Ezekiel 47:1-48:35, 1 Peter 2:11-3:7, Psalms 119:49-64, Proverbs 28:12-13
Today is the 24th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s good to be here with you at the close of another week and the beginning of a very busy season. So, it’s Black Friday. So, some of you may have been out and about doing shopping things since midnight. I know a lot of people do that. I’m not one of them, but I know a lot of people do that. But no matter what you are doing, the global campfire is roaring with warmth and light and good news and here we are for the next step forward in the Scriptures. And today we will conclude the book of Ezekiel before we take another step forward in Peter’s first letter, also known as first Peter. So, lets dive in. We’re reading from the New International Version this week. Ezekiel 47 verse 1 through 48 verse 35.
Okay. So, in our reading from first Peter today, we have a very, very popular and well quoted passage. And, so, we need to look at that and get the full context of what’s being said, because as we’ve noted all the way through this year, we come to these very, very famous passages and often pull them out of their context, when their context actually gives the clarity for what’s being said. So, we’ll take a quick peek at that before we get to a bombshell, disruptive moment. So first, the famous passage. ‘He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. By his wounds’. Right? ‘By his stripes, you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray but now you have returned to the Shepherd, an overseer of your souls’. Okay. So, this is a summary statement. This is the end statement of a larger point that Peter was making. And we like it, and quote it, because it concisely describes what we put our faith in, and what we’re hoping for - healing, wholeness and eternal life. And the ‘by his stripes, you are healed’. Right? ‘By his wounds you have been healed’, as the New International Version translates it, we often say this to people who are sick. So, what was Peter saying? Like what was the point? So, the context becomes a lot more clear when we understand what was going on. The good news of Jesus was spreading around the known world and over the previous centuries Hebrew people had been spread all over the known world, either through forced exile, right, or fleeing. So, there are people who practice Judaism and who have synagogues and they’re all over the Roman Empire and down into Egypt, they’re all over the place. And this is who this letter is written to, Jews who have been dispersed and are now embedded into any number of cultures all around them - widely diverse and varied cultures. So, as the good news about Jesus spreads throughout the world, it reaches, obviously, these Jewish people who are all over the place, and many come to believe in Jesus as the next step, as the next chapter in their Hebrew story. But as we’ve seen in the New Testament, this provides a lot of friction, a lot of tension. Those practicing the most traditional form of Judaism, obviously, have no use for this Jesus. And, so, they’re against it. And faith in Jesus’s is causing disruption in other cultures as well, as we see in the writings of the apostle Paul. So, overtime these people do get sidelined and marginalized in a lot of places and that just makes them a target. And, so, persecutions do break out. Basically, Christians get blamed for a lot of things that they never had anything to do with. And being called a Christian was not a good thing. It was slanderous. So, for most of us, our culture has, like, turned away from using the ‘N’ word as a derogatory thing toward someone else. Right? Being called a Christian in a lot of these circles that Peter is writing to was like that. So, kind of understanding this is backdrop allows the words in Peter’s letter to bloom and blossom, that we understand what he’s trying to say. So, when he says, ‘dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul’, we begin to understand who is talking to. And he goes on. ‘So, live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong’. Right? ‘So marginalizing you, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits’. So, this whole passage, that leads us to the payoff point that we know very well, is intended to encourage these people who are being sidelined and called names and marginalized and even persecuted, that the only way to combat that is to be better than that. Right? To make sure that you do not fit that profile at all, the profile that the cultures that these people are and are trying to heap upon them. So, in so many ways, Peter is inviting these believers who are being marginalized and called names and persecuted to not become the stereotype because they are called to be something far greater, a new creation. And they need to live into that reality rather than degrading themselves. So, Peter’s saying the way to resist this isn’t to become the stereotype. The way to resist this is to be Christ like. So, Peter goes on, ’submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority, whether the Emperor as the supreme authority, or to governors who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right’. He goes on to say, look, you’ve got to work inside the system you’re in, but you can rise above all of that as you live into being a new creation. Or to quote Peter, ‘live as free people but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Live as if you were a slave to God. Show proper respect to everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor’. And then Peter talks to those who have found themselves as slaves or in