1 Kings 5:1-6:38, Acts 7:1-29, Psalms 127:1-5, Proverbs 16:28-30
Today is the 9th day of June welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is great to be here with you in the center of our week. And this is the first full week of the month of June, not that that matters but we’re in the middle of the first full week. I pay attention to these things because it’s day by day step-by-step. And, so, everything that marks the time, the forward progress is a good thing. And it’s good to be here with you did today around the Global Campfire as we take this next step forward. In the Old Testament we are reading from the book of First Kings and we’re just getting going. We’re…we’re working through the life and reign of King Solomon who is the son of King David. Solomon is leading Israel really to its finest hour. And that’s basically what we’re watching. It’s really interesting, because in Solomon’s reign, everything that we have been working toward this entire year reaches it’s…it…it’s mountaintop…it…it’s apex. And then in Solomon’s reign there’s a slide. Like, we reach the mountaintop and then we start going down the other side. But right now, we are working our way to that apex. Solomon has consolidated all his power. He’s got his government structure in place. His wisdom is becoming renowned all over the world. People are actually making Jerusalem a destination. Like, high profile powerful people are making Jerusalem a destination because they want to visit with this wise King Solomon. And Solomon is going to build a permanent temple for God, something that his father David had wanted to do but wasn’t allowed to do. Solomon will be allowed to do that. And, so, let’s head in that direction. First Kings chapters 5 and 6 today.
Okay. So, in first Kings Solomon is now indeed building the temple. And we see how they’re gonna get the lumber and how it’s gonna be floated down the ocean and the exchange of payments and all of this. And, so, the temple, the temple of God is being built in Jerusalem, bringing with it a sense of national identity and spiritual identity. And we’ll continue with that story tomorrow.
In the book of Acts, we sort of began a story yesterday, just very very briefly and that story has spilled over into today’s reading in the form of a testimony. So, we remember that there were seven deacons that were appointed to more fairly distribute resources and food to…to widows. One of those men was named Stephen. Stephen was out doing his job but he was confronted by Jewish people from other regions and it kinda broke out into a fight. And then there were some accusations about Stephen’s commitment to his Jewishness and to his Jewish heritage. He is being associated with Jesus and one of the things about Jesus, one of the accusations against Jesus was that…well…first of all that he was a blasphemer but second of all that he was a lawbreaker, right? The…the…the laws of Moses were being broken or reinterpreted in a way that they didn’t accept. So, Stephen’s being accused and then he’s arrested. And, so, now what’s happening is Stephen is giving his testimony in his own defense. And what we should notice is that what Stephen is saying is basically a review of the story that we’ve read from the beginning of the year. He’s retracing the steps by retelling the origin story of the Hebrew people and by doing this he’s proving not only that he knows the story but that this is his own heritage. There’s some very very important things going on here. People who were following the Nazarene or “the way”, the way of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus indeed was crucified, and everybody knows that. There are still people following his teachings, though that truly did believe He was a good teacher and a good man and a prophet of God, and there are people who are following after the ways of Jesus, but at this point, at the origin, the beginning, the flashpoint of the church, this is very, very centered in the Hebrew culture. So, the Nazarenes teachings can theoretically be tolerated as long as they stay in the context of Judaism. And the earliest believers were Jews. Jesus was a Jew. Everyone who penned anything in the New Testament was also a Jew. And, I mean, there are generally scholarly disputes that have always been going on about authorship of certain books. And we can…we can point like to the book of Hebrews and go like, “well…you don’t know that. You can’t make that statement because we don’t know who the author of the book of Hebrews.” But, like the book of Hebrews is to Hebrews. So, it would be really hard for it to not have been written by a Jew because the whole context at all in that book is a Hebrew context. So, Stephen’s arrested and he’s being questioned and he’s…he’s choosing to show his Jewishness because as the church began it was coming from that context from that region from those people and outward into the world. And, so, you can follow this Rabbi Jesus, you can…can follow this person’s teachings as long as you obey the Mosaic law and follow the customs of Judaism. Jesus was accused. Stephen is being accused of not doing that. This will eventually come to a head. And we’ll get there soon enough, but it’s important to just realize it is a Hebrew context from which this story springs. We are mostly all Gentile people who believe in Jesus in the world today. Like vastly more Gentile than Jewish, and yet we can’t approach the good news without the Hebrew context, or it doesn’t make any sense. So with Stephen being arrested we see some early rumblings, some of the early unsettling reverberations of what is to come as this new thing that God is doing upon the earth through Jesus Christ begins to take hold, begins…well…begins to form and become a tsunami that spreads throughout all of the earth. We also have a really good opportunity, and I point this out every year when we get to the story of Stephen, we have a really good opportunity because his testimony is…is review of the stories that we have read. So, it gives us an opportunity to quickly go back and kind of catch-up to where we are. At the end of this…and I’ll bet most of you already know, at the end of this we’ll meet somebody who is around all this testimony and all that’s going on around Stephen. He is a zealous Pharisee, very devoutly attempting to become righteous before God by obeying the law and doing what he believes God is commanding and also defending God. He is a student of Gamaliel, and his name is Saul and he will eventually know…be known as the apostle Paul. But when we meet him, and we meet him in this story he wants nothing to do with Jesus. Actually, that’s not true. He does want something to do with Jesus. His mission is to blot out the name and memory of Jesus from the earth and from God’s people, the Jewish people. And, so, he wants to round up these followers of the Nazarene these people that, maybe they’re being tolerated by the greater community, but for Saul these are…these are heretics. These are people that are on the outer boundaries. They need to be rounded up and punished and silenced and this teaching of this person, Jesus, needs to go away. And, so, we’ll see that develop in the coming days.
And then lastly, let’s just look at the proverb again. It’s three sentences. Sentence number one: Destructive people produce conflict. So, I mean that’s ½ a sentence. That’s ½ a sentence but if we stop at that half a sentence and just go, “okay. When I am observing conflict in the world, the voice of wisdom instructs there is…there’s destructive people involved identifying that…just the knowledge of it is helpful but then the sentence is completed. So, “destructive people produce conflict. Gossip’s alienate close friends.” That last one is something that we probably already know, and it’s very destructive and causes conflict, right? So, gossip in this sentence is very dangerous. It causes destruction and conflict and alienates close friends. I mean, we can just take that one. In fact, let’s just take that one. If you want to go back and read the other two sentences, that’s Proverbs 16:28 through 30 today. Let’s just stay there. The things that we say, truly have power and truly need to be selected carefully.
Father, that is something we also know. We know this. It’s just hard to practice it, to do it consistently because how we respond to just about anything very much is affected by the emotional state that we’re in, what’s going on within us. And, so, how we respond to something usually is because of what button got pressed within us and that button is attached to all kinds of stuff inside of our psyches. And, so, we’re not always seek wisdom in the moment. And yet we can cultivate that, we can build that into our lives so that we think before we speak, before we gossip, before we alienate close friends, before we produce conflict, before we’re a destructive person. Come Holy Spirit into that we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home base, it’s…it’s the website, it’s where you find out what’s going on around here. So, check it out.
Check out the Daily Audio Bible shop there are resources there that I say often are there to accompany the journey. That’s why they’re there. So, like resources like The God of Your Story, which is a project that we created. It was a an incredibly difficult long journey, but to create a 365 day devotional accompanying the passages that we read every day. So, it’s kind like the gold of the Daily Audio Bible in written form. And, so, it’s a resource that’s amazingly available even when Internet isn’t there, whether you’re traveling or on vacation or whatever to just keep with your rhythm. It also serves as a fantastic accompaniment. You know, maybe Daily Audio Bible in the morning then maybe God of Your Story just to kind of reinforce or to look at what we read today and what you might’ve been meditating on during the day from a different angle just to get that in our hearts, in our spirits, allowing it to really transform who we are. So, yeah, check that out, The God of Your story. It’s available…well…it’s available anywhere that you can get a book, but it is certainly available in the Daily Audio Bible Shop. So, check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link on the homepage, and I thank you, I thank you. We wouldn’t be here. We couldn’t do this if we didn’t do it together. And, so, thank you profoundly and humbly for your partnership.
If you’re using the app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or the mailing address, if you prefer, is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or encouragement, you can hit the Hotline button in the app, which is the little red button up at the top or you can dial 877-942-4253.
