Thursday, July 31, 2014

DBRP_Aug01_2014 Jer23 Ps149 1Cor6

A stunning prophecy is given in today's reading:

“For the time is coming,”

says the LORD,

“when I will raise up a righteous descendant

from King David’s line.

He will be a King who rules with wisdom.

He will do what is just and right throughout the land.

And this will be his name:

‘The LORD Is Our Righteousness.’

How amazing that this identity of ‘the Lord is our Righteousness’ is specifically linked with the Righteous Descendant! In today's reading also, there is the portion about not calling the Lord's message a ‘burden’. If you are following the reading in your Bible, you may want to look at the attached PDF file.


We old saints should not despise all of the new songs of the young saints. Yet I totally understand the desire to avoid change.  Here we see that Scripture commands that we sing new songs. And this whole psalm can be taken as a prelude to what we will see in the book of Revelation.


Today's reading in 1 Corinthians starts out rebuking the Christians there for taking their fellow believers to court before secular judges. However right afterward, in supporting his points, Paul gives some of the most amazing verses in all Scripture about our position in unity with Christ.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DBRP_Jul31_2014 Jer21-22 Ps148 1Cor5

In today's reading, we hear that the very priest who put Jeremiah in stocks and beat him was sent by the king to him, along with others. They were to ask Jeremiah's help to pray for a miracle. And God makes it ever so clear that no miracle of deliverance will be given. Jeremiah repeatedly tells the king what he needs to do, but Zedekiah just can't manage to do it. The area of giving justice is especially prominent in today's reading.


The ending psalms just keep getting more and more exuberant in praise!


Paul drops the bombshell in today's reading. Here is another unfortunate chapter break, because if you start at chapter 5, it seems that Paul is unloving and judgmental. But he doesn't seem that way if you read this in the context of chapter 4.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DBRP_Jul30_2014 Jer19-20 Ps147 1Cor4

In yesterday’s reading, we again heard some often-quoted verses. These verses come just after Jeremiah beautifully paraphrases Psalm 1:

9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,

and desperately wicked.

Who really knows how bad it is?

10 But I, the LORD, search all hearts

and examine secret motives.

I give all people their due rewards,

according to what their actions deserve.”

Then in chapter 18, we also heard the famous passage about the Lord being like a potter, which Paul refers to in Romans 9.


Today we read our second Hallelujah psalm. And that has been translated according to its meaning here as “Praise the LORD.” This psalm has incredible depth.


Paul is still ‘on about’ the same thing. In today's reading he returns to the subject of himself and Apollos (which summarizes the division in the Corinthian church). To give the connection, I will start reading today at chapter 3 verse 10.

Check out this episode!

Monday, July 28, 2014

DBRP_Jul29_2014 Jer17-18 Ps146 1Cor3

One catches so clearly how trapped Jeremiah is in the time of God’s judgment. What the Lord told Jeremiah in yesterday’s reading is repeated in Revelation:

“‘Those who are destined for death, will die;

those who are destined for war, will die in war;

those who are destined for famine, will die of famine;

those who are destined for captivity, will die in captivity.’

There are times when no amount of ‘good living’ will give you health, wealth, and prosperity.


Here is the first of five Hallelujah psalms. Our friends, Tom and Judi Oas, visited us from Arizona. They have just retired from Wycliffe. Tom and Judi's ministry was in the Mexico branch of SIL, near Tucson. Judi reads this psalm for us.


The topic of this chapter is still related to that verse from Jeremiah that Paul quoted about boasting. And this chapter builds on what Paul has just said about wisdom.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

DBRP_Jul28_2014 Jer15-16 Ps145 1Cor2

Yesterday the dialog between the Lord and Jeremiah continued. We heard of the drought. And the Lord forbid Jeremiah to pray for the people of Judah. Today the Lord forbids Jeremiah to marry and have children. Today Jeremiah says these memorable words:

When I discovered your words, I devoured them.

They are my joy and my heart’s delight,

for I bear your name,


This Psalm 145 is an acrostic poem, and it gives us a great place to start when praising God.


Today we backup and read half of chapter 1 again together with chapter 2, in order to get all of what Paul was saying about God's wisdom and how God's wisdom impacts us as followers of the Lord.


Check out this episode!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

DBRP_Jul27_2014 Jer13-14 Ps144 1Cor1

I have found the conversation between the Lord and Jeremiah interesting this year! In yesterday’s reading, Jeremiah complained to the Lord,

LORD, you always give me justice

when I bring a case before you.

