Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Why don't we ever hear a sermon about Racisim and Social Justice?

October 02, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 46
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Why don't we ever hear a sermon about Racisim and Social Justice?
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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.

Speaker 1:

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. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, October the second. I'm Mark and I've got my Bible. I've got notes from yesterday's sermon, I have a Bible reading schedule. I've got all kinds of stuff about Daniel and I have a great cup of coffee going, okay, true story. This is not really a very great cup of coffee, but it's gonna have to do because it's time to get this podcast moving. It's all about keeping the spiritual momentum from Sunday rolling right into the work week . So let's get started. Yesterday I completed the unzipped series. This is the fourth in that lesson series if you want to count the week before his lesson on holiness as being part of that. And yesterday the sermon was about racism and social justice. This is a really difficult topic to discuss and to talk about because it is just so volatile and emotionally charged and there's so many different takes on it. And as I said yesterday, if you make even the slightest misstep, it can just be catastrophic characterizing or saying the wrong thing, using the wrong terminology can cause all kinds of problems. I'm glad though, to have the opportunity to talk about even such a difficult issue and I want to hear on the podcast ad an important note, just can't say everything in the pulpit. But I think this matters, and I think it's important maybe for further discussions with others, especially unbelievers, and that is to ask the question why racism is wrong. Why is racism wrong? There isn't any question, racism is wrong. The groups that are all about racism and are playing that and doing that, they are cast out of society, they are canceled, they are seen as being abhorrent. But the question remains why? What's wrong with it if there's no God who made all men created equal? We need to drive into that conversation deeper with people. What is so terrible about putting people down who don't look like me? I like to be around my people. That makes me comfortable. And so I want people who are like me and who look like me and who think like me. I , I want all the stuff and power and wealth around us and we'll just build walls to insulate and protect us. And if that results in injustice for others, well just too bad for them. Who is to say that's wrong? If there is no God historically racism has been the way the world operates. Now that has all changed because of the influence of Christianity. And it seems to me that an awful lot of atheists and agnostics and unbelievers are enjoying the benefits of Christianity without giving credit to Christianity or considering the logical consequences of saying that is wrong when we say that we're making a moral judgment if we are just animals, where did you get your morals? That's an important question and I think that fits well in this conversation about racism and social justice. That said, we get an opportunity now in the book of Daniel, open your Bible to Daniel Chapter nine, Monday's reading is Daniel chapter nine, verses nine to 17. We began this reading on Friday talking about Daniel's great prayer and it is an incredible prayer. I'm glad we're reading this in chunks because it gives us the opportunity to think through the prayer and to be careful with all that. David is saying here, notice how in verse 10, Daniel pushes the idea that if we had listened to the prophets, this exile thing would not have occurred. And verse 11 talks about the curses that are written in the law of Moses. That's her . That's what we started the year with. Remember Deuteronomy 28, 29, 30, 31 and 32, that is the material Daniel is referencing here. And in verse 13, as is written in all the law, Moses' calamity has come upon us, yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God turning from our iniquities. One writer said the history of Israel is the story of God's faithfulness to them. His promises have been reliable and his protection has been constant. Of course, the the rest of that maybe , maybe that quote needs to be extended. That author needs to write a little bit more. Israel has not been faithful to God, they have not been reliable and they've not been constant. And that is exactly what Daniel is highlighting here as he builds towards the idea of can we go home? Are the 70 years up ? He mentions that, that he was reading and he saw the 70 years in 9 2, 9 chapter nine of verse two. He mentions, Jeremiah, can we go home? That's where all of this is headed. But what Daniel is really concerned