Joshua 21:1-22:20, Luke 20:1-26, Psalms 89:1-13, Proverbs 13:15-16
Today is the 20th day of April welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is great to be here with you today as we do what we do every day, one foot in front of the other, right? We take the next step forward, which leads us through the entire Bible. And we are well underway on this voyage and it’s great to be traveling with you. It would be much more lonely if you weren’t here. And, so, I’m so glad we have the Global Campfire that’s always burning and we can always come around its and just find the oasis that our soul needs as we just relax in this safe place, a place where what’s gonna happen is that the Scriptures are just gonna be read over us and we’re just gonna meditate upon it and recenter ourselves to go back out into the world and accomplish things that we need to achieve today. So, let’s dive in. We are in the book of Joshua working our way through. We traveled across to the Jordan River in the book of Joshua and finally set foot in the promised land. We saw the different battles that were fought, how so many different kings ganged up and then attacked the Israelites, only to lose in the end, and then we have watched the different parcels of land to be issued out to the different tribes of Israel so that they can settle into this new land that was promised to them centuries before. And then as we were concluding our reading yesterday, the establishment of the cities of refuge, the places that people could flee if…if manslaughter, like unintentional death had occurred so they could not just be killed, so they could find justice. And we’ll continue the story today of the allotment of land given to the priestly tribe of the Levites. Joshua chapter 21 verse 1 through 22 verse 20.
Okay. So, in the book of Joshua today we have some trouble that appears to be brewing. Like…like we’re at the point of potential Civil War. So, the situation is fairly serious. So, the land, the promised land, the land that we’ve been working toward since the beginning of our year together has been settled and conquered and has been parceled out and the inheritance has been given and the tribes are moving in, but remember there…there’s 2 ½ tribes that were able to claim the land on the other side of the Jordan River, the…the land that they one in battle with King Heshbob and King Ogg of Bishon. It’s kind a high country. It’s still farmland today. It’s good for farming. It’s actually beautiful land. And, so, they have this land and it’s given to them conditionally that they, when their when their brothers cross the Jordan River to go to war, that they go and fight too. And they did. And, so, the work is accomplished. And, so, the 2 ½ tribes are finally commissioned and released to go home and they’re going home wealthy, laden down with wealth from…from all of the battle that they’ve been in. And at this point, everybody’s pretty much on the same page. We have seen a very stiff-necked people do all kinds of very stubborn stiff-necked things that had brought all kinds of trouble upon them. That has been the nature of the whole story so far and that was the nature of the story even once they crossed the Jordan River. The first city of conquest was Jericho, and the second city was Ai and they were defeated at Ai and went through the whole thing of figuring out who had disobeyed the Lord. So, everybody’s pretty clear, like the only way this victory can continue…like the only way this story goes forward is if we obey the Lord. And one of the things that the Lord was doing was establishing the one place, right? They’re not gonna be traveling around anymore in a…so the portable tabernacle isn’t going to be moving around. It’s going to find a permanent home. And that permanent home is known as Shiloh. When we think of like a permanent home, we think Jerusalem, we think temple. But there isn’t any…no temple has been built yet. And Jebus or Jerusalem is still in the hands of the Canaanites. So, there’s sort of a first capital before Jerusalem, and it’s known as Shiloh. And it was the heartbeat or the center of worship for almost 400 years before Jerusalem and before the establishment of a temple in Jerusalem. So, this is the place of the worship of God. This is where the altar is. This is where the holy of holies is. So, these 2 ½ tribes then begin to head home and they get back to the Jordan River and they erect a large imposing altar, one that can be seen from all around, and that has caused a tremendous amount of confusion because are these guys disobeying God? Are they erecting another altar for worship? Are they establishing some custom that God has not commanded us? Have they abandoned us? Are they going to worship false, or other gods? Like what’s happening here? And they have seen how important it is to be completely obedient to God in this moment. They’ve seen some of the other things that they’ve had to do. And, so, now they’ve gathered together. They have been at war with all the “ites” that were in the land, so they’re definitely battle tested and battle ready. They were getting ready to settle down, but they could strap on their swords and gear and ride out in annihilate the 2 ½ tribes, if that’s what it’s gonna take, Civil War. And that’s where we leave the reading today. We’ll have to find out what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Then in the New Testament, Jesus is being questioned about His authority and we’ve seen this story before. And, so, they’re…you know…Jesus asks His own question that unpacks the truth of what they’re trying to get at. And honestly, maybe one of the more truthful things depicted from the religious leaders that are against Jesus is said in this story. So, this…the religious leaders want to know who gave Jesus His authority to do the things that He’s doing. And He says, “I’ll