servitude. And he’s in no way saying, like, this is a good idea, slavery is a good idea, I condone this, everybody should have a slave. None of that’s going on here. Peter’s simply speaking into a reality, how things are for some of these people. And he uses it as a backdrop for the suffering, for the injustice that they are beginning to encounter. And he’s saying, look, if you’re punished for something that you did wrong and you have to endure the punishment, but you actually did the deed, then you can’t credit yourself with something you didn’t deserve. You deserved it. But, and I’m quoting Peter here, ‘but if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps’. Right? You should be Christ like. You should rise above all of this. Which brings us to this very famous summary. These people are feeling like they’re being treated unjustly and marginalized, and Peter is encouraging them that they are not the only ones, that the son of God was treated the same way. Which brings this important passage that we were talking about into context. So, Peter says, ‘when they hurled their insults at Him’, which is Jesus, ‘He did not retaliate, when He suffered He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly’, which is a very important recommendation for the people that Peter is speaking to. And he goes on to say, ‘He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. By His wounds we have been healed’. And we can see that this is not just a verse about physical healing. What Peter’s talking about is regeneration, being made new, being made whole, healed completely. And, so, we get a hope and an outlook and a context for what we’re going through. And then Peter shifts gears. He’s still talking in the same context, but he switches gears to husbands and wives, and ends up with a bombshell. So, for starters, we have to remember our context. These people are dispersed Jewish people who have, to some degree, assimilated into new cultures. And those cultures are wide and varied. And because of this, the marriages are wide and varied. So, it’s not unusual for a woman to have come to Jesus but her spouse has not. Or a husband has come to the Lord, but their wives have not. So, Peter says, ‘wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands, so that if any of them do not believe the word they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see the purity and reverence of your lives’. And can we at least acknowledge that Peter is not talking about domestic abuse. I mean, we can read passages like this and go, like, alright, than no matter what’s going on, you’re getting beat up, you’re getting verbally abused, you’re living in fear of your well-being, and in even your life, and you just need to suck it up. If that’s what Peter was trying to communicate, then that’s what he would have communicated. But we’ve just spent a good amount of time trying to provide the context for what’s going on here. And Peter is simply saying, the posture that you have to live with as you are being marginalized in this world is to acknowledge the injustice of what’s going on and look to a higher judge. You are being remade. This is a whole new thing going on and endurance is a part of that story as was displayed by the son of God, Jesus Christ Himself. And that finds its way into our own homes. It’s a posture of love that Peter is describing. And he’s essentially saying, look, you may not be able to convince your spouse with your words but your life says a lot more than your words do. And your beauty radiates from within you, spilling out into the world. It’s not the other way around, that you have a fancy wardrobe, and walk around, and your all beautiful and fancy. Your beauty radiates from within. And what can be more beautiful than the glory of God radiated out into the world through your life. And then he turns husbands. ‘Husbands, in the same way’, so adopting the same posture of love, ‘in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life’. And then we get to the bombshell. You do all of this so that nothing will hinder your prayers. So, in other words, if your life is not speaking louder than your words, there’s a problem. If you trying to ornament yourself in a way that draws attention to you but exposes the lack of the glory of God spilling out of your Spirit and into the world, then you’ve got a problem here. If you’re not consider it to each other, if you’re not treating each other with respect, then you’ve got a problem here, and your prayers can be hindered. And that’s kind of big deal to ponder. But that would explain a lot, wouldn’t it? It’s kind of an, ah ha. It’s kind of a bombshell, like, whoa, I didn’t see that in here before. My prayers can be hindered based on the way I treat my covenant of marriage. Some things to think about today
