Genesis 18:16-19:38, Matthew 6:25-7:14, Psalm 8:1-9, Proverbs 2:6-15
Today is the 8th day of January, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible, and welcome to week two. We have completed our first full week of this year and our first full week moving through the Scriptures together, day-by-day and step-by-step. So, here we are at the threshold of a brand-new, shiny, sparkly week. And we walk into this week together. And I’ll say it many, many, times as we come to the beginning of a new week. This is a fresh start, we’re still just starting our year and so we got a fresh start in the year, but this is a fresh start, a brand-new week. Week number two, which means we have a reset, we can regroup, we can move forward together. And so, let’s do just that. We will read from the New International Version this week, and obviously picking up right where we left off yesterday, leads us back into the story of Abraham in the book of Genesis. Abraham and his wife Sarah have been promised to have a son, a promised son. Only problem is that like Abraham’s 99 years old and Sarah’s like pushing 90, and so, seems like unlikely that they’re going to have a kid, but who knows maybe they will. We’ll get to that soon enough. We’ve got a little drama that precedes that. So, let’s dive in, Genesis chapter 18 verse 16 through 19 verse 38 today.
Okay, so, like yesterday, we have some very poignant things going on in the gospel of Matthew, coming from the lips of Jesus, that we cannot possibly ignore. And out right here at the beginning of the year, we need to observe what they are and incorporate them into our lives and simply watch what it might look like if we obey. But before we get to that we need to go back into the book of Genesis, because we encountered a story today that probably left most of us going wait a second here. What is going on? So, we have this story of…of Abraham discussing with the Lord, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and kind of negotiating. Really, really interesting, “really if they’re 50 people there will you still destroy it’, ‘no, if there are 50 I won’t’, ‘well, what about five less,’ then I won’t if there’s 45’, ‘well, what about 30’, it’s really, really interesting to watch a human being, Abraham, talking to God and they’re talking back-and-forth. Abraham’s looking for this clarity and he’s negotiating the number down. He gets it down to 10, I’m not really sure why he doesn’t like continue to go down to one or whatever, maybe because 10 people is Lots household, that he knows of. And he’s just making sure that his own family that’s living down in the Jordan Valley will be saved. Nevertheless, there’s this conversation that is taking place between God and Abraham, and God assures Abraham look, I’m not going down there to indiscriminately do anything. I’m going to check things out, and if there’s righteousness there then we’ll find it, and if there is only evil there then we’re going to do away with evil because evil is destroying creation. So, this all takes place and we find ourselves down in Sodom, the Angels go home with Lot, they’re surrounded by the men of the village, they want to have sex with the Angels, although they don’t know that they are angels. And it’s pretty clear that’s the Lord is going to bring destruction. So, they spirit Lot away, they’re running for their lives. The girls have been offered up to the mob. So, they’re running away wondering about their value. Although were in an extraordinarily patriarchal culture at this time. Their fiancés have stayed behind and are now dead. Their mom is running with them, but she looks back and then she’s gone. And so, all that’s left are these two daughters and their dad, and their hold up in a cave. And the daughters decide to sleep with their father to see if they could become pregnant by their father to continue their family line. We see a story like this in the Bible, at least it’s been my personal experience, we see a story like this the Bible and go, what in the world? What is this doing in the Bible? And the immediate judgment is like against God. Ironically, like stories that are disruptive in the Bible that make us go, wait a minute, what? What is going on here? They’re doing what they’re supposed to do. Like, that’s what the narrative is supposed to do, we’re supposed to be unsettled. And then we’re supposed to enter in and wrestle with, and observe and look at what’s going on in this story? So, it’s so funny how we can read a story in the Bible and then blame God for everything. When, if we you look at the story, God didn’t do any of this. He went to destroy evil, but He did not enter the minds of the daughters and tell them to have sex with their father and see if they could get pregnant. There’s this entire cultural context going on here that reveals to us that these girls, this isn’t like, they weren’t like, yes, a romantic night with dad. Right, like anybody. They were in a situation where the only way, seems to be the wrong way, like there’s no good choices. Here they are, foreign women, they had been betrothed. They are no longer engaged; their mom is gone. Their father is aging. They are foreigners and, in this culture, there needs to be a man to claim them, to continue the family line. So that the women will be spoken for and protected. And like there’s no way for this to happen. They’ve lost everything, like their dad who had once been wealthy, is living in a cave with his daughters. They lost everything in this. And so, he can’t buy his way out of stuff and he’s not going to be able to defend himself. If they’re like moving through the mountains or they’re moving through the plains and they’re just trying to stay low to the ground, but people come upon them and here’s two beautiful girls and their dad. Pretty easy to take the dad out and steal the girls, like they really don’t have a lot of options. Could they flee to their ancestral homeland? Could they go back to wherever their family is? Could they get there by themselves? Probably not, they’re gonna get captured along the way and what will be the outcome? Very likely, they’ll be human trafficked, very likely. They’ll be prostitutes. And so, they make the choices that they make, believing that this is the only choice that they have. Why they didn’t flee back to Abraham, we…we don’t know. What we do know is from the text, that there were no angels that appeared to Lot and his daughters, suggesting that the Lord Almighty had put them in the cave because it was His will that they could do this. There were no instructions about any of this from the mouth of God, commanding or inviting any of this. These were the choices that were made, and this is what happened because of those choices. And we can often blame God for the choices that we make, as well. When He had nothing to do with what we decided to do. But if we go back a few days and remember Abraham and Lot standing on top of the lookout and Abraham telling Lot, you pick where you want to go, and I’ll go in the opposite direction. Lot chooses selfishly. Abraham remains steadfast and the stories play out. Which invites us to wrestle with our own lives, the choices that we make are leading somewhere, will end up somewhere. Do we want to end up somewhere where the only way is the wrong way? Or might we consider, being steadfast and believing in the promise?
Then we flip over into the gospel of Matthew and Jesus begins by telling us that essentially, we’re spending more time worrying than is necessary. And were worrying and anxious about things that God is already aware of. And then He’s kinda giving us the remedy, seek first the kingdom of God. Seek first like, before your worry and anxiety for all of that, first seek God’s kingdom and the righteousness of God. Do that first and all these things will be given to you as well. Don’t worry about tomorrow, it’ll take care of itself. What an invitation. Like that’s what Jesus is suggesting that we do, like what if we do that this week. But if before the anxiety and before the sleepless nights, what if first seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Like, what’s the downside to trying it this week? But while we’re doing some trying, Jesus said something very poignant. Yesterday, we’re talking about Jesus right after the Lord’s prayer telling us that forgiveness is not an option in God’s kingdom. It’s like the way of God’s kingdom and we need to have that as a category and begin to think about that. Jesus tells us additional information today, and I quote, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way, you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” That is pretty big and a very important piece of information to know on our faith journey. That we are setting the bar for our own judgment, by the way that we choose to judge others. Like that is something to ponder. And so, you can head right back into Matthew chapter 7 and wrestle with it yourself. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use it, it will be measured to you. And then Jesus goes on to talk about specks and planks being in eyes. Why are you trying to take the speck out of somebody else’s eye, when you got a log in your own eye. Get the log out of your own eye and then you can help the other…other brother or sister get the speck out of their own eye. That’s his illustration for what He’s saying about judging. And we could parse this and have all kinds of debate about what it actually means to judge. Like, what are we actually talking about here? Each of us should wrestle with that in our own lives, what does that mean to us? What does that mean to the way we conduct ourselves? What is the Holy Spirit leading us to become aware of? Because if Jesus is telling the truth, and I believe He’s telling the truth, like our lives as Christians are centered around this person, like this is the one who came to rescue us, He didn’t come here to like lay down the commands, He came here to show us what freedom might look like, how we might live in such a way that will bring us freedom. And how backward we actually live to the way we were intended to live. It’s really easy for us to get judgy. It’s really easy to watch people do things differently than we would do them and have an opinion. And it could be big and it can be small, but we do it all the time and what is it actually doing? Like, aren’t we just continually trying to create comparisons that let us feel superior? And is any of that real? Like do we have any say in any of it? What we’ve been given control over is ourselves. Can we even handle that? Why do we think we can handle everybody else’s life and why do we think we have to have an opinion about everything and why we think we have to post every opinion about everything, all of the time in such highly judgmental ways? I guess, here we are in week two, and were going to find that we learn a lot in the Bible about a lot of things, but the Bible is going to be relentless about confronting us in certain areas, because they will lead us into bondage if we cannot understand what’s going on. So, let’s wrestle with it, as we move through this week.
And Holy Spirit, we invite You. Wrestling with these things and trying to improve ourselves in our own strength, by brute force. We have tried and failed and tried and failed. And so, we will only fail at any of these things without You coming and revealing things to us and transforming us from within. And we’re getting a good picture from Jesus that we spend an awful lot of time on our exterior lives and most of our energy, when we’re ignoring what is true. Life from within. So, Holy Spirit, come. Help us with the way that we carry around unforgiveness, help us with the way that we can be so judgmental toward each other. Help us to understand that we’re setting the bar for our own selves. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayer and Encouragements:
Good morning DABers. This message is especially for God’s Chosen and child. Thank you for putting a smile on my face and joy in my heart as I started my day, today. I call myself the Potter’s Clay and am the mother of a 31-year-old medically fragile and totally dependent daughter. Your worship and song gave me the energy and encouragement, I needed to start my day. God bless you and God bless that precious little girl of yours. Thanks again.
Hey this is Shawn, I’m from Nicaragua. Just want to shout out. I’ve been here with the Daily Audio Bible for a year now and I’ve seen God work in my life. I just want to thank you Brian, for always being there and just keep up the good work, man. We just thank You Lord for Brian and his family. That he may keep doing the will of the Lord. Bless his heart, dear Lord, in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Hi friends, my sisters and brothers in the Lord. I am sitting in my living room; my youngest girl is watching cartoons. And I just listened to the Daily Bible reading. And this is just my day number two. I just downloaded the app, just before new year. So, I’m amazed by this app, but this community is amazing. Able to send prayer requests, able to pray for other people. I just want to say, just like were told every day here, you are loved, and I want to say that I love you. Praying with you here. And really hope that you have a wonderful day. And then especially those of you who struggle with depression and stillness and yeah. That God may lift you up or yeah, that He will strengthen you. And I ask people to pray for me yesterday because I have had depression before and have felt a little bit again now. This last half year. It would really help if you pray for me. I can feel a difference today. I feel more at peace, so that’s wonderful. So, praise the Lord, and thank you. Happy New Year to all of you.
Hello, I’m Hudson. My brother has diabetes and it’s been tough for him. I need your prayers please. I’m Hudson. Hope you all are doing well.
I’d like to give a praise report. Thank you, Brian and family. What a blessing. You’ve really, really help me beyond what words can say. I can read but I really struggle around it. So, two-fold, when COVID first came, in the UK, I was in a bad way when I first fell down. And it was only listening for people asking for prayer, it actually snapped me out of it cause I realized it’s not just me. I’ve got four children, so I’ve been on my own for years. It can be a horrible place at times. Anyway, thank you. I had a lung infection. I couldn’t breathe. There can’t be anything worse than not being able to breath. Anyway, I put it out on the Prayer Wall. And within a couple of hours of putting it out on the Prayer Wall, people were praying for me. And I loved it, absolutely loved it. So, thank you and I really do appreciate it. God bless you all and keep you all safe. Amen.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family, this is Shantay calling from the Treasure Coast of Florida. And there was a call from John 3:16 that just had me in tears in a bittersweet, to put it that way. Because I believe that we each …shore. I am still grieving over the loss of Pelham. You know, it was just all so sudden for us. I just so related to his call. It’s like, he said he felt like he didn’t convey how much he meant. And I feel that way too. I was even ___ I didn’t really chat with him that much like I could have, you know. But I know, I know he knows how much we cared for him. I just know that. We’re a family and you can’t fake this, you just can’t. It just, although my first time when I heard Brian and he you know, he read the Bible and that at the end he said, I love you. Now, I was thinking to myself, now that’s a little, okay. Uh, you know, it was my first time listening and I’m like okay, you know, whatever. But as I continue to listen and listen and listen that feeling just overwhelmed me of love for this community. Of love for Brian. Of love for what we have here. And yeah, there’s no denying it. So, I’m just grateful. I’m grateful for each and every one of you. And on most of my calls I end with, I love you, because I truly feel that. And yes, we will definitely grief for Pelham. Praise God he’s with Jesus right now. It was just all so sudden, it really was. But God’s timing is His timing, it’s perfect and we have to…