Genesis 11:1-13:4, Matthew 5:1-26, Psalms 5:1-12, Proverbs 1:24-28
Today is the 5th day of January welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here with you and this is the first time we get to do this, we get to turn the knob as it were and swing open the door and step through the threshold into a brand-new week and this would be our first full week of this new decade. So, I am excited to share it with you as we move forward on our journey that we have begun moving through the Bible this year and this week we will read from the New International Version, brings up another little thing to explain. You’ll notice when we began the year and worked through last week we were reading from the New Living Translation and now we’re reading the New International Version, next week we’ll be reading another translation, and the week after that another one, and we do this, working our way through the year for a number of reasons, but the primary reason is…is this, we may not ever think about this or we may know this, but not really think it matters that much, but the Bible’s native tongue isn’t English. It’s Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. So, every single one of the words of the manuscripts that the Bible has been translated from are a different language than English. And, so, every word has to be poured over or translated or brought into the language for which its intended. Not necessarily an overwhelmingly big deal unless you are creating theological formulas and doctrines that…that affect the human soul and its eternal life, like it becomes more of a big deal. And it’s kind of at this time that some people raise their hands and I go, “I just stick to the good old tried-and-true King James. That’s the real one. That’s the inspired word of God.” But it’s actually it’s actually a translation into English, like all other translations into English. And…and I’ve sat…I’ve been able to observe biblical interpretation and translation in my…been able to watch teams of scholars around the table discussing the kinds of things like verb tense and obscure Hebrew words that have fallen out of use and what do they mean. And that’s just scratching the surface. I mean, there’s a number of ways to do this kind of interpretation. So, you could go like, “well why don’t you just look at one word in Hebrew, and then say what is that word and English? How do you say that word in English and then just put that down and then go to the next word? And there are translations that do that, that seek to do that, and we read from them. There also biblical translation teams that…well…basically every biblical translation team would acknowledge that oftentimes one word means more than one thing, depending on its context. And, so, if you try to port a word for word translation you can see this word and know that it has five or ten equivalents in another language, depending sort of on the nuance of the context and so then you get into interpretation, “what is this trying to say? What does this mean?” And, so, often biblical translation teams will then look at a complete thought. “Like what does the sentence mean? What is the point here?” Because word for word when you read it back in English doesn’t convey the depth of the meaning and maybe even obscures it. And, so, then teams of linguists and historians looking at the context of the time that a particular passage might have been written try and get into the minds of the original hearers will then looking and go, “what is the complete thought? Like, how would what’s being said here in Hebrew or Greek, how would that complete thought be said in English in a compelling way that would carry the same weight that it does in its native language?” And, so, there are translations that seek to work from this perspective and there are all kinds of hybrids in between. And, so, allowing ourselves to receive thousands and thousands and thousands, probably tens and tens of thousands of scholarship hours for us to be able to rotate and appreciate and receive all of that as we continue the rhythm of the year is the goal so that being English speakers we get the most comprehensive view of the word of God that we can…that we can short of learning all of the biblical languages and then, not only just understanding how, maybe for example, to read Greek but all the slang and all of the cultural reference…like all of the stuff that you would have to immerse yourself in. We have this scholarship, and this is why we rotate through so that we can appreciate this. And, so, this week we will be reading from the New International Version. And let’s get to it. Let’s get back into the book of Genesis. Today we will read chapters 11…well chapter 11 verse 1 through 13 verse 4.
Okay. So, we have already…we have already done some talking about some things, so I don’t want to spend a bunch of time because we’ll have plenty of opportunity. I just want to point out a couple of things, three things in particular that we have begun talking about. Alright. So, let’s begin with what we what we were reading in Matthew today, the Sermon on the Mount and in particular the Beatitudes. And. they’re very, very famous, this is Jesus central core teaching. And it’s interesting to read it as His core teaching because it’s like everything that He talks about we don’t quite understand exactly how that could be. It’s like He’s saying bad things are good things, right? “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Just…I mean…that…that one is…that one beatitude, that’s disruptive because that seems out of sync with the world that we live in. “Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the meek”, right? So, what is Jesus telling us here? Like are we supposed to be week, feeble, cast down human beings with our shoulders slumped and our heads facing the ground as we move about the earth? It’s disruptive and it forces us, if we want…I mean…we can blow by all of this, but if we are seeking what the Bible says and trying to understand what’s going on in the Bible then we have slow down and go, “Okay. That does not look like the world I live in. The advice that I’m being given is to live almost backward to the world I’m living in.” And that is the point. So, we talked about Proverbs. We talked about wisdom. And listen, I believe Jesus is the son of God. He is my Savior, right? So, like, there’s no problem there but let's…let’s like step aside from that understanding and just look at Jesus appearing on the scene in the first century. Like, he just starts calling people together as a rabbi and starts teaching. And we could say that the reason that the people flocked to Jesus was because He was a miracle worker and that would be true, that would be part of it. We could also say that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet, like He spoke of the end of things, He spoke of the kingdom of God, He spoke of an ultimate reality. So, people would’ve also understood Him that way. But Jesus also used a specific teaching style. We know them as stories or parables. We look often at the words of Jesus, and it seems as if He may not be answering what He’s being asked or He may not be talking about what it seems like He should be talking about and this is also because Jesus was known as a wisdom teacher. And, so, when you see a story or something that’s disruptive and you have to stop for a second and go, “what are we talking about here?” “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven?” We have to stop and go, “Okay. How does that work? What are we talking about?” It’s disruptive because the ways of wisdom are disruptive. You have to be shaken awake, right? You’ve got to see something clearly all of the sudden and then it comes to you clearly. This is the way, walk in it, right? But if we look at our lives, we see that…that like that rarely happens when everything is perfect. Like when things are super great and we’re sort of like sailing with the wind at our back downhill, like everything is moving in the right direction. It’s wonderful to enjoy those times, but wisdom usually comes in disruption and we will find that this theme and these ideas, they are everywhere, everywhere in the Bible. We will not be able to turn a page when we start reading the apostle Paul, without coming face-to-face with these themes of enduring and looking deeper, like not just looking at what we can see but understanding that there is a vast reality beyond it and we are being transformed and that…that Jesus says this, Paul says this, Peter says this, John says this, James says this. Like, disruption is actually part of it. Like, being shaken awake from our slumber is part of the journey. So, as like we are just getting going, we are just in the first pages of the first gospel, so we’ve got a lots of time before we go through Mark and Luke and John to look for this, to begin settling in and looking for this when we listen to the words of Jesus.
Okay, then the book of Genesis we have another of these weird like stories that… “where did this story come from? And why is it situated here? And it’s just a really short story and then we just kind of move on. And what’s happening here?” And that is a very famous Sunday school story, the tower of Babel. So, we member a couple days ago we were talking about the sons of God and the daughters of Eve and just, you know, just exploring some of the different ways that that has been talked about or viewed or understood and this tower of Babel story is kind of a weird one like that. So, here’s these people and they’re…they’re moving and they’re coalescing together, they decide to build a city and they decide to build a tower. And this is going to stabilize them, and they all speak the same voice there and they’re all on the same page. And God comes and He’s like, “yeah. this is not a good idea because if