Exodus 4:1-5:21 ~ Matthew 18:1-20 ~ Psalm 22:19-31 ~ Proverbs 5:15-21
Today is January 27th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure to be here with you today and we’re here to take the next step forward in the adventure that is the scriptures. We’re just a couple days into the book of Exodus, which is a very dramatic story that fits in huge puzzle pieces about who these children of Israel are and why they are the chosen ones. So from the Contemporary English Version this week, Exodus chapter 4, verse 1 through 5, verse 21 today.
We have a number of things that we should talk about today from the scriptures. We’ll begin in the Old Testament.
We’re getting to know this man named Moses who is becoming a large figure in the story and has a hand on us having these writings that we’re reading in the Old Testament at all. We’re moving into this next season after Joseph. We found out how the children of Israel, how that family got to Egypt. We found out how they multiplied and how the Egyptians forgot how they ever got there in the first place and had enslaved them. We learned of Moses and all of the male children that were supposed to be thrown into the Nile. So Moses was kind of thrown into the Nile, so to speak, but in a wicker basket and the Pharaoh’s daughter found him and he was raised Egyptian even though he was Hebrew. He killed an Egyptian and ran away. So we’ve gone through all of that, but now Moses is meeting with God. Moses is having this conversation with God and his conversation is filled with all kinds of questions, like how can I be sure that you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do? How are the people going to believe me?
God is entering into this conversation. He doesn’t come down and shoot a lightning bolt right next to Moses’ left foot and make him dance away with a singed toe and say, “I am God and that is why they’ll believe me!” He enters into a conversation. This is God’s way. Collaboration. Intimate relationship.
So they are having this conversation. Even though Moses is asking all kinds of questions to indicate that he is not sure that he believes this is true, God begins to show him there is power here, that he is sending him, he has an important role to play and he is going to lead God’s people out of the land of Egypt. In the end Moses kind of runs out of excuses and so he digs deep into the barrel and says, “But I can’t speak in front of people. I’m slow at talking. I can’t think of what to say in those kinds of situations.” Of course, God's’ reply is, “I will help you. I’ll be with you. I’ll give you the words to say.” Moses, who is going to become a large and important figure whose life still affects us today, ends up saying something really sad because it’s in us all. “Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
So there it is. The mirror of the Bible goes back up in front of our faces and makes us look at ourselves once again. How many times have we been in that position? God is moving. God is leading. We’re afraid. We don’t trust. We’re not sure this is for real and so we start finding all of the reasons that this can’t be real, can’t be happening and then we talk ourselves out of it, just like Moses is doing, send someone else to do it, you’re asking too much of me, you’re asking me for something I can’t do. It’s like we were talking about yesterday. This life that we live is so often lived from a place of impossible, when that is not something that exists for a person who has been made fully whole and human.
As we move into the New Testament, we see the same collaboration. We see the same weightiness of choice. We see the same intimacy coming from Jesus’ lips. “I promise you that God in heaven will allow whatever you allow on earth, but he will not allow anything you don’t allow.” Or put in more traditional language, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. So there is no way to get around this without acknowledging that what we do does matter and the world that we currently live in is the one that we have created for ourselves. Obviously it is not the one God intended, but it is the one that he allowed. The choices that we make are creating the world that we live in and we can’t escape that. We try to escape that. We try to blame everyone. We try to blame God. But the mirror isn’t lying.
We could easily say well, God is sovereign over all of this and why would he allow our choices to matter when our choices aren’t going to be the best ones? This goes all the way back to the beginning. Love, true love, real authentic, intimate, honest, deep love is something that is entered into by choice. There is no other way. You can’t be co-opted into true love. You can’t be strong-armed into true love. You can’t be enslaved into true love. Those things can happen, but the result isn’t true love. True love is entered into by choice. The intimacy and collaboration that we have with God, whatever state or shape that it is in, is by choice. It is one of the gifts of Eden that we are created in the image of God and we get to choose to be truly in love with him or not. And those choices in big and small ways, they make the life that we have created and the world that we have created for ourselves.
So may we take that to heart today and understand once again, because the Bible is going to hammer this home over and over in all kinds of ways from all kinds of angles, it matters what you do. This is an invitation to a collaboration with God in restoring all things. We’re part of that story. If we can’t even do it in our own hearts, if it can’t even spill into our own homes, well then we can’t blame God for what we are allowing because he is allowing what we’re allowing.
