1 Kings 18:1-46, Acts 11:1-30, Psalms 135:1-21, Proverbs 17:12-13
Today is the 17th day of June welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you, hump day, as we move through the center of the week, a week that’s also at the center of the month. It is a joy to take the next step forward together with you as we continue our journey. So, we’ve been working through the book of first Kings and what we’ve been working through are the difference reigns of two different kingdoms that used to be one kingdom, right? So, we know that the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah are how things are organized now. And they have two different kings and those kings live a…well…they overlap each other in their reigns. And yesterday we saw the northern kingdom relocate their capital city building a city that would be their capital city known as Samaria. And Samaria is basically the equivalent of Jerusalem in the south in the kingdom of Judah, they’re capital cities. Right now that's…that’s all that’s happened. This capital city is being built or has been built. It’s known as Samaria. But later on, that…that will actually matter. Later on by the time we get to the time of Jesus life and ministry these people, while they’re not the people that they are now, they will be in this area, this region, and they’ll be known as Samaritan’s because of their capital city Samaria. And we’ll talk about that later as we get deeper into the story but there’s a king now in Samaria named Ahab. And there is a prophet in the region named Elijah. And Elijah has prophesied that the rains are gonna stop and they have, which obviously creates a problem for the people. So, we pick up our story today while in the drought. First Kings chapter 18.
Alright. So, in the book of first Kings we spent our time today in the northern kingdom of Israel. The 10 tribes that had defected and rebelled against Rehoboam, the son of Solomon of the house of David, right? They’ve rejected the house of David and they’ve gone through a series of Kings and there isn’t like one the house because people keep assassinating and wiping the houses out. So, it’s a pretty tribal time, pretty dangerous to be the king I suppose. But Ahab is the king and his wife’s name is Jezebel and she is obviously famous. Although just famous because she was a devout worshiper of Baal and sought to wipe out the prophets of the Lord, wipe out name of the Lord’s. So, certainly evil, but she’s a sero-Phoenician princess who was raised this way. And, so, she is not gonna be happy when she finds out what happened on Mount caramel. The showdown that we read today brought the end of the…the prophets of Baal, the priests of Baal in the land. Of course, what this ends up doing is showing the power of the Lord and the Lord shows His power with fire from heaven and the people see it and their hearts return to the Lord and the Lord is going to lose the skies so that rain can happen on land. But Jezebel is not going to be happy about all this and we’ll continue that story tomorrow.
In the book of Acts, we continue this story that we began with Peter having this vision of essentially unclean meat. And he’s told that what God has made clean is clean and that he should and can in must eat this meat in this vision. Meanwhile Cornelius the centurion has sent for Peter and Peter goes and ministers to the Gentile household who receive the Holy Spirit. And then we saw Peter go back to Jerusalem to report this and there were people that were standing against this, right? They were ridiculing. They were standing against this because Hebrews and Gentiles are not supposed to intermingle, you’re not supposed to go into each other’s houses, your separate, you’re a separate people. But the Holy Spirit comes upon these Gentiles and that’s pretty tough to argue with. Like, they could’ve continued to argue against Peter’s vision, they could’ve continued to argue against intermingling with Gentiles but pretty hard to argue with the fact that the Holy Spirit has made the decision, right? You just showed up in obedience and the Holy Spirit’s made the decision to come upon the Gentiles. They couldn’t argue with that. And the book of Acts tells us that even as persecution, especially instigated by Saul who has come to know Jesus now but even as persecution swirls around Jerusalem and people flee the persecution they are going into other territories where they are interacting with Gentile people who are hearing the message of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is coming upon them too. This is really creating a set up because religious Jewish people who had been adhering…like, not the nominal Hebrew people who were just living culturally, but devout people who’ve been living the Hebrew lifestyle according to the Mosaic law, but who have also come to believe that Jesus was a prophet, was the Messiah, was everything He claimed to be and had put their faith in Him. It was never conceived that their religion, Judaism, was to be dismantled. Like, they never ever thought they were converting to anything else by following Jesus. Jesus was a Jew. He was a Jewish rabbi. He ministered in a Hebrew context. They didn’t conceive that they were leaving anything in favor of something else. And if a person who wasn’t Jewish wanted to convert, then there’s a process. And, so, it was thought then among the Hebrew believers that if the Holy Spirit is gonna let Jewish…or Hebrew…Gentile people be in…be allowed in then they would need to become Jewish, they would need to convert to Judaism not to something called Christianity, which hadn’t even been coined yet. We saw today in our reading the it was the people who had believed in Jesus in Antioch, Gentile people, where this first phrase, this first word Christian was not…so this is a Gentile word, a Gentile description of a follower of Christ. I point this out just so that as we move through the letters and everything, as we move through the…the time period of the early church that we…we understand what’s going on, we understand that they had some things to figure out, big…really, really big things to figure out, some of which we seem to still be struggling with, some that we still seem to be trying to figure out. What we see in the book of Acts is the people are deferring to the Holy Spirit, right? So, they have a way of thinking about things. They have a worldview and they have a culture and customs that they have been raised up in. So, they see things a certain way and the way that they see things is going to be similar to those that are around them. They’re…they’re in the same culture and that is an exclusive culture and there’s not intermingling with Gentiles. So, when the Holy Spirit comes upon Gentiles, they don’t have to work out the dissidence because all of the sudden their understanding of God has expanded. They didn’t make the decision. The Holy Spirit came upon these people. God made the decision. So, in the face of that they have to expand their view of God as opposed to cementing further their sense of tradition. That is very, very much a part of the story of the early church. It has always been very, very much a part of the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ and yet so often we find ourselves fighting the same battles, trying to be the one to decide who gets to be in and who has to be out. And, so, that’s where we are. That’s where we are on a journey through the Scriptures and these stories, both of them, old and new Testament will continue to expand and bloom before us giving us incredible lessons but also an incredible mirror into our own souls.
Father, we thank You for that. We thank You for bringing us here. We are grateful. We are humbled that You would even care for us, that You would lead us into all truth, that You would have concern for us that we would know and that we would thrive and that Your Holy Spirit would lead us in the same way that You led in the days of old. We are grateful and we ask that You do exactly that, lead us deeper into Jesus today, deeper into our relationship and our intimacy, deeper into the truth, further on the narrow path that leads to life. Come Holy Spirit into all of this we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home, home base for…for a virtual community like ours where we are geographically, literally all over the map, but we do have a place and the Global Campfire lives there and that’s at dailyaudiobible.com.
So, connect in the Community section, pray for each other at the Prayer Wall.
Check out the resources in the Shop like…like our coffee, like our tea, like our journals, like everything that’s been created over the years, specifically for the journey that we’re on. So, check that out in the Shop.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link on the homepage. And, so, thank you so much for your partnership. If you’re using the app you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner, or the mailing address, if that is your preference is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or encouragement 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.