Judges 21:1- Ruth 1:22, John 4:5-42, Psalms 105:1-15, Proverbs 14:25
Today is the 5th day of April. No, it’s not. It’s the 5th day of May. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here. Sorry for the confusion. I was confused for a second, lost a month there. Here we are the 5th day of May. And here we are at the end of another week together. A week of transition. We’ve transitioned into a new month, we’ve transitioned into a new book, the book of John as we’re moving through the new testament. And today we will conclude the book of Judges and move forward into the book of Ruth and we’ll talk about that when we get there. We’ve been reading from the Names of God Bible this week. And we’ll conclude the book of Judges. And yesterday when we concluded our reading from the book of Judges almost an entire tribe of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, had been wiped out. And, so, we’ll dive in and finish that story. Judges chapter 21.
Introduction to the book of Ruth:
So, this concludes the book of Judges, which brings us now to the book of Ruth, which is a very short book. We’ll be done with it in the course of two days. But it’s, you know, it’s short in length but breathtaking in its scope. It’s a beautiful story. And after the mixture and the convoluted way that the people were living in the book of Judges over those generations, it comes at a good time. At its heart, it’s an account of God’s faithfulness being lived out through the lives of three specific people who chose to do the right thing. And through their faithfulness, came King David. And through the line of King David came Jesus. Ruth shows us that when people of character make the wise and correct decisions, God’s faithfulness is present. And the book of Ruth also really gives us the story of valiant women of character. Nobody really knows who wrote Ruth. Jewish tradition talks about Samuel writing it, although most scholars of biblical history don’t really believe that’s a possibility. This would have been written after Samuel died in the time of King David. And yet it refers to the time of the Judges. And actually, there was a point in history where Ruth was a part of the book of Judges. But then, later on, it was given its own delineation as a separate book. So, we’ve seen some really hard things happen that are very difficult over the last month really. Colossal mistakes made on the part of people as they walk away from God and then reap exactly what they were warned and they suffer terrible consequences as a result. So we arrive at Ruth and it’s like a breath of fresh air here in the springtime. People still have character. And God shows up in his faithfulness. And so we begin. Ruth chapter 1.
Okay. So, we concluded the book of Judges and we’ve talked about the book of Ruth, which is short and sweet and comes at a very good time but comes contemporary with the times of the judges. And we left the book of Judges with the tribe of Benjamin having only 600 people in it. 600 men, no women. And, so, we watched, you know, how they kind of constructed a way to save the tribe of Benjamin. And it’s a pretty tough story indeed. This city of Gibeah, where all of this drama went down, its ruins still sort of exist today. It’s a mound outside of Jerusalem and kind of a problematic area to get to. We’ve been there and filmed there and it’s in the Promised Land films, but kind of a contentious place for lots of reasons, reasons that go way back into the time of the formation of the modern state of Israel. So, part of that territory was Jordan, the modern-day country of Jordan. And a palace was being constructed on the ruins of Gibeah for the Jordanian royalty when there was a war and it was conquered. So, it’s been this kind of contentious place. It’s not on any maps. You don’t go there in buses with tour groups. And I’ve walked around there and it’s…yeah…I mean it’s kind of like, wow, I mean this is truly a deserted little area, completely surrounded by urban sprawl. But the things that happened here are pretty devastating, the tribe of Benjamin being wiped out. So, we can look at this and go, wow, what a dark story and that would be correct. But we also watch this redemptive thread, the way that God works. Because this city of Gibeah, it remained a city until later. And a man came from that city and his name was Saul. And he became the first king of Israel. We haven’t got to that yet. We’ll get there soon. We haven’t got to that yet. And he wasn’t the most fantastic of kings. But he was from the tribe of Benjamin. So, a tribe that is nearly wiped out, shortly, you know, it’s just a few generations after Joshua, remains. So, we get to see that it remains, it was saved. It remained the smallest tribe, but the first king selected for Israel was a Benjaminite, from Gibeah, from the tribe of Benjamin. And we’ll get to that story soon.
Of course, Jesus is in Samaritan country now near Shechem at this place called Sychar. Jacob’s Well is still memorialized in this area. Also not an area that you can take…that you can just go and visit like as a tour because it’s in the city of Shechem or Nablus which is under Arab control so it’s not a place that you would just kind of go in as a tour. But there is a church built over the top of the well - Jacob’s well - that protects the well. And we visited there as well. Jesus is having this conversation with this woman. It’s almost playful. It’s almost flirtatious on her part. And He’s just…it’s really interesting that Jesus, like He’s willing to fly in the face of custom. And He shouldn’t be talking to a woman, much less a Samaritan woman. He should be treating her poorly. And He’s just able to be himself. Like there’s nothing wrong. He’s not doing anything wrong. He’s just having a conversation in which He’s rescuing this woman’s heart by simply reading back to her the story of her life and she knows that He knows what He’s talking about. And many Samaritan people come and throng to Jesus and believe. She talks about worshiping God on the mountain. The mountain that’s right there instead of going down to Jerusalem and that’s just a very, very old rift between the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. The kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah. And again, we haven’t quite got to that part of the story yet. But when we do, if we’ll remember, we’ll remember this moment where Jesus is talking to this Samaritan woman, talking about worshiping on the mountain. The mountain that she’s talking about is Mount Gerizim, the mount of blessing. And the ruins of the ancient Samaritan temple are on the top of Mount Gerizim until today. We just saw them a couple months ago when we were in Israel. So, these stories that we’ve read today, we’ll continue to read through and find the meanings, you know, for our own lives and watch the Scriptures become a mirror. But sometimes it’s important just to point out that these places are rooted in geography. This isn’t made up stuff. All of the places that we read about today, I’ve literally walked on those places. I’ve seen them with my own eyes. They exist. And it’s fascinating to consider all of the drama and intrigue of the Bible because, like what we were saying yesterday, it doesn’t flinch. That’s something that I’ve appreciated about the Bible. When I began to first read the Bible, kind of these problematic stories and go, like, what in the world, right? What in the world is going on here? Now I come through these stories and go, thank God that the Bible doesn’t just cherry pick and offer fairytale stories that don’t exist. These are real, and this is real life. And some of real life has its darker moments. And the Bible illuminates those moments and allows us to see, you can walk that way into the darkness and you’ll have all this kind of dark story to tell, or you can walk in the light, as Jesus was saying in our reading yesterday, and walk a completely different path.
And so, Father, it is our ongoing and ever-present desire to walk in the light. We confess that we don’t always know what that means and we have run for the darkness to not be exposed. And once again, we’re inviting You. We wanna walk in the light. And, so, we ask your Holy Spirit to come and lead us into all truth. And as we end this week, this week where we’ve transitioned into a number of different books and into a new month, we invite Your Holy Spirit to continue through all of the transitions of our lives, leading us forward, guiding our steps, renewing our minds and allowing us to walk intimately in friendship with You. We pray these things in the name of Jesus. 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:
The sweet smell of honeysuckle hangs heavily in the air
I’m breathing very deeply and exhale all my care
The sun shining brightly and is warming my skin
God’s presence anoints me both outside and in
There are butterflies that are floating there are rabbits and deer
I even sea serpents but there’s no need for fear
There are birds serenading me with a diversity of song
I was headed somewhere but them right where I belong
The wheat fields are ripening with their stocks golden brown
Places and moments like these are rare and can hardly be found
The honeysuckle’s are so intoxicating that my senses go numb
I feel like an idiot I was blind deaf and dumb
I’m grinning a grin that runs from ear to ear
Beauty all around me just beckoning me to draw near
The Cardinals are so red in the Blue Jays are so blue
All of creation is singing praises to you
And me with my wisdom and self-absorbed mind
Am forced to admit that I’ve truly been blind
So thank you for the honeysuckle’s and the sweet fragrance they give
Because they’re forcing me to reevaluate the way that I live
Sensitivity compassion lips full of praise
Determination to be more Christlike in all of my ways
Your awesome creative power is visible and all that is seen
I just want to keep growing just like everything else that still green
And I pray I’ll remember as I go on my way
All the many lessons you have shown me today
firstname.lastname@example.org. Yeah, the seasons are changing. Anyway, thank you Brian for this wonderful podcast for God’s Holy Spirit to flow. Keep it flowin’ y’all. All right. Bye-bye.
Hi DAB family. I’m calling for some help. I’ve been battling with lust for a few years now and I want to make the decision to stop and to live for Christ as I should be. I’m just asking for prayer so that I will get that breakthrough, so that I will walk blameless in front of the Lord, that I can just be strong in the Lord to break these chains off of me. I know that I’m already free. So, just please pray for me that I will no longer act like a slave. Thank you for your prayers family. In Jesus’ name, I just, I declare that victory. Thank you. Bye.
Good morning DAB family. This is Walking by Faith in New York City. This message is for those of you who have lost loved ones recently. Lisa the Encourager, I just heard that your father-in-law passed away. I’m sorry. I can’t remember right now but I am keeping you and your husband in prayer. And I am very encouraged when you call, it’s very soothing, and you always have these great, great things to share with us. And I wanted you to know that I’m praying with you my sister. And there’s so many of you out there that have probably lost a loved one within this year or are grieving. And I am just letting you know that I am praying for you, I’m standing in the gap, and that I love you. God bless you family from New York City. Bye.
Hey, everyone it’s Karen in St. Louis. Hey, Brian I really love your commentary today on May 3rd about the light in the darkness. And I was thinking about how we who are in Christ can run to the darkness so easily and, you know, whether it’s just dwelling on bad circumstances or situations or going to that thing, that fix that numbs the pain of what we’re going through instead of going to Christ and just really laying at his feet. And, so, I just pray that we would go to Christ, keep our eyes focused on Him and that we would be the light in the world, be the light in this darkness. I would ask everyone to pray for my brother Tom, who I believe is doing just this, kind of doing the Jonah thing and running the opposite direction. He has been in and out of fellowship for years. It’s like I get them in church and I just think he’s so disappointed with God and really has a lot of unforgiveness from past things that he keeps dropping out. So, I just pray that the Holy Spirit would invade his heart and that he would fully surrender and submit to the Lord and press on toward the future. I also want to send a sweet shout out to my sister’s pastor Gene and Sonya in Tampa for your sweet prayers for my singleness. Thank you so much. The joy of the Lord is my strength and until the Lord takes it away I still have a desire for a mate like somebody would have for a baby or whatever they are desire is. But God is good. And, so, Brian and Jill, thank you so much for this ministry and being able to hear the word each day. Love you.