1 Kings 8:1-66, Acts 7:51-8:13, Psalms 129:1-8, Proverbs 17:1
Today is the 11th day of June welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you today as we press forward in our week toward the end of another one of our weeks together. I’m so grateful that we can share time. I’m so grateful that we’re…none of us are in this alone. And what a journey it is to travel through the Bible together. And, so, let’s dive in. We’re reading from the book of first Kings in our Old Testament reading. We’re reading from the Common English Bible this week. First Kings chapter 8.
Okay. So, it’s kind of a pivotal day here in Old and New Testaments. Important events that sort of shift and change things have occurred. So, in the book of first Kings it’s the temple. The temple is completed and dedicated and Solomon’s before his people and dedicating the temple and standing humbly before the Lord. And this is the pinnacle, and we don’t really get to stay at this pinnacle for very long before we start going down the other side of this story. And, so, this is a bit of an important day because, odd as it sounds, we’ve been working toward this day since we started the beginning of this year. And as I’ve mentioned before, especially since we met Abram who became Abraham. We’ve been following the story of that family and we will continue to follow the story of that family throughout the rest of the Bible because they become the children of Israel. And, so, now there is a temple in Jerusalem. There is a king of Israel. His name is Solomon and he is bringing them to their finest hour. And, so it’s like, let’s enjoy this moment because we’ll continue this story, it’s like we’ll continue the story of ancient Israel, certainly but we’ve been working like so long toward this promised land and toward the establishment of this people and this is where we are now. They are in for firm control of the promised land. The have a wise king who is standing before God in humility. His reputation for wisdom is known the world over. Peace is upon them, all around them on all sides. Prosperity is everywhere. People are sort of like living the dream at this point. But it just doesn’t last that long. So, let’s enjoy it.
When we turn into the book of Acts, we have reached the conclusion of Stevens testimony, which went on for a couple of days now where he recounted the story that we read from the beginning of the year. He was doing it at his own trial where he was accused. Basically, he needed to haul out his Hebrew credentials. And that’s what his testimony was, telling the story of his people of which he was one of them. But when he got to the last little bit of that story and connected Jesus to that story and then, you know, kind of indicted the religious leaders themselves in that story, like reverse accusation. They’re accusing him of one thing and then he’s kind of accusing back how that story came to its conclusion and they’re just livid right, grinding their teeth at him, rushing at him, dragging him out of the city. And we see the first person after Jesus’ death, the first person recorded in the Scriptures that died for their faith in Jesus Christ. This is the first person killed for their faith in Jesus. And I guess it’s fair to point out since it’s pointed out explicitly in the Scriptures that it's…it’s the religious leaders. It’s the religion, it’s the people who are over the people spiritually that have hauled Stephen and made these accusations and then condemned him and shrieked at him and drug him out of the city and a mob forms and then they stoned Stephen to death. It’s sort of the same story, same opposition that came against Jesus. It’s so ironic that it’s the religious leaders that are so against this move of God that simply can’t in any way fathom God doing a new thing that in any way He will replace any old thing in any possible scenario. And, so, they’re…they’re…they’re stoning Stephen and they’re very angry and they’re doing it in their rage, but they think they’re defending God. Like, it’s not like they just got murderous all of the sudden. It’s very possible that they got envious, but Stephen, he wasn’t that big of a deal. Like, there’s wasn’t a whole lot to envy there. There was definitely envy over Jesus. It’s…it’s…that’s explicit in the Scriptures too but in this scenario, they just want this to stop, and they want this news of a Messiah that suffered and has risen from the dead. They want this to go away. And the…the book of Acts goes into detail about Saul, Saul standing there holding the robe…the cloaks of those killing Stephen, approving of it, and then how he unleashed an assault on the church and was dragging people into prison and questioning them. And just his mission, he believed was on behalf and for God defending the name of God and His righteousness and His law. So, he begins to persecute the church. And that’s what we see happen after Stephen’s death. We’re just barely scratching the surface here in the book of Acts, but we see that when that happens, once Stephen was killed that caused people to…to break apart and to flee, to move into other regions, to move around, which only served to escalate the good news spread all around the region. So, Stephen dies and as a result the…the thing that they were trying to stamp out only moves more aggressively forward and more quickly. And this is how the church, and the church era is born - early believers under duress being pressured and marginalized by their fellow Hebrew people. Like, we don’t have a whole lot of news about Gentile…like we haven’t reached that part. We’re at the very beginning and this is a Hebrew centric thing, the faith in Jesus. It’s a Hebrew centric thing is it as it gets going. It becomes a Gentile centric thing over time once the Jews condemn following the Nazarene as a heresy, distancing themselves from…well…what becomes known as Christianity. And, so, that’s what we’re watching develop.
Father we thank You. As always, we thank You for these…these stories and these people that we get to know and how it all begins to fit together to tell a larger story. We are very, very grateful. And, so, even as we watch ancient Israel reach the mountaintop experience that they been working toward for so long, we thank You for that story. And we will continue to watch the story all the way through and find so many of the nuances of our own lives in it. We also thank You for the story that reveals the birth of the church and how our earliest brothers and sisters faced questions that were before them and the pressures and persecutions that were thrust upon them. Holy Spirit come. Help us to learn lessons that we need to know. We pray this in the mighty 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:
Heavenly Father Lord I just want to lift up that the lady who just came on on the 6th of June in regards to her son passing Lord. Father God I just pray that You would just continue to be her in her family’s strength. I pray Lord God that You watch over her heart Lord. Father God tend to her heart and to the whole family’s heart Lord. Father God, I also thank You that they were allowed, and You gave them the opportunity to spend the time they spent with their son and his heart wanting to go back to church and wanted to get close to You. So, Lord I just pray God Father that You would just lift them up, be with them, strengthen them. Help them oh God in this season of their grief. Oh God Father minister to their hearts God and know that their son have connected with You and now is with You. So Father God I just lift up her and her family. I lift up every day from…from henceforth that You would just continue to be with them. Show them that You love them. Give them what they need oh God. I lift him up in the mighty name of Jesus. Have Your way. Give them peace of God. Comfort them when they need Your comfort oh God Lord. And Father God, I pray You will send people around them who will also encourage them, lift them, Lord God, for a __, for a word, for song. Lord God I just pray oh God that their hope will continue to rest in You as they go through their daily days and their daily weeks. Father God in the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Hi DAB family this is Ashley from California and I just wanted to reach out and encourage those out there who are still experiencing the COVID pandemic and just still wrestling with the season of a lack of joy and feeling like that. I wanted to share with you Psalm 27 verses 13 and 14. And it says, “yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” And everybody, I have had…I’ve had…I’ve had a rollercoaster over a year, and I can’t imagine what other circumstances are going on in your life, but I just want to encourage you from what it says in the scripture. It says when things look topsy turvy and is hard to keep leaning into God to keep our eyes on Him and to pray and lean in and He will offer that peace that surpasses understanding. So, I just want to encourage you. Just keep waiting, just keep praying, just keep going to God and he will help, and it will get better. Take care everybody. This is Ashley from California. I love you all. I’m praying for you all and have a blessed day. Bye.
Hi, DABbers, this is Kira from Denver. I just wanted to lift up Carmen from Canada. And…ahhh…Father God I come to You in prayer to Your throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need. Please strengthen Carmen and her family as they grieve the loss of her son. Help them to be comforted and know that You are God. And we don’t understand why these things happen in the way that they do but show her Your face God. Let Your love shine upon Carmen. Amen.
Good evening DABbers this is Running Desperately to Jesus also known as Staying Desperately connected to Jesus. I’m coming…coming to you very humble thanking you all for your prayers for standing in the gap for me. I heard every prayer that was sent straight up to God. So, I know He heard them. I thank you for your words of encouragement and for your asking God to give me joy in the month of June. My joy comes from hearing my brothers and sisters that I can go to whenever I need to have someone pray me through and that’s exactly what you did and that’s exactly what you’re doing is praying me through. I thank you again from the bottom my heart. I love you all. I wish I could see you personally, but your voice right now is sufficient because it’s a voice from God and I thank you. I thank him for this season, this season of putting you in my life. This season has been going on now for three years and I look forward to the season continuing on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you and I love every one of you. Thank you. Running Desperately to Jesus also Staying Desperately connected to Jesus.
Good morning DAB family it’s a beautiful morning in the UAE Abud Abi here I am. I am __ from South Africa Cape Town, a first-time caller but a longtime listener. Well man, thank you Brian for your way of breaking down the word to us and make it easy, make it simple in our busy days that we can just sit on our phones and hear the word of God. Man, I’m so moved by king Solomon’s. I always love reading his books because instead of asking of everything that other kings are searching and searching even today’s life but he asked for wisdom because without wisdom we are nothing in this world. So, Father God, we thank You for this beautiful word. We just want to pray over us Lord we just want to pray that prayer and ask for wisdom Lord, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Father You chose us to be Your sons and daughters. You chose us Lord to show this world Your love, to be an example of who You are. So, we pray for wisdom in the places where You have placed us. We believe Lord, You have placed us for a purpose, and we need Your wisdom every day. We need Your knowledge. We want to know deeper things of the heaven Lord. We don’t want to do things Lord according to our own understanding, but we search for that wisdom Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You for this beautiful family that we can come together Lord and pray and encourage each other and love each other. But we don’t want that to end only hear Lord, on these phones, on these mobile phones that we’re listening, but we want to do that Lord practically outside. We want to show that love to the world. We want to change the world Lord through Your love…