Deuteronomy 13:1-15:23, Luke 8:40-9:6, Psalms 71:1-24, Proverbs 12:5-7
Today’s the 30th day of March, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you. Can you believe tomorrow’s the last day of March? I…well…I’ll try to have it believed by tomorrow but we’re in today. This is 30th of March and we’re continuing our journey in the book of Deuteronomy and in the book of Luke and we’re reading from the New International Version this week. Deuteronomy chapters 13, 14 and 15.
Alright. So, in the book of Deuteronomy, as we know, these are the final things that Moses has to say to the children of Israel. So, we’re reviewing things. They’re more tight and concise. Rather than sort of like reading the giving of the law, we’re hearing his last discourses. But he comes to one today that’s about as big of a command about as big of a deal as can be in this culture, and that is idolatry. And, we can roll our eyes and go, “idolatry, who worship idols? That’s so stupid. What are those people thinking?” Like we can think these things and because they’re not like major issues in the world today, we would consider them irrelevant, but this is not irrelevant. So, Moses is telling people that a prophet or a person, a dreamer comes and says something about the future or gives a sign of some sort or performs some type of miraculous thing or something that they say does happen. So, like, let’s just pause, like just stop there and suppose that happens because usually if something like that happens we are drawn to know more and to may be persuaded by that person because it seems as if something’s going on, right? God’s doing something. So, so far so good, no problem. I’m just pointing out if these kinds of things happen, we get drawn into them, which may be in fact a very good thing or in fact may be a very bad thing. Like we can just follow the signs, or we can have a wise heart of discernment, which is what Moses is trying to instill into the people. So he’s like, “if that happens and something they say does come true and then they say, come, let us worship other God’s, then you know.” And Moses wasn’t messing around about this. I mean he was saying like, “even if this person is a family member and their enticing you to go worship false gods, then you should be very clear and intentional about getting them out of your lives.” That’s like a big deal. And, so, when we read through passages like this and sort of try to read through our modern lenses and go, “man this is really harsh. It doesn’t like…it doesn't…why is it such a big deal?” I mean this behavior, Idolatry being…seducing people away from God is a capital offense in this culture. So, like, wow! Why? Why is it that big of a deal? So, if we take off our modern lenses and just like go back several thousand years into a very tribal world, especially where all this is going on, people, communities, nations, literally…they literally made images and then declared them their gods and sacrificed before them and created all kinds of stuff that they had to do as acts of devotion. And it’s not like this is a foreign concept to the children of Israel. All we have to is go back to Mount Sinai. We spent so much time there in the book of Exodus and we remember that Aaron was asked by the people to make them new gods because Moses disappeared. And then Aaron’s just like, “I just took all the earrings and stuff and threw them into the fire and out came this golden calf.” This is what’s going on in the nations all around them. This is the world they live in, a world in which there are many gods, gods of the different nations. And, so, if drought comes then the gods are not happy. If rain comes then the gods are happy and wherever those things are happening that’s where God is blessing them. When war comes, whoever wins, that God is the more powerful God. The strongest God is always the victorious God. So, we can look at all those kinds of practices as strange and bizarre. We don’t, most of us, live in cultures that affirm any kind of religious practice like this. Although the fact is that idol worship absolutely still exists in the world today but it's…it’s beyond a statue. It’s what’s going on inside that matters. So, it’s not just building a statue and “you are my God” and, I guess, killing a goat. Idolatry is what’s happening inside. Is giving over, surrendering our hearts and our hopes to something - a person, a thing - and we put our hope in that person or thing and then the expectation is that it will give us life, something that we want, that we consider life. So, we could just zone out and just dismiss all of this as, “statue worship, who would do that” until we understand that what we’re talking about is what is going on inside when you give your heart in worship, when you give yourself over to someone or something. All of a sudden idolatry becomes much more near because anything can be an idol. Our possessions can be an idol. The power that we have or don’t have can be an idol. People can be idols. Sex can be an idol. Our need for control can be an idol. Our money can be an idol. Like, you name it and we can make an idol out of it. And we do. Like, this something that we’ve been doing all along through the human story and we’re gonna see that the children of Israel aren’t gonna listen to this. Like, they’re just not. Like, they’re going to do exactly what they’re being told not to do and we’re gonna get a front row seat. But why is Moses commanding since such stern severity. Like, why is this so serious. It…it’s because idolatry, giving our hearts to something false, is going to be cancer inside of us and inside of everyone around us. It will eat us from the inside out. It will make us forget we are and who God, who the source of life actually is. So, when we turn to lesser things in hopes to get life we’re forgetting that there is only one life giver.
Holy Spirit, we invite You into all of that. We certainly feel confident that we’re not worshiping statues and sacrificing rams and lambs and trying to perform acts of devotion to some false God, but we can make false gods out of anything. And, so, we have to confess that idolatry has been a part of our lives and it’s very very serious. So, Holy Spirit, we invite You, we open ourselves to You, that You might show us the places that our hope is not in You, that our hope is something else or that we’re getting pulled in some kind of direction, “come, let’s go over here, there’s life over here.” Help us to, once again, remain completely aware that there is no life outside of You. You are the giver of life. Life flows from You. There is no other God but You. You are the most-high. There is no other hope. Forgive us for our distractions. Forgive us for the way that we’ve been seduced we ask in the name of Jesus and we invite Your Holy Spirit to continue the work inside of us today, revealing these areas where we have been deceived or we have been seduced. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In the mighty name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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We’re in the middle of something that's…well…it’s unique in the world, but it’s unique in the Daily Audio Bible as well. Since last week we’ve been releasing a chapter a day from the book Sneezing Jesus and what fun we are having with that. When this virus started working its way around the world and disrupting things, I started thinking about this and then I thought about it some more, then I called my publisher, NAV Press, who published this book a couple years ago and just talked to them about, “could we kinda release this in serial fashion, like a chapter a day, the audio addition, a chapter a day.” This is so poignant for right now. Like there’s so much bad news and this is THE good news and it just discusses how the kingdom, how the gospel spread like a virus. And it’s so poignant for right now. In a sea of scary things this is the solid rock. So, we’ve been releasing that and we’re just giving it to you. It’s just coming every day as an additional episode along with the Daily Audio Bible. And, so, so happy to see these words igniting something, reigniting something. So, today…today’s chapter that we’re releasing is called keratoconus, which would…which reveals maybe something I don’t really talk about on the Daily Audio Bible but reveals something personal about me. Keratoconus is an eye condition that I’ve had all of my adult life. It's…it’s when the…it’s when your cornea, which is round it, protrudes in a certain area, becomes coned in a certain area. And then light, you know, your brain is used to interpreting light as it hits a round cornea and since mine are kind of deformed then light…my brain doesn’t know how to interpret. Like everything looks like a smear, multiple images all smeared together. And, so I can…there's…there’s a correction for it, where very, very rigid contact lenses that kind of vault over the deformed areas and then fill in with tears and then you have kind of the illusion of a round cornea. So, I talk about that in this this chapter. There’s an interesting story in the Gospels where Jesus is healing a blind man and Jesus asked him, “how do you see?” And he’s like, “I see men as trees walking.” And that’s always been meaningful to me because if I take my contacts out, I know what that looks like. So, this chapter is just exploring the miracles of Jesus and…and actually more…even more importantly, His posture toward the miraculous. So, that chapter is available today, just right there in your app. And I pray that…I’ve been praying every day that these chapters are offering an alternative perspective, like something else to focus on, something like Jesus and are encouraging the world over. And, so, so happy for the feedback, that that is what is happening.
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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.