1 Samuel 15:1-16:23 ~ John 8:1-20 ~ Psalm 110:1-7 ~ Proverbs 15:8-10
Today is the 14th day of May. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible and welcome to a brand new week. I love these restarts. It is shiny and sparkly and new. I say that maybe every week. I don’t know how often I say it. A lot, though, because it is this line of demarcation in my own life where it is like okay, we get new choices here. We can live into this week. It can be whatever we want it to be. It is all going to be what it is based on how we choose what we say, what we do, how we live into it. So we’ll get to Saturday of this week and we will have lived this week based on the choices that we make. So here we are, stepping through the threshold of a brand new week.
This week, well of course, we’re going to pick up where we left off, but we’ll read from the Names of God Bible this week which is a translation that preserves the Hebrew names that were used for God in the original manuscripts. So for example, we might be talking about Yahweh instead of just a standard English translation of God, so there is much beauty in that.
We’ve been getting to know Israel’s first king, Saul. Saul has been teaching us a lot about ourselves and that is where we’ll pick up the story. 1 Samuel chapter 15, verse 1 through 16:23 today.
There is this story in the book of John today about this woman caught in adultery, a famous, famous story, but there is a back story here. This story is so beautiful. It is so beautiful. It shows the heart of Jesus which in turn shows us the heart of the Father.
The religious leaders and the Pharisees are looking for ways. They are for sure now against Jesus and some of it has to do with jealousy. Some of it has to do with his willingness to break their traditions, their interpretation of the traditions, and some of it just has to do with the fact that he is gaining momentum and what he is teaching can unsettle everything. This little tenuous power share that they have with the Romans, this could unhinge a lot of things. And that is so ironic because Jesus is showing the narrow path that leads to life. He is showing the way to look at things, the way to live into things, the way to be and they are just rejecting this because it would be such a colossal change and they would lose their authority and power. But they are also trying to be devout to God and follow the traditions and wrestle with the traditions and Jesus is breaking them, so they are not buying it.
So they are looking for ways. They find this woman in the act of adultery. She is not just an adulteress, somebody that was like this known sinner and they drag her in front. They find her in bed. She is in the act of adultery, so they barge in and they drag her and they probably drag her naked through the streets in front of Jesus, trying to humiliate her and put Jesus on the spot.
There is this interesting thing in this culture about being naked in public. It is not just like a shameful thing for you if you’re standing out on the street naked. It’s not just a shameful thing for you. It is a shame on the one who sees you as well. So we can go back all the way to the book of Genesis and Noah and Noah gets drunk and his son comes in and sees his father’s nakedness and it brings a curse upon him. You’re not supposed to see a person naked that you’re not supposed to see naked. But under these circumstances the Pharisees, the religious leaders, they are dragging this woman out because under their tradition they should stone her. She should be shamed, humiliated and dead, but they use this opportunity to try to trap Jesus.
So they bring this woman in front of Jesus probably naked. He’s standing there. She is standing there. They are all standing there, but she is probably naked. They want to know what they are supposed to do. They are trying to trap Jesus and Jesus bends down and starts to write on the ground. We have no idea what he’s writing on the ground. The scripture doesn’t tell us at all what he is writing on the ground. There is lots of conjecture about what he is writing on the ground, but we don’t know. He’s writing on the ground which means that he’s not shaming her and he’s not shaming himself by seeing her. He’s simply writing on the ground and they keep asking him what they are supposed to do and finally he straightens up and them he says the famous words. “The person who has no sin should go ahead and throw the first stone at her.” “You want to follow this tradition, fine. The person who has no sin should throw the first stone.”
This first person throwing the stone bit, this goes back into the Mosaic Law as well. We’ve just spent a lot of time in the Mosaic Law as we were reading the Torah and you’ll remember there have to be a couple of witnesses. It has to be solid and if it is a mortal thing, if capital punishment is involved here, then those witnesses have to witness and then be willing, based on the absolute truth that they’ve testified to, to be the first person to throw the stone that would do away with the offender. So Jesus is taking the law that they are trying to use against him and twisting it back right side up and forcing them to face how twisted they’ve made things. And so he says, “Yeah, okay. Okay, the one who is sinless should throw the first stone.” And then he bent back down and started writing on the ground again. And he’s writing on the ground as people, one by one leave until there is no one left.
So here is Jesus writing on the ground and probably a naked woman standing there in front of him. Here’s where it gets supremely beautiful. Jesus then straightened up. So that means he kind of got back up and faced her. So she’s humiliated at what has just happened and she is shamed because she probably doesn’t have any clothes on and Jesus has been writing on the ground, but now it is just her and him and he’s looking at her. Not looking at her to scope out the chances of getting busy with this lady. He’s facing her in her shame and entering into the shame with her by being there with her, facing her. And he asks her, “Where did they go? Has anyone condemned you?” And the woman says, “No one. No one, Sir.” Then he says, “I don’t condemn you either. Go and don’t do this anymore.”
It is so breathtakingly beautiful because that parallels our own stories. Our circumstances are all different, but if Jesus’ heart wasn’t ‘I don’t condemn you either, go from here and don’t do that anymore. Don’t sin anymore,’ I would for sure, speaking from my own experience, not be here at all and I doubt you would either. So as we begin this brand new shiny, sparkly week, may we wonder at the unstoppable love of God for us because that should change everything. Really. I mean the way that this has gotten twisted is that we feel like we can do whatever we want and it doesn’t matter and God is aloof to it and indifferent to it anyway and he won’t condemn us and so we should just try to do better, when actually what happens in this story is such a lifesaving rescue. That is the story of my life and that is the story of your life. So may we live into this week as if Jesus had just said go and sin no more. I don’t condemn you. Go from here and don’t do that anymore. May we live this week as this woman must have lived her next week.
Jesus, oh Savior, thank you for your kindness and your patience and your unstoppable love for us, pursuing us, following us everywhere we go. We ask you to forgive us for the ways in which we’ve just trampled on the gift of your love. This is a new week and you’re saying go and sin no more. So Holy Spirit come and help us to do that. It is not possible. In our own strength it is not possible. With your Holy Spirit, though, with the Divine inside of us, with you within us, well then it really is no longer we who live but you who lives within us. And you are sinless and so that is within us and it becomes possible by your power and authority. We thank you for your grace. We thank you for your kindness and mercy and we want to respect that by living well. Come, Holy Spirit, we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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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
Mothers are celebrating all around the earth for through them everything that lives and has breath is given birth. We are amazed at their awesome power as we rest securely under the arms of their protection, nurtured by their love, their __ most powerful __. They sacrifice their lives to give us life at all cost and they still peaceably __ loving us when everything is lost. There are so many things I can say about a mother’s virtue. Though each one of them is uniquely different, just about all of them is universally true. There is no love like a mother’s love except the love of God and for that fact we celebrate you and today you’re given a great nod, a salute and humble veneration and recognition for all the fine work that you’ve done, the raising of your children and the many victories you’ve already won. How you struggled through the years always giving it your best, trying hard to fully equip them to be prepared for every test. Besides giving them value and the fact that you’ve given them birth, you’ve also given them a love for God and taught them the meaning of self-worth. I wonder if a mother’s job is ever really done because as long as you’re still alive, there is still more race to run. I pray that all your days are happy, filled with laughter and blessed, overflowing with provision and a noticeable asset of strength. My heart and my love belong to you. You also have my hand. Know that I am here to support you in any way that I can. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers at the DAB. And once again, my love and prayers to the Hardin family, especially Brian, for his perseverance in the face of much adversity and the Holy Spirit is flowing. Keep it flowing y’all. Alright, love you. Again, Happy Mother’s Day everybody. Goodbye.
Hey family. This is Arjun from Florida. __ calling specifically for Brian. It is the Wednesday before Mother’s Day and so I’m hoping this will kind of get to you, Brian, before Mother’s Day because I know this is going to be the first Mother’s Day you have and your mom is not there. Brian, I listened to both the Daily Audio Bible as well as just the broadcast where you talked about your mom. You know, I don’t think my heart even has the capacity to be able to be moved to the extent of movement that was evoked by that broadcast. I cannot imagine what it must be like. It is a continuing process and I cannot imagine that. I know that I speak for everyone here, Brian, when I say that you do have family. You have tens of thousands of members of your family, Brian, and you have a God that in several places and in the book of Isaiah compares themselves to a mother. Yes, he is our Heavenly Father, but he is also more compassionate, caring, and self-sacrificing than any mother or any of us can ever conceive of and I know the emotions are what they are and I hope that what I say at least brings some consolation, but the best I can say is Brian, I love you and I love that you’re always waiting for me tomorrow.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family. This is Amanda from Virginia, formerly from Maine because we moved. I haven’t called in a while but this has probably been the most __ challenging, frustrating, I guess, year of our life, but God has been so part of it, and so I call today to ask for your prayers, please, for protection for my family. A year ago my husband strayed and had an affair that lasted several months. It nearly destroyed our family and if it wasn’t for the Lord and his mercy and just pulling Brian back and helping me to be loyal and to stay strong and to constantly pray for him, then we wouldn’t be restored as a family. But now we face a different backlash. The same girl has spent the last six months or so since my husband has left her and rejoined his family just trying to hurt me as much as possible and I’m just weak and frustrated. We have gotten off all social media because she constantly attacks with nastiness and threats and trying to put doubt in my mind with my husband and sending screenshots of conversations they had. She’s even adopted fake IDs that are supposed to be my husband’s and making messages back and forth to get me to leave my husband and going on with just…
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Jay calling from New Jersey. It’s been a while, so let’s pray. Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ we come to you Lord God thanking you, loving you, and praising your name. Father, we thank you for life. We thank you for health. We thank you for strength. God almighty, we adore you. God, you are everything we need. Without you, God, there is nothing. Heavenly Father, we pray now for each and every member of the Daily Audio Bible family. We pray for Brian. We pray for Jill. God, we pray that you will bless them in a very special way, a way that can only be described as coming __. Father, we pray for our family here as we start this day and some of us as we end our day, as some of us are in the middle of our day. God, we thank you for the love that this community provides and we praise you Father. We ask, Lord God, that you would touch each and every one of us in a way that only you know how in each and every situation so that we can glorify and edify you. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible. My name is Brittany from Albuquerque. I have a very rare eye disease called Stargardt. It’s a juvenile form of macular degeneration. Over time it causes blindness. I’ve had this since I was 11. I’m now 29 and considered legally blind although if you met me, you’d never know I had any disease until I told you, so many people don’t even know. There are no current cures. I don’t drive either so my husband has a pretty full plate being that we have two kids as well. He doesn’t ever complain, but he does do a lot so I feel like a bad wife and mother at times even though it’s not my fault. I get down and feel insecure often. I thought getting a job would boost my confidence and I could feel relevant and like I’m helping contribute. So please pray for me and pray I can find a job that I can actually do and be happy doing. Sorry, I’m reading so I could get this out. I also pray for healing for my __. Thank you all and have a blessed day.