DBRP_Dec03_2014 Joel1-2 Is44a 2Tim2

Joel is the second book of the minor prophets in the Old Testament. We read Hosea back in September. From now until the end of the year, we will start every day with a reading in the minor prophets. Joel’s name means “Yahweh is God.” It is quite possible that Joel is one of the earliest of the prophets. He is called the ‘prophet of Pentecost’, since Peter quoted from Joel in his speech in Acts 2. The occasion of Joel’s message was a devastating plague of locusts, which foreshadows the ‘Day of the Lord’— a time not for comfort for God’s people, but for punishment because of their sins.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/jol.1.nlt


 

God said in Isaiah 43,

“For your sakes I will send an army against Babylon,

forcing the Babyloniansb to flee in those ships they are so proud of.

God said that the people of Israel had become tired of God and tired of bringing sacrifices. God will do something new:

25“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake

and will never think of them again.

These frequently quoted words are from the beginning of the chapter:

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.

I have called you by name; you are mine.

2When you go through deep waters,

I will be with you.

When you go through rivers of difficulty,

you will not drown.

When you walk through the fire of oppression,

you will not be burned up;

the flames will not consume you.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.44.nlt


 

Paul wrote such personal words to Timothy in chapter 1 of 2 Timothy. What was the spiritual gift that Timothy received when Paul placed his hands on him? Paul wanted Timothy to fan that gift into flame. Is there a clue to what the gift was in the next verse?—

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

Paul says, “I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”

What has Paul entrusted to the Lord? Is it a clue when Paul says,

“Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.”

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/2ti.2.nlt

 


Download LINK

DDd episode thumbnail

DBRP_Dec02_2014 Est9-10 Is43 2Tim1

We have heard how Esther’s request was granted, the king and Haman came to the second banquet, where Esther revealed her identity. The eunuch Harbona just happened to have pertinent information about Haman’s plans for Mordecai, and Mordecai was killed and hung using the pole planned for Mordecai. Mordecai, now in possession of the king’s signet ring, writes an edict that allowed for the Jews to organize and defend themselves against their enemies.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/est.9.nlt

 


 

In Isaiah 42 we heard twice about ‘the servant of the Lord’. The first passage is quoted in the New Testament about Jesus. However in the second, the servant (singular) pictures the people of Israel. Before Christ came, the Jews would have read the first section understanding it also to refer to the people of Israel. This is one of the ways God used to reveal his message to us in this age and conceal it before the time for revealing had come.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.43.nlt

 


 

Today we start Paul’s final letter, 2 Timothy, and it is our final letter from Paul this year. This letter includes some practical instructions for Timothy’s ministry. It also includes precious statements about the inspiration of Scripture and the Lord’s reward for obedience and endurance. I love this letter because it is so very personal. Paul is in a very different imprisonment now, not under house arrest. He knows his time on earth is short. So each personal message to ‘his son’ Timothy is precious to me.

 

It is fitting today that the oldest member of Gale’s family read the first chapter. Norman Chapin, Gale’s father, is 91 years old. He is a fitting reader also because, throughout his life, he has been a faithful soldier of Christ, as a US Navy veteran, as a pastor, as a tool and die maker, and as a missionary with Campus Crusade on military bases.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/2ti.1.nlt


Let’s dig deeper today!

DBRP_Dec01_2014 Est7-8 Is42 2Thes3

In Esther 5 Haman planned to impale Mordecai on a pole. But on the same night that Haman planned for that murder, God caused the king to have a sleepless night and read about Mordecai. Haman came before the king at just the right time to get assigned the task of honoring Mordecai.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/est.7.nlt


 

In Isaiah 41 we again not only heard God predict the future, but also challenge Israel’s idols to prophesy or do anything at all.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.42.nlt


 

The Thessalonians must have wondered how they would hear of Jesus’ return— given that Jesus would touch down so far from them at Jerusalem. We will be able to anticipate Jesus’ return by whether the ‘man of lawlessness’ has appeared, has drawn away many people by working powerful miracles, and has usurped God’s position in the temple. Note that God has not given us the order or timing of these events in relation to what was foretold in 1st Thessalonians.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/2th.3.nlt


Let’s dig deeper today!

DBRP_Nov30_2014 Est5-6 Is41b 2Thes2

In Esther 3-4 Haman cast lots (purim) to find out that March 7 was the lucky date to exterminate the Jews. Mordecai requested that Esther intercede directly to the king. And the only way to do that would endanger Esther herself, since no one was allowed to approach the king in the inner court uninvited.

 

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/est.5.nlt

 

Did you notice that in Isaiah 41, we heard about something Daniel predicted as well?

2 “Who has stirred up this king from the east,

rightly calling him to God’s service?

Who gives this man victory over many nations

and permits him to trample their kings underfoot?

With his sword, he reduces armies to dust.

With his bow, he scatters them like chaff before the wind.

3 He chases them away and goes on safely,

though he is walking over unfamiliar ground.

4 Who has done such mighty deeds,

summoning each new generation from the beginning of time?

It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last.

I alone am he.”

That king from the east was Alexander the Great. And why did the sovereign Lord decide that? The account does not tell us. But history does. It seems to have been God’s plan to extend Greek language and culture and infrastructure to enable the spread of the Gospel when the King of Kings would appear.

 

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.41.nlt

 

In preparing for his topic of Christ’s return, in 2 Thes1 Paul mentioned the punishment of people who refuse to obey the Good News about Christ. They will ‘suffer’ or ‘pay the penalty of eternal destruction’. Note that if people are going to be burned up in hell, or if God’s punishment was simply that people would cease to exist, it would not be called ‘suffer eternal destruction’. This understanding is not just a doctrine. It turns out that this gives great comfort to those who are suffering persecution, and gives a great motivation to all of us for sharing the Good News.

 

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/2th.2.nlt

 

 


Let’s dig deeper today!

DBRP_Nov29_2014 Est3-4 Is41a 2Thes1

I thank Ashlee Smith for recording the part of Esther. Ashlee has often been heard in smaller parts without introduction this year. She directs our church’s program for children and also is the secretary. I thank her also for preparing the PDF files for the podcasts while I was in Indonesia in September and October.

Yesterday we heard how Esther became the queen, and how she continued to keep her Jewish background a secret. We also heard how Mordecai, her uncle, was promoted to a palace official after uncovering a plot to assassinate king Xerxes.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/est.3.nlt


 

The shift to such beautiful poetry that occurs in chapter 40 of Isaiah is one of the things that has made people think the last part of this book was authored by someone else. But that is the silliness of worldly-minded people. As I have pointed out as we have gone along, Isaiah has made beautiful and memorize-able verses from the beginning. And Isaiah’s amazing predictions about the Messiah are not just found in chapter 53, as we heard again yesterday.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.41.nlt


 

Today we start 2nd Thessalonians. We read 1st Thessalonians starting in the last two days of August— for those few of you who are in sync with our calendar. (By the way, next year should I hook readings to a calendar, or just have Day 1, Day 2, etc.?)

2 Thes. seems to have been written soon after the first letter, around 51AD. Paul was evidently still at Corinth. And the letter seems to have been written to clarify a very important points about Christ’s second coming. This letter contains some of the clearest teaching about the antichrist, although Paul does not use that term.

Constable’s notes say, “Paul wrote to encourage the Thessalonian believers to continue to persevere in the face of continuing persecution (1:3-10). He also wanted to clarify events preceding the day of the Lord to dispel false teaching (2:1-12). Finally, he instructed the church how to deal with lazy Christians in their midst (3:6-15).” Constable’s notes can be found at Lumina.bible.org.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/2th.1.nlt


 

3Dear brothers and sisters,c we can’t help but thank God for you, because [you so fully believe in Christ//your faith is flourishing] and your love for one another is growing.

11So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your [full belief in Christ//faith] prompts you to do.


Let’s dig deeper today!

DBRP_Nov29_2014 Est3-4 Is41a 2Thes1

I thank Ashlee Smith for recording the part of Esther. Ashlee has often been heard in smaller parts without introduction this year. She directs our church’s program for children and also is the secretary. I thank her also for preparing the PDF files for the podcasts while I was in Indonesia in September and October.