answer you, but you answer me a question. Who gave John his authority?” The people believed John to be a prophet of God. We’ve gone through the whole story of John. It’s ironic that the priestly community…because John’s dad was a priest. So, it…in some ways is ironic that the priestly community is skeptical and rejecting of John as a prophet but they’re also rejecting Jesus as a prophet. So, religion is rejecting both John and Jesus. But the people, the people are accepting. So, we…we…we know this story. We’ve even talked about this story. It’s really this story that Jesus then tells after the exchange that we want to focus on and remind ourselves of. So, the story that Jesus told after this exchange goes like this. “A man planted a vineyard leased it to tenant farmers, moved to another country to live for several years.” The story Jesus is telling is to the religious leaders about the religious leaders. “A man planted a vineyard.” This is, “God planted a garden and gave it to tenant farmers.” This…these are the religious leaders intended to care for the garden. “And then he moved to another country for several years. And at the time of the grape harvest…so when the harvest came, he sent to collect a share of the crop.” The crop in this case are the soul…the hearts of man…mankind properly steward and cared for and grown up. So, the master sent to collect but the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, sent him back empty-handed. So, the owner sent another server, but they also insulted him, beat him up and sent him away empty-handed. A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. These are the prophetic voices that were sent all along, but specifically were referring back and including John in the story and Jesus in the story. This is how religion is treating the prophets sent by God. They insult them, beat them up, send them away empty-handed. No harvest is given to the master. They wound those who are sent and chase them away. So, as Jesus continues the story, the farmer, the owner, the master, God in this story thinks, “what will I do? I’ll send my cherished son. Surely, they’ll respect my cherished son.” But when the tenant farmers saw the son, and again the tenant farmers are the religious leaders specifically charged with caring for the souls of the people, like actually creating the harvest, when they saw the son, they said to each other, “here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill Him and get the estate for ourselves. Let’s kill Him and get the kingdom for ourselves in other words.” And, so, they dragged Him out of the vineyard and murdered Him. Obviously, they haven’t done this to Jesus. Jesus is speaking a story that tells what’s about to happen in a way that the religious leaders know He’s talking about them. And, so, He says, “what do you thinks gonna happen? The master will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.” And as we spoke about yesterday, they did rebel. Within the next 50 years they did rebel and they also got completely and totally and absolutely crushed. The thing is, the religious leaders were in an interesting…interesting, very, very volatile situation. They have…they…they have a religion that is very, very ancient, that is monotheistic, which means they believe there is only one God, and He is the most-high God, and there is no other, whereas the entire culture of the Roman Empire was polytheistic, so many gods and you needed to worship whatever God you wanted too. But you needed to revere and honor the gods the Empire because they made the Empire, and they made the Empire great. So, you can worship whoever you want but you can’t reject the gods of the Empire. But the Jews, they couldn’t worship the gods of the Empire. They didn’t want to be a part of the Empire. They wanted those people gone. They wanted to restore this place of the one true God. So, they had a sort of volatile situation where the Romans are tolerating the Hebrew people and worshiping their one true God and they’re allowed to keep their one true God religion, which is separate from everybody else within the Romans control. They were tolerated as long as they could keep it together. There had been a history of zealotry, especially in the Galilea, but all over, of rebellion of what would be looked at, at least if you were a Roman as like terrorism, like domestic terrorism. There’s these people within the land, they hate this land, and they want this land to fall apart, they want it to fall. And, so, they’re like doing all these little things. So, the religious leaders are responsible for trying to hold the whole thing together and keep false messiahs from rising of the don’t have the power or authority to actually make a substantive change. They would lose a battle and be wiped out very publicly. So, John…John or Jesus in that mix, people drawing crowds, people igniting the hearts of people in a religious way, turning them back to God so that they are becoming passionate about their faith, that can turn volatile in the second. In fact, it’s those very people who incite a mob to get Jesus crucified that can turn in a second and terrible things can happen being done by people who wouldn’t do those things, except for they got swept into it. So, in order to sort of keep the culture and keep the religion from being wiped out by the Romans they gotta keep the peace. They’re going to the Romans for protection. And Rome is saying “as long as you can keep it together, we’ll protect you and allow you to have your separatist ways.” So, this is politics and religion as strange bedfellows. And the result is the crucifixion of God. And the end result is total destruction. And that is essentially what Jesus’ parable lays out. And this parable still has meaning, plenty of meaning for us as we look around the world and see these kinds of situations develop.
