world. And immediately following the smoke and the darkness, locusts come flying out of the bottomless pit, out of the smoke, onto the earth and that they’re given power, like that of the scorpion. And they’re not allowed to harm nature, like they cannot harm the grass or green plants or the trees. They can only torment the people. And they can only bring this judgment on those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. So, obviously from a literal perspective we’re talking about insect like creatures that look like locusts, but have stingers like scorpions, and they plague the earth. If you’re looking allegorically, then, I mean, when you look at something allegorically you can interpret it however you interpret it, which is why this is such diversity and interpretations that are everything from rational to far-fetched, and many in conflict with each other because you don’t know exactly what the symbolism means. But if we’re taking a pragmatic scholarship perspective, trying to draw comparisons with similar visions that happen in other places in the Bible, then these locusts can represent those beings that have been held in the bottomless pit. And a good many scholars would say that that’s associated with the fallen angels, demonic forces that have been held there and they are loosed upon the earth, but they can’t hurt the earth’s nature and they can’t hurt those who have been sealed with the seal of God on their foreheads. And, so, God allows the trumpet blast to happen. This star, this angel falls and is sent down to earth with the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit, it’s opened, and all kinds of things come spilling out on the earth, things that can’t harm those with God’s seal on their foreheads, but those who don’t, they’re definitely receiving judgment. And that judgment will either harden their hearts and lead them toward their ultimate destruction or soften their hearts and they turn to God. And for a lot of scholars this whole picture, this whole scene, reveals that the judgment that was formerly limited to those demonic forces who are in this pit is now extending all across the earthly realm. Because of Christ’s victory through his death and resurrection, judgment has begun. Not only in the bottomless pit, but also upon the earth, and that is happening through the darkness coming out of the pit. People are being blinded in the darkness and tormented and oppressed, but this isn’t happening to those who have been sealed by God. And there is a bit of a parallel here in Jesus words from the Gospel of Luke, ‘I was watching Satan fall from heaven like a lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall harm you. Your names are recorded in heaven.’ So, if this parallel is correct, then those sealed by God, have authority over these things that are coming up out of the abyss. They have authority over them and can’t be harmed by them, which would lead us to believe that this is allegorical. The imagery is symbolic. And then the sixth angel blows his trumpet and the sixth angel was instructed to release the four angels who are held at the great Euphrates River. Some would say these are like dark ark angels. So, like very, very powerful demonic forces. Some draw parallels with the four angels that were from the four corners of the earth and the four winds, but most translators and commentators would say these are evil, they’re being held against their will for a specific time for a specific task and their loosed. And, whereas in the fifth trumpet, everything coming up out of the abyss wasn’t allowed to kill anyone, wasn’t allowed to harm nature, wasn’t allowed to touch anyone with the seal of God on their forehead, and wasn’t allowed to kill anybody. It was just tormenting and oppressing people. Whereas in the sixth trumpet, when these four angels are loosed, they’re loosed, they’re loosed to kill one third of humanity. And John says that the number of those forces were 20,000×10,000. So, that’s 200 million. So, if you’re reading literally, then four actual angels have been being held at the great Euphrates River for a time period that we don’t have any way of knowing, but they’ve been held for a specific hour and day and month and year. And they’re released and there’s 200 million soldiers on horses that are loosed to do this task of killing one third of humanity. If we’re looking at this a little more allegorically, let’s remember, if we’re looking at things allegorically, then everything can have a meaning. So, if we’re looking at this allegorically, but with a pragmatic view, then powerful dark forces are released. They have been held for an indefinite period of time, but held for this time, this time of judgment that were reading about. And there’s a vast horde involved. And they unleashed three plagues: fire, smoke and sulfur. And these come out of their mouth’s. So, allegorically, what’s coming out of their mouths is bringing darkness, blindness, the inability to see clear. The power of these forces is in their mouths and in their tails. So, like, in their words and in their deeds. They are bringing such spiritual darkness and chaos and torment and depression that the result is death, and this affects a third of the earth’s population. Or if we’re not taking that number literally, a lot of people are affected by this darkness and death that spreads because of this. And then as we end our reading for today, with the sixth trumpet there’s kind of an aside, God’s commentary here. The people who survived these plagues still did not turn to me and change the way they were thinking and acting. If they had, they would’ve stopped worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. They did not turn away from committing murder, practicing witchcraft, sinning sexually, or stealing. So, using the formula that the Bible gives us for judgment, that it can have a refining and perfecting and purifying outcome or it can have a hardening outcome that leads a person who rejects it to their own destruction, we can see that, in spite of all that is going on, there are still those who have not died, but who are still rejecting God.

Prayer:

Father, Father, we don’t want any part of that. We don’t want any part of rejecting You. And yet, we confess that we have done exactly that in our thoughts, words and deeds, by what we’ve done and by what we’ve left undone. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit to continue to refine and purify us. And we reframe the suffering that we’ve endured in this world. We hate it. We don’t want to go through it. We want You to take it away. These are so much of the content of our prayers. And, although we will continue to ask You for Your counsel on how to navigate through things that are very difficult and unexpected, we choose to also look at what You are doing in these things, that You’ve got us, and these things refine and purify us. And truly, we want to be pure before You, true before You. We want to be sealed in You for all of eternity. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Announcements:

dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here.

And, so, it’s Christmas time, obviously. We’re one week away from Christmas. And the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box for 2017 is still available. Today is the cut off day for arrival for Christmas and that’s if you are in the United States. If you are outside the United States that date is past. Certainly, we can still send them to you. They just won’t arrive for Christmas. Today is kind of the last day inside the United States that we think is safe for arrival for Christmas. And there’s all kinds of goodies in the box, things that you will want for your own life, things you will want to invest in another’s life by giving it as a gift, and you get to choose. So, check out the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box at dailyaudiobible.com in the Christmas section.

While you’re there, you may want to check out the Lifestyle section. There’s a number of wonderful journaling ideas and bundles in that section that we think are fantastic, just to get ready for next year or for that that person, that journaler, that writer, in your life. So, check that out.

Early registration for the More Gathering is also available. And you can find out all about that moregathering.com.

But most importantly, this is kind of the cutoff date for Christmas arrival for the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box 2017.

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here in the last days of the year, thank you profoundly for your partnership. There’s a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. If you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.

And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.

And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.

Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports:

Hi. This is Victoria S. I just wanted to call and say something to my sister Joyce. I wanted to say to her that God knew that you were such a special baby, that even though your mother and dad didn’t see it in you, God saw it in you and stopped them. And God wanted me to tell you, before you get ready to take that test, you do the studying you do, but before you get ready to take that test, to pray about it and let the Holy Ghost bring all things to your remembrance and you __ that test because we need doctors with hearts like yours. And I want to pray for the DABbers that have been going through, those that have been going through in their marriages, those that have been having anxieties and things that the enemies been attacking. And we know why he’s attacking, because we’ve got something. The devil isn’t going to attack us if we don’t have nothing. So, let’s give Him the praise and let God have His way. God wants to show us that He is God and above Him there is no other. Continue, my brothers and sisters, to be strong in the Lord and to look to Him. Don’t let anything between you __. I don’t mind waiting, because remember, when we wait on the Lord He will renew our strength and we shall mount up with wings as eagles. We shall run and not be weary. So, continue to be blessed. I wanted to bless to Brian and Jill, and to little Ezekiel. I wanted to say hi to Blind Tony and Pastor Gene and Viola and all the people of God and my sister in New York, who she’s trying to get her mother. I wanted to say, be strong my sister, it’s alright. You can make it. In Jesus name. Have a blessed day. Bye-bye.

Hey Unis from New Jersey. I’m here to pray for you. Lord God I just lift up Unis, Father, in her diagnosis of cancer. Lord God, I hear her brokenness in her heart and I just pray right now for her to have strength. Lord, I pray that your spirit would come and rest on her in the name of Jesus. And that there would be peace that wraps her heart and that she would have strength unlike any other day, Lord God, so that no second is wasted. Father, that You will put Your hand on her, You will give her just the amount of energy and strength. Father, I pray that You would just make her bold. Father, these days are not here to show her numbers of the end, Lord God, they’re here to give her life right now, and that You intend for her to have life right now, abundantly, right now. So, I just pray that You would strengthen her for this last bit that she has…her leg of the race, I pray for healing over her body. I pray for her to have wisdom and boldness. I pray for her family to stand strong with her Lord God. I pray that You would give wisdom to the doctors overseeing her. And Lord, just give her joy. Pour out Your joy upon her that she will walk in a manner worthy of You, fully pleasing, that everyone she contacts and walks around in these days, her friends, her doctors, her nurses, Lord God, that they will be impacted and changed because Unis from New Jersey relies on You and that she trusts the Lord with all of her heart and with all of her mind and all of her strength. Sister, I’m praying for you. And I know it hurts and I know it’s hard to walk in, but you’re not alone and I love you.

Hi fellow DABbers. It’s Joe the Protector from Georgia. It’s December 13th I believe, 14th sorry. And it’s about 8 o’clock in the morning. I just got finished listening to the 14th podcast and just calling in over a couple of the prayer requests that came through on…in the end. The first one was the lady, not sure where you’re from, I forgot, or your name, but you said you were having twins and there’s some complications going on, and you’re just concerned about that, which is a natural thing to be concerned about. But just remember to keep trusting God and don’t doubt His promises and what He has in store for you and the children. The second one was the lady in New Jersey who has just received word that she’s got stage 4 cancer. And, first of all, I am sorry to hear that, but it sounded like you’re fairly rooted and strong Christian. And just remember to stay grounded, to stay deeply rooted in His word. And just ask His will, just allow His will in your life to reign over you. And the third one was Pelham in Birmingham. Pelham, sorry to hear about the loss of your job or business or…and you know…but Gods got another door to open up for you somewhere. He knows His children that are faithful…

Good morning my DAB family. It’s December 14th. This is Lawrence, the Yahweh’s Warning Sign on the Narrow Path. I have a special request to Diane Olive B. If you could call in please and pronounce your Shalom, Shalom, nothing is missing nothing is broken. I don’t know why…everything is going my way. Everything going my way right now in my divorce proceedings. And yet, I’m overwhelmingly sad. I don’t know why. So, if you could please, Diane call in. I need to hear you say those words. Thank you.

Hello, this message is for Unis on the Daily Audio Bible of the 14th off December this year. And Unis, bless you, disclosing your stage 4 cancer. I was very touched by your prayer…or by your prayer request. I’ve never rung in before. I don’t normally do this kind of stuff. And when I hear people opening up I think they’re mad. I felt moved to pray for you Unis. And I’m going to try to pray every day for you. And I recorded a song and I joined a nutter club. I mean that in the nicest way. I really felt the need to sing my prayer to God but I haven’t found a way to be able to share it. So, my name doesn’t matter, it’s not about me. Sister, it’s about you. I’m Walter in a different country. I will be praying for you every day. We are around the campfire. And I pray to, that if it’s God will, you be healed as he did for my son three years ago. Have faith sister. Keep on going and thank you for moving this hard heart to actually do something. Bless you. Bye-bye.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday December 20, 2017 (NIV)

Haggai 1-2

A Call to Rebuild the Lord’s House

On the first day of the sixth month in Darius’ second year as king, Yahweh spoke his word through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah) and to the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak). He said, “This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: These people say it’s not the right time to rebuild the house of Yahweh.”

Then Yahweh spoke his word through the prophet Haggai. He said, “Is it time for you to live in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins? Now, this is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Carefully consider your ways! You planted a lot, but you harvested little. You eat, but you’re never full. You drink, but you’re still thirsty.[a] You wear clothing, but you never have enough to keep you warm. You spend money as fast as you earn it. This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Carefully consider your ways!

“Go to the mountains, get lumber, and build the house. I will be pleased with it, and I will be honored,” declares Yahweh.

“You expected a lot, but you received a little. When you bring something home, I blow it away. Why?” declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. “It’s because my house lies in ruins while each of you is busy working on your own house. 10 It is because of you that the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 I called for a drought on the land, the hills, and on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil, and whatever the ground produces, on humans and animals, and on all your hard work.”

The Work on the House Resumes

12 Then Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel), the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon obeyed Yahweh their Elohim. They also obeyed the words of the prophet Haggai because Yahweh their Elohim had sent him and because the people feared Yahweh.

13 Then Haggai, the messenger of Yahweh who had received Yahweh’s message, said to the people, “I am with you, declares Yahweh.”

14 Yahweh inspired them to rebuild his house. So Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah), the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon began working on the house of Yahweh Tsebaoth, their Elohim. 15 They began on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in Darius’ second year as king.

The New House Will Be Greater Than the Old One

On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, Yahweh spoke his word through the prophet Haggai. He said, “Now, speak to Zerubbabel (who is the son of Shealtiel and is governor of Judah), the chief priest Joshua (who is the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon. Ask them, ‘Is there anyone among the faithful few who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Doesn’t it seem like nothing to you?’

“But now, Zerubbabel, be strong,” declares Yahweh. “Chief Priest Joshua (son of Jehozadak), be strong. Everyone in the land, be strong,” declares Yahweh. “Work, because I am with you,” declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. “This is the promise I made to you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains with you. Don’t be afraid.

“This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Once again, in a little while,[b] I am going to shake the sky and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the one whom all the nations desire will come. Then I will fill this house with glory, says Yahweh Tsebaoth. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. This new house will be more glorious than the former, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. And in this place I will give them peace, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth.”

Though the People Are Sinful, the Lord Will Bless Them

10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month in Darius’ second year as king, Yahweh spoke his word to the prophet Haggai. He said, 11 “This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Ask the priests for a decision. 12 Suppose a person carries meat set aside for a holy purpose and he folds it up in his clothes. If his clothes touch bread, boiled food, wine, oil, or any kind of food, does that make the food holy?”

The priests answered, “No.”

13 Haggai asked, “Suppose a person becomes unclean[c] by touching a corpse. If he touches any of these things, does that make them unclean?”

The priests answered, “That makes them unclean.”

14 Then Haggai answered, “In the same way, I have decided that these people are unclean, and so is this nation, declares Yahweh. So is everything they do. Whatever offering they bring is unclean.

15 “And from now on, carefully consider this. Consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the temple of Yahweh. 16 When anyone came to a pile of grain to get 20 measures, there would be only 10. And when anyone came to a wine vat to draw out 50 measures, there would be only 20 in it. 17 I infested all your work with blight and mildew and struck it with hail. But you didn’t come back to me, declares Yahweh. 18 Carefully consider from now on, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day when the foundation of the house of Yahweh was laid. Carefully consider: 19 Is there any seed left in the barn? The vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still haven’t produced. But from now on I will bless you.”

A Promise to Zerubbabel

20 Yahweh spoke his word to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month. He said, 21 “Say to Zerubbabel (governor of Judah), ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of nations. I will overthrow chariots and their riders, and the horses will fall along with their riders. They will kill one another with swords. 23 On that day, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth, I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel (son of Shealtiel), declares Yahweh. I will make you like a signet ring, because I have chosen you, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Haggai 1:6 Or “You have wine to drink but not enough to become drunk.”
  2. Haggai 2:6 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
  3. Haggai 2:13 “Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Revelation 11

God’s Two Witnesses

11 Then I was given a stick like a measuring stick. I was told, “Stand up and measure the temple of God and the altar. Count those who worship there. But do not measure the temple courtyard. Leave that out, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months. I will allow my two witnesses who wear sackcloth to speak what God has revealed. They will speak for 1,260 days.”

These witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands standing in the presence of the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to hurt them, fire comes out of the witnesses’ mouths and burns up their enemies. If anyone wants to hurt them, he must be killed the same way. These witnesses have authority to shut the sky in order to keep rain from falling during the time they speak what God has revealed. They have authority to turn water into blood and to strike the earth with any plague as often as they want.

When the witnesses finish their testimony, the beast which comes from the bottomless pit will fight them, conquer them, and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie on the street of the important city where their Lord was crucified. The spiritual names of that city are Sodom and Egypt. For 3½ days some members of the people, tribes, languages, and nations will look at the witnesses’ dead bodies and will not allow anyone to bury them. 10 Those living on earth will gloat over the witnesses’ death. They will celebrate and send gifts to each other because these two prophets had tormented those living on earth.

11 After 3½ days the breath of life from God entered the two witnesses, and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who watched them. 12 The witnesses heard a loud voice from heaven calling to them, “Come up here.” They went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 At that moment a powerful earthquake struck. One-tenth of the city collapsed, 7,000 people were killed by the earthquake, and the rest were terrified. They gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second catastrophe is over. The third catastrophe will soon be here.

15 When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, there were loud voices in heaven, saying,

“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will rule as king forever and ever.”

16 Then the 24 leaders, who were sitting on their thrones in God’s presence, immediately bowed, worshiped God, 17 and said,

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun ruling as king.
18 “The nations were angry, but your anger has come.
The time has come for the dead to be judged:
to reward your servants, the prophets,
your holy people,
and those who fear your name,
no matter if they are important or unimportant,
and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

19 God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his promise was seen inside his temple. There was lightning, noise, thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Psalm 139

Psalm 139

For the choir director; a psalm by David.

O Yahweh, you have examined me, and you know me.
You alone know when I sit down and when I get up.
You read my thoughts from far away.
You watch me when I travel and when I rest.
You are familiar with all my ways.
Even before there is a single word on my tongue,
you know all about it, Yahweh.
You are all around me—in front of me and in back of me.
You lay your hand on me.
Such knowledge is beyond my grasp.
It is so high I cannot reach it.

Where can I go to get away from your Ruach?
Where can I run to get away from you?
If I go up to heaven, you are there.
If I make my bed in hell, you are there.
If I climb upward on the rays of the morning sun
or land on the most distant shore of the sea where the sun sets,
10 even there your hand would guide me
and your right hand would hold on to me.
11 If I say, “Let the darkness hide me
and let the light around me turn into night,”
12 even the darkness is not too dark for you.
Night is as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You alone created my inner being.
You knitted me together inside my mother.
14 I will give thanks to you
because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.
Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.
15 My bones were not hidden from you
when I was being made in secret,
when I was being skillfully woven in an underground workshop.
16 Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book
before one of them had taken place.
17 How precious are your thoughts concerning me, O El!
How vast in number they are!
18 If I try to count them,
there would be more of them than there are grains of sand.
When I wake up, I am still with you.

19 I wish that you would kill wicked people, O Eloah,
and that bloodthirsty people would leave me alone.
20 They say wicked things about you.
Your enemies misuse your name.
21 Shouldn’t I hate those who hate you, O Yahweh?
Shouldn’t I be disgusted with those who attack you?
22 I hate them with all my heart.
They have become my enemies.

23 Examine me, O El, and know my mind.
Test me, and know my thoughts.
24 See whether I am on an evil path.
Then lead me on the everlasting path.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Proverbs 30:15-16

Human Bloodsuckers

15 The bloodsucking leech has two daughters—“Give!” and “Give!”

Four Things That Are Never Satisfied

Three things are never satisfied.
Four never say, “Enough!”:
16 the grave,
a barren womb,
a land that never gets enough water,
a fire that does not say, “Enough!”

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday December 19, 2017 (NIV)

Zephaniah 1-3

Zephaniah’s Prophecy

This is the word that Yahweh spoke to Zephaniah, who was the son of Cushi, the grandson of Gedaliah, and the great-grandson of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. The Lord spoke his word in the days of Judah’s King Josiah, son of Amon.

The Lord Will Judge the Earth

“I will gather everything on the face of the earth
and put an end to it,” declares Yahweh.
“I will put an end to humans and animals.
I will put an end to
the birds in the sky,
the fish in the sea,
and the sins that make people fall, together with the sinners.
I will remove all people from the face of the earth,” declares Yahweh.

The Lord Will Judge Judah

“I will use my power against Judah
and against those who live in Jerusalem.
I will remove the faithful few of Baal from this place
and the names of the pagan priests along with my priests.
I will remove those who worship all the stars in the sky on their rooftops
and those who worship by swearing loyalty to Yahweh
while also swearing loyalty to the god Milcom.[a]
I will remove those who have turned away from following Yahweh
and those who no longer seek Yahweh or ask him for help.”

Be silent in the presence of Adonay Yahweh,
because the day of Yahweh is near.
Yahweh has prepared a sacrifice.
He has invited his special guests.

“On the day of Yahweh’s sacrifice I will punish the officials,
the king’s sons, and all who dress in foreign clothing.[b]
On that day I will punish all who jump over the doorway
and all who fill their master’s house with violence and deception.
10 On that day a loud cry will come from Fish Gate,
a howling from the Second Part of the city,
and a loud crashing sound from the hills,” declares Yahweh.
11 “Howl, inhabitants of the Mortar,[c]
because all the merchants will be destroyed
and all who handle money will be killed.

12 “At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those
who are satisfied with their hardened lifestyle,
who think that Yahweh won’t do anything—good or bad.
13 Their wealth will be looted.
Their homes will be demolished.
They will build houses, but they won’t live in them.
They will plant vineyards, but they won’t drink their wine.”

The Day of the Lord

14 The frightening day of Yahweh is near.
It is near and coming very quickly.
Listen! Warriors will cry out bitterly on the day of Yahweh.
15 That day will be a day of overflowing fury,
a day of trouble and distress,
a day of devastation and desolation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and overcast skies,
16 a day of rams’ horns and battle cries
against the fortified cities
and against the high corner towers.
17 “I will bring such distress on humans that they will walk like they are blind,
because they have sinned against Yahweh.”
Their blood will be poured out like dust
and their intestines like manure.
18 Their silver and their gold will not be able to rescue them
on the day of Yahweh’s overflowing fury.
The whole earth will be consumed by his fiery anger,
because he will put an end, a frightening end,
to those who live on earth.

A Call for Judah to Turn Away from Sin

Gather yourselves together!
Yes, gather together, you shameless nation,
before the decree is carried out
and the day passes like windblown husks,
before Yahweh’s burning anger comes to you,
before the day of Yahweh’s anger comes to you.
Search for Yahweh, all you humble people in the land
who carry out his justice.
Search for what is right.
Search for humility.
Maybe you will find shelter on the day of Yahweh’s anger.

The Lord Will Judge His People’s Enemies

Gaza will be deserted,
and Ashkelon will be destroyed.
Ashdod will be driven out at noon,
and Ekron will be torn out by the roots.
How horrible it will be for those who live on the seacoast,
for the nation from Crete.
The word of Yahweh is against you, Canaan, the land of the Philistines:
“I will destroy you so that no one will be living there.”
The seacoast will become pastureland
with meadows for shepherds
and fenced-off places for sheep.
The coast will belong to the faithful few from the nation of Judah.
There they will graze their sheep.
In the evening they will lie down in the houses of Ashkelon.
Yahweh their Elohim will take care of them
and will restore their fortunes.

“I have heard the insults from Moab and the mockery from Ammon.
They insulted my people and bragged about their territory.
Therefore, I solemnly swear, as I live,”
declares Yahweh Tsebaoth, the Elohim of Israel,
“Moab will become like Sodom, and Ammon will become like Gomorrah:
a place of weeds, salt pits, and ruins forever.
The faithful few of my people will loot them,
and those who are left in my nation will take possession of them.”

10 This is what they will get for their sinful pride,
because they insulted the people who belong to Yahweh Tsebaoth
and made themselves greater than them.
11 Yahweh will terrify them,
because he will make all the gods of the earth waste away.
So every person from every coast and nation will bow to him.

12 “Even you, the people from Sudan,
you will also die by my sword.”

13 Yahweh will use his power against the north and destroy Assyria.
He will turn Nineveh into a deserted ruin,
a dried up wasteland like the desert.
14 Flocks will lie down in it along with animals of every kind.
Even pelicans and herons will nest on top of its columns.
Listen! A bird will sing in a window.
The doorway will be in ruins,
because Yahweh will expose the cedar beams.
15 Is this the arrogant city?
Is this the city that used to live securely,
the city that used to think to itself,
“I’m the only one, and no one else exists but me”?
What a wasteland it is now, a resting place for wild animals!
All who pass by it will hiss and make an obscene gesture.

Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed

How horrible it will be for that rebellious
and corrupt place, the city of violence.
It obeys no one.
It does not accept correction.
It does not trust Yahweh.
It does not draw close to its Elohim.
Its officials are like roaring lions.
Its judges are like wolves in the evening.
They leave nothing to gnaw on for the morning.
Its prophets are reckless and unfaithful.
Its priests contaminate what is holy.
They violate the teachings.
The righteous Yahweh is in that city.
He does no wrong.
He brings his judgment to light every morning.
He does not fail.
But those who are perverted are shameless.

“I will cut off the nations.
Their towers will be destroyed.
I will demolish their streets.
No one will walk through them.
Their cities will be completely destroyed.
Not a single person will be left.
No one will be living there.
I said to my people,
‘You will fear me.
You will accept correction!’
Then their homeland would not be wiped out
even though I have punished them.
Still, they continued to be corrupt in everything they did.”
Yahweh declares, “Just wait!
One day I will stand up as a witness.
I have decided to gather nations,
to bring kingdoms together,
and to pour my rage, my burning anger, on them.
The whole land will be consumed by my fiery fury.

Israel Will Turn Away from Sin

“Then I will give all people pure lips
to worship Yahweh
and to serve him with one purpose.
10 From beyond the rivers of Sudan
my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring my offering.
11 On that day you will no longer be ashamed
of all your rebellious acts against me.
Then I will remove your arrogance
and never again will you act proud on my holy mountain.
12 So with you I will leave a faithful few, a humble and poor people.
They will seek refuge in the name of Yahweh.
13 The faithful few in Israel will not do wrong, tell lies,
or use their tongues to deceive others.
They will graze their sheep and lie down,
and there will be no one to terrify them.”

Israel’s Joyful Song

14 Sing happily, people of Zion!
Shout loudly, Israel!
Celebrate and rejoice with all your heart, people of Jerusalem.
15 Yahweh has reversed the judgments against you.
He has forced out your enemies.
The Melek of Israel, Yahweh, is with you.
You will never fear disaster again.
16 On that day Jerusalem will be told,
“Do not be afraid, Zion!
Do not lose courage!”
17 Yahweh your Elohim is with you.
He is a hero who saves you.
He happily rejoices over you,
renews you with his love,
and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.

Israel Will Return Home

18 “I will gather those among you who are troubled because of the festivals.
They bear a burden of disgrace.
19 At that time
I will deal with all who have overpowered you.
I will rescue those who are lame.
I will gather those who have been scattered.
I will make them praised and famous in all the world,
though they had been ashamed.
20 At that time I will bring you home.
Yes, at that time I will gather you together.
I will make you famous and praised among all the people of the earth
when I restore your fortunes right before your eyes,” says Yahweh.

Footnotes:

  1. Zephaniah 1:5 Or “to their king.”
  2. Zephaniah 1:8 Wearing foreign clothing was a sign of worshiping foreign gods.
  3. Zephaniah 1:11 The Mortar was in the northern part of Jerusalem, the Second Part of the city, which could be entered through the Fish Gate.
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Revelation 10

John Eats a Small Scroll

10 I saw another powerful angel come down from heaven. He was dressed in a cloud, and there was a rainbow over his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet were like columns of fire. He held a small, opened scroll in his hand. He set his right foot on the sea and his left on the land. Then he shouted in a loud voice as a lion roars. When he shouted, the seven thunders spoke with voices of their own. When the seven thunders spoke, I was going to write it down. I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and don’t write it down.”

The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. He swore an oath by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and everything in it, the earth and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it. He said, “There will be no more delay. In the days when the seventh angel is ready to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be completed, as he had made this Good News known to his servants, the prophets.” The voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again. It said, “Take the opened scroll from the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will be bitter in your stomach, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”

10 I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, it was bitter in my stomach. 11 The seven thunders told me, “Again you must speak what God has revealed in front of many people, nations, languages, and kings.”

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Psalm 138

Psalm 138

By David.

I will give thanks to you with all my heart.
I will make music to praise you in front of the false gods.
I will bow toward your holy temple.
I will give thanks to your name because of your mercy and truth.
You have made your name and your promise greater than everything.

When I called, you answered me.
You made me bold by strengthening my soul.[a]
All the kings of the earth will give thanks to you, O Yahweh,
because they have heard the promises you spoke.
They will sing this about the ways of Yahweh:
Yahweh’s honor is great!”
Even though Yahweh is high above, he sees humble people close up,
and he recognizes arrogant people from a distance.

