Exodus 23:14-25:40, Matthew 24:29-51, Psalms 30:1-12, Proverbs 7:24-27
Today is the 6th day of February welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian and it is great to be here with you. And this is kind of a time where I’m in two places at once. So, I’m coming to you right this moment from the rolling hills of Tennessee when I am actually arriving in Israel. And because of the time changes and all of the jostling around and the international travel and all that’s associated with that sort of stuff coming to you from the rolling hills of Tennessee and I will be with you from Israel tomorrow once we can get a little bit acclimated and a little bit set up for the excursion that we are about to go on together as a community. Tomorrow evening will be our first official gathering, our welcome dinner where we finally all arrive all blurry eyed and excited with adrenaline and exhausted from jet lag and…and we’ll get to see each other for the first time. And, so, excited about that, and very much looking forward to touring the land of the Bible together in person and as a community virtually for the first time since…since we all became familiar with a term called Covid. So, it is good to be back in the land of the Bible and I look forward to all that we will see and experience together. But the reason that we have come together around the Global Campfire today is to do what we do together every day, take the next step forward. And the next step forward leads us back into the book of Exodus. And we are around Mount Sinai. God has come to meet with the people, that has terrified the people, so much so that they’ve told Moses like, look, you you go talk to God. God can’t talk directly to us. We’ll die. You talk to God and tell us what He says and then we’ll obey you. And then God has begun to offer the instructions and statutes that will form this people together cohesively as a people, the terms under which they will live together and how they will behave toward one another. And we will notice that throughout all of this giving of the law that we will see that although there are very practical things going on everything that’s being instituted into this culture is aiming them back to God and its aiming them back to who they are and where they’ve come from and who rescued them, who God is. And, so, we pick up the story there. Exodus chapter 23 verse 14 through 25 verse 40 today.
Alright. So, in the book of Matthew today we’re sort of at the back end of a little discourse that Jesus began in our reading yesterday and it came about because his disciples, they were leaving Jerusalem and just kind of marveling at the construction in Jerusalem at the temple and just all of the magnificence of it all. And Jesus tells them it’s all coming down, it’s all going to be thrown down to the ground. That prophetic word did actually happen. And not too long later in 70 A.D. the Romans had had enough and they did completely destroy Jerusalem. But that’s what started this discourse. The disciples come to Jesus later when they’re on the Mount of olives and they want to know when. When is this is all going down? What will be the sign? Like, what will be the sign? If this is the end of the world, if this is all going down how will we know? And that’s when Jesus begins to talk about the times of the end. And ironically, the way that He talks about the time of the end is not to answer their question and tell them the day that this is all going to go down. He tells them how they can interpret what’s going on around them. And it’s not just how they can interpret what’s going around them so that they can discern what the sign of the times is. It’s because they have a role to play in it. There’s a posture or a way to be in it. And, so, Jesus is giving them warnings, like don’t be deceived. There’s lots of people that are gonna come and claim to be something or claim to be Me. And if somebody tells you, go over there, He’s there or come over here, it’s here, don’t believe it. Many false prophets will appear. Many people will be deceived, but…and I quote Jesus here, “but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” And that’s kind of where we were yesterday. Today He speaks of the sun being darkened, the moon doesn’t give it’s light, the stars fall from the sky, the powers of the heavens are shaken. And He’s saying these are the kinds of things to watch for. This is kind of how you know the climate of things. And He gives us a practical example. “When a fig tree has a branch that becomes tender and produces leaves, you know when that happens that summer is near.” And then He says, “in the same way when you see all these things, you know that He is near.” And then He says something that we should really hold onto because we have a tendency and have had a tendency for the last couple thousand years trying to date this, trying to figure this all out, trying to assume for sure that whatever is going on in our time is the worst it’s ever been. And, so, this must be the signs of the time. Jesus says, “no one”, and I’m quoting, “no one knows when that day and hour will be. Not the angels of heaven, not even the Son, but only the Father.” So, what is Jesus telling us here? That we can see this coming in the same way that we can see summer coming, but we can’t know precisely when, because that’s not the point. The point is that we live our lives ready, that we live our lives that it could happen at any time, that we live our lives that it could happen at any time, and we would be ready, which leads us to a little bit of a…kind of a common misreading of something that Jesus says. Jesus says. “at that time”, so this is the times that we’re talking about, “at that time two men will be in the field. One will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill. One will be taken, and one will be left. So, be alert because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” So, throughout my life…I mean…there are songs about this…and throughout my life I’ve read this and thought, you don’t want to be the one left behind. Actually, though, with careful reading maybe you do. And that doesn’t really have to change this ongoing meaning that there is a rescue coming. It’s just that the assumption that the one that gets taken in this little parable is what you want to be when maybe what Jesus is saying is you want to be left. So, let’s look at this. I’m quoting. I’m just reading from the Gospel of Matthew. “No one knows when that day and hour will be. Not the angels of heaven, not even the Son, but only the Father. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be when the Son of Man returns. In fact, in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the very day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not realize what was coming until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man returns.” So, if that’s the backdrop to the story that Jesus is telling then they did not realize what was coming until the flood came and took them all away. That’s how it will be when the Son of Man returns. And then Jesus says, “at that time two men will be in the field. One will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill. One will be taken, and one will be left.” So, it…I mean that’s like one sentence removed from Jesus saying, “they did not realize what was coming until the flood came and took them all away.” So, like I said, the meaning is not being changed here it’s just…it seems like what Jesus is saying is you want to be routed, you don’t want to be swept away, you don’t want to be taken. You want to be left. And believe me, I know this tweaks with sentiment, so much of our modern interpretation and our well-formed understanding of the times of the end. But the point in bringing this out is the point of what Jesus is making, nobody knows, not even the Son, but only the Father which is quoted out of the Bible. The point Jesus is making is how we live while we’re waiting. And I quote again from Matthew. “At that time two men will be in the field. One will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill. One will be taken, and one will be left. So, be alert because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Understand this. If the master of the house had known what time of the night the thief was coming, he would’ve stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into”, right? He would have been ready. “You also need to be ready for this reason. The Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” That is the point of what Jesus is saying. And then He goes on. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his master has put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?” Who did the master put in charge to take care of each other, to take care of the people? “Blessed is that servant, whom his master finds doing this when he returns.” Taking care of people. “Amen I tell you. He will put him in charge of all that He has”, right? The person that is a ready, the person that is taking care of people, the person that is trustworthy, alert and aware. “But”, Jesus says. “if that servant is wicked and says in his heart, my master’s staying away a long time.” Like, is he coming back? He hasn’t come back for 2000 years. Is he really coming back? “And he begins to not take care of others. He begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards. The master of that servant will return on a day when he does not expect it and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him in two and assign him a place with hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This is about being ready. And part of being ready is how we take care of each other. And if taking care of each other isn’t even a category on our radar then we’re not ready. And, so, let’s give it some thought today. Maybe even crack open the Bible and go back and ponder the 24th chapter of Matthew, for ourselves, and wrestle with it for ourselves and allow the Bible to do what the Scriptures do, challenge us, reprioritize, change things around, set us on a path that leads to wisdom and lead us on the pathways of truth.
Father, that is what we are asking for, that is what we continually ask for, that Your Holy Spirit would come and lead us into all truth and plant in us what needs to grow and take from us what needs to not be there. Show us and lead us into what it looks like for us to be aware and awake and alert and ready in the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is a home base. That is where you can find out what’s going on around here. You can also use the Daily Audio Bible app, which you can download free from whatever app store works with your device. And, so, check that out.
Obviously, what is going on around here is we are preparing to go on pilgrimage in the land of the Bible. And, so, obviously we’ll be talking about that as we go through the process. We’ll be talking about that, each day what we’re doing and what we’re gonna do, what we’re seeing or experiencing. We’ll also be posting photographs, maybe videos of some of the different goings on as we do the journey together. And we’ll be posting those on the Daily Audio Bible Facebook page. And, so, knowing about the Community section in the website or on the app, that’s where to find those links to things like Facebook and Instagram etc. etc. And, so, we’ll be posting to these places as things happen. And you can kinda just follow along and interact with each other there and then we’ll talk about it each day. And then on Saturday when we get ourselves arrived…well…in the Galilee area, that evening we’ll do a Facebook live from the land of the Bible. And, so, watch for that. I think that’s planned for 7:30 PM local time. And since we’re all over the world that’s like all different times all over the place, but you could easily Google like the difference between Tel Aviv and your location and find the difference and then you can join with us and will look forward to that. So, just asking for your prayers. We are arriving. There is a wall of jet lag that has to be overcome by everybody when you move so many hours different than what your body clock is used to and then there’s a lot of logistics a lot of technology a lot that…that we’re ready for and asking God’s blessing over but definitely asking for the community to cover us all in prayer as we move through the land of the Bible together. And thank you deeply for your prayers.
If you want partner with the Daily Audio Bible, if what we do as we gather each day and take a step forward in the Scriptures and process it together and consider it together, if that is life-giving to you than thank you for your partnership. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t…if we weren’t taking the journey together. And, so, thank you profoundly and with all humility. There is a link on the homepage dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the app you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner, or the mailing address 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, 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: