Ex 17:8-19:15, Matt 22:34-23:12, Ps 27:7-14, Pr 6:27-35
Today is the 3rd day of February, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is great to be here with you today as we launch into this first workweek of this brand-new month that we find ourselves in, the month of February. So, let’s pick up where we left off yesterday. The children of Israel have exited slavery in Egypt. It’s been a profoundly dramatic story and now they’re out in the wilderness, and they need to figure out, like how to be a people. They have a promise over them, and it’s a long one. It’s centuries old that God would make them His own chosen people, but all of these people have only ever known how to be slaves. So, they’re not just walking out of Egypt and then walking across the Sinai Peninsula than up into Canaan. God has taken them out into the wilderness where there is absolutely no hope of survival without God and we’re watching God sustain them and we’re watching them grumble about it pretty much the whole time. And…ouch…does that not explain our lives so much. So, today Exodus chapter 17 verse 8 through 19 verse 15 and we’re reading from the Voice Translation this week.
Okay. So, Moses’s and the children of Israel over a million strong are out in the Sinai Peninsula, barren, barren, barren desert still today, barren as ever. And they go to what is called in the Scriptures, the mountain of God. Sometimes this is called Mount Sinai. This is where God is going to meet with them and, incidentally, as a little aside, we should note the heights. We should note that the Bible points out mountain peaks. It was very much thought at this time in human history that mountains, these were the places where the gods dwell, the heights. And this continues on through the Bible. Later on we’ll find regular mention of high places that were set up for worship. So, this gives us is little context for the world the people are living in at this time. And, so, they’re led to this mountain of God, and God is on this mountain and Moses goes up to meet with God and God tells Moses what to tell the people. Now, let’s remember, this has been pretty chaotic so far, right? Moses goes into Egypt and all of these plagues descend and that takes time but it’s a chaotic, disruptive time to be sure and the they’re castaway, sent out of Egypt. But then there’s all the showdowns that still happen, like at the Red Sea. So finally, this is kind of the first time where they’ve been journeying and grumbling and trying to find water and trying to find food and God sets about the business of sustaining them, but he is led them to this place where He’s now going to reaffirm and tell them who they are and why he got them out of Egypt. And, so, we find that today. God said to Moses on the mountain to tell the people below, “if you will hear my voice, obey what I say, and keep my covenant, then you out of all the nations of the world will be my treasured people. After all, the earth belongs to me. You will be my kingdom of priests, a nation holy and set apart.” So, there is a story that is being told beneath all the stories that we have encountered so far. We have seen what happened to mankind in Genesis 3. We’ve gone through the flood. We’ve seen the formation of this people that God entered into a covenant with through Abram, through Abraham. The world was falling apart, swimming in all of its knowledge of good and evil trying to make itself its own God and God, you know, the God of all things, the most high God, creator of everything seen and unseen, He could’ve just been like, well, that little blue marble out there in the universe that nobody can even hardly see, let ‘em…let ‘em have their way. They’ll just make themselves extinct eventually…just…I’m gonna move on. But He…that’s the thing, that’s the story of the Bible. He’s not willing to let us go. It’s never been that way. He never was ever willing to be out of the human story. And, so, what’s being said here, what Moses has been instructed to go down and tell these slaves, these former, newly former slaves who don’t know how to be anything else, he’s told to go down and tell them who they are, God’s kingdom of priests, the priestly role is to instruct and lead a person to God. God is forming a people set apart to Himself to remind the world who the most-high God is. And I don’t want to be too much of a spoiler here, but this is important enough. As we continue our journey through the New Testament and we begin to…to immerse ourselves in the writings of the apostle Paul, what we’re gonna find out is that we are a part of that kingdom of priests, a nation holy and set apart. Jesus will use more…more poetic words, He will say, “you are the light of the world.” So, now we can see a very ancient story that has been coming together start crashing into the world we now live in.
