Isaiah 19:1-21:17, Galatians 2:1-16, Psalms 59:1-17, Proverbs 23:13-14
Today is the 15th day of September welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is…it’s great to be here with you today as we continue this journey, the journey of this week and the journey of a lifetime through the Scriptures day by day step-by-step. And, so, glad that we can be together, glad that we get this time together, glad that I can be here in the rolling hills of Tennessee and you can be wherever on this big blue planet that you are and that we can still be together. And it’s not just me and you. It’s all of us. We’re all in this together on this journey. And, so, what a joy, what a privilege, what an honor, what a miracle even. Like what a crazy thing is this that we live on this earth and something exists called the Internet and it allows us to be together like this. So, feeling grateful today. But let’s dive in. We’re reading from the English Standard Version this week. We’re in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament and we’ve just gotten going in the letter to the Galatians in the New. So, today Isaiah chapters 19, 20 and 21.
Okay. So, today is a bit of a context day as we move further into the letters of Paul and specifically into this letter to the Galatians because although there’s really important theological things to be said in the book of Galatians that inform our understanding of our faith, the context for why these things were said in the first place is actually really super-duper important and we’ve touched on some of this in the other of Paul’s letters, and we touched on this a little bit yesterday when we were just getting going into the…the letter to the Galatians. But basically, today we kind of get Paul’s testimony about how his…how the gospel had come to him in the first place. And, so, I guess it's…I guess it’s important to note that Paul’s version of how that happened in Galatians is a little bit different than how it’s portrayed, for example, in the book of acts, but this is in Paul’s own hand. This is his own testimony. And we have this Damascus Road experience where a bright light send him to the ground, right, and he can’t see and it’s Jesus talking to him and he’s on his way to persecute the church. And that holds true throughout all of the testimonies of Paul’s conversion but Paul says in Galatians that he…he wasn’t really influenced by the people in Jerusalem, like he had essentially been living into the faith for 17 years, for more than 17 years and that he had not received the truth of the gospel from any person, that he received it as a revelation from Jesus. He’d only met Cephas or Peter once and I mean that was like 14 years ago. And the only other like important leader in the Jerusalem church Jesus ever met was or that Paul ever met was Jesus brother James. So, Paul’s claiming that the gospel he’s preaching is a direct revelation from Jesus himself. This creates some problems, especially the Jew / Gentile problem that we…we have talked about it on a number of occasions. So, I don’t need to go back into it again. We probably understand that territory but in Galatians today we hear about people sneaking into this spy on…on the meetings that Paul’s having and these are Judaizers, these are people who believe that…that you have to convert to Judaism in order to follow Christ. In order to be a disciple of Christ you have the first follow the Jewish religion. Paul is obviously adamantly against that notion. And it seems from the Scriptures that God was doing a new thing because the Holy Spirit was coming upon the Gentiles. And, so, that’s how they finally had to agree, like “we’re not making a decision here. God has already made the decision. We just have to support what God is doing.” This is a big deal because in so many ways it kinda renders Judaism obsolete. Paul is saying the law the Torah is fulfilled, the old covenant is done, a new covenant has been ratified through the blood of Christ, we are living in a different time under different circumstances, we’re going forward in a different new direction that God is leading. I mean it’s hard to take that leap. It’s a huge leap of faith, especially if you’re a Jewish person who has only known it one way. To take that leap is difficult. To understand that Christ fulfills the obligations of the law and that through Him so can we. That’s good news, but it’s difficult news to embrace. So, that’s like the theological or spiritual thing but it's…it’s deeper than that. Like Jews and Gentiles did not like party together at all. They…they weren’t social in any real way. Jews were separatists. They were thought of as strange by the rest of the Empire and they wore it as a badge of honor, to be separated, to be set apart as holy. So, a Jewish person looked at a Gentile person, a Roman, essentially as an occupier, as their oppressors, the people that were marginalizing them, the people that were pushing them to the outskirts of society. So, it would be difficult for them to just open their arms and embrace the people that they felt were oppressing them. It would be hard for them to have any sort of meaningful relationship because there is inherent prejudice there, right? There’s inherent fear of those with the privilege of being a Roman citizen. Like, they could do things that would be detrimental to the Hebrew community if they all got together to be happy together and then something goes sideways. And, so, Paul in his letter to the Galatians is basically like, “I had to even confront Peter, the apostle Peter, like the one who got out of the boat and walked on the water to Jesus even though he went underwater.” Like Paul’s confronting him because he…he’s not being consistent. He’s coming around Gentile believers in churches and fellowshipping