Deuteronomy 23:1-25:19, Luke 10:13-37, Psalms 75:1-10, Proverbs 12:12-14
Today is the 3rd day of April, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you as…as we move into this month, settle into the month of April and continue our journey through this year together day by day, step-by-step. And it is a supreme honor to be here with you today to see where this next step in the story of the Bible leads us. So, we’re working our way through Deuteronomy and we have several days left working through Deuteronomy. And I’ve kind of reminded us along the way, these are the last things that Moses has to say. And some of the things that he has to say are review of things that we lived through in the Scriptures, and he’s reminding the people primarily of a few things - who they are, where they came from, where they’re going, who God is. And we all need these reminders every day. So, let’s take that next step…step forward in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy chapters 23, 24, and 25 today.
Okay. So, in the book of Luke today Jesus tells a very, very famous parable, a very famous story, the story of the good Samaritan, so it’s unlikely that none of us know this story. In fact, all of us should know this story, we just read even if was your first high, but it’s a very famous parable that gives us a sense of who is my neighbor, that is the question that Jesus is answering. “If you’re to love your neighbor as yourself, then define for me, which is…this a very rabbinical Hebrew thing to do…then define for me who is my neighbor because if that can be explicitly defined, then it can be explicitly known whether I’m obeying tat command or not.” So, by way of giving an explicit definition Jesus tells the story, which reveals that it’s not going to be as tidy as everybody wanted it to be. And Jesus wanders in some…into some territory here. The back story of this story is so compelling. Even though the story stands on its own, the back story makes it riveting because Jesus walked into some interesting territory, like a long-running simmering battle over who has the true faith, who is worshiping the true God is baked in here. So, a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, Jesus said, and he got attacked by robbers on that way. So the road down from Jerusalem to Jericho is an 18 mile walk through the Kedron Valley that is very very steep and very dangerous in certain areas and was notorious for bandits, especially once you got out into the desert, especially once it was opening up in Jerusalem. This was the valley of the shadow of death that David wrote Psalm 23 about. So, a man getting jumped and beaten up and robbed, not a good thing but not an unusual thing on this road leads. And these robbers, they strip off the guys clothes, they beat him. He’s beaten up. He’s half dead and then Jesus starts commenting and defining this neighbor concept. A priest is going down the road, sees the man beaten up, gets to the other side of the road, keeps going right on by him. A Levite, right? So, these are the top people leading God’s people, the religious people. A Levite sees the guy, passes on the other side as well. Then a Samaritan comes by and cares for him. And we can deduce just at the surface level of the story that this is a big deal, that this Samaritan would be the one to care for him. So, basically this goes back into the Old Testament and we get to the tine…when we get to the time of the kings, we will read of all of this, when there does come a point when the kingdoms divide. Like in the Old Testament there isn’t even a kingdom yet. We haven’t crossed the Jordan River, but we will cross the Jordan River when we get to the next book, the book of Joshua. Eventually there is a kingdom. Eventually there are kings. Eventually, the kingdoms split into two different kingdoms, the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. The northern kingdom falls into idolatry, into a highly modified way of doing worship and eventually this northern kingdom sets its capital in a new city named Samaria. And eventually the Assyrian Empire attacks, Samaria, and the kingdom of Israel, destroying it. And one of the ways of Empire building at the time was to displace the people that were conquered, like to move them into exile into some other conquered territory while taking that other conquered people and moving them in so that the concept of a like a homeland gets obliterated over generations. So, the kingdom of Israel was already doing some wacky stuff, then they were taken into exile, then all of these new people come in and mix in and they don’t know how to worship the God of the land. And, so, a priest is appointed to show them and its…it’s different than what’s going on in Jerusalem. Those 10 tribes in the north, they kind of disappear, they are assimilated. They disappear. And there’s all this mixture in the north. Eventually the kingdom of Judah also falls and is taken into exile after the same fashion only by the Babylonian Empire. And then later, not to make this all completely confusing, but later the Persian Empire defeats the Babylonian empire and allows this remnant of Hebrew people to go back to this land that used to be their…their homeland. Meanwhile, the people of Samaria, they've…they’re their mixed up, but they’ve been there all along, and they’ve been trying to worship and even worship Yahweh, but they do it completely different. And, so, they are looked down upon. They don’t mingle with each other. A long-running family rift that ended up in a divided kingdom. All kinds of different worship styles and understandings separated these people groups. So, for Jesus to make a Samaritan, the hero of this story while trying to answer the question, “who is my neighbor”, this is kind of a big deal, especially when He places a priest and a Levite in the story and they pass this wounded person by who was likely a fellow Hebrew. He’s critiquing the Hebrew religion in the process. To make a Samaritan the hero of the story is to make someone who shouldn’t be trusted, who shouldn’t be interacted with, who you definitely shouldn’t be friendly toward, who you should be suspicious of, that’s who He’s making the hero of the story. So, on the one hand, Jesus is unpacking “anybody can be a neighbor no matter what they think, no matter what you think of them. No matter what they believe anybody can be a neighbor.” But He’s also commenting on the religious establishment here because in this story they weren’t the neighbor. But I don’t think we really need to unpack this anymore to know how it overlays with our own lives. I mean to get ourselves in the story all we have to do is think about the people that we are suspicious of, the people that we don’t trust. Maybe they don’t look like us, maybe they do, but for whatever reason, they are marginalized in our mind as less than in some way. And we just lead ourselves into the story like Jesus led his hearers. Suppose we are the one that gets jumped and robbed and it doesn’t happen by the people that we’re suspicious of. And then the ones that we would expect that would come to our rescue don’t. And then it is the one that we’ve marginalized, that we’ve considered less than, the one that we’re suspicious of that comes and actually cares for our needs. Then we enter into the disruption that Jesus story is intended to bring about. You don’t have to be a Christian to be a good neighbor, but if you are a believer and act like the religious people in this story, then you are not a good neighbor. And if we’ll take that and stir it into our coffee and drink it down and observe ourselves this day, we will find ourselves in this story because the ultimate question is, “who are we in this story?”
Father, we invite You into that. Who are we in this story? What are our responses and prejudices and stereotypes and suspicions? Where are they leading us? And do they give us eyes to see and ears to hear at all? Are they helping us in that regard? This parable that You told today Jesus, it’s ancient now, couple thousand years since it’s been spoken and yet it is every bit as poignant as it ever was. It’s timeless because it is speaking to our hearts and the posture of heart that we carry toward others. And, so, we invite You into that. Give us eyes to see Your kingdom and how we might see everyone as our neighbor. Come Holy Spirit we pray into this we ask in Jesus name. Amen.
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Also, what’s going on around here is the next installment, the next chapter of Sneezing Jesus. We’ve been releasing a chapter a day through that book because it’s such a poignant book for the times that we’re in. That giving this to you as a gift, a gift from the publisher of this book NAV Press, a gift from the Daily Audio Bible. This is soul care around the Global Campfire. And one week from today, as strange as this is, one week from today will be Good Friday. And, so, today’s chapter and there’s only two more, so like today and tomorrow will conclude…will conclude offering the chapters of Sneezing Jesus. But now the book is turned into Jesus final moments. And, so, this is poignant because…because we’re coming into holy week. And, so, this wasn’t timed for this, but it’s a beautiful thing because…because the chapters of the book are gonna put us in that posture of mind and heart as we reflect on what holy week means and move toward Good Friday and move toward Easter. And, so, today’s chapter is called Eucharist. And we will be in that chapter exploring the arrest, the trial, the execution of Jesus. And, so, don’t miss that. And in a way I’m kind of sad it’s going to come to…to a close tomorrow that it will be ending tomorrow but I am so grateful that we have been able to have this opportunity. But we’re not there yet. We’ve got today. We’ve got tomorrow. And…and when that ends, we still have every day, every day to continue our journey through the Scriptures. So, be sure to check out the chapter Eucharist today in your Daily Audio Bible app or the web app, however you’re listening to the Daily Audio Bible. It’ll just show up there for you.
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Community Prayer and Praise:
Hi this is Victoria Soldier just calling tonight to pray for some of the DABbers. I was listening at Gavin and I heard about his brother who lost his wife at 27 years old. Oh my Lord and what the poor man is going through. I’m doping…I’m praying for you and your family. I want to pray for them right now Gavin. I also want to pray for Asia and all the Asian people and what they’re going through because of the confusion of people going to blame them. Don’t they know that…that any kind of disease is come from sin, it doesn’t come from people. Lord they…we ask you to touch them Lord and open up their eyes and help them to look towards Jesus for healing instead of a finger to blame. I understand what you’re going through Asia. I’m…I’…I’ve been a black American. We…we…we know…we…we’ve faced those situations before, but God is faithful and He’s able. He brought us from a mighty long way and He still haven’t stopped. He said he that is started a good work in you shall perform until the of Jesus Christ. Lord, I’m not only praying for this nation but I’m praying for the people who are going through because of it even the medical people. I’m praying that God will heal this nation and will open up our eyes and help us to love one another and come together as what we call ourselves, a United States not of divided states. Gracious Father we praise You, we lift You up, we magnify Your name. Lord I pray for that Father that lost his life and he has those children to raise. Lord You have Your way. Lord You have Your way, You touch him, You strengthen him like never before. Lord things it’s so…some things Lord we just don’t know the answer. All we need to do is trust in You because You’re a God, You’re a great God, You’re a mighty God, You’re a holy God through the good time as well as the bad and that …
This is Free Indeed in Western Maryland calling in today for a couple reasons. First of all, I was prompted the other day to call for one of my coworkers for prayer from. The reason that I’m calling for prayer for him is, I guess it’s also partially for me. I know I’m probably not the only one that has those coworkers that are just hard to get along with. He is the kind of guy who periodically comes in late and by late, I mean once or twice a week, 15 minutes here a half hour there. Somebody else has to cover the work for him. And he’s just the kind of guy that makes it hard for me to love. I try really hard to love everybody and he just makes it hard for me. But also, he brings these books to work that I’ll see him reading and it’s like __ on the book of the dead, 777 by Alister Crowley, the satanic bible. So, he has these other things that I know I should be praying for and I was prompted on Wednesday to call and pray for him and I didn’t and as a result my brother ended up in an argument with him. And…and I was thinking then, I wasn’t being obedient to God. That’s my fault. I should’ve called. And then I thought, “okay I need to call tomorrow morning”, which would’ve been Thursday morning. I didn’t call again. Thursday morning, he and I ended up in an argument. So, the whole purpose I guess is to pray for Steve that God will lead him where he needs to lead him, that God will open his heart and that…and he’ll forgive me for not being obedient. So, guys when you’re prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for somebody, please, please follow my example and…
[singing starts] Dear father you’re too high in the lowest valley. Yes, I will bless your name. Oh yes, I will sing for joy when my heart is heavy all my days yes, I will for all my days yes, I will [singing ends]. Good day Daily Audio Bible family this is Sherry calling from British Columbia Canada. Feel free to not play this message if you don’t want to but I just got a prayer chain from my grandmother who actually was the reason I came to know Jesus. And it’s a call to just say the Lord’s prayer, not just, but to say the Lord’s prayer in a hope of putting a stop to the latest coronavirus. So, I’m gonna do the prayer with you because it said eight people but you’re way more than eight so please join me. Our father who art in heaven hallowed be 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 and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for yours is the kingdom the power and the glory forever and ever amen. Lord, we just ask that you would put a stop to this coronavirus and that you would receive all the praise, all the honor, and all the glory. Please share with your friends and family. Have a good evening. I love you DAB. This is Sherry from British Columbia Canada. Bye-bye.
Good morning, I live in New York City and as everyone is aware, we are sort of at the heart of the coronavirus issue and…and I really just want to ask for prayer for our government leaders and specifically leaders of government agencies. God has placed a lot of us in those…in those places and some in places of leadership and I’m just acutely aware that our city is in need and our leaders are indeed of God’s wisdom. And there are a lot of us who know Him and not just by name. And we know Him, God as being holy and powerful and sovereign. And we are humbling ourselves and just asking for His wisdom. So, if you would just agree with me and so many others across the city that God would just pour out His wisdom in the same way that He did with Joseph to help preserve and sustain the lives of those who are dependent on the city and the economy for their livelihood. So, thank you so much for agreeing with me in prayer. And thank you…thank you for believing that God is able. And He is. Amen.
This is Candace from Oregon praying for you, each one. I’m reading to you from the Voice version of the Bible, the last verse of John 16 and the first versus of James 1. In this world Jesus said you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear, I have triumphed over this corrupt world order. Don’t run from toughened hardships James tells us. Don’t run from toughened hardships brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are you will ultimately find joy in them. If you embrace them your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patients as you endure. And true patients brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line mature, complete, wanting nothing. If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. Jesus said, in this world you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear. I have overcome the world…
Hello this is Rachel from Pennsylvania. Dear God, I want to thank You for everything You have done for us and given us. I just praise You and I want to thank You for the hard times and the trials that You’re sending our way that is helping us to grow and become closer to You. I…I just pray that You strengthen us in our thoughts in our minds in our hearts so that we can put our faith in You and move every day step-by-step in faith with You. Help us to just give all of our worries and our problems over to You and…and know and be confident that You’re going to take care of us, that You’re going to provide for us, that You’re going to give us our next meal that…that we need to survive and that You’re going to come through financially if we need it, You know, for shelter and, You know, that You will always fulfill our needs if we…if we put our faith in You. So, I just pray for strength and guidance and wisdom for us who are struggling. And I just pray that You protect our minds and protect our families. Help us to be able to get along with…with each other and…and help each other out go out of our way just please help us to come together and support each other through these hard times that…