Even though I walk into the middle of trouble,
you guard my life against the anger of my enemies.
You stretch out your hand,
and your right hand saves me.
Yahweh will do everything for me.
O Yahweh, your mercy endures forever.
Do not let go of what your hands have made.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 138:3 Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Proverbs 30:11-14

Four Kinds of People

11 A certain kind of person curses his father
and does not bless his mother.
12 A certain kind of person thinks he is pure
but is not washed from his own feces.[a]
13 A certain kind of person looks around arrogantly
and is conceited.
14 A certain kind of person,
whose teeth are like swords
and whose jaws are like knives,
devours oppressed people from the earth
and people from among humanity.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 30:12 Blunt Hebrew term but not considered vulgar.
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

12/17/2017 DAB Transcript

Nahum 1:1-3:19, Revelations 8:1-13, Psalms 136:1-26, Proverbs 30:7-9

Today is the 17th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you at the cusp, at the threshold, of a shiny, sparkly new week. And this is a big week. I mean, one week from today is Christmas Eve, which makes today the third Sunday in the season of Advent. And that distant day, that distant beacon, that’s on every calendar, December 25th, Christmas Day, that we see all year long, that’s been so far off in the distance is upon us now. And we’ll be making final transitions during this week. We’ll touch eight different books of the Bible. And by the time we get to the end of this week we will be settled into the final books of the Old and New Testaments as we press forward to the to the new year. So, let’s jump in. We’re going to read from the Old Testament, the entirety of the book of Nahum.

Nahum:

Nahum is another of the books of minor prophecy, which has nothing to do with significance and more to do with length. And, in some ways, we get a peek into the into the continuation of the story of Jonah. Right? So, Jonah was sent to Nineveh, we don’t have to retell that story. He was sent to Nineveh and they repent. Nahum is another book of prophecy written to the city of Nineveh. So, it’s 150 years later. So, a century and half earlier, God sent Jonah to the city and when he delivered God’s message Nineveh fell on its face and repented and were spared. Now, 150 years later, they’ve returned to their wicked ways and are as bad, if not worse, than they ever were. Nineveh was the capital city of the great Assyrian Empire and its conquests were known to be very brutal. And again, God sends a profit to Nineveh, Nahum, preaching repentance and a return to God. But this time the Ninevites did not listen and the prophecy of judgment came true in 625 BC with the destruction of Nineveh and the fall of the Assyrian Empire. This prophecy shows that God is merciful and patient, but He is not a pushover, and He will not stand for a nation’s sin forever, which should spur us all on to be agents of change in the countries that we live, to be the catalyst for light and for repentance and a return to our God. So, we’ll be reading from the Names of God Bible this week. Nahum chapter 1 verse 1 through 3 verse 19.

Commentary:

Okay. So, in the book of Revelation, you know, we began with seven golden lampstands, and then seven letters to seven churches, and then seven seals that no one but the lamb could open. And he opened six of them and we went through that and then today we get to the seventh seal. And, so as we begin our reading today, when he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And that’s a pretty dramatic scene, to think about silence in heaven for half an hour. And that silence has been contemplated for a long time, as has every other word in this book. Some scholars think that the silence has to do with the fact that  as the seventh seal is broken and opened, there’s no content, there’s nothing to be revealed, and the content of the seventh scroll is contained in the actions that happen next. Some have said that because it’s the seventh seal, there was a pause and God rested, in sort of Sabbath imagery. Some connect the silence to do a suspension of divine revealing or disclosure, or revelation. So, then you’ve got to try figure out how long half an hour in heaven, what that represents to time on earth, which is a tricky thing to do. Some would say it’s just a moment of silence because of what’s coming next. And others would say everyone is just simply struck to complete silence as the complete plan is finally revealed. And that’s just a few thoughts. Either way, there was silence in heaven for a half an hour as the seventh seal is opened. And then seven angels who stand in God’s presence were given seven trumpets. And a lot of times these seven angels are associated with the seven archangels that are found in Jewish apocalyptic literature. For example, we talked about them when we talked about the book of Enoch. So, a lot of interpreters think these are the seven archangels. These the main angels in God’s presence. And then another angel comes with a gold incense burner and stands at the altar, and he has incense to offer before the throne. And, so, he’s offering incense and also at the same time, the prayers of God’s people are being offered. And, so, the smoke from the incense goes up before God, along with the prayers of God’s people to God. And this imagery is ancient. And it’s still being used in the world today. So, depending on what kind of church that you go to, you may experience this every week, but no matter what kind of church you go to, you’ve probably seen it before, where, you know, a church service is starting, priests come in, they’re carrying certain things, like, they’re processing the cross, and maybe they have candles, and somebody has an incense burner and they’re swinging it. Right? And, so, the smoke is flowing out over the people as they process in. That’s what this represents, a pleasing aroma intermingled with the prayers of God’s people. That’s what it symbolizes. So, whether or not you like smells and bells in your worship experience, this is happening in heaven before the throne of God in the book of Revelation, which is not to say, this needs to happen in your church on Sunday. It’s just to say, this is how these traditions are born. They’re aren’t these weirdo things usually. They have a rootedness in something ancient and when you understand them they bring meaning. And, so, after this after these prayers are offered to God along with the incense, the angel then takes the incense burner and fills it with fire from the altar and hurls it down upon the earth. And, yea, then things get a little crazy - thunder noise, lightning, an earthquake, and then the seven angels who have the seven trumpets get ready to blow them. And we don’t get through all seven trumpet blasts in our reading today. We get through the first four. And many scholars and interpreters of the book of Revelation associate the things that happen after the trumpets are blown. So, for example, the first trumpet’s blown and hail and fire mixed with blood are thrown down on the earth. The second one blows his trumpet and a huge, something like a huge, mountain is thrown into the sea and one of the one third of the seas turn into blood. The third angel blows his trumpet, a huge star flaming like a torch falls from the sky and one third of the rivers and the springs, the waters turn bad. And the fourth trumpet blows and a third of the sun, a the third of the moon, and a the third of the stars are struck, so everything is darkened. Many scholars and interpreters find the pattern here to be very reminiscent of the plagues that were sent in the book of Exodus upon the Egyptians to set God’s people free, and that this, in fact, is the point of how God’s judgment works. Some people will receive the freedom brought from the refinement of judgment. Some people’s hearts will be hardened to it and they will subsequently be destroyed by it. And that holds a lot of water because that’s thematic in the Bible and helps us have a better understanding of God’s judgment and what it does. Those who are righteous, those who are true, those who are pure, who have to endure suffering and hardship are refined by it and we find that all throughout the New Testament writings. And, so, the way we have to look at that is that our endurance is bringing about in us something far more mature and strong and loyal and faithful, within us. It is sanctifying us. It is re-creating us in the image of the Savior, and is a necessary part of our transformation, our being reborn. So, a person who looks at what they’re facing from this perspective understands that all things are being worked together for our good, even if we lose our life in the process because we’ve learned to not hold onto it. We know that losing it is actually gaining it and nothing can take us from the presence of God. Nothing can steal us away. And we begin to realize that the presence of God is the one and only thing we can’t live without. So, when judgment and hardship are on the earth and we encounter it, it is doing something completely different in us than those whose hearts are being hardened by it and to it and who are rejecting God. They will ultimately find justice in their own destruction, in their own hard heartedness, in what they bring down upon themselves, whereas those who are being true are being refined, purified. And because we’re kind of moving into this territory. You know, the argument of, well, what about the rapture? Who’s going to go through this stuff? Won’t we be long gone and not have to experience in any or will we actually have to experience some or all of this? How is that going to work? Well, let’s wait and see how this whole story unfolds before us. So far, and were eight chapters into the book of Revelation, so far we could say, okay, we’re not trying to do a bunch of interpretation here, we’re just trying to move through this territory and point out things and understand what the Revelation is saying and how it has been interpreted in widely diverse ways. So far, we haven’t encountered anything like what we would call the rapture. We have encountered that yet. And we’ll see if we do or where we do as we move forward. But one thing that we can say for certain that were seeing is that, as believers, our lampstand, our light has to be burning, and we have to stay true. Those are both necessary. And we looked, pretty extensively, at what that actually looks like when we were looking at the seven short letters to the seven churches. And we can also say that remaining true in spite of hardship or tribulation is imperative because what we might be going through is doing something completely different in us than those who are hardhearted and rejecting it. When we stay true, when our light is burning, when we are faithful to the message of Jesus we are changing things around us. And as we change things around us it is changing us to the point that, in the end, even if we have to die, even if we have to lose our lives, we haven’t lost our life, it can’t be taken from us. These things we can say that we are, for sure, learning in the book of Revelation.

Prayer:

Father, we invite You into that because so much…anytime we talk about suffering…anytime we talk about tribulation it freaks us out. In part, because of this book of Revelation, and part because it has pictures in it of things that we would rather not see. And yet You are showing us this is how the new thing that You are doing is born and You have personally invited us to be a part of the story by continuing to bring light and life and good news into this world as we lose ourselves further and further in our relationship with You, as we lose our grip on what we think we can control and find ourselves in You. So, come Holy Spirit. Continue the work that You have begun in us. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Announcements:

dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here. So, this is the third Sunday in the season of Advent. One week from today is Christmas eve. One week from tomorrow is Christmas day. So, we’re fast approaching the end of our Christmas season.

The Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box for 2017 is still available. This is getting right down to last call for delivery for Christmas. Tomorrow is the cutoff date for that. So, if you are in the United States and want to get a Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box in time for Christmas, now would be the time. If you’re outside the United States, you can certainly still order a Christmas Box and we will still ship them out, but it’s very unlikely that they’ll arrive for Christmas, but you can still get them. But if you’re inside the United States you have until tomorrow. So, check that out.

Reminding you that early registration for the More Gathering, our women’s gathering that we do annually, that will take place this April in the lovely mountains of Georgia, you can find out all about that and get early registration pricing right now. It makes for a great gift. So, check it out. You can go to moregathering.com for all of those details.

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, as we fast approach the end of the year 2017 -  man…man… it’s  really like we’re almost there…it’s crazy. If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible in the waning days of the year 2017 then thank you. It has been quite a year indeed. And I’m looking forward, very much, to the new year and all that God will speak to us in His word in community. Thank you for your partnership. There is a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. If you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.

And as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.

And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.

Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports:

Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is my first time to call. I’m calling from Nebraska. And I’m calling because I just heard the prayer request from the woman in Wisconsin who is upset about her cousin getting married and I just want to encourage you, I’m sorry I don’t remember your name, but God knows, that His love for you has nothing to do with the actions of your cousin. When you were a child and now, your love and your relationship with God is completely separate. And I just pray that God would reveal himself to you in a completely new way, that you would come to understand His love in such a fresh way that your life would no longer be mixed up with your cousins actions or your actions as a child, that you’d be able to step into your future in a new relationship with the Lord. I pray this for you in Jesus name. Amen.

Good morning guys. This is Jenn in SoCal, AKA Prayer Warrior Princess. Joyce, in California, I hear so many people calling who love and support you, who are rooting for you. I understand that none of us can replace and heal the wounded soul areas that were created by what happened with your family, but we are all intimately connected with the one who can. You struck a chord with all of us and it’s evident you can count on us to intercede with Him for your victory. I’m going to remember you each year on December 20th because you share your birthday with my dad. Long after the echoes of your prayer request cease to ring in our ears from your call, they’re going to resonate in my heart each year. I bless you with quiet confidence, with securely anchored hope in Christ, with satiety, with the mind of Christ, and the power to think differently, according to His direction. May your soul tell your thought that I have enough, I am enough, I give and receive enough. May contentment flood your bones and refresh your parched cleff. May you consistently awaken with a strong sense of the Holy Spirit befriending you, seeing over you, delighting in you, encouraging you, upholding you, and propelling you forward, forgetting what lies behind and running your race with endurance as this great cloud of witnesses cheers for you. We love you Joyce. Victory in Jesus for you. Amen.

This is Claudia from Oroville, California. I want to pray that Christmas blessings of reconciliation for families that are difficult take place. Thank you, Daily Audio Bible.

Hi family. It’s Shannon from Texas again. And I called earlier today about my friend Sonya’s mom Rosie G. Rosie did not make it. It was unexpected. She went into septic shock. Sonya was forced to…not forced…but…she had to make a choice to take her mother off of life support because as she wasn’t going to make it…and it was awful. But just please lift her up. She lived with her mom and they came…fled to Texas together…and Sonja had her daughter removed by CPS after reporting some sexual abuse and her daughter’s for now in California and Sonja is left by herself. And I just can’t fathom the thought of her going back home. I’ve invited her to stay with me, but I don’t know if she’s going to do it. And she’s in the house by herself, doesn’t really have friends or family in Texas. And not even going to have anybody to put together a funeral for her mom. She needs it…she’s kind of…just now getting off of some prescription medication that she’s been addicted to and she’s gotten really close with the Lord, but, amen, she really, really needs the prayers because this is…this is hard on her. So, please lift her up. We know where her mother is. Rosie was an amazing lady, but she had a tough, tough life. She almost stressed herself to death, if she didn’t stress herself to death. She trusted the Lord. But she spent the last few weeks of her life worrying about Sonja and those kids. So, please lift them up. Lift Sonja up in her family situation. I don’t want her to be by herself right now. I will she’s not, but I love you and appreciate your prayers.

Hello DAB family. My name is Darren. This is my first year in sitting by the campfire with you guys and my first time calling. I honestly thought I was going to be able to ease through the end of the year without calling in and sharing my heart, but this morning my heart was just broken by a message that I heard from Marked as His, I believe, was her name, from Baltimore, Wisconsin. I wanted to let you know three things. The first thing is is that I thought you were so brave to share your story. And the second is that we are your family. We do love you. I don’t know you but my heart broke so I know that we are connected and God has connected us through the power of his Holy Spirit and through this ministry. So, we are your family. You know, as Jesus said in Matthew 12:49. But you said a couple of things and I wanted to share part of my story. You were saying that you were dealing with some anxiety and self-doubt and what I’ve learned is is that to find the underlying emotion underneath that. And mine was anger. I was so angry that I felt that I had been robbed of something and that no one understood, but then God showed me in Proverbs 18:21 that there is life and death in the power of the tongue. And what you were saying, you know, that you wanted to be married, certainly, but that God was playing a joke on you and that you got the raw end of the deal. Certainly, I know sister, that was just your heart speaking and that I could tell that you don’t truly believe that, but we have to speak it as we know that it is and that it is only a trial and a test and something to get you off the path that God has called you for. And believe me, if the devil messed with you so…

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday December 18, 2017 (NIV)

Habakkuk 1-3

Habakkuk’s Vision

The divine revelation that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

Habakkuk’s Question

How long, O Yahweh, am I to cry for help,
but you will not listen?
I cry out to you, “There’s violence!”
yet you will not come to the rescue.
Why do you make me see wrongdoing?
And why do you watch wickedness?
Destruction and violence are in front of me.
Quarrels and disputes arise.
That is why your teaching is numbed,
and justice is never carried out.
Wicked people surround righteous people
so that when justice is carried out, it’s perverted.

The Lord’s Answer

Look among the nations and watch.
Be amazed and astonished.
I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe even if it were reported to you.
I am going to send the Babylonians,
that fierce and reckless nation.
They will march throughout the earth
to take possession of lands that don’t belong to them.
They will be terrifying and fearsome.
They will carry out their own kind of justice and honor.
Their horses will be faster than leopards
and quicker than wolves in the evening.
Their riders will gallop along proudly.
Their riders will come from far away.
They will fly like an eagle that swoops down for its prey.
They will all come for violence.
Every face will be directed forward.
They will gather prisoners like sand.
10 They will make fun of kings and treat rulers as a joke.
They will laugh at every fortified city
and build a dirt ramp to capture it.
11 They will move quickly and pass through like the wind.
So they will be guilty,
because their own strength is their god.

Habakkuk’s Question

12 Didn’t you exist before time began, O Yahweh, my Elohim, my Holy One?
We will not die!
O Yahweh, you have appointed the Babylonians to bring judgment.
O Rock, you have destined them to correct us.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look at evil.
You can’t watch wickedness.
Why do you keep watching treacherous people?
Why are you silent when wicked people swallow those
who are more righteous than they are?
14 You make all people like the fish in the sea,
like schools of sea life that have no ruler.
15 The Babylonians pull them all up with fishhooks,
drag them away in nets,
and gather them in dragnets.
So they rejoice and are happy.
16 That is why they sacrifice to their nets and burn incense to their dragnets.
They are rich and well fed because of them.
17 Will they keep on emptying their nets
and always kill nations without mercy?

Habakkuk Waits for the Lord’s Answer

I will stand at my guard post.
I will station myself on the wall.
I will watch to see what he will say to me
and what answer I will get to my complaint.

The Lord’s Answer

Then Yahweh answered me,
“Write the vision.
Make it clear on tablets
so that anyone can read it quickly.
The vision will still happen at the appointed time.
It hurries toward its goal.
It won’t be a lie.
If it’s delayed, wait for it.
It will certainly happen.
It won’t be late.

“Look at the proud person. He is not right in himself.
But the righteous person will live because of his faithfulness.[a]
Also because wine is treacherous
he is arrogant and never rests.
He has a large appetite like the grave.
He is like death—never satisfied.
He gathers all the nations to himself.
He collects all the people to himself.
Won’t all of them ridicule him,
directing clever sayings and riddles at him, like:

“‘How horrible it will be for the one who makes himself rich
with what is not his own
and makes himself wealthy on loans.
How long will this go on?’
Won’t your creditors suddenly rise up
and those who are going to shake you wake up?
Then you will become their prize.
You have looted many nations.
All the rest of the people will loot you
because of the slaughter and violence done
to lands, cities, and all their inhabitants.

“‘How horrible it will be for the one who uses violence
to get things for his own household
in order to set his nest up high
and save himself from disaster.’
10 You have planned disgrace for your household
by cutting off many people and forfeiting your own life.
11 A stone in the wall will cry out.
A beam in the roof will answer it.

12 “‘How horrible it will be for the one who builds a city by slaughter
and founds a town by crime.’
13 Isn’t it from Yahweh Tsebaoth
that people grow tired only to feed the flames
and nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
14 But the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Yahweh’s glory
like the water covers the sea.

15 “‘How horrible it will be for the one who makes his neighbor drink
from the bowl of God’s rage,
making him drunk in order to stare at his nakedness.’
16 You are filled with disgrace rather than glory.
Drink! Yes you! And expose yourself as godless.
The cup in Yahweh’s right hand will come around to you,
and disgrace will cover your glory.
17 The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
and the destruction done to the animals will terrify you
because of the slaughter and violence done
to lands, cities, and all their inhabitants.

18 “What benefit is there in a carved idol
when its maker has carved it?
What benefit is there in a molded statue, a teacher of lies,
when its maker has molded it?
The one who formed it trusts himself
to make worthless idols that cannot speak.
19 ‘How horrible it will be for the one
who says to a piece of wood, “Wake up!”
and to a stone that cannot talk, “Get up!” ’
Can that thing teach anyone?
Just look at it!
It’s covered with gold and silver,
but there’s absolutely no life in it.”

20 Yahweh is in his holy temple.
All the earth should be silent in his presence.

A Psalm

A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk; according to shigionoth.[b]

Yahweh, I have heard the report about you.
Yahweh, I fear your work.
In the course of the years, renew it.
In the course of the years, reveal it.
In all this chaos, remember to be merciful.

Eloah comes from Teman.
The Holy One comes from Mount Paran. Selah
His splendor covers the heavens.
His praise fills the earth.
His brightness is like the sunlight.
Rays of light stream from his hand.
That is where his power is hidden.
Diseases go ahead of him.
Plagues follow after him.
He stands and shakes the earth.
He casts a glance and startles the nations.
The oldest mountains break apart.
The ancient hills sink.
The ancient paths belong to him.
I see trouble in the tents of Cushan.
I see trembling in the tents of Midian.

Yahweh is not angry with the rivers, is he?
If you are angry with the rivers,
if you are furious with the sea,
why do you ride your horses,
your chariots of salvation?
You get your bow ready for action,
for the arrows you promised. Selah
You split the land with rivers.
10 The mountains look at you. They writhe in pain.
Floodwaters pass by.
The deep ocean roars. Its waves rise up high.
11 The sun and the moon stand still.
They scatter at the light of your arrows,
at the bright lightning of your spear.

12 You march through the earth with fury.
You trample the nations in anger.
13 You go out to save your people,
to save your anointed.[c]
You crush the leader of the wicked household,
stripping him bare from head to toe. Selah
14 You pierce the leader of his gang with his own arrows.
His soldiers come like a violent storm to scatter me.
They are arrogant like those who secretly eat up the poor.
15 You march with your horses into the sea,
into the mighty raging waters.

16 I have heard, so there’s trembling within me.
At the report my lips quivered.
A rotten feeling has entered me.
I tremble where I stand.
I wait for the day of trouble
to come to the people who will attack us.
17 Even if the fig tree does not bloom
and the vines have no grapes,
even if the olive tree fails to produce
and the fields yield no food,
even if the sheep pen is empty
and the stalls have no cattle—
18 even then,
I will be happy with Yahweh.
I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.
19 Yahweh Adonay is my strength.
He makes my feet like those of a deer.
He makes me walk on the mountains.

For the choir director; on stringed instruments.

Footnotes:

  1. Habakkuk 2:4 Masoretic Text; Greek “live because of my faith.”
  2. Habakkuk 3:1 Unknown musical term.
  3. Habakkuk 3:13 Or “to save with your anointed.”
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Revelation 9

The Fifth and Sixth Angels Blow Their Trumpets

When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky. The star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. It opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and smoke came out of the shaft like the smoke from a large furnace. The smoke darkened the sun and the air. Locusts came out of the smoke onto the earth, and they were given power like the power of earthly scorpions. They were told not to harm any grass, green plant, or tree on the earth. They could harm only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them. They were only allowed to torture them for five months. Their torture was like the pain of a scorpion’s sting. At that time people will look for death and never find it. They will long to die, but death will escape them.

The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. They seemed to have crowns that looked like gold on their heads. Their faces were like human faces. They had hair like women’s hair and teeth like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like iron. The noise from their wings was like the roar of chariots with many horses rushing into battle. 10 They had tails and stingers like scorpions. They had the power to hurt people with their tails for five months. 11 The king who ruled them was the angel from the bottomless pit. In Hebrew he is called Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

12 The first catastrophe is over. After these things there are two more catastrophes yet to come.

13 When the sixth angel blew his trumpet, I heard a voice from the four horns of the gold altar in front of God. 14 The voice said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are held at the great Euphrates River.” 15 The four angels who were ready for that hour, day, month, and year were released to kill one-third of humanity. 16 The soldiers on horses numbered 20,000 times 10,000. I heard how many there were.

17 In the vision that I had, the horses and their riders looked like this: The riders had breastplates that were fiery red, pale blue, and yellow. The horses had heads like lions. Fire, smoke, and sulfur came out of their mouths. 18 These three plagues—the fire, smoke, and sulfur which came out of their mouths—killed one-third of humanity. 19 The power of these horses is in their mouths and their tails. (Their tails have heads like snakes which they use to hurt people.)

20 The people who survived these plagues still did not turn to me and change the way they were thinking and acting. If they had, they would have stopped worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. 21 They did not turn away from committing murder, practicing witchcraft, sinning sexually, or stealing.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Psalm 137

Psalm 137

By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down and cried
as we remembered Zion.
We hung our lyres on willow trees.
It was there that those who had captured us demanded that we sing.
Those who guarded us wanted us to entertain them.
They said, “Sing a song from Zion for us!”

How could we sing Yahweh’s song in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget how to play the lyre.
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I don’t remember you,
if I don’t consider Jerusalem my highest joy.

O Yahweh, remember the people of Edom.
Remember what they did the day Jerusalem was captured.
They said, “Tear it down! Tear it down to its foundation.”
You destructive people of Babylon,
blessed is the one who pays you back
with the same treatment you gave us.
Blessed is the one who grabs your little children
and smashes them against a rock.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Proverbs 30:10

Against Slander

[To the audience]

10 “Do not slander a slave to his master.
The slave will curse you,
and you will be found guilty.”

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday December 17, 2017 (NIV)

Nahum 1-3

Nahum’s Vision

This is a revelation from the Lord about Nineveh. This book contains the vision of Nahum from Elkosh.

Who Can Withstand the Lord’s Anger?

El Kanna. Yahweh takes revenge.
Yahweh takes revenge and is full of anger.
Yahweh takes revenge against his enemies
and holds a grudge against his foes.
Yahweh is patient and has great strength.
Yahweh will never let the guilty go unpunished.
Raging winds and storms mark his path,
and clouds are the dust from his feet.
He yells at the sea and makes it dry.
He dries up all the rivers.
Bashan and Carmel wither.
The flowers of Lebanon wither.
The mountains quake because of him.
The hills melt.
The earth draws back in his presence.
The world and all who live in it draw back as well.
Who can stand in the presence of his rage?
Who can oppose his burning anger?
He pours out his rage like fire
and smashes the rocky cliffs.

Why Does Nineveh Oppose the Lord?

Yahweh is good.
He is a fortress in the day of trouble.
He knows those who seek shelter in him.
He will put an end to Nineveh
with a devastating flood.
He will pursue his enemies with darkness.
What do you think about Yahweh?
He is the one who will bring Nineveh to an end.
This trouble will never happen again.
10 The people of Nineveh will be like tangled thorns
and like people drunk on their own drink.
They will be completely burned up like very dry straw.
11 From you, Nineveh, a person who plans evil against Yahweh sets out.
His advice is wicked.

Nineveh Will Fall

12 This is what Yahweh says:
Though the people of Nineveh are physically fit and many in number,
they will be cut down and die.
Though I have humbled you, Judah,
I will not humble you again.
13 But now I will break Nineveh’s yoke[a] off of you
and tear its chains from you.

14 Yahweh has given this command about you, Nineveh:
You will no longer have descendants to carry on your name.
I will remove the wooden and metal idols from the temple of your gods.
I will prepare your grave because you are worthless.[b]

An Army Will Conquer Nineveh

15 There on the mountains are the feet of a messenger
who announces the good news: “All is well!”
Celebrate your festivals, Judah! Keep your vows!
This wickedness will never pass your way again.
It will be completely removed.

[c]The one who will scatter you is coming to attack you.
Guard your fortress!
Keep a lookout on the road!
Prepare for battle!
Be very courageous!

Yahweh will restore Jacob’s glory like Israel’s glory,
although enemies have looted it
and have destroyed its vines.

The shields of his warriors are painted red.
His soldiers have red uniforms.
The metal on his chariots flashes fiery red,
so do the spears when they are waved
on the day he prepares for battle.
Chariots are racing madly through the streets,
rushing this way and that in the city squares.
They look like torches, like lightning, as they dart about.
He remembers his best fighting men.
They stumble over themselves as they march.
They hurry to Nineveh’s wall.
The shield has been set up for the battering ram.
The gates of the rivers are opened, and the palace melts away.

Nineveh’s Treasures Will Be Taken

Yahweh has determined:
“It will be stripped.
It will be carried away.
Its young women will be mourning like doves
as they beat their breasts.”
Nineveh was like a pool of water from its first day on.
But now its people are fleeing.
“Stop! Stop!”
But no one turns around.
Steal the silver! Steal the gold!
There is no end to what is stored here—
everything a person could ever want.
10 Nineveh is destroyed, deserted, demolished.
Hearts are melting.
Knees are knocking.
Every stomach becomes upset.
Every face turns pale.

Nineveh Will Be Destroyed

11 Where is the lions’ den,
that feeding place for young lions?
Where are the lion, the lioness, and the lion cub who moved about
with no one to terrify them?
12 The lion tore its prey to pieces to feed its cubs.
It strangled the prey for its mates.
It used to fill its caves with torn carcasses
and its dens with torn flesh.

13 “I am against you, Nineveh,” declares Yahweh Tsebaoth.
“I will send your chariots up in smoke,
and a sword will kill your young lions.
I will remove your prey from the earth,
and no one will ever hear the voice of your messengers again.”

Nineveh’s Punishment for Sin

How horrible it will be for that city of bloody violence!
It is completely full of lies and stolen goods—never without victims.
The sound of the whip!
The sound of rattling wheels!
Horses gallop!
Chariots bounce along!
Horses charge!
Swords flash!
Spears glitter!
Many are killed!
Dead bodies pile up!
There is no end to the corpses!
People trip over corpses
because of Nineveh’s constant prostitution,
this very charming mistress of evil magic.
She used to sell
nations her prostitution
and people her evil magic.
“I am against you, Nineveh,” declares Yahweh Tsebaoth.
“I will lift up your dress over your face.
I will show nations your naked body and kingdoms your disgrace.
I will throw filth on you.
I will make you look like a fool.
I will make you a sight to be seen.
Everyone who sees you will run from you, saying,
‘Nineveh has been violently destroyed!
Who will feel sorry for her?’
Where can I find anyone to comfort you?”

