Genesis 31:17-32:12, Matthew 10:27-11:6, Psalms 13:1-6, Proverbs 3:16-18
Today is the 15th day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you, wherever you might be and whatever you might be doing. I’m glad we can take a few minutes here just to center ourselves. So, we’re diving into a new work week and we’ll pick up where we left off yesterday. We’re reading from the New Living Translation. And we have, sort of, the drama that is percolating in and around Jacob and his life and his wives and his children. So, we’ll pick up that story. Genesis chapter 31 verse 17 through 32 verse 12 today.
Okay. So, Jesus is sending His disciples out to go and do the kind of work that He is doing and he’s instructing them and counseling them, but a number of things that He’s saying are kind of disruptive. Like families will betray each other. Right? Children will betray their parents, parents will betray their children, in-laws, will betray their sons and daughters-in-law. Or things like, don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth. I came not to bring peace but a sword. And, so, to bring some context of this, we have to talk about something that affects everything that we do, but we don’t really know that it’s affecting us because we don’t know how to name it. And that is the apocalyptic worldview. When we can name it and understand it and understand how deeply rooted it is and how it effects most things in our lives, we begin to understand Jesus teachings more clearly. But as with all things that affect a lot of people, there are tons and tons of nuances and reasons and all kinds of circumstances. So, I mean, there’s no way to cover that all, but I think we spend a few minutes and cover enough so that we understand what we’re talking about because I’m pretty sure you’re confused right now. I’m telling you there’s something in your life that’s affecting everything that you do but you don’t know about it, which should at least be intriguing.
So, let’s go back, let’s go back in the Bible. We’re just getting to know the first generation of the children of Israel and who they are in the book of Genesis. But these people, over the next centuries, are going to become a people, a nation. And, eventually, this promise of this land that was made to Abraham will be fulfilled. These people will inhabit the promise land and eventually their capital city will become Jerusalem and eventually God’s temple will be built in Jerusalem. So, this temple in this holy city became the most important thing in their culture. This is where God dwells and this is where He interacts with people. So, it’s the most important thing to them. So, they don’t have a lot of thoughts about end times, the world coming to an end, a rebirth of something new. For them everything is situated around the temple and Jerusalem. So, basically, as long as that can be protected, then they’re good. And the documents that they hold onto as Scripture is the Torah. It’s the books that were reading now: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, because it’s the story of how their people came to be, it’s the story of how God forms them and shows them, and it contains the law, what God expects of them. But everything is centered around the temple. So, for them, the Scriptures don’t make sense without the temple. This is the place that God has chosen to touch the earth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last forever. And, although it takes some time, all of the tribes, right, so all of these little kids that we’re reading about now, as they grow up, and they marry and they have kids and grandchildren and so on and so forth, and become a great nation, eventually they’re all gone, they’re dispersed, they’re carried away in exile in a couple of different exiles. So, they’re ripped from their homeland and the temple gets destroyed and Jerusalem gets destroyed. So, these people are in a foreign land being forcibly assimilated into a foreign culture, but they have no Jerusalem and they have no temple. All they have is the Torah. And, so, they become people of the Scriptures. That’s all they have. Leading up to all that, God had sent many prophets. And we have many of those books of prophecy in the Bible and we’ll go through them as we move forward. But normally, what happened with a prophet is that, they were rejected initially. So, as the prophecies are being given, people are not paying attention. But later, when they’re facing the repercussions of not listening and find themselves in exile and forced assimilation in all of this, those words of prophecy become important. And, so, then we have the law and the prophets. And they begin to pour over this. In part, to figure out all the ways that they’ve gone wrong, and in part, to try to discern what might be happening in the future. So, since they’ve seen the temple destroyed, they long for it to be rebuilt. And even though it does get rebuilt, it does get destroyed again. And, as books like Daniel are written in coming out of the exile, the idea that the world is heading somewhere and will reach a conclusion and a rebirth begin to take hold.
