Leviticus 25:47-27:13, Mark 10:32-52, Psalms 45:1-17, Proverbs 10:22
Today is the 2nd day of March welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is good to be here with you today. And once again coming from the city of Jerusalem. In a bit of a change of pace yesterday and went down into the low lands and we’ll talk about that. Today we’ll head into the central section of the land, a part that we haven’t seen yet. And we’ll talk about all that in a bit. Let’s center ourselves and just quiet the world and all the chaos that is never ending and allow God’s word to wash over us as we move into our day, or as we close our day or whatever it is that’s going on. Let’s open our hearts and allow God to speak to us through his word. We’ve been reading from the Modern English Version this week. And we have rounded the corner and are heading home on this week. And we’ve rounded the corner and we are approaching the final couple of days here in the land of the Bible. And that’s just how…that’s how life works, step-by-step, day by day. And, so, we’ll pick up where we left off yesterday with the Leviticus chapter 25 verse 47 through 27 verse 13.
Alright. So, in the book of Mark we are moving toward the cross, we’re moving toward that the passion narrative again and Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. And two times in our reading today Jesus asks people the same thing. What you want me to do for you? Which is such a generous thing to be asking when you are on your way to crucifixion. Right? When you are on your way knowing you are going to be tortured to death. And they’re very different circumstances that actually invite us to consider our own hearts and our own motivations and the things that we are asking of the Lord. The first time that this happens it’s by Jesus inner circle. It’s by James and John. So, Jesus has been telling them what’s going to happen. They’re not completely understanding, but He’s been telling them what’s going to happen. And, so, they walk up to Him on the trail and say, we want you to do something for us or directly from the Scriptures, ‘teacher, we want that whatever we may ask you would do for us.’ And Jesus response, ‘what do you want me to do for you?’ And what they want is that when He enters into his glory, they can each, one sit on the right hand and the other at his left hand. So, from an earthly perspective, we can see that what they’re expecting to happen in Jerusalem is different than what is going to happen even though He’s been very clear, But whether we look at this from an earthly or a spiritual perspective, essentially, what they’re saying is we want to be right below you in the glory. We want one of us to be your right-hand man and the other to be your left hand man. And the only one above us is you and we are above everyone else. We want our share of the glory. Jesus response to that is, ‘you don’t know what you are asking for.’ Now a little further down the trail, they come through the city of Jericho and Bartimaeus, a blind man whose begging for charity hears that Jesus is coming by and so he starts screaming, ‘son of David, have mercy on me.’ And he won’t stop. And Jesus answers him. What do you want me to do for you? His response completely different. It’s not, I want some of your glory, it’s have mercy on me. I want to see. Very, very different postures. On the one hand, you have, hey Jesus I want you to do something for me. I want you to exalt me and make me just below you. On the other hand, we have son of David, please have mercy on me. To the first request Jesus said, you have no idea what you are asking for. And to the second, the blind received his sight. Now, we could look at this and say that both of these requests were self-serving, but we have to acknowledge, they come from a completely different posture of heart. I mean, on the one hand, ‘I need you to do something for me. I want you to grant me a wish’ is a totally different posture then, ‘have mercy on me’. And in this season of Lent that we’re in right now, this season that is designed to be reflective and to consider what it cost to give us a free and clear salvation, these interactions that we read about today in the gospel of Mark invite us to consider our own posture of heart as we approach God. Are we approaching a genie in a bottle asking for a wish or are we asking for mercy? Because the truth is, what else can we ask for. We have no right to be asking God for anything on our own. Through Jesus, He’s our Father, we can ask for anything, but what is our motivation? Where is our heart? Jesus, I need You to beat up the bad guys. Jesus, I need You to remove the obstacles. I need You to make my life more comfortable and better. Or is our approach more humble, ‘have mercy on me.’
Jesus, we acknowledge this. We’re paying attention and we’re sorry for the times we’ve come with our demands. Forgive us Lord. Have mercy on us, Jesus. We are so completely lost without You. Have mercy on us. We pray in Your mighty name knowing that You will, knowing that You already have, and that is enough. Everything else is simply out of Your kindness and generosity because You love us. So, main we return that. May we love You as You love us. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Okay. So, man we’re down to our last couple of days in the land of the Bible. And yesterday after spending a whole day in the hustle and bustle and kind of chaos that Jerusalem can be, especially in and around the holier places, especially associated with Jesus, we changed up the pace. And went into another region that we have an experienced yet called the Shefela, which is the low lands. And this is some of the region between ancient Israel and ancient Philistia. So, we left Jerusalem and our first stop was at Emmaus Necropolis. There is a very ancient Byzantine church there. The ruins, they still exist there, but it’s a serene place. A place for just a little bit of a walk. It’s really, really lovely. So, we talked about the story of Jesus after his resurrection, meeting his friends on the road, and on the road to Emmaus, and explaining all the things that happened and how that set their hearts on fire. But how they didn’t recognize Jesus at first, and how it was that He was beginning to reveal himself, but disappear, reveal Himself, and then be gone right after his resurrection, and contemplated how His presence is more than a physical thing. And then just gave ourselves a few minutes, they’re precious, they’re hard to find, these centering moments, and they have to…they have to be fought for…and embraced…and walked into when we have them. So, that’s what we did. We gave ourselves just a few minutes in the morning to reconnect with the Lord as we began our day. And then from Emmaus we continued southward to the ruins of Bet Shemesh, which has biblical significance because when the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant in battle they took the ark of the covenant back to their territory and were worshiping their God. And as it turns out that was not the most healthy thing for the Philistines. Boils and plagues and all this kind of stuff begin to break out. And, so, they move the ark of the covenant to another one of their cities and the same thing happens, they keep moving it around, and everywhere that it goes trouble follows it while it’s in the hands of Philistines until they feel like it’s the God of the Israelites that’s causing these problems. So, they put the ark of the covenant on an ox cart with some cows and decide that if the cows know which way to go, like if they go back to Israel, then that was God who was judging them. And if the cows don’t really know which way to go, whatever, they will know that it’s not God, but the cows know exactly where to go and they had back into the territory of Israel, bringing the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites. And that happens at Bet Shemesh, where the ark of the covenant comes back into their control. So, a place of obvious biblical significance. And there are some ruins of the ancient city there that we visited before heading into the valley of Eli and situating ourselves. What a beautiful day. It was really, really perfect. And we walked down into the streambed and then just kind gathered around and just placed ourselves in the story that happened there. And that is the story of David and Goliath. And when you can stand in the Eli Valley, seeing how the armies would’ve been situated, understanding that the valley of Eli was kind of a border between the two, understanding that there were strong cities all along the valley, as would be associated with borders. It just all begins to come alive. So, we let it do that. We let it come alive and went down into the brook and gathered some stones to take back from there as we applied the story to the story of our own lives. And then we had some lunch. And we were able to have like a picnic lunch. Lovely day, picnic lunch, green grass, nice breeze, just a change of pace from the pace that we’ve been keeping. And that was taking place in that Bet Guvrin National Park, which also encompasses the biblical city of Maresha. And then we get to see just how this archaeological field works, how it is that these places that we’ve been visiting are identified, how it is that there excavated, how tediously and meticulously this is done. And it just…seeing some things come up out of the ground…and discovering…and it’s a touch point. First of all, it’s a touch point because you’re touching the lives of people who lived thousands of years ago and you’re discovering things, but also, this was area of great industry, especially for like everything associated with olives. So, like, olive oil, and how they would press that and how they would export it, and how they would just live. So, it’s a moment to not just walk around ruins and try to imagine, but you kind of feel like you’re really touching back in time, how people lived and really immersing yourself in that story, which again, just makes of the Bible begin to come alive because there’s so many lives and so many different time periods and how they did things over time matters. And it’s tactile. And you just feel like you’re touching history, you’re just your part of the story yourself. So, that’s always a highlight for those who participate. And it was no different. We had a great time, great weather, great everything. And then we had one more stop, Lachish, which is another biblical city, a very, very strong city, the most powerful city next to Jerusalem in ancient Israel. And we were able to see the city gates and some of the ruins there. We didn’t spend a ton of time, but at least a touch point down in the low lands of this ancient powerful center of a city that was influential in ancient Israel before then beginning to make our way back up to Jerusalem to end our day. And it was a good day, a really, really good day, and a much needed change of pace. And got some rest and off we will go, northward today. And we’ll talk about all of that tomorrow.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link that’s on the homepage. And I thank you for your partnership humbly, gratefully. 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 I’ll remind you, if this journey is a journey that you feel like you want to make, if you feel invited into experiencing the land of the Bible, we’re planning to come back next year and you can find out all about that at dailyaudiobible.com in the Initiatives section.
Also want to remind you ladies that in about a month, and we’re almost right at the one month mark, when the More Gathering for women will take place. And you check that out at moregathering.com. Hope to see you there.
If you have a prayer request or comment. There is, of course, a number you can call 877-942-4253 is that number.