So let me bring you this complaint:

Why are the wicked so prosperous?

And the Lord replied,

“If racing against mere men makes you tired,

how will you race against horses?

If you stumble and fall on open ground,

what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?

Today the Lord forbids Jeremiah to pray for the people of Judah.


Today we have a joyful psalm of King David, joyfully giving thanks and praying for his people. Note the huge contrast with Jeremiah.


    Corinth was a metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea with a population of between 150,000 and 300,000 Roman citizens and about 460,000 slaves. There was evidently a healthy criminal population, and the city was a center of banking, so there were incredibly wealthy people there also. The city was full of idol shrines of deities from Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and there was cult prostitution. 

     Some commentators claim that 1 Corinthians contains parts of two letters from Paul, so that 2nd Corinthians might actually be a third or fourth letter. I don’t buy that, by the way. 

    Key topics of the letter include the divisions in the church, the obstacles to sharing the Gospel— God’s wisdom, to Greeks and Jews, vice in the church, partnership among apostles of Christ, vice in the church, various instructions about marriage, the Lord’s supper, food sacrificed to idols, Paul not caching in on his rights as an apostle, spiritual gifts and the spiritual fruit of love, and the resurrection of Christ.

    Today's chapter includes that verse from Jeremiah that I highlighted recently.

Check out this episode!

Friday, July 25, 2014

DBRP_Jul26_2014 Jer11-12 Ps143 John21

Jeremiah asks the Lord in today's reading about his justice. Why are the wicked always so prosperous? The Lord's reply seems to say, “You haven't seen anything yet,” and, “Justice means that there will be severe consequences coming.”


It seems that prayer is very neglected these days. Every church has trouble keeping a prayer meeting going. I myself have trouble keeping my prayer life going. If only I could be like David!


This is one of my favorite chapters. John again tells us important information not given in the other gospels. Note that there is a famous exegetical fallacy here. John does use two different words for ‘love’ in the dialog between Jesus and Peter. But this should NOT be taken, as has been so frequently taught— as showing a play on words. This is instead a feature of John’s style in writing. John’s style is seen in this same passage in the variation of ‘little lambs’ and ‘sheep’.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

DBRP_Jul25_2014 Jer9-10 Ps142 John20

Important verses are found in chapter 9:23-24, as Paul quotes these more than once, 

“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,

or the powerful boast in their power,

or the rich boast in their riches.

But those who wish to boast

should boast in this alone:

that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD …

Chapter 10:6-7 have been made into a worship song.


If anyone is discouraged and feeling like it would be good to hide in a cave, this psalm is a good one for you to pray.


I love how all it took for Mary to recognize the risen Christ was for him to say her name. What a contrast she is to Thomas. It was the Lord's will that both characters represent us in this story.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DBRP_Jul24_2014 Jer7-8 Ps141 John19b

Jeremiah was given perhaps the toughest job of any prophet. In 7:27 God tells him, “Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond.”


David received the answer to his prayer in verse 5, if this was written before his affair with Bathsheba. Nathan did what David prayed for here. This psalm contains gems that are well worth digging for and meditating on.


Time and time again, Jesus fulfills Scripture that predicted what he would do. Finally he said, “It is finished!”

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DBRP_Jul23_2014 Jer5-6 Ps140 John19a

In order to help you catch the meaning of this book, I am reading the section headings and also I am explicating what is shown by quote marks in the NLT text, saying whether it is God or Jeremiah who is speaking. This information, which is of course added by our modern editors, is very helpful to us modern readings and listeners. Today's reading has a good summary spoken by the Lord:

 ‘Why did the LORD our God do all this to us?’ you must reply, ‘You rejected him and gave yourselves to foreign gods in your own land. Now you will serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.’


Psalm 140 is a prayer for anyone who fears the imminent attack of wicked enemies.


Today we hear the drama (and injustice) of Jesus' public trial.

Check out this episode!

Monday, July 21, 2014

DBRP_Jul22_2014 Jer3-4 Ps139 John18b

God, speaking through the prophets, frequently says how he feels about idolatry. He considers it just like the faithlessness of a wayward wife. It is moving that Jeremiah can so clearly see what will happen— the anguish of the people when they will be attacked by armies from the north. 


The poetry of this psalm makes quite a contrast to our reading in Jeremiah! Our God is a God who searches. This psalm has been a great comfort to many. 


To me it is interesting that in Jesus’ short time with the governor of the land, Jesus brings the focus to the concept of ‘truth’.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

DBRP_Jul21_2014 Jer1-2 Ps138 John18a

The book of Jeremiah was written between 627 and 580 BC, and it is the longest book in the Old Testament. Jeremiah is often called the weeping prophet, and his other book is Lamentations. It is possible that he is the son of the high priest Hilkiah who brought the book of the Law to the attention of king Josiah. Having just heard in 2 Kings  an overview of what happened during the last days of the kingdom of Judah, we now will hear the poems and sermons of a sensitive man living through it all. Mears says, “No other prophet bares his soul to his readers as does Jeremiah. Although Jeremiah announced the coming destruction of Judah, he looked beyond this judgment to a day when everyone would know the Lord personally through the forgiveness of his or her sins (Jer. 31-34). This new kind of relationship with the Lord would be part of the “new covenant” the Lord would establish with his people (Jer. 31:31).”


Psalm 138 is the first of a series of eight psalms where the psalmist speaks in the first person singular. This psalm includes an important declaration in verse two, which in a literal version ends like this, “for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” NLT has done a good job translating that more meaningfully here.


As John said in chapter 13, “Jesus, having always loved his disciples, he loved them to the end.”

Check out this episode!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

DBRP_Jul20_2014 Jonah3-4 Ps137 John17b

Running from God didn’t work. Jonah grudgingly obeyed and proclaimed God's message in Nineveh. In the final two chapters God shows Jonah how inconsistent he has been in his thoughts. God's message gives us a powerful testimony of how God feels about the ethnic groups who do not know him and (literally) “can't tell their left hand from their right.” Jonah forgets to mention if he ever repented.


As a musician, I can imagine what the musician who wrote this felt. The imprecation at the end should be taken in view of God’s justice. Compare the thought here with Rev. 6:9 and following (the cry of the saints under the altar), and also the ending chapters of Revelation that portray the vengeful judgment against ‘Babylon’— which in that book is used as a figurative name.


Jesus shows us his heart's deepest desires in this prayer in John 17. He still prays for us like this today.

Check out this episode!

Friday, July 18, 2014

DBRP_Jul19_2014 Jonah1-2 Ps136 John17a

Each year when I have followed a personal Bible reading plan like the one we are following, I have enjoyed a break from reading the books of history, moving to the prophets. And our first is Jonah, who was mentioned back in 2 Kings 14.  

Note that the little story of Jonah is masterfully written. It is evidence of inspiration. Little details poke out everywhere. Jonah has a downward journey. He goes down from Jerusalem to Joppa, then down again into the hold of the boat, and then down into the underworld of the ocean. He wasn't just being disobedient. He was saying, “I'm turning in my prophet's mantel.”


Bob Deffinbaugh: “Let’s face it, don’t you find that our text has reversed the heroes and the villains? … we would have expected Jonah to be the hero, while the heathen sailors would certainly have been expected to be the villains. This was certainly the perspective of Jonah, and of the Israelites, whom he typified. Yet in our text it is the sailors who pray, while Jonah does not. The sailors sought to deal with sin on the ship, not Jonah. The sailors end up worshiping God, not Jonah. The sailors have compassion on Jonah, while he seems to have little concern for the danger in which he has put them. Clearly this chapter turns our expectations inside-out.”

Even the fish comes out better than Jonah. He obeyed. The pagans of Nineveh and their king also come out looking better than Jonah. They repent.


Intro to chapter 2: For most of my life I have been fooled by Jonah's prayer, because he borrows a lot from the Psalms. Jonah prays a selfish, me-centered prayer, and it is also a self-righteous prayer. The worst thing about it is there is no hint of repentance. But there are clear signs of trying to manipulate God. His prayer is somewhat like the self-righteous Pharisee who prayed about himself in Jesus' parable (the one who was thankful he was not like “that tax collector”). I have heavily paraphrased Jonah's prayer (in the style of The Message) so as to make these overtones obvious to a modern American audience.


Note that the paraphrase and the NLT are in the attached PDF.


Psalm 136 is the most famous antiphonal psalm.


The pinnacle of the upper room discourse is Jesus’ high priestly prayer.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DBRP_Jul18_2014 2King24-25 Ps135 John16b

Jehoiakim died and was succeeded by Jehoiachin, who proved to be much more noble than the next king, Zedekiah. After many years Jehoiachin is able to leave prison, but Zedekiah is horribly punished and killed by the king of Babylon. We will hear more about all these terrible events when we read the book of Jeremiah.


