Genesis 35:1-36:43 ~ Matthew 12:1-21 ~ Psalm 15:1-5 ~ Proverbs 3:21-26
Today is the 17th day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and I’m delighted that we can be here for the next step forward in this grand and epic adventure that the Bible is. But before we get into that, I just want to take this one moment to say thank you for the outpouring of love toward me, toward our family in the loss of my mom.
I have read your posts and your emails and your cards and I continue to do that in some of my maybe more sadder moments. Grief is an interesting thing because you can be moving along fine and then have a gut punch. I’m in that stage and I’m just trying to be present to it. I think I have some things to say, but I’m just kind of staying present to this transition and all that it means is really important.
I just wanted to say thank you. You have been a comfort in ways that I can’t even express and in some cases even process right now. So thank you. I mean, I haven’t been talking about it for a couple of days. I’m trying to not let it take over what we do. What we do here is take another step forward every day and so taking that next step forward every day is really important not only to what we do, but in this time of grieving. So thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, with my heart wide open. I love you and I appreciate it more than I can possibly tell you. We’ll talk about it soon.
We are here to take the next step forward in the Bible. So today we’ll be reading from the New International Version and we’re following in the footsteps of Jacob whose name has been changed to Israel. That name change alone explains so much of what happens next in the Bible and that reverberates all the way until today. Genesis chapter 35, verse 1 through 36:43 today.
In the book of Genesis we have a little bit of a genealogical record. When you come to the genealogical stuff that is in the Bible, which there is more to come later, at least for me, as a kid growing up around the Bible, I always thought why page after page of names? This is so boring. But once you start putting things into context you realize what is going on.
So what we have going on in the book of Genesis today is just sort of a rounding out of the story. We’ve been following Abraham, then Isaac and Jacob and Esau and their estrangement and Jacob fleeing to the north. We stuck with him for a couple of decades. This is where 11 of the 12 children were born and the 12th one was born today, Benjamin, on the way back to the homeland where Jacob lost his wife, Rachel. Meanwhile, Jacob’s twin brother Esau did live during those two decades and we get this recap very briefly in a genealogical record of his descendants who become the Edomites.
The Edomites have a role to play later on in the story. If we’ll remember this, it is really important because Jacob and Esau were twin brothers so every descendant after them are interrelated as blood related family. The Edomites and the Israelites are not going to be like brothers. They are going to be like enemies even though they are brothers. So much of that animosity still exists in that region today and all throughout the earth. So we basically just did a recap, a filling in the story as we begin to move forward into the story in the book of Genesis.
In the book of Matthew we have Jesus bucking tradition. They are trying to figure out whether it is okay to heal somebody on the Sabbath, a new question for these folks to wrestle with. The Pharisees, the ultra-zealous practitioners of the Jewish faith have already gone after Jesus’ disciples for picking some grain as they walked along because they were hungry and Jesus had to defend them. And he did it by using the scriptures.
And then he’s in the synagogue and they are trying to trap him because he is going to heal somebody on the Sabbath and that is work and you cannot work on the Sabbath. Jesus sort of dismantles that argument and heals somebody and for the first time in the Bible, the first time in the Jesus story they decide that they need to have him killed. They’ve been watching him and they have not necessarily been antagonistic to him. He has a gift. People follow him and he is talking about a kingdom. The way he describes it doesn’t make sense, but he’s talking about a kingdom and they are looking for a Messiah, so they are watching him. To have a guy like this with this kind of authority in speech and deed could be very, very powerful in the movement that they are trying to get going, but Jesus just isn’t playing ball. He just can’t be recruited and fast-tracked. That is not why he is here. They realize that he is willing to step right up to them and face them down, so for the first time having Jesus killed in some way is introduced.
I think what was spoken of in the Psalms and the Proverbs, especially in terms of looking for margin in our lives is where the meat is today. What if I were to tell you, listen, I have some secrets. If you will follow these steps, you will never be shaken. We would want that formula, right? That is what is given in the Psalms today.
Whoever does these things will never be shaken, the Bible says. So what are those things? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart, whose tongue utters no slander (so that cuts gossip out of the picture), who does no wrong to a neighbor (that cuts carrying offenses around out of the picture) and casts no slur on others (that cuts judgment out of the picture), who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps an oath even when it hurts and does not change their mind, who lends money to the poor without interest, who does not accept a bribe against the innocent, whoever does these things will never be shaken.