they stay here and they’re allowed to do this, then, you know, they’ll be able to do anything. Nothing…nothing will be impossible.” So, He confuses the language and then people have to disperse into their language groups from there. So, we could say, “well, you know, the point of the story here is that this is where the languages on the earth came from, but many theologians would say, “no. this is tied to the sons of God and the daughters of Eve…like these…and the Giants. Like this is…there’s like this other kind of story happening before us. And, so,…so the thought here would be that the people come together at Babel and decide to exalt themselves because they are…are fully…they…they have fully inherited the knowledge of good and evil, the…the price that was paid for eating the fruit, and disobeying God and that awareness that conscious shift or whatever we want to call it, the Bible because it their eyes being opened, made them realize they were naked and separate from God. So, all of a sudden this is…and this is really interesting because we know this in child development, right? So, there is a certain period of time where a child doesn’t have an awareness of themselves as a separate thing, as a separate being from their parent. And that grows and then we cultivate and then we work really, really hard to get our children to be individuals. And when out back out to the garden in Eden, we see man and woman and God, and they have no awareness of a separation. They have one understanding of their reality and it is them and God together and then eat this fruit and they become aware of all lot of things that make them sense a separation. They are…they are…I need to be careful how to say this, that they are the same as their parent, that they are separate. And, so, it’s traumatic for them. And, so, we zoom forward all the way here to the Tower of Babel and see the repercussions that have happened since that event. We’ve read these repercussions and we’ve moved through a terrible flood on the earth. We’ve seen these repercussions. So, the people are exalting themselves and fully embracing their otherness, their separation and God’s like, “no. No. This isn’t going anywhere.” And, so, many theologians would say, “okay. You got…you got the lower gods or lower Elohim, you have the spiritual family of God, and they interact in different ways with the human family on earth and we see those types of interactions happening repeatedly throughout the Scriptures. But Gods not going to cooperate with His fallen spiritual family and His fallen human family attempting to exalt themselves. And this will not be the first time we see this kind of thing. God does not put up with that for very long, ever. And, so, one way of theologically looking at this is a disinheritance. God confuses the languages of the people and spreads the people out so they cannot be successful in sort of like deifying themselves. And, so, an end is put to that. When people begin to coalesce around their language. Then, immediately…immediately after that story we introduced to Abram. So, it’s like not out of place. This story happens, the people are spread out. Immediately we get interest to Abram who will become Abraham who will affect the entire rest of the Bible. So, God sends the people across the earth and then we get introduced to Abraham and it is through Abraham that God is going to do a new thing upon the earth and we’ll be watching that story and its challenges and victories for the rest of the year.
Father, we thank You. We thank You for the richness of Your word and we thank You for the opportunity to explore and to be disrupted and we ask Holy Spirit that You would come among us and help us to get comfortable with the idea of being disrupted or interrupted because we need to get used to this idea because this is one of the primary ways that Your word works within us. It challenges us, invites us to think, but it also invites us to tune into the ears of our hearts and understand that it’s much deeper than what are five physical senses can become aware of. There is a lot more going on than we ever perceive. And, so, we invite You Holy Spirit into this week into everything that we’re going to do, all the choices that we’re going to make, all the words that we’re going to speak. May they be good. May they be honoring to You. And we pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Another thing about social etc. is like, once in a while, you know we read the Scriptures and talk about them, but there are times when it’s like our hearts…the Scriptures have opened our hearts and the only way to really respond is in song or just to drive the point home it would take me, you know, 20 minutes and a bunch of words or it could be just this one song that moves beyond our intellect and just starts to speak truth into our hearts. And, so, we do that from time to time. And invariably, you know, we get asked, “who was that?” We post all that is to our social media channels so just if you’re following that you’ll always kind of know how that all works when it happens. So, there’s today’s tip.