with them and having really open community with them until people in the Jerusalem church are around and then he’s being all separatist and all ‘follow the law’ and…and…and not being hospitable. So, we’re seeing…we’re seeing the tensions that existed as the faith began to grow and flourish. We’re seeing what was going on here through these letters. And we can wonder like, “why such…it just doesn't…like now 2000 years later we’re mostly Gentiles. Like some of these things don’t seem like that big of a deal. Like it all got settled somewhere along the line and here we are.” But these kinds of tensions still exist. They just have different iterations, there just from different perspectives, but they still exist. And why is Paul being so defensive? Like, what’s he after? Ultimately, well, first of all he’s defending the revelation of Jesus Christ that he received. This is what he believes. This is what he is convinced of. This is what he will die for…and he does. He did die for it. But beyond that it’s freedom. He, as a Pharisee, had done everything he could possibly do to live up to a relationship, like to get himself in a position to have the knowledge and awareness and relationship with God. And no matter how hard he tried he failed. And then Jesus is raised from the dead and reveals himself to him and he begins to realize we’re free, we’re free from all of that. Like there’s a whole new thing going on. Freedom is given to us, spiritual freedom to be in direct contact and in relationship with God. This is a big deal. This isn’t going to happen the ritual and adherence to some sort of ethics or law. Christ has done it all and restored us to God, and now we can call God Father, Abba. We can enter His presence. This a big deal. This is his conviction. Like I said just a second ago, then that renders that whole culture the…under Torah, the whole culture, the way the whole thing was set up becomes somewhat obsolete. And that’s a difficult controversy. This is why people want to kill Paul. This is why Paul ultimately gets killed. This is also ultimately why we believe what we believe as Christians, that freedom has been given to us, that we have been…been made right, we have been justified because we have faith in Christ and freedom comes from that. Freedom, that a set of rules, even if we could live up to them can’t provide. So, this gives us some context. They were wrestling, which explains why we often are wrestling. Ironically, we’re wrestling over freedom. And in the coming days as we move through Galatians, we’re gonna get a good glimpse of that. And as we continue through the letters of Paul, some of like…some of the stuff is unbelievable when we are told what Christ has done, and who we are, and what that means. But those are in the days ahead.
Father, we thank You for Your word. We thank You that we can look into it and we can see an honest view of the struggle. We…all we have to do is just look around in the world and see that there is an honest struggle continually going on in some direction and what we are grateful for is that You are the sovereign God, You are the Lord of all, no matter what we think. No matter what we think You are the most-high God, and You will have Your way. And our desire is to be in the middle of that, what You are doing in us and in this world. And, so, we open ourselves to You, Holy Spirit. We open ourselves to Your leadership, to Your comfort, to Your correction, to Your guidance. Come and do what You’ve promised. Lead us into all truth we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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Community Prayer and Praise:
Hey DAB family this is Allie from Oregon. Hey, I’m just calling to ask for prayer for all of the communities around the Pacific Northwest and California area that are currently being affected by fire or the threat of fire. Just ask that YTou would, Lord that you would help provide peace and provide safety to the families that are in jeopardy or the families that are already lost their homes as well as for all of the first responders, firefighters, volunteers that are coming together to help with this. It’s been…it’s been a long week and I know that there’s a lot of people that have lost their homes or their homes are in jeopardy. So, we just pray for peace and through all of this that Your will be done and that You would cause people to come together. And Lord I also pray for work in progress. I know he called as well for California and we lift California up as well, that You would just touch them and bring these fires to an end. Thanks guys.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family this is Kelsey from Washington state and I am new to Daily Audio Bible but I’m so thankful to have this opportunity to listen and hear God’s word together. Thank you, Brian. Right now I’m sitting on our back porch looking up at the sky and it’s a little bit hazy with smoke from all the wildfires but I wanted to call in to ask for prayer for a family that I know who has been deeply impacted and is going through tragedy due to the wildfires here in Washington. I want to lift up Jacob, Jamie, the Highland family who, you know, they’re in the hospital in critical condition right now and they lost their little one-year-old, Arielle to the fire’s here in Washington. And please just pray for their recovery, pray for, you know, this long journey that they have ahead and for just comfort from the Lord, you know, in relation to the loss of their son. He was beautiful. And also, for I…I…heard also that Jamie is pregnant and for this baby and just protection and protection from…for both of them from infection because their bodies have…have severe third-degree burns. Thank you so much, your prayer’s means so much. God bless you all. Thank you.
