Saturday, May 31, 2014

DBRP_Jun01_2014 1Sam23-24 Ps104b Rom8b

God gives protection and victory to David. In a scene that must have caused Saul's men to roll their eyes several times, Saul is humbled before them as David directly confronts him. But after making peace, they don't go back to Jerusalem together.


Again we see the majesty and wisdom of God through his creation in today's psalm.


What wonderful promises have been given to us in this chapter! This chapter always reminds me of a time when a Christian leader did wrong to me, and then said that it would all turn out OK because of verse 28. That ruined that verse for me for a long time. But God DOES indeed work all things for good for all of us who fulfill the conditions stated. This chapter also reminds me of Eloise Burson, the wife of one of my spiritual fathers. Some years after her husband's death, she showed me how her Bible— if you just let it fall open, always opened to Romans 8. There is no richer passage to meditate on or to memorize.

Check out this episode!

Friday, May 30, 2014

DRBP_May31_2014 1Sam21-22 Ps104a Rom8a

As David flees from Saul, he goes for help to Ahimelech the priest. He needed food and wanted to consult with the Lord, and it happened that he also got Goliath's sword there. All this resulted later in Ahimilech's death and the deaths of all of Ahimilech's family.


Psalm 104 is a companion with Psalm 103. This psalm also starts and ends with the same refrain, the same one as in Psalm 103. This psalm expounds on the majesty of God.


The power behind the new lives that God wants us to live is the Holy Spirit. A side observation here: We can see that the Holy Spirit can equally be called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ (vs. 9-11). Having God's Spirit in our lives does not mean that we will not suffer. In the second half of today's reading, note the Holy Spirit's role for us in the midst of our sufferings.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

DBRP_May30_2014 1Sam20 Ps103 Rom7b

Today we hear the touching story of David and Jonathan's deep friendship, and how Jonathan realizes at last the secret plot that his father, Saul, has against David. Jonathan seems to be a prophet, for he realizes that he will not succeed his father as king.


How it must please the Lord when we pray this psalm, which is another favorite! Note that the psalm starts and ends with the same line.


Paul said something in verse 5 that he felt needed to be explained from verse 7 to the end of the chapter. He said that the Law “aroused evil desires.” How could something good seemingly do something evil? Be sure to link what Paul was saying before this explanation and what comes after it. Give that priority. Keep in mind that the explanation that Paul makes (a long parenthesis about how evil desires work) is not supposed to be our pattern for living now.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DBRP_May29_2014 1Sam18-19 Ps102 Rom7a

Today we hear the slow escalation of David's problems stemming from Saul's jealousy. Saul made David his son-in-law, but only with the hope that David would be killed by the Philistines. For only the first time in today's reading, we hear how Saul is humbled because of the result of acting on his jealousy. But he doesn't learn from it.


This psalm starts out like the prayer of anyone in distress and trouble calling out to God. As we read further, many see parallels with what our Savior would have prayed in his darkest days on earth.


The second key to being released from the power of sin is God's Spirit! Paul then launches into an exposition of what he meant in verse 5: “When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.” This explanation should not be construed to negate what he said in verse 6 and in the preceding chapters!

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DBRP_May28_2014 1Sam17 Ps101 Rom6b

In today's story, David shows that he was more concerned with God's reputation than his own safety. May we all face our imposing enemies with more faith in the unseen God than in the very present enemy!


As we look forward to hearing about David's reign as king, it is appropriate that we hear this psalm telling of his aspirations.


It is better to take what we are given, rather than what we have earned! This is a big problem for some. My Dad's cherished integrity was one of his biggest blocks to him humbly coming to God and receiving the gift of eternal life. I don't think he ever understood how God would not be so impressed by his supposed integrity. The spiritual reality expressed starting at the beginning of this 6th chapter is a key to place along with a second key that will come in the next chapter.

Check out this episode!

Monday, May 26, 2014

DBRP_May27_2014 1Sam16 Ps100 Rom6a

God tells Samuel to anoint one of Jesse's sons as the next king of Israel. Anointing another king while one is still ruling is rather dangerous. So God tells Samuel how to do that without making it public. The story that follows has this memorable quote: “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”


Today's psalm probably ranks second in the most-memorized psalms, next to Psalm 23. 


Pay attention! Paul is telling us how the process of transformation takes place whereby we are released from the ‘power of sin and death’ to live a new life!

Check out this episode!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

DBRP_May26_2014 1Sam15 Ps99 Rom5b

Today's reading tells the story of Saul's incomplete obedience and the rejection of Saul as king, by both God and Samuel. In the process Samuel says some of the most important statements in Scripture, which I will underline here:

Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,

and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,

and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.

A second quote:

He who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”


Before reading Psalm 99, “take off your sandals, because this ground is holy!” Enjoy this psalm proclaiming God’s majesty and holiness.


Mankind can at best only hope for the kind of partial obedience we see in Saul. We can't just 'try harder' to please God. We always ‘fall short’ of ‘God's glorious standard’, as we have heard before in chapter 3. The only hope for us is for God to recreate us. This is done by a our understanding and applying a spiritual reality we cannot see, which we will begin to hear about in chapter 6.

Check out this episode!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

DBRP_May25_2014 1Sam14 Ps98 Rom5a

Jonathan saves the day! He and his faithful armor bearer kind of took a leaf out of Gideon's play book and agreed upon a way that God might show his will to them— although they didn't ask for confirmation like Gideon did. They took the adventure God set before them and won an amazing victory, and God worked with them by causing panic among the Philistines. After lapses and dithering at the beginning, Saul went on to be a great military leader. Note that Ahijah is Eli's grandson.


Another favorite psalm! I love psalms where things like oceans, rivers, or trees clap their hands. I recommend this psalm for anyone who feels that we can only worship God with the good old hymns.


God is always counter-intuitive for humans. One would think that if one is right with God and at peace with him, that everything would be smooth sailing from then on, with health, wealth, and prosperity. God shows his love for us by treating us like sons and heirs— meaning, He gives us problems and trials to cause us to grow and better reflect his glory. There is a wonderful side to Christ's dying for us and being resurrected: He lives now and is deeply involved in continuing to help us. At the end of the chapter Paul draws important comparisons and contrasts between Adam and Christ.

Check out this episode!

Friday, May 23, 2014

DBRP_May24_2014 1Sam13 Ps97 Rom4b

Hostilities with the Philistines heat up to full war, and Israel is badly outnumbered. And the Israelites have been kept down so much that they are basically unarmed for war. Saul and his son's army dwindles down from 3,000 men to only 600, and Samuel doesn't show up for the important before-war sacrifice. 


Even though the psalms (and our translations) may cast a verse in the present tense, the intent of the writer may be about future things. Hebrew is very fuzzy as to verb tense. But also we may consider that all times are present to the Lord, and the psalmist may see things as happening or already happening in his vision that refer to future events. We see an example of this in today’s psalm.


Every little detail of the story of Abraham is important. Note in today's reading that Abraham “figured his body was as good as dead,” and “Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life.” Then we read that we must “believe in [Christ], the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” And we will find a new concept related to this theme of death and resurrection later.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

DBRP_May23_2014 1Sam11-12 Ps96 Rom4a

In today's story, God's Spirit comes powerfully upon the new king Saul, and he succeeds in mobilizing all of Israel's fighting men. They win a stunning victory over king Nahash and the Ammonites. After Samuel leads the people in renewing Israel's call to Saul to be king, he confronts them all about staying true to the Lord.


EC Olsen’s chapter on this psalm is entitled, “A Psalm which ought to give every living person a thrill!!” He’s right. This psalm is like vitamins for the soul. This is one of the most loved of all psalms.


