1 Samuel 5:1-7:17 ~ John 6:1-21 ~ Psalm 106:13-31 ~ Proverbs 14:32-33
Today is May 9th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s good to be here with you today for the next step forward in the grand adventure that we’re on together through the whole of the Bible this year and we’re well on our way. If I’m adding right this is the 129th day of the year, so we’ve got a good thing going. And we’re going to keep going and in order to keep going, we’ll dive back from the point we left off yesterday in 1 Samuel. We’re kind of getting the back story of who this person Samuel is as he begins to emerge and take a leadership role in the Bible and in the lives of the children of Israel. So from the God’s Word translation, 1 Samuel chapter 5, verse 1 through 7:17 today.
So in 1 Samuel the Ark of the Covenant had been taken in battle. We read about that yesterday, and the Philistines had conquered and been able to take this Ark of God’s covenant into their homeland and they had kind of five major outposts/cities that were walled and kind of like city states, Philistine city states and they had their own kind of kings, but they were a collective. So they go back to Ashdod, to the Temple of Dagon, and you know, we just read the story. Dagon falls over. But then weird things start happening. People get sick. They begin to find a respect and even terror of Israel’s God, so they start moving around until they send the Ark back.
There are two locations – Ashdod and then the return, Bet Shemesh. So the Ark of the Covenant began its captivity in Ashdod and then its freedom in Bet Shemesh. The thing is, those are real places. Those five Philistine cities, the ruins of them still exist. So like when you’re at Bet Shemesh it is ruins, and they’re not even that huge. Like it’s being excavated, you can walk up onto this rise and look down at the fields and just see a pair of cows coming along the road with a cart and the Ark of the Covenant coming back into Israel’s hands. It’s pretty remarkable because there is kind of like a line. There is the ancient borders along that area. The Valley of Elah is very, very close to ancient Bet Shemesh. Of course, the Valley of Elah is where David fought Goliath. This was between the Israelites and the Philistines. So all along that valley are other cities, some of them you can get to, some of them you have to hike to, some of them you have to have a four-wheel drive to get to, but all along that valley is this ancient border.
So these cows, they bring the Ark back across the border into Bet Shemesh and the Ark returns home. But it doesn’t go back to Shiloh where it always has been. It is like everyone is figuring out what they are supposed to do. This is the time when everybody is doing whatever they think is best, and we will see, since we’re reading the book of Samuel, Samuel’s involvement in what comes next for as long as he lives. We’ll continue with that story tomorrow.
In the book of John we have this very, very short retelling of Jesus walking on the water. The circumstances are very basic and very stark and give us an opportunity to really look at some things in our lives.
So the disciples, and these are experienced people on water. I mean, they’re fishermen. So they are going back to Capernaum after this great feast that Jesus has provided for 5000 people and Jesus comes walking on the water. So the wind had started to come up, it was blowing and stirring up the water and they had been rowing really, really hard for several miles and then Jesus comes and they are terrified. It is incredibly disruptive. It’s sort of like we’ve already got enough problems trying to deal with this wind and these waves for some spirit to come up out of the water to terrify us. By the way, that was kind of the local lore. That was the myth, that these strange, very, very aggressive storms could come up on such a relatively small lake and people believed that ghosts, that demons lived beneath the sea and they could stir up the waters. So for a figure to come out, as it were, of the water or be walking upon the water, that terrified them and kind of confirmed what they believed.
Okay, so they are rowing against the wind. The waves are high, plenty of obstacles against them and they are muscling into it and they are just trying to get to shore when a great disruption in the storm appears before them and they are terrified about it. They don’t immediately go to, “Oh, it’s Jesus. Of course, he would know we were out here. Of course he would come.” They are not thinking that. They are thinking it is just one more level of things to be afraid of.
If we do look at our lives, we can see the seasons that look kind of like that, like we’re rowing against the wind, like the water is too choppy, like the harder that we work, the further away we get from where we’re trying to go and then new things disrupt us, so we either give up or just try to work harder. In this case, it was Jesus bringing a disruption. Their perceived new level of terror was actually their rescue. So if we look at our lives and we think of the disruptions in our lives, a lot of times we don’t look at what they are. We just know they are more problems to deal with. We don’t take the time because we don’t want one more thing to worry about, when actually the disruption can be our rescue. It can be Jesus.
So Jesus is out there with his terrified friends and the only thing he says in this story is “It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” So maybe it’s worth looking at some of the disruptions that maybe we’ve been facing lately. Rather than working against them, maybe we should just look and listen to see. Rather than thinking that God has abandoned us and we have to work really hard because we’re on our own now to get out of this, maybe we should look. We’re not alone. We’ll never be alone and maybe God is in some of that disruption. Maybe it is leading us where we shouldn’t go. Maybe we should listen. Maybe Jesus is saying “It’s me. Don’t be afraid. I’m here. I’m with you. I’m showing you the way out. I’m rescuing you. Don’t be afraid.”
Jesus, we have plenty of those kinds of situations. Sometimes they are really, really big. Sometimes they are more minor, like they are just disruptions in our lives and we don’t want to be bothered. It’s too busy as it is. We’re already moving at warp speed. We already can’t keep up. So a disruption is immediately perceived as a negative thing. Help us to slow down, Holy Spirit. Help us to have the margin in our lives that when you come and you knock and you shake and you disrupt, we can see that it is a change of direction for us. It’s a rescue for us as opposed to one more thing that we have to worry about. You said you would never leave us or forsake us. So that is the truth. So help us. In all of the issues of our lives, especially the ones that disrupt us, help us look for you. Are you in that? Because you will be. Even if you are not in the disruption, it is something that we have to overcome. You are there to rescue us. Sometimes you are in the disruption because we’re moving in the wrong direction. So help us to have the margin in our lives to discern, to have space, to not have to make these instant decisions, to know that we can wait a second and walk with you in it. Help us, Holy Spirit. We ask in Jesus’ name, 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 I have been talking about is that we’re going back to this land, the land of the Bible next February, February 19th through March 4th of 2018 and, yeah, I mean, like Ashdod, Bet Shemesh, these places that we talked about in the book of Samuel today, these are places that we get to see. Like the story we read in the Bible today. All of a sudden it has a new context. All of a sudden it is not an imaginary thing. It is a real place. So, yeah, you can check that out. Love to have you. Go to www.DailyAudioBible.com. Scroll down. Look for the Israel 2018 icon and click it. Or just go to www.DailyAudioBibleIsrael.com and you’ll get all the details that you would want to know, everything that you need to know.
So I’m looking forward to another pilgrimage. I’m looking forward to seeing you, seeing you in the land where all of these stories that we’re reading happened. It will be amazing. Trust me. I’ve done this a number of times and it is amazing. The context for the Bible, its people, its stories, it just changes and it is kind of irreversible. You can’t unsee the places where these things actually happened, so a very powerful time. You’re invited. Hope to 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 is on the home page of www.DailyAudioBible.com. Thank you so much for your partnership. That is how the Daily Audio Bible exists. Thank you. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible App, you can press the More button in the lower right-hand corner. 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
Good evening Daily Audio Bible family. This is Lee from New Jersey. Today is May 8th, if I’m not mistaken. Just calling in. Just wanted to give you all an update on my daughter. So we’ve made some changes as far as __ time and we’re talking with the school and the nurse and ever since these kids got their laptops, that things have started to go south for a lot of kids. So we’re just getting everyone involved and we’re putting all of these issues out in the open so they can be addressed. Thank you all for your prayers. Also something that I’ve been meaning to share with you guys. I just forgot about it, it’s been so long. My wife this morning after church reminded me that one time she prayed years ago and God revealed to her that I should become a Catholic deacon. That has been chasing me for years. My wife brought up all those feelings and reminded me because she said today at the altar when we do the praying it came to her again, that I need to become a deacon not only for the church but also for our family, which, you know, I’m __ for my family, as all men should be and all women should be as well. But anyway, besides the gender roles and all that stuff, I mean my wife has reminded me of that. So this is my request for the rest of the family here on the DAB is to pray for that. Pray for God to reveal to me what I should do because honest to God I have no clue what to do. I have no clue how to go about this. I have no clue whether that decision would be good or not. I’m being honest. So just asking for prayer on that, so God can reveal to me what it is I need to do and to give me the clarity so I can go through with it or not go through with it. God bless you. I’ll be calling back soon. Bye.