Hey family this is John the Prodigal. Hey, I’ve got a celebration actually believe that or not and a couple of prayer requests. Number one my son who was on heroin, we went through 25 doctors and finally found a doctor to work with him. Got him on the prescription that they took him off of after seven years cold turkey. He has no knees, blew em’ out skateboarding and he’s in constant pain. So, he turned to heroin. Anyway, he’s in good shape now, he’s happy now, got him turned around and that’s has everything to do with your prayers. I also ask for your…so I said it’s a celebration. I also ask for prayer for…for Jane a friend of mine who’s living in London. She is living in a church there and every night she runs in fear of being stabbed or raped. A good friend of hers was attacked…was shot in an attempted rape there. And, so, I tried to help her out as best I can but I, as you know I am totally broke, but I’ve done what I can. To that end I’d also ask your prayers for me. I’m trying to reinvent myself, rebuild my business, build back and the love of God and with God in my sites instead of me. And, so, my pride is broken. I’ve been humbled. I am a Job and trying to rise again. And with that I’d ask…I’d ask any more prayers for me I feel selfish when I do but I just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you all and the man who called for the son with muscular dystrophy to people who are divorcing like me yo all those who are suffering and praying with depression. I feel for you all. I’ve got it all and I’ve got your facts. And so does God. So, you make a blessed day. Know I love you, know I pray for you all every day even though I don’t say your names. You’re in my heart. God bless you thank you Brian and Jill. Have a good day. Bye.
Good morning everybody hey this is Annette Allison from Oklahoma City. Get your seatbelt on girl. Hey isn’t the Lord cool? I’ll tell you what he is just amazing. __ inspiring stories of hope here recently that He is just amazing. My son, my stepson who is in the Air Force, his career has been tried to be put down and destroyed by a guy who is just like new in command and trying to make a name for himself and my stepson who’s just as straight as an arrow, I’ll tell you he is such a good good young man. It’s a truly amazing to me. The Lord has just taken this whole situation and turned it for the good and has really shown my stepson what the path of faith really looks like. And I’m just so proud of how he has stayed the course and how the Lord has turned all this around and for good. He even got a promotion and a recommendation out of this. It’s amazing. And my stepson James is doing excellent. He went to a…a little prison camp situation where they teach the kids how to behave basically and has come out smelling like a rose, top of his class, and is working and doing very, very well. I’m so proud of these kids. Anyway, I love you guys. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.
This is BB in Florida I’m requesting prayer for my niece Nancy who at the present time is in the hospital battling cancer. The cancer has traveled through her spinal column into her brain and the prognosis that the doctors are giving them is not good. I’m asking for prayers to come against the excruciating pain that she is under with severe headaches and backaches. She has not been able to eat or to keep medicine down. I’m asking that for prayers for the pain management team to find the right combination of medicine for her that they will no longer be chasing the pain, but they will be able to stop the pain completely. She’s been in the hospital now for about two weeks and it’s very hard on the family as only one person can be in her room with her at a time. Just pray, Father God that He would grant this family and all those of her friends, peace and strength, that the doctors would have words of encouragement today for this family. We serve a faithful God and a loving God, and I just pray for His mercy, Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
Hi this is my first time ever being on this site asking for prayer. I have been actually reading since almost the first of the year and so love this site. And I come to you burdened about my children. I have two sons who are not serving the Lord at all, as far as they could possibly be from the Lord. And it’s such a burden. And I just pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ can uplift my two sons Lee and Austin. And my prayer is that I’ll be able to spend my days worshiping with them and that we can be one in spirit. And I pray for my husband to be strong as a leader so that he will be able to show these sons of ours what needs to be done in order to be a child of God and a man of God. My name is Sherry and I look forward to seeing the results of these prayers. Thank you so much.
Hi everybody this is Stephanie. I’m the Lord’s Chic from Oklahoma. As many of you know my son passed away about three months ago and my mom the year before. I am 55 years old and after decades of being clean I have fallen back into bad habits. It started with food and then it went to tranquilizers and painkillers and diet pills and I’ve had a drink for the first time in literally decades. I picked up a pack of cigarettes last week. I just…anything I can do to make the pain go away but it doesn’t go away. So, I’ve been a Christian for a really long time. My husband has absolutely zero knowledge of all this. So far I’m completely functional with my job and family but I…I need to stop completely. And, so, today is day one. I just really need for you all to pray for me before I completely ruin my career and my family. Nobody knows about this. I have a best friend in Oregon that I’ve confided in, but I mean if they were to pull a tox screen at work would be cooked and my nursing license would be gone. So, you know, some of this is prescription some is not. I just need a lot of prayer please. I need to get back and trust God the way they used to. Thanks.