1 Kings 9:1-10:29, Acts 8:14-40, Psalms 130:1-8, Proverbs 17:2-3
Today is the 12th day of June welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is great, it is a joy, it is an honor to be here with you today around the Global Campfire as we move ourselves into the end of the week and man…moving ourselves toward the middle of another month. What is going on with the time friends? It just keeps moving. I mean, if you want to put it in perspective, we’ve gone through a lot this year but we’re like two weeks away from the middle of 2020, which will…which will put us halfway through the Bible. So, think about that. But anyway, that’s not we’re we are, that’s a couple weeks in front of us. We are here. And, so, we inhale a deep breath and we exhale it, kind of center ourselves where we are right now around the Global Campfire, ready for the next step forward, ready for the Bible to lead us further into the stories that we’re in. So, we’re reading from the Good News Translation this week. And today let’s enjoy this pinnacle moment in ancient Israel’s history under King Solomon’s rule. First Kings, chapters 9 and 10.
Okay. So, in the book of first Kings today we reached this point. I’ve been kind of mentioning that we’re reaching the culmination point in ancient Israel where…where we started with Abraham and then we saw the son of promise, Isaac, and then all of the generations that came to make the patriarchs and then the story of Joseph and slavery in Egypt and the story of Moses and the plagues and the deliverance and bringing them to the Jordan River and wandering for 40 years. And then the story of Joshua crossing the Jordan River and settling in the Promise Land and then the time of the judges and just the back-and-forth and craziness of everybody doing what’s right in their own eyes and then the entrance of Kings into the story and Saul’s story and how we learned so much about ourselves by looking at Saul. And then David’s story0and how we learned about ourselves by looking into David’s story. And, so, here we are now with David’s son Solomon bringing this whole long story that’s taken us half a year to get to this point. We reach this point. We’re finding…because…it’s been an uphill battle the whole way, right? We’ve been going uphill the whole way. Now we are at the top. Things are well. Things are prosperous there is capital city. It is magnificent. The king of Israel, Solomon is famous throughout the earth for his wisdom. People are coming to Jerusalem, right? Like people…this is a destination point now. From all the nations people are coming here to bear witness to see this, to see what they’re hearing about. And we’ve learned of just Solomon’s wealth. Like the…the fleet of ships down at Eziongeber which is by Eliot. Eliot is a city today. And, so, sailing out and coming back years later with all these exotic things and just how there’s peace and prosperity on the borders. This is the moment. The thing is this is the moment. I mean, like right now we are sitting at the top because when we come back tomorrow and we take the next step forward tomorrow…ahh…we’re gonna begin the slide downward off this peak that we’ve been working toward for so long. So, let’s enjoy this moment here.
In the New Testament in the book of Acts we’re obviously learning about the church, the beginning of the church era, the early church and yesterday we experienced the first martyrdom for the cause of Christ, and we saw that people began to be persecuted at that point, in part at the instigation of this Pharisee named Saul that we’re gonna get to know better later. But people began to flee. They…they began to move away from the persecution to get to somewhere that they could live peaceably and practice their faith and that spread the gospel everywhere. So, you know, like we…we think with rose…rose-colored glasses a lot about the early church if we could just go back to the early church, but the thing is the early church spread because of pressure, because persecution, because of resistance. The early believers had to learn how to endure things that most of us don’t even think about and the further we get into the New Testament the more this idea of needing to endure will become apparent to the point that we can’t escape it. So, just knowing that that was a theme in the early church, and it permeates the New Testament helps us know that, yeah that’s something we gotta learn too. Because we can look, and we can see these people all in unity. The Holy Spirit has come, people are coming to Christ, they’re sharing the good news. They’re doing everything right. They’re in the right mind, they’re doing what they’re supposed to be, so they should be prosperous, right? But instead they faced obstacles and pressure and persecution and resistance, which spread the gospel throughout the earth. And, so, we have Philip today being told to follow a road from Jerusalem to Gaza. And he does and this is a counterintuitive thing. And this is where the eunuch, right, that Ethiopian official is reading Isaiah. Philip shares the gospel. The official understands it, receives the message. And for that matter, finds some water and is baptized. Philip then goes north from there the Ethiopian eunuch goes south from there and carries the good news back to Africa. So, we can see that sort of the soil of the early church is in counterintuitive ways of following the Holy Spirit and learning to buckle up under oppression and marginalization. I’m pretty sure we still need the same ingredients. And we would do well to watch closely what we’re reading as we continue our journey through the New Testament because resources for the journey are in the Scriptures and we’re going to need to know these things and discern these things.
Holy Spirit come. We read of Your work today in the Scriptures in leading Philip to the Ethiopian who then took the gospel back to his homeland. We need Your guidance in our lives. We need that kind of companionship in our lives too and You are not withholding it from us. We often are ignoring it or we’re seeking it when everything else has blown up in our lives and the chaos won’t let us slow down and get beyond ourselves to find a place where there is calm and where You are leading. And, so, we repent of that. We acknowledge it. We acknowledge that’s what we do when You are offering intimacy on a daily basis, on a moment by moment basis. We are never alone. You are always available to us. You are always with us and we’re sorry that we abandon and ignore You as often as we do. Come Holy Spirit, we pray. May we pay close attention today to where You are leading us. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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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.