This new way of being made right with God by fully believing that Paul has been talking about, is it a new religion, or is it based on the past? It is based on the past. We follow Abraham's example of believing, and this also fulfills the prophetic promises given to Abraham. Not only that, but we become heirs to the same promises. And note, that Paul uses questions to propel his logical arguments all the way through Romans, just like I did at the start of this paragraph.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DBRP_May22_2014 1Sam9-10 Ps95 Rom3b

Today we hear of the way God arranged for Saul to meet Samuel, and how God revealed amazing details to Samuel about what would happen to Saul in the short term. Saul becomes king. It is such a shame that Saul fulfilled the earlier prophecy given by Samuel a few chapters back, rather than continuing to be humble like he was at the start of his reign.


Psalm 95 is a gem among the psalms. Note the exuberance of worship in this psalm! And this is balanced by reverence to him. The last half of this psalm is quoted in full in Hebrews and is an important topic in that New Testament book.


Paul comes to the first explanation of his main point in verses 23-31. This is a difficult passage to translate. NLT has done a good job making many difficult concepts clear, particularly in verse 23 and 26. I have modified the translation to show cohesion in Paul's repetition of the word 'believe', as is noted in the attached PDF.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DBRP_May21_2014 1Sam7-8 Ps94 Rom3a

In today's reading, Samuel is formally made a judge, and then he leads the people of Israel into victory over the Philistines. But when Samuel was old and he had appointed his two sons to be judges in his place, his sons perverted justice for bribes. And after discussing the situation, the people asked to have a king. God had already long ago said this would happen. Samuel was displeased, not for the sake of his sons, but because the people were rejecting God as their king.


Psalm 94 is a poem of trust in the face of injustice. The psalmist asks for God’s righteous vengeance on arrogant and evil leaders. Those who take advantage of others are called ‘fools’. There is a parable that forms an interesting parallel: Luke 12:20, where God says, “You fool, this very night your soul will be required of you.” I also want to highlight the beautiful words, “But the LORD is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.”


In Romans chapter 3 Paul refutes important misunderstanding and wrong teaching in the process of resoundingly proving that Jews cannot save themselves by their own power by fulfilling the Law. The Law itself (including other Old Testament books) says that not even one person is righteous in God's sight. So God has provided another way, which was actually foretold in the Law and prophetic writings long ago. 

Check out this episode!

Monday, May 19, 2014

DBRP_May20_2014 1Sam5-6 Ps93 Rom2b

Having won the war with Israel, the Philistines thought their idol Dagon had given them victory. The arc of God was put in Dagon's temple. God not only proved that He is greater than Dagon, but He also struck the Philistines in all five of their territories with plagues of death, tumors, and rats ravaging the land. The Philistine witch doctors devise a creative plan to test if these disasters have happened on their own, or because of God's hand being against them. In the process it is shown that the Philistine people know about the plagues God used against the Egyptians. Once again, God proves that He is God. For any any agnostic or atheist in the audience, this seems to me to be the kind of story that no one could make up!


Psalm 93 is a miniature masterpiece praising God for his majesty and holiness.


In chapter 2 of Romans, Paul warns of a coming judgment of God, where God will judge everyone's secret life. The trouble is, however, that we all will be judged guilty of sin. We find that it doesn't matter if you are Jew or non-Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, we all need a radical transformation. We need to become a ‘true Jew’, which is “one whose heart is right with God.” What each one of us needs is “a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit.”

Check out this episode!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

DBRP_May19_2014 1Sam3-4 Ps92 Rom2a

Today we see the touching way that God revealed to Samuel how to listen for God's voice, and at the same time how he again warned Eli of impending disaster. Eli was incredibly able to recognize the way the Lord works, but at the same time was unconcerned about how God's words applied to him. Let us not be like him! Here we can make a link with our reading today in Romans. God's judgment will come to us just as surely as it did to Eli's sons.


Psalm 92 is another beautiful psalm of praise.


In today's reading, Paul continues to prove the man is not “basically good” (which one keeps hearing in Hollywood films and on the television). Not only are we sinful, but we tend to be self-righteous— which in itself is sinful. The ‘bad news’ is compounded in these additional points: “A day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. … There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil— especially for the Jews, but also for the non-Jews.”