And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hi everyone. It’s Christie from Kentucky. I want to speak to Pelham from Alabama. Brother Pelham, your message just broke my heart. I am so sorry that you are walking through such financial difficulties right now and that it’s putting such stress on your marriage. I just want to say this, and for those of you that are listening that are married, you probably will agree with me that oftentimes when we have found ourselves in these types of situations, where we became so angry at the situation that our anger often poured over onto one another and we said words we wish we had never said. We wish we could take those words, put them in a box, lock them up, and throw away the key so that they would never come out again. But, unfortunately, once they’re out they’re out. And, so, the only thing that we can do at that point is to humble ourselves and come to each other asking for forgiveness and pouring out our heart of love to our spouses. And I believe if you do that, if you seek humility and forgiveness it opens up the door to communication again. You see, the enemy is trying to destroy us and he knows that when we get into a vulnerable situation that often we will let these words fly out and they are weapons that can destroy. But God gives us an opportunity to ask for forgiveness and He allows grace to enter into these to situations. And Pelham that’s what I pray for you today. Alright everyone. I love you guys so very much. And I pray that each of you have a most blessed and lovely day.
Hi DAB this is Laura Leah from __ I haven’t a called for ages. Longtime listener…almost 12 years. I want to lift up a caller today. Heavenly Father, I’m lifting up Rachel, who called in the 24th about depression and OCD. And, You just put a huge burden on my heart for her. And Rachel if you’re listening…I’m going to put my email out there for you, email@example.com. Please email me, but I want to tell you, the day you called…and the Lord was…I don’t know if you remember the Psalm…the end of the Psalm that Brian read…but when you called out for help and your sister-in-law gave you the word of God to listen to every day…don’t stop listening doing it…I’ve got 12 years to tell you that many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers them out of them all. You said you wanted prayer for your doubting that He would heal you. Well I, I want to pull out His promises and His guarantees that He will heal you of this. And I’m living proof and there’ many, many others too. So, I want to read you what…that day that you called…it says…Psalm 40…starting with verse 11. Do not withhold Your mercy from me Lord. May Your love and faithfulness always protect me for troubles without number surround me. My sins have overtaken me and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs on my head and my heart fails within me. Be pleased save me Lord. Come quickly Lord to help me. May all that want to take my life be put to shame and to confusion. May those who say to me aha, aha be appalled at their own shame, but may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You. May those who long for You, Yyour saving help always…
Hi, this call is for Deborah from Michigan who was rear-ended by the semi. First of all, I, like probably many of us, I’m just praising God that your granddaughters are unharmed. And I pray that the trauma of this event, that they escaped, not just physically from this, but emotionally and mentally as well, that they come out of it unharmed. There’s just something I wanted to respond to in what you were talking about. You were talking about being in the hospital and having a hard time praying and talking to the Lord. And I just wanted to encourage you. The Lord is always there and I know that you know that. And He hears everything that you have to say, but He also hears the things that you can’t even put into words. And you said that you had a brain bleed. So, you had some trauma to your head. You might not even be able to put everything into words right now. And that’s okay. God doesn’t expect you to. He knows all of the processes in your brain and all of the thoughts in your mind, even before you do. Like the Scripture says, even before a word is on your tongue He knows it. So, be encouraged by that. And if you’re feeling like you can’t hear Him right now either, for kind of the same reason, understand that you’re alive and that’s His message to you. And your granddaughters are unharmed and that’s His message of His love to you. And by the time you’re hearing this, I’m hoping that you’re actually going to be a lot better and rejoicing that the Lord has set you loose from that time, but even if you haven’t been yet, I pray that this will be of some comfort to you. All right. We love…
Hi family. This is Craving Peace from Pennsylvania. And first I just want to thank you, Brian, Jill, and entire family for all that you do for us for this community and thank all of you who call on a regular basis. I’m reaching out, family, for prayer. I have been struggling for some time with restlessness. I live in a small town __ and I have a son. I’m the single mom. And I want to move to New Bedford Massachusetts. I just visited this area week ago and I’ve made some friends in that area within in the last three or four years. However, family, I’m just reaching out for prayer that this will be something that the Lord will bless. There are some difficulties with this and I just pray, family, for all of you as well. And thank you so much for your prayers. And, yeah, so, hopefully, you know, I will be able to relocate and the doors will be open for this. And if not, then please help me to accept it as my path. Anyway, thanks guys. Have a good one.
Hello. My name is Dennis I’m from Southern California. First of all, I want to thank God for all that he’s been doing in my life, my marriage, my family. I’ve been a Daily Audio Bible listener for quite a while. So, this is the first time I’ve called. I heard Pelham from Birmingham, otherwise known as Addicted to Christ, call in. And he sounded so joyful and I want to be thankful for the things he’s joyful for. However, I heard the pain in his voice. So, Pelham I just want to reach out to you brother and say, I am with you, I know your pain, I’ve been there before, but God has a plan. He does. Trust me brother. So, I am praying for you and your situation and with your family, your wife. Continue to stay strong in your faith and be the priest to your home no matter what the situation is. So, I come against those things that bind you and the things that are pulling you down, the enemy that is attacking you. And just know brother, that we’re all here for you and our prayers are with you. Thank God. Amen.