Leviticus 15:1-16:28, Mark 7:1-23, Psalms 40:11-17, Proverbs 10:13-14
Today is the 24th day of February, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you, once again it’s always so fun to say from the shores of the Sea of Galilee, which is where we’re kind of camping out here. We spent the day yesterday in the North country. So, went all the way as far north as you can. So, we were bordering Syria and Lebanon and investigating the Golan Heights. And today we’ll be all around…all around the lake. We can talk about that in a little bit. Let’s dive into the Scriptures and allow them to speak because that’s what we need today. So, we’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Today, Leviticus chapter 15 verse 1 through 16 verse 28.
Okay. The book of Leviticus, right? I mean today we get to one of these great passages of Scripture where we get to talk about male members and emissions and discharges and menstruation, you know, like all the kinds of stuff we wish we could talk about every day. And it sets up another vivid contrast by the time we get to the book of Mark, but let’s not so hastily leave behind menstruation and discharges and emissions. I mean, like let’s talk about it. Why is this in the Bible? Like, why are any of these things in the book of Leviticus in the Bible? We’ve talked before about what’s going on here. These are the regulations. These are the laws. This is what will hold this culture that is being formed together. This is what they will do. We’ve also noticed in the past that every command there…is connected to a spiritual reality or a spiritual underpinning. So, that what’s being baked in here is that everything that they do reminds them of who God is and who they are. And, so, we’re reading some pretty tedious things that they have to observe. And, you know, like just every little thing we’re saying, “man what a hardship it would’ve been to try to live like that.” But we have to not forget they’re in the wilderness and there are no conveniences. So, something is emerging here out of all of these rules and regulations. Like, wow, “this is pretty tedious. Personal hygiene things. How to take care of mold and mildew. What to do with a skin rash. Like how to properly give offerings to God.” Like there’s a lot going on but when you realize when these things become a part of their story, everything that they do reminds them of their identity and their God. So, you know, the things that we read about today, personal things, very personal things would be the sorts of practical things you would want to consider if you are in a…a…a mobile community that has over a million people, right? Like, if you’re in a mobile portable community even with thousands of people you wouldn’t want to be exchanging blood or to come into contact with each other’s blood or discharges, right? You wouldn’t want to be in contact with people’s secretions of any sort, because if there’s a communicable disease you may get it, you may spread it, it could spread through the entire community, it could be a very big problem. We’ve noticed this before. And, so, we can we can see the practical reasons that this law would be established at this time, but underneath it all, underneath all of it, I mean, there are practical reasons for all of these things for this culture, but underneath all of it something is emerging, that there is clean and that there is unclean. There is clean and proper physical hygiene and there is unclean hygiene, right? There are ways to keep your dishes and utensils clean or leave them unclean. But if you leave them unclean then your foods gonna rot, like it’s gonna get…gonna get nasty and eventually make you sick. Like that’s not going to work in this kind of culture. It doesn’t work in ours. In our modern era we have all a lot of new inventions about how to stay clean, physically, like how to take care of hygiene. They didn’t. So, they had to be meticulous about it. But underneath it all is a spiritual reality. There is clean and there is unclean within you.
So, if we stop here in the book of Leviticus and then just like get in our time machine and warp forward a couple millennia, get in the first century and come back up alongside Jesus again we see that these keepers of the law, the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, they’ve come from Jerusalem and gathered around Jesus to question Him and they’re talking about these things. “Why don’t your disciples, wash their hands? Why are they washing with ceremonially unclean hands? Why don’t they follow the traditions of the elders?” And then this is once again where Jesus is basically saying, “you’ve lost the plot. You’ve lost the spirit of all of this. Underneath it is a spiritual reality that you of lost and forgotten. And, so, now all you have is an ancient rule you’re trying to obey. Obeying that rule isn’t going to do anything for you if you don’t understand how it is there to remind you that there is clean and unclean inside you.” So, Jesus is saying, like “it’s always been about your heart not about controlling you or anyone else and not about giving you the power to control everybody else. It’s always been about your heart and you are ignoring that altogether. So, you’re running around trying to make everybody obey rules that they’ve lost the plot. They don’t know the spiritual connections” or to just state it succinctly, like Jesus, “you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.” So, and basically in…in different words, Jesus is saying, “it’s been your interpretation of the Scriptures that you have made orthodoxy and you have interpreted this wrong and you are enslaving all of the people because you forgot the plot. You forgot the heart and you won’t give it up because it gives you power.” And Jesus calls that hypocritical.
So, what can we get out of Leviticus today with all of our bodily stuff going on? There is clean and there is unclean. And we are encouraged to be clean in body, in mind, and in spirit and Jesus said, “from within”, right? From within. This whole thing is about our interior lives from within. Out of people’s hearts come evil thoughts, right? So, that’s an interior uncleanness. Sexual immorality. That’s an interior uncleanness and an exterior uncleanness. Theft’s, right? That’s exterior. Murder. That’s exterior. Adultery, that’s exterior, but it also first has to happen inside of us before it can be acted out. Greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. Jesus is basically saying, “you guys, you spiritual leaders are all focused on the outside. You want everybody to look right. You want everybody to obey the rules and inside them nothing is being cultivated at all. “You’re…you’re keeping them…you won’t go into the kingdom and you’re keeping them out” is what he told them in one exchange. So, friends a thought for us to consider today to invite God into is in all of the areas of our lives – body, soul, and spirit. What is unclean?
Father, we invite you into that question. We invite your Holy Spirit today to begin to reveal to us. Help us to be observers of ourselves today. Help us catching ourselves in uncleanness that we just don’t even pay attention, that we’re just not even aware of. Help us to become aware because the things that we allow into our heart can defile us and make us unclean. And’ we’re gonna need your help. You told us to guard our hearts with all diligence, but even all of our diligence, all of it will not be enough without the guidance of your Holy Spirit. We can’t do this without you. We were never made to, and we don’t want to. And, so, come Holy Spirit. Lead and guide us today as we consider clean and unclean and we pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Okay. So, we are still here at the Sea of Galilee. Today will be centered all around the Northwest portion of the Sea of Galilee which is…which is where Jesus did most of His ministry, at least as is found in the Gospels. And, so, we’ll be following in those footsteps today.
Yesterday we went up into the North country into the Golan Heights and it’s very, very beautiful. So, I enjoy the serenity of going up there. Just…it’s very, very fertile. They’ve had a lot of rainfall. Thankfully we didn’t experience any rain yesterday. But first stop, Corazon, which is a city that’s named as a place where Jesus did ministry. Cursed the city. Woe to you Corazon, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and those three places exist, and they are uninhabited archaeological ruins. Corazon first then up…up…up…so…so here’s the thing. The Sea of Galilee is below sea level, like 700 feet below sea level. It's…it is the lowest freshwater lake in the world. So, it…it’s kind of down in a bowl. And, so, climbing back up to sea level and above you have to go up. And, so, that’s what you do. You go up onto the Golan Heights. And, so, we went all the way up onto the Syrian border near the Lebanese border. So, this is as far north as our journey will take us, which is far north as we can go and us. So, we’ve been North, South, East and West now. And all the major bodies of water, we’ve covered that.
But we visited the ancestral tribal home of…well the tribe of Dan. And then there’s a Canaanite gate there that’s always interesting. It’s always interesting because you’re looking so far back in the time, you’re looking back into Canaanite times pre-Abrahamitic times. So, all the way back into the book of Genesis. And there’s other history there too. History from…from what’s known as the divided monarch. Like when the…when Israel…like we’re not this far into the Scriptures yet, but when Israel does come into the promise land, they eventually want to King to unite them all and that happens but it…it doesn’t last for too long and then the kingdoms divide. And, so, the northern 10 tribes were known as Israel and the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin was known as the kingdom of Judah. And at the time this is King Rehoboam of Judah and King Jeroboam of Israel. And Jeroboam didn’t want his people from the 10 tribes to continue to go down to Jerusalem for worship because that would’ve kept their hearts down in Judah. And, so, he built these two temples, erecting a false idol to worship and whole new way of doing things on the borders so that people wouldn’t travel. And we visited one of those…the ruins of one of those temples and just discussed stories, stories that are found in the Bible. And then just discussed owning our relationship with God, taking responsibility for our part of the relationship instead of just heaping upon God every little thing goes wrong in our lives and how that might look in any other relationship and just kinda considering that.
Then we went to Caesarea Philippi, which is just 15 miles north of the Sea of Galilee and is a place that Jesus visited and it’s famous because this is a place where he said, “upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” And that was a purposeful statement. There…there’s a pagan center of this ancient Roman city. This is a Gentile city of the Roman Empire, not a place that Hebrew religious people would go but Jesus went there to make this statement. And, so, the god, Pan had been…was being worshiped there at the time of Jesus. Pan is a half man half goat god and he could instill “PAN”ic in his enemies and was the God of fertility. So, all kinds of weird things going on there. There’s a massive cave opening that Baal had been worshiped at and it had been known as the gates of hell. So, Jesus is making a statement that’s rooted in the geography there. And, so we pondered that fact before having some lunch and then heading up on top of Mount Bentall and seeing Mount Herman.
And there’s a ton of snow on Mount Herman. She never really likes to reveal herself completely. It’s been a rare time being up there where there is not some clouds. And, so, she was kind of shrouded and mysterious, but we could see all the snow up there. That’s right on the border of Syria. So, we faced outward. We’d been doing a lot of inward searching, a lot of soul-searching, a lot of contemplation about our own lives and finding ourselves in the stories of the Bible. And, so, we just took some time to like stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing outward and just remembering that there’s brothers and sisters all over the world that are being persecuted and that feel trapped and that are trapped just because of a where they were born in. So, we took some moments to just sit with that and…and truly appreciate the freedoms that we have while being forced to kind of face the fact that this is not the way of things in all the world.
And, so, so that’s kinda how we ended our day. That…that’s still about an hour, I guess, from the Sea of Galilee. And, so we…we drove back down and got in early. This the one time we get to kinda take a breath, have just a little bit of a lighter day, just catch our breath because all the other days are full, full, false. So…so, that’s kind of what our day was like on Sunday.
It was so lovely to be a in the Dan area just kinda walking on the trails and hearing the birds just calling out to one another on a Sunday morning. Just felt like they were leading us in worship. And it was so serene and peaceful and beautiful. So, a beautiful day.
And today, like I said, we’ll be spending it around the Sea of Galilee and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.
We’re continuing to post pictures and videos and stuff on social media on Instagram and Facebook so you can kind follow along with the tricks…trip, see what we’re seeing and look into the land of the Bible and see, kind of at least a glimpse of the places where things happened in the Scriptures.
Reminding you that we’re making plans to return here in a year, another pilgrimage in 2021. And, you can get all the details at dailyaudiobible.com in the Initiatives section. Just look for Israel 2021 and you can get the details 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.