about here is God's reputation, his name and his glory. That is what really fronts this prayer according to your righteous Acts. Verse 16, so that people will know that you are a great God. We want you to bring us home. That's where Daniel is going and we read more of this tomorrow including a really difficult section of Daniel. See you on Tuesday. Welcome to Tuesday and a day that I've been dreading for a long time. This is the end of Daniel chapter nine. Our reading today is Daniel 9 18 27. I'm a little, little embarrassed at how the reading was divided here. Why didn't we read verses 18 and 19 yesterday and tie that in with the prayer. It's the end of the prayer. And then we would have this final section 20 to 27 for today. I, that's my fault. I'm the one that did the divisions here and that was done badly. But the reason I really dreaded recording this part of the podcast is because this ending section of Daniel chapter nine is one of the most difficult sections in Daniel indeed, maybe in all of the Bible. And of course making it even more complicated, it involves a lot of math and you know how I feel about math and how dreadfully awful I am , uh, with it. So let's all get a little bit more coffee. Wonderful. That's a terrible cup of coffee to go with. What is a terribly difficult section of scripture for me? Let's, let's work with this just a little bit. This is primarily going to gather our attention or our attention primarily is going to be, you're starting in verse 24 where we start reading about the 70 weeks. And I just need to say a couple of things here as we get this underway. First and foremost, I think if we try to make too much of these numbers, we're going to end up in a mess. We will make a huge mistake. Numbers can be general in the Bible. They don't always have to be extremely precise and super specific. And let me just say that's not only in the Bible, we use numbers that way as well. We sing that song. He could have called 10,000 Angels. What do we mean by that? Jesus was unable to call 10,001. Uh , Jesus could not have called 9,000 angels. It's just a nice round number. Or maybe as we're thinking about sports, we say we're gonna beat them 50 to nothing. Well, if the Cowboys destroy their opponent 45 to nothing, do we feel like what we said wasn't fulfilled? Would we say to somebody, Hey, I told you the cowboys are gonna, oh no, you said it's 50 to nothing. It was only 45 to nothing that that would never play. That would never work. So 70 sevens can mean fullness. Like when Jesus told Peter to forgive 70 times seven in Matthew 1822, that does not mean you keep a count and that at transgression 491 you say , ah , I got you now buddy. Yeah , that's one too far. Now I don't have to forgive you. Of course that's not what Jesus is getting at. So let's just be careful with the numbers here as we work with all of this. And I'm gonna share now some comments that Jeff Wilson made in a Bible study for preachers that I was able and privileged to attend a couple years ago and just share with you some of Jeff's thoughts to frame what we're working with in this very difficult section of Daniel. Jeff noted that what's important here is that this is, I'm quoting now a continuing demonstration of Jehovah's absolute control over history here. Not so much focused on the nations like in chapter eight, but upon how God is guiding the history of his own covenant people to a climax. And this is a worldview way of looking at history and God's purposes. This is a covenant framework that makes sense of the times for the people of God. God's people must understand their place in the world, not in terms of geopolitics, but in terms of sin and judgment and repentance and mercy. I love that. I love that a lot and I think that's a noted caution today. So much of our society talks about everything in terms of politics, what they're doing in Austin, what they're doing in Washington dc , what's happening on the world stage of politics. And we can get caught up into that whichever news channel, whatever news brand you wanna listen to and you subscribe to, that's dominating your thinking and and telling you what's going on and how it's all going on. And the book of Daniel, especially apocalyptic literature, says, that's not everything that's going on behind the scenes. God is at work and God's people know that and believe that. And we look at the world through that lens that I think is really important. And then I guess I would say this quoting as well from Jeff, we spent a lot of time on the 70 weeks, but what we really need to think a lot more on is the prayer that comes in front of it. 70 weeks is just God's way of saying, I'm gonna take care of this. And there isn't really anything that we can do about that or anything that we can do to change that. The praying is the part that has practical value for you and for me. So having said all of that, I'll just give you a