Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22 ~ John 4:4-42 ~ Psalm 105:1-15 ~ Proverbs 14:25
Today is May 5th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today as we get prepared to take the next step forward in the scriptures. Yesterday was our last full day in the book of Judges and we will conclude the book of Judges today and find our way into the book of Ruth, which I love getting to. It’s like a deep exhale in all of the journey that we’ve been on, kind of culminating with this really difficult story of the civil war and destruction of the tribe of Benjamin. But before we get to Ruth, we need to complete the book of Judges. So from Judges, chapter 21, verse 1 through the end of the book, we’re reading from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
Introduction of a New Book (Old Testament):
That concludes the book of Judges which brings us to the book of Ruth. Ruth is a really short book that we’ll finish tomorrow, today and tomorrow, but it is a breathtaking story. At its heart it is an account of God’s faithfulness through the lives of three people who chose to do the right thing. We’ve been through plenty of people who chose to do the wrong thing and we’ve kind of seen the back and forth of that. This is three people who did the right thing and their faithfulness brought about King David and through the line of King David came Jesus. So the book of Ruth shows us when people that have character use that character to make proper and right decisions, God’s faithfulness is there in that. The book of Ruth is also the story of valiant women of character. This is a great time as we approach our observation, at least here in America, of mothers, Mother’s Day coming. This is a great time for this.
Nobody really knows who wrote the book of Ruth. Jewish tradition talks about Samuel writing it, although most biblical scholars that are historians don’t really believe that is a possibility. This would have been written after Samuel died in the time of King David. And yet it refers to the time of the judges. Actually, there was a point in history when Ruth was a part of the book of Judges but then later it was given its own appropriate delineation.
We’ve seen some really hard things happen that are very difficult over the last month in the scriptures, colossal mistakes made on the part of the people as they walked away from God and then they suffered the terrible consequences that they were warned about in advance as a result. So we arrive at Ruth and it is like a springtime breeze. It’s a breath of fresh air. People still have character and God shows up in his faithfulness. So we begin with Ruth chapter 1.
We talked about Ruth and we’ll flesh out and fill out this story in its entirety in tomorrow’s reading. And then we have this interesting interplay in the book of John where Jesus is among the Samaritan people when the Jews and the Samaritans didn’t really associate with each other. Jews kind of looked down on Samaritans as lower and definitely red-headed stepchildren in the faith because of the way they worshipped God. It just came from some bad places and had gotten just really different over time, and we’ll see that story open itself up to us.
I guess another spoiler alert is that over time this people, these chosen people who went through all that desert wandering and came into the promised land and became Israel, there is a day not too distant in the future for us in the stories told in the scriptures where this will be a united kingdom. It actually will be a kingdom. Where we are right now, everyone does what they want to do, but there will come a time where it is not quite like that. It is more of an organized kingdom. And a time will come when that kingdom will divide. They will not see eye to eye and the kingdom will divide and then they will be what is known as the northern and the southern kingdoms.
So the northern kingdom will be called Israel and the southern kingdom will be called Judah and then in the course of time, the northern kingdom, which is where we are with Jesus, we’re in the north, so the Galilee where Jesus spent most of his time is in the north, it will be defeated, carried off. Other people will be sent in to populate the land. There will be an entire mixture of culture and custom. This will be after the northern kingdom has already started to worship idols and to kind of twist the traditions, all in an effort to keep people from Jerusalem.
So just over time things got twisted and the Jewish people won’t look at the Samaritan people as part of them anymore because they’re not really part of them anymore. What used to be in the north isn’t there anymore and so it is all inbred with other nations that have been conquered. So they look down on them for their worship, for their customs, for their integration with other cultures, for their intermarriage, just for the mixture. They can’t be looked at as these true people descended from those who came out of Egypt. For Jesus to be having this conversation at all, for him to even be there is odd, at least from a Jewish perspective. And then for him to be there talking to a woman, that is breaking cultural boundaries as well. You begin to see Jesus just doesn’t care what people think about him, but he also doesn’t care about these manmade rules that wall each other off. He is not looking at the world from that perspective at all.
Jesus is thirsty and he’s sitting at Jacob’s well. That well still exists. It is not particularly easy to get to, but it still exists. We got to it one time and we were able to film it and it’s in the Promised Land Films. So many of the places that we talk about we’ve taken the time over the years to film them in detail so that we can bring them back. It changes things when you can look at what you’re talking about, see the place that you’re talking about. I’ve been to that place.
