Exodus 15:19-17:7 ~ Matthew 22:1-32 ~ Psalm 27:1-7 ~ Proverbs 6:20-26
Today is February 2nd. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s, of course, wonderful to be here with you around this global campfire that is home to us, so I’m glad we could be here together for the next step forward which is all we have to do right now. No matter how many steps you have to take and no matter how many steps you feel you have to make simultaneously in different directions, that can wait. That will still be there, but reorienting our hearts to go through his word and taking the next step forward toward all that he is inviting us into, that is the most important thing right now. So we’re reading from the English Standard Version this week, moving back out to this dramatic thing that is going on out in the desert between the people of Israel and the people of Egypt and a Red Sea that was spread open wide so the people could cross. So today, Exodus chapter 15, verse 19 through 17:7.
Let’s go back out to the desert. Let’s go back out to the wilderness for a moment and just kind of look back at the last couple of days, the things that have happened, because a full length mirror is being put in front of our eyes and there is much, much to see there.
So we went through all of the plagues that fell upon Egypt that ultimately had the Egyptians throwing the Israelites out of their country, out of their land. They wanted them gone. And they left and they left with plenty. They moved their way toward the wilderness and ended up at the Red Sea. So you have to imagine yourself at the banks of the ocean where in front of you is the water and behind you are the mountains. You’re kind of at the shores of the sea wondering where you’re supposed to go and how this is going to work when you notice dust clouds on the tops of the hills. Before long you see that the dust clouds have been created by pharaoh’s army and his chariots and they are charging down upon you. So there is panic. Even after everything these people have seen God do on their behalf and the way in which he has spared them of all of it, they are looking at the armies of pharaoh and not the mighty hand of God that is leading them. Even after all that they’ve witnessed, they are panicking because the armies are a visible thing that is charging. Their intellect and reason would say, yeah, we’re in trouble here and they are in deep trouble…on their own. They’re toast…on their own. But with God, they are not in trouble at all. Moses ends up telling them, “you won’t have to do a thing but watch and shut-up. Keep silent and watch.”
So we could stop right there. Among pastors we would say that will preach because that is our story, isn’t it? Isn’t it the way of things? We move along and God is leading and God is moving and God is faithful and he never departs from us and then we find ourselves in that kind of predicament where it is like the ocean is in front of us and the mountains are behind us and there is nowhere to go, but the enemy is certainly coming down upon us, charging us with spears and chariots. It’s on and there is nothing we can do. So we panic. “Where have you gone, God?” “Why have you abandoned me, God?” and “I guess I’ll have to do this myself.” Then we get taken out in the process when, if God has led us to the banks of the sea with mountains behind us and we are hemmed in, there is nothing to fear. Things are not always as they seem.
Moses lifts up his hands and the ocean separates for them to walk through and it is the same ocean that takes care of business with pharaoh’s army. It is as if God invites his children through the sea and to the other side and then declares to pharaoh’s army, “you shall not pass!” And that is that.
Then God leads his people out into the wilderness. We hate the wilderness seasons of our lives. They are unpleasant, and yet it is in the wilderness that formation takes place. So God leads them into the wilderness. Not the direct, close, easy route into the promised land, he leads them into the wilderness where he will reshape and reform and re-identify these people. We start to see why pretty quick because it is only a couple of days later…I mean, after all they have been through and after all that they have seen, just a few days after that, they are grumbling. “Were there not enough graves in Egypt that you had to bring us all the way out here to die?” “Why didn’t you leave us alone and let us serve the Egyptians where we sat by meat pots, where we had lots of food to eat?”
And then God gives them the food that they need, once again bringing them into a place where they cannot survive on their own. So just like at the banks of the Red Sea, they could not get out of that on their own. God had to be intertwined in the story. They get out into the wilderness, they are looking for food, they are longing for slavery again because there is no way out of this on their own, and then God feeds them because their story cannot continue without God intertwined in it.
Then a little bit after that it’s water. They’re mad and they’re grumbling and they’re going after Moses which Moses finds ironic. He is like “why are you after me? You are really grumbling against God. All we’re trying to do here is follow God.”
They have all the plagues of Egypt to set them free, they have the incident at the Red Sea to show them just what kind of power we’re talking about here, and then they’re grumbling about food, so God feeds them and then they’re grumbling about water and it is like at some point they should understand that they are where they are because God has led them where they are and God will be present and will sustain them, but they’re not getting it. It is really easy to read this story going like “how did you guys miss what happened?” And then there is the full length mirror and we have to look at our own lives and realize we do the same thing over and over.