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:
Hey this is Matt from Eastern Washington I was just calling in again really quick just for prayer or encouragement for Becky in Texas. I was listening to the February 22nd podcast for Daily Audio Bible and you were talking about a blended family and just being exhausted and tired and, you know, your husband’s a first responder. You know, so I don’t know what’s kind of struggles you guys are going through but, you know, my wife and I are both first responders. We both work law enforcement. You know, I don’t know if your husband works law enforcement or EMS or as a firefighter but any…any one of those professions, you know, it…it takes a toll on people. So, anyways, Father god, You know I…I just want to lift Becky up to You and…and her family up to You and just pray that that You can help her, and that You can help them find some sort of where for healing in their marriage and to just restore Becky’s strength and…and that You can show her that having faith in You and…and seeking You for that strength can help get her through all this when she doesn’t think that she has anything left. Father God I…I just pray that You can help Becky’s husband, You know, see that she is exhausted and soften his heart and allow him to help her through these struggles and to reach out to help when he’s struggling. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Becky just look for God for that strength that’s all I’ve been able to do with my stuff. Bye.
Good morning DABC this is Vicki from Ohio I’m reaching out to Vincent from Connecticut this morning. His message really touched my heart. There are so many of us out here that are struggling to find our mate. We go through it so slow. The process is so slow, and healing takes time. I too cannot find a partner that wants to be with me. I always get excited at the beginning and get lots of promises and then I am left behind. God watches over us. He does heal us. It takes so long though sometimes. Vincent, I pray that you keep praying and asking God and that He will provide a woman for you that is deserving and loves you as you can love her. I pray this for everyone out there searching and hoping and desiring their ultimate soulmate through Christ. I pray for myself. I pray for Vincent, and I pray for each one of you out there looking. In Jesus’ name I pray. Be true to us dear Father and let Your will be done. Amen.
Hey family it’s Sparky from Texas. I wanted to take a minute to pray for Andrew who called in asking for prayer over… He’s 21 years old and I just wanted to take a minute to…to tell you that I remember being 21 years old and in the bowel of sin. I’m 35 now but the feelings that you’re feeling, it’s a pivotal moment in your life and you are in the right spot, and I wish that I would have been 21 years old listening to the Daily Audio Bible and listening to…listening to people pray for each other. You’ve got the world ahead of you. Keep your head in the word and look to God. And when it feels like there’s way too much sin in your life, we’ve just finished watching the perfect person and we’ve just finished watching the people closest to Him sin, including Peter. You’re in the right spot. Focus your life where you need to be, where you want to point and keep that part of your life pointed towards Jesus. Keep it here in prayer with people. I just wanted to give you encouragement. I pray with all of you. I love you. And you bring me to tears sometimes, but every prayer request I pray with every one of you. I hope you all have a blessed add weekend and a blessed week following up.
Today is June 4th this is Beth from Chicago. Today’s reading really touched my heart. I ask that you pray for my sons Tyler, Ryan, and Logan, that their heart may be opened and remove the hardening that has occurred through childhood, through rough times. And I ask that Lord God our Father come into their lives and touch them and help them believe. I am very thankful for this community, and I love you all and I wish you all blessings, peace, and joy. Thank you so much. This is such a beautiful start too every morning. God bless you. Amen.
Hi, my name is Angie from Colorado Springs calling. It’s my second time calling. Thank you guys for praying for me last month or maybe it was April. I’m still needing of prayer for confidence and clarity, depression, anxiety and happiness and laughter. I’ve been sober two years and in this time I have changed so much for the better and have a lot of goals set but in the meantime my son has pretty much not accepted me anymore as his mom. And I got into addiction when he was 18. Before that we were close as ever. He’s now 28 and we’ve been very close throughout this whole time of my life, but I just didn’t do the things I needed to do for him as a mom. So, he has a new mom in his late age which I’m grateful for because their Christians, they love him as far as I know. Anyways, I’m heartbroken. I'm…I'm…just heartbroken. So, he’s always been so close to me, and such a good son, and I’ve been a good mom believe it or not even through my hard times of addiction. Anyways, I just…I can’t find any pleasure in life anymore and it’s because I’m feeling like it’s a death losing a son that you love…