couple of ideas maybe that will help you as you work down through the 70 weeks beginning in verse 24, down to verse 27. Those passages really leave us scratching our heads. And I'm not gonna spend a lot of time here. In fact, I'm not gonna spend any time at all talking about the wildly speculative views of dispensationalist and pre millennialist. They managed to somehow see in whatever's going on in Daniel nine , whatever's going on in the world news and on uh, in, in current events and where there's a war happening today. And so of course this gets reconfigured for every bad guy in human history and every war in human history. And always it's centered in the second coming of Jesus and a whole bunch of, oh come on, that that is so wildly speculative, it's not even worth dealing with. The pre-millennial view denies plain scriptures like Mark nine one where Jesus says to the apostles, you will see the kingdom of God come with power. And so dispensational, let say the kingdom is not going to come until this amazing event happens and we're not currently in the kingdom. That's nonsense. Colossians one 13 says, the kingdom is presently in existence. So having said I wasn't gonna say anything about that, then yes, I went ahead and said some things about that. Let me just then comment upon what I believe are the two choices for working through this material. Many people see this as a fulfillment in Jesus that this is about Jesus. And of course when you get ideas like a tone for iniquity in verse 24 and the anointed one cut off in verse 26, that seems to push the fulfillment to being in Jesus. The difficulty with some of that is the timeframe doesn't really work. You get the 62 weeks down to Jesus without problem and depending upon which date you wanna start the clock from, then that kinda works out. But then you have one week left to get Jerusalem destroyed and all these other things happening, which actually took 40 years. So how, how we managing to do the math like that the 62 weeks is symbolic, it's not symbolic. Oh, the last week is symbolic. That seems to under careful analysis begin to break down just a little bit. Uh, I , I should say this, the other option is that this is referencing that terrible king Antiochus epiphanies or anus epiphanies. And so the idea then is that God is going to cancel out and finish and end the evil that is being done as he tries to wipe out Judaism. And so as you look, there's about six things that are listed that are going to happen. And those six things then would refer to cancellation of the evil and confirmation of God and of God's word. So I'll, I'll sum up here if this speaks of Jesus, then verse 24, the 70 sevens would speak of seven weeks of years, which would be 490 years. And then Jesus is coming to die for the sins of the world in verse 25. Then it would be the idea that arta Xerxes commands the rebuilding of Jerusalem in 4 57 BC. And so Jesus then comes 483 years, 69 weeks of years later, meaning Jesus comes in ad 27 and of course that's, you know, give or take that you know it's kind of spot on. And then verse 26, Jesus dies and Jerusalem is destroyed. Verse 27. Pretty complicated, not, not sure exactly how to plug that into that particular viewpoint. So the difficulty there again, the events of Jesus' death and destruction get lumped into the 70 weeks, the 70th week. But that actually took place over a long period of time, not not just uh , one year or even seven years depending on how you're doing the math there. And the choice of art xi's decree of 4 57 seems very arbitrary. There are a number of decrees that send the Jews home and the rebuilding of the wall and the rebuilding of the temple. And it almost looks like maybe we, we subtracted it out and and oh look in 4 57, what, what happened in 4 57? Let's go find a decree to kind of match that up. The view I think that's probably preferable is that this is of Antiochus epiphanies and this is how that would work. Verse 24, then the 70 sevens is just a complete period of time and God is finishing his work with the Jews and the punishment for their sins. In verse 25, Jerusalem is going to be rebuilt in the new near future. And in verse 26, after a long time a bad guy's gonna show up and make a lot of troubles and cause a lot of problems and there's gonna be a war. And then verse 27, the bad guy will make a deal with some and then he's gonna go back on it and the temple's gonna be desecrated and the abomination of desolation will be set up and then that bad guy is gonna be dealt with by God. So here's a paraphrase. This is my paraphrase of this section of Daniel verse 24, Daniel, a full period of time for God's work with Judah and Jerusalem has been decreed. God is going to complete the time of Judas punishment and begin the process of bringing Jesus into this world to confirm every prophecy and even rededicate the temple. Verse 25, understand that after Cyrus sends our people home, it'll only be a little while before the city's rebuild and there'll be a high priest set up again. But after a very long period of time, the high priest Onai II will be murdered by those who cooperate with the evil anus epiphanies. He will sack the city of Jerusalem. He will cause great troubles. Verse 27, he anus epiphanies will claim to be at peace with some of the Jews, but after a short period of time he'll break that piece and he'll attempt to wipe out Judaism. The offerings in the temple will be stopped and an idol will be erected there. But God in his own time and when he is ready will judge and deal with Antiochus . Maybe that helps you and maybe more importantly it provokes all of us to further study. But even if, and , and , and this is where the emphasis needs to be, even if we don't have a specific historical reference , oh look here, this is that guy, this is that battle, this is when that happened . What verses 24 to 27 say in the main is that God is in charge, God is in control and God's will will be done. That is what matters the most for us to get out of our Bible reading today in that understanding, in that trust, we can draw near to God. Hope that helps you today. See you tomorrow. We'll begin Daniel chapter 10. It is hump day, it's Wednesday. Daniel chapter 10 is what we're reading starting today. Daniel chapter 10 verses one to nine is Wednesday's reading. This is in many ways a topper to Daniel Chapter nine, how do you beat the 70 weeks and all the complexities that we dealt with yesterday? Well how about angelic? Where warfare? How about troubles and a bad king? How about history, past and present? How about Daniel chapters 10, 11 and 12? This is the last vision in the book and I think it is the most important vision. And I say that because special emphasis is given to this prophecy by its placement at the end of the book and by its length. And it does have a striking introduction that we are reading today. All that we read today says what follows is going to be incredible. And I'm gonna say again, the real meaning of this chapter is that the events of earth can only be understood from a heavenly perspective. God knows that his people view things from an earthly viewpoint. It's where we're standing. So we look at things and we see things from our own perspective and the Book of Daniel and bonus tip, other apocalyptic books like the Book of Revelation, raise our perspective, look from heaven's viewpoint and see what God is doing. So today we read Daniel chapter 10 verses one to nine. I think these first three verses are a prologue or summary of everything about Daniel 10 through 12. This is telling Daniel's reaction to the whole vision. It's not so much an introduction to the first part of the vision, but then properly things start happening beginning in verse four on the 24th day of the first month. This is about 5 36 BC the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia. Verse one tells us. So about 5 36 I was standing on the banks of the great river that is the tigress and I lifted up my eyes and looked and behold there was a man clothed in linen. This description then verses five and six, sounds an awful lot like revelation one and the description there of Jesus the Christ is this Jesus answer. We aren't sure. Yes, it looks a lot like the vision in Revelation one, but it is extremely important that we allow Daniel to be Daniel and we don't shove the book of Revelation into the book of Daniel and patch it together with what we know elsewhere. That's a very common approach. People are reading the book of Revelation, they go get something outta Zacharia and they plug it in. They go get something outta Matthew 24 and they staple it on top of it. And when you do that, you make a mess. Apocalyptic doesn't work that way. These visions need to stand alone. This may be Jesus here in Daniel chapter 10, but it doesn't say that. It doesn't say that. Let's be content with that. This is a heavenly messenger of some sort. And in fact this description, his body like Barrell face like the appearance of of lightning that just may be how heavenly messengers look. So when Jesus comes in revelation chapter one as the ultimate heavenly messenger, well how is Woody look? He looks like he looks like heavenly messengers are supposed to look in apocalyptic literature. This is, this is the consistent kind of description. So we just need to be careful about all of that. And I guess I would close then with this particular note as you maybe read a little bit further, it's hard to stop reading after verse nine. Notice that Daniel is just absolutely blown away by this appearance. It is of interest to me that oftentimes when people today claim to see an angel, it's super comforting and the angel's really nice and they feel warm and fuzzy and the angel brings them a latte and it's just crazy great fun. And that's never how it is in the Bible. In the Bible, angels are awesome in the biblical sense of the word. They are a manifestation of god's will and power. Sometimes they're a manifestation of God himself and people fall on their face and people shake in their boots and people say, oh, I'm in so much trouble. I can't even believe what I'm seeing here. And usually about the first thing that angels have to say is don't be afraid it's gonna be okay. Which is exactly what we'll read tomorrow that this heavenly messenger is going to say to Daniel, that causes me to be somewhat suspicious of people who claim to have seen angels. 'cause they don't look like the angels we see in the Bible. How about that? Well, we'll read more tomorrow in Daniel chapter 10 and we'll see what this messenger has to say to Daniel. Welcome to Thursday. And today we finish Daniel chapter 10. We're reading Daniel chapter 10, verses 10 to 21. This is about the heavenly messenger and what he has to say. And he touches Daniel and tells him in verse 11 that you need to stand up, which probably means to give your full attention and would say something about don't be afraid. Then he said verse 12, fear not Daniel. From the first day you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before God. Your words have been heard. Really important passage here. It's about prayer, it's about the desire to know God's will and do God's will. It's about being wise in the will of God. Notice the idea here is not everybody's gonna get what I'm about to tell you, Daniel. Not everybody's humbled themselves before God. A friend of mine likes to say that preaching needs to put the cookies down where everybody can get one. And I love that expression because I love cookies, but mm-hmm this is not that is it? Nope . We're not gonna put the cookies down where everybody can get one. The only people gonna get a cookie are the people who have a heart to understand and who humbled themselves before God. You want a cookie. Verse 12 is your verse. If you're not that kind of person, then you're not gonna get this kind of revelation from God, Daniel, because God is looking for people who are looking for him. I think that's significant. Verse 13 then this is, this is the whole of apocalyptic literature. There's battles going on here on earth media and Persia and Babylon. All these things are happening and that is only the earthly side of what's going on in heaven. The battles on earth are representative or are a result of the battles in heavenly places and the battles there are what affects things here. And so the prince of the kingdom of Persia is some kind of angelic being that in this battle represents Persia. He's trying to stop this it seems probably because part of this message is announcing the end of the kingdom of Persia. And that's going to happen verse 14 in the latter days, which probably means maybe towards the end of the Jewish dispensation. And so Daniel then very much like Isaiah six, six to be purified so that he can know this vision and will be able to speak with the messengers and and be the one who can be a messenger of God and even learn more of what God's will is and what God is doing. And that begins to unfold tomorrow in Daniel chapter 11. Welcome to Friday. And we begin Daniel chapter 11 today. This is the final dramatic vision in the book of Daniel. It has this exciting introduction in prologue in Daniel chapter 10. And now we get down to it. What's going on? What's going to happen next? It is this material that fills in the gap between Malachi and Matthew, but more than just being of interest historically fascinating. It shows that God and the devil are at war after the Babylonian captivity. The devil makes two efforts, concerted efforts to wipe out the third promise to Abraham. That is the Messiah will come from his descendants. Those two efforts are covered in the Bible. One is the effort in Esther to destroy the Jewish people and the other is recorded here in Daniel where there is an effort made to destroy Judaism, their faithfulness and knowledge of the law so that the Jews become like everybody else and there's not any covenant people for Jesus to arrive, to teach and to preach and to bring to the Lord. And what's incredible about Daniel chapter 11 is that it is so accurate that Bible critics attack it for being too accurate . That seems in many ways ironic, doesn't it? Oh, this is just so accurate. It can't be prophecy is what the Bible critic is going to say. Yet there is no indication that this was written after the events that are being recorded here, that somebody looked around and said, I remember when this happened. I remember this happened. I'm gonna cast that in terms of prophecy, trying to make it sound like, like God foresaw all of these wild and crazy events long before they ever occurred. So like in verse 34, there there's a discussion of a little help and that's a reference to the Maccabees. The Maccabee family is the family that drove the Syrians, drove the lucid out of Palestine, cleansed the temple. They're remembered to this day in , in various Jewish feasts. They're great heroes in Judaism. And they're called here a little help if, if this was written after the fact, they would be named and they would be lionized. They'd be endless discussion of how great they are. They're not really that great in Daniel because of course this is God who is really doing the work and that's where the focus is going to remain. But again, if this was written after the fact, like Bible critics want to allege, it wouldn't sound like it sounds like in many ways this is the most remarkable prophecy in all of scripture. And I do think it has some apologetic value. This is truly stunning in its elaborate details and intricate knowledge hundreds of years before these things happen, of everything that is going to happen in the time between the testaments. So we begin in verse one of the first year of Darius the mead . I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. And now I'll show you the truth. Three more kings shall arise in Persia and the force shall be far richer than all of them. The rich king here is Xerxes, the first he invaded Greece, he ends up being defeated and turned back. And then we meet the mighty king. Verse three. That's Alexander the Great. He began his rule in 3 36 BC and in a very short time, he conquered the then known world. He dies in 3 23 and his kingdom is divided into fours. Verse four, we have seen that before in the book of Daniel, the important parts of his kingdom biblically are the tese who are the kings of the south and the lucid who are the kings of the north. And of course Palestine, Judea particularly caught right smack in the middle of these two kingdoms, which try to do some alliance kind of things, but most of the time are at each other's throats. So verse five discusses the, they're the the kings in the south, but one of those princes stronger, that's the lucid saluted , the first in the north, they attempt verse six to join their houses in marriage and toy II's in his daughter Bernice to Antiochus the second . That's about two 50. And they were gonna get married and that was gonna join those houses and those kingdoms together. But to marry her, he had to divorce his current wife, ee or lia , however you wanna say her name. She attacks then and hatches a scheme in which Antiochus II and Bernice and her children and a whole bunch of other people get killed. And that of course ends any kind of coming together in marriage. And verse six covers all of that. And so here comes more trouble. Verse seven and eight. Bernice's brother told he the third makes an attack on the lucid. Lots of toy victories there, told he the third takes their idols and loots the lucid temples told he the third goes home, what's gonna happen? There's going to be a counter attack to get our stuff back and we've got full on war. And who's being trampled in the meantime? That's right. Everybody's going and coming right over top of Judea. And so whoever is stronger for the moment runs Judea. Can you imagine in the United States if Mexico and Canada were world powers and they were at war and they were constantly battling with each other. And so for a period of time we were under Canadian rule and Canadian law and then bam, there's a big war and burning and all kinds of destruction and people are getting killed now. Oh , now we're under Mexican law now. And then all the Canadians are mad about that and they march south and you know, flip the tables and now , oh, we're back under Canadian law, chaos, trouble of every kind. Daniel chapter 11 is setting that up, helping us see what's going on. And maybe you're wondering what's gonna happen when you attack the solutions. What's gonna happen when you attack the ese ? We'll read more of this on Monday. Alright then, big swig of coffee And we're ready for the weekend. Thank you for the listening. If you love the Monday Morning Coffee podcast, we would certainly like you to subscribe or follow on whatever app you're listening on so that it will download automatically. And if you would rate the show, that would help a lot as people go looking for it . Shows that are rated highly come to the top of the search index. Mostly we'd like for you to tell somebody else that you listen to the podcast and it helps you with your daily Bible reading. It helps you with continuing the spiritual momentum of Sunday and you'd like to recommend they listen as well. So until next week, may your coffee be delightful. May your Friday be wonderful and may the Lord be with you today all day. 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 and our Facebook page. Our music is from 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.

Sermon Notes
Monday Daniel 9:9-17
Tuesday Daniel 9:18-27
Wednesday Daniel 10:1-9
Thursday Daniel 10:10-21
Friday Daniel 11:1-9