Isaiah 15:1-18:7, Galatians 1:1-24, Psalms 58:1-11, Proverbs 23:12
Today is the 14th day of September welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is a joy and an honor to be here with you today as we get fully moved into this new week that we’re…we’re working our way into and through. It is a…it is a joy to come around the Global Campfire together, hear God’s word speak, hear the Scriptures spoken aloud, listen to what they say, meditate on them, think about them, invite the Holy Spirit into them and move into our day with some clarity and direction. We’re working our way through the book of Isaiah right now in the Old Testament, and then once we get to the New Testament today we will be entering a new book, another of Paul’s letters, this one known as the letter to the Galatians and we’ll talk about that when we get there. But first we’re reading from the English Standard version this week. Isaiah chapters 15, 16, 17 and 18 today.
Introduction to the letter of Paul to the Galatians:
Okay. So, as we said at the beginning, we are entering some new territory today now that we are at the New Testament and we are opening the letter to the Galatians which is…is one of the foundational pieces or foundational documents that form New Testament theology, like the gospel of freedom and grace, justification through faith. These are all spoken of in this letter, but they’re spoken of for a reason. Paul is battling some controversies and reiterating what it is he’s teaching. And, once again, we have to dispel with the myth that the early church was just unbelievably harmonious and full of unity. If we could just get back to that place, we could get back to where we’re supposed to be. This has not been the story. This is not the story that’s in the New Testament as we read it and it’s not the historical story. In fact…I mean here’s the thing, before there was a New Testament and all of the letters that we’re reading that are the New Testament, like before they were made the New Testament, they were letters that were passed around, documents that were passed around, and the ones that we have in the New Testament, they weren’t the only writings, Christian writings about what people thought and believed and had persuasions and convictions of surrounding Jesus and how…how to live a Christian life, how to live the faith that they were being given. Over time the letters and documents that we have that make up the New Testament now, these are the ones that sort of were preserved and held in esteem, sort of rose to the top with a cohesive type of message that could be adhered to. Because at some point if like…if there’s an…if God is doing a new thing and it’s being documented and there is no document and people are not people of the book, but they are rather people of the experience of what they sense the Holy Spirit is doing in…in them and in their community and in the world, well then you can have people all over the map with different nuances bringing parts of their story into the mix, and there’s nothing to fall back on. So, there were lots of things being said and believed about Jesus in the earliest of days. And one of the primary controversies is well documented in the New Testament and that is between Hebrew believers and Gentile believers, the ultimate question about who gets to be included. Well, this “who gets to be included” argument went on and has gone on and continues to go on until this very day. So, Paul talks about freedom and grace and justification through faith and all of these things in this letter to reiterate what it is that he is teaching. And it’s not unlike what we were reading in second Corinthians, right, where he has to essentially boast, kind of defendant himself against quote unquote “super apostles”. So, let’s just understand that, but let’s also understand Galatia and where this letter is being sent to. Galatia was a province in the Roman Empire. So, Galatia’s not a city, it’s a region in the Roman Empire, which is now part of a modern-day Turkey. So, in previous eras Galatians were known as Gals or Celts. And we know from…from identification in the Bible of five different churches in Galatia that were established during Paul’s first missionary journey. So, there was a church in the city of Pisidia, one in Antioch, one in Iconium, one and Lystra, and one in Derbe, and Paul addresses this letter to the churches in Galatia. So, we can assume pretty safely that Paul wrote to, at least those communities. There may have been more that we don’t know about. What we can deduce from this letter is that as with the church in Corinth others had come to visit these churches in Galatia and there was nuanced teachings about Jesus that Paul was not on board with. And in particular this Hebrew understanding of Jesus, the fact that Jesus was a Hebrew, that he was a Hebrew rabbi, that he commented on Torah, that his teaching was within the Jewish community, it was considered then by the Hebrew people who believed in Jesus a Hebrew thing that they were not converting away from their Judaism, they were just following Jesus teachings and how to live it out whereas Gentiles were receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, with no knowledge of the law or Torah or any of that. And, so, controversy, right? Because it’s like, who gets to…do we…are we all in? Do we get to be in. For Hebrew people this is a problem because their religion is an exclusive one that separates them from everybody else. So, to include Gentiles means to include the whole world because everybody who is not a Hebrew is a