Exodus 19:16-21:21 ~ Matthew 23:13-39 ~ Psalm 28:1-9 ~ Proverbs 7:1-5
Today is February 4th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is great to be here with you at the close of another week and we will finish this week well by taking the next step together in the grand adventure of a lifetime that is the journey through the scriptures in a year. We’ve been reading from the English Standard Version this week, which is what we’ll do today, and back out into the desert with all of these people trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do next and God beginning to reform and reshape everything about them. Exodus chapter 19, verse 16 through 21, verse 21.
The children of Israel in the desert with Moses are seeing a manifestation of God’s power and authority and it’s freaking them out to the point that they come to Moses and say, “you talk to God and then tell us what to do because we feel like we’ll die in his presence.” And Moses begins to become a prophetic voice, their spiritual leader, the oracle of God among their new society which isn’t really a society today, but we get the glimpses now. God issues the famous 10 commandments, things we’ve had for thousands of years and would say these are fundamental things for life, a good life, an upstanding, holy life. This is the first time these people are hearing these things. It is the cornerstone of this new culture that is being made and formed and shaped in the desert. So we can look at some of the things that are being shaped and formed in the desert because it is beginning to flesh itself out. This is how you behave toward God. This is how you behave toward each other. And we can read some of this stuff and go like, you know, some of these things have been around a long time. This is the way society is built nowadays, but it wasn’t then. This was a new way. In this entire region of the world this was a new way. So even when God is talking about how you behave toward people who are your servants, these people hadn’t known this. These regulations were not things they were used to because they had only ever been slaves and been treated one way. So they were treating people like they had been treated, and God is saying no, we are moving forward.
Then when we get to the New Testament, especially during the gospels, during the life of Jesus, those narratives, we can see very clearly in the Old Testament how God was instituting things and then in the New Testament, in the life of Jesus, what had become of them, how God was issuing rules, regulations, laws, the shape of the culture.
All cultures have laws. We have more laws than we even know how to find now, but we have a sense of how all this all works. God is instituting that for their freedom, for their wellbeing, for their prosperity, for their holiness, truly setting them apart as God’s chosen people. We get to the New Testament and we see that it has become a cage. It has become a prison for people’s souls, so Jesus, even in today’s reading, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees,” which were the religious leaders, “you hypocrites, you have twisted this whole thing inside out. You are looking only at the exterior presentation and expecting everybody else to do this when it is what is inside of you that matters.” He says, “you are like a whitewashed tomb,” so a nice, pretty grave, which outwardly looks beautiful, but inside is full of bones and uncleanness. So you appear outwardly righteous to others, but within you’re full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. This is what has become of what we are seeing being formed for the first time in our Old Testament readings. So we see the law that Moses was given to help form this people, was given to change them, was given to set them free, to give them an identity as free people for the first time and yet it had become something by the time of Jesus that had enslaved people.
The law was certainly civil, to show people some understandings among themselves and among the society about how to behave toward each other, but it was also inward, something to transform their hearts and always orient them to God in all things at all times in all places. But it had become something exactly the opposite of that and we still do these kinds of things. We get completely wrapped up in our theological formulas and dogmas and we try to squash everything around us, not realizing it is not an exterior thing, it is an interior thing. When we’re living from the inside out, then we are living as we were made to be, intertwined with God, and the only posture we can have is that of mercy and grace, kindness and compassion, all of the things that we know about the Lord. So may we understand everything about life has to be reframed into this perspective. It is all about what is happening within us.
Father, that is really our prayer, that we can reunite with our own heart and know what is within us. If we look like a whitewashed tomb, then forgive us. We stop here and go inside where you are and invite your Holy Spirit to change us from within so that we might be changed from without. Come Jesus, we pray in your mighty name, amen.
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I mentioned yesterday my latest book Reframe – From the God We’ve Made to God With Us is available. It’s been available since it came out, but my publisher has the e-book version of Reframe available for $2.99 until the 8th of February. So that includes Kindle at Amazon or iTunes, iBooks for Apple, www.BarnesandNoble.com, www.ChristianBook.com Google Play, Kobo, wherever you get your e-books. Wherever you get your e-books, you can find Reframe for $2.99. There is kind of a clearinghouse site that gives you links to these places: Www.E-bookextra.com, so you may want to check that out. Yeah, this is a great opportunity if you haven’t had a chance to check out Reframe yet, so I want to encourage you to do that.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian. I love you. I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hey Dabbers, this is Slave of Jesus in North Carolina. Alright, Holy Spirit, let’s roll. Brian, thank you for sharing all that stuff about your mom in that podcast. That was just amazing. And as someone who has been involved with hospice for a year, over a year now, yeah, I can definitely empathize with you in that position. Hospice, I did not want to be involved with hospice, but let me just put this out there to all the Dabbers. If you are in communication with God every single day, you’re in the word, you got some good counsel that you can bounce these “crazy ideas,” as the world would say, off of, if God prompts you to do something and you know it is a prompting in your heart and you got some good counsel that yeah, this sounds like something that would be good to do, just go do it. Sometimes you don’t have time. It might be paying for somebody’s gas. I cannot tell you… I did not want to do hospice. I was not involved with hospice. I hate medical. I hate doctors. I don’t want be around any of that stuff, but I was prompted by it and I kept getting prompted. Finally somebody said, “you know what? You should do hospice,” and I was like, okay God, I got the message. So I got counsel and even though it was a fight in my family at times, things like that, it’s a few hours a week for me and it has been one of the greatest adventures. I have been able to share my coming to Christ story probably a dozen times, but to be there with family members at that last moment, that has even been amazing. It seems like an inappropriate word, but it is an honor. It has been an honor to share that. Saving people’s lives on the freeway where I shouldn’t be stopping, I had a job with a clearance and I could lose my job by doing this, but got the prompting to do it and it turned out to be something life-saving. So if God prompts you to do something, it could be as simple as paying for gas, or prompts you to do something big as give up something really big in your life, I say do it and you’ll see amazing things happen. Love you all. Have a great day.
Good afternoon Dabbers. This is Beloved by the Beach. Happy day to you all. It is Monday, January 30th and I’m calling for two reasons. I’m calling to respond to Gigi’s call. Sweet Gigi, I wanted you to know that I’ve been praying for you since your mom called. I remember your mom calling a while back to discuss you and your sister and the issues that you were having. I wanted you to be encouraged that I am praying for you and your sister as well as for your parents. This is a very difficult situation and you don’t understand why this is happening to you, but just like so many of the other callers have said, I’m believing that you will be healed. I also wanted to ask you family for prayers for a little baby boy named Wyatt. He just turned a year old and unfortunately last fall he was shaken by a caregiver. He sustained massive injuries and was in the hospital for a long while. He has some brain damage. He has vision problems now. He is now developmentally delayed. He is having seizure activity that has been increasing. He has a shunt in his head and they are also having problems regulating his blood pressure. All of the treatments they are doing are not healing him. As well as all this, he is just inconsolable. So I’m just begging you all to please lift up baby Wyatt. I believe God can restore this boy to full health and justice will be done for he and his family. He did nothing wrong. He was an innocent babe and he was shaken by a caregiver who obviously has problems and needs prayers as well. Thank you family. God bless.
Hi, this Victorious Soldier. Was calling back, I forgot to have the prayer for Bernie from Nashville and the lady who was suffering with anxiety. I wanted to pray for those two. Lord, in the name of Jesus, we just ask you to touch Bernie and his family, Lord. O Father, let your hand be above them, Lord. Let your Spirit be within them, Lord. You guide them and you protect them, Lord, and you bring them together and you keep them strong. Help them to pray together, Lord. Help them to be on one accord together, Lord. You be in the midst, Father, in the name of Jesus. Lord, you touch that sister and Chante who have these anxiety attacks. O Father, in the name of Jesus, Lord, you bless them with your Spirit of peace, Lord. Let the peace that passes all understanding keep their spirit calm, O Lord, that they can fight the good fight of faith. Lord, you have your way and we thank you and we give you the glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Have a great day Dabbers. Bye-bye.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is Debbie in Des Moines. I have a praise and a prayer request, both having to do with my grandson. As some of you know, I’ve been raising my grandson Trent since he was 8 months old and he is now 7. He shares his faith on the bus and one of his classmates that he was talking to about Jesus told him to be quiet or he was going to stab him, so he came and told us and, of course, we had to go to the principal because it happened on the bus. The principal asked if he was scared to ride the bus now and Trent said, “no, because I have God Almighty on my side.” Praise God for this kid. I just thought that was awesome. Second is my 13-year-old grandson Eli came to live with us in November. The other grandmother who was raising him, Eli has had to suffer a lot in the past 10 years that he has lived with her. She is a nonbeliever. She has an older son, it looks like in his early 30s who is verbally and physically abusive to Eli. Eli has transformed since November in our house. He is now happy, healthy, in a basketball team, going to church and learning about God. I learned on Sunday that her plan was to spirit him away in April after basketball and he was to pack everything and when he went home on the weekend she was just going to take him and leave and move to Missouri. My time is up, but can you pray for Eli? I want him to stay with us. He needs to be with us where we love him, love him, love him a lot. Bye.
Hi everybody. This is Lisa, the Encourager. I am calling tonight just to share with Gigi and Salvation is Mine what I did tonight. I just hung outside and I looked straight up to a beautiful sky filled with beautiful stars tonight and even the north star is really bright __________ the moon and I would call out to God and I’d say, “God, please, please God, heal Gigi. Please God, heal Gigi.” You’re just on my mind so much and I just really want you to be healed and I’ve just been trying my best to have strong faith that he is going to heal you. So I just called up to him and I said, “I know you see me, God. I know you hear me, so please, God, heal Gigi. Please, please God, heal Gigi.” And Salvation is Mine, I did the same thing for you. I know that you are struggling right now. I know that you are going through difficulty in having confidence that the Lord’s got your back right now, so I called out to him for you too. So I just want you both to know it’s a blessing to me because I’m gaining faith by praying for you. So thank you so much. I appreciate you sharing this with me and really blessing me with having that wonderful opportunity to be encouraged by praying for you both. Also, thank you so much Pastor Gene and Christy from Kentucky for encouraging me. That was so very sweet of you both. I really appreciated it. It made my day when I heard you guys call me out. It was really sweet and especially because you talked about the painting. I really appreciate it. Love you guys so much. Bye-bye.
Hi everyone. This is Jeff from Virginia Tech calling. I just want to say thank you for all the callers who call in. I want to share with you all a little snippet of writing that I just submitted for a scholarship competition. I looked down on the earth from a window of a Boeing 737 and contemplated what my purpose was in life. From 30,000 feet I asked myself ‘how can I make the biggest impact?’ The last two years I thought the answer to that question was a degree in landscape architecture. Somehow I always knew that wasn’t right but I didn’t have the right answer. After touching down in San Antonio, Texas, I engaged myself in a Catholic youth conference that would eventually guide me to my answer. While attending the conference, other college students, missionaries, priests and nuns helped me to open my heart to ministry. During a talk, a Sister shared a quote by St. Catherine of Siena – be who God made you to be and you will set the world on fire. At that point I realized the most fulfilling way to make a difference in the world was simply to be who I was made to be. Toward the end of the conference I was sitting in my bed in the hotel room reflecting on the experiences I had so far. An epiphany struck me to change my major to philosophy. I knew this was right because it aligned with my spiritual desire to become a Catholic priest. On my descent to the airport I reflected on my experience and realized what I needed to do from this point on to continue to my ultimate goal. Today I take strategic steps to become a better resident adviser, son, and spiritual leader. Thank you all for listening. This is Jeff. Have a great day. Bye.