Hey DAB. This is Jeff from Virginia Tech calling today. I need to call in for some prayers for myself. I’ve been feeling kind of down these past few days just because I’ve been writing a lot for my major. I’ve had to write a couple papers. I’m a philosophy major and having to write about some of the deeper things in life like the meaning of life and about just stuff like that, it can be kind of draining and I overthink things. So I just pray that you will help me to battle Satan, to battle any kind of negative thoughts about the Lord or about life and meaning in life. So pray with me, family, in that. Pray that I just feel his love just radiate through my soul, through my whole spirit. Pray that I might just feel his love and that I don’t overthink, that I can get out of my own head because so often the philosophical understanding, I just get in front of that and so pray that I can just know that he is enough and to get out of my own head, to let go of the past, to let go of overly rationalizing life and over rationalizing God’s love. That would be my prayer for me today and yeah, thank you all. Bye.
Hi family. This is Shannon from Salem in Oregon. On May 4th it was the National Day of Prayer and two really wonderful things happened. First, my husband came home from Peru. Thank you to all of you who were praying for his ministry there. He was there with a team and hundreds of brothers and sisters were born into the family of God while he was there ministering with the team sharing the gospel all over the place. And also on May 4th in our city something really historic happened. Somewhere between 4000 and 5000 Christians from all over our city of Salem came together at the Oregon State Fairgrounds for an event called The Gathering and it was the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever been a part of this side of heaven. We had just a ton of different churches, different denominations, different languages, and we were all coming together to exalt the name of Jesus, to worship him together and to pray for our city, to pray for revival. God is doing something here that is totally blowing me away and I’m so thankful. I’ve been praying for revival for years and God is doing it. So thank you family for praying. Please keep praying that we are now obedient to what God is doing and that we walk in step with the Sprit. And pray that this happens all over our nation, all over our world, that we come together. And it’s not about churches. It’s not about any of that stuff. It’s about Jesus and sharing him with a world that is lost without him. Please connect with me if you want to see pictures or I can send you links of where you can look at the website to see some of the pictures and information from these two awesome things. Shannon@innocencefound.org.
__, __, Alex I., Alexander V., Annette A., Amina M., Bart B., Billy M., Biola, Bonnie A., Carol C., Carol T., __, Crystal T., Daniel Johnson Jr., Debbie M., Delta Alpha Foxtrot, Earline G., Eric M., Garth in the UK, Grace F., Heidi B., Jamie H., Jeannette R., Jeff B., John M. Jr., Kathleen N., Krystal C., Kristy M., Linda Y., Lisa M., Lisa the Encourager, Mark S., Meagan H., Michael C., Michelle H., Michelle W., Mike J., Mike S., Merlin B., Neil G., Olga A., Pastor Gene, Pastor John, Paula N. Rebecca H., Robin P., Ron D., Rumbii, Salvation is Mine, Sheila T., Sheldon W., Tamberly D., Teri E., Timothy W., Tracy A., and Brian and Jill Hardin, thank you all for lifting me up in prayer as I was going through a time of despair a couple of weeks ago being offended about someone misinterpreting my words from the DAB which made me want to leave. I thank you all for praying for me. I’m overwhelmed by the love. You all are very important to me. I pray and thank God that you guys all reached out to me through private messaging, phone calls, etc. I love you DAB. Cheers. Asia in Munich.
Good morning Dabbers. This is Walta, the burning bush that will not be devoured for the glory of our God and king. Listening to the readings lately, I’m reminded that yes indeed, as Brian says, we are like the Israelites. It is so easy that we forget where God has brought us from. So I just wanted to share my testimony because it is by sharing, the Bible says, that we overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, and although we’ve gone through great things, we tend to forget. The enemy makes us forget. So I’ll go ahead and share. When I was 13 years old I found myself in the middle of a civil war in my country of birth, Liberia, and my family found ourselves surrounded by the rebel soldiers. They had us at a firing squad. I remember standing there and just everybody was screaming and praying and crying out to God and they were taking people out of our group and executing them. I remember the chef of the building where we were, they took him out and shot him in front of us. His wife went to the back with a baby on her back trying to hide and I decided that I was going to go hide in the back as well so that when they shot everyone I would just pretend to be dead because I didn’t want to run because I knew they would shoot me. Anyway, long story short, they grabbed my dad and started to __ him and at that time at the bottom of my heart the only thing that came out of my mouths was “Lord, if you save me, I will live for you.” And immediately, out of the blue there were like two to three pickup trucks that came with three __ soldiers and they called my dad and called our family and saved us out of there. This is the short version of this story because I know we only have two minutes, but God saved me out of that and this is just a reminder that there is nothing he cannot save me out of. I just want to encourage you listening.