Nineveh Will Not Escape Punishment

Are you better than No-amon,[d] which sits by the streams of the Nile
with water surrounding her?
The sea was her defense.
The water was her wall.
Sudan and Egypt were her endless strength.
Put and the Lybians were her help.
10 Even she went into captivity and was exiled.
Even her little children were smashed to death at every street corner.
Soldiers tossed dice for her important men,
and all her best men were bound in chains.
11 Even you, Nineveh, will stagger like a drunk.
You will disappear.
Even you will look for a fortress to escape from the enemy.
12 All your defenses will be like fig trees with the earliest figs.
When shaken, the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look at your soldiers; they’re women!
The gates of your country are wide open to your enemies.
Fire has destroyed the bars of your gates.

Nineveh’s Strength Will Not Save Her

14 Store water for the siege!
Strengthen your defenses!
Step into the claypits and trample the clay!
Grab the brick mold!
15 Fire will consume you there.
A sword will cut you down.
It will consume you like locusts.
Multiply like locusts!
Multiply like hungry locusts!
16 You have produced more businessmen than there are stars in the sky.
They are like locusts that attack and then fly away.
17 Your officers are like locusts,
and your scribes are like swarms of locusts
that settle on the fences when it is cold.
The sun rises, and they scatter in every direction.
No one knows where they’ve gone.
18 Your shepherds, king of Assyria, have fallen into a deep sleep.
Your best fighting men are at rest.
Your people are scattered on the mountains,
and there is no one to gather them.
19 There is no relief for your collapse.
Your wound is fatal.
All who hear the news about you will clap their hands.
Who hasn’t suffered from your endless evil?

Footnotes:

  1. Nahum 1:13 A yoke is a wooden bar placed over the necks of work animals so that they can pull plows or carts.
  2. Nahum 1:14 Nahum 1:15 in English Bibles is Nahum 2:1 in the Hebrew Bible.
  3. Nahum 2:1 Nahum 2:1–13 in English Bibles is Nahum 2:2–14 in the Hebrew Bible.
  4. Nahum 3:8 The city No-amon, also called Thebes, was the capital of southern Egypt.
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Revelation 8

The Lamb Opens the Seventh Seal

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Seven Angels with Seven Trumpets

Then I saw the seven angels who stand in God’s presence, and they were given seven trumpets. Another angel came with a gold incense burner and stood at the altar. He was given a lot of incense to offer on the gold altar in front of the throne. He offered it with the prayers of all of God’s people. The smoke from the incense went up from the angel’s hand to God along with the prayers of God’s people. The angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. Then there was thunder, noise, lightning, and an earthquake.

The seven angels who had the seven trumpets got ready to blow them.

The First Four Angels Blow Their Trumpets

When the first angel blew his trumpet, hail and fire were mixed with blood, and were thrown on the earth. One-third of the earth was burned up, one-third of the trees was burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

When the second angel blew his trumpet, something like a huge mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. One-third of the sea turned into blood, one-third of the creatures that were living in the sea died, and one-third of the ships were destroyed.

10 When the third angel blew his trumpet, a huge star flaming like a torch fell from the sky. It fell on one-third of the rivers and on the springs. 11 That star was named Wormwood. One-third of the water turned into wormwood, and many people died from this water because it had turned bitter.

12 When the fourth angel blew his trumpet, one-third of the sun, one-third of the moon, and one-third of the stars were struck so that one-third of them turned dark. There was no light for one-third of the day and one-third of the night.

13 I saw an eagle flying overhead, and I heard it say in a loud voice, “Catastrophe, catastrophe, catastrophe for those living on earth, because of the remaining trumpet blasts which the three angels are about to blow.”

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Psalm 136

Psalm 136

Give thanks to Yahweh because he is good,
because his mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the Elohim of gods
because his mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the Adonay of lords
because his mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the only one who does miraculous things—
because his mercy endures forever.
to the one who made the heavens by his understanding—
because his mercy endures forever.
to the one who spread out the earth on the water—
because his mercy endures forever.
to the one who made the great lights—
because his mercy endures forever.
the sun to rule the day—
because his mercy endures forever.
the moon and stars to rule the night—
because his mercy endures forever.

10 Give thanks to the one who killed the firstborn males in Egypt—
because his mercy endures forever.
11 He brought Israel out from among them—
because his mercy endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and a powerful arm—
because his mercy endures forever.

13 Give thanks to one who divided the Red Sea—
because his mercy endures forever.
14 He led Israel through the middle of it—
because his mercy endures forever.
15 He swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea—
because his mercy endures forever.

16 Give thanks to the one who led his people through the desert—
because his mercy endures forever.

17 Give thanks to the one who defeated powerful kings—
because his mercy endures forever.
18 He killed mighty kings—
because his mercy endures forever.
19 King Sihon of the Amorites—
because his mercy endures forever.
20 and King Og of Bashan—
because his mercy endures forever.
21 He gave their land as an inheritance—
because his mercy endures forever.
22 as an inheritance for his servant Israel—
because his mercy endures forever.

23 He remembered us when we were humiliated—
because his mercy endures forever.
24 He snatched us from the grasp of our enemies—
because his mercy endures forever.
25 He gives food to every living creature—
because his mercy endures forever.

26 Give thanks to El of heaven
because his mercy endures forever.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Proverbs 30:7-9

A Prayer

[To God]

“I’ve asked you for two things.
Don’t keep them from me before I die:
Keep vanity and lies far away from me.
Don’t give me either poverty or riches.
Feed me only the food I need,
or I may feel satisfied and deny you
and say, ‘Who is Yahweh?’
or I may become poor and steal
and give the name of my Elohim a bad reputation.

Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

12/16/2017 DAB Transcript

Micah 5:1-7:20, Revelation 7:1-17, Psalms 135:1-21, Proverbs 30:5-6

Today is the 16th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you as we close down another week. And we’ve been reading from the Holman Christian Standard Bible all week, which is what we’ll do today. We’ve been reading through the book of Micah in the Old Testament, which we will conclude today, and then take the next step forward in the book of Revelation, but first, Micah chapter 5 verse 1 through 7:20 today.

Commentary:

Okay. So, let’s take a quick look at what we read in Revelation today. As I said when we began this book, it’s interpretations are many. And that’s a gross understatement. And these interpretations in no way agree with each other in a lot of cases because we have lots of complexity in prophetic utterances and in symbolism and no way to concretely determine time. So, our goal here isn’t to interpret every nuance of the book of Revelation, or any of the associated Old Testament visions and apocalyptic prophecies that exist. We’re just trying to look at things as we go along to keep ourselves rooted in the story and have a bit of context so that we can engage with the text. So, there were seven seals. And Jesus, depicted by John as a lamb, was able to open these seven seals. And we’ve seen six of them opened. And four of those seals represented horsemen and their riders who were tasked with unleashing unrest upon the earth. The fifth seal had to do with those who had been killed for holding on to their faith, martyrs. And the sixth seal seems to depict the end of the cosmos as we know it. So, we’re expecting this seventh seal, but that’s not what we get today. We will get to the seventh seal, but what we have today is a discussion on people who are sealed. So, we had these four horsemen that were sent into the earth and then as we began today’s reading, we have four angels who are standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth. And most scholars would agree, this is symbolism that is meant to show that they have power over the earth. And then another angel rises up from the east and mentions that the earth or the sea or the trees shouldn’t be harmed until the servants of God are sealed, that the seal of God would be placed on their foreheads. And the number of those to be sealed are 144,000, 12,000 each from the named tribes of Israel, but the tribe of Dan and the tribe of Ephraim are omitted from this list. And it gets pretty complicated here, this hundred 144,000. You’ve probably heard of the hundred 144,000 in a lot of ways before. And there’s a wide range of speculation among scholars, and entire church denominations have been formed out of interpreting this. So, if you’re taking a literal view of the book of Revelation, then 144,000 people, 12,000 people exactly from specific tribes will get the seal of Christ. And these are all ethnic Jewish people who know the tribes that they come from, which would be rather complicated, because in a northern kingdom, the kingdom of Israel, the 10 tribes there were taken into exile by Assyria, they’re lost, like, they’re lost to history. And with the southern kingdom, which would be Benjamin and Judah, were taken in exile by Babylon. They were eventually able to go back and they were paying close attention to the Levites, like to the priestly tribe, but tribal identity was mostly lost. So, if John is talking about ethnic Jews then it’s complicated. And if we were taking a presentist attitude, interpretation, like, this is all happening, or this is about to happen, then it’s kind of complicated to find 12,000 ethnic Jews who know the tribe that they are from in this day and age. And it would be equally as difficult to find 144,000 ethnic Jews who live in modern-day Israel who are believers in Jesus. The number is more like 10% of that, just for a little perspective. I mean, there are mega-churches in the world that contain more people who are professing to be followers of Jesus then all of the believers who live in modern-day Israel put together. And for those who don’t take 144,000 as a literal number, some would say that this represents all ethnic Israel, all those who are ethnically Jewish will be saved at Christ’s second coming, while others would say the 144,000 isn’t a literal number, it’s a figurative number, and it represents all who would be sealed, the people of God, and the formation of a new and true Israel. And I’m not going to unpack that conflict right now, like, we’ll wait until we get into Paul’s letters next year, because it would take us on a bunny trail that would take way too long. So, I think it’s safe to say that most, but not all, scholars do not take this 144,000 number to be a literal number with exactly 12,000 people from specific tribes. Like, this is more of a figurative speech representing God’s true people and part of that comes from what comes next. So, we have this 12,000 from all of these tribes numbering 144,000, and we get to the end of that and then John says, after this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language which no one could number standing before the throne and before the lamb and they were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. So, if the numbers just 144,000, then the next thing we know we have people without number. No one can number them. So, more than 144,000, which leads some scholars to say, okay, there’s 144,000 and those people are being sealed in this time of testing, this tribulation, and they’re the remnant army of God. And then we move to this other visionary experience, where the host of heaven, all the souls standing before God and before the Lamb from every nation, and tribe, and tongue are standing before God. And we can easily think these are the ones that have been martyred, but the ones that are martyred are talked about here. So, who is this throng of people dressed in white, if not the hundred 44,000 and the not the martyrs? So, we get an answer that as we read along. One of the elders, so, one of the 24 elders, asks John who they are. Who are the people robed in white? Where did they come from? And, so, John’s like, sir, you know. So, he’s saying, like, you would know but I don’t know. And, so, the elder tells him, these are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. So, these are the ones that stay true. And some interpret this as that these are the true children of God, descended from Abraham. God’s promise to Abraham was that he would multiply their descendants and they wouldn’t be able to be numbered. So, these are the children of God who have come out of the great tribulation. So, for interpreting this futuristically, then there is a great tribulation to come that’s going to be very, very, very difficult on the earth. But if we’re a little more pragmatic in our interpretation, then tribulation has been around a while and Christian specific tribulation has been around since Jesus. And enduring that and growing strong because of it and allowing it to shape us and build character and make us true is part of the metanarrative of the New Testament. Either way, this throng of people from every tribe and nation and tongue are before the Lord and they have washed their robes and they have become white and they have washed them in the blood of the lamb. So, to look at this literally would present some challenges. Like, if you wash a robe in blood it’s not going to come out white. And where did they get these robes in the first place? And where can one acquire one of these robes? It just becomes difficult to make literal. Symbolically, the interpretations are that, you know, those who wash their robe in the blood of the lamb and it comes out white, that is representing the ongoing work of sanctification, the process of becoming pure and clean and Christ like, which requires endurance and perseverance and all the things that we‘ve been talking about all year. And for those people, beautiful, beautiful imagery is given. These people serve God day and night in his sanctuary, in his presence, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them and they won’t hunger anymore and they won’t thirst anymore and the sun won’t beat down on them and strike them anymore and heat won’t hurt them anymore because Jesus, the Lamb, who was at the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will shepherd them. He will guide them to springs of living waters and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And I think that is beautiful no matter how you’re looking at this book, no matter how you’re interpreting this. It’s a beautiful picture that, in the end, there is God’s presence and things are as they should be, and nothing is lost, and there is no lack, and our   tears will be wiped away by God himself, which is where we end today, in the book of Revelation.

Prayer:

Father, once again we’re inviting You to speak through all that we’re reading in Your word and we’re taking it all in and inviting You. And it is our hearts desire to be one in that throng with people from every tribe and nation and tongue. We want to be one of them and we have the clear picture that we must endure and that we must remain true and that our lives can’t be spent just trying to be one in that throng, but one of many that You were able to reach and love and rescue because You were able to work through us. Come, Holy Spirit, give us the eyes and the ears of the Kingdom. May we each be responsible for a great cloud of witnesses celebrating before Your throne. Come Jesus, we pray. In Your holy name, we ask. Amen.

Announcements:

dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here. It’s certainly Christmas time, so it’s Christmas stuff that’s going on around here.

The Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box for 2017 is still available, basically just through the weekend. Monday will be, sort of, last call for arrival by Christmas, you could still order, but by Christmas. And that is only if you live in the United States. If you’re outside the United States that time has passed. We certainly will still send them to you, but it probably won’t arrive for Christmas. So, we’re kind of getting down to it on that. The Christmas Box is, itself, full of goodies – things for you, things for you to give away. There’s the Advent CD from our friends at Mission Chattanooga in there to just continue the season of contemplation of the arrival of the Savior. The family Christmas CD is in there -  lush orchestrations of traditional carols. It’s very contemplative, perfect for a night of shutting off all the lights and just leaving the Christmas lights on taking some time to just drink it in. Two copies of Sneezing Jesus are in the box this year. A book by my friend Ian called The Road Back to You is in the Box. It’s been a book that’s been helpful to me this year. A Black Wing pencil. The Daily Audio Bible Christmas bulb for 2017. And you can only get that in the Christmas Box, is included. A pack of 20 of the Daily Audio Bible Christmas cards for this year. And then your choice of coffee or tea, our Wind Farm coffee or tea. So, check that out. They’re still available.

If you’re looking for that special gift for somebody that you just have been able to figure out yet, especially if their a journaler or a writer, I recommend one of the Daily Audio Bible journaling bundles. Those are fantastic. I love them. I use it every day. And you can look at those in the Lifestyle section of the shop.