Olsen’s book gives the title for the chapter on this psalm as, “What kind of God do you have?” That’s a great question to ask to introduce this psalm!


We are still in the upper room. And today we read all of this chapter, including the important teaching about the Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DBRP_Jul17_2014 2King23 Ps134 John16a

Today we hear of Josiah's reforms, which all came about because of his hearing that scroll of the Law that was found. God again is glorified in fulfilling a prophecy we heard in 1 Kings. Note how even Josiah's name was in that prophecy. But unfortunately Josiah failed to pass on his vision to his sons.


I would like to have been one of the Levitical temple musicians who had the duty of singing praises to God at night. This is the last of the Psalms of Ascent.


Ever since John 13, we have been in the upper room. Today we hear one of the major teachings about the Holy Spirit.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DBRP_Jul16_2014 2King21-22 Ps133 John15b

In today's reading we hear of two very bad kings of Judah, and then the first part of the story of one very good one, Josiah.


Psalm 133 comes at a very fitting time in relation to our readings yesterday and today in John. If we are one with Jesus, then by extension we are one with one another.


Today we hear again about our vital relationship of oneness with Jesus. We didn’t choose this! He has chosen us. If you are one who has difficulty believing that there is anything good about you, let your identity and worth be based on this passage! Here also we find the promise repeated of answered prayers when we pray for the sake of Jesus’ name— which is to say, for his glory. Note that this is not just ‘dropping or using Jesus’ name’. God realizes when we are praying selfish prayers, and He is not fooled by our tacking on ‘in Jesus name’ at the end.

Check out this episode!

Monday, July 14, 2014

DBRP_Jul15_2014 2King19-20 Ps132 John15a

The writer of 1 & 2 Kings was very brief about the sins of the people of Israel (in both kingdoms) until what we heard yesterday. He seems to have saved the moral of the story until chapter 17. And then we have the wonderful contrast with Hezekiah in chapter 18. Then the Assyrian king mocked the God of Israel at the end of chapter 18. We hear God's answer today and we are introduced to the prophet Isaiah.


It would appear that Solomon wrote this Song of Ascent, Psalm 132, as part was quoted by him at the dedication of the temple.


In yesterday's reading, Jesus said that the disciples would be (in a literal translation) ‘in Him’ and He ‘in them’. This phrase crops up a lot in the New Testament, such as in statements like “in Him we have the victory.” ‘In’ does not mean ‘inside’, but ‘in oneness/unity’, such as we will hear today as Jesus says another of His great ‘I am’ statements: “I am the vine.” Note that this still is happening in the upper room.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

DBRP_Jul14_2014 2King17-18 Ps131 John14b

The writer of 1 & 2 Kings has been very brief until now about the sins of the people of Israel (in both kingdoms). He seems to have saved the moral of the story until chapter 17. And then we have the wonderful contrast with Hezekiah in chapter 18. And we have the Assyrian king's taunt at the end of chapter 18. We hear God's answer tomorrow.


God’s grace requires that we receive from the Lord, not insisting on gaining our good standing with him by ceaselessly earning brownie points. We can learn from children. 


Today we hear Jesus promise that He would send our Advocate/Helper, the Holy Spirit. He will lead us into all truth and be with us forever. And I think it is really due to Him that we can have a peace that the world cannot give or understand.

Check out this episode!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

DBRP_Jul13_2014 2King15-16 Ps130 John14a

Today we hear again of quite a few names, especially on the Israel/Northern side. And this culminates with Tiglath-pileser of Assyria deporting the people of Israel. Because of a heavy bribe, Judah avoids this by becoming a vassal state of Assyria. Actually, this was probably wise on king Ahaz's part. Judah has not always so wise in interpreting the signs of the time.


Today's psalm is one of the most beautiful of them all, and an expression of hope for anyone in despair.


In John 13 we heard of Jesus taking the role of a servant and washing the disciples’ feet. Judas left the upper room, and Peter was told that he would deny knowing Jesus three times.

Check out this episode!

Friday, July 11, 2014

DBRP_Jul12_2014 2King13-14 Ps129 John13b

On the Israel (10 tribes) side today  we hear of Jehoahaz's reign. He was helped by Elijah in his final prophecy just before his death.  Then the names start getting confusing, as we hear of Jehoahaz's son Johoash.

In Judah we hear of Amaziah's reign. And it is confusing again because Amaziah's father was Joash, without any middle position h's. Amaziah was very unwise to insist on war with Jehoash.