Jesus, it’s to You that we come, it was You who were here sharing that the kingdom is a kingdom of love and that love conquers all and is more powerful than any destructive force on the face of the earth. The kingdom is here and among us and within us. Do we not see it? And the truth is…well…the truth is only sometimes. Only sometimes do we see it, but very often when we’re not seeing it, we’re participating in obscuring it. Very often when we’re not seeing it, we’re participating in things that are not a solution and are not moving anything forward. And, so, we gotta look back inside of our own hearts, which is where so much of this work has to be done. It’s so easy for us to look out into the world and see all of the problems and what should be done, and we say something like, “they should do something about that” when actually it really starts inside of us for each of us. And, so, come Holy Spirit. We don’t want to be this way in any way. We don’t want to not be seeing what You’re doing in this world. We do not want to be on the other side of it. We want to participate, and it starts by believing that we will be known by our love and not by the battles we fight on social media. So, come Holy Spirit. We need You now more than ever. Come Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today, I’m Brian and I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Good morning my DAB family this is Paula calling from Albuquerque. Today’s Thursday April 15th. It’s Tax Day in the US. Brian, your commentary on today’s reading was so profound. I listened intently and had to re listen as a matter of fact to your commentary. It kind of took me back to my own foundation when you described the Samaritans being kind of a mixed people and people kind of looked down on them because they really didn’t know who they were or what they were. I am Creole. So, that is me. I was born in Louisiana and raised in…in New Mexico which is very different. And people did often look down on us because we were raised which, you know, the population here is largely Hispanic, Native American, and Caucasian. Well, you know, obviously a Creole person is like all of that put together. So, today was just very, very touching. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you the way you do. You are just amazing, and I just love how you break things down in a similar way that my pastor does. I am just so grateful for you always. I love you all family keep listening to the word having eyes and ears. I love you all.
Good morning DAB family I finished listening to April the 14th and I come in total agreement with what Brian was saying on proverbs 9:4…13:4 regarding the sluggard and the diligent. So, yes Lord, I come in agreement with my beloved brother and teacher Brian. Cause us to be diligent and to take control over our motivations and our bodies. We tell ourselves to get off of that couch that bed that mental sluggish condition right now in the mighty name of…of Jesus and we look up to where our help comes from. It comes from the Lord who is always willing to help our want as we engage with him to move one step at a time. Help our desires Lord to align themselves with your will for our lives. We will not get weary in well doing for a due time we will reap as we so diligence if we faint not. Galatians 6:9. I love DAB family. I love you brother Hardin and your family, your entire family and staff. And I just thank God for you. Be blessed. Amen. Alisa Marie from Dinuba California.
Hi DAB family I’m __. I’m calling in from India and I would like you all to pray for my family. Everyone in my family has been diagnosed with covid and we are all under home isolation and I would request you to pray for us. I have been a regular listener, but I haven’t called anytime soon for this. So, thank you so much. Take care. Bye-bye.
Hi DABbers, this is Slave of Jesus in North Carolina. Alright Holy Spirit let’s roll. So, I get the feeling I need to tell you guys about a miracle but let’s get some prayers out of the way first. Amen to prayers for Keith as he struggles with his third year of cancer. Amen to prayers for Chris asking that he would stop running away for God and become the husband that he was intended to be. Amen to all the prayers for all the DABbers out there. I’m praying for Roberto the Significant. I kinda like that. I think he should call himself that too as well. Amen to all the prayers for getting closer to God instead of playing video games. As I’m sitting here almost getting ready to play a video game, but I had to call you guys first. So, just feel like we got a…we got lot of tough things going on and you don’t believe in Jesus or God because of miracles but I’d like to share one that I got, one of the few times I can't…not one of the few times…in the beginning when I came to God. So, like the first year of my faith. So, I get in a motorcycle accident and broken ribs I can’t breathe, I’m being carried to the ambulance and I ask the ambulance people to get my iPhone out of the motorcycle pack and I get it and I contact a DABber in China. And this was back in the day, you know, we didn’t have a lot of Facebook and things like that. And that DABber put a prayer on the Prayer Wall. So, the doctor came in at first for the first X Ray and says, “hey you got broken ribs. But here’s this air pocket and that means your lungs…you poked your lungs and we got to get you into a full MRI.” And, so, meanwhile there are thousands of DABbers out there praying for this guy in North Carolina. I used to use my name back then. And then when the doctor came back like 2 hours later when I had a full MRI…full MRI they said, “hey, we don’t know what happened, but you healed yourself. And we’re just going to keep you here in the hospital for a couple of days to make sure we didn’t miss something.” But I know that it was the prayers and God that healed me. So, just wanted to share that miracle. Love you guys…
Hey DAB family Kathleen Mount Zion IL. DABbers I just…I want to thank you first of all. I have called in for prayer many times through the years and I continue too because I like hearing familiar voices and hopefully you don’t mind hearing my familiar voice. Please do know in the background that also that I am there, I am praying for you. I listen to the prayers and I do, and I pray. And I am currently building a prayer closet. I think I mentioned that to just have a special place especially for this family. But I want to ask you again to pray for my brother Dan. I have called in about him and his wife so many times because they are both believers and yet everything in their life just seems to be crazy all the time. And I think my brother Dan is running away from a special appointment by God. I really do. I feel like he’s Jonah. He’s talented. He's…but he just runs from God and hides and…and this causes an anxiety and a dark cloud that comes over him, a cloud, a spirit of oppression that just beats him down and he could be free of all that. Like I said he is a believer. He just…I think God has something special for him. When he was young he went to a religious school for a while and then later on he went to the seminary but there were just things that it didn’t work. He never became a preacher, but I don’t think that’s the end. I don’t think that that means that God doesn’t have something really special for him. But anyway, recently his wife left him and he’s just beside himself. Just keep him in your prayers…