Early registration for the More Gathering for women, which happens to make a great gift idea, is open until the end of the year, the early registration pricing until the end of the year. And you can and find out all about that dailyaudiobible.com in the Initiatives section or just go to moregathering.com and you can get all the details there.

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible as we approach the end of the year, and thank you for your partnership, profoundly, there’s a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. If you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996. Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.

And as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.

And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.

Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports:

Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is SarahJane. Yes, that SarahJane. And I would like to say Happy Jesus birthday to all of you. But particularly, Christmas, is a bit of crazy time. You all buy Christmas boxes, which is wonderful, but I get to pack them all and I could not do that without Brad and Patty B, Katy U. The Seabrun family helped out this year and also Al and a bunch of others. In fact, I always have to do a throwback to Marc and Sheryl M. I am very, very, very blessed that we have awesome help in Colorado Springs. So, if you live in Colorado Springs and you’re interested, drop me an email. And again, as for every year, thank you to my volunteer team and bless all of you enjoying your Christmas Boxes. Love you.

Hey family, it’s SarahJane again and I forgot to say thank you to Beth and Paul, who were also there…and I shouldn’t have named names…but I really am blessed for my volunteer team. Love ya.

Hey Daily Audio Bible family. This is Joyce in California and I had a really rough day with pain today. And I just finished hearing the prayer line. Thank you so much. I just love you guys so much. And I’m so grateful. These are…I’m just so happy. I’m so amazed at our beautiful family, that even if we haven’t seen each other or met each other that we can love each other so much. Thank you so much. I just…and mother Annette from Oklahoma City, I love your voice. I love all your calls and so many others. I just…thank you. Thank you so much, all of you for being here with me. And my studies have been amazing. I’ve been retaining things. I read it once and I can get through it. And I scored 100% on some of my practice tests and I slept well and I’m just praising God for each of you. The Lord’s brought me here so I could find family at last and I’m so grateful. Thank you so, so much. God bless you. I love you all. Ok. Bye-bye.

Hello everyone. This is Abiding in Him. I’d like to pray for our sister Marked as His in Wisconsin. Lord, we thank You so much for our sister and we rejoice with her in the news that her mother is doing well after fighting cancer Lord, that the harvest has come in plentiful Lord. We just thank You for Your wonderful goodness and Your mercy to us Lord. And I also thank You for my sister’s honesty in that she’s struggling, that someone that once took advantage of her in enjoying things in life that she’s yet to enjoy, but it seems horribly unfair in a life that has had many unfair moments. Lord, I pray that You come meet with my sister in a special way, that You reach out to her in the depths of her struggle and the pain and You reveal to her a deeper love, a deeper connection, a deeper abiding that is available to those who have suffered and lost much. It seems that in this world Lord, You strip many things away from us in order to bring us closer to You. And in a way, we should be thankful for these opportunities but they still hurt. They still cause pain. So, that great mystery Lord, where You enter into our pain and You manifest Yourself as being present and close, despite our anguish Lord. I pray for that peace to come to her for my sister. She says she’s Marked as Yours Lord, so, prove it to her, in a special, individual and unique way that only You can do. We ask for the comfort of Your Holy Spirit. Lord, we praise You and thank You for everything we have. In Jesus’ name.

Hi family. I desperately, desperately need your prayers. This is Amanda from Williamsburg, Virginia. I need prayers for my children’s school. We went to a parent’s meeting last night and they told us last night that we are going to be doing emergency fund raisers and things like that, but the landlord has really taken advantage of them and like tripled the rent and all of this. And they’re not sure how they are going to make this…through the school year. And the heartbreaking part is, this Greenwood Christian Academy is amazing. It has incredible academics and incredible teachers and it’s a small Christian academy. My 5 children thrive there. And it breaks my heart. I don’t know what to do. So, the only thing I know to do is to turn to you. Family, please, lift up Greenwood Christian Academy. Help us to raise $100,000, help us to find a new location. We just…we need God to move. And we know that He has a plan and we’re trusting Him and we’re are all working hard…but we just need…we just need intercession, please. Please just lift up the community of Williamsburg, Virginia, that they can come around this amazing school and these amazing kids and these amazing teachers and see it for the gem that it is and just be able to push forth and grow this school. We need this. Our children’s future needs this. Just, please, pray for our education. Thank you.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday December 16, 2017 (NIV)

Micah 5-7

From Defeated Ruler to Conquering King

[a]Now, daughter who is under attack,
you slash yourself in grief;
a siege is set against us!
They are striking the judge(A) of Israel
on the cheek with a rod.
[b]Bethlehem Ephrathah,(B)
you are small among the clans of Judah;
One will come from you(C)
to be ruler over Israel for Me.(D)
His origin[c] is from antiquity,(E)
from eternity.[d]
Therefore, He will abandon them(F) until the time
when she who is in labor(G) has given birth;
then the rest of His brothers(H) will return
to the people of Israel.(I)
He will stand and shepherd them(J)
in the strength of Yahweh,
in the majestic name of Yahweh His God.
They will live securely,
for then His greatness will extend
to the ends of the earth.(K)
He will be their peace.(L)
When Assyria invades our land,(M)
when it marches against our fortresses,
we will raise against it seven shepherds,
even eight leaders of men.
They will shepherd(N) the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod(O) with a drawn blade.[e]
So He will rescue us(P) from Assyria
when it invades our land,
when it marches against our territory.

The Glorious and Purified Remnant

Then the remnant of Jacob(Q)
will be among many peoples
like dew from the Lord,(R)
like showers on the grass,(S)
which do not wait for anyone
or linger for mankind.
Then the remnant of Jacob
will be among the nations, among many peoples,
like a lion among animals of the forest,(T)
like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which tramples(U) and tears(V) as it passes through,
and there is no one to rescue them.(W)
Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries,(X)
and all your enemies will be destroyed.

10 In that day—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
I will remove your horses from you(Y)
and wreck your chariots.
11 I will remove the cities of your land(Z)
and tear down all your fortresses.(AA)
12 I will remove sorceries from your hands,(AB)
and you will not have any more fortune-tellers.
13 I will remove your carved images(AC)
and sacred pillars from you
so that you will not bow down again
to the work of your hands.
14 I will pull up the Asherah poles(AD) from among you(AE)
and demolish your cities.[f]
15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath(AF)
against the nations that have not obeyed Me.

God’s Lawsuit against Judah

Now listen to what the Lord is saying:

Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
Listen to the Lord’s lawsuit,(AG)
you mountains and enduring foundations of the earth,(AH)
because the Lord has a case against His people,(AI)
and He will argue it against Israel.
My people,(AJ) what have I done to you,(AK)
or how have I wearied you?(AL)
Testify against Me!
Indeed, I brought you up(AM) from the land of Egypt
and redeemed you(AN) from that place of slavery.(AO)
I sent Moses,(AP) Aaron, and Miriam(AQ) ahead of you.
My people,
remember what Balak king of Moab(AR) proposed,
what Balaam son of Beor answered him,(AS)
and what happened from the Acacia Grove[g](AT) to Gilgal(AU)
so that you may acknowledge
the Lord’s righteous acts.(AV)

What should I bring before the Lord(AW)
when I come to bow before God on high?
Should I come before Him with burnt offerings,(AX)
with year-old calves?
Would the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams(AY)
or with ten thousand streams of oil?
Should I give my firstborn for my transgression,(AZ)
the child of my body for my own sin?

Mankind, He has told you what is good(BA)
and what it is the Lord requires of you:(BB)
to act justly,(BC)
to love faithfulness,(BD)
and to walk humbly with your God.(BE)

Verdict of Judgment

The voice of Yahweh calls out to the city[h]
(and it is wise to fear Your name):
“Pay attention to the rod
and the One who ordained it.[i]
10 Are there still[j] the treasures of wickedness(BF)
and the accursed short measure(BG)
in the house of the wicked?
11 Can I excuse wicked scales
or bags of deceptive weights?(BH)
12 For the wealthy of the city are full of violence,(BI)
and its residents speak lies;(BJ)
the tongues in their mouths are deceitful.(BK)

13 “As a result, I have begun to strike you severely,[k](BL)
bringing desolation because of your sins.(BM)
14 You will eat but not be satisfied,(BN)
for there will be hunger within you.
What you acquire, you cannot save,(BO)
and what you do save,
I will give to the sword.[l]
15 You will sow but not reap;(BP)
you will press olives
but not anoint yourself with oil;
and you will tread grapes
but not drink the wine.(BQ)
16 The statutes of Omri
and all the practices of Ahab’s house
have been observed;
you have followed their policies.(BR)
Therefore, I will make you a desolate place(BS)
and the city’s[m] residents an object of contempt;[n](BT)
you will bear the scorn of My people.”[o](BU)

Israel’s Moral Decline

How sad for me!
For I am like one who—
when the summer fruit has been gathered
after the gleaning of the grape harvest(BV)
finds no grape cluster to eat,
no early fig, which I crave.(BW)
Godly people have vanished from the land;(BX)
there is no one upright among the people.(BY)
All of them wait in ambush to shed blood;(BZ)
they hunt each other with a net.(CA)
Both hands are good(CB) at accomplishing evil:
the official and the judge demand a bribe;(CC)
when the powerful man communicates his evil desire,
they plot it together.
The best of them is like a brier;(CD)
the most upright is worse than a hedge of thorns.(CE)
The day of your watchmen,
the day of your punishment, is coming;(CF)
at this time their panic is here.(CG)
Do not rely on a friend;(CH)
don’t trust in a close companion.
Seal your mouth
from the woman who lies in your arms.
Surely a son considers his father a fool,(CI)
a daughter opposes her mother,
and a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law;
a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.
But I will look to the Lord;(CJ)
I will wait for the God of my salvation.(CK)
My God will hear me.(CL)

Zion’s Vindication

Do not rejoice over me,(CM) my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will stand up;(CN)
though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.(CO)
Because I have sinned against Him,
I must endure the Lord’s rage
until He argues my case(CP)
and establishes justice for me.(CQ)
He will bring me into the light;(CR)
I will see His salvation.[p](CS)
10 Then my enemy will see,
and she will be covered with shame,
the one who said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”(CT)
My eyes will look at her in triumph;
at that time she will be trampled
like mud in the streets.(CU)

11 A day will come for rebuilding your walls;(CV)
on that day your boundary will be extended.(CW)
12 On that day people will come to you(CX)
from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
even from Egypt to the Euphrates River
and from sea to sea
and mountain to mountain.
13 Then the earth will become a wasteland(CY)
because of its inhabitants
and as a result of their actions.(CZ)

Micah’s Prayer Answered

14 Shepherd Your people(DA) with Your staff,(DB)
the flock that is Your possession.
They live alone(DC) in a woodland
surrounded by pastures.
Let them graze in Bashan and Gilead(DD)
as in ancient times.(DE)

15 I will perform miracles for them[q]
as in the days of your exodus
from the land of Egypt.(DF)
16 Nations will see and be ashamed
of[r] all their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths,(DG)
and their ears will become deaf.
17 They will lick the dust like a snake;(DH)
they will come trembling out of their hiding places(DI)
like reptiles slithering on the ground.(DJ)
They will tremble in the presence of Yahweh our God;(DK)
they will stand in awe of You.

18 Who is a God like You,(DL)
removing iniquity and passing over rebellion(DM)
for the remnant of His inheritance?(DN)
He does not hold on to His anger forever,(DO)
because He delights in faithful love.(DP)
19 He will again have compassion on us;
He will vanquish our iniquities.(DQ)
You will cast all our[s] sins
into the depths of the sea.(DR)
20 You will show loyalty to Jacob(DS)
and faithful love to Abraham,
as You swore to our fathers(DT)
from days long ago.

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 5:1 Mc 4:14 in Hb
  2. Micah 5:2 Mc 5:1 in Hb
  3. Micah 5:2 Lit His going out
  4. Micah 5:2 Or from ancient times
  5. Micah 5:6 Aq, Vg; MT, Sym read Nimrod at its gateways
  6. Micah 5:14 Or shrines
  7. Micah 6:5 Or Shittim
  8. Micah 6:9 = Jerusalem
  9. Micah 6:9 Or attention, you tribe. Who has ordained it?; Hb obscure
  10. Micah 6:10 Hb obscure
  11. Micah 6:13 LXX, Aq, Theod, Syr, Vg; MT reads I have made [you] sick by striking you down
  12. Micah 6:14 Hb obscure
  13. Micah 6:16 Lit and its
  14. Micah 6:16 Lit residents a hissing
  15. Micah 6:16 LXX reads of the peoples
  16. Micah 7:9 Or righteousness
  17. Micah 7:15 = Israel
  18. Micah 7:16 Or ashamed in spite of
  19. Micah 7:19 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read their

Cross references:

