1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4, Acts 24:1-27, Psalms 4:1-8, Proverbs 18:16-18
Today is the 6th day of July welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today as we continue our journey forward. And we’ve just recently, yesterday, moved into some new territory in the Old Testament as we begin the books of Chronicles. So, let’s dive in. We’re reading from the English Standard Version this week. First Chronicles chapter 2 verse 18 through 4 verse 4.
Okay. Just a couple things to point out as we get moved into this new week. In the book of first Chronicles we’re reading a lot of names and, you know, who fathered who and who his son was and then who his son was and then who his son was and then who his son was etc. etc. etc. and this is kind of, you know, the famous portion of the Bible where people are like, “why are all these names in the Bible?” And even as a kid I would encounter this and be like, “why? Why’s this in the Bible? Like, why would we even read this? Who even cares about this?” And…and that kind of holds true up until today where it’s like, “why all the names?” And, you know, when I first began to do this the names, you know, they’re just…they’re…they’re unusual names and difficult to pronounce names, tongue tying kinds of names. So, even I would come passed this and go, “great, this is the Bible. Yes, we need to read this. Yes, yes, yes. But why is this in here anyway?” Until I began to realize this is coming from exile. And then everything started to make sense, because I’ve places where there has been exile and destruction and war and genocide even. And, so when we come to this portion of the Scriptures, we usually talk about this a little bit because when we understand a little bit better it makes us actually want to hear those names. So, I've…I mean I’ve been places in the world that have commemorated the Holocaust in World War II, the, you know, the attempted annihilation of the Jewish people. And there are museums, many throughout the earth that take a look at this. I’ve also been to places like Rwanda in Africa where genocide took place and that…they…they have a completely different way of doing things there. They’ve in some cases just left…left the bodies that have become skeletons where they fell. Like they've…or they’ve collected the bones of people who were just massacred even in places like churches. They just kind of…they didn't…they’re just…their skeletons are there in part so that the horribleness of what happened won’t be forgotten. And it's…well…it’s difficult indeed, but it also makes you never forget, which is kind of the point. The point is to remember so that you don’t have to go this way again, so that nobody, future generations won’t forget either, so that they can come back and see where the road leads if things get out of control. And then of course there are like national museums throughout the earth for some of the atrocities that have happened. And, although I haven’t been to every one of those in the world I’ve been to several and in these usually you usually find a quiet room. Maybe it’s dimly lit. Like in my mind’s eye right now I think of the national genocide memorial in Kigali in Rwanda. And there’s…there’s a room there that’s quiet and there are clothes…there’s clothing there of people that were wearing those clothes when they were murdered. And there’s thousands of photographs of people who were lost. And then this kind of a big round place you can come sit in the middle of the room just, you know, sit quietly and you begin to hear a quiet voice saying name after name after name after name, never-ending so that those names will be spoken out so that they will not be forgotten. And, so, that what happened that took them off the earth will not be forgotten either. So, here in Chronicles Israel as we’ve known it all along the journey that we’ve taken to this point, those people, those 12 tribes are gone. They have no ruling over themselves whatsoever. They have no land. They have no nation. The promised land is gone. The 10 tribes in the north have been carried into exile by the Assyrians and they are gone. Judah has fallen to the Babylonians and the Babylonians have exiled them into Babylon. The homeland is lost. People have been killed. Families have been torn apart. People are all over…all over the place and these names are to remember who they are and what happened to them. And, so, in a real way when we read these names, we’re kind of participating in that same kind of thing. We’re saying them aloud so that they’re not forgotten because the intention here, like the Babylonian intention…intention is to move everybody out of Judah, move them somewhere else, move other people into Judah, so that at some point within the next couple of generations there’s only the Babylonian Empire, like everything’s Babylon. Nobody really has allegiance to some kind homeland and some kind of localized gods and all this kind of stuff. So, they’re trying to obliterate that whereas here in first Chronicles the Hebrew people are trying to not forget who they are, where they came from, and who God is. And that changes things.
And then we flipped over into the book of Acts. We’ve seen Paul go to Jerusalem, even though he knew what was going to happen and it did happen and he is under arrest and he’s had to be spirited out of Jerusalem to Caesarea on the coast where he can be protected because there’s an assassination plot where people have vowed not to eat or drink until they kill Paul. So, it’s pretty serious and Paul for the first time now is Caesarea gets to begin to state his case because the Hebrew people, the elite religious leaders have come to accuse Paul. And, so, what we see now is Paul beginning to share the gospel as a part of his defense and in the process he is sharing the gospel with people that he would never be able to meet with likely, like that he would never be able to sit down and have a conversation with. So, he is sharing the gospel to more powerful people than he had access to. And we see Felix today, summons Paul number of times, even though he’s hoping for a bribe. Paul is able now to have access to powerful people that he would’ve never been able to get to any other way. And, so, we’re seeing the gospel continues even though Paul has lost his freedom.
Father, we thank You for Your word and we thank You for the…the way that it reaches into our lives and touches us in so many ways on so many levels. Sometimes it disrupts us. Sometimes we take a step back and go, “wait. What?” Sometimes immense revelation comes flowing into our hearts where things we’ve been struggling with for so many years, all the sudden clarity comes. We are thankful for this. We are thankful for the living word that continues to be alive within us and we thank You for the opportunity to be here every day to take the next step forward. And, so, Father plant the words that we’ve read into our hearts today and may they yield the fruit of the Spirit in our hearts, and may that spill out into the world and may we bring light and good news to everyone within our sphere of influence. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And what is going on around here is tomorrow. Tomorrow is the 7th of July, which may not look like a holiday on your calendar but it’s our own, it’s our own little Global Campfire holiday, something that we call the long walk. And it’s exactly that. I’ve been talking about it for the last couple weeks. It’s as simple as it sounds. Go for a long walk with God wherever it is that you find beautiful, wherever it is that you can go that you can drink in the fact that God is sustaining this world and pouring out beauty upon us to remind us constantly, but we’ve got our heads in our anxieties and our stresses so much that we not… we’re not even opening our eyes to notice and it’s getting crazier and crazier and crazier the more that we try to do it on our own. And this is that moment where we stop the world and we focus on resetting ourselves for the second half of the year and we have the conversations with the Lord that we need to have that we’ve been too busy that we just haven’t been able to just without interruption just pour ourselves out and we haven’t had the time to sit and listen and be still and know. And, so, every seventh of July we take that day for this purpose. Regroup, reset and move forward into the second half of the year with renewed purpose and renewed awareness of…of what’s going on in our own lives but what’s also going on like we’re participating in as we move forward in time together on this earth. And, so, that's…man…that’s tomorrow.
And we have a new resource, Heart, a contemplative journey that releases tomorrow and will be available for the long walk. You can get it at…at the iTunes store and get it at the Google Play store and have it ready. Like, preorder it today and will be waiting for you tomorrow for your long walk. And it is…it is a conversation starter. It takes us through an hour of guided prayer and contemplative music and leads us to our own hearts, helps us to acknowledge the things we’ve been going through, the things, the emotions that we’ve been feeling and maybe why those emotions have come, and how maybe we’ve misinterpreted things, and invited God…invite…invites God into the midst of it all and is a perfect way to begin the long walk and just move into a different space because that’s really what we need, is to get out of all that’s going on and rest for a day and re-center ourselves on what is true for a day so that we can move into the second half of the year in Spirit and in truth. So, I’m looking forward to it. I hope you’re looking forward to it. It’s definitely a solitary thing to do but it is a community thing that we do. Even though we’re doing it alone all over the world are doing it together. So, I’m just saying wherever you go, and whether you just got in the backyard or whether you go hours…whatever…wherever you go, whatever you do. Maybe you want to take a picture. Maybe you want to take a little video. Maybe you want to remember this day. And post that comment that…at the Daily Audio Bible Facebook page and then we’ll post it up and we just have these windows into the beauty of the earth, into the beauty of the long walk all over the world and just little windows into the places in the world we all live and the beauty of the day. So, I’m looking forward to that and I hope you are too.
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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.