Isaiah 45:11-48:11, Ephesians 4:1-16, Psalms 68:19-35, Proverbs 24:3-4
Today is the 27th day of September welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian and of course it is wonderful to be here with you today as we gather around the Global Campfire and move forward together. And moving forward together looks pretty much the same every day. We pick up wherever we left off and move forward from there. And, so, that’s what we’ll be doing today, which leads us back into the book of Isaiah. We are reading from the Good News translation this week. And today Isaiah chapters 51, 52, and 53.
Okay. So, we covered some pretty well-known territory in the letter to the Ephesians today about wives and husbands, probably territory that we have been through before at some point in our lives. I’ve heard this passage about wives and husbands my whole life actually, well before I ever knew anything about having a wife. And kinda as I came up hearing this, this being in church world culture, sort of the dominant piece was that the husband is the head of the wife. And, so, basically the way that everything was distilled down was…I mean…out of all of this the takeaway was the husband, the man of the house has the final. And, so, many years ago, a very long time ago now in the first few years of the Daily Audio Bible we come through this passage and I would read this passage and say, wait a second, and then kinda read it again…wait a second. Like that’s not really the takeaway here. This isn’t the proof text for the power of the man of the house. Because so often I had just kinda heard it in this context that made it feel like, okay ladies, you know, stop griping and complaining and get on board. You’re not the boss. What I began to realize just from reading this over and over is that husbands have an unbelievable role to play in this equation. And, so, let’s just take a look at this. “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.” Okay, that’s a big deal. “As to the Lord.” That’s a big deal. “For”…Paul says…“a husband has authority over his wife, just as Christ has authority over the church.” Okay, that’s a big deal too. “And Christ himself is the Savior of the church’s body. And, so, wives must submit themselves completely to their husbands just as the church submits itself to Christ.” So, since it comes first and it’s shorter than the husband piece it was like that’s where the whole conversation begins and almost that’s where the conversation ends. But my goodness, let’s continue now to the husbands. And I quote. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it.” Okay, that’s a big deal. And then jumping forward. “Men ought to love their wives, just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself.” And, so, one take away from looking at the entire passage is that wives should submit themselves to their husbands as to the Lord and that husbands should love their wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it. So, basically if she’s supposed to submit herself to her husband as to the Lord well than the husband needs to act like Jesus, laying his life down for her. What Paul is discussing here is a beautiful submission to one another. And I need to just take kinda take a sidestep for just a quick minute because I’ve been around church culture for all my life like I said. And, so, invariably being in ministry you encounter situations that are actually abusive situations. Submitting harder doesn’t make abuse end. And if you are in a situation and you’re just trying to submit yourself to the Lord and so you submit and you’re being beaten or you’re being abused in some sort of way, then someone’s not acting like Jesus. I mean to make that work out and say I just need to…to submit harder would…would force us to believe that Jesus would be willing to be abusive to us. Because the husband is supposed to love his wife just as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it. We don’t have any examples at all of Jesus being abusive to anybody and there’s good reason for that. He wasn’t abusive. And, so, like pulling us back on track here, let’s take another sidestep and backtrack into what we read in the book of Isaiah today. And…and…and I’m a husband. And, so, I can…I can call of us husbands to pay attention to this for a second because it’s important that we do. And I quote from Isaiah, with clear allusions to Jesus here. “But He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should’ve borne. All the while, we thought that His suffering was punishment sent by God. Because of our sins He was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment He suffered, made whole by the blows He received. All of us were like sheep that were lost each of us going his own way, but the Lord made the punishment fall on Him, the punishment all of us deserved.” Okay, that is how Christ loved the church. That is how we husbands…I mean with that level of commitment and endurance are to love our wives or quoting from Paul again, “husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it.” It’s way easier considering submitting to someone that you know has your best interest, that you know loves you with all of their heart, that you know would lay down their life to keep you safe. It’s very difficult to think about submitting to an abuser. So, when I read this passage of…passage of Ephesians I see that it is mutual submission, but I see that the husband has to lead the way by being Christ, by being Jesus in his home, and I don’t mean that in some sort of weird way. But in so many ways because we are part of the body, we become the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. And if we are a husband, is there anyone we should be Jesus to more than our wife? And, so, let’s give that some thought today.
Father, we invite You into that. Anybody who’s married knows that it’s complicated and has many many layers at any given moment, and there’s all kinds of stuff going on as we try to intermingle our lives and allow that marriage to shape us into something different instead of us always trying to fill our brokenness with someone else. And, so, we acknowledge the complexity. We also acknowledge Your word. We also acknowledge Holy Spirit, Your presence. This is like everything else in our faith. We can’t do this on our own. We can keep ourselves on the best behavior we possibly can. And it…it’s easy when it’s easy. But when it’s not easy and it’s complicated well then, it’s complicated and hard. And usually in those times we are paying the least amount of attention. May we pay attention to our love for one another. May we love each other as You have loved us. We pray this 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: