Genesis 3:1-4:26 ~ Matthew 2:13-3:6 ~ Psalm 2:1-12 ~ Proverbs 1:7-9
Today is January 2nd. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today for this, the second day of the year. And like we were saying yesterday, we’ll kind of unpack all of the different aspects of the Daily Audio Bible as we go through this first week. So we began the book of Genesis yesterday and we talked about that. Every time we begin a new book, we’ll talk about it, give a little bit of an overview of where it sits in the grand scheme of the scriptures and in time and history. So when we get to the New Testament reading today, we’ll discuss the book of Matthew that we began yesterday. But first we’ll read from the book of Genesis and this week we’re reading from the New Living Translation. Today Genesis chapter 3 verse 1 through 4:26.
Introduction of a New Book (New Testament)
Since we’ve come to the book of Matthew, let’s talk about the gospel of Matthew. So Matthew is one of a grouping of books known as the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and each give us the account of Jesus’ life, who is the Savior.
Matthew was one of the 12 apostles and so he had first-hand knowledge, was a first-hand witness to the events that he recorded. Matthew was a tax collector so he was not the most liked person socially, but when Jesus called him, he left everything. So from that point forward he wasn’t a tax collector anymore. He became something else, a follower of Jesus, and so from that perspective this is a man writing who gave up a life that he knew in exchange for a great leap of faith to follow a man he believed was the Son of God.
This book was written, most scholars believe, somewhere between 50 and 60 AD and that it is really aimed at Jewish believers. It quotes the Old Testament more than any of the other gospels do and it seems to come from a slant where it is attempting to show Christ as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Mosaic Law.
Of course, we get to know Jesus pretty well in this book. We get to know his style, his temperament, his personality. There are over 20 parables that we’ll encounter. Jesus teaches in these symbolic picture stories that are so rich and have such deep meaning and the way he uses his words to craft a sense of feeling and emotion beyond just words is actually quite beautiful.
If there is one thing that we’ll encounter in the book of Matthew, it is the first rumblings of the kingdom of heaven coming and that it is near. It is now. It is something we’ll be able to contemplate throughout all of the gospels.
So we continue with the book of Matthew today, chapter 2 verse 13 through 3:6.
We are only two days into this year and only two days into the Bible and we have read of our origin as a species, we have learned who Jesus is and have begun to walk the path of that story. And today we have learned some important information about how we got to where we are.
There are portions of scripture that are heartbreaking, really, really heartbreaking in their humanity. Today is one of them, perhaps one of the most saddest portions of the scripture. To recap, there was a garden. We read of God’s creation of this earth, artistically masterful, creative beyond our human comprehension. That God would use the elements to craft and fashion such exquisite beauty on this planet and then to bequeath it to his own creation, something created in his own image, people. So we’re looking back across time, as we were saying yesterday, into a time when things were perfect, but this is a time before the concept of perfect was even invented. There was nothing to contrast. So perfect was all there was. This is a time when things were as they were meant to be, as they were supposed to be. And we read of a couple of trees in this garden. One, the tree of life and one the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree is sitting in the middle of the garden and God has forbidden his creation, what was created in his own image, he has forbidden them from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But God had also blessed his creation with all the attributes that would be God-like. They are in his image. They are made in his image after his fashion. One of those things, of course, is the ability to recreate life in God’s image. We see that in the scriptures today as children are born. But another one of those attributes is volition, so a will, the ability to make a choice and the ability for that choice to stick.
So God had forbidden his children from this one tree, that’s it. The only thing in the whole world off limits is this one tree. But although he has forbidden it, he hasn’t circumnavigated their will, their volition, their ability to make a choice and so they can choose otherwise and that is what we see, this deception happening in a conversation at the tree where our human mother and father of old are being told this great deception: You will not die if you eat this. Are you kidding me? If you eat this, God knows that you’ll become like him.
And that is one of the great cosmic ironies of all time. Somehow they had forgotten that they already were, so they ate and as the juice poured into their body, trust was broken, rebellion was introduced into the human story, and the people realized with their knowledge of good and evil that they were naked and they became ashamed and they started to hide.
There is so much loaded into that because isn’t that still the human story? We feel exposed. We feel naked. We run and hide. So often the one we’re hiding from is our creator Father. I mean, we can make it look a lot of different ways, the way that we conduct ourselves, but if we’ll be honest, if we’ll do another look in the mirror, if we’ll be honest with ourselves, and that is an important piece of going through the Bible in a year, just approaching everything honestly. Rather than trying to dissect this whole book, we need to allow it to dissect us, force things out in our lives that we need to look at, full faced and examined with a true heart. If we look at ourselves, we’ll see all of the places we run and hide, all of the secrets, all of the façade that we put out there in the world known as our personality juxtaposed starkly with our inner life. We can see the places that we still hide. This is where this began.
We’re getting so much context and texture for our own lives in just the first couple of days, but I think what is so deeply, deeply sad is what God says in his response. What have you done? What have you done?
We’ve probably all said that to someone in our lives, maybe to one of our kids or to our spouse when something is exposed. What have you done? It is so pregnant, that phrase is so full of what comes next. What have you done? It speaks of a specific action that will have long term effects. God asks this question twice, once as the fruit has been eaten and once as murder is introduced into the human story. What have you done? And there is such melancholy in that. If we begin to move away from this idea that God is this hovering mist cloud that is aloof and indifferent and not really involved and understand no, he was involved enough to exquisitely craft a planet and create a species in his own image, he is invested, he is involved. For him to even have the emotion to say ‘what did you do?’ lets us know how deeply from the beginning he was invested in our story. May we begin to see the repercussions. Mankind is now armed with the knowledge of good and evil, but they have broken trust and are separated from the intimacy, the intertwining with the Spirit of God that was in them. Things have changed and everyone knows it. We begin to see it play out and we’ll continue to see it play out as we continue forward in the scriptures.
So may we consider some of these fundamental things that are coming up in the Bible right away. May we consider the ways in which we are hiding, the ways in which we are not being true because as we look back across time and see true humanity in all of its glory, we can look at our lives and see the slide, see how far we have fallen and as we continue through the book of Matthew, we’re going to see just what great lengths this Creator Father of ours was willing to go to in order to not allow the image he created to fall into the darkness.
Father, here we are, day two, and in 363 days, 363 steps forward through the scriptures we will be completing the story, but as we are here at the beginning of the story, we see so much of ourselves already. So we invite your Holy Spirit to come into all of this. Shake us. Disrupt us. Comfort us. Move us forward and help us to face ourselves honestly. We choose for this time that we spend each and every day in the scriptures to be a safe and brutally honest place inside of ourselves. And we invite your Holy Spirit into all of that. Anything that you want to bring up at any stage, we welcome you. We greet you. We need you. We ask for this. Fill us, indwell us, well up within us that which is true and only that which is true. Come Holy Spirit, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It is home base. It’s where you’ll find out what is going on around here. I laugh because I say it’s home base just about 365 days out of the year, but that is for a reason. It is home base and it is where you find out what is going on around here.
So as we’re here just on the second day of the year, we’re kind of unpacking how everything works. So one thing that you’ll notice is that you hear people rejoicing and praying for each other and asking for prayer at the end of the Daily Audio Bible. That happens every day because it is a community. It is not just an app or some kind of program where you can hear the Bible, although you can. That is totally what this is about. But a community has grown over the years all around the rhythm of the Bible every day, read fresh every day, always happening. Yeah, these prayer requests and encouragements happen every day as well.
You can enter into community. It makes it a very, very much richer experience. Maybe you’re even carrying some things that you shouldn’t carry by yourself. So there are a number of ways to reach out. Social media is, of course, one of those and we’ll get to that in a second, but there are some numbers that you can call, depending on where you are in the world. I’ll give you those. If you are in the Americas, (877) 942-4253 is the number to call. If you’re in the UK or in Europe, you can call 44, 20-3608-8078. And if you are in Australia or the lands down under, you can call 61, 3-8820-5459. Hey, you may want to put that number, the number that is closest to where you are, in speed dial. Just have it handy throughout the year.
Then at www.DailyAudioBible.com you’ll find the Prayer Wall where people are posting things that they don’t necessarily want to call in or are a little intimated to call in, but you can post your prayer requests there and people are responding continually. Maybe you just want to pray for people, you want to be deeper involved in that. You can come and read through and pray along and post words of encouragement on the prayer wall. So check that out as well.
