Numbers 30:1-31:54, Luke 4:1-30, Psalms 63:1-11, Proverbs 11:20-21
Today is the 20th of March. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you today to do what we do every day - take another step forward in the Scriptures as we move all the way through every word of every page in a year and explore the depths and treasures that are found in the Scriptures as we apply them to our lives. So, it’s great to be here with you for the next step because every step counts and every step matters. We’re reading from the New Living Translation this week, picking up where we left off yesterday. Numbers chapter 30 and chapter 31 today.
Alright. So, a couple of things to point out today. Remember that story that we read a few days ago with the talking donkey and this known diviner or prophet named Balaam? Well a battle is fought today and Balaam gets killed in it. So, kind of what we have in the Bible is the beginning of the story and the ending of the story and then we have to piece together the middle of the story because this isn’t the last time we’ll hear the name Balaam in the Bible. And Balaam is considered to be a pretty wicked man throughout Jewish history and the commentaries on the Torah from rabbis of antiquity. So, what was his involvement that he should be killed in battle today? Because we had the incident with the angel standing against him, revealing that his pride was getting the best of him and the promise of what was to come. And, so, we considered all of that as we applied it to our own lives. But what happened in the interim between that incident and his death in battle in today’s reading? It was that he didn’t just obey the word of the Lord, bless the children of Israel and leave. He continued to meddle. And he gave advice that caused the children of Israel to enter into idolatry. And the advice that he gave was that the women should go and seduce the Israelite men. If they could get the Israelite men into bed with them, then they could get the Israelite men to do just about anything. And that’s what happened. The children of Israel were led into idolatry through the seduction of the Medianite women, which is the point of the entire battle that we read about today. So, Balaam certainly did obey God after the angelic visitation in which he almost lost his life. I mean, that put the fear of God in him, literally. But later he circled back around, gave some advice on how these foreign people might be able to conquer the children of Israel without having to fight them, which gives us pause to consider the ways in which we are being taken off the narrow path that leads to life because we’re being seduced in other directions. Or for that matter, how we nudge people off their own journey by manipulation. These are certainly serious things to God. God went to battle against it, so they’re serious to God, so we should make them serious to ourselves and invite the Holy Spirit to show us places that we’ve been seduced away. Or for that matter, like I said, places that we’re being the seducer, even if unwittingly. Because as we can see from the Scriptures, that path where that goes isn’t going anywhere good. So, we shouldn’t be involved, either as the seduced or the seducing, as the manipulated or the manipulator.
And then we get into the Gospel of Luke and Jesus is beginning His ministry. So, He’s been baptized and He’s led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit for forty days where He’s tempted by the devil and we have the famous passages of the temptation of Christ. And it’s very easy for us to take this one scene and go, well, there, Jesus overcame the devil and He didn’t have to deal with any kind of temptation or anything like that anymore, and so that’s what gave Him the power. Like, He overcame the devil in the wilderness and there was no more temptation of any sort for Him. He was able to just focus on His mission. That’s not true, though. Jesus lived a fully human life as a fully human man. So, as we all know as human beings, we can overcome temptation but it’s not like a one-off thing. Things are constantly being spun at us, right? There’s manipulation, seduction that we just talked about in the case of Balaam. It never goes away. And that would have been the case for Jesus because, as we read in the gospel of Luke, when the devil had finished tempting Jesus, He left Him until the next opportunity came. So, I’m going to ring a bell that I’ve been ringing all along as we move through the Scriptures because it’s so important. What are any of these temptations intended to do? They’re intended to deceive us so that we will walk another path. In the case of the Midianites, the women came and seduced the men of Israel away from God and into idolatry through sex, which is a very, very powerful thing. But underneath all of that, what was happening? They were being deceived so that they would walk another path and worship another god. And we read the temptation of Jesus. It’s the same thing. Deception - I’ll give you all of this if you will simply walk a different way. And we see that Jesus dealt with this like we all do. So, would you pay close attention to the movements of Jesus because Jesus isn’t just spending 33 years on planet earth so He can grow up enough so He can die on a cross and be executed and shed His blood. Yes, that’s the purchase of our souls. But His life is the model for what He’s providing us through His death and resurrection. Jesus is showing us how to be human on planet earth in a fallen world successfully. And if there’s one thing that we can certainly say about Jesus, there was no deception in Him. He always saw the story behind the story. The plot that was really going on. And He always spoke to those things. So, He was always speaking directly at the truth, pulling out the truth from the culture around Him. Pulling it out and speaking to that. He couldn’t be seduced away, right? And many attempts were made. Not only from Satan, but from other people around Him. What got Jesus ultimately in trouble is that He was speaking the truth to the religious establishment and they couldn’t co-opt Him. They couldn’t use Him to become one of them. He could have been such a powerful and revered rabbi if He had been willing to play ball with the establishment, but He wasn’t. Not because He didn’t like anybody or didn’t care. It was false and there was nothing false in Jesus and He was calling them back to the truth and they didn’t want the truth and so they killed Him. So, once again, to ring that bell, deception is the greatest enemy we have spiritually. All of the things that we get seduced away from God and into come through deception. This is the thing we’ve got to guard our hearts from vigilantly if we want to be Christ like.
So, Father, we invite You into this because it comes up in both old and new testaments and we have stark examples of how deception seduces us and our hearts away from You and offers us the promise of something that we’re willing to give our heart in worship to. And we repent of that. Because as we look at our lives, we can find all kinds of weeds and snarly little vines all around that we’ve allowed and we’ve allowed to flourish inside of our hearts. And we’re inviting Your Holy Spirit to rid us of deception. Help us to cut those weeds down, pull them out, pile them up and burn them. So that we might be true. Because we will never be whole and holy if we are not true. If deception is in us, then we are not true. Come, Holy Spirit. Lead us into all truth as You’ve promised. We ask in Jesus name. Amen.
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Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Alfi calling from Delaware. I hope that each one of you is blessed. This call is especially for Colin. Colin my brother, I want to say praying for you. And I want you to hear me say something to you right now. So, I remember from the very first time that you joined the community. We’ve been together with you through your journey and we have seen the work God has done in your life. Now, if you remember every time that we are reading Bible, especially in the Old Testament, how the Israelites used to make little monuments on their journey. It was to point them into a point in their life whereby they would remember what God has done to them in their monuments - however that in their life or in their journey. Colin, I understand what kind of life and what kind of troubles and what kind of struggles that you’re going through because I have been there. And Jesus Christ never promised an easy life to anyone of us. He actually said that in this world we will have troubles and tribulations but He made the promise that He would never leave us nor forsake us. So, I pray for you my brother and I pray that you might go back and see the journey of life that you’ve had and see all the good things that God has done for you and has pulled you through. And remember that. Let that be a wall of remembrance for you. Because those of the kind of things that will give you hope, that will give you strength to go through the present struggles that you’re going through. So, remember. And hold onto the hope because God is the same yesterday today and forever and He will never forsake you. My brother I pray for you. I know that God is going to see you through and your life is a testimony to how great God has been to us.
Who you gonna believe the devil in me
Are you walking by faith or what you can see
I told you your parents would both be all right
So keep walking by faith and forget about site
The devil’s whole plan is designed to deceive
And make you doubt everything I said you’d receive
He’s a god and the ruler of this world
There’s plenty of room for his plans to unfurl
Creating choices and opportunities and decisions for you
Will you believe what you see or that which is true
If you believe what you see you have anxiety of heart
That will continue to build until it tears you apart
And still in the end you’ll come running back to me
Regardless of what your eyes tend to see
For I am that I am and I do what I do
And that’s universal it’s not just for you
I love you very much you should know that by now
But still you continue to doubt me somehow
Know that your mother is also loved too
And my mercy for her is independent of you
The path from her heart that leads to my door
Was well-worn with praises before your before
I promise you a chance to make your make your amends
To both of your parents before this life ends
So keep on believing have faith when you pray
Forget what you see your folks are okay
firstname.lastname@example.org. Drew from the bay area, thank you so much for that wonderful gift of the card. It was beautiful. Know you’re in my prayers and thoughts every day. Thank you once again Brian for this wonderful podcast for God’s Holy Spirit to flow. Keep it flown’ y’all. All right. Bye-bye
Hi there this is a message for Teresa, the lady who has ended the affair and is struggling financially. And you haven’t been that close to the family and struggling with that. And I just want you to know and family that if you __ whether tried getting him to listen to the Daily Audio Bible. Maybe that’s something that you can try if you haven’t already. Another good way is bringing community in. __ if you’ve tried it. With everything else, I hope everything else is going okay. And just believe and trust in God. That’s one of the things that we are reading in today’s DAB, that we can often look back and forget about the things that he’s lead us through. So just encouragement for every one of us really, to hold onto all of the things that you’ve done in the past and the pain and to __ elements of difficulty in our lives right now. So, I pray this for you. And have a great day everybody. Bye.
Hi family. This is Craving Peace from Pennsylvania and I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers and thank you Brian and Jill for all that you do and your family. Family, I’m reaching out today for my son Jacob. He has been struggling. He just turned 18 March 3rd and he has been struggling with thoughts of taking his life, fear of being an adult, and just so many things that are frightening to a parent. And I’m praying for him and trying really hard to be strong. And I know that so many of us as parents, that’s the last thing you want to think of. So, I just want to pray for all of our children. Please join me family. Father, I thank You for all of our children and Father I just pray for strength for them, that they would look to You, that all of the things that are frightening would no longer be frightening to them and they would be able to find someone to come alongside them to help them. I thank You for Jacob and for all children, Dylan, so, so, many others Father that…
Hi Audio Bible family. My name is __. I’m a new listener from the UK and I’ve listened since January. I’ve missed a few episodes but I keep praying for you daily. I keep praying for you all. I’m not very good with names but I keep praying for you about what’s going on in your life and when you touch my heart. I’m ringing for a prayer request for myself and what might be for my daughter. I’ve been having trouble with mental health these past…ever since I was a teenager through bullying and through an abusive relationship, which I am now out of and in a new relationship, but I’m confused. I’m not sure what to do because I go through dark episodes and suicidal episodes and then I keep having relapses and keep coming and finding myself. And God it keeps disappearing again and I’m just lost on my path on what to do. I’m in a relationship with a non-Christian of three years now and I don’t know whether to go ahead with it because I do get guilt from it but he gives me…it gives me such love. And I don’t know whether to move closer to him because we’re living five hours away from it and I’d like to commit to that path but now not sure what I’m supposed to do. And I just need some praying prayer and guidance but mostly for my daughter Jasmine who is 18. She’s still good with depression and anxiety mostly because of problems I’ve had because __ disorder and she’s just going up and down all the time. She’s having trouble finding the reason to keep living and not being able to access support needed to fight this. And she’s just struggling to keep her head above water but she’s got such life and her. She’s got positivity in her and I just need prayer for both of us just to find a way through it because our relationship is not good because of the issues that I had. I’ve driven her…drifted apart and this is why my daughter is looking for accommodation…