Leviticus 20:22-22:16, Mark 9:1-29, Psalms 43:1-5, Proverbs 10:18
Today is the 27th day of February, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you today for the first time coming…well not for the first time ever but first time on this journey coming to you from the city of Jerusalem, the holy city. We made our…our ascent up to Jerusalem yesterday and we’re in for a bit of culture shock today. It’ll be a very, very different experience than the rest of experiences we’ve had so far because we’re in…Jerusalem as the holy city, right? But it's…it’s also a city, a large city here in the Middle East that's…that has everything a city has, and we haven’t really been in any big cities. So, things like the crush of traffic and…and all the goes with it. It’s something that’s beginning to be a part of our experience on this pilgrimage. But we can talk about all that in a little bit at the end. Let’s still ourselves and just come in out of the cold and come around the Global Campfire and let God’s word speak. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. And today Leviticus chapter 20 verse 22 through 22 verse 16.
Alright. Let’s talk about the proverb today. I mean just think about…think about a person in your life right now that you’re just…just not getting on with, right? Like somebody at work or just somebody you know, like it’s just…it…things are not going well. Maybe you don’t know this persons story, they’re just a coworker or something that they seem to always be after you or on your nerves for something or it is…it’s just not working out or…or maybe there’s somebody in your life that’s offended you, they…whether they know it or not they’ve offended you. And, so, you got a nice healthy weed growing in the soil of your life, this bitterroot inside of the soil of your heart. I…I feel pretty confident that we…we’ve all had these kinds of experiences before, but what do we do with them? Because a lot of the time we water that weed by just kind of reliving the situation over and over. And sometimes, like we’re replaying the conversation in a way that it never happened or we’re…we’re dreaming of a confrontation that we can have in which we say all the right things to that person, and they are speechless before us. We’re sort of like dreaming how we might have some sort of mini revenge. So, which plants all kinds of dark seeds around that seed of bitterness that we keep watering. And, so, we get pulled into all kinds of places that are not healthy for us and we’re not paying attention that we’re at a crossroads where wisdom can speak. And, so, maybe we just blow right past that crossroads and start blasting that person. Like…like we tell our friends about our day at work about that person that they don’t know, or we go out to the coworkers or whatever and they don’t know and we’re just shredding them behind their back. But while we work alongside that person, we pretend everything’s fine, everything’s good. The proverb says, “the one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.” So, the crossroads here in these kinds of situations is, “okay I’m offended. I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m mad and I don’t think this is going to get any better. I'm…I’m done with this.” Then the crossroads is what we do next. Are we willing to become a liar and a fool over this offense.? I mean, is it really worth that? Are we gonna continue to water this root of bitterness until it’s a tree of bitterness in our lives? Are we gonna be foolish? Alandering our brother and sister and, in other words, engaging in gossip about them, that…that’s more time consuming and takes a whole lot more energy than just going and having a humble conversation and restoring relationship with the one that we’ve been offended by. And they may not receive this. They may hate you. I don't…I mean who knows the circumstances? But are we willing to be a liar and a fool over it? That’s the question at the crossroads. And, you know, I know how this goes because I am a person and I face all these kinds of things too, right? Like, we can bristle up and could be just like, “well, you just don’t understand this person. Like you just don’t understand how they are.” Proverbs she has such a way, doesn’t she? Because it’s just a simple question. Okay. Okay son. Okay. Okay daughter. Okay. Okay this has happened. Yes. It’s happened. What are you gonna do? Is this worth becoming a liar and a fool over? Let’s meditate upon that as we go through all the interactions that we are sure to have today.
Jesus, we invite You into that. We probably have no way of even gauging the amount of trouble we’ve gotten into from our words. There’s probably no way to even count how many times we have been a liar and a fool according to wisdom’s voice in this kind of scenario. But a lot of that has been because we just…it’s our culture and it’s our ignorance but You have come today and given us the voice of wisdom at the crossroads and it’s always there and we’re just…we just often blow through but we’re learning, we’re learning to practice wisdom. And, so, Holy Spirit come, and may the voice of wisdom guide our steps today in all of our thoughts, words and deeds we pray and ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Okay. So, as I mentioned at the beginning we have arrived in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is very, very different than any of the other places that we’ve been in this country. We’ve been everywhere. We’ve been all over the place. There’s really only one more region in this land that we will encounter. So, we’ve done the coast, we’ve done all the way down through the wilderness, all the way as far south as we can go. We’ve been as far east as we can go. We’ve been as far north as we can go. We’ve made it back to the coast.