  1. 5:1 : 1Kg 22:24; Jb 16:10; Lm 3:30
  2. 5:2 : Gn 35:19; Ru 4:11; 1Sm 17:12; Mt 2:6
  3. 5:2 : Is 11:1; Lk 2:4
  4. 5:2 : 2Ch 7:18; Is 11:1; Jr 30:21; Zch 9:9; Mt 2:6
  5. 5:2 : Ps 74:2; 102:25; Pr 8:22-23; Hab 1:12
  6. 5:3 : Hs 11:8; Mc 4:10; 7:13
  7. 5:3 : Mc 4:9-10
  8. 5:3 : Is 10:20-22; Mc 5:7-8
  9. 5:3 : Mc 4:6-7
  10. 5:4 : Is 40:11; 49:9; Ezk 34:13-15, 23-24; Mc 7:14
  11. 5:4 : Is 45:22; 52:10
  12. 5:5 : Is 9:6
  13. 5:5 : Is 8:7-8; 10:24-27
  14. 5:6 : Nah 2:11-13; Zph 2:13
  15. 5:6 : Gn 10:8-12
  16. 5:6 : Is 14:25; 37:36-37
  17. 5:7 : Is 10:21; Mc 2:12; 4:7; 7:18
  18. 5:7 : Dt 32:2; 2Sm 17:12; Ps 110:3; Hs 14:5
  19. 5:7 : Ps 72:6; Is 44:3
  20. 5:8 : Gn 49:9; Nm 24:9
  21. 5:8 : Ps 44:5; Is 41:15-16; Mc 4:13; Zch 10:5
  22. 5:8 : Hs 5:14
  23. 5:8 : Ps 50:22
  24. 5:9 : Ps 10:12; 21:8; Is 26:11
  25. 5:10 : Dt 17:16; Is 2:7; Hs 14:3
  26. 5:11 : Is 1:7; 6:11
  27. 5:11 : Is 2:12-17; Hs 10:14; Am 5:9
  28. 5:12 : Dt 18:10-12; Is 2:6; 8:19
  29. 5:13 : Is 2:18, 20; 17:8; Ezk 6:9
  30. 5:14 : Dt 16:21
  31. 5:14 : Ex 34:13; Is 27:9
  32. 5:15 : Is 1:24; 65:12
  33. 6:2 : Is 3:13; Jr 2:9
  34. 6:2 : 2Sm 22:16; Ps 104:5
  35. 6:2 : Is 1:18; Hs 4:1; 12:2
  36. 6:3 : Ps 50:7
  37. 6:3 : Jr 2:5
  38. 6:3 : Is 43:22-23
  39. 6:4 : Ex 12:51; 20:2
  40. 6:4 : Dt 7:8
  41. 6:4 : Ex 20:2
  42. 6:4 : Ps 77:20
  43. 6:4 : Ex 15:20
  44. 6:5 : Nm 22:5-6
  45. 6:5 : Nm 22–24
  46. 6:5 : Nm 25:1; Jos 2:1; 3:1
  47. 6:5 : Jos 4:19; 5:9-10
  48. 6:5 : 1Sm 12:7; Ps 103:6; Is 1:27
  49. 6:6 : Ps 40:6-8
  50. 6:6 : Ps 51:16-17
  51. 6:7 : Ps 50:9; Is 40:16
  52. 6:7 : Lv 18:21; 20:1-5; Jr 7:31
  53. 6:8 : Dt 30:15
  54. 6:8 : Dt 10:12
  55. 6:8 : Is 56:1; Jr 22:3; Mt 23:23
  56. 6:8 : Hs 6:6
  57. 6:8 : Is 57:15; 66:2
  58. 6:10 : Jr 5:26-27; Am 3:10
  59. 6:10 : Ezk 45:9-10; Am 8:5
  60. 6:11 : Lv 19:36; Hs 12:7
  61. 6:12 : Is 1:23; 5:7; Am 6:3-4; Mc 2:1-2
  62. 6:12 : Jr 9:2-6, 8; Hs 7:13; Am 2:4
  63. 6:12 : Is 3:8
  64. 6:13 : Mc 1:9
  65. 6:13 : Is 1:7; 6:11
  66. 6:14 : Is 9:20
  67. 6:14 : Is 30:6
  68. 6:15 : Dt 28:38-40; Jr 12:13
  69. 6:15 : Am 5:11; Zph 1:13
  70. 6:16 : 1Kg 16:25-34; 2Kg 21:3; 2Ch 21:6, 13; Jr 7:24
  71. 6:16 : Jr 18:16
  72. 6:16 : Jr 19:8; 25:9, 18; 29:18
  73. 6:16 : Ps 44:13; Jr 51:51; Hs 12:14
  74. 7:1 : Is 24:13
  75. 7:1 : Is 28:4; Hs 9:10
  76. 7:2 : Is 57:1
  77. 7:2 : 1Kg 19:10
  78. 7:2 : Is 59:7; Mc 3:10
  79. 7:2 : Jr 5:26; Hs 5:1
  80. 7:3 : Pr 4:16-17
  81. 7:3 : Am 5:12; Mc 3:11
  82. 7:4 : Ezk 2:6; 28:24
  83. 7:4 : Nah 1:10
  84. 7:4 : Is 10:3; Hs 9:7
  85. 7:4 : Is 22:5
  86. 7:5 : Jr 9:4
  87. 7:6 : Mt 10:21, 35-36; Lk 12:53
  88. 7:7 : Hab 2:1
  89. 7:7 : Ps 130:5; Is 25:9
  90. 7:7 : Ps 4:3
  91. 7:8 : Ob 12
  92. 7:8 : Am 9:11
  93. 7:8 : Ps 27:1; Is 9:2
  94. 7:9 : Jr 50:34
  95. 7:9 : Jb 23:3-7; Lm 3:58
  96. 7:9 : Ps 37:6; Is 42:7, 16
  97. 7:9 : Is 46:13; 56:1
  98. 7:10 : Ps 42:3, 10; 79:10; 115:2; Jl 2:17
  99. 7:10 : Ps 18:42; Zch 10:5
  100. 7:11 : Is 54:11; Am 9:11
  101. 7:11 : Zph 2:2
  102. 7:12 : Is 19:23-25; 60:4, 9
  103. 7:13 : Jr 25:11; Mc 6:13
  104. 7:13 : Is 3:10-11; Mc 3:4
  105. 7:14 : Ps 95:7; Is 40:11; 49:10; Mc 5:4
  106. 7:14 : Lv 27:32; Ps 23:4
  107. 7:14 : Nm 23:9; Dt 33:28
  108. 7:14 : Jr 50:19
  109. 7:14 : Am 9:11
  110. 7:15 : Ex 3:20; 34:10; Ps 78:11-16
  111. 7:16 : Mc 3:7
  112. 7:17 : Ps 72:9; Is 49:23
  113. 7:17 : Ps 18:45
  114. 7:17 : Dt 32:24
  115. 7:17 : Is 25:3; 59:19
  116. 7:18 : Ex 15:11; Ps 71:19; Is 40:18
  117. 7:18 : Ex 34:7, 9; Is 43:25; Rm 3:25
  118. 7:18 : Mc 2:12; 4:7; 5:7-8
  119. 7:18 : Ps 103:8-9, 13
  120. 7:18 : Jr 32:41
  121. 7:19 : Jr 50:20
  122. 7:18-19 : Ps 103:9-12; Is 38:17; 43:25; Jr 31:34
  123. 7:20 : Gn 24:27; 32:10
  124. 7:20 : Dt 7:8, 12

Revelation 7

The Sealed of Israel

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth,(A) restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel, who had the seal of the living God rise up from the east. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were empowered[a] to harm the earth and the sea: “Don’t harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed:

144,000 sealed from every tribe of the Israelites:
12,000 sealed from the tribe of Judah,
12,000[b] from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 sealed from the tribe of Benjamin.

A Multitude from the Great Tribulation

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!

11 All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and strength
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.

13 Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these people robed in white, and where did they come from?”

14 I said to him, “Sir,[c] you know.”

Then he told me:

These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation.
They washed their robes and made them white(B)
in the blood of the Lamb.
15 For this reason they are before the throne of God,
and they serve Him day and night in His sanctuary.
The One seated on the throne will shelter[d] them:
16 They will no longer hunger;
they will no longer thirst;
the sun will no longer strike them,
nor will any heat.(C)
17 For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne
will shepherd them;(D)
He will guide them to springs of living waters,(E)
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.(F)

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 7:2 Lit angels to whom it was given
  2. Revelation 7:5 Other mss add sealed after each number
  3. Revelation 7:14 Lit My lord
  4. Revelation 7:15 Or will spread His tent over

Psalm 135

Psalm 135

Yahweh Is Great

Hallelujah!
Praise the name of Yahweh.
Give praise, you servants of Yahweh(A)
who stand in the house of Yahweh,
in the courts of the house of our God.(B)
Praise Yahweh, for Yahweh is good;
sing praise to His name, for it is delightful.(C)
For Yahweh has chosen Jacob for Himself,
Israel as His treasured possession.(D)

For I know that Yahweh is great;
our Lord is greater than all gods.(E)
Yahweh does whatever He pleases
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all the depths.(F)
He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain
and brings the wind from His storehouses.(G)

He struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
both man and beast.(H)
He sent signs and wonders against you, Egypt,
against Pharaoh and all his officials.(I)
10 He struck down many nations
and slaughtered mighty kings:(J)
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kings of Canaan.(K)
12 He gave their land as an inheritance,
an inheritance to His people Israel.(L)

13 Yahweh, Your name endures forever,
Your reputation, Yahweh,
through all generations.(M)
14 For Yahweh will vindicate His people
and have compassion on His servants.(N)

15 The idols of the nations are of silver and gold,
made by human hands.(O)
16 They have mouths but cannot speak,(P)
eyes, but cannot see.
17 They have ears but cannot hear;
indeed, there is no breath in their mouths.(Q)
18 Those who make them are just like them,
as are all who trust in them.(R)

19 House of Israel, praise Yahweh!(S)
House of Aaron, praise Yahweh!(T)
20 House of Levi, praise Yahweh!
You who revere the Lord, praise the Lord!(U)
21 May the Lord be praised from Zion;(V)
He dwells in Jerusalem.(W)
Hallelujah!

Proverbs 30:5-6

Every word of God is pure;[a](A)
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.(B)
Don’t add to His words,(C)
or He will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.(D)

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 30:5 Lit refined

12/15/2017 DAB Transcript

Micah 1:1-4:13, Revelations 6:1-17, Psalms 134:1-3, Proverbs 30:1-4

Today is the 15th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it’s wonderful to be here with you today. We’re just 10 days out from Christmas. A week and a half from today it will be Christmas. And it leaves us about 2-½ weeks left in the year. And we’re cruising along at a fast clip as we approach the end of the year. Today, we begin the book of Micah in the Old Testament. We’ll spend a couple days in Micah as we continue through Revelation in the New Testament.

Micah:

Micah was a prophet who was a contemporary with the prophet Isaiah. And Micah seemed to have the same kind of access and voice in the king’s life as an advisor as Isaiah had. And we learn this from the book of Jeremiah. Pretty much everything else we know about Micah is found in the book of Jeremiah, that he prophesied during the days of King Hezekiah of Judah, that he was from the town of Moreisheth. Micah’s prophetic utterances, the book that we’re about to read, speak directly against leaders who have led the people away from God and of the corruption that is involved in that. False prophets, rulers, priests, they’ve all misled the people. And because of this, judgment will fall, but Micah is not just a book of judgment and doom. It’s also hopeful and speaks of the restoration of God’s people and reiterates a message running through the entire Bible - there’s a right way and there’s a wrong way and if we step out of grace we’re certain to feel the repercussions of the wrong way. But after judgment comes restoration. So, through the prophet Micah we see a clear line in the sand as we often do. God lays out his requirements for justice, obedience, and loyalty, but he also shows what happens when those requirements aren’t heeded. And, so, we begin. Micah chapter 1 verse 1 through 4 verse 13 today. And we’re reading from the Holman Christian Standard Bible this week.

Commentary:

