Exodus 19:16-21:21, Matthew 23:13-39, Psalms 28:1-9, Proverbs 7:1-5
Today is the 4th day of February. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and it’s wonderful to be here with you, because here we are, at the threshold of a brand-new, shiny, sparkly week. Like, everything is out in front of us. The old week is over, the new week has come, and we get to choose our going to live into this week. And thankfully we have this daily rhythm to allow the Scriptures to speak into how we’re going to navigate this week. So, we’ll pick up where we left off, of course, as we do every day. And we’re in the wilderness at the mountain of God and Moses is preparing the people to meet their maker. We’ll read from the Good News translation this week. Exodus chapter 19 verse 16 through 21, verse 21 today.
Alright. Let’s go back to Mount Sinai and what we read from the book of Exodus today. The people have gathered around the mountain. God has come down in dramatic fashion and communication has begun. God is beginning to formalize what the culture is supposed to look like. Okay. So, the children of Israel were in Egypt for 430 years. So, everyone that was alive that came out of Egypt had come out of slavery. That’s all they knew. They were then led into the wilderness where they were not and could not be self-sufficient and were learning utter dependence on God. And God, in transforming them from slaves to chosen people, has begun to speak and to initiate laws that would govern the culture. And we’re reading the Torah. So, we’ll be spending plenty of time reading through the law. So, I want us to have a bit of context as we go into this, because it is so easy to take our time, our culture, wherever we are, and back read it into this. And we have to understand, this is like 3500 years ago. So, we’ll take one example from today’s reading and just use that as a way of getting context. And that is Exodus 21, slaves. Right? Because we can take our modern culture and understanding and back read it into this and read the treatment of slaves and go like, yikes! Slavery is a plague on the human race, what is this doing in the Bible? So, let’s try to access what we’re talking about here. The first thing that happens when God comes down upon the mountain is that we see the 10 Commandments being given. So, this is the first thing God is issuing, essentially the foundation for everything. The next thing that God wants clear is that there are no other gods. There is no other place to give their worship and allegiance and heart. And then the very next thing that he talks about, so at the top of the list here…and believe me…as we go through the law…there’s all kinds of stuff here…so…like…we’re at the very, very beginning of this. At the top of the list here is the treatment of slaves. Okay. This is something that was never discussed before. These people were slaves and they were slaves for life without any rights. So, the first thing that we have to notice is that slavery, as the children of Israel understood it, is not going to be part of the story for the Hebrew people going forward. And the word slave, itself, has its own baggage that we back read as well. So, you know, if we lived say, 200 years ago, we would understand this word a certain way. If we lived 400 years ago we would understand it a different way. We live now and we understand it a certain way. But the word slave can also be accurately translated as servant, bond servant, hand maiden, maid servant, etc. So, we’re not talking about sneaking into a foreign land with ships at the ready and capturing people, putting them in chains, sailing them to a different land, in a different country, and then selling them for life with no rights as basically cattle or property. Remember, this is exactly what these people are walking out of. So, going back to what’s being initiated in law, see that no one is slave for life doesn’t want to be. So, no one is a servant, a worker, maidservant, a bondservant, with no way out. So, essentially what’s being instituted here are parameters prohibiting that. All servants were to be set free in the seventh year. So, a person could agree to a six-year employment contract, if we want to try to move into modern vernacular. But this was comprehensive because they would go to work…and there were not, like, corporations, and that kind of stuff. There were farms, agriculture, builders, tradesmen, this kind of stuff. And when they would come into this kind of an arrangement, then they would also be given a place to live, food, all of this. So, it’s an investment on both sides. So, when something’s sold, especially when it refers to a person, not selling the person, and all rights to the person, and the person’s body, and welfare for life without rights, they’re essentially selling a contract or a covenant for six years of the person’s work. So, if a servant enters into this arrangement with someone for a six-year term and they marry someone while they’re there, someone who is also under the employee of this person and it comes to the seventh year, they can leave, but them leaving doesn’t cancel whatever’s remaining in time with the spouse. They have to finish their agreement, their contract, their covenant. And if the couple loves the arrangement and they could live the rest of their lives in this arrangement, then that can be arranged for. The servant isn’t just saying, I’m selling myself to you without any rights forever and ever and you can treat me or my kids or whoever however you want. It’s an investment on both sides. The person may be saying, for life I will serve in this capacity, I will serve in this household, I will serve here, I love you, I will be here. But on the other side of that is a commitment to care for and provide for for life, including elderly years. So, this is very, very different than the kind of slavery or human trafficking that we would associate with now. This law is in place to keep that from happening.