Then we move into the book of Psalms and we read Psalm 27 today. That psalm is a beautiful picture of margin. “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his Temple, for he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble. He will conceal me under the cover of his tent. He will lift me high upon a rock.”
So David says yeah, there is stuff going on, but who cares? I have one thing, one thing I want, one thing I’m pursuing. So, in other words, this is the most important thing. This is the north star. Everything else is everything else, but this one thing I need and that is the thing I’m going after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.
Oh, if we could just take that and hold onto that and remember that, that yes, there are lots of things to be distracted by, but there is one thing that is more important and if whatever I’m about to do, whatever I’m about to say, whatever I’m thinking, whatever I’m contemplating, whatever I have ambitions for, if those things do not align with this one thing, then they are stealing the margin of my life because the one thing I need in abundance, the one thing that I’ve got to have to survive these wilderness situations is that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. May we take the full length mirror that has been put before us today by God’s word and look hard at ourselves, look ourselves in the eye, see where we are headed. Are we headed toward this one thing or not? And if not, that explains the way we interpret the wilderness times and we find ourselves being the children of Israel in the early days. May we move beyond that. It has been a long time since that happened. We’ve come a long way since then. We can do better than this.
Holy Spirit, we invite you into all of that. We can do better than this. All you’ve asked is that we be intimate with you, that we follow you, that we walk throughout life with you. So Lord, this shows us where our hearts are. This shows us whether or not we’ve truly fallen in love with you. We’re certain that you’ve fallen in love with us. For whatever reason, you have fallen in love with us, but unrequited love, that is torture. We know what that feels like and we’re sorry that we’ve been doing that to you. Come Holy Spirit, we look at ourselves in the mirror and ask you to come. Come, show us the things that are just wasted space in our lives so that we might find what is true and holy and good. Come Jesus, we pray in your name. Amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where the global campfire is always burning, so check it out. Find out what people are praying about, the resources that are available, stuff like that. Just stay connected. At www.DailyAudioBible.com you’ll find a section called Community. It’s where you find the Prayer Wall, but it is also where you find links to every place that we’re on social media. So if you’re on social media, we’re on social media. That is a good place to connect, a good place to talk, a good place to keep conversations going. There is a great Facebook Group, DAB Friends, where there is continual conversation happening, so you can find all those links at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Community section.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian. I love you and I will be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hi, I’m Robert, first-time caller in my third year of listening to the Daily Audio Bible. Been very blessed. I ensure that I’ve got the app every time I get a phone for me. Found it to be very necessary in my life to be a part of this family, be a part of this program that God has chosen to use in a way to reach out to help us, using Brian and his ministry. What motivated me to call today is that I was just so humbled by the message that Brian gave at the end of the scriptures talking about being fully human, that Jesus was fully human, the second Adam, and that is what God always planned for us to be. I never thought about that, that we’re not fully human, we’re not fully who we are supposed to be in Christ. It just humbled me because you bring in about having faith and that should be a natural thing, a natural thing for all of us as people and it just humbled me that I don’t even have that faith as small as a mustard seed. We always look down at small things, yet we should be looking up. We should be looking up, looking to God, looking to be like Christ as we walk after him. Thanks Brian for those words. Thank you all.
Hi, this is Elaine from Victoria. It’s January 28th and I heard today your message, Brian, about forgiveness. It really spoke to me because of what happened in my past. I have released it to the Lord, crying it doesn’t belong to me. Unforgiveness, you know what to do with it, God. So thank you, Brian, for explaining why and to reveal it to my mind. And I heard this message about your mom. Like so many of us on the Daily Audio Bible, I cried too because my mom is 100. Please pray for her. They seem to be overdosing her with Tylenol, and my sister is trying to help her. I ask you to pray. Tim and Carissa, I’ve had you on my mind too, that the Lord would give you all comfort. So thank you for praying. I will be praying for all of you too and strength for you, Brian, and your family because we have a God that is all powerful. He will take all of these needs and he will answer. Bless you all. Bye.
Hi, this is Pastor Chris from the Live Free or Die state, reaching out to Brian Hardin. I just listened to your talk about your mom. I’m a little bit behind in the readings because we were on vacation, but your 2016 sounded like my 2009 with my mom also named Rosalie and my heart goes out to you. Where we were on vacation, we were speaking and staying with my mother’s last sister, and she mentioned that she was an orphan even though she is a lady in her 80s and she has been married and with her husband very happily for a long time, and I realized I too am an orphan. And you know what, Brian? Even though you are an adult and a grandfather, you are now an orphan which is a bad thing and it is a good thing. The good thing is that there is an awful lot of ink in the Bible devoted to how God feels about widows and orphans. Not only do you have the Daily Audio Bible community, your family, and your church, but you have a very special place in God’s heart as a member newly of this community. You have been in my prayers ever since I’ve heard about your mom’s death. Well, you always have been. God bless you, Brian. Keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you for your ministry. Take heart, God has a special place in his heart for you and your family. Bye.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Mark, the baby doctor from Dayton, OH, and it has been a few years since I’ve called in. My wife Kim and I are on our fifth year of the Daily Audio Bible listening and Brian, we want to let you know that we lift you up in prayer daily, you and your family and this ministry and also all the prayers that are called in and especially at this time, Brian, we have been praying fervently for you during the loss of your mother and the mourning that accompanies that. I’m calling in actually in relation to something that I called in a few years ago. It was a malpractice trial. I asked for prayer and it was subsequently dismissed through some miraculous movement of the Lord, but as these technicalities go, this was later refiled again. I’m not going to get into the details of this interesting legal system that we have, but it was refiled over Christmas of 2015 and currently the trial is set to start, I believe, on Monday, February 5th. So we have another week left. I feel that God is working and doing many amazing things with each day as he answers many of my prayers. I do believe that there won’t be a trial, but I’m open to anything the Lord has for me, facing it with his strength and courage. So I’m reaching out for some prayer over this next week and I’m actually calling because I just felt such a strong prompting from the Lord to call and ask for this prayer. I thank you all for that. I would like to conclude and ask for some prayer for our grandson Jonah who is turning 6. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just before the age of 3 and he recently just got an insulin pump. He is a believer in the Lord and I would ask for prayer that he would battle this.
Hello, this is Elizabeth from British Columbia, Canada, just a couple of weeks into listening to the Daily Audio Bible. Today is January 29th and I was listening to the community prayer and I heard my sister Rebecca from Nebraska call in and sing the Shema and I was elated. Thank you, Sister, for reminding us that Jesus, our Christ, Yeshuah Ha-Mashiach, Messiah has a Jewish heritage, that our God, our Creator was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob first and that when we accept our Yeshuah or Jesus into our lives and into our hearts, we are basically becoming adopted into God’s chosen first family. I just wanted to thank you for that, for reminding us of that. In addition, I just wanted to pray for all of those who are calling in who have illnesses and cancers and various things that people are being challenged with, you’re being challenged with every day. I just want to pray a healing prayer. Heal us, O Lord, and we shall be healed. Save us and we shall be saved, for you are our praise. Bring complete healing for all of our wounds and sicknesses, for you, Almighty King, are a faithful and compassionate healer. Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, healer of the sick in Israel and of the nations. Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord. Amen.
Hey guys, how you doing? It’s John, just John. Just want to call in and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Sorry it has been so long since I’ve called in. Just also wanted to say that I really do love you all and I pray for you all. I do continue to. Family, I just have to make a confession here because I need to. I can’t tell you how phony and fake I feel these days trying to pray, trying to pray others, trying to feel from my heart, so I kept on wondering why. Why is that? I pray every day. I journal most every day. I read the Bible every day. I listen to Brian every day. I listen to prayers __________. It’s really me, it’s my heart. I’m just not that person I guess anymore. I’ve relied so long on my physical to power through everything and now, after a number of surgeries and two years of stomach craziness, I don’t have that anymore. So I’m just going to kind of reinvent myself and stop from being so self-centered, which is a sin, and try to focus outward. We’ve been beaten down financially. I know there are all sorts of excuses, but at the end of the day it has to touch your heart and I’ve kind of lost track of mine. My prayers feel like they bounce back half the time, but I want you to know I’m praying for you such that they have an effect. I love you all. Down to 30 seconds here, but I just want to thank all the prayer warriors. I won’t go through the long list, but Joe the Protector, I love to hear your voice. You can tell by the way every time you hear somebody’s voice, the first couple words out of their mouth, your heart raises up, like when Annette calls or Biola. So let’s just keep supporting each other, keep holding each other up. I ask you to pray for me and hope I can break out of this depression and this insanity. Love you all. God bless you.