Genesis 5:1-7:24, Matthew 3:7-4:11, Psalms 3:1-8, Proverbs 1:10-19
Today is the 3rd day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it’s, of course, wonderful to be here with you today from the rolling hills of Tennessee, where it is a cold. Not as cold as many of you further up in the north. I get it. I know that. But cold for us nonetheless. But, thankfully, we have a nice, warm, global campfire burning that is this community and we can all come in out of the cold and warm ourselves with some time in God’s word as it opens up its stories and wisdom and inspiration to us. So, today we’ll do what we do every day, pick up where we left off yesterday and continue the story forward. So, we’re reading from the New International version this week. Genesis chapter 5 through chapter 7.
Okay. So, we have talked about the book of Genesis as we began this year. And then the next day, which was yesterday, we talked about the book of Matthew. Now let’s talk about the book of Psalms. So, the Hebrew word for Psalms is Tehillim, which means, praises. And that’s what this book is. It’s a collection of 150 songs, hymns, congregational and responsive singings, and individual songs and poems of worship. It’s basically five books in one. And they’re classified by who wrote them or there theme or purpose. Some of them give praise to God, others speak of his character or actions. Some are songs of lament or repentance, while others are songs of thanksgiving. In other words, they’re songs about life and the life of faith. And no matter the circumstances of life, the book of Psalms is meant to bring praise, glory, adoration, reverence, and honor to God in all circumstances and for all purposes. Psalms is a beautiful book containing some of the most heartfelt musical poetry ever written. And every conceivable human emotion is explored in the Psalms. There are heart cries that are so passionate and broken that you can feel them across the boundaries of time. And yet, there are also some exalted mountaintop experiences where the glory of the Lord is tangible and present. David, who we haven’t met yet, but we will, he was the second king of Israel and he was a master musician and he composed most of the Psalms. And, although we have a large amount of information about David throughout the rest of the Bible, the Psalms reveal his heart. And what we find is that he is completely human and the ebb and flow of his humanity is ever present in his compositions. But David didn’t write all the Psalms. Other writers include Solomon, who is David’s son, the sons of Cora- Asaph, Ethan - and then there are a number of them whose authors unknown or they were anonymously written. But ultimately, the purpose of this Psalms was to rally the people and to enrich the worship experience of Israel. And the songs would have been sung in public and private homes as people went about their daily lives. And these songs have stood the test of time because we sing and quote them now. Their power and enduring beauty is unmatched and they’re absolutely unrivaled in terms of literary and spiritual value. Scholars believe that the Psalms were written over a long period of time, between roughly 950 BC until about 165 maybe 170 BC. Three major periods in Israel are covered in the Psalms. The first would be during the reign of David and Solomon. The second would contain songs written when the children of Israel were taken into exile in Babylon, a story that we’ll get to later. The third would contain writings from when they were freed to go back and re-create their land after the exile. Also, a story that we’ll get to later. We have a long time span and various culture points that are represented here in the Psalms, but the Psalms are very cohesive in their purpose of bringing glory and honor to God in a very authentic and beautiful way. And today we’ll read Psalm 3, a Psalm of David when he fled from his son Absalom.
Okay, so in the book of Genesis we’ve traveled many generations from Adam and Eve and we’ve begun to see the wickedness that is happening in the world because humanity was separated from divinity. And all of that is leading us to the man, Noah, and an ark, and a flood. But just before we got to Noah and basically right in between some genealogy and Noah, we come across this strange passage. ‘The sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.’ Then we were told the Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, ‘when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.’ And we reach passages like this throughout the Bible where you go, wait, what is going…what is being said, what is happening? And every year as we go through the Bible, we dive into some of these. So, who are the sons of God that saw the daughters of Eve were beautiful and took them? And who were the Nephilim, who were apparently their children? Well believe it or not, we’re not the first people to ask this question on the face of the earth. This has been being pondered for millennia. So, from a biblical scholarship perspective there’s basically three interpretations here, three ways of looking at this. The first would be that the sons of God or the Nephilim, these are angelic beings but they’re part of the spiritual realm. The second way of looking at it is that these were the rulers, they were tyrannical people, but kind of smaller kings of clans that would roam about trying to conquer and build up their kingdom. And then the third way of interpreting this would be that these are the descendants of Adam and Eve’s son, Seth. So, two of these ideas are humanly based and one of them is rooted in the supernatural. And they each have their own challenges to overcome, which is why there’s different ways of looking at this. So, let’s look at the Seth idea first. Basically, the thought is, Adam and Eve had three sons - Cain, Abel and later Seth. Cain killed his brother Abel and then was cursed and sent away by God. Abel had died. He had been murdered by his brother. And then Adam any of had Seth. So, when we get to today’s reading and we’re moving ourselves through how the world became more and more wicked, leading to a massive flood, we read of Adams family line. But it’s Adams family line through Seth. So, the idea here then, is that Seth’s offspring would’ve been similar to Abel’s offspring. They weren’t murderous and tyrannical people, they weren’t cursed and sent away, and they weren’t supposed to mix in with those who were. So, the Sethites weren’t supposed to be mixing in with the Caneites, but they found them beautiful and did. And we’ll find that later on as we get further into the Bible that this idea of mixture is kind of a big deal. It causes massive amounts of problems for the Israelites. And, so with that explanation, then the Nephilim are the offspring between Seth’s family line and Cane’s line and then being heroes of old and men of renown is just ancient memory, legend, and myth that everybody knew at the time of this writing. The problem is that the Nephilim get referenced later, when the 12 spies go to spy out the promised land, which would mean that they survived the flood. So, those following, then, this Seth model would say that that was just a reference, when the 12 spies spied out the land. The legend of the Nephilim as a species of Giants was still well-established in the culture. And, so, they weren’t really the Nephilim, they were just being referred to that way because the spies likened themselves to grasshoppers in in their midst, which is figurative language. Okay, the other human option here is that these were the judges and rulers and kind of kings of the time that they just attacked each other and were trying to build kingdoms and they would rape and pillage and do what they did. So, they were referred to as sons of God because they were part of the human family. And their bloodline was thought of as powerful because they came from powerful people even though they were evil. And a lot of that thought comes from the fact that what Genesis is doing is leading us toward the flood. So, it’s going through some genealogy, showing generations have passed, with the intent of showing how each generation became more and more evil. So, immediately following the passage about the sons of God and the daughters of man and the Nephilim, we read, ‘the Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time’, which led God to regret that he had made people and the earth was flooded. So, in light of that, these were just powerful but evil people who became legendary. And then the third way is to look at them as spiritual beings, which would make us become acutely aware that there is much more going on in the cosmos than what we can perceive with our five physical human senses. And this would’ve been the common worldview of ancient readers. This is how they would’ve understood their existence. And it is, in fact, how we as believers view our existence, that we are, in fact, spiritual beings wrapped in human flesh. But we have a much more difficult time absorbing that a spiritual being, an angelic being of some sort, could take on human form, or even human flesh, and participate in the world. But from this way of thinking we would have to acknowledge the incarnation, we would have to acknowledge that God came in human flesh in the person of Jesus and transformed the world by participating in the world. So, the idea here is that God has a spiritual family and although not tethered to physicality, is nonetheless at work in the world or wherever it is that God’s work needs to be done. And they can interact with humanity. So, for example, a little later in the book of Genesis when we meet Abraham, we’ll see that he interacts with two divine beings in the physical flesh and they eat a meal together. And then they go down to Sodom and Gomorrah and they physically rescue Lott, Abraham’s nephew. And even later, when we meet Jacob, he’s going to have a wrestling match. And it appears that he’s a wrestling with a spiritual being, or even God. It’s after this wrestling match that Jacob gets a name change, and his name changes to Israel. So, this is a divine experience that affects the world after this. Or Jesus, when he’s tempted by the devil in the wilderness, once those 40 days are over angels come and minister to Him, which probably means more than just floating around Him invisibly. And the apostle Peter escapes from jail because an angel comes and unlocks the door, setting him free. So, then, if you’re following along with this, then these are spiritual, angelic beings that have become infatuated with the beauty of the women of earth. So, the extrabiblical book of Enoch talks some about this. So, we read about Enoch, I think it was yesterday. Enoch was one of people that didn’t live to be like most of thousand years old. He lived like less than 400 years and then he was no more, because God took him. And the only other person mentioned in this way is the prophet Elijah who was taken up in a whirlwind and chariots of fire, which is just another example of the divine realm interacting with the physical realm here on earth. So, the book of Enoch isn’t in the Bible but it is ancient and it’s within the context of the Bible. And, so, in it, Enoch talks about, after his translation, going to some of these angels, warning these angels, and even angels that are under God’s judgment and restrained. So, that’s not like, hey, run out and find the book of Enoch and start digesting that, although it’s very interesting. It’s just that through ancient writings you can begin to tell what people were thinking in a certain period of time, how it was they understood their existence. And if this kind of stuff intrigues you, another good resource would be to read The Unseen Realm by Michael Heiser, who is a very decorated scholar. And he moves through the Bible and the ancient cultures showing how the spiritual realm is very, very much at work in our existence. So, there’s some thoughts on the sons of God and the daughters of Eve and the Nephilim. But one thing that we can say for certain is that the book of Genesis is leading us toward Noah. And we see that after Eden, as things spread out upon the earth, it became more and more and more wicked. Mankind was trying to use the knowledge of good and evil to achieve what it had lost. But what it had lost was true penetrating intimacy with God and that could not be restored by the power of human ingenuity. And mankind became like animals. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord, and a redemptive thread emerges, one that we’ll be seen throughout the entirety of the Bible.
Father, we thank You for Your word. And here we are at day three and already it is opening up to us, awakening our spirits, awakening our minds. And we invite Your Holy Spirit to continue that work throughout every single day of this year. We want to be awake and aware. We want to partner with You and participate in Your work in this world. So, we invite the transformation, the transformative power of Your word to wash over us. And we invite Your Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, its where you find out what’s going on around here.
So, a few things to talk about today.
January 14th, which is a week from this Sunday, we’ll be back out on the road and will be speaking in Louisville, Kentucky. So, if you are in the area, we would love to meet you, shake your hand, hug your neck, hear a little bit of your story. I’ll be speaking at new song Christian Fellowship, Louisville and you can get the information for that at dailyaudiobible.com. Just go to the events section and you can get all the details, even a map, websites, phone numbers, all of that. So, if you are in the area, come say hello. We’ll look forward to seeing you.
We’re also talking a little bit each day about how the Daily Audio Bible works. So, we’ve talked about the website. One of the things that you will notice at the website is the Daily Bible Shop. There are a number of resources there that kind of let you wear your colors as you go through the year, but also resources to help you move your way through the year and not forget the year. We have Daily Audio Bible journals in the Daily Audio Bible shop as well as a lot of writing utensils that can accompany you through. I mean, if God’s speaking to you, take notes. Journal your way through this year. One of the themes that we’ll find emerging through the Bible is not forgetting where you have come from. So, as you take the journey through the Bible and as you Journal your life as your interacting with the Bible and are able to talk about the things that are going on in your life, those will become invaluable as you go back to previous years and are able to read through what was going on and how God was faithful. And then this emerging theme of redemption that we find in the Bible, we begin to see it in our own lives. So, we’re big on journaling around here, which is why we’ve put a journal in the new Daily Audio Bible app, so you can just kind of write some thoughts down as you think of them, things you don’t want to forget. But if you want to kind of Journal your way through your life, then we have a perfectly…I mean we worked really hard to come up with the perfect pairing, the perfect things to take you through that journey and you can find them in the Daily Audio Bible Shop.
Another thing to point out is our Tumblr account. Every day, the things that are said on the Daily Audio Bible are transcribed and uploaded there. So, you can go back and read what was said. And you can find that link by going to dailyaudiobible.com and you’ll see some tabs up at the top to help you navigate, like a lot of websites. One of those tabs is called Community, and in the Community tab you’ll see Social Media, which will show you all the social media channels that we’re on, but one of those is Tumblr, and that will take you to the transcripts.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There’s a link that’s right on the homepage. If you’re using the new Daily Audio Bible app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or, if you prefer, 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 Prayer and Praise:
Well hello from beautiful Cincinnati, Ohio, and happy New Year. This Daniel J. Jr. and I want to give a special shout out to all of my fellow Cincinnatians and those that live around the greater Cincinnati, northern Kentucky area. We need to meet up in the new year some time. Reach out to me on social media, just look for Daniel Johnson Jr. But that’s not why I’m calling. I want to wish everybody in the Daily Audio Bible community a Happy new year, especially those of you that are listening for the first time. What a trip this is going to be for you as it has been for me. I’ve been listening for quite a number of years now and I never wind up being the same at the end of the year as I was at the beginning of the year. And I’m so grateful that we have this new Daily Audio Bible app, the new Daily Audio Bible mobile app, and great functionality. I can Journal right there, to read along with the passages there, even mark that I’ve been or started an episode. What a phenomenal thing and I’m just really excited about the new year. My word…my new three words for the new year for me it’s, joy, write, I’m going to do a lot more writing in the coming year, and dream. And that kind of correlates to the word for the Daily Audio Bible, a community of hope. So, I praise God for all the work he’s been able to do in 2017, but I’m excited about what’s going to happen in 2018. Come, let’s celebrate all that God has done and let’s celebrate all that God is about to do. From beautiful Cincinnati, Ohio. This is Daniel J. Jr. Make it a great day.
Hi. My name is Derek from Vancouver, BC. This is my third time calling. And I just want to ask you, my DAB friends, to pray along with me and agree with me on this request. Heavenly father, I want to start a new year by surrendering to You completely. I have procrastinated so much in the past and I have lived in regret. I’ve complained and moaned about everything and I want to just start fresh. I’ve been tied up with doing so much stuff, getting busy doing things that do not matter, and I want to give those up. Father, I ask for Your help. There are addictions in my life that I want to break free from and just the guilt and shame that then goes along with it. So, Father, I ask you in Jesus’s name to help me to recover what the locusts have taken from me. I ask You this Father in the name of Jesus. My brothers and sisters, I ask you to pray and agree with me on this. Okay. Thank you so much. And the Lord bless you. Happy new year to you all. Bye-bye.
Happy New Year Daily Audio Bible family. It’s Jubilant Perseverance from Indonesia. Today, I am blessed and really happy to be calling you from Thailand. I have left Indonesia for my winter break and spent the last few days in a healing center shedding 2017 and preparing to walk into 2018 with clear vision, clear sight, and ready to see what God is up to and how I can be a part of it. So, I just wanted to call in and pray for that to be a part of all of our perspectives as we cross over into a new year and ask that the Father give us wisdom, and that He continue to guide us as we surrender ourselves to Him. And just pray for the blood of Jesus to cover all of His people who have just surrendered to Him and given our lives over to Him and confessed that He is Lord. It’s been a really, really difficult year, but I am excited about what’s to come as the old passes away and the new is finally here, literally a brand-new year. Thank you all so much for continuing to be a part of this and support one another and Brian and your family, thank you for your work that the team is doing there to make this community possible. I’ve been very blessed listening to the word and listening to your commentary on it as well as the prayers. Have a wonderful 2018 everyone. By-bye.
God Your so faithful that I’m forced to confess
That I’m wonderfully made and abundantly blessed
And as we draw closer to the end of another year
Some things in my blindness have become abundantly clear
Two months ago I had anguish every single day
Blisters and excruciating pain that never went away
Now two months later I’m sending up praise
Halleluiah, thank you Jesus and my spirit just stays and replays
Over and over I can’t thank him enough
Things seemed so hopeless excruciatingly tough
Now I’m ebullient like a bottle of uncorked Champaign
Free from anxiety free from all pain
We can endure for a moment, a minute, a night
But when that joy comes in the morning it’s an incredibly welcome wonderful sight
Halleluiah, thank you Jesus I have to say it again
Like I told you before his praises within me don’t end
I know there’ll be other problems other ailments and fights
Other days filled with anxiety as well as other sleepless nights
But I know that the Father has given me the power to win
Jesus and the Holy Spirit advocate, healer, and friend
firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy New Year’s everybody. I’d like to give a shout out to Walter. Hope everything’s going good with your mother. Keep burning girl. Keep burning. Haven’t heard from Blessed Like Me. You still there brother? And Shannon, with the spiritual nuggets. Where you all at? And Gigi, haven’t heard from you either. And, also like to give a shout out to Slave of Jesus. Alright, love you all. You’re in my prayers every day. And, once again, Brian, thank you for this won…