Genesis 24:52-26:16, Matthew 8:18-34, Psalms 10:1-15, Proverbs 3:7-8
Today is the 11th day of January, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is great to be here with you today around the Global Campfire. It is great to be here to take the next step forward together. And obviously we’re in the rhythm now so we know how these steps work. When we gather to take the next step forward, we pick up right where the last step left off. And that will lead us back into the book of Genesis. We are working through the life story of Abraham the patriarch of the Hebrew people, a person who influences the rest of the Bible and influences the world until today. And, so, let’s dive in. Genesis chapter 24 verse 52 through 26 verse 16.
Okay. So, in the book of Genesis today we said goodbye to Abraham who lived to a ripe old age and he was buried next to his wife Sarah who had previously passed away in the cave of Machpelah that he bought from Ephron the Hittite. And I mentioned yesterday, like we’ll see this place again and it will be…it will be important, but this is now becoming the ancestral burial place for the patriarchs of the Hebrew people. Abraham and Sarah have now been laid to rest in this same place, the only place that is owned in the promised land. So, yesterday Abraham tells his servant to go get a wife for his son Isaac. And this is really interesting because we haven’t seen Isaac since they went up the mountain and Isaac was about to be sacrificed. Like we were looking at…looking at that in the book of Genesis just going something happened here and it’s like the story behind the story. Something happened here becuase Abraham comes down the mountain by himself gathers with his servants and goes back to Beersheba. Isaac seems to go down into the desert to Beer Lahai Roi, so deeper into the desert south of…of Beersheba where his father Abraham is. Sarah ends up in Hebron, so like a little bit north and east of where Beersheba is. And, so, interestingly enough, if that is how it is they all end up in separate places. Abraham is still looking out for his son. Whether there’s estrangement going on or whether there’s not he’s looking out for his son to get his son a wife because Isaac is the child of promise, and if there are going to be offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sand on the sea that come through Abraham and then through the child of promise, Isaac then Isaac’s gonna need a wife, right, if he’s gonna have children. And it’s important Abraham that Isaac get the right wife and that this story that is being told over and through this family can be carried forward. And, so, the servant goes back to the family clan and that is where Rebekah is discovered. And this won’t be the last time somebody goes back to that family clan in the north. But the servant is successful, and Rebekah departs. And, so, the servant of Abraham knows where Isaac is and it’s not the same place that Abraham is. And, so, he takes Rebekah to Beer Lahai Roi where Isaac is and Isaac has gone out into the field to do some thinking, to do some meditating and contemplating and he sees the camels approaching and Rebekah sees the guy walking toward them, and they see each other for the first time, and she learns who it is. Like, this is about to be your husband. She puts a veil over her face. Isaac sees her. He loves her. He brings her into the tent of his mother Sarah. So, he must’ve had his mother’s tent from Hebron where she died and this…like this is kind of conjecture just kinda reading between the lines here. Must’ve brought him comfort to have the tent of his mother. But in honoring where he came from, in honoring his family, in honoring his mother, he brings his new wife into the tent of his mother and marries her and loves her. And he found comfort after his mother’s death. Meanwhile, we’re told that Abraham takes another wife named Keturah and has several other children besides Isaac and besides Ishmael. But we were able to see the family line of Ishmael and then we were able to observe the family line of Isaac. So, Abraham the patriarch, Isaac, the son of promise, who is now married to Rebekah. She’s childless for a while. She’s barren, but then she does get pregnant and there are twins to be born - Jacob and Esau. And they’ve grown up pretty quick because we can…you know…like we skipped to that part as we’re just kind of moving through the narrative of Genesis. They grow up pretty quick and see that there’s distinctions between them. There’s kind of the daddy’s boy and there’s the Mama’s boy. Jacobs the momma’s boy. Esau is the daddy’s boy. Esau’s more of like the outdoorsman type. Jacob’s a little closer to his mother. And we begin to see a bit of trickery happening as Esau sells his birthright to his brother Jacob. And we may have heard of Jacob before and Esau and even their stories before, but this is the first moment where we meet a person who forms everything that comes next. Abraham is the patriarch. Isaac is his son, the child of promise. Jacob was born in today’s reading. So, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And just so we can see this happen and stay rooted in the story, later on Jacob will get a name change just like his grandfather had. Abraham’s name was changed to Abraham. Jacob’s name will be changed to Israel. And Jacob will grow up and he will find a wife. Actually, more than one and it will be quite complicated, but he will have children. Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel will have children and who will they be? The children of Israel. And, so, while we will spend the majority of our time in the Scriptures this year among the children of Israel, here in the book of Genesis we are reading the origin story and we have now met Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And then just really briefly turning into the book of Matthew into what we read today…and by the way we’re…we’re staying rooted in Genesis a lot because the story is unfolding. And if…if we lose the plot of the story than we spend the rest of the time in the Old Testament confused about what’s going on with who. As we’re watching this all develop, we realize this is a big long story about the same family. And, so, as we’re in the New Testament moving through Matthew we will also then move through Mark, Luke, and John and a number of the stories that we find in the Gospels we will have opportunity to…to see and explore together more than one time. But there is a scene in the Gospel of Matthew today that is really beautiful but also challenging and comforting at the same time. So, Jesus is about the business of ministry right now. He is revealing the kingdom of God and inviting people to have eyes to see and ears to hear. And then He decides He’s going to the other side of the lake. So, he gets in the boat. He’s exhausted and so His fishermen group of disciples are…are navigating and a storm comes up and it’s intense. And there can be some very intense storms on the Sea of Galilee. If you’ve never been there you’re like, how is that possible, it’s just like a big lake because that’s about the size of the Sea of Galilee is…I don’t know… maybe 25 miles all the way around if you drove all the way around it. I could be a little bit off on that. I don't…but I don’t think I’m…it’s not a huge ocean. It’s a good-sized lake. But it is geographically situated interestingly, because it is the…it is the lowest freshwater lake in the world. So, the hills and mountains that surround it, they’re…they’re more at sea level and there’s a dip and then there’s the Sea of Galilee. And, so, winds come off the Mediterranean Sea and they start swirling when they hit these hills and then there’s this depression where the Sea of Galilee and it just creates a vortex. And, so, there can be some really pretty aggressive storms definitely that could capsize the kind of boat that Jesus was in. And, so, the fishermen who are experienced on the water are freaking out, which means there’s actual true danger. And they go to wake Jesus up. Lord, save us we’re gonna drown. And this is the beautiful part. Jesus replies…can you even imagine…He’s been exhausted from ministry. He gets woke up. He opens His eyes. It’s raining. He’s like trying to get His wits about Him. “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Ahh…that is challenging and comforting all at the same time, because the metaphor, “the storms of life” is probably a metaphor that we all are familiar with and have all experienced. And we experience choppy waters in our lives and stormy situations routinely. And often we find ourselves in panic mode, right? When we’re storming the heavens it’s like we’re getting into the back of the boat shaking Jesus…we’re gonna drown! Wake up! Can’t you see what’s going on here?!? And that looks so much like what our prayers look like when we’re in panic mode. And just to hear the response of Jesus, “you of little faith”, which isn’t to shame. It’s just to kinda callout, “you of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Let’s carry that with us today. Why are you so afraid? As the story in Matthew goes, He got up, rebuked the winds and the waves and it was completely calm. Let’s carry that picture with us as we navigate the storms of this day.
Father, we love You and we thank You for another opportunity to gather together, although we are all over the world, to gather together in this place, this place that we’ve made, the global campfire. We just calm together each day to hear from You and to seek Your wisdom and clarity and direction in our lives. And, so, plant what we’ve read in our hearts and may the work of transformation continue in us, we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. 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:
Coming soon. Preparing for a mission’s trip to Nicaragua. May be a few days before posting. Please pray for the mission’s team and the work we’ll be doing…and especially for the people we’re they’re to serve, that we serve them well and that Jesus lead us and guide us to all truth, that we have ears to hear and eyes to see, and that we pursue all things in Christ with faith, hope and love, to be merciful, gracious, and kind. Thank you!