Isaiah 28:14-30:11, Galatians 3:23-4:31, Psalms 62:1-12, Proverbs 23:19-21
Today is the 18th day of September welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian is good to be here with you today. We’re here for the same thing that we come here for every day, to take the next step forward on our adventure through the Scriptures and do it together in community. And, so, here we are, let’s go, buckle up. We’re reading from the English Standard Version this week and continuing our journey through the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament today. Isaiah 28 verse 14 through 30 verse 11.
Okay. So, we’ve spent a lot of our time this week talking about the letter to the Galatians and trying to put ourselves in the position of those hearing Paul, trying to explore from their viewpoint, their perspective, the culture they were in, how this message was treated, how it was heard, how it was interpreted, how and why Paul seemed to be so controversial, controversial enough that people wanted to assassinate him, which is pretty controversial. So, we’ve looked at it from some different angles, like cultural Jew / Gentile angles - how Jewish people would’ve looked at Gentile people, especially Roman people, as their oppressors and how there’s like all of that baggage involved in trying to find some sort of unity. And maybe the Romans being citizens, having more privileges and rights than Jewish people, you know, kind of coming into a mixed community with a level of arrogance. Like all of these things play into the world of the first century in Palestine or the province of Syria. We’ve also looked theologically, like religiously at why Hebrew people would be so confused. Because what Paul is saying is good news but gosh, the things that have to be set aside to get there will be to fly in the face of religious and cultural tradition. And of course, we’ve also talked about how the Greek speaking Roman citizens of the time who worshiped a pantheon of gods and didn’t really have any kind of separation. God’s were everywhere, involved in everything, would look at what Paul’s saying…well…just as Paul put it, nonsense. We’ve looked at these things and we’ll continue to look at these things, but we get to this point in…in the letter to the Galatian, and nearly every year I’m struck by it and nearly every year I talk about it because it gives us the chance to bring the tension and disruption really, really close, like so close that some of the things I’m about to tell you are probably gonna be disruptive, things that are like, “O my gosh, I had not thought about it like that before. That is…that is mind bending stuff. Like I have to think that through.” So, I’m gonna quote Paul here. “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So, then the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.” Okay, we can listen to that and go, “yup…that’s what I believe. That I’m free from…Christ has come and set me free and now I’m free.” Here’s where it’s about to get disruptive. When Paul says law, he is referring to Mosaic law, he was referring to Torah. There was no New Testament at this time at all…at all. There was nothing called the New Testament at this time. It’s essentially Paul’s ministry and writings that reveal this concept of a new covenant inaugurated by Jesus, a new thing happening in the world. So, the only thing that would have been known as Scripture or Bible, of course Bible is a more recent word, but Scripture, Torah. The only thing that would have been known as the revealed word of God at this time would have been the law. So, to understand the tension that they were dealing with and accepting what Paul is saying, it’s easy enough for us to take these three verses that I just quoted…four verses that I just quoted and replace “law” with “Bible”, and then all of a sudden all of the tension that they would’ve been feeling. And hearing Paul becomes our own tension. So, let me read this again. “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the Bible”, right? So, what Paul’s saying is “under the law”, which is Torah, which is the Scriptures that had been revealed. “We were held captive under the Bible, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So, then the Bible was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come we are no longer under a guardian for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith,” right? That is disruptive stuff, which puts us squarely in the position of kind of being a religious person hearing what Paul is saying as he unpacks the Good News. But it’s hard to…hard to get that concept that God is doing something new and that new thing is fulfilling the old thing and now by faith we are out into the great wild frontier to find out and flesh out this new thing without a guardian. And do we not for the most part look at the Bible as…as that fall back, as that baseline, as the thing that we go back to and say, “okay. Contrary to this is a “no”. Encouraged by this is a “yes”. This is the Bible. These are the Scriptures. This is the word of God. So, if somebody comes along and says that has been fulfilled and God is doing something new well then you see, you gotta leap, you gotta stretch. So, to try to actually enter in now then to what Paul is saying, we then to try to apply it properly and understand the concept and wrestle with the idea, have to then look at the Bible and say, “what is exactly is this? What…what exactly is my relationship or my posture toward this…this book, this a series of documents that is contained in this holy book?” Most of us would say, “this is the revealed word of God. These are the stories and examples of people who lived before God. This…these are the roads and pathways where lives can go. This gives us wisdom. This is something that is a revelation.” And we probably would most mostly agree with that. That’s…that’s what we all think. That’s what I think. But if we obey everything that’s in the Bible. In fact, let’s just say the old…le4t’s just say that Paul’s right as we believe as Christians and say, “the old covenant, we need the old covenant, we need a read it, we need to understand it because there’s no way to understand the New Testament without a Hebrew context. Like the don't…they’re not separate from each other. So, let’s say the old covenant is fulfilled and the new covenant that this is…this is what we’re dealing with now. And let’s just say the New Testament. If we can obey everything that’s in the New Testament, would following those rules make us righteous before God? Right? Because we’re living into this and trying to live up to it and trying to live into it and so often there this subtle idea than, the more…the better we can do it the closer that we’ll be to God, the more righteous we’ll become, the more God will pay attention to us and, boom, we are just doing the same thing that Paul is saying you’re free from. So, let me just pick up where we left off as I was quoting from…from Galatians, quoting Paul. I continue. “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither slave nor free. There is no male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” That’s pretty big stuff. The unity that Paul is claiming that God is doing in the world through Jesus, this new thing that’s happening in the world, this essentially new species of human being upon the planet of which Jesus is the firstborn, in that way of looking in that kingdom there’s no slave or free, there’s no male or female, there’s no Jew or Greek, which is essentially Jew or Gentile. We are all one in Christ Jesus. That’s the revealed word of God in the New Testament. Why do we not live into that? Why do we not live that way even if we agree with it? Because the words, just the words, the sentences, versus, they don’t do anything. They’re words, they’re sentences that have to be activated. Like we have to understand those words and by faith believe in that reality. So, the versus, the words in between the two covers of the Bible, they’re just words until we live them, until we believe in their reality, until we reach in faith believing that it’s true. And that’s kind of what Paul has been saying throughout all of what we’ve read in his letters so far. It’s not the rules. You might need the rules as some sort of de facto baseline to know how well you’re doing because we don’t do well with mystery, but the rules aren’t gonna save you anymore than the Bible can save you. The Bible…and listen, the…the Bible is my life. I love the Bible. The Bible…the…the Bible, like, pick up your Bible and carry it around. Like if you have…it doesn’t matter if you have a giant large print Bible that you’re carrying it around in a backpack or a little mini New Testament that you carry around in your purse. It’s wonderful that we do that but it’s not gonna be some sort of magic force field that’s gonna keep bad things from happening to us because we have a book that we’re carrying around. That book leads us to the revelation of God’s love for us and the lengths that He’s been willing to go to in order to get our attention that we might be restored to Him. But just carrying around a Bible doesn’t do anything. We have to live into what it says. And the main thing that we have to understand is the Bible’s revealing God. God is behind the Bible. If we don’t press through to God by faith, then we haven’t gone anywhere. We just read a book which is the same way a relationship with God works. Understanding everything that we can possibly know, and I mean there so…there’s been so much scholarship done on the theology of the Bible that…that there are…there is no end to the literature that can be read and studied over millennia of what people thought. So, it’s impossible to absorb all that, in one brain, in one lifetime. But even if we could, even if we knew everything that everybody ever thought about God than that’s all we know is everything that everybody thought about God. Do we know God? Does God know us? This is the experience that Paul is preaching. He’s chosen that although he is religiously educated and has done everything to live up to what he believed would make him righteous before God, he has found that he cannot get there on his own. He cannot behave well enough to become righteous before God. But God came to him and Jesus revealed Himself to Him and he experienced God and that changed his life. And that’s why he’s saying the things that he’s saying. He’s saying the path that you are on has lost its plot and it will not take you where you think you are going. You are going to have to reach out in faith to get there, which means you are reaching into the dark to get there and you are not always gonna know that you’re getting there. Just like the early church, right? Just like the arguments and confusion that they were experiencing. It’s reaching out and allowing our faith to be perfected as we go in fits and starts. And it’s okay because we can fall back into that pillow of grace we were talking about yesterday knowing that the transformation that’s happening within us is not something we can do. It’s something God is doing in us by faith. So, that is a heck of a lot to take into our weekend and consider and ponder. And it’s good. It’s good that we can encounter things in the Scriptures that are disruptive enough to make us go, “wait a second. I need to spend a little more time pondering, meditating, praying, seeking God. And, so, may we do that.
Father we thank You for the opportunity to reach to You by faith knowing that You are there, that You have reviewed Yourself to us so many times, that You continually are revealing Yourself to the world. We can’t look anywhere without seeing Your fingerprints. And, so, give us eyes to see and ears to hear that we have to reach for You through faith. Come Holy Spirit we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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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.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Good morning DABbers this is Shielded in Colorado. My heart goes out to Stephanie and the family in Oregon who lost their sons. I’m praying for all the people who have lost children. It is probably the hardest thing you will ever go through in your life. I lost my son four years ago and it’s been a journey. One thing I have learned is that you have to wade through it and experience it. You can’t run away from it. No matter where you go or what happens it’s just there. I want you all to know that I’ll be praying for you and all the other people who have lost children. It’s a special kind of grief and it’s…it can be hard. But my thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you all. Amen.
Hi everyone this is All the Treasures from Wyoming and I heard a prayer request for Vincent who has been hearing voices and I just wanted to lift up anyone in the community who is dealing with mental illness or who has family members who are dealing with mental illness and I wanted to pray some of Psalm 91 over Vincent and all the others who may be dealing with this. Vincent and all of the family who deals with mental illness, you dwell in the shelter of the most-high and you will abide in the shadow of the Almighty and you will say to the Lord, Lord you are my refuge and my fortress and it’s in you who I trust. For the Lord will deliver you from the snare of the fallow, from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions and under His wings you will find refuge because His faithfulness is a shield and a buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night or the arrow that flies by day nor the pestilence that stocks in the darkness nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, 10,000 at your right hand but it’s not gonna come near you because you have made the Lord your dwelling place, the most-high who is your refuge. No evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Lord God thank you so much for your word of truth. Thank you, Father for the privilege and the honor to stand in the gap for those who are suffering. God bless you DAB family.
Good morning everyone it’s Susan from Canada God’s Yellow Flower and I just want to pray for our brother in India who is suffering from brain atrophy. And I don’t know the cause of it all, but it must be very distressing. So, dear heavenly Father we just come before Your holy throne and we ask a healing upon our brother dear Lord that his brain and its function would be restored to normal even better than normal because You are such a powerful and holy God that we know that You can do miraculous things, things that seem impossible to us. So, we pray dear God a full recovery from this, this condition he has. And that Lord God You would bless him mightily to the power of Your holy and. Bless his family, bless his home dear God and fill his home the power of Your Holy Spirit that no evil could come in and You would just watch over each and every one of his family and draw them all into closer step with you. Dear God, just bless him in all ways and bring healing within his whole body. In Jesus’ precious and holy and wonderful name we pray. Thank You for Your love father. Amen.
Hey, DABbers this is Keira from Denver and I would like prayer for my son Nish. He’s homeless, he’s in another city for me, Albuquerque. It was about four years ago that I kicked him out. It was just me and him living in my place and he was still using, and I had just quit meth. And, so, I kicked them out of tough love, and I thought he would go to a friends or something I guess. Well, he ended up literally walking from Denver to my mother’s place which is deep in the mountains. And long story short, I had gone and visited him a year ago and the year before that and he offered to…I offered to help him to come back and he said he was good. He’s living so austerely. He has nothing and when he gets some items, I was told that the police take it away and then it builds back up. He lives in tunnels and eats garbage and somehow, he gets drugs. But, you know, obviously there’s real mental issues there. And I really miss him. He’s a sweet soul. I really wish him to find Jesus. When I kicked them out, I didn’t know Jesus, but I do now and I have told him. So, at least there’s a seed there. But I am asking the Holy Spirit. Guys please pray for me for strength and wisdom. I’m asking the Holy Spirit what I should do next. I really need to go and see him and find him. Please pray for me for strength guys. I really need it.
Hi this is Cecelia from Texas and I keep telling myself I’m gonna call more and more often and I don’t but I do pray in agreement and even in addition to the prayers that I hear at the end of the podcast and the community prayers, although I’m behind the community prayers. But I’m determined. I think God’s timing is perfect and that the prayers will go forth and produce. But today I heard Stephanie, God’s Chic and I…I’m a nurse as well and she told about her loss…losses and I can see the temptation to just not feel with that sorrow, that pain. And, so, am asking for God to put salt on her hurts, to bolster her up Jesus, to comfort, to be the lifter of her head Father God, that you would put a ram rod, steal, God infused, support system on her back Lord God. I love you Father and I know that You are faithful in Jesus’ name.Good afternoon Daily Audio Bible brothers and sisters it’s September 15th this is Sunset Cindy in Washington state where we are experiencing raging fires and heavy, heavy smoke. I’m looking out my window and can’t see even a couple yards past my yard but that’s not the reason I’m calling in. I’m not calling in for my situation, I’m just calling in to welcome Kelsey to the family. She called in to give a report about the family in Eastern Washington who experienced the fire in the worst possible way by losing their little one-year-old son Arielle and they are both critically burned in the hospital and Jamie the mama is pregnant. So, I’m just praying, Lord Jesus please lift this family up and protect them and give them comfort and bring them the support they need. And I would like to pray Psalm 147:3 over this family. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. And, so, I just pray that He lifts up that family, the Highland family, and all of the people that are affected by this fire. Keep everyone safe. Keep the first responders safe Lord Jesus. And we pray your comfort and peace for all those that are experiencing loss. Thank you, family that there’s a place we can come. Thank you, Brian and his family that they have provided this resource for us all to come together around the world and pray for those that are in distress and need comfort in Jesus’ name Amen.