Genesis 32:13-34:31, Matthew 11:7-30, Psalms 14:1-7, Proverbs 3:19-20
Today is the 16th day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you around the global Fire that is our community. And we’ve come to take the next step forward in the Scriptures as…well…here we are at the 16th day. Man…see…it goes pretty fast. I’m telling you, it’s going to be June before we know it, but there is some ground to cover between here and there and we’ll cover some of that ground today. We’re reading from the New Living Translation this week. Genesis chapter 32 verse 13 through 34 verse 31 today.
Alright. So, we have some pretty significant drama happening in the book of Genesis in Jacob’s life. He has had to leave his uncle Laban’s household after a couple of decades, secretly, because he fears Laban won’t let them leave with his household anyway, with his wives and children, and all that he is gained. So, they leave. Right? And then Laban chases him down. So, he’s got problems behind him, but he’s also heading right into problems, his brother Esau. So, he’s kind of between a rock and a hard place. He’s got problems behind him, he’s got problems in front of him. And we have probably all walked through seasons like that. So, Laban catches up and there’s all that drama that we already read and a covenant is established between the two, that they won’t cross the boundary line to attack each other. So, that’s dealt with. But he’s still got his brother, who he fled from because the last thing his brother Esau promised was that he was going to kill his brother Jacob. So, Jacob has his entire household intact, but he’s headed right into that and he doesn’t know what it’s going to be like, and it brings him a tremendous amount of anxiety and planning. And he gets everyone safe in a couple of different camps and then he’s by himself spending the night, and he has this massive wrestling match. And it’s been debated who Jacob’s actually wrestling with here. On the one hand, it seems to be that the Jacob’s wrestling with God. But then there are others would say, no, he was wrestling with his brother, Esau. And the reason for this is that when Jacob and Esau do meet, Jacob says, what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God. But Jacob does have this all-night wrestling match, and in the end he is given a blessing and he is given a name change. And his name changes to Israel, which means one who wrestles with God. And now that Jacob’s name has been changed to Israel, we understand that his children are the children of Israel. And they will live up to their name. They will wrestle with God most of their existence. And as we’ll see over time, the things that they wrestle with God about are largely the same kinds of things that we do. But Jacob and Esau make peace with one another. Esau wants Jacob to come back right away. Jacob needs to take a slower route because of the kids and the young inside of this livestock. And, so they make an encampment near Shechem.
Now, Shechem is a city that we hear many times in the Bible, but we don’t always recognize its significance. Shechem is near where Abraham first received the promise of the land. Shechem is obviously the place where Israel’s daughter, Dinah, was raped, which subsequently led to the inhabitant’s destruction. But Shechem is situated between two mountains, not giant mountains, two big hills. One called Mount Ebal and the other called Mount Gerizim. So, this location will have significance later. As we continue into the story those mountains will be known as the mountains of blessing and cursing. And many other things happen in Shechem. And, so, I’m pointing it out now. I don’t want to give a bunch of spoiler alerts. I just want you to pay attention to Shechem. As we encounter Shechem you’ll see that it has great significance. Many things happen there. And Shechem is located right between the Sea of Galilee and the city of Jerusalem. So, it’s like halfway between the two. So, its modern name is Nablus. And it is situated in what many refer to as the West Bank that at this point. So, modern Israeli citizens are forbidden from going there. But we’ve gone in there before and filmed because there are ruins in Nablus that are contemporary with the story that we read today, Canaanite Shechem, so one year. So, one year, myself and a small team, we went in and were given permission to do some filming. And the people were very, very kind to us, very gracious. So, besides the Canaanite ruins, Jacob’s well is there, which is referenced in the New Testament when Jesus meets a Samaritan woman. So, a lot happens there geographically. And almost no one who makes a pilgrimage to the land of the Bible, to Israel, would visit Shechem. It would not be a safe place to take a group to. But we’ve been able to get in and film, which leads me to talk about a resource that’s available, that we’ve had available for a while, that I haven’t mentioned at all this year yet. And that is the Promised Land films.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, its where you find out what’s going on around here.
So, here’s the deal. I, I mean, I’ve been to the land of the Bible many times, but there was a first time. And even the first time, it wasn’t like a bucket list thing. I didn’t necessarily need or want to go there, but I was invited, and I did. And that subsequently kind of rocked my world in terms of just understanding the geography of where the Bible happened, where this stuff that we’re reading about actually happened, because we read it and we kind of picture it in our imagination. We hear a number of locations referred to and so we kind of situate them in our mind just trying to imagine things but we don’t really know. It’s mostly in our imagination. And yet, these places are real places. And, so, we’ve taken several pilgrimages with the Daily Audio Bible and we’ll be taking one next month. But in the process of being there, like, you can stand in a place like this and, you know, when you are somewhere you can look wherever you want. So, you can spin in 360°, and you can look up and down, and you can smell the smells, and hear the crunch of the earth beneath your feet. Your there. And I began thinking, how can we bring this closer? Like, how, because when you search these places you can find pictures, but pictures are kind of static views and most of the pictures are of piles of rocks that you don’t really understand the significance of. And, so, we began and for, I think it’s been four seasons, we’ve been continuing to film in the land of the Bible in order to let these places that we’re reading about be seen for what they are. And, so, over time, we’ve pretty much been everywhere that has been archaeologically identified. I mean, that’s a moving target, that’s constantly changing. But every major site that’s been identified as biblical, we’ve been there and we have filmed.
So, the Promised Land films are these small little vignettes, you know, some a couple minutes long, most of them no more than five minutes long, to give you a more comprehensive picture of the geography of these places and what happened in them. So, if that interests you as we move our way through the Bible, if you want to be able to refer back to these places and see them with your own eyes and begin to get a sense of their significance, then Promised Land would be great. The Promised Land films are available in the Daily Audio Bible shop. It’s about four hours of content. We cover a lot of ground in the films, so it comes as a double DVD set. And we’ll get that in the mail to you promptly, but you also get immediate access to downloading the films in high definition. Notice that I said download. They won’t stream. You have to download them and then you can play them on your computer or transfer them to your phone or tablet and watch them whenever you want. But those are available at the Daily Audio Bible shop. We created them specifically for this purpose, as all of our resources are created, to help you move through this year in a very meaningful way and to establish this rhythm with the Scriptures as a part of our lives in community every day. So, Promised Land was created with that in mind. So, you can check that out and in the Daily Audio Bible shop.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that dailyaudiobible.com. There’s a link right on the homepage. Thank you, humbly and profoundly for your partnership. If you’re using the 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:
Hello. Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is Jay calling from New Jersey. I haven’t called in in a while. I want to talk to you this morning about 2018. You know, for 31 years I have done things my way. I’ve dated who I wanted to date. I’ve married who I wanted to marry. I’ve had sex with who I wanted to have sex with. I have bought what I wanted to buy and lived where I wanted to live, and went where I wanted to go, and said what I wanted to say. Out of all that, of all these years, I’ve gotten myself nothing but rejection, heartache, pain, disappointment, anger, frustration, all the feelings that I don’t want. And I was praying today and looking at some scriptures and realizing that all this time God has been giving me what I thought…well…not what I thought…but what I wanted, or at least what I thought I wanted in my own human understanding. So, I’ve come to the realization that this year I’m going to try my best, one day at a time, one moment at a time, to listen and do the will of God. Heavenly father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I pray now Father that You will give me the strength through Your word, through Your Holy Spirit to do Your will. Father, I pray that Your Angels and Your Holy Spirit will convict me in those times where I’m not listening to do what You want me to do because it’s uncomfortable and I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Good morning DAB family. This is Joyful Noise from Southern California. I’m calling because I’ve been holding onto this for a few days. And I was so excited about it. I journaled in the new journaling option on the DAB player online and…I just…I’m loving this. Thank you so much Brian. So, the concept comes from Matthew 6. And it’s the concept of forgiveness. And Brian took a little time to review it. But here’s the Scripture. Matthew 6:14. ‘For if you forgive others their offenses Your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive others Your Father will not forgive your offenses.’ And I was just so struck by that and struck by Brian’s words afterwards. I posted it on my Facebook page along with the song that he played at the end. Thank you so much Brian. Matthew West, forgiveness. And here’s the words that Brian said. So, hopefully if you didn’t hear the first time, hopefully this resonates with you. And it’s definitely a focus for me in this new year 2018. How much unforgiveness are you carrying around in your life? If you had to imagine it, what would it look like? A nice flower patch or more like a polluted pond? Hold on to unforgiveness. Holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking from a polluted pond. It’s a poison in our life, a cancer for our souls. Jesus isn’t threatening us but bringing us by telling us to forgive. Jesus died for us he forgave us. He forgave us. Forgiveness is a very important thing to God and looks like this. We take those things that are polluted inside of us and we let them go. We drain the pond. What are you holding onto? Release those events and those people to God. And I think, if those of you are sort of motivated by hashtags, my hashtag is #drainthepond. You know, I took these words and I prayed over them and ,although I’ve heard them year after year after year, this is my seventh year through the Bible with the daily audio Bible family, this is not the first time I heard this, of course. It really struck out chord in me, drain that pond. So, for those of you that are holding onto grudges, and I know him definitely one of them, I’m just really praying over it, praying over my heart, praying over those people, praying for the people that have hurt me, whether it was 20 years ago…
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Nathan from Littleton Illinois. Hey, I wanted to share something that happened at church. This was the first service of the year. So, I guess ___ it probably was a week ago. Anyway, so, they start out with a special number, which isn’t so uncommon, and the music was fading out, and the pastor gets up the stage, and says he’s been praying how to start this year off, so we’re starting off with communion. I’m pretty sure that __ people were moved because we get so stuck in a pattern of what happens. We do these ___ songs, then this happens, then the sermon, and then the this and then that. And we put God in a little box and well this is how it should be because it always has been. Ain’t so. So, we started out with communion and he explained it. So we’re in a sermon series about victory and he says and we’re going to celebrate what already happened in 2018. And I know it’s now, but that’s what he said. 2018. And, so, he went on and said, you know, here’s what, how we’re celebrating it. If you think about it, you know, the slaves had silver before they were free. The Last Supper happened before Jesus died on the cross for our sins. So, why should we not celebrate victory before it happens. I thought, woe! I wanted to share that with you guys. We need to be celebrating victories that Jesus has already won. We just need to grab that victory and run with it. Something to think about. Have a great day. Make it a great day.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is Brooke calling from lovely Fort Collins Colorado. I am a two-year listener and it might be my second or third call in. But I have a prayer request. It’s for my mom. She was the one who brought the Daily Audio Bible to me and is just an amazing person and…you can see that I’m getting choked up…but…anyway…she is just an amazing person, an amazing daughter of God, a huge heart for Jesus, and just an amazing person. She, we discovered, by a miracle, thank you Jesus for this, she has a mass in her trachea blocking 50% of her windpipe. And she is going in for a very high risk surgery due to the location of the mass, the size of the mass, on Wednesday, January 17th in the afternoon. I just ask that you lift her up. Her doctor is very skilled but we’re not leaning on her physician because we know that God is the great physician. And we have been praying that when her physician goes in there that the mass will be resolved and there is no other answer except for that Jesus healed her. We’ve been praying desperately for about the past month, since we found the mass. She’ll be hospitalized for a couple of days just depending on how the surgery goes. So, I just appreciate your prayers. Her name is Terry and, yeah, I just appreciate that. Thank you, guys. Have a great day. Bye.
Good morning family, good evening, good afternoon, good middle of the night. This call, this is Andrew from the Bay Area. Many of you know me as Drew because you are my family and we’ve been doing this for so long. But this call is for the new listeners. God woke me up just a few minutes ago with an astounding revelation that I don’t even understand. But he asked me to call you. And maybe you haven’t called the Daily Audio Bible yet, maybe you haven’t even prayed yet, maybe you haven’t even really believed yet, but God wants me to share with you that your every thought, your every word, everything you do matters. There’s a story about a woman who came into the temple and she gave less than two pennies. And Jesus said, she gave more than all of you because she gave everything she had, she gave so much. So, what I’m telling you is, you’re not going to understand now, I don’t understand now, but everything we do matters. Can you imagine what God hears every day when He hears our prayers, when He moves powers and principalities in action? Of course, you can’t imagine that because your mind can wrap yourself around it. But we’re glad you’re here as a new listener and we pray for you every day, believe it or not. Even though you don’t call in we are praying for you. We are asking you to tell your friends about this and share the secret with them and ask them to tell their friends and send a million more because what’s your witnessing is not an old dusty book. What you’re witnessing is a foundation of what God has built, what He is building, and what’s about to happen. We live in exciting times and if you trust God, you don’t have to trust us, but if you trust God, He will show you step-by-step. He’ll let you see as much as you can possibly handle and He will build up your faith and make you a mighty warrior in His army. So, trust Him. And trust Him, that when you pray, He moves. He does. About giving and praying for Brian and Jill, give everything you can, but when you give, ask God to send a million more. When you give a dollar, ask God to send a million more. When you say a prayer, ask God to send a million more. When you ask for favor for somebody who’s hurting, ask God to send a million more answers to prayer. I love you guys. Were taking this journey together. You are not alone.