Gentile. So, they have some hurdles to overcome. And that…that never really got figured out, like not everybody was ever on board until today. And, so, there were those who visited these churches of believers in Galatia and they came and told the Galatian people that they needed to essentially convert to Judaism, they needed to follow the Hebrew customs and the practices and rituals in order to follow Jesus and that included things like male circumcision to adhere to the Mosaic law. And Paul, obviously we’ve read enough of Paul to know that that is not his position at all, and he is completely against that because in his view, Jesus has fulfilled the law. A new covenant has been initiated. And, so, there’s no point in trying to live up to the old one. It’s accomplished. It is finished. And now there is a new covenant that Paul is…is leading people into. And he’s not happy about what people are saying. We’ll find out…we’ll find that out for ourselves. What’s not unclear…what is unclear and makes Galatians maybe a little tricky to…to date is whether or not the Jerusalem Council had already happened when Paul wrote this letter. So, like if the Jerusalem Council that we read about in the book of Acts had not happened and Paul is just like defending an issue…like he’s out on the front lines of this issue, if the Jerusalem Council had already happened then Paul’s simply reiterating what had been decided and he’s not happy that people are undermining what they been decided by the church. If this letter’s written before the Jerusalem Council then it’s one of the earlier writings of Paul, maybe one of the earliest Christian documents we have. Most scholars don’t think that particularly. They…the consensus of scholars believe that First Thessalonians is the earliest Christian document in existence, period. Of course, we haven’t got there yet. But that’s the lay of the land. Like that’s what’s going on as we go into this letter. And it doesn’t take too much effort for us to understand that these types of issues that are bubbling in this letter are still bubbling today. And, so, it’s not too hard for us to locate our own hearts and maybe allow God to change our minds, allow…allow us to repent or for us to…to live into what we already know as true. But anyway, let’s dive in. Galatians chapter 1.
Father we thank You for Your word and we thank You for the many complexions that it leads us into and the many different stories and even controversies that existed and that exist and for the opportunity to explore these things, wrestle with them, think about them, meditate upon them and seek understanding as we are led by Your Holy Spirit. The anchor that we have is that You have promised to lead us into all truth and so we seek. And, so, as we move into new letters, the letter to the Galatians and as we continue to move forward we invite You to lead us forward in lockstep hand-in-hand step-by-step day by day with You as You guide us in our lives. Come Holy Spirit 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.
Community Prayer and Praise:
[singing starts] raised you up on eagles wings bore you on the breathe dawn made you to shine like the sun and held you He’s holding you in the palm of His hands [singing stops]. My sweet sister Rosie from Oklahoma this is Soaring on Eagles wings from Canada and I just want to tell you how much I love you. And I’m so proud of you that you faced your fears and was obedient to what the Lord wanted you to do and you aired that very painful part of your life so it may be it may be of help to someone else. But look what the Lord has done for you. He’s healed your mind, He’s healed your body, He’s given you this ministry to pray for our children and grandchildren, He’s given you the sweetest, gentlest spirit that comes across to all of us your DAB family and I appreciate what you do for our children. I pray for you and your children, that your relationship will be cemented in the Lord and that you will see all your children serving Jesus. Thank you for what you do. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This family loves you. We surround you with our prayers and we thank God every day for what you’re doing. Every time we think of you, we pray for you. God bless you. God keep you safe, you and your children in Jesus…
Hello Daily Audio Bible family this is Sue’s from California I’m a longtime listener and first-time caller. My husband and I just celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary today. God is so good, and He’s always been a part of our family. My family desperately needs your prayers. My husband is on hospice. He has Parkinson’s disease and dementia and today it was confirmed that are 25-year-old daughter has cancer. It has spread to her pancreas and lymph nodes. It cannot be removed surgically so she will begin chemotherapy in October. My 35-year-old son has something going on in his body also, but he doesn’t want to tell me because of everything else going on. I have major depression, diabetes and something’s wrong with my colon that I’m trying to get treated. This year has been the hardest time of our lives. We have many people praying for us, and I’d like you to pray for us too. We know God has a plan and a purpose for our lives not to harm us but to prosper us. We have very strong faith and we know God is with us and will bring us through this. Some days though when it all hits the fan like today it’s hard not to feel like it will never end and is hopeless. But God is good and faithful. Thank you, DABbers for your love and prayers. This is Sue’s in California.