Yesterday we heard how Esther became the queen, and how she continued to keep her Jewish background a secret. We also heard how Mordecai, her uncle, was promoted to a palace official after uncovering a plot to assassinate king Xerxes.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/est.3.nlt


 

The shift to such beautiful poetry that occurs in chapter 40 of Isaiah is one of the things that has made people think the last part of this book was authored by someone else. But that is the silliness of worldly-minded people. As I have pointed out as we have gone along, Isaiah has made beautiful and memorize-able verses from the beginning. And Isaiah’s amazing predictions about the Messiah are not just found in chapter 53, as we heard again yesterday.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.41.nlt


 

Today we start 2nd Thessalonians. We read 1st Thessalonians starting in the last two days of August— for those few of you who are in sync with our calendar. (By the way, next year should I hook readings to a calendar, or just have Day 1, Day 2, etc.?)

2 Thes. seems to have been written soon after the first letter, around 51AD. Paul was evidently still at Corinth. And the letter seems to have been written to clarify a very important points about Christ’s second coming. This letter contains some of the clearest teaching about the antichrist, although Paul does not use that term.

Constable’s notes say, “Paul wrote to encourage the Thessalonian believers to continue to persevere in the face of continuing persecution (1:3-10). He also wanted to clarify events preceding the day of the Lord to dispel false teaching (2:1-12). Finally, he instructed the church how to deal with lazy Christians in their midst (3:6-15).” Constable’s notes can be found at Lumina.bible.org.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/2th.1.nlt


 

3Dear brothers and sisters,c we can’t help but thank God for you, because [you so fully believe in Christ//your faith is flourishing] and your love for one another is growing.

 

11So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your [full belief in Christ//faith] prompts you to do.

DBRP_Nov28_2014 Est1-2 Is40b Philemon

In the final two chapters of Nehemiah, we heard of the culmination of Nehemiah’s work— the ceremony for the dedication of the wall. The people proved that the wall could stand up to more than just a fox walking on it. Then Nehemiah went back to Babylon. When he came back to Jerusalem, he needed to right several wrongs, as the people had allowed a deterioration in the temple worship.

 

We now turn to the book of Esther, which may have been written by Mordecai (a major character in the book), or by Ezra or Nehemiah, who would have known this story. The king Xerxes was defeated in a famous naval battle against Greece. From the historian Herodotus we find that the feast mentioned in the first chapter of Esther was the occasion for planning that battle. Esther has been compared to Joseph and David. She also started out as just an ordinary person, but God planned something great for her.

 

The Jews always read the book of Esther in the celebration of Purim. Whenever Heman’s name is mentioned the people boo and shake rattles or noisemakers to drown out his name.

 

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/est.1.nlt


 

 

We return to Isaiah 40. I stopped our reading yesterday at verse 17. Three memorable musical compositions in Handel’s Messiah are taken from just verses 1-11. Today I will start in verse 12.

 

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.40.nlt


 

In chapter 4 of Colossians we heard Paul encourage alertness in prayer and making the most of every opportunity to share the Good News. Our speech should be (literally translated ‘seasoned with salt’. NLT does a nice job translating that meaningfully as ‘attractive’.

 

Along with other people, Onesimus was mentioned at the end of Colossians. He was the slave of Philemon. We will read that letter now. I wish that we knew if Onesimus was so attracted to the Gospel after over-hearing Paul speak at Philemon’s house that he ran away to search for Paul when he was under house arrest in Rome. Or did Onesimus just run away as any ordinary slave might do and just ‘happen’ to ‘end up’ in prison with Paul in Rome? Each story would be fascinating!

 

One of my spiritual fathers was Dr. Glen Zumwalt, who taught aeronautical engineering at Wichita State University and was the faculty advisor for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Whenever Glen had the opportunity to do a one-off Bible study, he picked Philemon. I think I heard him lead a Bible study on this book four times. He always showed how this little book is a picture of the Gospel. Philemon is in the place of God. Paul is an advocate like Jesus. And picture yourself in the position of a runaway slave.
https://www.bible.com/bible/116/phm.1.nlt


 

 

DBRP_Nov27_2014 Neh12-13 Is40a Col4

Happy Thanksgiving!

In yesterday’s chapters in Nehemiah, we heard the names of the various religious and civil leaders who signed the statement of commitment to follow Moses’ Law, which was almost certainly penned by Ezra. Then there was a listing of the various leaders and clans that volunteered or were chosen by lot to live in Jerusalem.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/neh.12.nlt


 

I always am very disappointed with Hezekiah when he does not pray and ask the Lord to not allow Jerusalem to be conquered by Babylon and not to allow his sons to become eunuchs in Babylon’s palace. God had already responded amazingly to him in answering his prayers. The New Testament teaches us to be alert in prayer, and I think that includes being alert to what to pray.

Today we start the glorious final section of Isaiah, with favorite words set to music in Handel’s Messiah.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.40.nlt


 

Our resurrection to new life because of being one with Christ is not just being raised from death to this earth. We get raised right to heaven. Our real life is ‘hidden’ with Christ. The picture continues with our bodies and evil desires being pictured like clothes. We put off the old life like old clothes and put on the new life like clothes.

 

Yesterday’s chapter ended with instructions for wives, husbands, children, fathers, and slaves. Today’s chapter continues with the instruction to masters.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/col.4.nlt

 


DBRP_Nov26_2014 Neh10-11 Is39 Col3

The returned exiles showed how sincere they were in following the Lord! They gathered together for the express purpose of hearing the Law. By this time their language had changed so much that they needed 13 Levites to explain what was said in the readings. The people wept because they realized how far they were from obeying the Law of Moses, and also for joy in hearing it. One month later, the leaders gathered to explore the Law in more detail, and they found that Israel had always neglected celebrating the Festival of Shelters. They did that for the prescribed week. Ezra read the Law to the people every day. Then afterward, the was a meeting for confessing their sins including the long prayer in chapter 9. This seems to have been an extra event, about one week after the Festival of Shelters was over. After that prayer,

 

38eThe people responded, “In view of all this,f we are making a solemn promise and putting it in writing. On this sealed document are the names of our leaders and Levites and priests.”

 

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/neh.10.nlt


 

After the prophet Isaiah told Hezekiah that he would die, in 2nd King’s 20 we are told that Isaiah only managed to get to the middle courtyard when the Lord’s message came answering Hezekiah’s prayer. 15 years were added to Hezekiah’s life, and he receive the promise that the Assyrian king would not conquer Jerusalem. In his poem of thanks, Hezekiah said:

15But what could I say?

For [God/he] himself sent this sickness.

Now I will walk humbly throughout my years

because of this anguish I have felt.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.39.nlt

 


 

Note the distinction about old Jewish religious laws that Paul makes, comparing them with true Biblical Christianity. Those old religious regulations had no ability to help one conquer our persistent evil desires. Following the teachings in the New Testament does allow us to be freed from bondage to evil desires. This deliverance happens when we understand, believe, and meditate upon spiritual realities such as these:  (2:13-15, 20-23)

13You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15In this way, he disarmedd the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

20You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21“Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/col.3.nlt


 

DBRP_Nov25_2014 Neh8-9 Is38 Col2

Nehemiah 7 ends with an incomplete sentence in our translation. That chapter dealt with listing the various families and temple workers who came back after exile. And the transition to the next events as we heard yesterday starts like this:

73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel. In October, when the Israelites had settled in their towns,

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/neh.8

 

In chapter 37 yesterday, we heard of Hezekiah’s triumph through his prayer. As we have seen before in Isaiah (and not just in Isaiah’s message to the king), this defeat was prophesied, and we heard the fulfillment yesterday. 

 

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/isa.38.nlt

 

After that wonderful poem in Colossians chapter 1— which I can barely resist reading to you a second time, Paul says these things:

21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

Then in talking about the revelation of the Good News, he says,

 26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. 27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/col.2.nlt