So, in the centuries leading up to Jesus birth there was a lot of upheaval in this patch of land that was the land of promise. After the exile, the Hebrew people never really regained the land under their exclusive control except in fits and starts and that was from uprisings, revolts, rebellions. And there were all kinds of reasons for this, but there was a spiritual component, the idea that the world was eminently going to end. And, so, this kind of language was a part of the culture in Jesus time. Many rabbis and teachers had an apocalyptic message. And it could be stirred up among the people because they were feeling the weight of oppression and estrangement from the culture and marginalization and all kinds of things that we’ve talked about and will continue to talk about. So, when John the Baptist shows up at the Jordan River baptizing people, inviting them to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand, he’s speaking into that worldview, that apocalyptic worldview, which is essentially, something big is about to happen and it’s going to conclude with the end of all things as we know it and the rebirth of something new. And that worldview carries through the rest of the New Testament. And as I’m pointing this out you’ll begin to see it. You’ll begin to see it everywhere in the New Testament. And when we move our way through the Gospels and start getting into letters, like Paul’s letters, we’ll see it even more clearly and its implications affect us until today.
So, basically, if you live your life today, if you order your life today, at least in part because of how you think the future will unfold, then this is an apocalyptic worldview. Now I’m not talking about planning or cause-and-effect, like, I’m planning this for next week and, so, I envision that this is going to happen next week. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about ultimate reality, cosmic reality. So, if you are today is influenced by what you believe God is doing and is going to do to bring the end of injustice or evil in the world, and this will happen in a place that we, kind of, nebulously call the end times, God will bring an end to things as we know it and a rebirthing of something new will happen, and that’s a part of how you see things, and that has an effect on how you’re living right now, then you have an apocalyptic worldview.
And we could say that people like John the Baptist certainly had this. He had an awareness that he was preparing the way and that God was doing a new thing. And he thought this was all about to go down. And because of the culture that he lived in, he had an idea of what that might look like if it were good going to go down now. So, even after he’s arrested, even after Jesus has taken center stage and is doing ministry, he sends his own disciples to Jesus to say, are you really the one or should we be looking for someone else? Because they’re looking for an uprising, a great uprising that would ultimately defeat the Roman empire, but was going to be a part of this endgame. So, this is swirling and swimming as a part of the unspoken culture that Jesus is speaking to and He affirms it. He’s just reinterpreting it. He’s saying, it’s coming, it’s just going to be different than your thinking, then you’re expecting. So, the apocalyptic worldview can be found in the teachings of Jesus, which would lead many secular scholars, who study biblical history, and who study ancient cultures, to label Jesus as an apocalyptic profit. Of course, I think that’s a gross underestimation of who Jesus is, but you can see how they get there. And you can find these things in Jesus teachings when you know what you’re looking for. So, if Jesus were to say something like, ‘He who endures until the end’, this is that kind of language. And perseverance, and endurance are things that are repeatedly taught throughout the entire New Testament. In fact, I would even wager that the book of Revelation itself, its primary theme is enduring until the end, staying true until the end, whenever the end is, however the end is.
Okay. So, back to what we read today. Jesus is giving instructions and counsel to those He is sending out into the world. And He’s been going around the countryside, saying, ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.’ So, He’s speaking into this apocalyptic worldview in a way that everyone is understanding. It’s simmering inside of their culture. So, He’s telling His disciples, ‘since I, the master of the household have been called the prince of demons, well then the members of my household will be called even worse names.’ So, He’s saying, as you go out and announce the coming of God’s kingdom people are going to reject that. But He goes on to say, ‘don’t be afraid of those who threaten you for the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.’ Right? So, you are a part of something right now that is designed to unveil something greater that is propelling us forward toward an end and a new beginning. So, if you’re a zealot or a mercenary and you’re ready to go to battle and you want this uprising to begin and Jesus says something like, ‘don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body. They cannot touch your soul. Fear only God who can destroy both soul and body in hell’. You can interpret that as, okay, if I’m killed in battle, God will still receive me. And what Jesus is actually doing is what He continually did, He flipped the paradigm upside down. He is most definitely announcing the coming of the kingdom. In fact, He’s announcing that the kingdom is already begun. But it’s not going to come in any of the ways that they are thinking. So, when Jesus says in today’s reading things like, ‘don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth. I came not to bring peace but a sword.’ He’s not calling people to arms. He’s simply stating what a prophetic message always does. It disrupts. He’s simply talking about a coming kingdom that has already begun and one kingdom does not overthrow another kingdom without a fight. The coming of God’s kingdom doesn’t happen without conflict. And Jesus sends His disciples out into the thick of it and you and I have been commissioned in the same way and we should have the same expectations.
