Judges 13:1-14:20, John 1:29-51, Psalms 102:1-28, Proverbs 14:15-16
Today is the 1st day of May welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today on the 121st day of the year and the 1st day of the 5th month of the year. Man, we’re still takin’ steps forward and they’ve let us this far and we’ll keep taking steps forward and they will lead us through this year and through the Bible. So, it is a joy to mark the 1st day of May with you. May the month of May bring us all light and hope and life and good news and the comfort of the Holy Spirit in and among us each. So, it’s a new month, it’s a new day, but we do pick up right where we left off yesterday, and that leads us back into the book of Judges. And today we’re going to begin to learn about the judge named Samson. We’re reading from the Common English Bible this week. Judges chapters 13 and 14.
Okay. Let’s review some of the things that we read in the 102nd chapter of Psalm today. “My days disappear like smoke. My bones are burned up as if in an oven. My heart is smashed like a dried-up grass. I even forget to eat my food. I lie awake all night. I’m all alone like a bird on a roof. I’ve been eating ashes instead of bread. I’ve been mixing tears into my drinks. My days are like a shadow soon gone. I’m dried up like dead grass.” Have you ever felt like that, right? Like, we’ve had lots of reasons to kind of feel like that in some ways over the last season that we’ve been…we’ve navigating. Basically, “I am alone, I am at the bottom, I don’t know where to turn, like all of the things that we face as human beings in certain seasons of our lives. And yet here they are in the Bible, right? And like, so…so often we’re like turning to the Bible for…for the answers, certainly, for the stories that we can find ourselves in, certainly. But sometimes the Bible gets really, really honest about our human experience and commiserates with us by just speaking the truth – “this is what it can feel like sometimes.” And sometimes just being able to name it, right? Sometimes just being able to say, “this is what I’m feeling.” Like we can feel guilty about it because we know we’re supposed be saying these opposite things that are…especially our religious culture tells us like, you know, we should…we should be saying the language of the overcomer. And those things are true, but what about being honest about where we actually are? The Bible is, why shouldn’t we be? And sometimes even hearing these words out of the Bible brings…even though they’re kind of like difficult words describing difficult times, they bring a certain amount of hope because it’s like, “I’m not the only one here. This was written thousands of years ago. This kind of thing has always been going on among human beings. We all feel this way at one time or another, like the lowest of the low.” So, there is some comfort in commiseration. The problem arises when we get stuck there, right? So, we just look for people to listen to our problems and we just listen to problems all the time and flip the channels and listen to the problems. And we get on social media and we listen to the problems. And we get on the phone and we listen to the problems. We get on text and we text our problems. Like, at some point commiseration becomes wallowing. And that’s the interesting thing here in this Psalm. Yes, brutal honesty is here for our commiseration, for our understanding, but that’s not all the Psalm says. So, like after all this outpouring then there are these words, “that this be written down for the next generation so that people not yet created will praise the Lord. The Lord looked down from his holy summit surveyed the earth from heaven to hear the prisoners groans, to set free those condemned to death.” That one move right there, that move from, “here is the honesty about how I am feeling. I’m going to say it. I’m going to name it.” And then that move outward, “let this be written down to the people who are not here yet. I will praise the Lord. The Lord looked down. He came for us.” That’s the move we need in our toolbox. We all know how to complain. And even if we’re not complaining we all know how to maybe say what we’re feeling. Even though most of the time we just keep it stuffed inside, we’re still thinking it, like it’s still happening. But so often that like leads us deeper into the darkness and then we get stuck there. The move in these times is to shift outward, to shift upward, to realize, “yeah this is happening and yeah this is terrible. This is difficult. This sucks, so I’m not gonna stay here.” But usually we do. But if we’ll make the move and shift to worship of God and knowing that He will never abandon us. How could He? He is within us. Why would he? He died for us. To understand that seasons come and seasons go in the constant that brings us through all of it, whether mountaintop or dark valley is our utter dependence on God, this is the place that we need to hang out and this is a really good word. This is a really good thing that the Bible is revealing to us as we begin this new month and continuing…and continue marching forward together in this world. So, let’s remember this. Let’s remember this move. Yes it’s okay to articulate, yes it’s okay to say what’s going on inside of us and be honest about it but after that, there is the move upward and outward, changing our outlook and changing our focus.
Holy Spirit, as we begin this month of May we invite You into that. We need to keep this before our eyes. There’s never a shortage of things to be down about and right now there’s plenty. But this isn’t all there is. You are more than enough. Help us to shift our focus upon You and outward to our brothers and sisters that we might be known by our love. Come Holy Spirit into this we pray. In the name of Jesus we ask. Amen.
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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.