Genesis 5:1-7:24 ~ Matthew 3:7-4:11 ~ Psalm 3:1-8 ~ Proverbs 1:10-19
Today is January 3rd. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you today for the third day in a row of the year 2017. So we’re kind of off to a big start. We’ve covered a lot of ground in just two days and we will continue with the journey that will prove to be the adventure of a lifetime, making the scriptures part of the rhythm of our lives as we go through the entire Bible this year.
So that rhythm of the Daily Audio Bible is to read some Old Testament, some New Testament, some Psalms and some Proverb each and every day and every time we come to a new book, kind of fly over it, circle around it, get a little bit of context for it, so we’ve been doing that. We did Genesis at the beginning of the week, which was the beginning of the year and we did Matthew yesterday and we’ll do Psalms when we get there, but first, reading from the New Living Translation this week, Genesis chapter 5 verse 1 through 7 verse 24 today.
Introduction of a New Book (Psalms)
This brings us to our Psalms reading today. We haven’t talked about the book of Psalms yet, so let’s do a little overview. The Hebrew word for Psalms is tehillim or praises. It is a collection of 150 songs, hymns, congregational singings, call and answer responses, individual songs and poems of worship. It is basically five books in one and they are classified by who wrote them or their theme or their purpose. Some of them give praises to God. Others speak of his character or actions. Some are songs of lament or repentance, while others are songs of thanksgiving. No matter the circumstance, the book of Psalms is meant to bring praise, glory, adoration, reverence and honor to God in all the circumstances of human life and for all purposes.
Psalms is a beautiful book containing some of the most heartfelt musical poetry ever written. Every conceivable emotion is explored in the Psalms. There are the heart’s cries that are so passionate and broken that you can feel them across the boundaries of time. And yet there are also some that are so exalted, they are mountaintop experiences where the glory of the Lord is tangible and present.
David, the King of Israel who was a master musician himself composed most of the psalms. Although we have a large amount of information about David throughout the rest of the Bible, the Psalms reveal his inner heart. What we find is that he is utterly human and the ebb and flow of his humanity is ever-present in his compositions.
Other writers include Solomon, the sons of Korah, Asaph, Ethan, and then there are a number of them whose author is unknown or anonymously written. But ultimately the purpose of the Psalms was to rally the people and to enrich the worship experience of Israel. The songs would have been sung in public and in private homes as people went about their daily lives. These have stood the test of time because we sing and quote them now. Their power and enduring beauty is unmatched. They are absolutely unrivaled.
Scholars believe that the Psalms were written over a long period of time, between about 950 BC until about 165, 170 BC. Three major periods in Israel are covered. The first would be during the reign of David and Solomon. And the second one contains songs written when the children of Israel were taken into exile in Babylon, and then the third would contain writings from when they were freed to go back and re-create their land after the exile. So we have a long time span, various culture points that are represented here, but the Psalms are very cohesive in their purpose of bringing glory and honor to God in a very authentic and beautiful way.
So today we read Psalm chapter 3, a psalm of David regarding the time David fled from his son, Absalom.
Alright, so we’re a mere three days into this year and we are already covering so much ground and there is so much to pay attention to because it informs the rest of the year. So if we go back to the book of Genesis, we’re just 7 chapters in, but we have covered some significant ground, our origin story, a glimpse at shalom, a glimpse of a time when everything was as it was intended to be, how things were supposed to be for us on this planet. We see the fall of man and this is what is important to remember. In the Garden of Eden there was a tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the one thing in all of humanity that was forbidden. So there was perfection and complete intimacy with God and one another and with nature and everything was in harmony, but there was this one thing that was off-limits. You begin to wonder why put the one thing that is off-limits in the Garden of Eden, the one thing that can mess up the harmony? But there is something really, really, really beautiful there. When God made mankind in his own image, he gave us the ability to make the choices of our lives. We can choose to walk intimately with God or we can choose whatever way it is that we want to choose. That’s because love can’t really be love if there is no way out.
If you’re in a relationship and you can’t get out of it, you’re trapped in it for some reason, whether it’s physical abuse or fear or whatever set of circumstances, if there is no way out, well then it’s not completely by choice. It’s not really true love. God had made mankind in his own image and breathed his own life, his own breath into them, that we as a species may have life. And he gave us the ability to choose and those choices matter and they stick and that is what happened. We traded God for the knowledge of good and evil. Then we’ve been trying to filter God through our knowledge of good and evil to get back to him, to understand him, to make it all make sense again on our own terms and that is not how it works.
So we’ve been able to spend some time. We see in today’s reading people lived a very long time after the fall, close to 1000 years. Much different and closer to when things were perfect than they are now, but we also see over those generations and over those millennia even that mankind continued to slide backward and downward away from the way they were created. So when this breach happened in the Garden of Eden, we were separated from God. Divinity and humanity that had been perfectly intertwined in a harmonious and seamless transition, that was broken apart. So mankind left to its own devices began to try to make life work and, as we read the accounts in the book of Genesis, it didn’t work, which brings us to meet a man named Noah, the one righteous person left on this planet.
God even commented that everybody had become like animals. Everybody was living however they wanted to live and it was just utter destruction. From the heart of man only evil comes and that is a pretty good description of the reality that sometimes we don’t pay attention to. When this happened and we were separated from God we became devolved. We fell. It was an actual thing. We became something we were not created to be. We became separated from God. It was never meant to be that way. In many ways, in many very, very important ways, we became subhuman. We will track that story as we continue through the Old Testament.
When we moved into the gospel narrative in the book of Matthew today, we are seeing something very remarkable. We’re skipping thousands of years in time to see that the Father, the Creator of all things would not abandon his own image that he created upon this earth. He would not abandon us to the darkness we were creating. He came for us. And we see many, many times where he does come for us, both in the Old and New Testament. Today we come to Noah and we come to a flood and we come to a complete reset. But it all will slide into inhumanity again and we’ll watch this over the next months. Then as we move our way through the gospels, we’ll see that God came in human form as a perfect person. Theologically Jesus is called the second Adam which in its own way is kind of weird, but the theological point is that he was sinless like the first man and woman before they fell, that he came as mankind was intended to be and lived a human life in a fallen world as mankind was intended to be and you see the way that a perfect person disrupts everything. So we watch Jesus, a perfect person and the way that humanity responds to him, even to the point of killing him, and right there we see how far the backward and downward spiral went away from the way things were supposed to be for us.
So we get a good glimpse of how things got to where they are and then we can look in the world and see all of this all around us. It may be wearing different clothes, but the heart that drives things forward in mankind is the same as it has always been. So we can see this in the world and then we can look at Jesus and realize how humanity responded to the way things were supposed to be. But then we also see the offer of Jesus, the invitation back to the way things are supposed to be for us. So just in a few short days we laid the groundwork for everything that comes next.
Father, we thank you for this. It blasts like a cannon out of the gate on the first day and then you start just laying it all out before us. All of a sudden this big thick book full of theology and old customs isn’t so hard to approach anymore. All of a sudden we’re finding our own lives and our own stories in this gift that you’ve given us known as the scriptures. So we invite your Holy Spirit today and every day to continue to speak to us, rearranging things inside of us, shifting things inside of us, changing our thoughts, our words, our deeds as we move forward and as you continue to sanctify and set us apart as holy, the way we were supposed to be all along. Come Holy Spirit, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. That is where you find out what is going on around here. And we’re just kind of unpacking some of the different things. So we talked about ways to connect yesterday with social media, with the Prayer Wall that is at www.DailyAudioBible.com, that sort of thing. And while you’re at www.DailyAudioBible.com, you’ll find the Daily Audio Bible Shop. So you’ll find resources there that you can wear, that you can drink from, that can just be a companion on this journey as you go through the Bible this year. You can kind of set yourself up. Daily Audio Bible journals are there and we deeply encourage journaling around here because we forget things. When you’re kind of journaling a little bit a day, as you journal your way through the Bible, you’re able to look back over your year and see God’s hand in it all. It helps us. Actually being able to reflect back helps us to see God at work in our lives when things seem disconnected at times. So I guess our motto around here about journaling is if God speaks, take notes. You’ll need them at some point. So Daily Audio Bible journals are available in the Daily Audio Bible Shop as well as a number other resources, so check that out.
Then from time to time on the Daily Audio Bible we’ll play a song. Sometimes a song speaks to what we’ve read more intimately and more immediately than anything else we could do. Sometimes music is the thing that doesn’t run around our intellect and plants truth in our hearts. So we do that from time to time and then we’ll get a ton of emails about what was that song? You can always find out what songs get played on the Daily Audio Bible by just going to any of the social media channels. We post it on Facebook every time we play a song. We tweet it every time we play a song with links so you get the song and make it part of your collection. So that is how you find out what song may have gotten played on the Daily Audio Bible.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, we are a community. That is what the Daily Audio Bible is, a community of people who have committed to going through the Bible in a year and it becomes quite a beautiful community over the space of a year, but we are also pumping out terabyte after terabyte of data through the pipe known as the Internet which is how it arrives to you every day, how you are listening to me now. And yeah, that is a very, very, very expensive proposition. Thank you for your partnership in allowing the Daily Audio Bible to be here every single day. There is a link on the home page of www.DailyAudioBible.com. If you’re using the app, you can push the More button and that is in the lower right-hand corner of the app screen or, if you prefer, the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.
And, of course, as always, we are a community. 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 Margie in Oregon and I missed the Christmas party, but I did want to send a message for glad tidings into the new year. I am just praying that 2017 is a blessing to all of us, we’ll be walking together in faith and in love and growing day by day in the spirit of our Lord who blesses us. I really appreciate the new word for the new year – margin. I think that is a really important concept that we all need to incorporate into our lives. And I wanted to share with you some words that came to me. I didn’t get just one word for 2017. I got three. They are forgiveness. Some things have been happening in my work that have been really, really tense and hurtful and I need to forgive. And then I need to be obedient. Even though crappy crap is happening at work and in my personal life, if I’m obedient to God, then we’ll overcome those things together. And then finally, light. I need to remember that what I do, what I say, how I act is a way of shining light to those around me who don’t know the love of our Lord. And so that’s it for 2017 for me. Remember, even if you don’t hear your name, somebody out there is praying for you. I for one will be praying for those needs that are spoken and those that aren’t spoken and I just want you to know it is an amazing family of love that we’re a part of. I’ll be going into my fourth year this year, so be blessed, be loved. Margie in Oregon, a pearl of the Lord.
You’re a good, good Father. It’s who you are. That’s who you are and we are loved by you. It’s who we are. We’re loved by you. This is Candace from Oregon, agreeing with you in prayer, all of you, especially the calls for humanitarian help for the children of Aleppo. Lord, we bring these people to you. We bring them to you, Lord, and we cry out to you for your miraculous intervention one by one in the life of these children. Please bring food, water, even spiritual sustenance, hope. I thank you, Lord, for Salvation is Mine who’s been calling so faithfully and praying with us and leading us in prayer. Thank you for James in Atlanta and his first call after 10 years for reconciliation with his ex-wife. He knows this would be a miracle and will give you all the praise, so Lord, we just stand with him in the cry of his heart. We know, Lord, that you’re bringing to each and every one of us the restoration of all things. It is something we don’t really and can’t even begin to conceive of, but you’ve got our hearts. You’ve got our hearts and you have gone all the way to buy us back, to bring us back into total and beautiful fellowship with you, my Lord, our strength, our redeemer and in the satisfaction and the aching of this, of our hearts, Lord, we look to you and we thank you and praise you and we look forward to everything you’re going to bring. In Jesus’ name.
Merry Christmas family. This is Biola from Maryland. I hope you’re all doing well. Brian and Jill, God bless you. Bonnie from Virginia, my heart goes out to you. I did pray for favor for your son and I want to implore you to call back in and let us know the outcome of his hearing with the judge. I pray for wisdom and strength for you in dealing with your ex and above all, Sister, I pray that you will have the heart to forgive your ex and just release him and let him go. That is the power in forgiveness. Alicia from Kansas, I so much love your passion. God bless you, Sister. I love your compassion. Shout-out to you. May God continue to lift you up and greatly favor you in everything that you do, in the name of Jesus. Dawn in Tennessee, I’m praying for your son, that God would step into his situation, in the name of Jesus, God would touch him, God would deliver him and turn his life around. Sister, when God stepped into Hannah’s situation, he not only gave her Samuel, he gave her several kids after and I pray that God would step into your son’s situation and turn his life totally around, in the name of Jesus. Dennis from the Washington area, I’m praying for comfort for your wife and for you, that God would wrap his arms around your wife as she grieves the death of her brother. I’m praying that God would open doors for you and you will get an even better job, in the name of Jesus. This is long overdue. I want to give a special shout-out to my Sisters in Maryland – Leika and Andrea, God bless you so much, my Sisters, for taking the time to come out to my dad’s memorial service and not only doing that, but also giving me a gift. And to think I met you through Daily Audio Bible. This is a powerful forum, people. God bless you, my Sisters, and a special blessing to you this new year. Special shout-out to my Sister, Sidney. Sidney, you’ve never called and I know Sam always calls and Sam, we haven’t heard from you. Sisters, I want to encourage you to go register for the More Conference. God bless you.
Hi, this is Irma from Missouri. I’ve called before and left a couple of prayer requests, but I really feel the Lord telling me I need to make this call now. I just feel like our families are being attacked so bad on both sides. I know that my walk with the Lord hasn’t been as well as it should. I’m working on it. I have a praise that two of my kids have actually come back to Lord and want to walk with me and with him. I’m grateful for that, but as this happens, it just feels like more attacks keep coming. I just need prayer. We just need prayer. Please pray for the families. I’m asking personally for myself, for my marriage. I know that the devil knows that I’m a very stubborn and here lately bitter woman and I want God to take that away. Please take it away and change my attitude towards my marriage, towards my husband. Please, I ask that you pray for him, that his eyes would be opened, that his heart would be more open to understand the need for us to communicate. I just lift our whole family up. I know that Satan is hitting everywhere. Praise the Lord that he is still with us. Today is the 27th of December and New Year’s is coming. I love all of you guys and I thank you for your prayers. Amen.
Hi DAB family. This is Joyce from California. Thank you so much for praying for me and for being my family. I listened to the Community Prayer and the Christmas Party and it was the perfect way to spend Christmas with you all. It brought joy to my heart to hear your voices, especially the voices of your children and the pets who joined in on the greeting. I just wanted to thank Ann in Northern California, Justin S. from Sacramento, John C. from Guntersville, AL, Victorious Soldier, your prayer just brought me to tears, and Arjen from Florida, you are such a beautiful soul. Arjen, you’re such a wonderful Brother and I love you. Kathy, thank you for sharing about your mom, Darla from Salt Lake City, Amy from Arkansas, and everyone else who prayed for me. I felt your heart with me and felt Jesus’ arms around me. Arjen was right. The blood that binds us together is stronger than the blood that binds us to our biological family. O Lord God, we praise you for this beautiful family, the body of Christ. Thank you that we don’t have to bear our burdens alone. We praise you for working your good and perfect will in each of our lives, regardless of our circumstances. I lift up each and every one of our family members to you. O Lord, be the Lord of everything we do. O Lord, pour out your highest blessings and healing on each of us and our loved ones. Your kingdom come, your will be done, Lord God. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. I love you, family. This is Joyce from California.
Hi DAB family. This is Will from beautiful Bozeman, MT. Brian and Jill, again, thank you for this wonderful ministry and thank you all who participate in calling in, those who do not call in and just pray, and those who participate in other ways. Thank you so much for your influence in my life, encouragement for challenges I face when I listen to your testimony and your prayer and your prayer requests. I just want to pray now. Father, thank you so much for this ministry and the blessing it has been in my life. My prayer is to be able to pass that blessing on to others as I come in contact with them. And I just pray, Father, that as I share my testimony about the DAB with my friends and people I come in contact with, that they would hear you, that they would be moved by your Spirit and not by the fact that we have a friendship, but by the fact that you are real and what they hear appeals to their heart. And then I pray, Lord, about the things that are so earnest in our hearts and minds that we grip so hard that we can’t see a different way. So I pray a prayer of indifference and the reason why I pray that, Father, is so that your Spirit would come into that neutral spot and take us to the direction you want us to go. So often we clamp so hard to what we want that we don’t allow you to move us in the way you want. So I pray a prayer of indifference. Lord, thank you again for your goodness, your mercy, and your grace and for the upcoming year of what you are going to do. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.