Genesis 13:5-15:21 ~ Matthew 5:27-48 ~ Psalm 6:1-10 ~ Proverbs 1:29-33
Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. Today is January the 6th. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today around this global campfire that we have created together called the Daily Audio Bible. Here we are, well into our first week of this year and this adventure through the Bible and excited to take the next step, which is what we’ll do now.
We’re reading from the New Living Translation this week and picking back up in the story of Abram who we met yesterday and who is going to be quite an important figure throughout the rest of our journey this year. So today, Genesis chapter 13, verse 5 through 15, verse 21.
Let’s jump into the book of Genesis real quick. We have this story of Lot and Abram and we see this covenant struck between God and Abram today. It is kind of a grizzly scene, but the way that a covenant was ratified at that particular time was to divide animals and then walk between those halves and recite the terms of the covenant, so the benefits of the covenant and then also to recite the consequences of a breach in the covenant. This custom exists until today. It just looks a little different in different parts of the world. And there are other ways that this will be ratified as we go through the Bible, different customs, like giving the person you are going into an agreement with your sandal, that kind of stuff. It might seem archaic or strange, but believe it or not, we have some strange customs in the world today that we do and we just do them because we know what they mean. So now we would draw up a contract. It would be this short or lengthy document, depending on what the agreement is about and how much detail needs to be covered. Those are the terms, those are the benefit and those are the consequences.
God enters into a covenant with humanity, with Abram in today’s reading. And then Lot, who has separated from Abram, gets captured down in the plain and carried off. Abram has to go in pursuit once he finds out and he chases him all the way back through Dan and on to Damascus. These places are real places. Obviously Damascus is still a major city on the earth. Dan, though, is also still a place. The ruins of ancient Dan exist, the walls, the gate, remnants of the city and all that happened there. It’s fascinating to read this particular territory in the Bible because I can see this so clearly in my mind, the ancient gate, the Canaanite gate of Dan. It exists today. It’s one of the two oldest city gates, domed city gates in all of Israel and oldest in the world, and that can be seen. You look at this ancient gate and realize Abram came through this gate, passing through in pursuit of his nephew Lot. That is pretty striking. Which, I guess, gives me opportunity to tell you about one of the resources in the Daily Audio Bible.
If you’re in the Daily Audio Bible Shop, you can find this double DVD set that we have called Promised Land. It takes two to three minute looks, little views, video views of all of the places that we’ll encounter in the Bible. We spent five different years filming all of these places and put this all together. It is a great resource for those going through the Bible because you can just kind of dive in and just look at these places. So you can see what I’m talking about today with your own eyes. When you get Promised Land from Daily Audio Bible, we’ll send you the double DVD package. It’s awesome. But you’ll instantly get the high definition download links as well. So you get the physical version on DVD, but you get the digital version as well in high definition. You can just kind of dip in as we come to places. You can just kind of dip in and see them with your own eyes in beautifully done cinematography. So you may want to check that out.
But let’s move into the book of Matthew. Jesus is giving his Sermon on the Mount and this is really a central and core teaching of Jesus and the way that he looks at human life. We should take this to heart not just because Jesus is speaking it, but we should take this to heart because it is being spoken by the voice of a person as they were intended to be.
We began our journey at the beginning of this week and met Adam and Eve and we got this glimpse into a time which was as it was intended and rather than going back through the story, because we’ve covered it a number of times as we moved through this week, after that, humanity fell, slid backwards, was separated from the Divine, from God. But that is not the case with Jesus. Jesus came as the perfect, sinless person, God in the flesh with us and among us. So when Jesus is speaking, we’re hearing the voice of a person, a human being as it was intended to be. This is what we were created to look like. This is how it was supposed to be for us. So when Jesus talks, he is speaking through that perfection, at that place where he is seeing things as they are supposed to be and seeing the contrast between how things are supposed to be and how they are. When he gives this Sermon on the Mount, he is juxtaposing how things are supposed to be against how things are and essentially speaking into humanity “you are living backward to the way things are supposed to be for you.” And then he just begins to unpack all of these things and it touches all of the soft places in our lives.
