Genesis 20:1-22:24, Matthew7:15-29, Psalms 9:1-12, Proverbs 2:16-22
Today is the 9th day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today around this roaring global campfire that we call our community, where we can come in out of the cold, out of the dark, out of the struggles, and just center ourselves in the presence of the Lord and allow His word to wash over us. So, we’re all set. Nice cup of steamy coffee here to my left, a nice microphone right in front of my face, and off we go. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week and picking up from where we left off yesterday, Genesis chapter 20 through chapter 22 today.
Alright. So, in the book of Genesis we have the fulfillment of the promise. Isaac is born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age. This child that this couple had longed for for so many years finally was in their arms as God promised, and they obviously raised him up until he could walk and talk and travel. But then God asks Abraham to do something pretty much unthinkable and he gets up the next day and heads out to do just that. And we need to step out of the story for second and just talk about the Bible. I mean, a story like this one with Abraham and Isaac, it makes you go, wait, wait, wait, what is going on here? This doesn’t feel right. That’s on purpose. The Bible will disrupt us in all sorts of ways as we move through it this year. It has no problem doing that and it will happen on a lot of levels and when that does happen it’s intended to stop you in your tracks. You’re supposed to then invite God into what it is bringing up in you, no matter what that is. So, yes, this story of Abraham and Isaac going to a mountain where Isaac will become a sacrifice to God is disruptive, but as the story goes, Abraham believed God, he put his faith in God and that was credited to him as righteousness. And God entered into covenant with Abraham, which fundamentally meant what’s mine is yours, what yours is mine, I will fight for you, you will fight for me, whatever I have you can have, I will withhold nothing from you. And although the idea of covenant is ancient, it is also very modern. Many, many of us are in covenant. Right? The covenant of marriage. And don’t we say basically the same thing, I will withhold nothing from you, all that I have is yours, all that you have is mine. So, Abraham’s in covenant with God and one of the promises of the covenant is that Abraham’s offspring will grow to be a multitude that cannot be numbered and will bless the nations of the earth. In other words, God is beginning a new thing with a new people. And God had promised that that would come through Isaac. So, when Abraham set off with Isaac to go to this Mount Moriah where this sacrifice would be made, he knows all of that. This is cryptic. It’s counterintuitive, what he’s being commanded to do, but he knows all of that. And we get clues into Abraham’s state of mind when he and Isaac have this conversation, when they kind of depart together. Isaac asks him, we have all of this stuff for the sacrifice, but what about the Lamb? And Abraham’s reply is, God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son. And when the time comes, that’s exactly what God does. And when Abraham is halted it’s very clear that Abraham will withhold nothing from God, which becomes an amazing foreshadowing, because God will withhold nothing from those He is in covenant with. So, Isaac was spared and God sent His son. And one of things we can get out of this is the fact that God will withhold and is not withholding things from us that are good for us. But we also have to acknowledge that we’re not the ones that get to define that. So often our estrangement from God is that we cannot seem to find a way to get Him to do what we want Him to do.
But that’s not the posture that Jesus is showing us in the Sermon on the Mount. It’s almost backward to that. Our identity and our hope itself can only be centered and rooted in God alone. Everything starts there and spills outward, not the other way around. And as dramatic as the story of Abraham and Isaac is, that’s what Abraham is modeling. The covenant with God is the central thing. Nothing can be withheld with God. It begins and ends with God. So, Abraham knew God had promised through Isaac would be this multitude of people and he believed that and he believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. So, he didn’t know how this was going to work, but it was going to work out. He was in covenant with God. So, the question then becomes, what am I withholding from God? Is my motivation the benefits of this covenant? Am I trying to make God my squire that I can order around to do things and throw promises in his face that He has to do them? Am I making myself shiny and sparkly and running around trying to show off my spirituality because, somehow, I think that’s what’s going to get me what I want from God? That posture isn’t going to work. And we hear that from Jesus as we’re concluding the Sermon on the Mount today. Jesus says, ‘not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, didn’t we drive out demons in Your name, didn’t we even perform miracles in Your name. Then Jesus says, ‘I will announce to them. I never knew you.’ And all the sudden we see how big of a deal were talking about here between the Old and the New Testaments today. God wants to know us and be known by us in a covenantal relationship that is faithful and that is loyal and that is deeper than even our own marriage covenant. And God withheld nothing from us to make that happen. He offered His Son. So, what are we withholding from God. When you answer that question, you have identified idols in your life.
Father, this is disruptive. This makes things shake inside of us. This opens our eyes and lets us have a glimpse of clarity. This explains so much about how we’ve been trying to make our relationship with You work. And we confess, we’ve withheld plenty from You and we’ve lived backward a long time just trying to jump through whatever hoops that we feel like are in front of us so that You will do what we want You to do. When what You want is our heart. What You want is to know us and for us to know You intimately. And, so, we invite You to continue the work that You’ve begun from Your word today. May it continue to churn inside of us. We invite your Holy Spirit to bring up the ways that we been living backward and the ways that we’re withholding from you, that we’re giving our heart in worship to something else besides you, in pursuit of life. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, its where you find out what’s going on around here. Couple things.
And I’ve been mentioning for a few days that the 14th of January, which is this coming Sunday, I’ll be speaking in Louisville Kentucky at New Song Christian Fellowship Louisville. So, love to see you. If you are in that region, you can get all the details at dailyaudiobible.com in the Events section.
