Leviticus 15:1-16:28, Mark 7:1-23, Psalm 40:11-17, Proverbs 10:13-14
Today is the 24th day of February. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. And Shabbat Shalom from Israel. Today is the Sabbath day here in the land of the Bible. And I love it when I can do this - greetings from the Sea of Galilee. We started our journey just a couple of days ago, which feels like a lot longer than that on the Mediterranean coast, wound our way into the wilderness, and we’ve been in the wilderness experiencing all that it has to offer and all and all that it offers us to contemplate over the last couple of days. And we get to this point in the trip and realize that we really are drinking from a firehose. It really is a lot to take in and a lot to think about. And God just…He begins to shift things inside. And then we get to transition into another place. And, so, we made our way to the Galilee. But I will talk about all of that in a little while. Because we have come to center ourselves in the Scriptures. It’s the end of the week and we’ve been reading from the God’s Word Translation this week, which is what we’ll do today, and then we’ll change tomorrow. But for today we’ll read Leviticus chapter 15 verse 1 through 16:28.
Alright, in the book of Leviticus, we have plenty of interesting things to talk about today. One of those things is this idea of a scapegoat and the word Azazel. The reason that that word remains in many translations is because that’s the Hebrew word and no one knows that word…like it’s an obscure Hebrew word that has been lost. However, this has been looked at from a scholarship perspective for a long time. And there is consensus. So, etymologists have broken the word down and essentially determined that the root or the core of this word means entire or complete removal. So, we don’t need to spend a bunch of time on that. It’s just a word that kind of pops up out of nowhere and you’re like, what does that mean? Basically, it’s just the origin of where we find or what we would call a scapegoat.
And we also had a fascinating discussion about bodily discharges and emissions, both male and female. Good times indeed. Would that we could only talk about this every day. Right? And remember when we were talking about this yesterday, one of the important things to observe God doing as He’s giving the law is that He is attaching very practical reasons, physical reasons, for the law’s existence with the spiritual implications of it. So, from a practical perspective, maybe it’s not every day that we talk about menstruation and saliva and semen in the context of the Bible, but from a practical perspective, we understand that bodily fluids have the ability to transmit diseases. And, so, to avoid this, the concept that is being introduced is there are things that are clean and there are things that are unclean. And that concept is going to stick with that culture. And that concept continues to stick until today. So, if we were to come into contact for some reason with someone’s bodily discharge, however that may have happened, we’re probably going to wash our hands. Right? If we got it all over our clothes, we’re probably going to wash our clothes. We’re going to say it’s unclean. Not in a ritual way necessarily, but unclean nevertheless. And God is establishing that there is clean and there is unclean and it needs to be cleaned to be in His presence so that the tabernacle that’s wandering around with them in the desert doesn’t become contaminated in an unclean way. And rather than being a holy place, becoming a place that transmits disease. We can get this on a practical level, but from a spiritual perspective, we intuitively are aware that there is clean and unclean. And the things that we allow into our lives that are unclean are contaminating us. And the things that we bring into our lives that are clean are life giving. So, we can get this pretty easily and we can very much understand that if we were to come into contact with something that could transmit a disease to us or that was unclean, we would immediately take action to wash ourselves and clean ourselves to protect ourselves. Well, how often do we leave what is unclean inside of ourselves? How often do we let those things go? How often do we allow what is unclean contaminate us spiritually and then we’re willing to be carriers, we’re willing to transmit that uncleanness all around us? So, God is showing the people and us, yeah, you’ve got to stay clean or you could get sick, you could die. The same is true within us. Now, these spiritual implications, over time, began to be lost, so by the time we get into Jesus’ time, ritual purity was just that - ritual. And the holistic law that God was giving in the desert to keep people healthy physically and spiritually was beginning to be lost. And that was exactly what Jesus was talking about in today’s reading. He said, you abandoned the commandments of God to follow human tradition. You have no trouble rejecting the commandments of God in order to keep your own traditions. Because of your traditions, you have destroyed the authority of God’s word. And in this case, Jesus is talking about the law, the Torah. And, so, He says, listen, listen to me. Listen to me everybody. Try to understand this. Nothing that goes into a person from the outside can make him unclean. And He’s talking spiritually here. It’s what comes out of a person that makes him unclean. So, Jesus is reintegrating the fact that yes, all of these exterior things that you do to keep yourself healthy also have a spiritual application within you. You have to be just as vigilant about what is going on spiritually, what is going on within your heart, what is within you as you to try to stay healthy and clean on the outside. Or as Jesus put it, don’t you understand? Don’t you know that whatever goes into a person from the outside can’t make him unclean? It doesn’t go into his thoughts, but into his stomach, and then into a toilet. It’s what comes out of a person that makes him unclean: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, cheating, shameful lust, envy, cursing, arrogance and foolishness. These things come from within a person and make that person unclean. So, if we’re clean on the outside but unclean on the inside, then we are what Jesus would call white-washed tombs. Which invites us to consider, what are we allowing inside of us that is unclean and is making us sick? And precisely how long are we going to let this continue? Do we want to get well or not?
And so, Father, we invite Your Holy Spirit into that. There’s a lot there as there always is. A lot of things connected to a lot of things inside of us. And we have no real way of untangling without Your Holy Spirit’s help. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit to begin to speak to us about the things that are making us unclean within. The things that we are allowing to continue to make us unwell. The things that are breaking our fellowship with You, our union with You, and making us sick. And we’re perpetuating it and making others sick because we’re sick. Come, Holy Spirit, show us the places that we are living unclean. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Okay, so as I mentioned, we’re coming to you from the Galilee region now. We spent the last couple of days wandering in the wilderness and maybe it doesn’t feel like forty years or a lifetime, but it feels like longer than a couple of days. And what a day we had yesterday. I mean, each day that we’ve been on this journey, we’ve had long distances to travel. And not every day is like that. These first few days are and today was no different. We had quite a ways to travel from the Dead Sea all the way to the Galilee with a number of things to do in between. And, so, we began our day at the Oasis of En Gedi, which is found in Scripture in Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, in the books of Chronicles. And, so, we walked out to this fresh water source that comes down to the Dead Sea and is fresh water in the desert. And once again opened the Scriptures to the time of King Jehoshaphat when a vast horde of multiple armies crossed the Red Sea and assembled at En Gedi to follow up the path to Jerusalem and attack and take it. And it was impossible odds. It’s like a recurring theme in the wilderness because there were impossible odds for the children of Israel at the Red Sea and we opened the scriptures there and we found the same thing. All you have to do is be still and watch what God will do. You will watch God fight and defeat your enemies and that’s exactly what happened in this case. And, so, there’s much to consider there as we consider our own thrashing about and the ways we often make things a lot worse than they need to be.
And then from En Gedi, we came all the way to the Eastern boundary of Israel, which is the Jordan River, to the site that has been traditionally held as the baptismal site where John the Baptist was baptizing for, I guess, probably 1700 years. And we got down into the frigid water, which is shocking and takes your breath away, but is very, very meaningful. You’re not going to forget that. And we talked about baptism and I guess about fifty of us got into that water and one at a time declared our allegiance to Christ. And resolved to leave behind in those baptismal waters everything. Everything that we were without Jesus, which is always a humbling, truly, truly humbling and truly amazing experience just to participate in. So, what a joy. What a deep honor and what a memory. Something that will never be forgotten. In fact, something that must never be forgotten. So, a beautiful time in community with the Holy Spirit hovering all around it.
And, so, once we got dried off and warmed up a little bit, we headed back toward Qumran, which is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Probably the most significant discovery in biblical history in the last century for sure, but probably far more extensive than that. And just looked at some of the caves where these were found. Began to understand the story, we had lunch there and did a little shopping there, and spent some time regrouping and then we headed up into the Judean hills, where we were able to really see the slope of the land. We could see the mountains where Jerusalem sits all the way down to the Dead Sea with Jericho right there. So, we could see from Jericho all the way to Jerusalem and really realize how it is up to Jerusalem. There’s only up to go and it’s incredibly fascinating but it’s strikingly beautiful. And a big rift, a big canyon kind of winds its way from Jericho up to Jerusalem and has biblical significance from Psalm 23, from Jesus parable of the good Samaritan, and was most certainly the ancient pathway between Jericho and Jerusalem. So, most certainly the pathway Jesus would have walked as he went into Jerusalem many times, but certainly as he walked the path toward his arrest and the passion story. That’s one of those views where you’re like, how do you take a picture of this because it’s in all directions, it’s this sweeping panorama. It was just gorgeous. There was a storm to the north and so the skies were dark, but the sun was shining on the hills, so the contrast was striking and beautiful. So, we spent some time there and then got back on the bus and headed north for the next couple of hours, winding our way to the Galilee region where we have landed. And it was dark when we got here. So, it wasn’t until this morning that we were able to just see how different it is when you leave the wilderness. How different it is in this region than the last region we’ve experienced. And man, all that God has out in front of us as we’re just kind of getting going. And we’ll have quite an interesting day today, I’m sure, as we do every day. We’ve got quite an interesting day planned, which we’ll talk about tomorrow.
So, as I’ve been saying, thank you for your continued prayers because they need to continue. They need to not let up. We need your prayers over health, over stamina, over sleep, over technology, over travel, over all of it. Because what we’re trying to do is immerse ourselves in the Bible in a way that applies to our lives as we see these locations so that as we return to our own homes, something has been deposited in our hearts that we’re carrying back with us that we can in turn infect our communities with. And, so, we thank you for your prayers, humbly. Thank you deeply for your continued prayers over this journey.
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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:
Hi Daily Audio Bible family. This is Rachel. I’m a first-time caller. My sister-in-law got me started listening and I have a prayer request for myself. I have been struggling with severe depression and severe OCD for 26 years and it just completely paralyzes me sometimes…most of the time actually…and I just can’t seem to get better. And the depression makes the OCD worse and the OCD makes the depression worse. I just want to ask prayer warriors to pray on my behalf, that I would be healed and that I would believe and not doubt that I would be healed, because I know God can heal me I just don’t know if He will heal me. And I thank you in advance for your prayers. Thank you. Bye.
Hello DAB family. This is Rob S., worship dude in Nashville Tennessee. And I just want to say thank you to everybody who listens and praise. I don’t call it a lot but I do listen and pray a lot. So, thank you for you guys who do that. Okay first, for Brian and everybody who is on the Israel trip, may the Lord protect you, may the Lord inspire you, may the Lord keep everybody healthy and may this truly be a life-changing event for you. I had the great privilege to go to Israel last year and I just changed my life. Totally amazing experience. Next, I have a personal prayer request. I have begun a new job as a music director at a church in the Nashville area and I would really, really covet your prayers in this season of transition. And it’s a God thing. I’m rejoicing. We are all rejoicing, but I would definitely ask for prayer for this thing to help us to do well in this new role. So, may the Lord be with you guys. God bless you. I love you DAB family.
Hey everybody. Hey, this is Annette again. Sorry. Two in a row today. But Cherry Chase, Cherry Pie, my sister. Oh my gosh, you just crack me up. Hey, that was Roger who was praying for the Kidney. And the reason I’m calling to tell you that is it kind of reminded me of a story that, you know, when I get up in the morning, I start off with you guys and about the time I get to my job it’s about the time for the prayer requests and all that stuff. And I’ve always made a habit of writing people’s names. Like, we have these little pads…little protector thing that goes on the workbench and it really kind of sucks up the ink and makes it pretty permanent. So, I’m going to be moving to my fifth desk here before long, but four desks around have all of your names on it. And I was questioned not to long ago about what are these names, who are all these people, wasn’t this your desk. And I was like, yeah. And, so, I let them know that whoever took over my desk that these are people who need prayer. So, I think it was kind of interesting that a friend of mine, he says, he says, I don’t know who’s these names are, but you said they need a prayer. So, I just want to let you know that I am praying for these names. And they don’t even have a clue who you people are. And isn’t that kind of interesting, that names can be passed on and prayers can be made by people that we don’t even know. And they’re never probably going on I know y’all. And you might not know them. But I think it’s kind of interesting. And I wonder how far that little passing on has gone. Right? So, I love you guys. And Roger, if you’re still out there, brother, you are still on my desk and I am still praying for you and I hope that you are doing very well with her kidneys and your health and telling other people about Jesus because…
This is Cindy from Lyman Falls Germany, a long time DABber, first-time caller. Thank you, Jill for your beautiful music. Thank you, China for 10 years for sharing the good news with our youth. Thank you, Brian and team for creating this campfire, where the DAB family unites daily to be infected by His sneeze. Welcome to all of you new listeners and to those who call in regularly. I love recognizing your voice to sing with you, pray with you, cry with you, and rejoice with you. Blind Tony, your godly vision, your poetry gives us inspiration. Pastor Gene, gracias. Asia from Munich __. Dear family, I ask for travel prayers for the DAB team and pilgrims embarking on the Promise Land journey. We’ve packed you in our suitcases so that we can share this amazing experience. Thank you for your prayers. Love you. Cindy.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family. My name is Robin from Northern California. Although I’ve been listening for 3 and a half years, I’m a first-time caller. I wanted to call in several times but chickened out. But the Holy Spirit will not allow me to let this prayer request go uncalled. A dear friend of mine has a future son-in-law, Mike, who’s being diagnosed with relapsing polychondritis. This is an autoimmune disease that has no known cure __. Mike is a very fine young man who’s served our country as a Marine. And I just believe anyone who’s been willing to lay down his life for us serving our country deserves our prayers. He does not have a primary care doctor and the medical care VA system where they live in Tennessee is very limited. They’re also struggling financially as his condition has cost them so much. Mike does not yet have a personal relationship with the Lord. Though his fiancée does, she has drifted away. They both need Jesus right now and to see how the Lord has been at work in their lives. Every time I hear that there is no cure I am resolute to pray because I know my God is able and He is faithful to hear. So please pray that Mike and his fiancée turn their hearts and lives to Jesus and that God will provide the medical care Mike need and ultimately heal Mike of this relapsing polychondritis to the praise and glory of our Lord God Jesus. Thank you family. Bye.
Hi, this is Connie from New York. I am a newly born-again Christian. In 2017 I accepted Jesus as my savior. I’ve been a Catholic my whole life, however. And it’s my first time listening to the Daily Audio Bible for the whole year. That’s my plan. So glad to discover it and discover community. I wanted to just reach out to Jaden. I just listened to Jaden’s message __ walking by faith. And it was so touching, so beautiful. And I wanted to give Jaden a Scripture, Matthew 18:6, but who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it would be better for him that a millstone be hung around his neck and that he will drowned in the depths of the sea. Jaden somebody planted an amazing seating you. Keep the faith that you have your whole life. No matter what, keep the faith. And I’m asking for prayer for my brother who is a guardsman in the National Guard and is being deployed to Guam in the coming weeks, within the coming two weeks, and he’ll be __ you know the issues in North Korea. So, please, if could pray for him. He has four children and a wife and he has to leave them and go to Guam for deployment. Thank you. Thank you Daily Audio Bible family. I’m very excited to call for the first time and to be listening through the entire Bible with you this year. Thank you.