So there you go. If one of the reasons that you’re immersing yourself in the Bible is to find what life is supposed to look like, well then there you go. This happens quite often in the Bible. So here is this list of characteristics that all have to be lived out from the central place inside of us, from our identity, from our heart. You can simply look at this list and contrast it with our own lives and it explains a lot, but we’re not done. The Proverbs moves into this territory as well.
My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight. That requires a significant amount of vigilance. If you’re a parent and you’ve ever had a toddler in your life, then this is what we’re talking about. You cannot let that little child who has a wide-eyed wonder at the world and has no idea what danger might be, you can’t let them out of your sight. You have to protect them. That is what we’re talking about with wisdom and understanding. We can never let them out of our sight. We must preserve sound judgment and discretion, treat it like the treasure that it is. Preserve it, care for it, cultivate it.
So don’t let wisdom and understanding out of your sight and treasure sound judgment and discretion. They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you’ll go on your way in safety and your foot will not stumble. You will not be shaken. When you lie down you will not be afraid. When you lie down your sleep will be sweet. You’ll have no fear of sudden disaster or the ruin that overtakes the wicked for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
Both the psalm and the proverb today are worth memorizing or committing to your journal or writing down somewhere so that you can refer back to them because you cannot let them out of your sight if you want this to work. If you want margin in your life, if you want to be stable and have the ability to operate from a balanced place, then these are the things that our lives have got to be filled with. This is what the shape of life has to be. If it becomes the shape of our life, then we will not stumble and we will not be shaken. So if you are stumbling and you are shaken, well then contrast your life with these things and it will reveal the things that cannot be in your life anymore because they are making you stumble and they are shaking you.
Jesus, we invite you into this. Holy Spirit, come because this is really important. You are inviting us back to who we were created to be. You are inviting us into this great dance where we get to play a role in your kingdom. You are showing us clearly what that needs to look like. Here we are at a fork in the road. Will we slow down enough to pay attention to this very explicit and detailed information that we need for our lives or will we just move on? That choice will affect everything that comes next for us. So come, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus and guide us through this process of contrasting what your word says life can and should look like and how ours does look like and help us to understand the gravity of the decisions that we make, that when we make a decision we are choosing wholeness or we are choosing otherwise, but we are choosing. Come Holy Spirit, we pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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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. For those that have been here for a while, you might recognize my voice. This is Jamie T. Last year, 2016 was a very difficult time for me and my husband. We’ve gone through several surgeries and my husband is still mending from surgery, so I kind of backed off on the Daily Audio Bible and just was feeling like something was missing in my life so I started up again this year. My heart is overjoyed to hear all these people that I’ve heard before and new people that I’ve not heard before and just realizing I was missing my family. So it is not just the reading of the Bible, which is the most important of this thing, but it’s the family. I love you guys and I have missed you guys so. Happy New Year! I’m going to be listening to your voices and praying for you all. I love you. Bye.
Hi. My name is Amanda. I’m a new believer. I became a Christian on September 27, 2016, and I’ve been going through a lot of things and a lot of things have been very hard. 2016 was a very hard year. I struggle with forgiveness. It’s been very difficult for me to forgive the people in my life. I would just ask that you help pray for me that God will take this from me, that he will just take it. Yeah, thank you, you all.
Family, this is Biola from Maryland. Hope you’re all doing well. Brian, I grieve with you over your mother’s transition and at this point I want to pray over you what has given me comfort, the priestly blessing that I know you know, that my father used to pray over us. So I pray that as you grieve, Brian, you, your family, your children and your siblings, I pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you. That he will make his face shine upon you all and be gracious to you. That the Lord will lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. I salute the warrior that your mother is, the warrior that gave birth to you and, of course, your father as well, a man of valor no doubt. I salute the resilience that she built up within you, Brian, that causes you to be so committed to read this Bible and stay with it day in, day out every year. I salute you, Brother. I salute you, man of God. And Jill, I salute you. Definitely. You are the woman behind this stalwart of a man. God bless you. And I’m praying for the More Conference. Ladies, if you haven’t registered, go and register. I’m also praying for those who are grieving. Lana, I’ve been praying for you, that God would wrap his arms around you and comfort you by the loss of your mother as well. And as you grieve, you will know that God has a special heart for the brokenhearted. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, Sister, so give yourself time to grieve. I am grieving too, but life does not stop. Life does not stop. And little Autumn, I am sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing. I pray that God would comfort you as well. Young lady, you agreed to be a prayer warrior for the Lord. God bless you. I was so encouraged by your phone call. God bless you, family.