You can read the Sermon on the Mount and go ‘who could do this? Who could achieve this, all of these rules?’ In the Old Testament we haven’t gotten to the Mosaic Law yet, but we will, and we look at the Law or even Jesus’ teachings and go these are the parameters, these are the rules, this is what you’re supposed to do, but is that the point? Is the point the rules or are the rules just simply there as the boundaries to life itself? We can read the Sermon on the Mount and say ‘well, I can never live up to that’ or we could look at it as the contrast between the way things are supposed to be for humanity versus the way things are for humanity and then we bring that real close and go look in the mirror and see how it overlays our own lives. That becomes a very powerful realization because we at once can see how far we have fallen ourselves. But the beautiful thing is there is a way back to our humanity as it was intended and that way is through this man Jesus that we’re getting to know right now. So watch him. Watch him as we move our way through the gospels. Watch him closely because you are not only looking at a person as they were meant to be, but you are also looking at the way to get there.
Father, we thank you once again for your word. Jesus, your life is beautiful beyond description and we often say in the faith we want to be like you. We want to be Christ-like. But usually we’re saying that as some sort of aspirational thought, some sort of goal that we have in mind that is esoteric and sort of distant and we all kind of acknowledge we can’t really do that. Yet, that is not what you were teaching. That is not what you were modeling with your humanity. And that is not what your sacrifice offers to us. You have offered us an eternal life and a full humanity. So come, Holy Spirit. Plant these words in our lives. Reshape and reframe the way we think we understand things. Disrupt us in whatever way you need to in order to shake us free and awaken us to what is available and what we must step into to participate and collaborate in your redemptive work in this world, the work of sanctifying not only our hearts, but everything. Come, Holy Spirit, we pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is home base. It’s the website. It’s where you find out what is going on around here and what resources are available and all of that. So check that out. I talked about the Promised Land Films just a second ago because that is a great companion. Like I was saying the other day, in the Daily Audio Bible Shop we’ve tried to create resources, no matter what they are, to be partners in the journey through the Bible, things that go along with your life in the Bible and Promised Land is certainly that. It gives you an in-depth and deeper look at the places where the Bible happened, so certainly, absolutely check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at the website as well. There is a link on the home page. And thank you. Thank you for your partnership. If you use the Daily Audio Bible App, just push the More button in the lower right-hand corner. Or if you prefer, the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, (877) 942-4253 is the number to dial.
And that is it for today. I’m Brian. I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hi Daily Audio Bible family members. This is Sarah from Nebraska. I just finished listening to today’s, the 29th podcast and I just want to pray for that little boy who called in who is going to be moving and starting at a new school and worried about making friends. I just want him to know that I will be praying for him. I just hate when children have that anxiety and fear. I just want him to give it to the Lord. And then I would like prayer. I am getting married tomorrow on the 30th. I’m not anxious about getting married. I’m anxious because we’ve both been married before and we don’t want to screw this up and our four adult children will all be there and will stand up with us as well as our families, extended family. I want to be focused on my new husband and not on my children and grandchildren. I just worry that I’ve poured my life and soul into each one of my children and I know they are adults and live their own lives and truly have little time for me and so when they are around, I just pounce. So I know this will get played later, but I know God is outside of all time realms, so please just lift up my marriage. I would love just to have you all praying for us. Thank you and when you hear this it will be Happy New Year, so Happy New Year family and friends of the Daily Audio Bible. I love you all.
Hi everybody. This is Laura from Fort Myers. I wanted to call especially for the new listeners and say Happy New Year to all of you, returning listeners, too, in my family. So new listeners, especially if you are new to the Bible itself, I challenge you to listen for two months because you’re going to hear some strange things going on in the beginning. Just listen to Brian’s commentary after and hopefully that will help you understand what is going on. Also feel free to call the prayer line. It doesn’t matter how small you think your prayer request is, God is concerned about every aspect of our lives. Also reach out to us online. We have a Facebook group. Search for DAB Friends. I think that’s right. One more thing I want to say, if you really are enjoying this community, I also challenge you to give because this is a free service, the podcasts are free or how you listen is free, but it is not free to run. This is pretty much the Hardins full-time gig here. So please give what you can to continue this ministry, continue getting the word of God around the world to anyone who has Internet access pretty much. I love you all and Happy New Year again. Bye.
Hello, this is Steve from Salt Lake City, the other half of Judy from Utah. Anyway, I just had an urge to call. I want to thank everybody. I want to especially thank Brian and Jill, their whole family. I can’t imagine the deal that they go through in order to make all of this possible. I mean, they are just devoted. I can’t believe it. I think we all ought to kick out an extra $10 for them to keep the DAB up and running well. Anyway, I just wanted to thank everybody for calling in. I want to thank the people that don’t call in, that just pray. That would be mostly me. My wife calls in from time to time, but it amazes me. I’ve only been listening for about three years, but I can’t get away from it. There is no possible way. It is like a major magnet in my life. Anyway, I’m probably running out of time. I just want to thank everybody and keep up the good work and those that feel lonely, you’re in the right place. Just keep listening. Keep calling in. Keep praying. Happy New Year! [Judy] Happy New Year! From Salt Lake, we love you.
Hi, this is Victorious Soldier, just calling tonight to pray for some of the Dabbers. I want to pray for Brian who is having some brain surgery. I want to also pray for Curtis, his son Cameron, having to do with the thyroid nodules. I want to also pray for I think it’s Ron from Southern Cal. He has a friend with a heart infection. I wanted to pray for him also. Gracious Father, we come before your throne of grace. Father, in the name of Jesus, Lord, we’re someone today that needs a healing. O Lord, we want to go to a doctor that never lost a case. We want to go to a doctor that knows all. He knows because he made us, Lord. We ask you in, the name of Jesus, to stretch out your hands, Lord. O Lord, in the name of Jesus, you were wounded by our transgressions, bruised by our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon you and by your stripes we are healed. Lord, I’m claiming healing for these people, Lord. O Lord, and all of your people that need a healing from you, O Father, with just the touch of your Spirit, just the touch of your hands, just the touch of your breath, Lord, we know that you can do all things. O Father, we ask you to touch Pastor Gene. O Lord, we know that you have a tremendous victory for her that she has already won. Lord, you continue to bless her and you continue to strengthen her and you continue to show her your love every day, that you are with her, that you are closer than she ever thought you could be. O Lord, you touch Blind Tony and you touch Brian and Jill and little Ezekiel, Lord. O Lord, in the mighty and…
Hello my Daily Audio Bible family. My name is Angela and I’ve been listening only for a few months, but I have been so blessed. And I’ve heard the prayers and I pray for you. This is for everybody. I have a word for everybody that is struggling with mental illness or has a family member struggling with mental illness. I just want to use an analogy from creation and that is the eagle’s nest and eagle’s eggs. Now when an egg is beginning to hatch it looks cracked. A child might look at it and say, “oh, the egg is broken.” But us parents know better. We say, “no, it’s not broken. This is the sign that life is coming. There is something that is going to happen. A new thing will be born.” Let us not be deceived, brothers and sisters. Mental illness is a description used in therapeutic terms and among psychiatrists and the psychiatric professionals just as a description of what is happening so that they can treat it effectively. Let us not be discouraged if we or someone we love is different than the norm. We want to be different, do we not? We are in this world and not of it. So do not lose heart. Avail yourself of every medical resource you can avail yourself of, but do not forget that God is sovereign over all.
Hi family. This is Biola from Maryland. I hope you’re all doing well. Ladies, I hope you took advantage of the discount and got your tickets for the More Conference, and even if you didn’t, I pray that God will still provide for you and you’ll be able to get tickets even in the new year, because the prices are still very reasonable even without the coupons. Brian and Jill, God bless you. God bless your ministry. God continues to provide for you, your children, your grandchild, in the name of Jesus. Kathy from Texas, I’m praying for Brian J., that God would touch him with his power and deliver him from this disease, in Jesus’ name. I stand with you, Sister, and I declare over Brian J. that by the stripes of Jesus Christ he has been healed. I __________ this word in his life and I say it is so, in the name of Jesus. Sherry from Colorado, I’m praying that God would touch your son and heal him and I pray for complete deliverance for him, that he will be set free, that he will be able to get into a treatment center quickly, in the name of Jesus. Father, I pray that you will please orchestrate events and put people in this young man’s life. Draw him to you, Dear Lord, in the name of Jesus. Leonard from Canada, I’m praying that God would comfort you and heal your heart and body, in the name of Jesus. Debbie from Orlando, I’m praying that (is it Debbie?). Yeah, anyway, I’m praying that God would give you favor and you’ll be able to make your targets for the end of the year. Reyna, praying for you, Sister, that God will heal you from this depression. I pray that God would draw you so much closer to him, you will delight in him, you will talk to him, you will study his word, and that he will be your sole strength and support and help, in Jesus’ name. I pray for deliverance from alcohol for you and your son and I break that power of addiction over both of you, that you will no longer find any solace and comfort from alcohol and that it will be disgusting to you. You will no longer enjoy it, Sister. Look, I remember. It’s Becky, Becky from Orlando.