Genesis 30:1-31:16, Matthew 10:1-23, Psalms 12:1-8, Proverbs 3:13-15
Today is the 14th day of January welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is a joy and honor and a privilege and a delight and everything good to come around the Global Campfire together today with you, with everybody as we come in out of the cold, yeah, and the chaos that life can bring our way and all the unexpected things that…that just can blow our day apart. It’s so easy to get distracted. It’s so easy to get underwater. It’s so nice to have one place where none of that is allowed, right? So, we just kind of come in here take a deep breath exhale take off our hat and scarf and coat, sit down around this Global Campfire and just warm ourselves knowing that we’re not alone and that this is a peaceful place. This is a place to let it go. Like we could spend just a few minutes here. All the distress that is outside, it’ll still be there. We can pick it all back up if we want to. It’s not gonna go anywhere. Nothing’s gonna happen so bad that we can’t just have a few minutes of serenity. But man, this a few minutes of peace, this little oasis that we have created for ourselves here, it can change the paradigm, it can change the way we look at everything so we can go back and meet our day with new perspective. So many of the things that jump up and down in demand our attention, they have no right to our attention. And if we walk with God, we will be doing what were supposed to be doing. And, so, let’s dive in. We’re reading from the book of Genesis, obviously. And we are in an interesting story, the story of Jacob. Jacob had to leave his family because he stole his brother’s birthright and his father’s blessing to the firstborn, had to flee, went to Bethel, saw the stairway to heaven, made it to his uncle Laban, worked for 14 years and achieved two wives who were sisters - Rachel and Leah. Rachel, he loved. Leah, she was the surprise wife. The thing is Leah is the only one that’s able to have children at this point. She has had four sons. Those sones were named and they will all become tribes of Israel. Now we’re about to see a war over who can have children and who can have the most children. And the irony is that the story unfolding before us is how the tribes of Israel were formed. And, so, let’s dive in. Genesis chapter 30 verse 1 through 31 verse 16 today.
Okay. So, in the book of Genesis, this is a context thing and it’s an important context thing. And, so, we’ve kind of been laying the groundwork as the story unfolds. Jacob has two wives Leah and Rachel. Leah and Rachel are two sisters married to the same man. You can only imagine. And we see that the most valuable thing at this time is to have more…as many children as possible. This is how the survival happens in this kind of clan and tribal time. The more people there are in a family, the more…well…the more everything, the more power, the more manpower. The…the more crops, the more livestock, the more everything that can be maintained. And, so, an eventual kind of war over having the most children breaks out between the two sisters and eventually involves their handmaidens as well. And, so, a bunch of children have been born. We should notice or at least kind of have some familiarity with those names if we’ve been around the faith for very long. Those names become the names of the tribes of Israel. So, these are the firstborn that become the tribes of Israel but they’re the children of Jacob. So, how do they become the tribes of Israel. Jacob’s name is going to change. We’ll witness it ourselves in the coming days. His name will become Israel. And, so, these are the children of Israel. This is how they came to be. This is the surrounding context, a bunch of trickery, Jacob running to Laban, him getting a bunch of trickery, 14 years to become…to…to receive his wives. And…and now they’re talking about going back to their homeland and try to figure how to get away from Laban. There’s all of this going on. And as these children are being born there’ll being born in this struggle. That is the story of the people of the children of Israel, the struggle. Israel means one who wrestles with God.
And then we move into the book of Matthew and Jesus is sending his disciples out and giving them instructions about how they are to go. And they are indeed counterintuitive instructions because they’re basically not to take anything that can give them security or give them any sort of sense of control. Like Jesus is sending them out and He even says it, “I’m sending you out as sheep among wolves.” But He’s sending them out without any way to defend themselves essentially. Or is He? Because what He’s asking them to do is to remain utterly and completely rooted in their dependence upon God, even for their very words that they’re going to speak. Maybe that is a way more equipped than any of the preparation they could do. Maybe Jesus is teaching them and us a better way of being in this world, one where we are not constantly try to prepare for every eventuality and spending our whole lives in preparation for things that aren’t going to happen. Maybe we could depend upon God completely. That’s easy enough to say. And we would all, “yes. Yes, I want to do that.” We have to move in that direction in order for that to happen. Like for us to achieve that, for us to get there we have to go in that direction, which means we have to go in a different direction than our culture is going, which we find is so much the message of Jesus. But Jesus said something really important. We are 14 days into this year and Jesus said something very important, “but everyone who endures to the end will be saved.” We don’t gotta get into a bunch of that right now because that…I’m just pointing it out…that theme, we will not be able to escape that theme, the theme of endurance for the whole year. But as the year continues on there will come a point where endurance is the central theme that is coming out of the Bible. And, so, it’s important for us to observe it right here at the beginning. None of us like enduring, right? None of us really…but listen did you make some New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you are here because of a New Year’s resolution where you want to strengthen yourself spiritually and find out what the Bible finally says. Probably in combination with that you’re on a diet and you might be getting’ sick of salad by this time, we’re two weeks in. The only way you are going to achieve the goals that you set for yourself are to endure, right? So, if it’s 20, 30 pounds you gottta dump this year or whatever, you’re gonna have to endure the cravings and you’re gonna have to endure the habits in order for them to change. You’re gonna have to stick to it and endure. If you’re exercising, right? I mean you hit the wall. If you’re lifting weights, you can only do so much, but you are enduring, tearing the muscle so that it can become stronger so that you can endure more and grow stronger or run farther or walk farther or faster or whatever. The only way to expand is to accept endurance as a part of the story. It’s a part of the spiritual journey as well. What we’re gonna find is that like we’re not as compartmentalized as we think we are. Everything about us is integrated and it all works together, and endurance is what makes us grow. And Jesus is saying that, and I point it out here, so that we can notice that. Every time we hear the word endure, let’s remember that. It’s a central theme in the Bible and it’s an important part of our journey.
And then lastly for today is the book of Proverbs. Listen…listen to this. “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom.” Do you want Joy? Do you want to be joyful? Then find wisdom. And we must find wisdom. “Wisdom is more profitable than silver and her wages are better than gold. “Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with her.” We can just take that as a nice thought, or we can understand this as a reality. Wisdom enables us to gain or achieve all of the rest of life. All of the things that we’re scratching and clawing to get, hoping that it will just fall into our lap or somehow come easily. Everything in life will come through endurance and through wisdom. But with those two things, endurance and wisdom there is very little that we cannot accomplish as long as we are willing to take however long it takes and as long as we are able to count the cost and weigh out the decisions allowing wisdom to speak instead of our own emotional desire then there’s very little we can’t accomplish. Wisdom is more valuable than gold. Let’s take that to heart.
Father we thank You for Your word and again the way that it speaks, the way that it comes to us simply offering the hand of friendship. All of the sudden we’re finding out we’re not getting the beat down we thought the Bible was gonna give us. Yeah, maybe we’ll get smacked a couple times along the way because we need to wake up, but this isn’t a beat down, this isn’t a shame-fest. This isn’t something to make us feel more and more like a failure so that we’re more and more in hiding. This is an invitation to come forward and be true and let it all go and not play by those rules anymore. You are giving us what we need to live this life if we will accept it. Holy Spirit come, give us the wisdom to see it and to perceive it we pray in the name of Jesus. 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:
Good morning Daily Audio Bible this is Isabel from Australia I’m in Melbourne. I just wanted to thank you all. I love you family. Just thank you Brian and Jill and China and Ben and that beautiful Ezekiel. It’s been amazing listening to Daily Audio Bible. I’ve been listening now for over three years it’s been such a blessing to my life. I started to listen to the Daily Audio Bible Kids because I am introducing my three-year-old granddaughter introducing to the Bible and…and to learning about, you know, to listen to the Bible so she can actually teach her teach her daughter about the word of God. And it’s just amazing listening to your Ezekiel. You’re so much…you’re so much like your dad and your mom__. And you’re amazing. I’m so proud of you and everything that you’re doing. So, congratulations and well done. And I just want to say…say thank you to everybody. I’ve been praying for so many of you on this Daily Audio Bible and every time I hear the prayer requests. I don’t always call in, but I always pray, and my heart goes out to my family. I love you’s all and God bless you’s all and may you have a beautiful happy new year, and may the Lord give you the desires of your heart this year, that this year would be a year of blessings in your family and restorations in your family and that all your kids too that are struggling, that the Lord brings them back to His ways Lord. And also, I just ask You Lord to bless each one of you, to just come before Your presence Lord Jesus Christ and I just thank You Father for this beautiful Daily Audio Bible family, Lord. Everyone that’s going through problems, and family problems, and, You know children’s problems, and marriage problems I just ask You Lord that this be the year of restoration, a year of revival Lord for every family Lord. And I just ask You Lord to be with each and every one of them Lord, that You enable them. Lord Jesus Christ I pray. I love you’s all…
Hello Daily Audio Bible family this is Jane Ruth from Nebraska. I’ll share more later but I just heard Hope from the Heartland sharing the fact that her mother had just passed away in the nursing home. She had just been notified and her mom had early onset Alzheimer’s. And I want you to know how terribly sorry I am for your loss and for the way that that happened. And I just wanted you to know that my mom passed away, and granted she had Alzheimer’s. It was in November 2013, but I wanted you to know that God spared her a lot of suffering. My brother, my oldest brother had…had passed away two years before she had passed almost of the day and it was amazing how God had just saved her a lot of pain and suffering and a lot of the things that happened and the way she interpreted them in the way that she had shared with me. I mean, there were times when she had talked to me like I was her husband, or I was her mother, or I was her best friend or, I…you know, and sometimes I was even her daughter. Amazing as that may be. But I believe God really does take care of His own and I wanted you to know that I saw that. I experienced that with my mom. And, so, I hope that comforts you. I really do love each and every one of you and I believe we are family. I love you. And may God bless each and every one of you.
Hey this is Jared calling from Duluth Minnesota it is January 9th about 2 o’clock in the morning, day 624 of my journey in the DAB consecutively, day nine of the new year. The exhortation from John in Matthew chapter 7 from Brian about knowing God so hit me and so moved me. Do I know God? Do I know about God? Do I really know him? Thought-provoking and heart-searching questions. My mind went to Philippians 3…3 verse 10 where it says that I may know Him the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being made conformable to His death. And I prayed that prayer that, O God that I may know You, may I know the power of Your resurrection, may I know the fell…fellowship of Your sufferings and be conformable…be made conformable to Your death. Oh God that I may know You, that I may know You. Indeed, saying hello God. Please come. Show Yourself mighty on our behalf in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family I just finished listening to January 8th and heard the passage about. you know, judge not lest you be judged, and you will be judged by the measure that you judge others. And after listening to Brian’s commentary just about how…just about forgiveness and if we don’t forgive then, you know, it leads to bitterness and poison. And, so, I just…after listening to that and thinking about, you know, even this past week in my own life having to forgive somebody else for words that were spoken. And even within my own family seeing how over the years of exactly that, words that were spoken, hurtful words, how it can cause pain. So, I just want to call and pray right now specifically into that passage and pray for families. And, so, Lord heavenly Father I just pray God that You would reveal to us in our own hearts in any way that we have been critical towards others, anyone that we have offended, Lord that You would reveal that to us and…and…and Lord that we would just turn from that. I pray for healing for families that are still experiencing the pain of words that were spoken years ago. Lord I just pray that You would root out any…any critical spirits or any divisive spirit within our families God and within our nation in the United States. And God we just pray against that. Lord we just pray for forgiveness and healing within our own family…
Hello this is Ivonne from New York. I’m calling in. I…I just want to thank God for Hope of the Heartland from the Heartland. Just your name has reached into my heart and…and broken a bitterness that I’ve had for years as you began to give your message about your mom and the early onset of Alzheimer’s. I personally am asking for prayer that the bitterness will be broken in me regarding the caregiving to my mom who’s 90. I’m 68 years old, young, and there’s a bitterness, a resentment for having to care for my mom who also has dementia. And I feel as though my entire life has been robbed and that my mom. From an early age, my…I…I was an adult child always caring for my mom and her needs and never establishing a real relationship with my mom of love. And now at this point in our lives she’s so bitter and angry towards me and…and critical that…that I’ve I have the same bitterness in me. And I just want it to stop. I want my heart to be soft again towards her. I know that she can’t help what she’s doing but I just ask for prayer to please help me to be loving to my mom. Thank you DAB family. Pray your prayers. You’ve always been there for me and I thank you.
Hello this is Emily from Norway. I want to pray for the woman that called in. She was from London and earlier she was a Muslim and now she have been a Christian. I thank You Father for my sister. I thank You that You comfort her and strengthen her and…and help her in the new journey she have begin. I thank You Father for Your love for us all and for her and that You give her all the things she need every day. Thank You for Your goodness Father in Jesus’ name. Amen.