Okay, let’s move ourselves back into the book of Revelation since we’ve been away for a couple of days and try to catch ourselves up. So, we have these seven letters to seven churches and after John wrote down what he was told to say, a door in heaven was opened up and John was caught up in the spirit to a place that he identifies as heaven into a throne room or throne area of God. And we don’t know like if this is partially outside or fully outside or inside. The sea is like glass before the throne. We don’t know if that’s a liquid sea made out of something different than water or if that just means that it was super calm. All the sudden where getting glimpses of God. And John says, the one sitting on throne looked like jasper and carnelian stone and there was a rainbow around the throne. So, he’s describing what he’s seeing but he doesn’t really have words to describe what he’s seeing. And this brings us to a few things that we should look at and remember as we’re moving forward. So, first of all, when John was on the island Patmos experiencing these visions and writing these things down, it was his understanding that he was writing about things that were happening and about things that were going to happen. So, this is largely a prophetic book in the tradition of Old Testament prophets and Old Testament prophetic books that were in existence. And there are many, many parallels in the book of Revelation that hearken back to earlier prophetic books in the Old Testament, books like Daniel and Ezekiel and Isaiah, just to name a few. Some of the same imagery from those writings are found in the book of Revelation. And scholars have been studying these parallels, trying to interpret them, trying to understand what’s being talked about for centuries. Which brings us to the second thing that we need to pay attention to, and that is time. When a prophecy is given it’s usually not known when the events that are being described are going to take place, other than to know that it’s not now. It’s future. Maybe the immediate future, it may be a distant future, but it hasn’t happened yet. Which leads a reader to invariably question whatever prophecy they’re reading and wonder, if it’s now, like, is this all happening now, or is about to happen and be something that I witness, I see, I experience. And a lot of people read the book of Revelation, in particular, even though it’s heavily influenced by symbolism from much earlier prophetic writings, in terms of their immediate present. So, this would be called, like, a presentist interpretation. In other words, these ancient prophecies are coming to be fulfilled before my eyes in the here and now. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, the entire book of Matthew, the first gospel that we read, has very much a presenttist attitude toward Jesus. Like, he can’t hardly turn around in the book of Matthew without fulfilling some prophecy. This is a very, very important thing to the writer of Matthew. It’s very, very important to him. It’s one of the primary missions of his gospel. But no matter what time period we’re talking about or talking about, when we’re talking about prophecy, we’re going to find a wide range of opinion, scholarly studied studious opinion from historical and theological perspectives that are widely in disagreement with each other. And we see this all over the Bible. So, if we’re talking about Old Testament prophets, they were rarely heeded, they were very, very often ostracized. And most of the time the writings of the prophets weren’t affirmed as something inspired by God or something to be held sacred as Scripture until much later. In many of the Old Testament prophets, we see other “prophets” who are saying completely different things. Like, so, a prophet will come in and speak to the prophets who were prophesying things that aren’t from God. And, so, this other prophet comes along to denounce them. And then there’s like a battle between them. Not like a war, but like a war of words. So, prophetic disagreement has a long history. And some of the problem comes from dating. Right? So, from time. When will this happen? Because there’s a dominant apocalyptic worldview found throughout the Bible, which is essentially the idea that the world as we know it will come to a close and something new will be reborn. God will do a new thing. And this will be like giving birth. There will be labor pains involved. So, that leads everyone who reads to go, okay, are we in this? Are we about to be in this? When is this going to happen? So, we get to the book of Revelation and we have a very presenttist reading. Every generation does it. Everyone thinks it’s now. And a lot of what feeds that is the third thing that we need to remember, symbolism. And we begin to encounter symbolism as we move out of the letters to the churches and move more into the body of the book of Revelation. So, we have John, who has been caught up in the spirit into heaven, standing before, what appears to be the throne of God, with 24 other thrones the belong to elders and some beasts who look similar to Ezekiel’s writings - and I see, like, glass and rainbows. So, we have John who is seeing things he has never seen before and trying to describe what he is seeing. And, so, he does what we all do when we can’t literally describe something, we use metaphor or symbolism to evoke what we’re talking about. So, these three things: prophecy, time, and symbolism present tremendous complexity in trying to arrive at interpretation, because there’s no key. Like, John didn’t write down, I’m saying this literally, and I’m saying this figuratively, you should take this allegorically, you should take this as absolute fact. So, as we come out of these letters and John is caught up into this spirit into heaven and sees God and describes God, should we then say that God, our Father God, looks like jasper and carnelian stone? Or was that just the best use of his vocabulary, the best words he could use to describe what was indescribable and what he was seeing? And we could say, probably a little bit of both. There’s a lot of strange symbolism, strange creatures, strange goings on in the Old Testament prophets, in many of them, and in the book of Revelation. And Scholars have been trying to figure out the symbolism for millennia. And these disciplines vary widely from a pragmatic, nonreligious look at symbology to some of the very sensational but often very contradictory interpretations that we’ve always found and that exist in the world today. So, the symbolism has always been challenging. And predicting the timing of these events has also been challenging. So, like, when Daniel has a vision or when Ezekiel has a vision and he’s caught up and he sees these things or when John is in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and he’s caught up, and he sees these things, these guys are seeing into the heavenly realms. They’re being caught up into a place where there isn’t time. So, using prophecy, symbolism, and time still leaves a lot of challenges about what has happened, what is happening, what has yet to happen, and you can find scholarship of people who will point by point take you through all the entire thing and say it’s all already happened. You can find other people who would say it’s happening. And you will have other people who will say it is yet to happen. So, I just want to be clear. As we go through this and we talk about this, I’m not trying to interpret the book of Revelation. I don’t think I’m qualified enough to do that, but I do thing and qualified enough to point out some things. So, we had the letters, then we have John caught up into heaven, and he’s before the throne of God, and a glassy sea and rainbows, and 24 elders and creatures, and hymns, like holy, holy, holy, Lord, God the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming. These are things that John heard being sung in heaven, hymns of worship from heaven. And in yesterday’s reading from Revelation, the whole scene began to unfold. There was one sitting on a throne on the right hand of God who had a scroll or a book that was sealed up with seven seals. From a scholarship perspective, there is some basic consensus here, that seals historically mean that something is hidden and that can only be opened by one who breaks the seal and as each subsequent seal is opened more is revealed. The problem is there’s an angel, saying, who is worthy to open? Right? Who can break these seals and open the scroll? But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it, the book of Revelation says. And John then says, he cried and cried because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it. So, why is John in heaven before God crying and crying? Why is he so sad? It’s probably because he thinks what’s in the scrolls is the redemptive destiny of God’s people, but if there is no one worthy in heaven to tell that story then maybe it can’t happen. And everything that John and all of his ancestors of hoped in for so long isn’t going to happen. And that’s been a problem, because everyone including the apostle Paul thought things were going to happen much sooner than they had and they still hadn’t happened and they were still trying to figure it out. And, so, here’s John caught up into heaven, and maybe it’s not going to happen, but an angel invites John to stop crying. And then the lion from the tribe of Judah is revealed, the root of David was been victorious, he can open the scroll. And then we get another picture of Jesus. So, John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and he turned around he saw some lampstands in the first place. Like, when all of this started and he saw Jesus with white hair and flaming eyes and this image of the cosmic Christ. Now he’s caught up into heaven and the scrolls can’t be opened until Jesus steps forward, and John describes him differently. Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb standing between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders and he had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. And he came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the one seated on the throne. So, we have some symbolism here and can it be unraveled. I mean, if we were to take a literalistic view of what’s being said here, then we would say, Jesus has become an actual lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, and somehow as an actual lamb, he took the scroll with his hoofs out of the hand of God, and somehow with his hooves he was able to break the seals. Right? So, like, you can go, like, I’m just going to read this book literally and what it says it says. Or I’m just only going to read this book allegorically and see what it says or I’m just going to try and find a happy balance here, but how do you know? This is why these books of prophecy, especially with apocalyptic visions, have been examined for thousands of years. But nevertheless, Jesus takes the scroll and everyone falls down before the lamb, and more hymns are sung from heaven. And present at this event appear to be the living beings that Ezekiel saw and the elders that Isaiah saw and they fall down and worship the lamb. And beyond all of the debate about all of the symbolism that surrounds this, there is consensus among scholars in calling the scene that we’re seeing here an enthronement scene, where Jesus is being acknowledged. Which brings us to today’s rating where six of the seven seals are broken. And just to give you like a birds eye view of the minutia of scholarship that goes into these kinds of works, it’s been debated whether this document that has seven seals was a book, a codex, a scroll, or what. If there’s seven seals and each one that’s broken reveals something further, how could you do that with the scroll? Wouldn’t you need some kind of codex or some kind of book in order to be able to do that? And what’s in the book? Is this the Lamb’s book of life? Is this the names of everybody? Or is this some kind of prophecy about what’s coming next? Obviously, when the scrolls are broken, we find out that it’s not names. And yet, many have called this the names of life. This is where the names of everyone that gets in is contained. So, you can see that this is one thing, like, every single word here, every single symbol has been looked at from so many angles. But Jesus breaks seals and when He does break seals in succession things happen. And the first four seals, as their broken, reveal horsemen and horses and four things happen in succession. The first seal is broken, a white horse appears, the horsemen on the white horse has a bow and a crown that was given to him, and he went out as a victor to conquer. And then the second seal was broken and another horse appears and this one’s a red one and it it’s horsemen has the task and was empowered to take peace from the earth, so that there would be conflict in battle and death. And he was given a large sword to take with him. And then the third seal was broken and there was another horse and this one was a black horse and the horsemen had scales and it is widely thought that this this represents famine. And there was something like a voice from the four living creatures which appear to be the same kind of creatures that Ezekiel saw. So, John heard a voice coming from among the four living creatures. So, maybe they’re all saying something at the same time or they’re connected somehow. This is all very Ezekiel like imagery. And I say a quart of wheat for a denarius, and 3 quarts of barley for a denarius, but do not harm the olive oil and the wine. Those are the instructions to the black horse and its rider. And it’s been noted, like if we were to talk about the actual time that John was writing this, that these prices would be very, very inflated. So, in other words, to get enough food, you’d have to work all day just to get enough food to survive based on what the creatures are telling the horsemen to weigh out and how things are supposed to be priced. And, so, there’s a famine. And the next seal is broken and is a pale green horse. And this horsemen has a name, whereas the other ones don’t. And this horsemen is named death and Hades. So, the realm of the dead follows close behind. And his mission was to preside over the death of 25% of the earth’s population. And some of that will happen by the sword, by war, some that would happen through famine and plague, and some that would happen by the wild animals of the earth. So, the question is, okay, this is a prophetic utterance that was uttered some 2000 years ago. Have these things happened? When Jesus broke the scrolls, did that set about these events? Did they begin to happen? Have they already happened? Are they happening now? Or are they yet to happen? Well, I mean, conquest and victory, that’s been around a long time. Peace being taken from the earth so that people are in conflict with each other and go to war, that’s also been happening in the last couple thousand years and before that. Famine is something that has existed since this was written down and it happened before that. And significant loss of life through death in battle, in war, in famine, by plague, by wild animal, those things also happened and continue to happen. But this brings up some interesting things to think about. Jesus is the one breaking the seals. And whether these horses and riders are actual heavenly beings being sent to preside over these events or if they’re the same horsemen found in the book of Zechariah, or whether there more allegorical announcements that these things have begun or are about to begin, this is taking place because Jesus is breaking the seals and these horses and riders are being sent from the throne of God to take care of these things. And they appear to be in line with the prophetic tradition of warning and judgment. And now, Jesus is presiding over that judgment. And many biblical scholars and commentators have commented that this kind of judgment has a twofold purpose. One is judicial, its judgment, its justice. But two, its redemptive. And some have said compellingly that, if the book of revelations is to be looked at in the tradition of Old Testament prophecy then the children of Israel had to go through the things that they had to go through. It purified them. And then there was a new beginning, which brings us to the fifth seal that was broken. When this one was broken, those who had been killed for their testimony and their faithfulness to the Lord appeared under the altar and they had a message. They were saying something. Lord you are holy and true. How long until you judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth? And this, how long, kind of language is all over the Psalms. And the problem is we don’t know exactly when this is happening. So, like, if this happening in John’s time then it’s everyone who has been martyred up to this point. If we’re outside of time then it could be, you know, it could be any period. All we know is that it’s not done because a white robe was given to each of the martyrs and they were told to rest a little bit longer until everyone who was going to be martyred is. So, the opening of these seals is loosing upon the earth a judgment and purification and it’s difficult and it’s causing some to fall into the chaos in become in conflict and at war. It’s causing others to be purified and redeemed, because hardship, difficulty suffering, they have a way of peeling back the layers to what is essentially core and true about us. And we’ve seen example after example after example of this in the Scriptures, like in the book of Romans where we’re told to take up our own cross and follow Christ or that we will find our lives by giving them up, we’ll find our life by losing it. These ideas are all throughout the Bible. And then we come to the sixth seal. And there’s no horse and there’s no rider. There’s just sort of the end. And this is in remarkable parallel to the book of Isaiah. So, in Isaiah chapter 34 we read, ‘and the powers of the heavens will melt and the heaven will be rolled up like a scroll, and all the stars will fall as leaves fall from a fig tree.’ When the sixth seal is broken in the book of Revelation we read, ‘and the stars of the heaven fell to the earth as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the heaven was split as a scroll having been rolled up.’ So, if you’re taking a literal view here, then what we’re reading about or what we’re seeing is a picture of the end of the cosmos as we know it. If you’re reading from a little bit more allegorical perspective, than this is this is the condition in the scene that is final judgment. And that is where we leave off today.

Prayer:

Father, Father, we invite you into all of this. It may be difficult for us to unravel exactly everything that’s being said here, but maybe the point is clear, that we have to hold onto You for dear life and that we have to remain faithful to You as You have to us. And that remains true no matter where we are on the continuum. And, so, Holy Spirit, we invite You to help us navigate in this life. And that those bonds of love and loyalty that exist between us become the things that are most valuable to us, that this relationship is the most valuable thing we have and we can lose everything else, but not that. And no one and nothing can take it away. Come, Holy Spirit. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Announcements:

dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here. And, obviously, we’re getting closer by the day to Christmas day.

So, it’s Christmas time around here too and the Daily Audio Christmas Box for 2017 is available. And we’ve curated a number of resources, some for you to keep, some for you to give away, into that box and we’re getting down to last call on these. Monday is the day that we feel like it’s the safe cutoff date for Christmas delivery. And Monday is one week from Christmas day. So, be to be sure to check those out in the Daily Audio Bible shop, in the Christmas section.

The other thing that I’ll mention today is advance early registration for the More Gathering for women is available now through the end of the year. And that makes for a unique and life changing gift idea. So, you can check that out at dailyaudiobible.com as well in the Initiatives section or simply go to moregathering.com and you can find out everything that you would want to know there.

If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here in the last days of the year, as always, thank you humbly. It’s quite an amazing thing  that we do each year, going through the Bible together in community. And thank you for your partnership. That’s how this happens. There’s a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. Thank you for those of you who have clicked that link. If you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.

And as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.

And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.

Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports:

Hi. Daily Audio Bible family. My name is Hose Carols. I’m calling from Mexico City and I want you to help me pray for all the recovering addicts around the world that are facing difficulties to stay sober or clean. As holidays come closer to all the celebrations and sometimes face or struggle more this time of the year with family or loneliness due to the consequence of addiction. I, myself am a recovering addict. I’ve been clean for 17 years by the grace of our God. I met Christ after 2 years of working the program and I still sponsor people in my home group and every time…the holidays and Christmas and unfortunately a lot of people quit and never come back. So, please help me pray. And if you are facing trouble with drinking or using drugs, know that Christ can set you free by his mercy, power, and love. Merry Christmas to all from Mexico.

Hi DAB family. This is Rebecca…I mean…this is Joyce in California. And I wanted to thank Rebecca in north west Arkansas and Kimberly and anyone else who prayed for me. I just wanted to thank you because I’ve been unusually productive in my studies and sleeping a lot more peacefully. This peace and confidence is something that I haven’t felt before and I know it’s got to be your prayers that are providing the spiritual covering so that I can finish my race well. Thank you so much for lifting me up. I’m praising God for you. I recently joined the DAB friends page on Facebook and I found that our community there is just as beautiful as it is here on the prayer line. I encourage anyone who is a little shy to join too so that we can all connect. Even if we haven’t met in person we are all brothers and sisters forever because of Christ who lives in us. We are all more than conquerors and we have not missed our windows of opportunity because of Him who is within us. He is the one who controls all time. I just love you all so much. I wanted to thank you, Brian and Jill, for creating this community. Thank you DAB family. I love you so much and I’m praying for you too. This is Joyce in California.

Hi. My name is Lizzy and I was hoping if you could pray for me about gymnastics because I just really don’t want to go to gymnastics and that it’s just hard for me because I really sweat and if don’t want to do something they still make me do it. It’s just really, really hard for me. So, if you could please pray for me about me not going to gymnastics and that my mom finally decides to get me out of gymnastics. Please. Thank you. Bye.

Hey guys. This is Cherry C. Cherry Pie. Hope all is well. I have a praise report. Malcolm got baptized and I am so excited. And when he went up he was like honey I’m getting baptized today but Malcolm tease so much, I’m thinking, whatever. I don’t have time to play with him in church. So, once the guys did altar calls he went up for altar call and he’s like hey, hold my wallet and glasses and so I’m thinking, maybe he’s going to the bathroom. But he went up and he got baptized. Halleluiah, let the angels sing. I’m so excited, I told him, I said, oh my God felt like I was getting married all over again. So, I just wanted to give you all that praise report. Malcolm’s got baptized. You guys have a great and wonderful and marvelous day. I always keep you guys in prayer. So, you continue to pray for me and I will pray for you. Love you guys.

Hey Daily Audio Bible family. This is Keith. Called to just…yea…like…almost a year ago I totally made a terrible, terrible decision and I just progressively thought I’d get better but the whole year and especially right now, I’m kind of losing it. I’m losing my mind. I try to…I try to draw to God but I feel like forgotten and ignored. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m about to lose everything and…I don’t even know what to say…I’m kind of…you know…losing my mind a little bit and need some prayers. I don’t know when anyone will hear this but please pray for me. I need peace. I can’t find peace. I’m kind of like panicking in this little…one…you know…trapped in my own brain and can’t…can’t find peace at all…can’t find peace…and it just seems like everything is getting worse. Anyway, please pray for me. This is all I have. I love you all. Thank you. Bye.