So, all the sudden the gospel becomes more than just the promise of eternal life or some sort of method to get what we want out of life and engages us in a much bigger story than that. And what we’ll find in Jesus teachings is that He is most definitely talking about cosmic revolution, a battle between evil and good, darkness and light, the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of darkness. And He’s trying to pull people into that view by speaking to them in the language they totally understand. It’s just that the enemy isn’t Rome or the Greeks or the Babylonians or the Assyrians. The evil is the deception and dark powers of the evil one. So then, understanding that the battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but rather against the dark forces of the evil one trying to deceive humanity, which is the story we read last week in Genesis chapter 3. Then we realize that the things that we are railing against, trying to set the stage so that we can move ourselves forward so that God can complete this whole thing and start it over again may be misguided. What we begin to realize is that we are in a battle for our own hearts and the hearts of our brothers and sisters all around us. So, evil will not be eradicated from the world if we could just blow up the people that we don’t agree with. Rather, evil will be eradicated from the world when the hearts of men are restored to God. So, it’s no less of a battle. In fact, it’s more of a battle. It’s just a different one and we will see this throughout all of Jesus teachings. And if we will understand that our apocalyptic worldview isn’t dissimilar to the people that Jesus was talking about. Right? We want Jesus to ride in on a white horse and beat up the bad guys, when the battle is inside of us. We need Christ within and nothing else. As Jesus has been teaching us, our connection, our relationship with God is a gift that could not have been accomplished were it not for God’s love and kindness and patience and mercy and grace. We are equipped for the battle, but the battle isn’t against each other. The battle is to be true and endure until the end. The battle is to love our enemies. The battle is to be the light of the world. The battle is to be the salt of the earth. And light exposes darkness, even inside of ourselves. And salt preserves things. We are invited into something away bigger than maybe we ever realized.
Jesus, we invite Your Holy Spirit to continue this work of shaking and awakening us, of resetting our perspectives. We have been swirling around in all of the busyness, just trying to keep the plates spinning, when there’s something far bigger going on, and were invited to participate. And, so, we re-center ourselves in You and You alone right now. We give ourselves to you completely, heart, mind, and will, in everything that we do, and say, and think. Nothing is more important than our connection to You. And we invite Your Holy Spirit to continually remind us of this, because it’s something that we forget so easily. We are so easily distracted. Come, Holy Spirit, show us our place in the advancement of Your kingdom. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Community Prayer and Praise:
Hello Daily Audio Bible. My name is Sophie. This is my first time calling, but I am an avid listener, and I’m very grateful for the ministry that you have given to me. And I hold many of the people and the requests that I’ve heard in prayer myself. I just…I just need a breakthrough. I feel like I’m very much under attack in terms of my mental health. And I also feel like this is a feeling among…like…a great deal of both Christians and non-Christians, but specifically within the kingdom itself. The level of depression and anxiety is extreme and I know it’s not God, it’s not, but it’s…right now for me it’s intense in terms of, you know, ideation, in terms of all of that. So, I just…I just need prayer to stay strong in that respect. And I also pray for strength for my work situation. Things have been, like, beyond stressful. I’m operating in a location where I don’t have a whole lot of support at all and I just pray that He would give me the grace to continue to persevere because they know that I’m called to be there, but I also know they I’m not called to be there and carry it all. And I know feel like right now…
Hi. This is Victoria S. Happy New Year’s. I just wanted to say happy New Year to everybody and wanted to pray for some of the DABber’s who are having challenges. I know one gentleman, he was having…he had lost his job and he needed a job and I want to pray that God gives him a wonderful job, because he’s wonderful, and he’s waiting on God, and he’s just believing God, and is just getting a little nervous, but God says, God may not come when he calls but he’s always on time. I want to pray for my brother. Lord, in the name of Jesus, You bless him in a mighty and special way. Lord, you open doors that no man can close and You close those that no man can open. Lord, You bless him in Your mighty and special way. Lord, you said that, David said in his word that he’s young and now is old but he’s never seen the righteous forsaken or as seen begging for bread. Lord, You bless him like the father Abraham, in the name of Jesus. Lord, You bless Brian and Jill. You bless Your people Lord. You touch the lady who has stage IV cancer, the one that is going through and is hurting. Lord ,You bless her Lord, You heal her Lord. You’re a doctor that never lost a case. You are and Almighty God and You can do anything but fail. Lord I thank You for blessing your people. I thank You for giving them a wonderful new year. Open up doors, Lord. Bless them indeed, increase the territories of your people, Lord. Oh Lord, that the Daily Audio Bible can grow and grow like a __ in __, Lord. Just bless it tremendously. Just bless Brian and continue to use him, Lord, in such the wonderful way that You did. Lord, we thank you for your people. We thank you for this community. We thank you for people who love God and love to pray for the people of God. Continue to pray, continue to keep us Lord, continue to strengthen us, continue to let Your will be done in our life, and Lord, we’ll continue to give you the glory, we’ll give You the honor, we will give You the praise. In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray. Amen. Have a…
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Dan and I just wanted to call in. Because it’s a new year, I just wanted to call in and say thank you for being there, each and every one of you. It’s just a blessing. This platform that Brian’s is put together, it’s amazing. And thank you Brian for all of the hard work that you do. Thank you for just always improving, trying to improve our lives…just…I mean…by reading the Bible…and you do it so well…so thank you Brian. It’s really touched my heart and my life. So, thank you. And also everyone who calls in, it’s just great to hear everyone. Whatever were going through. It really helps us bond and connect with our own humanity, with each other, and it’s just wonderful, wonderful community. So, keep calling in. I love hearing from you and I pray for those who touch my heart. I pray for those who I can. And I also want to put out a prayer request real quick if I can. I just started a new job. Thank God I have this job. It’s a blessing and I really like it and enjoy it, but I’m struggling because it’s a new job. It’s new. So, just pray for me to overcome any challenges and just pray that, you know, God continues to bless me with this job, that I can succeed and become successful at it. And I love you all. Take care. God, bless. Happy new year. And I hope to hear from you all soon.
Hi DAB family. It’s MK. I’m actually new to this community and I was just wondering if you guys could pray for my friend. They’re best friends and they’ve both gone through really hard times in life and one of them has actually ___ and wants to get saved by the Lord and I can feel the enemy trying to take the __ away from him. I pray that he will officially get saved and that his best friend will get saved, that they will come to God. And, if you could, could you please also pray for my mother who’s just been going through an ongoing sickness? And we’re believing for God’s healing and restoration, but it would really mean a lot if you could pray for my family. Thank you, family. Bye.
Hi. This is Sonja calling from Tampa. First of all, I just want to thank you Brian, Jill, and China for everything that you do and all these workers behind the scenes. You’ve been a blessing to me for many, many years. I believe I’ve already been listening to you for 10 years. I’ve been an intercessor all my life, but today I just realized that I do have an extended family, and I normally don’t ask for prayer, but I’m asking that you pray for my son, Nathan. He suffers from anxiety and depression. I have a beautiful home and, unfortunately, it’s not so beautiful anymore. I’m asking God for direction. Do I sell my home? Do I find another place for my son to live at? What are the ramifications if he’s moved out of his surroundings? And I’m just asking for direction and asking for you to pray for Nathan and pray for God’s will in my life, because I don’t want to walk out of the will of God. I thank you so much for everything you do.