Numbers 21:1-22:20, Luke 1:26-56, Psalms 57:1-11, Proverbs 11:9-11
Today is the 14th day of March. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is great to be here with you. It is great to have this opportunity to take the next step forward and that next step forward will take us back out into the wilderness in the book of Numbers. And then of course, yesterday we began the third gospel, the gospel of Luke and we left off learning about John the Baptist and we’ll pick up that story when we get there, but first from the English Standard Version this week, Numbers chapter 21 verse 1 through 22 verse 20 today.
Okay. So, in the book of Numbers the children of Israel asked a couple of other nations if they could just stay on the main road and go through. Like, they needed to get somewhere else. Could they just pass through? And they were denied. And so king Sihon of the Amorites and king Og of Bushon they attacked and the Israelites defeated them, which gave them a little bit of land that they could at least temporarily kind of sojourn in but these victories unsettled the power distribution of the region. And, so, that caused a lot of anxiety in king Balak of Moab. Now, the land of Moab is just on the other side of the Dead Sea. So, directly to the east of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a high point. And, so, the land slopes down from Jerusalem, all the way down to the lowest point on the earth, the Dead Sea and then out on the other side of the Dead Sea is modern day Jordan, which is ancient Moab. So king Balak sent for a man named Balaam to curse God’s people for him because he’s freaked out about these people. And at first God told Balaam not to go but then Balak, the king, sent a more distinguished entourage and God told Balaam to return with them, but to only speak what he was told to say. And we will watch how that unfolds in the coming days.
And then here the gospel of Luke, we have probably the most developed narrative of the birth story of Jesus. And, so, we have the angel Gabriel visiting Mary, Mary going to visit her relative Elizabeth, Mary breaks out into worship, “my soul magnifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold from now on all generations will call me blessed, for He who His mighty has done great things for me and holy is His name.” Of course, her outburst of worship is now known as the Magnificat.
Then in our reading from Proverbs we’re confronted again. And we’ll be confronted, actually, again and again and again about this topic, the way that we use our words. Our words can destroy our friendships, they can destroy our relationships, and we probably already know this, but according to the Scriptures using our words this way is “godless behavior” - a sobering thought that should have us catching ourselves today before we speak what we can’t un-say, In fact, we’re counseled that wicked speech can even tear whole communities apart and we may have even seen that happening around us. What we say, what we say today, actually matters. Like, our relationships could undergo a complete transformation if we would submit our tongues to the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than using them as weapons in relationship wars that can’t be won. If we’ll heed the council of the Proverbs then we will be the ones who reap the benefits.
Father, we thank You for your word and we thank You for the different nuances and the different places that it takes us today - personal places, places of worship and reflection of your coming for us in the story of your birth, and the drama brewing in the desert in the book of Numbers. Come Holy Spirit plant the words that we’ve read today or heard today deep in our souls. May they be fertile soil for the fruit of the Spirit to grow within us. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In the mighty name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And now the jetlag has abated and kinda back to normal again. I think back to all of the things we did in Israel just less than a month ago, all of the things that we saw, some of these areas that we’re wandering through the book of Numbers are places that we wandered through. So, I’ll remind us all that the intention is to go back in 2020 and registration for that pilgrimage to the land of the Bible is open and you get all the details at dailyaudiobible.com in the Initiatives section. You’ll find Israel 2020 there. Everything that you would want to know is there.
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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.