Hey this is Daniel in Tennessee as well but I’m gonna go by my trail name now seeing though is I’m responding to Daniel in Tennessee. So, Running Bear, which is my wife would totally enjoy me going by my trail name. She was AT Princess and she passed away three years ago and me and the kiddos have definitely experienced a lot of suffering in our lifetime and walked through a long, long, long journey. Still in that journey. But I wanted to let you know Daniel in Tennessee that we are praying for you and our heart grieves for you guys in this very long journey that is incredibly hard of watching someone that you dearly love suffer and being helpless not to able to take that away from them. We get that and we’ll definitely be praying and praying that you see God’s faithfulness and His fingerprints on your life and on the life of the community around you. And, so, I hope that not only does the word come to life in a greater way, but that you guys will be able to find rest in spite of everything. All right, blessings upon you guys.
Hi DAB family this is All the Treasures in Wyoming with a quick update on our sweet Emily. She is out of the hospital. She is…has been transferred to a long-term rehab facility to help her with all of the deficits that still remain from her having those blood clots that caused her to code and her kidneys to fail. Our family is amazed as am I, I am in awe again of God’s goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy, and just thank you all so much for praying cause I know He answered your prayers in regards to this. So, thank you so much and to God be all the glory.
Hi everybody from my Daily audible Bible family this is Carmen in Germany and I just had to call in now because, listening to Brian’s reading or his commentary this morning was like it just turned on a light, it was like bonb. You know, if you’ve ever had that just something go, wow, I mean, it’s like cut through the brain fog. And I wanted to share it with you because, I don’t know, maybe it will be helpful to somebody else. But anyway if you want to listen to what I listened to it was September 10th about 20 minutes maybe a little bit less than 20 minutes into his reading, second Corinthians, he’s talking about Paul and, you know, the endurance that he had to endure basically. But anyway, the thing that really resonated with me or hit me was that I’ve been praying so often for the wrong things. You know, usually I pray for God to make everything go away, make the pain go away, make the difficulties go away, make the, you know, burdens, whatever go away. And Brian said, you know, maybe we’re praying for the wrong things. Maybe we need to pray for strength because through all these things that we go through we…we come out stronger. And, you know, a few years ago when my husband left me I thought I was at the bottom of the pit, wherever, but anyway it’s been three years now, I haven’t seen him, he’s filed for divorce and I thought I would never get through this time but I’ve come to realize that I’m getting stronger. I have become stronger and my relationship in the Lord has become stronger. So, this was just so encouraging to hear and I’m going to be asking God for __ now for strength. I just wanted to share that. Love you guys.
Hi, DABbers this is Kara from Denver. I have a…sort of what I consider a strange prayer request. It’s for my ex Nathaniel. And we were together seven years. We had three kids, one was an abortion and the other two are with separate adoptive families. So, I know at least are doing well. But we had an extremely tumultuous relationship and we did a lot of hard drugs and he has schizophrenia. And we both have sobered up at least. This was seven years ago that we broke up. But I really just would like to lift him up. I will always love him and care about him even though that part of our lives is…is over. And I request…I asked him specifically if he wouldn’t mind if…he wouldn’t mind if I prayed for him here and he said he didn’t mind. So, I consider that really…really progress and really great. So, if you guys wouldn’t my lifting him up. He just got done with a long probation and he is just looking to start living his life. I know he’s with someone else now and I just…I just…I always, yeah, that…that’s it guys. I would just really appreciate that. Lift up Nathaniel and thank you very much. I love you all you guys so much.
Hi guys this is Grin Life from Texas my name’s Tammy and I’m the one that recently on the Prayer Wall had asked for prayer because my husband lost his job and we’ve been looking for seven months for something. But I just wanted to shout out to the Lord that, you know, they…we found something and it’s even better than what we could imagine. And in the midst of all this I was diagnosed with colon cancer stage IIIC, which is the highest stage III, and I’m undergoing chemotherapy. But God is so good. I just want to let you all know that in the midst of suffering, it’s bittersweet, God blesses you. I’ve had friends and family come from all over giving me cards, bringing me food, just loving on me because the work my husband God is out-of-state. So, he’s gone and is not here with me. But it’s okay, God is carrying me. He really does sustain you. And I just want you guys to be encouraged that whatever you’re going through whether it’s those down in the hurricane area or the fires in California and Oregon or in your financial crisis or guys that have called in and said your…your wives or children don’t know the Lord and you’re the only one serving, hang in there, fight, fight on your knees and know that God will come through. It took us seven months but we knew, we knew God would come through for us and he will for you too and just keep a smile on your face and trust that He loves you and He sees you and keep walking in righteousness and faith and love and know that you will be blessed and you will have a story and I just want to…I just want to pray for all me DAB friends and family that you would hang in there, that God would come through and speak to you somehow, someway, through the word, through a friend, in your dreams and your visions and put peace over your heart, fill you up, which…