1 Samuel 24:1-25:44 ~ John 10:22-42 ~ Psalm 116:1-19 ~ Proverbs 15:20-21
Today is May 19th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today and every day as we continue forward in this amazing adventure that is the Bible. So one of the dramas that we have ourselves deeply involved in right now is the one between Israel’s first king Saul and this guy that has become a national war hero by killing Goliath, David, and all of the goings on between them. So we’ll continue with that story from the Names of God Bible, which is what we’re reading this week, 1 Samuel chapter 24, verse 1 through 25:44 today.
Okay, so a lot happened in our reading today. A king was spared. A prophet died. A wife was gained. A God was rejected.
Okay, so David and his men are hiding in Engedi, which is an oasis of fresh water that flows down into the Dead Sea. It’s down in the desert right by the Dead Sea. It still exists today. Every time that we make the trek to the land of the Bible this is one of the places that we’ll go. It’s fascinating because not only is it an oasis of fresh water, a beautiful life-giving place in the middle of the desert, the caves are all around there. That entire mountain, I wouldn’t call it a range, but the mountains that begin to slope themselves up to Jerusalem, they slope themselves down to the Dead Sea because the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth so everything is up from there. These hills and mountains, they wind their way up to Jerusalem, but the front-facing ones to the Dead Sea, if I’m not confusing you, are dotted with caves all along there. Several miles from Engedi to the north is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, in these caves. There are caves everywhere. David was using this, I wouldn’t call it a cave system because they are not interconnected, but these caves, he was using them to hide. Saul had 3000 of his elite warriors after this one guy, trying to find which cave he is in when Saul has to go potty.
Several years ago when I was in Africa visiting this school, the bishop that was in charge of the school was showing how their agriculture works and how they use some of their school day to farm some land that belongs to the school to create food for the kids that go to the school. Part of that strategy was the collection of the bathroom activities. So they were using all of the human waste to be as fertilizer. Those giant 5-gallon yellow water containers that look like giant gasoline containers you may have seen in documentaries or films or whatever, those big ones that women would have to continue to carry to get fresh water or semi fresh water, they had those and they would fill those up with urine and everything would be collected on the floor and stirred with straw and they would make all this. The bishop would be like, “This is the liquid that we use. This is the solid that we use.”
And so Saul needs to do a solid, or as my kids would say, Saul needed to go into that cave and drop a deuce. And that seems to be what he did because it would have been pretty hard for David to cut off the corner of his robe if he wasn’t preoccupied otherwise, if he was just kind of standing there. And since he’s with other guys, he wouldn’t have gone into a cave if he was just standing there, so he’s got other business and he’s doing that business and David sneaks up and cuts the corner of his robe off and then is able to come out and wave it in front of him.
You can just imagine all the things that are going through Saul’s mind while David is calling down from the caves that he just left his business in and the king is kind of humiliated. But beyond humiliated, he’s humbled. I mean, all of this obsession trying to kill this David who hasn’t done anything to get killed over, like hasn’t done anything unfaithful to the king or the kingdom at all, is just kind of exposed. Saul could be dead. David could have just finished him off mid-business and that would have been quite a legendary story to go forward into the history of the Israelites. But David was telling a better story. David was telling a story of faithfulness. David wasn’t going to raise his hand against anyone who God had anointed. If he was to be king someday, he wanted that same kind of treatment. If he was not to be king someday, then he should see himself for who he was, just a man on the run for no reason, but he’s not going to kill anybody. He is not going to do away with his enemy, the king, because this is God’s anointed leader of his people.
So that conversation that happens humbles Saul, but we have to keep watching Saul because he is very unpredictable. He is very unstable. His obsession with people pleasing and just out of control insecurity is just ruining him.
And then the next thing we know, with little fanfare, Samuel who we’ve been following since before he was even born when his mom Hannah was crying out to God at Shiloh, it’s happened fast but we’ve moved through Samuel’s life and Samuel anointed Saul and Samuel anointed David, Samuel died today.
Immediately after that is the incident with Nabal and Abigail and David. We don’t have to retell the story, David comes down a mountain path with vengeance on his mind with his men. He’s going to do away with this Nabal and, almost like an apparition, there is this beautiful woman on a camel coming toward him. That gets his attention pretty quickly. He’s been hanging out with all the boys in caves for a long time, so she has his attention. And he doesn’t forget her. Just a mere couple weeks later she becomes his wife. And that is where we leave the Old Testament.