Hello family. This is Candace from Oregon. It’s January 9 as I speak, Monday. This call is for I think her name is Lisa H. Her house burned to the ground Thursday night, Friday morning. Single mom of two children. Please join me now in prayer for her. Lord, thank you that this woman whose faithfully been one of us now for many years has had her first-time call and that you have kept her, that there was no loss of life in this fire. Thank you, Lord, that you hold her in the palm of your hand. I pray alongside of her that her insurance will fully pay for her and that her life will be restored so well that it will be just beyond anything she could have asked or thought of. Hold her, Lord, in the palm of your hand every hour. Thank you that you, Lord, are faithful and true. Thank you that you love us so much. Please bring great, great blessing and goodness to this woman and her two children and we ask this in Jesus’ name for his sake.
Hey family. This is Kenny and I’m from the suburbs of Los Angeles. I’m a born again Christian by the grace of God since 2008. If you guys can please pray for me. I’ll list some simple prayer requests, but they are really important to me. One of them would be for my family’s health, my dad, my brother, my two sisters. If you can please be praying for their health just in general and then salvation for my entire family. I wasn’t raised in church and I got saved in 2008 and I witness to my family. My brother is really hostile towards even talking about God. My dad wasn’t interested at all. It’s a long story, but please just pray for my entire family’s salvation. And for my walk with Christ in general, if you can please pray that I want to grow in holiness, of course. I want to be a doer of the word and I just want to continuously grow every day in the way that God is calling me to live as a Christian. I just really want to be something like in Psalm 1, the tree that is planted by the water that bears all that fruit. I want to be like one of those trees, the water being the word of God and I want to bear fruit one hundredfold. I just want to meditate on God’s word day and night and I want to please God with my entire life and I want to worship God with my life, the way that pleases him most. I want to be so far away from any sin, especially habitual sin. I do not want to relapse on any sin. Yeah, I just want God to continue using me and I want to feel like I’m making God proud so to speak. Yeah, if you can pray for a wife for me too, but thank you guys so much.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Joelle and I am calling. I was so moved by the podcast on the 7th of January. It was just a very powerful epiphany in my heart. That podcast really moved me and as we all focus on the new word margin this year, I am really wanting to model or learn from the model of the Daily Audio Bible the prayerfulness of our family here because I’m not as good at praying as I should be. I have a lot of room to grow that way. And just the many examples of the faithfulness in our community moved me and helped me to want a deeper, richer relationship with the Lord and with Jesus. So I just thank each of you for the prayerfulness and the attention that you pay in our readings together. And I also really am focusing on another aspect which is obedience and self-discipline. So thank you for being such an important part of my faith journey. I have so much love for all of you. Thank you.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family. This is Joyce. Hi Brian. I just wanted to say I’m so sorry that you lost your mom and I just wanted to thank you because you shared such beautiful memories of her and it honestly broke my heart. I listened to you saying that about her calling out Jesus’ name and that is what happened with my grandma too when she passed. I just wanted to say thank you for just always being here for us. You’re always here. You’re always loving and kind and deeply insightful and you’re here for us. We’re lifting you up behind the scenes all the time, even if we don’t call out your name, but we love your family and we are your family and we lift you up all the time. Just wanted to remind you what you read about in Job where you said that sometimes the best thing a person can do is just to sit with you. So today I spent some time and I sat with you and mourned and grieved. I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone and that we’re lifting you up and we’re grieving with you. We love you guys so much. God bless you. Bye-bye.
Hey guys. I need prayer. My name is Mike and I’m currently living in Louisiana, not sure how much longer, but I’m just getting frustrated. I’m trying to just get my life on track which I’ve been trying for years and it’s not working. Trying to hear Jesus and see what he tells me to do and not clear. I get little hints like maybe go to Joel Olstean’s church in Houston, so I’m looking at medical missions conferences, but things don’t seem to line up at times and money is tight and I’m in debt. I’m not sure where to go or what to do and I want to do something serving God and I want to do something where I’m not just broke and getting into debt. I want to do something to help and love people. I need help. My name is Mike. Prayer is appreciated. Yeah, and guidance. Thank you.