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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:
Hello, my Daily Audio Bible Community. This is Brett M. From Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. I called in for the first time for the Christmas Holiday Party. I’m calling in this time because I have a surgery on my ear on January 9th. And I’m just praying that, I’m requesting prayers that my hearing will improve after this surgery. I am in the process of becoming a chaplain for the United States Army and this is kind of put a wrench, if you may, in the process. It’s kind of caused everything to be put on hold until they figure out what’s causing my hearing loss. So, we are hoping that this surgery will improve my hearing. And just please pray for my ear to heal after the surgery. I’m actually driving down to Murfreesboro Tennessee, where my brother is an ear nose and throat surgeon and he will be doing the surgery for me. And this, again, is on January 9th. If you would please remember me in prayers that would be great. And please know my friends, I hear all your prayer requests and I pray for you all on a daily basis and I am thankful for the Daily Audio Bible. This is year number two for me. This is my second time around going through the Bible with Brian. And, so I am very thankful. I have three of my family members on board and I’m working on the other ones to join us as well. Thank you. I love you guys and I am…
Hello DAB family. This is Marsha from Colorado. This morning, while listening to Brian talk about the growing pains DAB has experienced, I was stunned to hear that there have been 5 to 10 requests per second to access the Daily Audio Bible web player and the new app. So, Beloved By Him from the UK, it looks like your prayer for people to find the DAB app has definitely been answered. My prayer is that everyone that listens on a daily basis would prayerfully and financially support this ministry so that the added expense to deal with the influx of new people wanting to hear the word of God in 2018 would never be a concern for Brian and his team. The people that called into the prayer lines today blessed me so much. His Little Sharee from Canada, what you said about this life on earth being the only chance we have to love and worship God in the middle of our messes really spoke to me. And John from Bethlehem Pennsylvania, your prayer of blessing over Brian, reading back to him what he read over us on the last day of 2017 was so special. Thank you for doing that. Jordan from Michigan, I want you to know that I’m praying for you to finish well in 2018 as a teacher. The world needs teachers like you and I know God will give you the strength that you need this year to finish well. And Purely Pampered from Maine, all I can say is, wow! You have been faithful to pray for people you’ve never met all this time. I was humbled by your call. And today I am asking for personal prayer. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and after seven weeks of treatment I will have a PET scan the first week of February to determine if the cancer is gone. So, I’m asking God for a good final report and for healing of the many side effects that resulted in my treatment. I’m humbled and I’m thankful for your prayers. God bless you.
Hi Daily Audio Bible. I have been listening for several years but this is my first time calling and leaving a prayer request. I really need prayer for my family. I went to a part-time position this year because of serious migraines that I get, chronic migraines that I’ve had for over 40 years. And my husband is a realtor and business has really just come to a complete halt. And, so, I would just ask that God would pour out his provision and open doors for business for him. And then, we also have a 16-year-old son who’s making some terrible choices, rejecting godly values, and getting into drugs, and believing all of the enemies lies. And we know that he has a strong foundation in the Lord. And, so, I’m just asking that you would lift him up in prayer, that he would stop believing those lies, and that he would remember who he is in Christ, and that you would just unify our family with all of these challenges were faced with. So, thank you for your prayers and bless all of you. Bye-bye.
Hello Daily Audio Bible community. Happy New Year. It’s the 5th January today. My name is Judith, I live in England, south of England. And I’m calling for two reasons today. One, was really encouraged by someone who called in from Canada yesterday, 4th of January, talking about praising God in our brokenness. You were talking about when we’re going to be in glory with God and everything’s going to be perfect but how…and how wonderful that will be…but how it’s great that we can come to him in our brokenness now. That was so encouraging to me. So, thank you very much. Number two, I have an adopted brother. I myself am married and with my husband and baby. So, I’m not at the family home. But I do have an adopted brother who I won’t name for security reasons, but he lives with my parents and he’s been with us…oh…with my family for eight…coming up for nine…I think…years. He’s just turned 13. He’s very, very difficult. He has a lot of problems based on his background and it’s getting really, really difficult for my parents and there’s potential it could get to the point where the adoption will be ended, which is not of course what my parents want and not what would be good for my brother. So, please, please be praying for him, that my parents get the support that they need, and that he will be able to stay as part of our family and…yeah…please be praying for that. It’s really important. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. You might also hear Isaac, my son, in the background. Please be praying for us too, but mostly for my brother at this time and for my parents and family, that they would get the help they need. Thank you so much. Lots of love to you all. And happy New Year again. Bye.
Happy New Year Daily Audio Bible family. This is Michael in Compton California calling to wish the DAB family a happy New Year and a happy New Year to all of the new listeners for this year. If you’re new to the forum this year you will enjoy this ride because it is a wonderful blessing to be able to listen to God’s word each day. And I thank you Brian and Jill and China and the other Hardin family members and the workers behind the scene that make sure that this podcast gets played 365 days of the year. What a blessing. And, I understand Brian, at the end…what you mean when you say at the end of…when you read the very last of the Bible for the year. There’s an overwhelming feeling of…its indescribable…it’s…I think we…it’s a glimpse of God’s glory and His grace that He’s allowed us to do this for a year, to be able to stay in His word and to listen to His word and enjoy it with an international family. So, God bless everyone. Looking forward to a great 2018 and looking forward to Daily Audio Bible every day. God bless you all. Bye.