Father, there is certainly a weightiness to that. There is some heft there. So as we sit with that today, we invite your Holy Spirit because it’s not always about the big mistakes or the big victories. Those are maybe the things that we remember or focus on most, but all of those things, they came together because of a series of choices, many different nuanced choices that we’ve made. Where we sit right now, wherever it is that we’re listening to this, whether it’s in a car or on a train or in a bed or in a shower or wherever, we are standing or sitting where we are right now because of the systematic choices that we have made over the course of years. So here we are and you’ve allowed it because you will allow what we will allow. So Father, we need some help. We need your Holy Spirit’s wisdom. We need to see the way that we habitually make choices that end us up in the same kinds of places. We need to see how we’ve been trying to manage this on our own as our own sovereign and not even talking to you about the small things, but the small things add up to big things, so we need your counsel. We need your Holy Spirit to well up within us in everything that we do and say and think because they all go somewhere and we are here to be about the business of bringing and being your Kingdom. We’re just completely distracted from that on most days. Give us the eyes and the ears of the Kingdom. Let us lift our heads from the ground up to the horizon and see that it is bigger than us. It is bigger than we know and you have invited us to play a role. So come Holy Spirit, let us feel the weightiness of that and live our lives nobly, honoring the fact that our choices matter and we choose you. Come Jesus, we pray in your 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
Hi, this is Lisa, the Encourager just calling tonight to pray for Bill B. He called in. He was on his way to the Veteran’s Hospital and I think it is also appropriate for me to thank him so much for his service and everything he’s done for us in serving in the military and pray for the others that are still serving today, so I’ll do that tonight. Dear Lord, I pray for Bill as he was on his way to the hospital because he is having some breathing problems. Lord Jesus, I just pray that you will help the doctors at the Veteran’s Hospital to use wisdom and practice whatever they need to do to help Bill to be better soon and to find a solution to why he is having breathing problems quickly and be able to resolve the issue and there would be minor difficulties, there won’t be anything major wrong and that you just send your guidance and your angels to watch over him and comfort his family and help him to have a speedy recovery from whatever it is that is ailing him at this time, Lord. And I want to thank you so much for his service for our country as a veteran and everything that he did while he served so that all of us could be right here on the land free and able to exercise our freedom because of what our veterans did for us, Lord. I also pray for all the veterans that are out there serving today, right now as we are in the comfort of our homes, in the comfort of our lives and our jobs and all the food and all the luxuries of life that we have here as they are out there serving our country. And I just pray for each and every one of them. I pray for the ones that don’t have a relationship with you.
Good morning DAB family. I’m Carol from the UK. Thank you so much, Brian, for sharing your very moving account of your mom’s last few days. I’m sure that many people like myself were in tears. In 1939 I was evacuated into a loving Christian family and their neighbors also were Christians who had a daughter younger than myself. We formed a lifelong friendship which is still there today, over 76 years later. She met a local boy who I actually went to school with and because I was an evacuee who was bullied as if I was an alien or an immigrant, he was the only person who stuck up for me and supported me. A few years ago my friend informed me that her husband was suffering from Parkinson’s and the onset of dementia. He, like your mom, Brian, couldn’t eat or swallow anything. My friend told me he was suffering so much she just wanted God to take him. I told her that God was preparing his room for him when he was ready and a few days later she told me that his room was ready for him early that morning. She told me that although she was somewhat relieved, she still missed him terribly. My husband of 59 years is almost 87, reasonably good health, has been a wonderful husband and father and we’re still very much in love with each other. Although he is a believer as such, he has not yet accepted Jesus as his Savior, so please pray for him to take Jesus as his Lord and Savior before it is too late. Thank you so much and God bless you all.
Good morning family and friends. This is Cherry C., Cherry Pie. I want to send this to Salvation is Mine. Hey girl, letting you know I’ve got your back. You’re covered. I do understand where you are. Just knowing that you’re covered, relax. Just relax and let God just totally take over and you’re going to be fine. You know you’ve got a lot of people praying for you, thousands of people praying for you. We’re right here by your side, so just relax. Try to relax anyway. I love you and I am going to continue to pray for you. You guys, I want to do a roll call, Tasha from New York, (there are a lot of people missing that have not called in), Sinner Redeemed, where are you? Blessed Like Me, I miss your calls. There are so many that I can’t even get all the names out, but come on guys. You all call in. I’m constantly and I’m sure everybody else is thinking about you guys. Call in and let us know how you’re doing and where you are in life. You guys have a great, blessed, and marvelous day. I am. I love you guys. I will talk with you guys soon.
Hi, this is Loralee from Boynton Beach and I would like to pray for the Hardin family right now. I was waiting for the Holy Spirit to give me God’s word because I didn’t have any words. Heavenly Father, I would like to thank you for Mrs. Hardin and I know she is having a really good day right now. I would like to lift up the comforting words of your son, Jesus, and sow it into the Daily Audio Bible family right now. The scripture is John 19:26-27. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother” and from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. Mrs. Hardin, you are home __________ greatly honored to greet you in heaven and I thank you and I pray that we all, as mothers of sons, will leave a legacy in our own son’s lives, that they obey what they were made to do and to sow into lives of many life-giving words every day, giving glory to God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Good morning, this is Under His Wing, a first-time caller. I would like to beg prayers for a dear and longtime friend especially of my husband. His name is Peter and late last summer he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was doing well until Christmastime and now isn’t. Hospice has been called in. Many thanks and blessings to all of you, including Brian Hardin and family. Thank you.
Hi Brian, this Paula from __________, OH and I just finished listening to your tribute to your mother. I hope I can get through this message. I’m just speechless. It was the most beautiful message and I think it can educate a lot of people on dementia and I hope that I can share this. But I am late for work now because my makeup is streaming down my face, but thank you so much for opening your heart to us. We love you. You’ll never know the changes that you have done for so many people including myself. I just want to thank you and bless you. It is such a tribute to know you and to have you share the love that you had for your mother and your father. My mother will be 91 in March and she is still living and I’ll give her a big hug from you. God bless you and your family and Jill and Zekey and all your children. We love you so much, Brian. Thank you for walking in Christ daily. Bye-bye.