Then we turn over into the New Testament and begin to read the book of Matthew today, we’re seeing Jesus being asked all kinds of questions and these Pharisees and Sadducees, right, the leaders, the Sanhedrin, the leaders of the people, the priests of the nation have lost the plot to the point that they don’t recognize God at work among them, nor do they recognize the God in the flesh among them. So, we see that the plot got lost somewhere along the way and we will certainly follow that story for the rest of the year. But the Pharisees and the Sadducees, these are the ancestors of the people at the mountain of God with Moses. So, God tells Moses, “go down and tell the people you will be a nation of priests set apart and holy to me.” God in the form of Jesus then has some commentary about these same people and their function. Jesus said, “the Pharisees and scribes occupy the seat of Moses so you should do the things they tell you to do but you shouldn’t do the things they do.” And then he goes on to tell what they do, which is that their religion is essentially for show. Everything is about how they’re going to be perceived as spiritual, how they’re gonna say the right things with the right tone of voice. How they’re gonna have the proper, maybe even edgy religious attire to make them look even more spiritual. How they want to be addressed with respect and that and that they are addressed with names giving respect. And Jesus conclusion is, “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” And once again, we’re hearing Jesus talk about inside out, rather than outside in, right? You can look and curate your life to the point that it looks so admirable that everyone envies you and it can be total crap. Not a bit of truth in it. Just enough to hold it together but it’s not really what’s going on. The invention of social media has made us like experts at this, but we could say that God’s kingdom is not for show because Jesus has no use for it and His ministry is revealing the kingdom. Jesus was never interested in who you could pretend to be. He was never interested in who I can pretend to be. He was only ever interested in who we actually are and until we can accept and understand who we actually are, like accept that instead of trying to keep pretending to be somebody else then we don’t even know who we are. And yet, the reason we do all the pretending is that that seems to be how the world works, right? That’s how we interact with each other. We put on our best face. We put our best foot forward and interact with each other. But since it’s not the whole truth then how can we ever be fully known. And then we hear the echo of Jesus. “I never knew you.” And how could He? We never revealed ourselves. We were naked and ashamed and hid the whole time when actually Jesus was very, very interested in that naked and ashamed and hiding person. That’s why He wanted. He wanted truth. And that’s what He wants now, and we have full blown permission to be…we have nothing to hide from God. And Jesus is showing us that falseness, and he’s pointing it out in the religious leaders, that that falseness is a dead-end
Jesus, we invite You into that. It’s super hard to be in a world of works that way. It’s super hard to be in it and not of it, dangerous even. And yet You didn’t keep that a secret You made that very clear. And, so, we desire to be true. We desire to stop lying to ourselves…this is where it starts, with ourselves. This isn’t about us walking out the front door and just being an open book and saying whatever we think and whatever we feel at any moment and just saying to the world, here I am. This is about deepening our relationship and union with You, which requires us to get very honest. And, so, Father as if we could ever hide anything from You, we have still tried. And today marks a day. This is an important day in our lives because for many of us, for thousands of us we’re drawing a line and saying, “that’s not happening anymore. I can’t get anywhere like that. If I’m going to be honest with anybody. I’m going to be absolutely, absolutely honest with God. If there’s going to be one true relationship, one true thing I have, it’s going to be this one. And from here. Everything can flow outward.” So, come Holy Spirit into we pray. In the mighty name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home base, it’s the website, its where you find out what’s going on around here. So, we got some things now that we’re into this new month that…that are coming up on the horizon. Every year for the last, almost a decade now, we have had an annual pilgrimage to the land of the Bible with…with a couple of buses full of brothers and sisters who are a part of the Daily Audio Bible community here. And that is actually coming up. We’ll be departing in, I guess, about a week and a half. So I’ll keep you posted on that. But we’ll be broadcasting from the land of the Bible as we move around it. And that is always, certainly a beautiful time for those of us who are on this pilgrimage, but it is also a beautiful community experience because we’ll be right there in some of the places that these things happened. So, we’re posting pictures of where we are on social media several times a day and posting videos. And one evening we have a live broadcast just kind of…about halfway through the trip…just…not quite halfway…and we’re just kinda talking about some of the things that we’ve been doing, what we’re experiencing, and sharing those and it’s just fun. Thousands of people from this community get to get in on that. That's…that's…that’s coming up this month.
Since we’ll be traveling the land of the Bible one thing that I could point out as a resource that’s in the Daily Audio Bible Shop would be the Promise Land film series. It’s a double DVD set that we will send to you physically, but it’s also a digital download so you can download it and then kinda put it on your Apple TV, or whatever it is that, you know, put it on your laptop, whatever. That makes a good resource anyway and I’ve mentioned before, and it's…it was created because we’re going…we’re going through the journey of the Bible. So, it’s nice to be able to tap in and see some of these places and just immerse ourselves a little bit deeper into these stories, but since we’ll actually be there, Promise Land, if you…if you’re not on that trip Promise Land will be as close as you can get because you’ll be able to kind of look into some of the places that we’re traveling around and journeying to. Many of these places we’ve already visited on our journey through the Bible. So…so get ready for that and we’ll talk about it as we…as we continue to get nearer.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.