Father, we invite You into that. And we say that a lot, because Your word continues to speak things into our lives that are disruptive. They always bring us to a fork in the road. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit into the ways that we have felt unjustly treated and in the ways that we relate to our spouses. Come Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Today is Black Friday. And, so, it is the official launch of the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box 2017. And we do one of these every year and pack it full of resources that you can pick and choose. Some stuff you’re going to want for yourself and other things you may want to give away. And this year’s box is tailor-made for this season. So, in the box is the Advent CD that I talked about a couple of days ago. Also included is the family Christmas CD full of carols and beautiful arrangements for the holiday season. And I loved making that album. It was the Christmas record I always wanted to make. And it’s perfect for grabbing a cup of hot coffee or cocoa or whatever and turning all the lights off and just leaving the Christmas lights on and taking a few minutes just to reflect. So, some great music for the season. Also included are two copies of the Sneezing Jesus, a book that was written to be read, obviously, but also written to be passed forward into many other lives. So, we’ve included two copies of Sneezing Jesus in the box this year for that reason. Also included is a book by my friend, Ian. It’s called The Road Back to You and it’s been one of the most influential reads of the year for me. You may have heard of the enneagram before, you may have heard that word, it’s like all the rage right now. It’s definitely a big buzz and a lot to do with this particular book even though it’s been around for a very, very long time. So, I’ve got to tell you. I have taken lots and lots of personality profile tests. Right? Strengths Finder’s, and Gift Mixes and, you know, like, Myers-Briggs, all of this stuff and I think it’s interesting and I think it’s helpful to a degree, but this enneagram journey was like a totally different thing. And I could talk a long time about it but, for me, it kind of came at the right time. So, early in the year my mom passed away and I talked about that back in January when it happened. And that’s something…I mean…that…that left me grieving, obviously, but I’ve lived long enough to know that kind of pain, that kind of suffering, it…it’s always the precursor of something new. It’s usually the precursor of something creative in my life. And I spent a lot of time just, you know, moving through grief, but in it all, trying to intentionally aim my heart toward God, to invite Him into it all. And I knew this book is being written a couple years ago. And, so, when it came out I jumped on it because, The Road Back to You, oh, that was just like, that is what I’m looking for, because it’s like, if I can find the path to my own heart, if I can find the path to my true self, I will find the Lord there. Where else would he be? He indwells me. He’s within me. He is at the core of the truest person that I am, my identity. And, so, I read it twice. And then I started talking to Jill about it and she wasn’t over the moon, like, oh my gosh, let’s sit down and read this together or anything like that. She’s taken all these tests too. And, so, I’m like Jill, this is, like, different. This is coming from a different place, the assumptions are different. This isn’t like trying to uncover your personality. This is trying to tell you that all of the things you’ve developed over the years that have become your personality and your presentation to the world are actually the ways that you have created to cope with the world, but behind all of that is the truth. The vulnerable and true you. And all of these things that you have created around yourself to present yourself in a certain way, you did that for lots of reasons, but ultimately you did it to protect that true place. And it was fascinating to me intellectually, but then, so, like, I’m finding my type - there are nine of them in this book – and I’m reading it and I’m like, this is scary accurate. Like, I am exposed. I am exposed here, good and bad. My bell is rung. My mail has been read. And, so, one night with Jill, I kind of forced the issue. We were watching something on TV or something like that. We were sitting on the couch together and I’m like, hey, let’s find you, let’s find you in this. And she’s like, you know, like, alright, you know, like not all that excited, but okay. And for the next couple of hours we began to engage in conversation and then we narrowed this down and then, right there on the couch, I read the chapter aloud for her type. And by the time I was done, my wife was sitting next to me on the couch in tears, because it was describing her inner life in words. It was naming things. And so, like, for her, she was like I thought I was the only one. Like, I thought I was the only one who felt these things. And it validated so much for her, while at the same time exposing the shadow side of it all, as it had done for me. And, so, then I read my chapter and she laughed, because it was just saying on the page what she had known about me all along. But it gave us language to understand each other in profoundly new and helpful ways. So, then I, you know, I sent a copy to everyone who was around me, who works with me. And it’s profoundly helpful just for understanding of where everybody’s coming from. So, to make a long story short, we contacted InterVarsity Press, who published this book, to see if we could get them for the Christmas Box this year, and we figured that all out, and we have them. And they are in the Box this year, because this has influenced me, has helped me a lot, and I do believe that it will help you. And, so, it’s in the Christmas Box this year. Also in the Christmas Box, the Daily Audio Bible Christmas bulb that we have. Each year a different one. And this one has the word for the year ‘margin’ on it. And we’ve been doing this for five years and I have five of these on my tree and this is the one for 2017. A Black Wing pencil is included in the Box. Your choice of windfarm coffee or tea, your choice will be included in the Box. As well as a pack of 20 Daily Audio Bible Christmas cards for 2017. So, it’s an awesome Christmas Box this year and it is available now at dailyaudiobible.com in the shop.