Then, as I was mentioning just a minute ago, social media. Most people in one way or another are involved somehow in social media. Not everyone and that is totally fine, but if you are, then we are as well. There are a couple of ways to find out because we’re kind of wherever social media is. We have a presence there as well. So you can go to www.DailyAudioBible.com and then using the navigation at the top or by pushing the navigation button, if you’re using a mobile device, find the community section and then you’ll find social media which will list for you all of the different social media channels that Daily Audio Bible has. You can stay connected that way. I guess Facebook and Twitter are the most used social media networks. We use them a lot. So you can find Daily Audio Bible at www.Facebook.com/DailyAudioBible. Or you can find us @DailyAudioBible on Twitter. And then there is also a Facebook Friends group at DAB Friends where conversation is always happening. So just search for DAB Friends on Facebook and you’ll find that community, then some of the voices you hear throughout the year, you begin to put faces with names and voices and conversations and friendships happen. That is what community is about. That is something that is one of the rich and beautiful distinctives of the Daily Audio Bible.
So yeah, don’t take the journey alone. Take the journey among friends. A year among friends through the entire adventure that is the Bible is life-changing. I mean, come on. It’s easy to over blow things. That is how our culture is, way over the top, over state, under deliver. That is not really the style of the DAB. The thing about community is it is actually a real true thing. So yeah, definitely wherever you are on social media, we are probably there too. Check it out. Just search for Daily Audio Bible. You’ve got the numbers now for your speed dial and you know about the Prayer Wall where things are constantly being prayed over. There are always ways to begin to reach out as the Bible continues to reach into our lives.
Yesterday we talked about the different channels, the different programs, the different languages of the Daily Audio Bible. Today we talked about how to get connected. I can tell you for a fact you getting connected to the Daily Audio Bible does not mean you have just landed yourself on every spam list in the world. That is just not how we’ve ever worked. I mean, you hear from us once in a while, but we do not overload you with anything. Basically the attitude that we have is would I send this to my family? Would I let my family know about this? Then we just let you know some stuff, but we don’t deal in live email addresses and stuff like that. We don’t pedal that sort of thing. It is kind of like would I give my wife’s email address to this person? Would I give my wife’s phone number to this person so they could contact her? That is basically how we treat community here. So if you’re like yeah, this is kind of cool. I don’t know. I don’t want to get on everybody’s list. You won’t. So you can get as connected or as not connected as you like, as you feel comfortable, but you’re never going to get bothered from other people. We don’t share that kind of stuff ever. Our mission is pretty clear. It is to bring God’s spoken word to whoever will listen, anywhere on this planet, anytime of day or night and to build community around that rhythm so that no one has to ever feel alone again. That’s what we do. So there are a few ways to get connected here at the beginning of the year.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible in the mission that I was just saying, to bring God’s spoken word throughout the earth, always available, servers always spinning, it takes 17 different servers to spin out the data required for a day in the Daily Audio Bible, so if Daily Audio Bible is something that is life-giving to you or has been life-giving to you, then thank you for your partnership and being life-giving to it so it continues. There is a link. It is on the home page at www.DailyAudioBible.com. It is also in the app. If you use the Daily Audio Bible App, you can push the More button that is in the lower right-hand corner or the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.
And like I was saying, it’s a community. If you have a prayer request or comment, (877) 942-4253 is the number to call.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian. We are off to a great start to a great year and we’ve covered a lot of ground in two days and we have just barely scratched the surface, but that is it for today. I’m Brian. I love you. I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hello family. I’m a first-time caller. My name is Natalie. Please pray with me. Dear Heavenly Father, we’re praying for restoration for family relationship. God, heal hearts and minds and bind Satan’s lies. May we all turn to you in everything we do. May we all be touched with a heart full of forgiveness and full of thankfulness each and every day, thankfulness for our blessings and even for the trial. Thank you, Lord, for your precious gift, the gift that you’ve given all of us, the gift of salvation. In Jesus’ precious name, amen. Family, please raise up and pray for my son Bill and my daughter-in-law Ashley. The reason I’m praying for restoration, it seems like we’re all being attacked and families are being broken, Father God. I just appreciate everyone’s prayers and thank you for this family and the gift that it is to be a part of it. In Jesus’ name, amen. God bless and Merry Christmas.
I know the plans that I have for you, plans not to harm but to prosper you, the whole time making all things new. Return to me and I’ll return to you. What an awesome promise from our Lord, that I, even I could be restored, things forgiven, past ignored, blessings in and on me poured. God, I’m so glad that you’re not like man because you’re more patient with me than my most patient patient friends, because I return to you again and again, and again and again I return to my sin, and not just in some mistaken erring way, but blatantly disobedient day after day. Forgive me, Father. Please forgive me now because I do want to serve you, but show me how. I read your word. I fast. I pray. And I still fall short every single day. That is why I thank you for your mercy and your grace and for your open arms and your smiling face, for letting me know that even though I fail, victory is mine and I will prevail. And I thank you for telling me every day, Father, the battle is not yours because I still need help staying out of the revolving doors. Because even though I’m out of Egypt, Egypt is still in me and even though there are no bars, walls or chains, I know I’m still not free. Father, give me more of your Holy Spirit. I love your voice and I long to hear it. And one more thing, Father, grant me please, open broken hearts on bended knees. Merry Christmas to everybody. Bill B., it was so good to hear your voice again, Brother. Yes, very good. And Bart, I love it when you get pumped up, Brother. Keep it flowin’ y’all. And thanks once again to the Hardin family for this wonderful podcast. Hope you all have a very happy and prosperous New Year. Alright bye-bye. Love you.
Hello brothers and sisters from the Daily Audio Bible family. This is Sam, aka Washed in the Blood of the Lamb from Perth, Western Australia. So Merry Christmas to all and Happy Hanukkah to those that believe in the Jewish faith. I just want to ask, while everyone is having a festive day today, boxing day and enjoying themselves with food, being merry, I just want to ask if the brothers and sisters of the Daily Audio Bible will come together in fasting and prayer one day this week to remember those that are in Aleppo, those that are in Syria, those that are in Mosul and Iraq, those that are in Yemen where malnutrition is being used as a weapon of warfare. And to remember those that are less fortunate than us, those that are starving today, those that don’t have a place of residence, those that don’t have anywhere to lay their head at night on a warm bed on a blanket with a pillow, those that don’t have a roof over their head. So I’m just wondering if people can fast and pray one day this week, just be led by the Holy Spirit and to lift up every prayer that you hear in fasting and in prayer. I love you all, my brothers and sisters, and may the glory of Jesus Christ come upon each and every one of us. I just say all these things in the name of Jesus.
Hey Dabbers, it’s Becky from Philadelphia, except for right now I’m calling you from Orlando where I have been spending the holidays with my family. Just to be to the point here, today is my birthday, it’s Christmas Eve and I have turned a beautiful age of 32 years and I’m super thrilled about it and I’m very blessed and I’m very lucky and I have many wonderful people in my life. The Lord has been nothing but good to me even through the hard times, but today was an especially hard day and I’m still not sure why. My birthday is always a really hard day for me. It is just one of those full of a lot of chaos and too much coordinating and not… I don’t know. I don’t know what it is supposed to be. I don’t know. But today has just been a really hard day and it’s hard because you can’t call anybody on Christmas Eve, so I thought I would call you guys. I love you all and Merry Christmas. I’m not even sure what to ask for. I’m not sure. But I want to see God’s goodness and I want to be reminded of it and you guys do that for me. So that is why I called. Merry Christmas you guys. I love you so much. Have a Happy New Year too.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible. May name is Flora and I’m calling from California. I’m sending in this prayer request this morning for all mothers who have children dealing with autism. My heart bleeds for these children. I pray that Daily Audio Bible family members would lift all these mothers and these innocent children up to the Lord. Is there anything too difficult for our God? Is there nothing he cannot do? Is there any disease he cannot heal? We trust in the Most High God, the one that is able to heal and to save, and so please, I enjoin you this morning to lift up all children all over the world that are dealing with the spectrum. I am also pleading, praying for mothers who have no clue about how to handle these children. Let’s pray that Jesus, the healer will visit every situation in a divine way. Please pray that the Most High Healer would __________ of those children and that they would have an abundant life. Let’s pray for mothers whose hearts are bleeding, for grandparents who too are so confused but do not know exactly what to do and pray that these children would not live without hope but would trust the Master, Jesus who heals. Thank you Brian and Jill for putting this together. God bless you.
Greetings to the Daily Audio Bible family. My name is Sherlock from Matawan, NJ, and I’m calling to wish each and every one a very, very happy, healthy, and a prosperous New Year. We just finished celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know that he has some amazing and wonderful things planned for each and every one of us for this new coming year. I just felt a need to call in and just say the Lord’s Prayer. So if you know it, perhaps just say it with me so we can all be unified of the great things that the Lord has for us in store to come. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, the glory forever. Amen. All the best. And thank you Brian and Jill and all of the staff for this awesome, awesome ministry that I always feel so infused every morning when I get up so that I can start my day. God bless and be well.