Joshua 22:21-23:16 ~ Luke 20:27-47 ~ Psalm 89:14-37 ~ Proverbs 13:17-19
Today is April 21st. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s good to be here with you today. Good to be here to take the next collective step forward through the scriptures as we round the bend and head to the end of another week. Man, I found that I have needed the scriptures this week as much as ever, just more aware of needing the rhythm. Isn’t this rhythm, this constant, this fresh next day in the scripture so important? It certainly is to me. And so I am looking forward to continuing the story and we will go back to the promised land now where the central part, the main part of the promised land has been taken and is being settled. Those who were given land on the other side of the Jordan River because it is perfect for what they do with farming and agriculture and shepherding especially are finally able to go home, go home to their families, go home and begin to build out the life that they’ve been given in the land that they’ve been given. So yesterday they left and then they built this big altar next to the Jordan River, which freaked out the rest of the tribes because they kind of made this assumption that perhaps these two and a half tribes were rebelling against God. And so we will dive into that story today. Joshua chapter 22, verse 21 through 23, verse 16 and we’re reading from the English Standard Version this week.
The incident that happened with the altar at the banks of the Jordan River between Israel and the two and a half tribes that have land on the other side of the Jordan is a striking lesson for us about assumptions.
So the two and a half tribes are going home. They’ve stuck with it. They’ve done everything they promised to do. They stayed with their brothers all the way until the land was divided up and people were settling in and then they were released to go home. On the banks of the Jordan they built an altar, the one that looks like the altar before the tabernacle. They did this for a specific reason, but when the rest of Israel found out about it, they made assumptions about what these two and a half tribes were doing, that they perhaps were making an altar that was separate from the altar that they were all to worship at and so they banded together and were willing to go to war to destroy their own brothers, their own people who had stood by them and fought with them to take the promised land. Rebellion against the Lord would be rebellion for everyone, so they were willing to take these drastic measures.
Now, they could have just gone out in force and attacked. Thankfully they didn’t. They had the story in their heads about what must be going on and so they were assembled and prepared, but they sent envoys to get it straight first, which is very fortunate. When they got the other side of the story, then things made sense. These people were not trying to rebel against the Lord and build their own altar. They were trying to build a replica that would simply stand there at the border to remind future generations that the people on the other side of the Jordan were also part of Israel, they were also part of the same family, the chosen ones so as the generations progressed and people forgot and the stories turned more mythic, that there would be this altar that was there, this memorial, this reminder, this remembrance that they were all one people.
In our lives we can look at certain circumstances. We can look at certain people who are maybe moving in other directions from where we are or maybe even moving away from an orthodoxy that we understand, and so we make these assumptions that they are rebelling or they are departing or they are leaving God behind. So we can do all kinds of things. We can make these assumptions and get in a Facebook battle with them or we can make these assumptions and cut them off from fellowship with us and our tribe or any other number of things. It doesn’t even have to be a religious thing. It doesn’t have to be something about faith. This touches every part of our lives when we begin to invent a reality that is plausible, that may be true, but we haven’t heard.
The children of Israel thankfully sent tribal leaders, they sent the priesthood to come and talk to the other people to find out what was really going on. They were ready. They had certainly formed a certain set of assumptions. They were ready, but they sent leaders to get the story very clear beforehand. That is a fantastic lesson for us. Maybe we can’t stop ourselves from always making assumptions, but we have to be willing to go to the other person and have the conversation, hear the whole story, understand what is really going on. Otherwise, we are certainly incorrect about some of it.
Assumptions and intuition, those things are helpful in our lives if we will hold them loosely and if we will be willing, while we hold onto this assumption or intuition, to go get the details, fill in the blanks and not leave the blanks as something that we’ve made up about somebody else. I mean, this would save us from so much. This would save us from a lot inside of our own homes and inside of our own relationships. This would save us from quite a bit about those that we work with. This would save us a lot about our friends, our communities, the things that we’re attached to or belong to. It would save us a lot of confusion and a lot of unneeded wounding and a lot of unneeded strife.
So may we take a lesson from the book of Joshua today, apply it to our lives and just see what will happen. Catch ourselves, leave margin in our thoughts that we don’t have the whole story, and in that margin we go find the whole story. In that margin is where the Holy Spirit can work in our lives.