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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:
Hello Daily audio Bible family this is Stephanie from Bangalore and I just wanted to call in. Its Friday, December 27th and I thank you all for praying, those of you who have been praying for me and my in-laws. This was my first Christmas, of course, as being married and my first Christmas away from my parent’s household as far as going there and celebrating and it really was in a lot of ways better than I could’ve ever imagined which is really, really great. So, thank you for praying and we were able to have a couple of my in-laws over for the afternoon and evening and that was actually just a really good time. So, praise God, thank you for praying. Please keep praying that I can build relationships there. And, of course, there’s always the next thing, always the next thing, always the next prayer request but thank you for that. Quick update on the little girl who got the kidney transplant. For the first time in 15 months she was able to go to bed the other night. She came home Christmas Day and she was able to go to sleep without any tubes at all. No catheter for dialysis, nothing. So, please just, you know, keep her in your prayers, keep the donor in your prayers as she is recovering from the surgery as well. But praise God for that. Thank you so much family and I am sure I’ll be calling back soon. Five.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family this is Rhula from the Sidney Australia. I was just listening to 27th December reading and prayers at the end of the reading. Anonymous called and she said something that really prompted me to call immediately. Anonymous, I’m just praying for you right now because that feeling that you feel where you’re in despair and you don’t know why you’re in a relationship with God because why, like you said, He’s always good and you’re not good and He’s always right and you’re wrong…you’re always wrong. Anonymous this is exactly why…why we need Him, because we can rest in his goodness and we can rest in his…in the comfort of knowing that the Lord Almighty who’s always right and who’s always…always knows everything, that He loves us unconditionally as we are. So, come to Him as you are anonymous, come to Him as you are because that is who He loves, you with all your flaws and all your mistakes and all your errors and everything that you feel like you’re just not good enough. Our Lord loves you as you are and that is the most profound and most amazing love that you could ever experience in the world, where it’s…He doesn’t judge us and He doesn’t condemn us and He’s a forgiver and He’s merciful and He’s grace and He’s good and his goodness will last forever and He will work all things for good because He loves us and He calls all things according to his purpose. So just remember that Anonymous. And remember that it’s not about you being as good as God. We will never be as good as God no matter what we do. He is enough, his love for us is enough and that’s what we need to know. And I just pray for you Anonymous. I pray that you get that strength for…from God…
Hi this is Marylin calling from the inland Northwest. This is my second call. I just started listening in October, somewhere around there. I do have an answer to prayer and that I asked prayer for my son who is in isolation in the psych ward, the hospital, he’s had a severe frontal brain injury back in 2002 and also mental illness. He is now out of isolation and actually they are wanting to release him, and he is very demanding and doesn’t listen, thinks he’s the medical professional and is going to be released. The problem is that I need prayer that he would be willing to…willing and understand that if he keeps doing the same old same old is insanity. He needs to be in a group home or something. He’s on very heavy-duty psych meds and he probably should be in a group home or some situation where somebody can be taking care of him and he can be monitored, and he can be also out of a very moldy sick apartment. So, I really appreciate it. I really appreciate everybody’s honesty on this podcast. I am so thankful for this program for everybody’s honesty and the vulnerability of everybody and I do pray for others as well and am so thankful I know I’m not alone being in a family with mental illness. So, thank you so much for your prayers and I am praying for everyone else that calls in. Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day. Bye.
Good morning this is Sally from Massachusetts and I’m calling for anonymous. Today is Friday, December 27th and I heard your call this morning. You were thinking about how you could meet Jesus if you pulled your car in front of the 18-wheeler. And I know what you’re saying when you say you feel like you’re very far from God. And when I feel that way, I remember that it’s me that’s turned away. God is still right there. And if you don’t know what to pray, sometimes “help me God” is the best prayer because that lets God know that you want Him to help you and He will help you. He will meet you wherever you are. And I know what you mean about how you don’t feel that you can go to anyone in your church or any of your friends to talk about your feelings. You know, you can call the suicide hotline. I did that myself. I was not suicidal but I just wanted somebody to listen to me cry and I had spent hours on the phone with a treasured friend but I still needed to talk and when I called them they didn’t offer advice or try to fix me the just asked me questions to keep me talking. And, you know, we as people, we want to offer advice, we want to help you and we want to reach out to you. Sometimes, just having someone listen and not judge is fantastic. So, I urge you to give them a call. And, also I’ve started journaling because I can get my thoughts down on paper and there out…
Hello, I’m calling myself “I am a Child of God”. I’m from Central Florida. I’ve listened since 2007 and this is the first time I’ve ever called in. I have two important requests. Sorry. I have two important prayer requests today. I’m praying for my father’s health. He has other issues that are causing him to have kidney problems. Of course, I pray that he be healed and not have surgery at all but if he does have surgery, I pray he is a very quick recovery. I’d like to have help from people that aren’t as stressful. I also pray for his salvation. He’s __ towards God. I pray God brings people into his life that he will listen to and that God talks to him in his sleep, in his dreams. I hope to call back again and get better at this. Thank you for your prayers. God bless you.