Check out this episode!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

DBRP_May18_2014 1Sam2 Ps91 Rom1b

Thanks to Mike and Eunice Herchenroeder, fellow workers with Pioneer Bible Translator who helped in the readings today.


Today we hear Hannah's poetic and prophetic prayer of praise. Then we hear of the contrast between the boy Samuel serving the Lord, while Eli's sons are scoundrels. Finally a “man of God” (a prophet or perhaps even an angel) gave a long prophetic warning to Eli. We will see that prophecy come true.


Psalm 91 is a favorite psalm, frequently referred to in our hymns and worship songs. It is also the psalm Satan quoted to Jesus to tempt him to jump from the pinnacle of the temple. I feel that the promise that was quoted is not just for Jesus, but is for every believer. I preach to myself here: Let’s memorize and meditate upon this psalm!


Today we hear the first part of some bad news which makes the Good News ‘good’. This reminds me of the movie Second Hand Lions. In the movie a main character has a lecture on ‘how to be a man’ that he has frequently given in his career. It starts out, “Understand this: All people are basically good.” However in the movie, all we see in that character's past life and in the current way he lives is that mankind can't be trusted and you gotta' have your gun and fists ready. According to Scripture and what we will read in Romans, mankind hasn't been ‘basically good’ since the Garden of Eden.

Check out this episode!

Friday, May 16, 2014

DBRP_May17_2014 1Sam1 Ps90 Rom1a

Yesterday we heard the charming conclusion to the story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. The words of the town women have prophetic significance: “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family.” The words have a double meaning for us today, as we see them looking forward to Jesus our Redeemer.


Continuing the history of Israel, we now move to the transition from the period of judges to the period of kings. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally one book in the Hebrew Scripture. They were separated in the Greek Septuagint. The books are named after Samuel, not written by him. In 1 Samuel, we see that Samuel is not just a judge, but also a prophet, and that he anointed both Saul and David. This book contains many of the favorite Bible stories told to children.


I just learned that the titles in the Psalms were written by the Rabbis. People differ as to whether to consider them 'inspired' or not. This title of Psalm 90 may identify Moses as the author or may simply say that it reflects a Mosaic perspective. No other psalm is labeled like this one. This is a good psalm for meditating on the meaning of our life and our short life-span.


Yesterday in the final chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul continued giving instructions on how to teach particular groups in the church, ending with teachings for slaves and for rich people. Note that those who give generously to help others store up heavenly treasures and “a good foundation for the future.” Paul's closing encouragements to Timothy are moving because we can sense Paul's deep love for Timothy.


We move back in time slightly from 1 Timothy to Romans. Romans was written perhaps 6-9 years before 1 Timothy, written at the time that Paul was in Corinth. The topic sentence for Romans is 1:16-17, and the book is an outstanding presentation of this thesis in impeccable logic. As a translator, I often use those two verses as an example of how hard it is to understand a literal translation versus a meaning based translation. I encourage you to compare the NLT (which we are reading) with something like the ESV, to see what I mean. And if you do that, please also take a look at my footnote in the attached PDF file.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

DBRP_May16_2014 Ruth3-4 Ps89b 1Tim6

Today we hear the charming conclusion to the story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. The words of the town women have prophetic significance: “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family.” The words have a double meaning for us today, looking forward to Jesus our Redeemer. Thanks to Ann Slater and Ashlee Smith for their help in recording Naomi and Ruth!


Ethan, the psalm-writer was very wise in his prayer. First he started his prayer with praise and adoration. Then starting in verse 19 he reminded God of his promises to Israel about the everlasting dynasty of David. But this is all building up to the big problem that Ethan will bring up in verse 38.


Today in the final chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul continues giving instructions on how to teach particular groups in the church, ending with teachings for slaves and for rich people. Note that those who give generously to help others are storing up heavenly treasures and “a good foundation for the future.” Paul's closing encouragements to Timothy are moving because we can sense Paul's deep love for Timothy.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

DBRP_May15_2014 Ruth1-2 Ps89a 1Tim5

Today in the beginning of the book of Ruth, we will see how Naomi was left all alone, and how one of her two daughters-in-law, Ruth, left her family and idols to accompany Naomi and to follow Naomi’s God. Then it just so happened that Ruth was noticed by a man named Boaz while gathering left-behind grain.


In Psalm 89, the writer— who was named Ethan, praises God for the covenant the Lord made especially with David. The first 3/4 is beautiful in the recitation of the wonderful promises given to Israel and to David. In these, we readers at this time often see a fulfillment in Jesus, the ‘Son of David’. But suddenly at verse 38, the writer claims that God has broken his promises to David. We will hear that contrast tomorrow.


Today we hear Paul’s instructions to Timothy about widows and about judging cases where church leaders are accused of wrong doing. The chapter ends with two encouragements to Timothy.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DBRP_May14_2014 Jdg20-21 Ps88 1Tim4

The incident of the Levite and his concubine at Gibeah resulted in the civil war that we hear about today. About 24,000 men died and many women and children as well. In certain things the army inquired of the Lord, and the Lord gave answers at his sanctuary. In the way they found wives for the decimated tribe of Benjamin, the men of Israel were concerned that they not break their vows. However, we do not read that they inquired of the Lord concerning the actions they took. Again the theme statement is repeated, “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”


This Psalm 88 is perhaps the most-dark of all the despairing psalms. One encouragement to us is that God has now revealed things about the afterlife that were not yet revealed to the psalm-writer. This psalm offers no hope or encouragement. But the presence of Psalm 88 in Scripture gives us permission when in our darkest depression to come to God in prayer speaking words like found here. 


In the 4th chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul shows that he considered that time as ‘the last times’. For the Jews, the coming of the Messiah signaled the beginning of the end times. Paul's advice is just as appropriate to us as to Timothy. Half of this chapter is personal advice and encouragement to Timothy in his role as a pastor, and God has passed these words on to all in church leadership today.

Check out this episode!

Monday, May 12, 2014

DBRP_May13_2014 Jdg18-19 Ps87 1Tim3

In today's reading, the people of Dan take all the items in Micah's household shrine and Micah's Levite priest. The priest is named at the end of the chapter. And then the Danites slaughter the unsuspecting residents of Laish, forgetting about the law about sending terms of surrender before attacking. Then we hear of the unnamed Levite and his concubine (or additional and inferior-status wife). Nothing happens according to God's will in this story. While nothing negative is said against the concubine or her father, the Levite is a terrible husband. And what happens at Gibeon— as we will see tomorrow, becomes the basis for Israel's first civil war.

Psalm 87 is a prophetic psalm. The writer gives a picture of what is foretold in Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Revelation about the glory of the New Jerusalem. Every tribe, tongue, and nation will be found there because they have come to know the Lord.

This 3rd chapter of First Timothy is one of the key passages on the qualifications of church leaders in God's Word. The chapter ends with a fragment of an early worship song.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

DBRP_May12_2014 Jdg16-17 Ps86 1Tim2

Today we hear the famous and tragic story of Samson and Delilah. Victory, in this case, was not ‘sweet’. Then we hear the start of Micah and the not so nice background to his personal idols and shrine. This is the first time in the book we hear the repeated phrase “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”

In this psalm (Psalm 86), David models effective prayer. Let’s follow his example!

Paul begins his discussion of what Timothy should teach the congregation with prayer. We pray according to God's will if we pray for the salvation of others. God is always pleased with this prayer because we mirror his own heart. However the words of this chapter should not be twisted to say that every single person will be saved, or that the saving sacrifice that Jesus made will cover non-believers. This chapter also contains important words about the place of women in normal church life. When Paul uses ‘saved’ in this context, he is not talking about eternal salvation. (See the note in the PDF file.)

Check out this episode!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

DBRP_May11_2014 Jdg14-15 Ps85 1Tim1

Today we hear of Samson's disastrous marriage, and his first major victory over the Philistines. Ways in which Samson disobeyed God's Laws are that he touched and even ate from a carcass, he murdered people when not at war, and he associated with pagans and even married one of them. In spite of this, God was using him as a tool.

Today's psalm is one appropriate at any time and to anyone. There are hidden nuggets of spiritual gold here, deep truths that are worth digging for.

Today we turn to Paul’s first letter to Timothy. This contrasts with the letter we have just finished in that it is personal correspondence written to Paul’s disciple. Timothy was so dear to Paul that he considered him a son. Paul had given Timothy, who was still a young man, the task of shepherding the church at Ephesus. This book is important for the personal advice, for personal insight given about Paul, for insight into church leadership, and for the sound teachings for us to follow.

Check out this episode!

Friday, May 9, 2014

DBRP_May10_2014 Jdg12-13 Ps84 Gal6

Today we hear the conclusion of Jephthah's six years as a judge of Israel. Then we hear briefly of three more judges, and then about the miracles preceding the birth of Samson. 

Today's psalm is a favorite one, and one that has inspired many worship songs. Note the theme of joy!

Today's chapter continues what Paul was saying about the contrast between being led by God's Spirit verses allowing our sinful natures to lead us. And Paul returns to something he said in chapter two, explaining the figure of being crucified with Christ. Paul has marks on his body that are much more valuable than circumcision, and those are the scars he has gained as a representative of Christ.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

DBRP_May09_2014 Jdg10-11 Ps83 Gal5

Today, after hearing of three minor judges, we hear of Jephthah. Jephthah was a man of very poor credentials, but he turns out to be a surprisingly good leader. He shows clearly why it is better not to make rash vows to the Lord. Indeed, the New Testament tells us to not make vows at all.

Do you have enemies? And when you pray about it does God seem silent? If so, you will find example verses for you to pray in Psalm 83.

Building on the concept of freedom from requirements of the Law in chapter 4, Paul continues on that theme. The freedom is founded on the idea that we are now controlled by the Holy Spirit. Another concept very important in this is found at the end of the chapter: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” This means considering ourselves dead to sinful deeds also described in this chapter.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

DBRP_May08_2014 Jdg8-9 Ps82 Gal4

Today we hear the conclusion of the story of Gideon. It is a pity that Gideon was so successful, but that a half-son and unfaithful people ruined his legacy. This is a story that supports the verse which says, “Whatever you sow, that is also what you will reap.”

Psalm 82 is for anyone upset about injustice on earth. The difficult verse 6 can be interpreted in numerous ways.

Paul continues to use Old Testament pictures to show the spiritual truth that is central to this book. Gentiles do not need to be circumcised because we have been freed from the Law of Moses. We do not need to earn favor with God. We have already been adopted as sons and are considered heirs of God's promises. Proof of this is that the Spirit of Jesus is in our hearts.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DBRP_May07_2014 Jdg6-7 Ps81 Gal3

Today we hear of Gideon who leads Israel in a miraculous victory over the hoards of Midian using only 300 men. Gideon struggles with having faith to believe the God would actually use him, and God is amazingly patient with Gideon giving him sign after sign. In this way, Gideon really is not the best example of faith (believing!) to follow in Scripture for us to follow.

This Psalm 81 has a mysterious part in v5, where an unknown voice (or perhaps ‘language’) speaks to us. But afterward the first person ‘I’ is used for God, who speaks directly to us. 

This 3rd chapter of Galatians is important in teaching us the purpose of the Law. Paul teaches that the Law did not replace the promise that was given to Abraham. And the way for us to follow Abraham and become an heir to the promise given to Abraham (even if we are not his physical descendant) is through fully believing as Abraham did. I encourage any of you interested in translation to examine the attached PDF file for today. Please see the footnotes and changes in this chapter.

Check out this episode!

Monday, May 5, 2014

DBRP_May06_2014 Jdg4-5 Ps80 Gal2

Today we hear the story of Deborah and Barak. (Say, that name sounds familiar!) Barak doesn't get the glory for his notable defeat of Israel's enemy, Sisera. Instead the crowning glory goes to a woman named Jael, who happened to see a new use for a tent peg. The poem in chapter 5 includes taunts to Israel's tribes who 'sat on their hands' and didn't get involved in the war.

Psalm 80 is another poem that is appropriate in comparison to the book of Judges, since it is a prayer for God to again take compassion on and rescue Israel. The writer Asaph pictures the Lord as a shepherd and Israel like a vine. It is no accident that both of these are also pictures of Jesus in the New Testament. This psalm is marked by the repetition of these words, “Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies.

Half of the reading today is from the Plain English Translation, the English counterpart of the Plain Indonesian Translation. This is because this passage of Galatians includes difficult implicit information. You can compare the PET and the NLT in the PDF file attached to this podcast. Note how PET makes clear the repeated idea of 'sinners'. Paul is using a play on words in this passage. Here we see that it is not religion that will save us. It is only by being joined to Christ that we receive the benefits of salvation that have been purchased for us by Christ.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

DBRP_05May_2014 Jdg2-3 Ps79 Gal1

Around the time of Joshua's death, an angel appears to the people of Israel and rebukes them for disobedience. The writer summarizes the fickleness of the people. And we quickly hear of Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar— the first three judges.

This lament— again by Asaph in Psalm 79, is like Ps 74, talking about Jerusalem and the Temple conquered by enemies. There is a strong comparison with what we see starting to happen in Judges.

We heard the controversy over circumcision in Acts 15. This letter to the Galatian believers is on a similar theme, and it shows how Paul would have argued with the Jews of the circumcision party. Paul stays very much on this theme in this book, which in some ways foreshadows some arguments in the book of Romans. Important sections for memorizing include the ‘crucified with Christ’ passages in chapter 2 and 6, and the works of the flesh and fruits of the Holy Spirit in chapter 5. This book makes clear that we are not saved by religion. 

Check out this episode!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

DBRP_May04_2014 Jud1 Ps78b Acts28

It happens that Psalm 78 is a perfect introduction to the book of Judges! This book covers the dark ages for the nation of Israel, from the time following Joshua’s death to the birth of the last judge, Samuel. HC Mears gives a good easy-to-remember summary: Seven apostasies (times of turning away from God), seven servitudes to seven idolatrous and cruel nations, and seven deliverances. The last verse is the author’s own summary, which is often repeated near the end of the book: “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”

Asaph continues his poetic reminder to the people of Israel.

Paul, Luke, and the others arrive in Rome. Luke stays with Paul long enough to record that he had two years of house arrest, and that he started his time there giving a clear testimony to the Jews about Christ Jesus. 

Check out this episode!

Friday, May 2, 2014

DBRP_May03_2014 Josh24 Ps78a Acts27b

Today we hear the final chapter of Joshua, and Joshua's final charge to the people of Israel. He boldly told them that they were not really able to serve the Lord. The famous words of his speech are, “But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”

Today's psalm is a poetic recitation of Israel’s history, and it happens to be very fitting in relation to our reading in Joshua.

Today we hear the dramatic conclusion of the ship-wreck chapter in Acts.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

DBRP_May02_2014 Josh22-23 Ps77 Acts27a

Joshua dismisses the three tribes of warriors to return to their homes to the east of the Jordan. But when they go home, they decide to build an altar as a memorial. But their idea was misunderstood, nearly resulting in war.

This psalm by Asaph was dedicated to Jeduthun, whose name means ‘praise giver’. Asaph worries about this: Has God changed? Why doesn’t He help us like He helped the Israelites in the past?

Paul, Luke, and Aristarchus start the voyage to Rome, under the command of a Roman officer named Julius. The captain, ship owner, and sailors don't listen to Paul's prophetic warning, and disaster is immanent. 

Check out this episode!