It’s interesting to play that conversation out. You see this interesting almost flirtation going on with this woman. Jesus isn’t really flirting back. He’s just being. He shows this masculinity that is not moving toward something. He is not moving in on the girl. It is almost like she is moving in on him. It’s almost playful.
“What are you talking about, this water? Give me this water.”
Jesus just turns it back. “Go get your husband.”
And she’s like, “I don’t have a husband,” kind of saying “I might be available.”
And then Jesus just captures the moment. He just tells her the truth about her life and she can only respond the way that she did: “I perceive that you are a prophet.” And then she asks him the big question between the Samaritans and the Jews. And Jesus answers her and everything, but he just moves beyond all that.
“I have living water and when I give living water no one will thirst again.”
Of course, she’s like, “I want some of that water.”
And then Jesus just simply tells us what we’ve all got to remember. “You can drink this water and you’ll get thirsty again, but the water that I give will well up from within.” So you can drink this water and you’ll be thirsty again. You can keep looking for life in ways that it can’t come and you’ll always have to keep looking for more, but if you come to me, life will well up from within and it will spring up not to just life as you know it, but eternal life. You will always have life exploding from within you. This is the hope of the gospel and so may we take this little story and consider the things that we are going to, the wells that we are drinking from in order to find life, to quench our thirst, only to have to return because we’re going to be thirty again. We keep going to these wells looking for life when Jesus is saying “I can give you life and you will never thirst again. And I cannot just give you life right here, I can give you life eternal. It’s what you’re looking for.” So let’s look at the wells that we keep going to in search for life when life is actually available in Jesus.
We thank you, Jesus, for this encouragement and admonition and counsel from the word certainly, but we thank you that this is available. This search that we continually are on and this life that we are continually longing for, that desire can actually be filled in you. So Holy Spirit, come and show us how to drink from the well that will spring up from within to eternal life. We ask this in your precious name, Jesus. Amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what is going on around here. One of the things that is going on around here that we’re talking about right now is the fact that we’ll be going back to this place, the places where the Bible happened. So many of the regions, well, all of the regions that we’re talking about in the scriptures, so many of the actual places that we read about in scripture are places that we visit. I mean, places that touch this story in the book of Ruth that we’re talking about, places that touch the journeys and footsteps of Jesus that we’ve been talking about, it is something. It is something to stand there and not just know you’re on a pilgrimage and following in the footsteps of Jesus, but just the stories that you’ve imagined and have known and have pondered and meditated on and have used to apply to your own life to make change, to stand where some of this stuff happened and not be stuck in a picture but being able to turn around and look around and see the ancient hills and pathways, it’s something. It’s compelling and life-changing, to say the least.
You can come. Just go to www.DailyAudioBible.com, scroll down, look for Israel 2018 and click it and you’ll get the details that you would be looking for, the things you’ll need to know as you consider coming along. Or you can just go to www.DailyAudioBibleIsrael.com. That will take you to the same place. So I hope to see you next year.
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 for clicking that link. Thank you for your partnership. If you use 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.
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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
Hello, this is Stu from Southern California. I’m calling in. A first-time caller. I’ve been listening for about a year and a half and it is such a pleasure to be a part of this community. I just want to lift everybody up in the community for all the prayers and the love that you share with everyone. I was touched the other day by a passage that Brian was reading out of Judges and in particular it was a story where he had spoken to the way that we look at things in the Bible and sometimes don’t understand the bad stuff that is going on and incorrectly assume that it is the will of God. That was really something that connected well with me. I think the Bible is a story of truth for our lives. It’s God’s word to us explaining what happens when we go alone and when we choose our own way and don’t seek God’s way. You know, it started in the garden and it is a story that we see what happens when we choose to go it alone and go it our own way and not inviting God into our circumstance. It is certainly something that always ends badly, but when we give ourselves to God, when we seek him in all we do and put things before him, this is following his will. This is truly abiding. We trust him in faith because small faith in something strong is good. I would ask for prayer for my family, that we would follow God, we would lean on God, trust God, and grow in our relationship with the one who gave it all. Thank you Jesus. We love you. Thank you everybody in the Daily Audio Bible. You’re such a beautiful family. Goodbye.
Hi. This Raspberry Flower from Arizona. I wanted to give a praise report for God. He is so amazing and perfect and I’m so in love with him. I was listening to the Daily Audio Bible about Gideon and how the Lord kept telling him he had too many soldiers and that the people would say that the people won by their own strength. And so he whittles it down to 300 soldiers and God gave them the victory. All glory to God. God spoke to me when I was listening to that and saying that was what he was doing for me at that moment with my homework studies. I was feeling so frustrated and I just couldn’t seem to be memorizing and I was spending enough time and it just didn’t seem to be working and it was frustrating me because I had a final coming up and I didn’t feel like I had enough facts memorized and my brain wasn’t cooperating and I didn’t understand what God was doing. So when I listened to that part of the Bible, the Holy Spirit just spoke to me and said this is what the Lord is doing so that when I got an A, which I did, God gave me an A, all glory to God, I would know it was God. So praising the Lord. He is so good. Next thing, I would like you to please pray for my friend Dory’s sister Anna, sister-in-law actually. She hasn’t been able to carry a baby and she is five months pregnant right now and she’s in the hospital and please pray that her body will be healed and whole and be able to carry this baby to full term and be her first child. Also, would you please pray for Dennis? My friend’s husband has cancer and I believe. I believe in God’s word and the Bible and he said that believers will lay hands and heal the sick. I believe. Thank you. Love you. Bye.
Hey, this is Sheila calling from Texas in response to the lady who called from Athens, Greece, who needs to forgive her husband over his past infidelity. I’m so grateful to God for prompting you to call. I’ll give you my testimony and hope this will help you and help many others. Over five years ago my husband had an affair on me. The Holy Spirit revealed it to me. I felt weak and helpless, but by the grace of God I forgave my husband. I went ahead and called the woman who had the affair with my husband and was extremely gracious to her. I told her that she should not be sleeping with a man except her husband. Secondly, I told her because I’m a follower of Christ, I forgave her. I told her that I would be praying for her. Honestly speaking, this was Jesus speaking through me because there is no way I could have been this gracious had it not been for God. Supernaturally this woman texted me back and asked for forgiveness, saying that she had further confessed her sin to a pastor. She also told me she wanted my marriage to work out. Isn’t that God? The Bible tells us in Revelation 12:11: And they overcame and not Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. God has healed my marriage. I love being married. My husband cherishes me every day and showers me with so much affection. Thank you Jesus. I’ve seen what forgiveness can do. I now know why God has put a burden in my heart for marriages. I now know why I had to face the pain I had to face five years ago. Now I can boldly tell anyone with a marriage issue that indeed God can heal your marriage. I’m living proof of that. So forgive and be set free. Forgive yourself, too. Pray for your husband and be gracious to him. Love will soon reign in your marriage, my sister. Put on the full armor of God daily and you’ll overcome. God bless you and stay strong in Christ. Nothing is too difficult for our God. I love you. Bye.
Hello DAB family. This is Chandra calling from Maryland. I’m calling because I wanted to offer my continuous prayers not only for Brian and Jill, but also Pastor Gary and every other person whose operating either as a pastor, as a spiritual leader, anyone who has that type of charge within the body of Christ because I know that, as my pastor said years ago, when you’re at the top, that is when the enemy always tries the greatest to come against you because you have a higher calling and a higher amount of influence. Either way, I’m praying for you guys and you guys just continue to be strong and be of good courage and let the Lord continue to keep you, okay? Love you guys. Speak to you soon. Bye.
Hello. This is Stan, the Perseverer from Maryland. Today is May 2nd and I just listened to our dear brother who is in Cincinnati with the loss of his stepsister and the cancer with his brother. I was deeply touched by that and feel pulled by the Lord to just call and cry out on his behalf. Father, I pray for this man from beautiful downtown Cincinnati, as he says. Father, I pray that you would put hope in his heart, that you would give him peace and, Father, that you would extend your hand of grace and mercy over him. Where there is sickness, that you replace it. Where there is lack, would you provide it with plenty? Where there is despair, would you replace it with thankfulness and gratitude? Father, I ask you to put a hedge of thorns around this man and his family and his extended family, particularly his stepmother, that any influences of the enemy that would be seeking to destroy, steal, plunder and confuse would be bound up in the name of Jesus. Father, we thank you that we can come before your throne of grace and mercy and sit at your feet and ask on behalf of our brothers and sisters. And Father, I want to just thank you for this community. As I listen to the prayer lines, I am just amazed how you have fostered a love and a connectedness between each of us. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.