Deuteronomy 33:1-29 ~ Luke 13:1-21 ~ Psalm 78:65-72 ~ Proverbs 12:25
Today is April 9th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s good to be here with you today. We’re coming to you from the mountains of Georgia at the More Gathering for Women where we will wrap things up today around lunchtime and everyone will begin their journey back toward wherever it is that they call home. We’ll talk about that in a little bit, but it has been epic and beautiful, as always. We’re turn our attention now to something that is far more epic and beautiful and that is the word of God.
So here we are, brand new shiny week before us, all waiting for the story of our lives to be written on. We’ll read from the Contemporary English Version this week and we’re about done with the book of Deuteronomy. We will complete it tomorrow, but today, Deuteronomy chapter 33 verses 1 through 29.
This passage that we read in the book of Luke chapter 13 today is really fascinating because it gives us a glimpse into what people were talking about at this particular time in Jesus’ ministry and in history. It looks remarkable because it is not that different than today.
There were these two incidents that had happened, one where Pilate had sent soldiers onto the Temple grounds, into the Temple complex basically to put down a potential rebellion so, in terms of Rome, it was simply the authorities trying to apprehend or kill people they thought were fugitives, while on the Hebrew side of the equation a great injustice had been done. The thing that we have to understand is that the Galilee region was known for insurrection, a lot of zealotry coming from that area. We don’t know if the guys that were killed in the Temple were bad guys or not, but what made this particularly shameful to the Jewish people was that the Roman guards entered the Temple. The Gentiles entered the Temple and then killed people, spilled blood on the grounds. It was a big deal so it had people talking, people talking in Jerusalem, which then spread as people moved in and out of the city with the story, and so everyone was talking about it. There wasn’t the news. They couldn’t just turn on cable news and find out the story or they couldn’t just go to social media and see people who had posted about it. Word of mouth was how things spread, but you see that this has spread to the point that people are talking about it, even to the point that Jesus himself is commenting on it.
And there was another situation where a tower, its construction had gotten weak and it fell and it killed people, which would definitely make the news. That is something that people would pay attention to, so this story of that was spreading around and people were talking about that. Obviously when there is a bit of news that is catastrophic or that is disruptive, people do talk and people around the water cooler weigh in on their opinions about what happened. So people are filling in the blanks with assumptions and making the story larger than it is, which can happen today so easily. We just have a way of doing that.
Jesus just kind of cut through it all, as he does. He just kind of cuts through all of the noise. So his response to these things was do you think that the people that were killed on the Temple grounds were worse sinners than everyone else in the Galilee because of what happened to them? This must have been one of the theories. But Jesus says no, not at all. But if we want to get to the heart of the matter, you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, you will also be killed. Or the 18 people who died when the Tower of Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse than everyone else in Jerusalem? That is apparently what people were saying, but Jesus said not at all, but you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also die.
So it is interesting because Jesus changes the conversation. He cuts through the news of the day and says rather than obsessing about what may or may not have happened in these situations, you need to take some personal responsibility for yourself because if you don’t, your fate will end up the same. The path you are walking will lead you to death if you do not turn back from that path and turn back to God.
This is a wonderful reminder for us because content is everywhere. Finding out what is going on in the world in all of its nuances, it’s coming flying at us beyond what we can even ingest. We can get wrapped up in every issue, looking at everything that we have convictions about and have plenty of opinions, but at the end of it all, we still are left inside of our own skin and our choices and actions matter to our lives. Our little piece of the story of humanity matters. What we do matters. We can get pretty wrapped up in looking at the news of the day and getting all hot about what we may disagree with and then forming an identity out of what we’re not rather than what we are and completely forget that we have a life story to tell, an important story to tell, important people in our lives that we love to care for, and personal responsibility for a relationship with the Creator. Jesus, as he always does, helps turn the conversation to where it actually matters.
Jesus, we certainly thank you for that from the scriptures today and we invite you into that. We have plenty of things flying at us on any given day, but you cut through that and show us that it is about turning back to God, it is about staying in fellowship with you and walking with you that is the fundamental and foundationally important thing. So we invite you, Holy Spirit, to come. We choose to walk with you and listen to you and be guided by your steps this day and every day. We ask for your assistance and your counsel, your rebuke, your comfort, your leadership and guidance today. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what is going on around here. So we’ll finish the More Gathering for Women for 2017 today. It has been a beautiful thing. We want to continue to pray over all of the hearts of the women and all of the hearts of the team as everyone begins to migrate back to their homes and share their stories. So we pray for the protection of their hearts, that nothing will be stolen, that the peace of the Holy Spirit will hover and continue to do the work that he has begun in each heart. We pray for safe travel. So we just ask this community, the Daily Audio Bible community to continue to pray over all that is yet to be done because the More Gathering is really the beginning of the story.
Then the other thing that we are talking about right now is that we’ll be going back to the land of the Bible. For example, this whole incident that we were talking about today, that Jesus was speaking of, that happened on the Temple grounds. The Temple is no longer there, but its foundations, the Temple Mount is. The grounds upon which this happened is and we’ll visit there. It is so easy to be in these places and recall the stories every time you come through them in the Bible again and say I know that spot. I know what that looks like. It changes the experience of the Bible forever, for the rest of your life.
If it is something that is kind of on your list that you want to experience for yourself, we’ll be going back February 19 through March 4, 2018. Like I’ve said a couple of times, there is a capacity to this. We have a fairly aggressive schedule because we are trying to show as much as we possibly can to immerse you in every region of the land of the Bible because lots of things happened in lots of places. So over the years we’ve really fine-tuned how to do that, but it requires us to go lots of places that no one else really does. There is a general loop that you can take that hits the highlights and makes for a very, very comfortable holiday. This is a little different. I mean, it is all that. We stay in killer places and the food is exquisite and everything is wonderful, but we look at this as more of a pilgrimage than a holiday, something that spiritually enriches your life and expands the Bible far beyond imagination and, in turn, changes the way that you look at the world and you look at the scriptures.
So, yeah, we travel to a lot of places so there is only so many people we can take and make that schedule. If you want to come, you can find out all about it at www.DailyAudioBible.com. Just look for Israel 2018, click the link, there will be the information for you. Or you can go to www.DailyAudioBibleIsrael.com and that will take you to the same place and we’ll look forward to seeing you on the other side of the ocean, depending on where you live in the world; for me, on the other side of the Atlantic ocean and at the other side of the Mediterranean Sea is where modern day Israel is. We’ll see you there.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at www.DailyAudioBible.com. There is a link. It’s on the home page. Thank you profoundly, profoundly for your support in allowing the Daily Audio Bible to exist. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible App, you can press 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’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. This is Sherry in Placentia, CA and I’m calling in for a prayer request for my sister and her great-grandson. Her great-grandson is in the hospital. He’s been in the hospital for six months with leukemia and finally came home for a week and then they found tumors throughout his body that are cancerous and he’s back in the hospital now. We’ve been praying and I’m asking you to please pray. I’ve been listening to the Daily Audio Bible for three years now. This is my first call. We need a miracle. He is down to zero immunity right now and they found red around his port that goes into his stomach or chest, I’m not sure, but if you would please pray for him, that he would come home well and whole. This poor little boy. He’s one day younger than my great-grandson who is lively and active and the joy of my life. His name is Lester. Please pray for Lester, that the Lord totally heals him. We need a miracle. Thank you so much.
Hi, my name is Jan and I’m calling from Northern B.C., Canada. I’m really thankful for this program and for this community. I just want to reach out to prayer. The program today is talking about abundant life. I just know that I haven’t even been living for so long. I’ve been struggling with health issues and I believe the Lord is telling me that it is issues of bitterness and resentment and unforgiveness, but I don’t know where those come from. I can see the fruit, but I can’t understand what the root is, so I am praying and I ask you to please pray with me for the Lord to show me where this root is so I can uproot it and have an abundant life to pass to my children, break the cycle that came down from my mother and from her mother’s mother. So if you would just pray with me, family, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
Hi, my name is Sandy from Round Rock, TX. This is my first time calling. I’ve only been listening for a couple of months and I absolutely love this group of people. I pray for you guys daily and I have a prayer request for my sister-in-law. She is battling cancer again. She had ovarian cancer three years ago and it is a really rare cancer and the doctors gave her five years to live. She is now coming up on the three year mark and we thought everything was fine, but they did an MRI last week and found something, so they are going to have to do a PET scan tomorrow. Her name is Kathy. If you could please pray for her, that everything will come out okay. We love her and to see her have to battle this a second time is really disheartening, but she is so strong and faithful and I would just love it if you guys could pray for her because I know that there is power in numbers. I try to tell my kids it’s like when you have one kid who yells “mom” and you don’t hear it, but if all 10 of them yell “mom,” you’re going to turn your head in that direction and know something needs your attention. I feel the same goes with God. If we all scream at the same time, we can get his attention. And I ask this of you and I thank you so much for praying for her in advance. I hope you all have a great day and I love you all very much. Thank you.
Hello my beautiful brothers and sisters. This is Dawn calling from New York with what I hope will be a little bit of encouragement for those of us who are trying to work margin into our lives this year. On New Year’s Day I sat down with my journal to kind of talk to God and reflect about the word margin which I was really excited about, and it occurred to me maybe I could try to write a poem like our brother Blind Tony. I only have one poem. This is it. But Tony, I’m thinking about you and you inspired me to try to write a little poem about this margin word. You know, rhyming poem is really hard to do. I don’t know how you keep putting all of them out there to us. So anyway, this is what I hope is a little encouragement with gratitude to our brother Tony. So here we go. This word margin is kind of soaking through me this year, so here’s my little poem to all of you. Margin. Let’s build margin in our lives for 2017. Clear a path for God to move. Put some space in between. Make room for God’s surprises. They come to us each day. As he guides us in our choices, we’ll be glad we made a way. Make a way for what is important, clear the clutter out. Loosen too tight spaces, free up time, turn about. Let’s build margin in our lives in 2017, clear a path for God to move, put some space in between. God bless everybody working margin in their lives and my shout-out to you, Tony. Thanks for all the ways you encourage us. Bye-bye.
[singing] When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast. When the tempter would prevail, he will hold me fast. I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path for my love is often cold. He must hold me fast. He will hold me fast. He will hold me fast. For my Savior loves me so, he will hold me fast. [singing ends] __________ Gloucester, UK and I’ve had that song in my heart the past week or so which __________ despite what we’re going through, he will hold us fast through all of it. I think I might start __________. Yes, it’s April 7th today and I just heard David’s phone call. David, it is so good to hear from you and find out how you’re getting on. I just wanted to say what a blessing your calls were last year. It was you calling in every day praying for those who need healing that gave me the confidence to then call in every day __________, so thank you so much for that. Without you I don’t think that would have happened. So thank you very much. I’m praying for you, mate. __________. Bye.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is Alphaio calling from Delaware. What a beautiful day it is. I have encouragement for you guys today and I hope that it blesses your day. May you lift your chin today and look up to the one who will never fail you. Instead of being derailed by your disappointments, may you sense the divine invitation here to believe the story is far from over. He who began a good work will be faithful to bring it to completion. Don’t give up hope. Don’t let go of the promise. Refuse to rehash your losses. Instead look to the one who goes before you. He’ll consume your enemy. He will bring beauty out of the ashes of your pain. He will do that just for you. Trust him wholeheartedly today and keep marching forward. You’re a brave soul even when you don’t feel like one. This is Alphaio from Delaware and I hope you guys make it a great, beautiful day. Amen.