And then there’s some discussion about female slaves or servants. And we have to understand the history here, the culture here. Marriages were arranged. Now, I know in our, like, western way of thinking that’s just not something that we practice and we can bristle. But again, we can’t back read our culture into a culture 3500 years ago. That’s how things were done. How we do things now is how we do things now. Culture is constantly, constantly on the move, always changing. So, if we’re going to go back this far and look at what an arranged marriage looks like, we have to understand that this is a family centric culture. So, a person’s individual identity is found within the family. Families stayed together for generations. They all stayed together because that’s how they could survive. That’s how there could be enough people to do the work involved in providing food and shelter for everyone. So, when a woman married a man, she was leaving one family and joining another family. So, there was way more at stake than love. One family would lose this person and their labor and their work for the whole family. She would be leaving and joining another family, where she would then labor and work for that other family. She’d become a part of the other family, an important part of that new family. And she would have children and bare children into that new family, expanding that new family. So, when you’re thinking of this in terms of survival, then this would be arranged. A price would be set for that value. And that money or goods or whatever the arrangement was would be transferred to the family who was losing her to compensate the whole family for her loss, because she’s going to be going over and joining a new family and all of her efforts are going to benefit this new family. So, we can read words like, if she is sold to someone who intends to make her his wife, but he doesn’t like her than she is going to be sold back to her father. Her master cannot sell or to foreigners because he has treated her unfairly. We can go, like, yuck, and I don’t like the culture, I don’t like that arrangement, I don’t like how that works. Fine! But we don’t live then. We don’t have like four generations of people living in one complex, one family compound farming and shepherding in order to survive, but they do. And, so, this is actually protection. Someone can’t just make an arranged marriage, pay the price, decide they want out, and then no longer look at the arrangement as a covenant and a life commitment. But, rather, actually, sell her to foreigners, where she won’t have any rights, where she will literally be a slave with no way out. That is now against the law.
So, we can look at these things, but we have to understand them in their context and understand that what’s actually happening here is dramatic steps forward, protections that didn’t exist in the nations around them. This is a new thing. So, the long and short of the story is, when we back read our current culture into a culture that it is on a different continent, likely, at a radically different time, we can bristle up. And different cultures at different times have used all of this for much manipulation and injustice. But that’s not what’s going on here in the Bible. We have to remember, these people were slaves. They don’t have a culture outside of slavery. Justice has been nebulous, at best, for them. And now it’s being defined.
Father, we thank You, once again, for another day, another step forward in Your word. And as we move through the law there will we plenty of things that we can’t really associate with, because they’re not really in existence in the culture that we live in. And Father, we thank You that scholarship can give us context and we can understand that You are transforming people from slaves to chosen, people of God. And we invite You to continue to do that work in our souls. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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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:
Good morning guys this is Jen in SoCal, a.k.a. Prayer Warrior Princess. I heard Shannon in Texas calling today, which is the 26th, Friday for her son Jadrian, and I also wanted to let Elizabeth in British Columbia know, and the older sister of the younger adopted brother know that I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. These are special prayer request to me. I wanted to first share, really quickly, before I pray, that when we have wayward kids it creates a parental identity crisis for us. And often we are focused, hyper focused, on fixing our kids and that perpetuates the lies about our identity. So, instead of desperately asking repeatedly what to do about my kid, our question needs to be, tell me who I am in the midst of this trial. And I think it’s no accident that Brian was teaching today about identity and the great I Am and Moses. So, Father, in the name of Jesus, you are the God of identity, You are the I Am. So, I pray that You would trade these lies for truth, trade blame for how You approve of us, trade shame for how You cherish us, trade fear for how we are loved by You, alienation for intimacy with You, condemnation for the knowledge, security, of exoneration in Christ, desperation for contentment, estrangement for connection with the Holy Spirit, brokenness to build our faith, and empathy and compassion, and striving. Release us to receive from You as You broadcast to us. In Jesus’ name.