Father, we invite you into that. I mean, we certainly confess we’ve done this, but it’s not just us. It’s not just our time. It’s always been. We’ve always been creating realities for ourselves and yet the one baseline that is real and is true and is solid is your presence in our lives. So often we just ignore that and make up our own reality. Forgive us for that, but help us with that. This is a turning point where we invite you in and we create margin between our assumptions and the things that we feel are bedrock and invite you into that place to speak truth. You know the truth. You know the truth. You know everything that there is to know and you’re saying ‘I’m available.’ ‘I’m here to be your Counselor.’ ‘I’m here to be your Comforter.’ ‘I’m here to lead you into all truth.’ ‘I’m here to show you the narrow path that leads to life.’ And we just walk right on by. We don’t leave enough margin in our lives to even listen. So Father, forgive us for that but help us. Help us because every day that we come to your word our eyes open a little bit more and we become a little bit more aware of the way in which we’re living. And you’ve given us wonderful opportunities to correct much. So come, Holy Spirit, into our assumptions, into the way we form the way we think the world works. Come and show us the truth. We submit ourselves, our preferences, our desires, our assumptions, our creations, we submit them to you. We know that you are perfect and we are only becoming, but we will never fully become without you, so we need you, we want you, we worship you, we humble ourselves before you, we submit our hearts to you and choose to draw every breath with you and every step taken with you and every thought submitted before you. Come Holy Spirit, we pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com, that’s home. It’s home base. It’s where the Prayer Wall is. Check that out. It’s where resources are available, events that are coming up. One of the events that we’ve been talking about is that we’ll be going back to this land, back to the banks of the Jordan River, looking across to the other side, standing in the promised land, seeing these places, and watching the stories come alive before our eyes. We’ll be going back February 19,2018, so we’ve got some time to plan and prepare and you’re invited. You’re invited to come. You can check it out at www.DailyAudioBible.com. Just look for Israel 2018. Scroll down and you’ll find a little banner for it. Or you can go to www.DailyAudioBibleIsreal.com. That will take you right there. So we’ll look forward to seeing you and taking this pilgrimage together. It really is the adventure of a lifetime, and so we’ll very much anticipate and look forward to that time together.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, then I can’t possibly thank you enough. We wouldn’t be here without your partnership. We couldn’t do what we’re doing as a community every day without your partnership so thank you. Thank you for those who have clicked that link. Like I said, there is a link on the home page. 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 will be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hi, this message is for a gentleman that called in a week or two ago who lives in Southern California. I didn’t catch your name. You were really asking for prayer about controlling and letting go and helping God and as soon as you hung up, I immediately got the scripture “perfect love casts out all fear.” God just really would like you to focus on his love to help set you free. If you do that you will be set free. It is just so amazing if you could just bathe in his love and pull out all the scriptures and just know that he desires to set you free.
The question to our bipolar community is what does God want as a consequence of our affliction? You hear Jesus say “this illness and the healing is to glorify God.” What happens when Jesus, to our knowledge, does not heal in a normal way? You should know that up to 40% of the great artists in the world are probably bipolar. So there is a consequence. There is an outcome of your condition and I have had it and it was not diagnosed for half of my life and I found that bipolar II condition makes me rethink my faith every day just as God intended. So look beyond the affliction. Look beyond the brokenness and look at what does God want from you? How is the Holy Spirit guiding you? And what is the Holy Spirit producing in your lives as a consequence of your bipolar condition? Thank you.
Today is the 17th of April. Two people have called in, one today and then I think it was Gene M, well, I know it was Gene M. I think it was about a week ago or so. And the gal today, our Scottish sister who called in regarding bipolar, taking medication. Both of you sisters were so spot-on because you brought out something that I think we lose track of in our walk with Jesus, and that is our relationship and our religion and our faith is a very practical and very logical and at times extremely linear relationship. So if there is something up or something wrong, we need to take care of things. While those of us who know that when we are baptized and when we are walking in our journey with the Lord that we are a priest, we are a prophet and we are a king, but that also lives in tension with what scripture clearly shows, that we are also beggars, and like beggars, sometimes we’re going to be on that street corner for days begging for something we need. I want to thank you two ladies, Gene M. and you, my Scottish sister, for calling in and reminding us of the practicality of our Christian faith. Love you, family. Peace, joy and shalom.
Lord, we bring before you, I believe it is Alex, the Seeker, a gentleman who has repeatedly called because he’s calling upon you, Lord, begging that his marriage might be restored. Lord, we know there are so many things that are beyond our control, but there are some things that you have promised. You have promised to be near to the brokenhearted. We claim that promise, Lord, on behalf of this man who has come before all of us and who comes before you humbly, Lord, and repentant and ready to be your man come what may. Lord, I pray that you would lead and guide him, that you would go before him and behind him, over him and under him, on either side of him to give him strength to do the next right thing, hour by hour, and to come into that romance, that relationship with you, Lord, that is beyond compare. I ask these things for him and we come together in agreement on behalf of this dear man, this man that you love so dearly, that you came for and lived on the earth and died a sacrificial death. You didn’t have to. You chose to do that because you love him so much. We claim all the power of that and the resurrection to eternal life which you did on his behalf. We thank you for everything you’re going to do, Lord. In Jesus’ name.
This is Steve from New Hampshire and I’m calling for the gentleman from Sydney, Australia that called. I am calling on April 18th. You had fallen into sexual sin and just felt really condemned. I wanted to remind you of Jesus’ words to the woman caught in the act of adultery. He first of all said that he that is without sin, let him cast the first stone and all those accusers had to walk away because they all had sin. The Bible said that the enemy is the accuser of the brethren and God doesn’t want you accusing yourself either. The blood of Jesus cleanses us. Here’s what Jesus said. He said to the woman “neither do I condemn you. Go and from now on sin no more.” I believe that there is power in the fact that there is no condemnation in Christ. There is power not to sin, but it is not the other way around. I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord. His sacrifice more than paid for your sin and I’m not suggesting to take it lightly, but don’t take his sacrifice lightly either. So Father God, I lift up my brother in Sydney to you and, in the name of Jesus, I pray for this thing that has held him bondage, this addiction or whatever to be broken, in Jesus’ name. I pray for your grace and peace to be multiplied to him and the knowledge of you. Lord, I speak deliverance and I say chains be broken, in Jesus’ name.
Hey DAB family. This is Jonathan from North Carolina. I’ve been listening for about seven years now and I wanted to call in. This is my first time calling in with a prayer request. My wife’s uncle Steve was diagnosed with lung cancer yesterday and I just wanted to request prayer for him as he selects an oncologist and wisdom for the doctors and, of course, healing because we know the Father is able to do that. And also for a dear friend at church, Linda, who was also diagnosed with cancer recently and just for her appointments and for healing for her as well if it would be God’s will. Thanks so much and I appreciate your prayers.