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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives. Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 3:
Good morning. Good morning. I'm Mark and I'm welcoming you to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, may the eighth. I'm holding a cup of coffee that came from British Columbia, okay? The cup didn't come from British Columbia. They probably would've spilled something from there, but the beans did. Some good friends sent me some beans all the way from a roaster in British Columbia, and I just can't say how much I appreciate that. What a great way to start the week. I'm holding some notes from my sermon yesterday. I've got a good tip to help you, especially parents, to integrate that into your life and help you with that. And then we are gonna talk about Isaiah and a whole new book of the Old Testament. We're starting this week so much on the plate as we get this week going. It's time for the Monday Morning Coffee podcast. Let's get started. What a day yesterday. What a day to talk about mental health issues. Yesterday's sermon focused on what young people need right now. And young people today are just tremendously stressed. They're scared, they're uncertain, they're looking around to see what's going to break next. Our world has gotten scary and complicated and complex and I, as I said yesterday, I kind of get it. Some of us just want to say, suck it up buttercup because, because life is pretty good when you're a young person living in this world right now. But if you just pause for a minute and you see the craziness that's happening everywhere and social media is just amplifying that, you can see why young people need faith, hope and love talked about that yesterday. And now I want to give you an additional tip. If you're a young person, listen carefully. If you are a parent of a young person, listen carefully. I worked in the 9:00 AM yesterday to talk about what people think of the Bible. That has a huge impact on our evangelism efforts. And so when the American Bible uh, society did a study, while Bible study did a society, how about the American Bible Society did a study about what people are look for when they interact with the Bible. What's driving them to the scriptures? What are they seeking for? And so they asked people to complete the sentence. I used the Bible because, and far and away the most popular response was, it brings me closer to God. Coming in. Close to that is I need wisdom for making life decisions. And we talked about that yesterday in the 9:00 AM hour. However, among generation Z, that's America's youngest adults. Those are people born 1997 to 2012. So a bunch of those, a bunch of those Gen Z Americans are now 18 years or older. They are uh, trying adulting for the first time. But of course a whole bunch of them are not adults yet. They're still in your house, mom and dad, or maybe they're about to go off to college. We had some seniors that we celebrated recently. They're in a place where they're trying to get some things figured out. I think that sermon yesterday in the 10 40 landed right in their lap. And that generation said they go to the Bible because I need comfort. 24% of Gen Z or surveyed by the American Bible Society still working on getting that right, the American Bible Society said, I go to the Bible looking for comfort. Isn't that an eye-opening insight? You're reading the Bible in your home. What do you need to focus on? Mom and dad, you're reading the Bible as Gen Zer by yourself. What do you need to focus on? Look for things that bring comfort, things that build faith, hope and love in your life. Particularly, I would urge you to look at the promises of God, not just the giant ginormous stuff like Second Samuel seven in Genesis 12. Look for when God says to an individual person, I'm gonna do this. You're gonna have a baby. I'm gonna bring you here. I'm gonna do this. Look for the promises of God. And watch. Maybe sometimes we should note, sometimes the promises of God are for judgment and destruction, but those are still just as important and they're still faith building and they're still comfort giving because they say God does what God says He will do. Focus on God's grace and mercy, how he accepts us and loves us. Those are the things that bring comfort to us. Be interesting to just keep a journal of Bible reading, whatever Bible reading plan we are in, and just start writing down in today's reading, this brought me comfort. What would that journal look like at the end of the year? I'm convinced that reading in the prophets, your journal would be full because as I said, even if some of that message is a message of judgment, seeing God keep his word brings comfort to all of us. And I'm kind of convinced, particularly after yesterday's sermon that it's not just young people who are pretty frightened by the crazy that's going on all around us. Henry David Thoreau said, most men lead lives of quiet desperation. And I think that's true, but I hope it's not true of the followers of Jesus Christ. We aren't desperate. We have faith, hope and love. Hope that helps you to think more about the sermon yesterday. Let's climb into the book of Isaiah and we'll get some of that comfort that comes from the word of God. It is Monday, and today we read Isaiah the 38th chapter verses nine to 22. This is the conclusion of the Hezekiah Sickness episode. And this is a great reason to be reading over in Isaiah because second kings there in Second Kings, chapter 20 does not mention or record the writing of Hezekiah, the king of Judah. And this is very much like a psalm. It sounds just like a Psalm versus 10 to 14, look backwards. This is how I felt, this is what I was thinking when I was sick. And then verses 15 to 20, there's a dramatic change in tone here. The rejoicing that comes at deliverance. There's just no words that can do this justice. What shall I say? Verse 15, it's amazing and incredible to be delivered from this terrible death sentence, from this awful sickness. Then verse 21, Isaiah says, let's get a cake of figs and we're gonna apply this to the boil. Is that the cause of the sickness? And notice here, no contradiction between faith, prayer and medicine. God can use medicine, God can use doctors, God can use therapists to help us get better. And so then Hezeki says, what's the sign that I'll go up to the house of Lord? And of course, that's the sign that's been referenced in Friday's reading where the sun is going to go backwards, 10 steps. And so Hezeki says, I'm anxious to see that sign. And we would think now that Hezekiah's faith is intact and it's all good and it's gonna be all good. And then well, let's talk about that tomorrow. See you tomorrow. We'll be reading Isaiah 39 on Tuesday. It is Tuesday. And today we read Isaiah the 39th chapter. But don't let that throw you. If you're thinking, wow, how are we gonna get a whole chapter read today? It's only eight verses. However, I'm gonna strongly urge you to make sure that you get back to second Chronicles 32 beginning in verse 25, because there the chronicler, maybe Ezra is the writer there. Add some important material to this dismal event. Not sure what happens here with Hezeki. What's going on? Why does he welcome Babylonian envoys? Not a good plan, not a good idea as Siria is the superpower, but Babylon is on the rise. Maybe Hezeki is thinking of some kind of political alliance here. Maybe psychiatrist is getting full of himself and thinking, Hey, look at these important envoys from Babylon. They think I matter. They think I'm significant. Probably somewhere in here we need to add that Judea just wasn't very significant. And if you've ever been in a situation where somebody really important paid attention to you, and you found yourself just kind of pulling yourself up and saying, wow, this is great. I'm, I've curd the favor of this important person. Maybe you can sympathize with Hezeki. The chronic Lord does tell us specifically verse 31, that this was a test from God and that Hezeki had pride in his heart, verse 26. And that he was just, like I said, getting full of himself. It just seems to me that what Hezekiah needs to do here is show them the temple and teach them about God. I'm not certain where Hezekiah's faith went, and this is not the last thing that I want to read about Hezeki. It is just so that there's a lot of great Bible characters and we really are impressed with them and they're extremely faithful and they're doing a lot of right stuff. And then Kang, at the end of their life, the last things the Bible records about them, they fall off a cliff. I'm thinking about Noah getting drunk. I'm thinking about Barnabas about the last thing we read about him is getting involved in hypocrisy. Wow, maybe this is a testimony to the accuracy and faithfulness of the word of God. It doesn't guild the Lilly. It doesn't just put Bible heroes out there and never tell us about any of their failings. Whew, I'm getting ready to preach in. Second Samuel, don't we know about David's failure? Probably the thing he's the most known for is the terrible sin with Bathsheba. So the Bible presents us, the people who are trying to follow God, warts and all. If you're looking for some comfort in the scripture, maybe you should be comforted that God has used and accepted and continued to allow room to grow people like Hezeki and Noah and David and like you and like me. Finally, I'll come in on this Hezekiah verse 18, to just blow off the word of the Lord. Isaiah comes and says, all this stuff that you just showed off to Babylon, it's in it gonna end up being carried off to Babylon. You shouldn't have done that. And as a guy seems to just shrug his shoulders and give a big meh, it's okay if it happens later cuz I won't be around. And that does seem super self-centered. But some have thought maybe that's grateful. Maybe that's gratitude. I'm glad God isn't bringing judgment on me. Now, William Barkley, who is a pretty well-known commentator, notes and and wow, I, I don't always agree with Barclay at all, let me just say that very, very quickly. But sometimes he has a keen insight and he says, pride is the ground in which all other sins grow. And the parent from which all other sins come seems to me he's pretty on target right there as we're finishing up has a kayah. Maybe I should add this, the book of Proverbs in Proverbs 25 in verse one says that Hezeki had the proverbs copied. So Hezekiah does care for the Lord and cares for the word of God and that it'd be preserved in written form. Maybe that's a better thing to remember about Hezekiah than the disaster here showing off everything you own to a bunch of Babylonian envoys. Hezeki. What are you thinking? But that's it for Hezeki and for, and with that note, we're gonna step away from the historical section of Isaiah here. There'll be some times when we have the prophetic section of Isaiah in play. Don't, don't, don't panic. But this was very much narrative. It was very much the story or the history of Hezeki and the Assyrians coming there. We're stepping out of history now and going back to a prophetic book, the book of Joel. We start that on Wednesday. I'll see you then. Welcome to Wednesday. It's hump day and today we start a new book of the Old Testament. We are starting the book of Joel. And this is a crazy book to be reading because I don't think many people are real keen on plagues, and I don't think anybody's real keen on a plague of bugs. But Joel is the bug book. It's sometimes called the Parable of the Locust because what's happened here is there's been a giant locust plague and Joel launches from that to say, we need to think about the judgment of God and we need to think about repenting. So let me just give you a couple of notes here as we get into Joel. We don't know much about Joel. His name means Jehovah is God. Beyond that, there's just not anything here. It's the word of the Lord. Verse one that comes to Joel, the son of Bethel. And you now know everything about Joel, that I know about Joel, maybe he was a poet. The book is just full of vivid poetry with all kinds of exciting metaphors and images. Some of them are even kind of disgusting that just fill this book up. Now, when is Joel prophesying? If you have the answer to that question, you tell me because we just aren't sure That's widely debated. There's no king that's mentioned like uh, some of the other books that we have read in the time of or when so-and-so was King and when so-and-so was King, that enables you, I'm thinking about Jose one, one where he's calling off Siah Jha, Maha and Hezeki. I mean that that just helps us get a fix. None of that in Joel, no idols are specifically mentioned. There's no illusion to the northern kingdom. Does that mean they're gone or does that just mean that Joel's talking to the southern kingdom? There's no mention of asy, but there is mention of a northern army just not sure about where to place this. It has been placed with earlier profits, it's been placed with later profits. Not sure that I can give you a definitive date. In fact, I'm sure that I cannot. I think the important thing here is that the message doesn't hinge on knowing the date of the book. The book calls, the message of the book calls for repentance. And we've read enough prophets already for you to know that that's a theme that can be sounded just about any time during the divided kingdom, certainly in the north and even in the South. And the key expression in the book of Joel is the Day of the Lord, the day of Jehovah. It's a day of judgment here. And the book emphasizes that over and over again with lots of discussion about repentance. Chapter two and verse 12 is such a powerful verse, even now, declares the Lord two 12, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and with weeping and with mourning, render your hearts and not your garments. Wow, that comes out of this locust plague that's devastated the land. This is the judgment of God. Joel says, in fact, it's a mini judgment that portrays a monster judgment. Better repent, better turn back to the Lord. I'm gonna try to post some pictures about a locust plague. The National Geographic in December of 1915 has a number of super pictures of a locust plague in Israel. I'm gonna try to put some of those up on the Facebook page so that you can see those. If I don't get'em up or if I don't get'em up fast enough for you, Google up December, 1915, 1, 9 15, December, 1915, national Geographic and the Library of Congress has those pictures and it's just stunning. There's pictures of gardens and then the locust come and just everything is just gone. There's a picture of a bushy bushy tree and the locust come and is just bare limbs. And someone is gonna say, this kind of reminds me of the exodus and it reminds me of the plague of locust on Egypt. And I think that is intentional. Both events are described as being an incomparable event. There's the injunction in both events to teach children and grandchildren. Both plagues are said to result in the knowledge of God. So yes, yes. I think this is a situation where the prophet is saying, you're behaving like the Egyptians. You don't know the Lord, you don't care about God. God used locust to teach the Egyptians God's using locust to teach us. So in our reading today, Wednesday, Joel one, one to 12, you just get this big description of this calamity in Judah. It's an unprecedented calamity. Verse two. It's something that we're gonna date everything off of. Verse three. Don't we know about that? How often do you hear somebody say, yeah, that first year of covid, see how we work off of calamities. And then verse four has cutting locust, swarming, locust, hopping, locust, destroying locust. That may be locust in different stages of growth. Or it may just be the piling up of words to emphasize something I, I mentioned that uh, in Q and A at the end of April where sometimes we try to find the nuance in some synonyms and we just make a mess out of things. Sometimes it's just just a pile of words to say all this, everything right here. And then verses five to 13 detail, all the groups that are gonna be affected by this plague, drunkards are gonna be affected. There's nothing to get drunk on anymore because the vineyards have been all eaten up. And then there's a marriage and it's not even gonna be consummated verse eight, because everything is just so terrible. That's just the the worst tragedy here. There's a betrayal and engagement and, and we didn't even get really married and get to go on a honeymoon because all these terrible things have happened. The farmers mourn versus 11 and 12, this Locust plague has destroyed everything. And the key here is repetition, repetition, repetition. Everything is destroyed. Hold that thought. As we come into Thursday's reading, we'll talk more about Locus. Talk more about this plague. It is Thursday. Let me grab a swig of coffee here. Oh, wonderful. And so we are in Joel chapter one, 13 to 20. And here's the call to repentance. There's only one hope. Verse 14. We need to assemble at the temple and cry to the Lord. Note that the priest are urged to do the calling to summon the people they need to show leadership here. And then we get the idea starting in verse 15, that the day of the Lord is near. This is just scary bad in various parts of the people begin to speak. Notice the first person, verse 16 is not the food cutoff before our eyes. We see what God has done. We see what's happening here. And then I call verse 19, the priest is calling out. Verse 18, I jumped that. Verse 18. The animals call. Everybody's calling to God, crying to God because everything has been destroyed. Verse 20, there's the animals panting because things are so bad. This locust plague is bringing people to their knees and that's