Hi, this is David from England. I’m just ringing to reach out to Joe the Protector from Georgia, who was asking for prayer for his daughter Madison. I want to encourage you Joe. I was in a psychiatric unit less than one month ago. And I don’t believe it was the medical care that I got there, it was very secular. A few staff did believe in the Lord Jesus, but not the majority by any means. But God reached down into the darkness that I was in there. And I just want to encourage you through that, that it’s not necessarily the care, the Medicaid care, but it’s that our God can break into the darkness. I pray this in Jesus name. Psalm 84:6 for you.
Good morning DAB family. It’s January 27th and the Holy Spirit has led me to call. I’m calling due to the call from Shannon from Texas that was podcast on January 26th in regard to her son Jadrian. Shannon, that could’ve been me a year and half ago. I was having the exact same issues with my son. And miraculously God came to me. After praying, and praying, and praying, He came to me and he told me what I needed to do. I don’t know if you are on the DAB Facebook site, but I left my testimony for you there yesterday. My name is Bonnie R. and I’m in Ohio and you can go in there and read that testimony and I would ask that you reach out to me, message me, however you can do that. I’m praying for you. I’m heartbroken for you. I remember everything that I went through. And God answered my prayers. I need you to know that. Because I listened, He heard and I obeyed. My son’s life has turned around and our relationship is wonderful. There’s no more raging, cursing, you know, emotional abuse. It was horrific. And I can hear in your voice that you’re going through the same thing. I want you to know, I’m praying for you and I know God will be there to answer your prayers. I know your enduring a lot right now. Just stay strong in your faith. Go to Him. Be patient, be still, and listen and He will let you know what you need to do for yourself and your son. I know you can do that. Thank you for listening and thank you DAB family for all your encouragement during all these times of trouble that…
Hello. This is John from Central Point Oregon. Today is January the 27th and I just wanted to reach out to my brother in Minnesota, who came across some people in a snowstorm that needed some help and he made excuses and put off getting involved. I just want to encourage you brother, you’re not the only one that’s gone through that. I’ve been guilty of that myself. And it was interesting that I heard your request today as we were going through the dialogue between God and Moses, and how he had made excuses as well, as we have all. So, I just want to let you know just like God said, you know, I will give you the things to say, you know. The question, who gave man the mouth to speak? It is I. Same thing with us. You know. Like he said. God will provide. And, so, I want to say that I pray in agreement with you, that God will provide for future opportunities. Not to lose heart to look forward to future opportunities to reach out and help. And I also want to just really quickly ask for prayers for moving forward with my own spiritual walk with God. Because I’ve been faltering…
Hi. This is Donna from California and I’m calling for Jordan from Michigan who called January 23rd about your job in a secular school. What you described really resonates a lot with me because I, too, work for a secular school, in my case a university that’s also my alma mater. I’ll get fortified over the weekend and on Monday all strong and by Friday, I’m depleted from being in a system with so much that is contrary to the things of God. It too makes me vulnerable to temptation. A couple of things that have really helped me, one is a Scripture from Colossians, chapter 3 verses 23 and 24 from the Contemporary English Version, that says, do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself and not just your earthly master. In fact, the Lord Christ is the one you are really serving and you know He will reward you. It also helps me knowing there really are people there who need the light of Christ. And if I focus on that I don’t have to worry about this big powerful institution and its politics and all. I just let God take care of that. A smile, a kind word, can mean more than we know. Remember God has placed us in these places that are hostile to Him for a reason, that we may be salt and light. We may be the only glimpse of hope that they see. Lord, I pray that You meet Jordan in this coming workweek and in the things that are causing him to stumble. Help him reach for You in those moments and know that You are reaching back and that You’ve got hold of him. Help him know this deeply, in his innermost being. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Hey, how you doing family. It’s Dale B. calling. Darrell, I heard your call about your son and you live in Depew. That’s not too far from me. I’m just letting you know that it really sounds like you’re doing everything you can and that’s all you can do. Keep praying. Janet in Texas, I want you to walk to the light and look to the feelings that you have in your stomach. You know what’s right and what’s wrong about your son. And you know, hey, you don’t have to listen to that. When he swears, just say to him, don’t talk to me that way, I don’t like it and walk away. Now, Mr. Lopez, in New York, your grandmother may be blind but how wonderful that she took you in. And you already have wisdom at your age so don’t worry. Everything will keep coming. Joe, it was your daughter’s birthday yesterday. I’m happy that Madison turned 19. I pray for her depression and to help you keep going. I also want to do a quick shout out to Tony. Tony remember when they used to keep this prayer line open for longer than two minutes? It’s been a long time buddy. Keep the faith and keep calling. I love you guys. Talk to you later. Bye-bye.
Hey Daily Audio Bible family. It’s Sheila from Massachusetts. And I want to start by saying I love you. I love our community. I love everybody and it. It’s amazing without even seeing people’s faces that I can have such strong feelings and a sense of connection to the people that are part of our family. Today, basically, I want to talk and pray for Pelham and Molly in their marriage. Pelham and Molly, I’ve been with you all for many, many years as a family member praying for you, praying for you and you trying to get pregnant the first time, praying for you after the loss of a child, I was praying for you, Molly, when you got pregnant the second time for a healthy delivery and pregnancy. You’ve been through some ups and some downs and sometimes when we are in the middle of a down it feels like everything is falling apart and it’s the worst time, but the two of you have strong marriage, marriage and God, a marriage blessed in that, and the evil one will twist those marriages. Pelham when I heard you say your family was falling apart it broke my heart. You guys have just work so hard to have the family that you have. Center on God and I rebuke the evil one in the name of Jesus who is coming over the marriage of Molly and Pelham. I rebuke the evil one who is trying to put discourse and divide in them. Brother and sister, stand strong in the Lord. Remember, I love you are the strongest words there are. And the two of you have had plenty of love throughout the years. In Jesus name I pray for you. Amen.
Hey Daily Audio Bible this is Rebecca from Michigan. You guys… Today is January 28th. My parents are married 62 years today. But that’s not what I called you about. What I called you about is, you guys been praying for me…you all from Christmas. Well, I don’t think it ended, because today somebody just did it again, where I went to go get something to eat at Olga’s kitchen, and somebody said, have a good day, and the next thing you know, the waitress came and said your meals paid for. You can go when you’re done. I’m like, wow, I think I got the favor of God on me. I don’t know if you guys have been sending bolts of lightning up to God, but I heard bolts of lightning goes up when you pray. I don’t know if that’s true, but the angels of God…I’ve been thinking about the angels of God going up to God and lifting prayers up to Him…and I pray all those prayers you guys have been praying. People are getting healed. I pray for financial favor. I pray that you guys have God’s miraculous works in your life and favor, supernatural favor is in your life, because of all the prayers and blessings you sent to me. I love you guys. Thank you for your prayers. Keep up the good prayers. I really am appreciating this. I’m enjoying my life. I can’t believe it. I’m actually enjoying life this year. It’s just so awesome. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me next. Bye.