And today we were kind of in the land of Samaria, basically. We left the coast this morning and then came in land before beginning to work our way southward where our first stop was Shiloh or Shiloh. And obviously an important place in the Bible. Sometimes we don’t realize how important because we focus so much on the Temple era like when there were kings in Israel and so there’s a temple in Jerusalem. But before there was ever a Jerusalem with a temple in it there was Shiloh. This was the first place, the first permanent dwelling for the tabernacle, the first capital, heartbeat, spiritual center for the tribes of Israel as they came into the land. And that went on full almost 4 centuries. So. a very very long time with a very very long story that touches many many different places in the Bible. The prophet Samuel is most notable there. But, I mean the children of Israel lost the Ark of the covenant by taking it from there into battle, which brought an end to the high priest Eli. But Samuel’s mother Hannah had prayed for a child that she could dedicate to the Lord and all of that story happens in Shiloh. And it's…it’s pretty remarkable to stand there and realize this really, you know, when the children of Israel finally did cross the Jordan and begin moving into this land and building communities in the different areas that they had inherited and that had been divided up and we’ve read all those different divisions. When this began to happen then Shiloh is the place where they go out to worship God. And, so, it’s pretty remarkable to see where the tabernacle would’ve once stood and understand that, man this is…this where the holy of holies was, this is where the ark of the covenant was. It roots you in these stories. And we had a nice day. The last couple of pilgrimages that we had gone to Shiloh it was…we were battling with the rain and cold…and which makes that place a bit more challenging to navigate but a beautiful day today. So, we were able to just kind of see it at its best and enjoy it.
And it was Ash Wednesday yesterday. So, the…the beginning of the season of Len. And I mean…I talk about lent when we go into lent, this season on the Christian calendar that points our hearts…well it’s intention is to prepare us for Easter, to prepare us for what we’re celebrating when we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of Jesus by allowing us to have a season where we understand what it cost to give us our freedom and eternal life through Jesus and to kind of sit for a season with the weight of what our sin does in our lives and how it continually pulls us from God. Like there’s no benefit, there’s like no benefit to sin. So, you know, a lot of times people are fasting things if they’re observing Lent. And fasting is part of that story. But a lot of times you’ll hear people they’re fasting candy bars or something like that when…and I told our group…you know the thing that we’re supposed to be fasting here is sin. And what we’re supposed to be doing is understanding that this season is one in which we open our hearts to God, allowing him to take out whatever doesn’t belong and to move around whatever He needs to and to put into our lives whatever He wants to as we just move through a season of openness that then allows us to sit with the cost and then move into Good Friday. And like really, really, you now, understand that this Jesus that we love and that we’re learning about, the way His ministry ended was His execution even though this was the plan. It’s…when you fall in love with Jesus then you don't…at least I can’t stand it…you know…I hate that this happened, and I rejoice. But it’s supposed to be that way. We’re supposed to sit with that so that as we celebrate the resurrection on Easter then it…it means something. We’ve walked through a season preparing our hearts and we’ve rejoiced with all of our hearts the relief of it all, the release of it all, that Christ is risen indeed, and our sins are dealt with. That's…that’s the season. And, so, a lot of times there’s an Ash Wednesday service in many different churches and you where ashes, you known, on your hands or on your forehead for the day. We just took an opportunity to…to enter into that tradition as we were getting ready to go to Bethlehem and most…most of us did
And, so, from there some launch, a beautiful lunch at a winery that we like and just preparing our hearts the crush of the urban center that we’re going into and just a very, very different culture and way of doing things. And that's…that…that’s Jerusalem and that’s Bethlehem, which is just kind of a suburb of Jerusalem.
And, so, we went to Bethlehem. And man it’s usually so crowded that if you want to go down into the grotto and see that star that commemorates, that marks this place, that…that…that believers have come to for centuries and centuries and centuries, you have to kind of wait in line. There’s other believers from all over the world that want to see this place because it’s one of the most holy places, like a geographical place. Not that that’s what Jesus was after, but it’s one of the most holy places to go to say, “this is where the Savior was born in Bethlehem.” That’s meaningful. But a lot of times there’s like…there’s churches that’ve been built up over these places and then you can go down below into earlier foundations and kind of find bedrock and see how over time, these places have been built up and destroyed and rebuilt and then destroyed again and then built stronger and then challenged again. And that’s kind of how a lot of these places are. The Church of the Nativity is like that. So, we did go into the grotto and didn’t have to wait quite as long of a line. It was pretty remarkable. And visit that spot and, then go down below into the caves where you can finally go, “okay. there were caves here. Okay I see. You know this is all built up over the top of all of this.” And we went down there. Haven’t been able to get down into their either for a couple of…of tours because just…the crush of people. You just can’t move, can't…but today we got a big group, so we take up some space, but we were able to do these things. And, so, it was nice. I haven’t been able to enjoy them myself for a couple of years but it was nice to go down there and sing a Christmas song and understand like we’re in Bethlehem and this is the Christmas story. And, so, we did that before then moving toward Jerusalem, checking into our hotel, and getting some dinner and preparing for a big long day around Jerusalem today. And I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.
And we thank you for your continued prayers over us. We’re kind of on a more intense part of this journey, even as we’re tired and kind of have moved through a lot of travel, a lot of jostling, and a lot of heart work, and a lot of knowledge has been imparted to us, and we’ve seen a lot. And, so, our hearts are full, our brains are ready to explode. And now we get into like the more intense time of navigating around a lot of other brothers and sisters who have made their journey here from all over the world to have the same kind of experience that…that we are at some of these places. So, thank you for your prayers.
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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.