Psalm 129 is an imprecatory poem against the people's who have persecuted the Jewish nation.


A fitting introduction to this chapter is found in  Philippians 2:

6 Though he was God,a

he did not think of equality with God

as something to cling to.

7 Instead, he gave up his divine privilegesb;

he took the humble position of a slavec

and was born as a human being.

When he appeared in human form,d

8 he humbled himself in obedience to God

and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

and gave him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DBRP_Jul11_2014 2King11-12 Ps128 John13a

Today we hear of Athaliah's seven year reign over Judah, of how Joash was saved from being killed, and of Jehoida's successful plot to end Athaliah's reign. Joash turned out to be sorta good, but disappointing at the end of his reign. And it is interesting to note that the people who worked on restoring the temple evidently had more integrity than the priests.


Today’s Song of Ascent has a similar theme about the Lord’s blessings for families as yesterday’s psalm, Psalm 127.


John spends several chapters in the upper room, and this is the first. We hear the most complete account here about Judas, and only here do we find the story of Jesus washing the disciple's feet. This is another time where we see Jesus consciously acting out a parable for us. And because of that event, the interchange with Peter is more poignant, although John takes pity on Peter and does not include details of that conversation that are found elsewhere.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

DBRP_Jul10_2014 2King9-10 Ps127 John12b

Today's story is of Jehu, anointed on Elisha's orders, and who executes the Lord's vengeance on Ahab and his whole family, and even his friends and the worshipers of Baal. However, after that, he still doesn't follow the Lord, but continues the idolatry of Israel.


Today's psalm is one of the few attributed to Solomon. And it is a masterpiece, however not particularly politically correct today in the last part. 


Jesus says words with a double meaning when He says, “when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DBRP_Jul09_2014 2King7-8 Ps126 John12a

One of my favorite Old Testament stories is this one about the three lepers and the famine in Samaria. Elijah's prophecy is so dramatically fulfilled. The scoffing officer could be a parable for modern times. Then we hear how the woman from Shunem returns and was blessed a second time. The narrative switches briefly to the kingdom of Judah and Ahaziah's reign.


Laughter, joy, and tears are in this often quoted psalm. And I thank Tabea St. Louis for reading this for us. Tabea is a member of our church.


Today we hear more about what happened with Mary,  Martha, and Lazarus, and that this had an impact on what happened in when Jesus was triumphantly welcomed into Jerusalem as a king.

Check out this episode!

Monday, July 7, 2014

DBRP_Jul08_2014 2King5-6 Ps125 John11b

Today we hear two more chapters containing fascinating miracles performed by Elisha. The one about Gahazi getting the gifts from Naaman, and the vision shown to a nameless servant about the chariots of fire surrounding Elisha both have interesting spiritual significance to ponder.


The first verse of this psalm is one that our family has sung for years. Gale and I learned the song that we sing from a tape from a Canadian church called St. Margarets, a place we have never been to. That was when we were in Papua New Guinea around 1977, when David was two. Those who trust in the Lord are secure!


In today's reading, Jesus works his biggest miracle yet, and the Jewish leaders become even firmer in their plans to kill Him.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

DBRP_Jul07_2014 2King3-4 Ps124 John11a

Thanks to these readers for helping today: Tabiya Saint Louis, Luke Fields, Rebecca Hinkle, and Laura Montgomery.


Today we hear of the many miracles done by Elisha, supplying water for three armies on their way to Moab for war, helping the widow of a prophet, the woman from Shunem, purifying Jericho's water, and supplying food during a famine.


I keep being amazed how people (and particularly those in America) don’t seem to learn anything from the amazing things that are happening in our times. The last verse of this psalm expresses the lesson that I thing we should have learned by now.


Today's reading contains another of Jesus' seven major 'I Am' statements: “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”

Check out this episode!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

DBRP_Jul06_2014 2King1-2 Ps123 John10b

Today we hear of the final amazing prophecies of Elijah, and then how he took leave of the prophets and particularly, his successor Elisha. Elisha quickly shows that he is Elijah's successor.


This psalm has an important similarity with Ps. 121 which said,

1 I look up to the mountains—

does my help come from there?

2 My help comes from the LORD,

who made heaven and earth!

This psalm tells us how to ‘look’.


Today we hear the whole of chapter 10 of John. Our Shepherd calls us by name. He knows us thoroughly, just like He and the Father know each other. He goes before us and leads us into a rich and satisfying life. He is our great and good Shepherd because he has sacrificed his life for us.

Check out this episode!

Friday, July 4, 2014

DBRP_Jul05_2014 1King21-22 Ps122 John10a

Today we hear stories that show that King Ahab indeed “sold himself to evil,” including the story of Naboth's vineyard. And also we hear of Ahab's friendship with King Jehoshaphat of Judah. And we hear how the prophecies against Ahab were fulfilled.


Consider how exciting it would have been to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. And let’s all keep ‘marching to Zion’.


This is a place where our chapter divisions in our Bibles probably do not serve us well. In the original manuscript by John, there would not be any separation between what Jesus said to the Pharisees to answer their question about spiritual blindness, and this chapter. In fact, in John’s day they didn’t even have spaces between words. So in all likelihood, there was not even a new line to start this teaching. So let’s envision Jesus giving this teaching while the previously blind man and the Pharisees were listening.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

DBRP_Jul04_2014 1King19-20 Ps121 John9b

What a cruel surprise it must have been for Elijah to give such an irrefutable display of God's power before the people, but then to have to flee for his life because of Queen Jezebel! Note in today's readings how God deigned to speak twice to King Ahab. And the reason was, God wanted it known to Ahab and to us that He is not a territorial God. God also gave amazing, symbolic revelations of Himself in the story of His appearing to Elijah at Mount Sinai. And Elisha, Elijah's successor, is introduced.


Today's Psalm of Ascent is the lovely Psalm 121.


Today I read John 9 in the Good News Bible, because that is the version I read and appreciated this story in way back in High School. I note that it is still a very good translation. In this story, we see that, not only does Jesus tell parables, but He arranged circumstances to actually act out this highly symbolic story. I think one may see a link with this verse from the book of Hebrews:

The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) 

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

DBRP_Jul03_2014 1King17-18 Ps120 John9a

Wow, there are quite a few names here that I read with a different pronunciation than is normal in English. Hope it doesn't put too many of you off! Today's reading is one of the most dramatic in all of Scripture: The time the prophet Elijah confronted King Ahab. Remember that in the New Testament James uses this story to encourage us that we are no different than Elijah and that we should pray fervently like him.


Today we have the first of the Psalms of Ascent. The HCSB Study Bible says this about the Songs of Ascent: 

These psalms were designed for pilgrimage processions to celebrate seasonal feasts in Jerusalem. The hymns contain numerous references to Jerusalem or Zion, the temple, Israel, peace, and adversity. The 15 songs, adapted from ancient hymns heralding the blessings and salvation of Zion, may have been sung on the 15 steps leading up to the temple.


Remember that in John 8 there was a tense stand off between Jesus and the religious leaders. The people took up stones to kill Jesus. John places this story here to again illustrate the opposition to Jesus. 


Ever since I was in high school this has been my favorite chapter of the Bible. This dates from the time that I found a tract from the American Bible Society in the rack in the foyer of our church. So in Indonesia also, I have made this chapter into a little book containing our translation. I like giving this chapter out to people I meet. Why? It is not because it answers people’s questions. It is because this chapter makes people ask the most important questions.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DBRP_Jul02_2014 1King15-16 Ps119k John8b

We've arrived at the narrative of the different kings of Judah (including Benjamin) and the kings of Israel (consisting of the 10 other tribes, sometimes called the northern kingdom). The kings on the Israel side change more rapidly and are 100% bad, while there is a mixed record among the kings of Judah. It will help your understanding to observe the section headings (which I do not read), and to try to remember which kingdom is being talked about. Note in today's reading how prophecy is fulfilled again and again. And although Baasha fulfilled the murderous prophecy against the house of Jeroboam, in chapter 16 verse 7, the murders he committed were still counted against Baasha as sin.


I love this verse, which was the last verse from yesterday’s reading:

160 The very essence of your words is truth;

all your just regulations will stand forever.

Today we have the last two stanzas for Psalm 119, and a special guest reader whom I thank. His name is Caleb Sellers, with Pioneer Bible Translators.


Just as with Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman, again it is obvious that He is not just reacting to his critics, but is leading the argument toward his own purposes— in this case, toward his own self-disclosure. And in today's reading the argument comes to a tense dramatic climax with Jesus telling the Jewish leaders that they are following their father's example and that their father is the devil. Finally Jesus closed with this self-disclosure, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” Jesus knew that this would anger all his critics and in fact lead to his own death.

Check out this episode!