Leviticus 13:1-59, Mark 6:1-29, Psalms 39:1-13, Proverbs 10:10
Today is the 22nd day of February, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is wonderful to be here with you in the rolling hills of Tennessee with plenty of jetlag to abound as we kinda reemerge and reenter into normal life after having spent the last couple of weeks in the land of the Bible. It is wonderful to be back in Tennessee and it is wonderful to be around the Global Campfire today as we gather. Out of all of the different things that are going on, the little choices that we have to make, the things we have to do, the obligations we have, the responsibilities, we just come in here and allow the Scriptures to inform all of that and speak peace into our souls. And, so, let’s dive in. We are moving back into the book of Leviticus. We’re reading from the New Living translation this weekend. We will pick up where we left off yesterday, which brings us to Leviticus chapter 13 today.
Okay. So, the passage that we read in the book of Leviticus today, the 13th chapter is actually one of my more favorite passages in the Bible, partly because for so many years reading through it, it’s like what in world? What…what is this doing in the Bible, rashes, skin rashes, mold, mildew on leather? Like, what is going on here? And why is this important? And then we read through it and it’s slightly an uncomfortable read because we’re talking about scabs and rashes and open sores and did the hair turn white in the rash and all this stuff. So, it’s like a little bit uncomfortable. Let’s remember statutes, the laws, the customs, the rituals, the way that the people will organize themselves and be a cohesive people is being established, and that in this establishment is the awareness of who God is and who their identity, who they are as God’s people, and where they’re going together. And, so, all of the things that they do have a spiritual component. It’s not like this completely separated existence between their spirituality and their everyday lives. They are woven together. And, so, on a practical level, if we’re talking about upwards of a million people, like a moving large city wandering through a vast open desert, if we have the understanding that there aren’t antibiotics, there isn’t a pharmacy where somebody can go get something to take care of that issue then we realize on a very very practical level, that an infectious skin disease could and would spread and could become deadly to the camp to the people itself. So, like paying attention is important. And bringing it to the priest to know that you’re not endangering everyone around you is important. Or in the case of mold…and we’ll have some more mold in front of us because we’ll see about mold that gets into the walls. So, there’s like really practical reasons to not allow these things to grow and fester, right? So, not allow a skin disease to become deeply embedded into your body without knowing what’s going on or what the risk is to everyone around you, or to just allow mildew to grow and just take its course. It will spread. And, so, we can understand why a roving group of people this large would need to pay attention to such things. But when we look at the spiritual components then, we also understand that these things apply, and the Bible is teaching us right now that there is clean and there is unclean. So, like if you get a skin rash that starts to spread, you’re probably gonna go see a doctor now, probably not a priest. And the doctor will look at that and determine how deep it goes. Is it on the surface or is it more than skin deep. And from a spiritual perspective we can get these rashes as well. Is this thing skin deep on the surface or does it go below the surface? And if we allow it to continue to grow will it continue to get more and more embedded below the surface? And we have our pastors and our priests and our counselors and those that we trust in our lives to help us see what we can’t see or to help us interpret what we don’t fully understand. The ancient Israelites were being taught how to care for one another, how to take care of each other, how to observe what’s going on, how to be a part of the restoration. We’re still learning the same job. We’re part of an ongoing story where we have been invited to be God’s people that we might reveal God to the world - who He is, what He is like, what He does when he is united with humanity. And we are supposed to be the examples of what that looks like. And, so, allowing things to go more than skin deep, allowing them to spread and fester is something that we want to avoid just as much as the children of Israel in ancient times are being instructed.
Father, we open ourselves up to this today as we think about it. And as we think about our anxieties and our angst, as we think about the different things in our lives like bitterness and unforgiveness, the things that have the potential of getting more than surface deep, the things that have the potential if we allow them that they will grow and fester and get more and more entrenched. Holy Spirit, help us to see these things and help us to open ourselves, open those places to You in Your healing. Our great High Priest, we come before You and ask that You would show us what is more than skin deep. We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Okay, one more thing going on around here today. Today is a special day throughout the world of Christendom. Today is Ash Wednesday. And, so, today begins the season of Lent as we move toward Easter. And some of you are like, yeah, I know. We heard…we heard this at church. Like this was announced. We knew this was coming. Some of your like, what? Lent? Ash Wednesday? Not really sure…heard of these…heard of these things before but not really sure. There are seasons in the Christian calendar that many observe and have observed for centuries and centuries and centuries and Lent is one of those seasons, leading us…leading us to Easter. And Lent has always been at least in my growing up years something I knew about but never observed, never really knew how, never knew anything really about it other than the people gave up candy bars. And that was always weird. Like I’m giving up chocolate for Lent. And as a kid I was like, why would you do a thing like that. Or other people are like I’m giving up television or entertainment or whatever. And as a kid you like why would you do a thing like that? But giving up things, although that’s part of Lent isn’t really the point. Lent is a season of repentance, a season to intentionally go into leading up to Easter, leading up to Resurrection Sunday, leading up to this grand celebration where we truly the world over celebrate all things being made new because of the resurrection of Jesus. And, so, as we move toward that over the next few weeks it’s a season of repentance. It’s a season to really enter into the fact that sin leads nowhere but destruction and death and to look at how sin has had an effect on our lives and to repent. And yes, maybe that repentance requires getting away from some of those things, like letting go, or fasting for season those things that continually trip us up. And, so, if that’s candy bars then maybe candy bars are the right thing to kinda of fast from during the season. But really, it’s a season of open handedness and open…open heartedness toward God. It’s to unloose the fists that we have that we’re clinging to our lives and the things in our lives and the chaos that comes from it, we’re holding on so tightly. This is a season of prying our fingers open and having open hands and open hearts, it’s a season of repentance that says Lord rearrange me, rearrange me as I move through this season and celebrate the resurrection and the new life that You’ve given me. And, so, whatever is in my hand, whatever is in my heart. Nothing is off limits to you. Some of the things that are within me are good things, and they belong, but maybe they’re in the wrong place. Maybe they’ve become almost an idol to me and I’m almost worshiping and hoping in those things it. Even though there good things that you’ve given me and tasked me to do, I’ve allowed them to take priority over you and our relationship and your instructions and your guidance in my life. I need that to be put in its proper place. While there are other things that don’t belong at all. And I open my hands and I open my heart. Remove from me what does not belong. Re-order my life as I move toward Easter so that I celebrate and am oriented and am aligned with your will for my life. That is really more the heart of Lent. And, so, Ash Wednesday starts that season, and there are Ash Wednesday services all over the world today. You may walk around today and see people with ashes smudged on their foreheads in the shape of a cross or maybe on their palms or wrists. You may walk around the grocery store and see that and think, that’s weird what’s going on? But what you know is that this person has simply gone to some service somewhere and has ashes put on that…that…they are literally a sign of beginning this season, repenting in sackcloth and ashes, basically, just the ashes. And, so, if Lent has meaning for you, then this is the beginning of that season leading us to Easter. If it has no meaning to you because you didn’t know anything about it, then there you go. It’s a season of repentance, to offer ourselves freely to God, to repent, to walk away and go in a different direction and allow our lives to come into alignment with God’s word and His wishes. And if you here all that and you’re like, that’s not for me, no problem. It’s not a command in the Bible, it’s just a season that has been observed over millennia leading us in preparing our hearts for Easter. But today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. And, so, may we embrace and appreciate all that it represents.
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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:
Hey, my name is Timothy Stoneberger I’m new to the Daily Audio Bible app. I’ve been listening on a podcast app for maybe a couple months now. First off, I just want to say man I…I love the Daily Audio Bible family. I mean I just…sometimes I listen to the…I listene to the daily devotional and then I listen to the prayers, and I’ll just feel so much closer to all you guys because you know what, we’re just brothers and sisters trying to walk this walk of faith and we struggle at times. We have a great God. My main…my main two things is, first off, there is a lady, she said she was married for about 31 years or 32 years and her husband just walked out on her. I’m a newlywed. I’ve been married, this is about…this is about a year and a couple of months and my heart just breaks for you. My heart just breathes for you. You are, you know, you guys have been together for 31 years and…and, you know, your husband walks out. I can’t imagine how that would affect you but I…I…I assume it affects you in so many different levels and so many different ways. And I just pray that God’s will is done whatever that is. But I agree with you, I…I couldn’t see how God would be OK with a 31 year marriage just ending like that. So, God’s will be done. And second thing guys just…just pray for me. I haven’t been serving. I used to be a youth pastor. I’m not a youth pastor anymore and I’m struggling with sexual sin and kind of intoxicated my entire life. So, please pray for me for that.
Hi DAB family it’s Sean from the UK here. This is from my sister Tracy. Tracy I heard your prayer about your husband leaving you of 31 years. I’m very sorry to hear that. And you find it very difficult at the moment. Nobody knows why things happen, why people die, why people break up but we know that the Lord does give us strength and he doesn’t leave us to deal with things on our own. And I do pray that you can reconcile your differences with your husband and that if it’s God will then it will come to pass but if it doesn’t come to pass I’d just like to give a bit of scripture from Deuteronomy 31:8. It says, the Lord Himself will lead me and be with me. He will not fail me or abandon me. So, I will not lose courage or be afraid. So, whatever happens, whatever God’s plan is for you, you do have the strength. He will not leave you. He will always be with you. He will not fail you and He will not abandon you. So, do not lose courage and do not be afraid. God bless you Tracy. And I wish you all you the best. Sean from the UK. Bye-bye.
Hey DAB family this is God’s tree for I have many branches, but I’m rooted in the word of God. Please excuse the background noise my grandchildren are playing. I’m calling on behalf of Tracy. She is suffering a breakup of a 31- year marriage. And Tracy, I want you to know that you’re not in this alone. I’m getting ready to celebrate my 30th anniversary and my marriage is going through difficulty and we are going on vacation next month and we both are trying to decide if we can make it through this vacation and if we can get on the other side. It’s a struggle when you’ve been with someone so long and it’s also a struggle when you’ve been with someone so long that sometimes you grow into separate…two separate people. But I truly believe that a long marriage like that, that God’s hands in it and you’re both Christians just as we are and we both know who God is in our lives, that God will work it out for our good. We just have to keep trusting him. Yes, I understand you have a broken heart because I have a broken heart too, but we have to keep walking through and praising God through our situation. God put us all together. He’s gonna make sure it works out for our good. Just keep trusting and believing Him because that’s what I’m doing. And I’m praying for you sister and I’m standing in the gap for you. And as I stand in the gap for myself we’re going to get through this and God’s gonna bless both of our men to be able to see the blessing that He has in us being together as a family. God bless you DAB family. Continue to pray for our marriages that are struggling and all broken hearts in Jesus’ name. God bless.
Hello, DAB family this is__ calling from the UK. Family I’m calling today to request for prayer for my country, my home country Nigeria. Nigeria will be going to the polls on the 25th of February in exactly 10 days from now. Today’s the 15th to elect the president. Family I ask that you all join me in prayer. According to Psalm 78:72 where it says, with upright hearts, he, David shepherded the Israelites and guided them with his careful hands. Join me in prayer to ask the good Lord to please come and elect, select, pick out that person He wants. You know, let it be His choice. Yes, the masses will go out and cast their votes but at the end of the day let the person that will manifest as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria be a man that the Lord has chosen and that will need, that will shepherd the country with upright heart and skillful hands. To the glory of God’s name Nigeria has gone through a lot. People are suffering. They are suffering so much. Thinking about it…it breaks my heart daily. And all I can do is pray that God will show us his mercy and hearken to our cries in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. Thank you, family.
Hey DAB family I’m calling for prayers. I’m pregnant and just in the last few weeks of my pregnancies and I’ve had gestational diabetes which luckily hasn’t been too bad. I just have to keep an eye on my blood sugar. But as we’re getting closer to the end my blood pressure has been raising and because of that my doctor wants me to think about induction. And I was really hoping not to have to do that. Where…especially since she wants the baby coming sooner rather than later and there’s still so much to get ready for this baby. And I don’t know why I’m crying. There’s been so much going on and it’s been so hard to make preparations and I could just use prayers. Thank you.