When we get into the book of John, you can see why people were saying what they were saying. “If you’re the Messiah, tell us plainly. How long will you keep us in suspense?” They are looking for a direct confirmation from Jesus’ mouth that he is the one because they are ready to follow him. They have a very, very specific idea of what following the Messiah will look like. It will be war. It will be revolt. It will be battle. It will be hard, but God will deliver them. That is the whole complete expectation. So they are like, enough of all of this teaching. Enough of all of this talking in parables and riddles trying to make us understand something. Are you or are you not the Messiah? In other words, we are rejecting outright everything you’ve been telling us. Are you the one we expect or not?
He is – he is just not what they expect. They have this absolute ironclad idea of what this Messiah is going to do. Although Jesus is that person and although he is doing exactly all those things, they are in completely counterintuitive ways. He is showing them how to live. He is giving them the path that leads to life. He is showing them what it looks like and explaining the whole situation and they are missing it completely. They are like, just tell us straight up, Dude. Tell us straight up. Are you the guy or not?
And Jesus answers clearly, I already have. I’ve already told you. I’ve told you lots of times but you don’t believe me. You keep coming to me for a different answer to the same question.
All of a sudden that starts sounding very familiar in our lives. That starts sounding like the kinds of things we do. Here’s Jesus saying, look, my sheep, they know my voice. They follow me. They respond to me. I also know who they are. They follow me. I give them life. They will never be lost. No one will ever tear them away from me. My Father who gave them to me, he is greater than everyone and no one can tear them away from the Father and I and the Father are one. Beautiful, hopeful words. A beautiful direct answer to a direct question – are you the one? He is saying very clearly I am, but I may not be your one because my sheep know my voice and they follow me. And the next thing you know, they want to stone Jesus to death.
This comes down to one of the central questions I was trying to write about when I wrote Reframe. Is God allowed to come as he is or have we created him in our image through all of our assumptions about what he does and doesn’t do and how he goes about that business? Jesus is giving a clear answer to a straight question. It is just not the answer they want. We need to consider that we do the same kinds of stuff.
Father, we thank you for another day in your Word and a lot of stuff happened in your Word, but we invite your Holy Spirit into this: What are the ways that you’re being responsive to us? It’s just different than what we expect or what we wanted and so we can’t disentangle you from our assumptions of who you are. Today we come into your presence just inviting you. Forgive us for doing that, for not letting you come as you are. You let us come as we are. You let us come as we are all of the time. We need enormous amounts of mercy every day. We need your grace every day. You let us come as we are. We just don’t reciprocate. Very often we’re looking for something specific. We’re trying to guide it. We’re trying to control it. We’re trying to control the relationship. We’re trying to figure out the levers and buttons to push when that is just not how it works. So we invite you as you are fully within and around us. We want to be in your presence, not some caricature that we’ve made up. We want you, your presence, your Holy Spirit in our lives today. So come 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, and there is always something or another going on around here. We’ve been talking about the fact that we’ll be going back to the land of the Bible in February, places like Engedi, what we were just talking about in Saul and David’s interactions. That is something that we’ll get to see. So if that appeals to you, if it has been kind of on your mind, it is getting pretty full so hopefully you can come. Check it out at www.DailyAudioBible.com. Just kind of scroll down and you’ll find the Israel 2018 banner. Just click that banner. Or just go to the website www.DailyAudioBibleIsrael.com and that will take you to the same place.
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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
Hi, this is Joyful from Tennessee. I was just calling for Christy in Kentucky. I wanted to call. I heard your message and I’m so sorry about your mom. I know that was probably a difficult Mother’s Day as you were saying. I just wanted to tell you that I love you and I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for your loss. But I wanted to encourage you because I work in a line of work that I see death every time I come to work. I see suffering and I see end of life every time I come to work and it was always really hard until the Lord started to show me that even in those moments when our loved ones, when these people that we cherish suffer, even when their bodies are shutting down, Jesus Christ is there ushering them into his presence. Even as their bodies shut down and their bodies are failing, he shows me that he is there ushering their spirits to him. I believe that with all of my heart. I see it all the time and it is so hard to look at suffering and say why God? Why? But there is nothing that we can go through on this earth that Jesus Christ himself did not endure as well. So I can’t imagine the suffering that he went through physically on the cross, but not only that, his soul suffered too because he had to face death and then rise victorious. But he faced death alone. He faced death away from the Lord, away from God. We…
Hey DAB family. This is Matthew in Springfield, MO. I just heard the May 9th episode, a little behind, and I wanted to call and talk to I didn’t know if your name was Chad or Chet from Virginia Tech with your philosophy major. I want to say well done, Brother. I think that is an awesome way to use your mind and your time in college. I majored in art, but I’ve always been a student of philosophy. I wanted to give you the most encouraging thing I know of to keep in mind as you butt your head against the best arguments mankind has against God which is that your faith in God is not like an argument that should compel you to believe in God. It’s not something that takes away your freedom and forces you to believe the way science and philosophy sometimes talk, that we can know something with absolute certainty, be absolutely certain about something. We can’t. We’re just people. What instead your faith in God is like is like marriage. You’re in love with God, Chad/Chet. You’re in love with him and you’ve committed to him, so why would you listen to an argument against your wife? Why would you listen to any argument that says, you know, your wife is cheating on you or stuff like that? I mean, you might think about it, you might investigate it, but you’re not going to just oh, forget about God just from one argument or something like that. So keep in mind you’ve made a commitment and you should be strong to that commitment. If you find really amazingly good reasons to turn your back on God, I suppose that is what you have to do. That is what the world tells you, at least. But I’m telling you that you’ve made an amazing commitment to God and you should keep it. Alright, my time is up. Take care. Redafro7@hotmail.com is my email. Take care.
Hi family. This is Salvation is Mine in San Leandro, CA. Today is Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Please pray with me for Christy from Kentucky and her family. As many of you know, her mother passed away recently. So let’s lift our sister up with prayer, so please pray with me. Dear Heavenly Father, we come before you right now lifting up our sister Christy from Kentucky and her family in prayer in the passing of her dear mother. Dear Lord, there is so much grief and so much pain in their hearts right now for this passing, but you know their pain and their struggle right now. Help them to accept what has happened and know that their blessed mother is in a better place and she is with you and she is whole again and she is having the best time but missing her family. Dear Lord, we know their hearts are heavy but we know that you are a healer of all things. We know that everyone grieves differently and grieves in their own time. Let them go through this process, Lord God, with as little pain as possible. Hold them up. Bless them. Keep their hearts safe and that their grief will diminish but not the love that they have for their dear mother, that it will never be forgotten and that they know that their mother still loves them and they still love her. And let there be happy memories flooding their hearts and their minds, Lord God, through this tragedy and time. In Jesus’ name, amen. Thank you family for praying with me for our dear sister Christy. Please send her love to her DAB page and to her personal Facebook page. Thank you, God, for everything that you do for…
Good afternoon Daily Audio Bible. This is Lee from New Jersey. I just got through listening…well, I’m still listening to it, but I’m listening to Candace from Oregon. Candace, my sister, your voice is just beautiful. I’ve told you that a few times. This time specifically…I mean, I’m driving home. Today is May 15th. I’m driving home, so as I’m driving down the parkway, it’s sort of a cloudy day, but at the moment that I started listening to Candace sing in that recording, the sun came out and the experience of the Holy Spirit at that moment through the song, through the sunlight just completely slowed down. It is really hard to explain, but you have your moments. A lot of pastors and priests have explained it. You experience the Holy Spirit at a moment while shaving, while reading a book, while just doing anything. This came as I was listening to the prayers on Saturday and Candace comes and she starts praying and she stats singing this song after her prayers and it just fit that moment with the sunlight. The Holy Spirit came over me and the Holy Spirit was here. Complete peace. Complete calmness no matter what was going on. The road, it was like everybody got hit with that because everything just calmed down. Candace, my sister, I know that you have a lot going on and God bless you. So I’m going to pray this, that God continues to bless you with that wonderful voice, that he continues to speak through you through your music.
Hello Daily Audio Bible. This is Jubilant Perseverance in Indonesia. I am calling on my way into school to continue the trek of learning to teach technology in Indonesia. That is a prayer call in and of itself. But today I am calling to ask that you all would join me in praying as I prepare to move. We are able to move to different houses at the end of the school year, so I’m hoping to get a home that would be better for my physical health since I have some mold allergies and, of course, living in the tropics, mold is very, very prevalent, so please pray with me that we will have success in finding the right home within the price range for a teacher. Also, I’ll be preparing to travel to hopefully see family at home after the school year is over in a few weeks and if you would pray with me, I am going to try to visit some doctors on the way home and see if they can help me with the medical issues I was mentioning I think about a month, month and a half ago that I still haven’t really found the reason, the cause behind the symptoms. So please join me in praying about those things. I will continue to pray for you all. Have a wonderful week. Hope to hear from you soon. Bye-bye.