So, a couple things. 1) I would say get them while you can. We always sell out of them, and 2) This is for those of you will be internationally ordering. Obviously, you can order whenever you want, but if you want your Christmas box to arrive for Christmas, then we have calculated that the 29th, so just a week, this coming Wednesday, the 29th is the cut off day that we feel like things will arrive for Christmas. We have this arrangement with FedEx and it takes longer because FedEx ships into your country and then it moves into your mail system, but it allows us to ship as inexpensively as is possible. The downside is it takes a little bit longer. So, we’re telling you the 29th if you’re ordering internationally. And, yes, my Canadian brothers and sisters, and my Mexican brothers and sisters, that includes you. As close as we are together geographically, we still find ourselves in different nations. So, just a little heads up there. Those of you in the United States, the cutoff date for getting there by Christmas we have calculated to be December 18th, although they may be sold out by then. So, there’s your Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box 2017. They are available now.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link. It’s on the homepage. Thank you for your partnership here as we move into the busy season, the last season of the year. Thank you for your partnership. If you prefer the mail, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 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’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayers and Praise Reports
Hi DAB family. My names Terry. I’m from the Chicago area. I had an affair for a couple of…a ten month affair…and as a result of this affair…I hurt and striped my family, hurt my wife. I want to make things better. I’ve lost my job. I’ve lost my livelihood. I’ve lost the respect of my children. I’ve lost everything. She was my Bathsheba. And I don’t know how I’m going to go on. I’ve been praying a lot. And especially for trying to find another job but…it’s so hopeless…just please pray for me in my situation. Thank you DAB family for being there. I pray for you. I’m sorry I’ve wandered so far from the Lord. I know I wasn’t listening. I know those traps were out there and I built them. Now I seek forgiveness. I seek to heal this relationship. Thank you all. I know your names. Again, Terry from Chicago. Thank you.
Well, hello my DAB family. This is Mark S. from Sydney Australia. Today is Monday the 20th. And I’m really ___. It’s very hard as well because…it’s a hard call to make because…well…of the fear of human judgement…the fear of…admitting my sin to you. It is a hard one but I do want to just because, family, I love you, and I want you to pray for me. I’ve fallen into sexual sin again and I know all of you prayed for me back around about March and I feel ashamed that…that I’ve done it again…but I want to move on quickly because I don’t want to go into depression because I know that’s going to take me away further from the Lord and I want to get back straight at it again…but I’m fully aware of the seriousness of my sin and I’m asking God to give me His grace to get up and get back on the narrow path and keep trusting Him and moving forward again. Thank you, family. Bye.
Hi. This is John from Bethlehem Pennsylvania. Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. It’s the 20th of November and Thanksgiving week. I hope you guys are all doing well. I love you. I love this community. I love everything that you all stand for. I wanted to call in prayer for Linda from Spokane Washington. I listened to the podcast for the 20th and you are asking for prayer over your daughter Maddison and, I believe, your son, James. I just very quickly, wanted to make sure, Linda, that you’re encouraged. My son, John, who is 25 years old now, if I could combine both of the stories that you told about Madison in her rebellion and James with his addiction, this is my son. And things that he had gone through when he was about Madison’s age all the way up until just about 8 months ago. I can tell you Linda that John came back to God, he came back to the Lord, and he’s there now. And I know that Madison will as well and I know that James, through the power of the Holy Spirit and with Jesus as his Savior, will overcome his addiction habits, just like my son John. So, my prayer for you and my prayer for everybody in the community is, that through God and through the Holy Spirit that indwells within us that we can stay encouraged and stay strong in our faith. And that we continue to pray over and ask God for forgiveness and to humble us and everything we do so that so that we can do everything we can to serve those around us, especially our sons and daughters. I love you community. Thank you Brian. Thank you Jill. God bless you.
Daily Audio Bible family, this is Curtis from Northern California. It’s November the 20th. I’m asking for prayer for my wife. She has fibromyalgia, shingles, and has a number of other ailments. My wife and I are struggling with my marriage. We are still foster caring for drug babies. I ask that you pray for her and pray for me as this week is Thanksgiving. Please pray for me that I may serve my wife as Christ has served the church. Please pray for me. I love you all. I’m praying for you. Love you.