where they need to be. They need to be humbled before the Lord. The points being made again and again that when there's terrible destruction like this, there must be repentance. And the call for repentance is made over and over. What do you think matters in the book of Joel? Think it's about repentance, don't you? Let's finish that up tomorrow in Joel two on Friday. See you tomorrow. It is Friday. And today we read Joel chapter two verses one to 11. Some of this will sound a little repetitive here because again, we get the description of an invading army that really begins in verses three and three to 10. Notice verse two, though it's day of the Lord stuff, day of gloom, day of clouds, day of darkness. Probably gonna end up seeing this a lot this year. Please remember, the day of the Lord can be a locust plague in Judah and not the end of all things. And the second coming that is so important for readers of the prophetic books of the Bible. Sometimes we read day of the Lord and immediately we substitute in second coming of Christ that won't work these days of the Lord, if you will. And there's lots of'em in the prophetic literature. They are catastrophic judgments of God and they do prefigure and point the way to the ultimate judgment of God. But the day of the Lord in verse two is not the second coming The day of the Lord is a coming of locusts, which we talked about in chapter one. Or it may be, it may be a figure of speech for an invading army. Think about that for just a minute. Um, one writer said, it is best to see this as a parallel but heightened description of what is already transpired in chapter one versus four to 20. And that is possible. However, note if you just skip down a little bit in verse 17, the prayer here is not for deliverance from the locust. The prayer here is to spare the people from being crushed. People from being crushed. I wonder if this material isn't using the locust to talk about an invading army. Maybe that a Syrian army, that Assyrian army that shows up in Hezekiah's day and they eat everything and destroy everything and just wipe out the land. Is is this being being used in that kind of way? Not locust locust, but as a figure of speech for an army that comes to terrorize people not to eat their crops and note for example, the term Northerner. You have to skip ahead a little bit to verse 20 to see that. But that term is used by the prophets in a number of places in scripture like Isaiah 1431 and Zephaniah two and Jeremiah, to refer in a special way to an army coming from the north because of the nature of the geography in Israel, the armies always come from the north. You can't come across that Saudi Arabian desert very effectively, all can't carry enough water and all so forth. You march your army into the desert, you're all gonna die. So everybody either comes from the south, that's Egypt or they sweep down from the north. And I wonder, verse 20 isn't queuing us that in some way this isn't an army of locus. Sounds like an army of locus in some ways. They scale the wall, they all go shoulder to shoulder. Maybe so might be though the army of asy might be the army of Babylon. You'll need to think about that a little bit. The key to the reading though, verse 11, it's the Lord who's doing this. God is bringing this judgment. That's what's happening here. Judah here is being treated like Egypt. Egypt was smoked with plagues, a plague of locust. Judah's being smoked, smoked with a plague of locust because they need to turn back to God. Is this the kind of preaching that drove Hezekiah's reformation? I'm thinking about that. Or maybe drove Josiah's reformation. We need to think about the times that people were far from the Lord and then returned to the Lord. Maybe Joel is the prophet who's helping them get to that place. Can't date Joel for sure. So you end up kind of parking him in a lot of places in the Old Testament where God's people are doing wrong and finally a good king shows up and they start doing what's right and you just have a tendency to say, Hmm, wonder if Joel is the guy that's driving that. But one writer said, as we get to the end of our reading today on Friday, God is about to fight his people in a battle. They can not win. Think about that. That leads to that call to repentance. That will start our reading on Monday. There's the podcast for the week. Sunday will be Mother's Day. Let me say Happy Mother's Day to my mom. She's such a special person in my life. And to all the moms, including my wife, who is an amazing and wonderful mom. I also wanna say a thanks to my crew who does all this podcast stuff to make it happen and get in your ears. That's Anisa and John and Larry. They're incredible and they work and do so much behind the scenes to get the podcast to you each week. I appreciate them so very much. Thanks so much for your hard work, Anisa and John and Larry. Thanks for listening. If you love the Monday Morning Coffee podcast, you know what to do. You need to subscribe, you need to follow and you need to rate it. You need to give us a review so that other people will find it. Talked about Bible reading last Sunday morning in the 9:00 AM hour and how we can be evangelistic with that. Use the podcast to be evangelistic. Help somebody get into the word of God. A lot of people want to get into the word of God. They just need some help. Navigating the material in the Bible is so different and, and sometimes it's, it's hard to understand. Give'em some help. Give them the podcast that is being a true friend to somebody. So until next week, I hope your coffee is delightful today. I hope your Friday's wonderful, and I hope the Lord will be with you today all day. I will see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark. For more information about west side, you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.is that's upbeat with two P'S UPP, B E A T, where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday,