Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DBRP_Oct01_2014 2Chron26-27 Ecc3 Mat17

King Joash didn’t end so well, did he?! He killed Jehoiadah’s son Zechariah. When Jesus mentioned killing prophets A through Z, that Zechariah was the Z that he mentioned by name. Time and time again Judah’s kings needed to learn not to be proud, and that certainly happened to Joash’s son Amaziah, who was assassinated like his father.


Chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes ended with a significant conclusion or two:

24 So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?b 26 God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.


Yesterday we heard the words that remind me of Jim Elliot’s words, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

And Jesus said,

28 And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

Check out this episode!

Monday, September 29, 2014

DBRP_Sept30_2014 2Chron24-25 Ecc2b Mat16

Yesterday we heard of Ahaziah’s one year reign, and then his mother Athaliah’s reign. The baby Joash was the only descendant of David saved from slaughter. He was raised in the temple by Jehoiada and at 7 Jehoiada mounted a dangerous coup, which succeeded.


In yesterday’s reading, Solomon sought to find meaning in life through pleasure, folly, wine, and hard work. But both the wise man and the fool share the same fate (as far as Solomon could see).


In yesterday’s reading, Matthew gave more than one hint that Jesus’ work would benefit more than just the Jews. Note that the baskets used in the feeding of the 5,000 were different than the baskets used for the feeding of the 4,000. In the first miracle, the smaller Jewish basket was used. But in the feeding of the 4,000, the larger Gentile basket was used. (This was the same size basket that was used to lower Paul down from the wall at Damascus.)

Check out this episode!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

DBRP_Sept29_2014 2Chron22-23 Ecc2a Mat15b

Yesterday we heard of Jehoshaphat’s famous victory, accomplished only by prayer, worship, and the power of the Lord. Then his son Jehoram might possibly be Judah’s worst king, except for several at the very end of that kingdom.


Yesterday the theme of Ecclesiastes was given in these words:

2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

15 What is wrong cannot be made right.

What is missing cannot be recovered.

18 The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief.

To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.


In yesterday’s reading, the confrontation with the Jewish religious leaders about traditions of hand washing before eating led to Jesus’ revolutionary teaching about what defiles a person. It is what comes out of the heart that defiles people.

Check out this episode!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

DBRP_Sept28_2014 2Chron20-21 Ecc1 Mat15a

Yesterday we heard of Jehoshaphat wisely appointing judges, and he also travelled all over Israel encouraging people to follow the Lord.


The book of Ecclesiastes is the record of Solomon seeking to find God in a worldly way. This is a book of worldly wisdom. Solomon repeatedly uses the key theme word ‘useless’ to describe our lives on earth. God had not given clear promises about how all mankind will live after death, and Solomon considers the afterlife an open question. Had he known what we know, his opinions on many things would have changed. He does finally come to the same conclusion found in Proverbs, namely that the best thing is to fear God and keep his commands.


My friend in Jakarta, Santosa, reads our first chapter of Ecclesiastes.


Yesterday we heard of John the Baptist’s beheading. Jesus retreated to the countryside, but a huge crowd followed him. Then he worked several powerful miracles, which all have clear symbolic meanings.

Check out this episode!

Friday, September 26, 2014

DBRP_Sept27_2014 2Chron19 Pro31b Mat14

Yesterday we heard the story of how Jehoshaphat helped Ahab in battle. God had already spoken through a prophet that Ahab would meet his downfall and how the dogs would lick up his blood. This happened when they took his chariot back to Samaria.


Speaking of a noble and virtous wife, this chapter of Proverbs says:

28 Her children stand and bless her.

Her husband praises her:

29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,

but you surpass them all!”


Yesterday we heard of the judgment at the end of time in two parables that spoke about a separation of humanity at the judgment. And we heard of the pearl and the treasure— illustrating the knowing of our Savior.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

DBRP_Sept26_2014 2Chron18 Pro31a Mat13b

Woops. Asa didn’t end nearly as well as he started. And his son Jehoshaphat starts out well, but makes unfortunate alliances.


Our last two days in Proverbs! 

10b Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?

She is more precious than rubies.


Yesterday we heard the first two major parables in Jesus’ teaching, and the reason why He spoke in parables.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DBRP_Sept25_2014 2Chron16-17 Pro30b Mat13a

Judah’s kingdom was truly blessed by Asa’s wise reign. The Lord rewarded the country for returning to Him.


Today’s highlighted verse is

20 An adulterous woman consumes a man,

then wipes her mouth and says, “What’s wrong with that?”


Jesus gave a stinging reply to his critics in yesterday’s reading. The part about a demon leaving a person and then returning with 7 demons is often used to teach that there cannot be a spiritual vacuum in a person. But really, in this context, Jesus is talking about what will happen to his critics.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DBRP_Sept24_2014 2Chron14-15 Pro30a Mat12b

Yesterday we heard the conclusion of Rehoboam’s reign, and the writer classed him as a wicked king. Then his son, King Abijah gave a truly amazing speech before his epic victory over Israel.


Two highlighted verses today:

5 Every word of God proves true.

He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.

6 Do not add to his words,

or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.


How ironic that the religious leaders would make a problem about picking and eating a few heads of wheat or healing a man with a word on the Sabbath, then on the Sabbath they went out and plotted to kill Jesus. This isn’t casual opposition.

Check out this episode!

Monday, September 22, 2014

DBRP_Sept23_2014 2Chron12-13 Pro29b Mat12a

Yesterday we heard of David’s grandson, Rehoboam, and the unfortunate start to his reign. The northern tribes revolted and went with Jeroboam. After that, Rehoboam made some wiser choices after that, until what we hear of today.


Today's highlighted verse:

23 Pride ends in humiliation,

while humility brings honor.


Yesterday’s reading included the judgments against the cities that witnessed Jesus’ miracles and did not repent, and Jesus’ prayer of thanksgiving. Chapter 11 ends with Jesus’ famous words, 

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Check out this episode!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DBRP_Sept22_2014 2Chron10-11 Pro29a Mat11b

Yesterday we completed the story of Solomon’s achievements.


Today's highlighted verse:

11 Fools vent their anger,but the wise quietly hold it back.


Yesterday we heard Jesus’ teaching about John the Baptist.


Check out this episode!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

DBRP_Sept21_2014 2Chron9 Pro28b Mat11a

Yesterday we heard God’s famous response to Solomon, which is so often applied as a promise to America. I think that it is stretching it to apply that promise to America, which is not in the position of having made any sacrifices to the Lord.


Today's highlighted verse:

26 Those who trust their own insight are foolish,

but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.


Jesus’ instructions to the disciples show that Jesus wants total commitment— even if it means dying in his service:

 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Check out this episode!

Friday, September 19, 2014

DBRP_Sept20_2014 2Chron7-8 Pro28a Mat10b

Yesterday we heard Solomon’s famous prayer at the dedication of the temple. He understood that the people would need forgiveness from the Lord, and requested the Lord’s mercy.


Today's highlighted verse:

8 Income from charging high interest rateswill end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor.


Yesterday we heard the list of the 12, and the beginning of the instructions to them. It is clear that Jesus gave this message for all of us, not just the 12.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

DBRP_Sept19_2014 2Chron6 Pro27b Mat10a

Yesterday we heard of the various things that Huram-abi made under Solomon’s direction for the temple, and of the dedication of the temple. In today’s (not reverent) language, we might say that the Lord ‘showed up’ for that dedication, just like He did for the dedication of the tabernacle.


Our hightlighted verse for today:

21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,

but a person is tested by being praised.


Many stories were brought together in chapter 9, including the calling of Matthew, who is most likely the writer of this book. Note that opposition is ramping up against Jesus from the religious teachers and the Pharisees. Like at the end of John 4, Jesus spoke of the need for God to send workers into the spiritual harvest.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DBRP_Sept17_2014 2Chron2-3 Pro26b Mat8

In yesterday’s reading we returned to the books of Chronicles, and picked up the story following King David, with the beginning of Solomon’s reign. Solomon gave 1,000 burnt offerings to the Lord, then the Lord appeared to Solomon. Solomon requested wisdom to rule Israel, and the Lord was pleased with his request.


Today’s highlighted verse:

23 Smooth words may hide a wicked heart,

just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.


We completed reading the Sermon on the Mount yesterday with the parable of building a house on sand or on a rock. Building a house on sand is easier. But let’s be those who persevere and lay a good foundation.

Check out this episode!

DBRP_Sept18_2014 2Chron4-5 Pro27a Mat9

Yesterday we heard of the preparations for building the temple, and then the dimensions and the beginning of the construction starting in the 4th year of Solomon’s reign.


Today’s first verse is very like the advice of James in the New Testament:

1 Don’t brag about tomorrow,

since you don’t know what the day will bring.


Yesterday we heard of several powerful healings and the miracle of calming the storm. One of the one-becomes-two instances is in the Gadarene demon possessed man, called Legion in the other Gospels. If Matthew was present, as I posited before, it would be before the story of his joining the disciples in this chapter.

Check out this episode!

Monday, September 15, 2014

DBRP_Sept16_2014 2Chron1 Pro26a Mat7b

Yesterday we heard the touching conclusion of Hosea. Finally Hosea penned the people’s rather short apology and request for forgiveness, and God responded lovingly, pleading Israel to stay away from idols. And we return to the story in the books of Chronicles that we left in the middle.


A highlighted verse for today:

12 There is more hope for fools

than for people who think they are wise.


Yesterday’s reading included one of the most often quoted but most poorly understood verses of the Bible. Check yourself before telling someone, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.” If you are saying that in order to deflect criticism against yourself,  you are doing what a hypocrite does. And ironically, not being a hypocrite is main point of the passage. Nor is the meaning that we Christians must not judge other people at all. We must not judge hypocritically, but the Bible shows us how to judge rightly and fairly— as is necessary for us in this world.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

DBRP_Sept15_2014 Hos13-14 Pro25b Mat7a

Yesterday’s reading had this significant prophecy, prefaced by the words that God would not come to totally destroy:

10 For someday the people will follow me.

I, the LORD, will roar like a lion.

And when I roar,

my people will return trembling from the west.

11 Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt.

Trembling like doves, they will return from Assyria.

And I will bring them home again,”

says the LORD.


Interesting and varied proverbs today include this:

20 Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart

is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather

or pouring vinegar in a wound.


Yesterday’s reading in the second half of chapter 6 dealt with the subject of complete trust in God for all that we need, seeking first the kingdom of God (meaning putting God’s will as your top priority), and not bowing down at the altar of money or material gain.

A part that is often glossed over is this:

“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

In Biblical culture, an ‘evil’ or ‘bad’ eye was one that is greedy. So this figurative speech actually is right on the topic of this section. Note that our eye will be full of light if we keep our eyes on Jesus— like we read in Philippians 3.

Check out this episode!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

DBRP_Sept14_2014 Hos11-12 Pro25a Mat6b

In yesterdays reading, as the Lord was pleading with Israel and using agricultural metaphors, He said,

12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness,

and you will harvest a crop of love.

Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,

for now is the time to seek the LORD,

that he may come

and shower righteousness upon you.’


Today’s highlighted proverb:

11 Timely advice is lovely,

like golden apples in a silver basket.


Yesterday’s 3X emphasis was ‘Don’t be like the hypocrites. And we heard the Lord’s prayer. The first line of the Lord’s prayer, ‘hallowed be Thy name’ can be taken (as I did in yesterday’s reading) as a metonymy for the person of the Father, not just his name. Yet we must remember that one of the 10 commandments is to not take the name of the Lord in vain. So there is concern in the Scripture also that God’s name would be held in reverence.

Check out this episode!

Friday, September 12, 2014

DBRP_Sept13_2014 Hos9-10 Pro24b Mat6a

In the midst of dire prophecies, Hosea spoke these encouraging words in yesterday’s reading.

3 Oh, that we might know the LORD!

Let us press on to know him.

He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn

or the coming of rains in early spring.”


Just one of many neat nuggets of truth in today’s reading:

26 An honest answer

is like a kiss of friendship.


Yesterday’s reading had five ‘You have heard it said … But I tell you .. …’ And they included some of the hardest ones for us to obey.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

DBRP_Sept12_2014 Hos6,7,8 Pro24a Mat5b

In yesterday’s reading, Hosea bought back his wife from prostitution. And the Lord drew analogies in his speech to Israel.


Favorite verses:

5 The wise are mightier than the strong,a

and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.

6 So don’t go to war without wise guidance;

victory depends on having many advisers.


Yesterday we read the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, including the famous and memorizable Beatitudes. We have heard the first “You have heard.”

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

DBRP_Sept11_2014 Hos3,4,5 Pro23b Mat5a

Beautifully interwoven word plays or metaphors were constructed using the names of Hosea’s three children. And verses of yesterday’s reading, are quoted in Romans 9 and 1Peter 2. The last verse ended:

I will show love

to those I called ‘Not loved.’e

And to those I called ‘Not my people,’f

I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’

And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’”


This chapter is much more thematic than chapters 10 through 22. The second half is the words of a father to his son.


Today we start the chapters called the Sermon on the Mount, and these are the crowning jewels of Jesus’ teaching. Note the times when Jesus says, “You have heard it said/taught… but I say to you.” These statements are one reason why the people reacted that “Jesus taught with authority.” Note also the times when the Father sees what happens in secret.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

DBRP_Sept10_2014 Hos1-2 Pro23a Mat4

We have already heard that God considers the sin of idolatry to be parallel and just as offensive as a wife being unfaithful to her husband. Hosea is told by God to actually live out this situation. He is told to marry Gomer, a prostitute. Through Hosea, God shows just how ready He is to restore and be reconciled with His wayward people. Hosea prophesied to the Northern kingdom during the same time that Amos, Isaiah, and Micah were prophesying in the Southern kingdom. This was during the reign of Jeroboam the 2nd. He was not a professional prophet trained in a school for prophets, but an ordinary man. I imagine his ministry must have been very lonely.


Proverbs don’t always support that being rich is better. Consider v.4:

4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.

Be wise enough to know when to quit.


Yesterday we heard of the ministry of John the Baptist, and Matthew is the only Gospel that records Jesus’ reply to John, “This (baptising me) should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.”

Check out this episode!

Monday, September 8, 2014

DBRP_Sept09_2014 1Chron29 Pro22b Mat3

Yesterday we heard of the military commanders and officials under David, and the leaders of 13 tribes. Then we heard David’s instructions to Solomon. And it is always amazing to me the detail with which David planned for the temple.


Halfway through this chapter we begin a section where more of the proverbs are arranged in short paragraphs. That section begins with these words:

17 Listen to the words of the wise;

apply your heart to my instruction.

18 For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart

and always ready on your lips.

19 I am teaching you today—yes, you—

so you will trust in the LORD.


Yesterday we heard of the coming of the learned men from the east. It didn’t say there were just three of them.  And Scripture was fulfilled in Jesus being taken to Egypt, then at the family’s return, their move to Nazareth.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

DBRP_Sept08_2014 1Chron27-28 Pro22a Mat2

Yesterday we heard of the assignments of Levites as musicians, judges, and temple gate keepers.


Today's highlighted proverb:

14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a dangerous trap;

those who make the LORD angry will fall into it.


I did not take time in yesterday’s podcast to say that the genealogy in Matthew is that of Mary, rather than Joseph’s genealogy. (Luke prefaces that genealogy with the words “as was supposed.”) One interesting detail is that Luke’s record includes King Joconiah, of whom Jeremiah said in chapter 22, “This is what the Lord days: ‘Record this man as if childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule anymore in Judah.’” If this cursed king, Jeconiah, was included in the genealogy of Jesus, then Jesus could not be the Messiah King of Israel. But in Matthew we find the genealogy traced instead through Nathan, and there was no curse on Nathan’s line.

Check out this episode!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

DBRP_Sept07_2014 1Chron25-26 Pro21b Mat1

There was a rather important shift in Israel’s religious life that happened with David and his plans for temple worship rather than the older pattern of worship at the Tabernacle: It was that the priests and Levites were re-organized into groups appropriate to the new state of affairs, and not based on the original family lines. This reordering was still in effect in the beginning of the New Testament, where we read that Zechariah was a member of the priestly division of Abijah. So we have precedent for not always ‘doing it’ the way it was done in the past.


Today's highlighted proverb:

30 No human wisdom or understanding or plan

can stand against the LORD.


Matthew’s Gospel was written possibly as early as 50 AD, and some material was based on Mark’s Gospel. Matthew was probably written by Levi Matthew, the tax collector and the disciple of Jesus. He does not identify himself (similarly to John in John’s Gospel), but if he did, he would have started to do so in chapter 9. 


It is clear that Matthew was written for the Jewish audience, and indeed, at the time it was written, the Gospel had not yet gone far among the non-Jews. Again and again Matthew points to fulfillments of Scripture. And at times, especially near the end, he does not bother to use the words “This fullfilled …” but just includes a couple of words that would have been obvious allusions to Scripture for his audience.  An odd feature is that sometimes ‘one’ thing or person in other Gospels switches to ‘two’ in Matthew. My own original opinion on that feature is this: Every assertion according to the Law needed to be maintained by at least two witnesses. At the times 1 becomes 2, I think Matthew is specifically telling us that he was an eyewitness. 


I purposefully saved the Gospel of Matthew for the last of the Gospels that we would read this year. One little thing I didn’t plan to happen was that there would be a double dose of lists of names at the same time as reading 1 Chronicles 25-26! It seems that Matthew traces the genealogy through Mary. There is really cool stuff to dig in and find there.

Check out this episode!

Friday, September 5, 2014

DBRP_Sept06_2014 1Chron23-24 Pro21a Titus3

Yesterday we heard the kind of odd story about how “Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census.” But in 2Samuel 24:1 we read that “Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.’” So who was it— Satan or the Lord? And if the problem was caused by someone else, why was David and all Israel punished?!  


I think, in a place like this, we have to go back to what we learned in Job. God brought up a topic to Satan, Satan responds predictably, and God gives him permission to tempt and sets the boundaries. In other words, both God and Satan are involved. God does not tempt people to do evil, and God is in ultimate control. Satan is like a dog on a leash. And about that punishment: God arranges events in such a way that man (in this case David) is still in control and responsible for his choices.


A favorite proverb for today:

13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor

will be ignored in their own time of need.


We continue today with more true teaching for our spiritual health. And a link to today’s reading is found in 2:14:

He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DBRP_Sept05_2014 1Chron21-22 Pro20b Titus2

Yesterday we heard the part where the writer of Chronicles skated over the part where David had his affair with Bathsheba. But we hear of the military victories and especially the misunderstanding that became the reason for the war with the Ammonites.


A highlighted verse:

24 The LORD directs our steps,

so why try to understand everything along the way?


A theme of this book is literally ‘healthy faith’ and ‘healthy teaching.’ These figures boil down to believing in true teachings. 

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

DBRP_Sept04_2014 1Chron19-20 Pro20a Titus1

Yesterday we heard about one of David’s greatest hours, and I think David would rank this as better than the killing of Goliath. It was the time when he wanted to build a house for God, and instead God promised to build his house— making for him an everlasting dynasty. Then we heard of more military victories.


Today’s highlighted verse:

3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;

only fools insist on quarreling.


I read that Titus was written by Paul in about the year 66, and that evidence from chapter 3:12 reveals that Paul may have written this in Nicopolis in Epirus, where he spent the winter. The letter has much  in common with 1 Timothy which was written around the same time. Paul had given Titus a difficult pastoral assignment, and this letter includes advice that has been so helpful to many pastors.  And personally and to my own shame, I always remember this epistle as the location of my worst argument with one of my translation consultants. Recently in Proverbs 18 we read a proverb that applies to that situation, it is this:

19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.

Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DBRP_Sept03_2014 1Chron17-18 Pro19b 1Thes5

Yesterday we heard of the careful moving of the Ark, this time successfully. We heard exactly which men played what instruments.  Then there is a beautiful psalm of praise, taken from Psalms 105 and 96 and some other isolated verses.


Today's highlighted proverb:

17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD—

and he will repay you!


I introduce today's chapter with verses 13-18 of chapter 4.

Check out this episode!

Monday, September 1, 2014

DBRP_Sept02_2014 1Chron15-16 Pro19a 1Thes4

Yesterday we heard about the first attempt to move the Ark, more about David’s family, and his defeat of the Philistines.


Our highlighted verse for today:

14 Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth,

but only the LORD can give an understanding wife.


Paul and his companions prayed, and God answered. 

Check out this episode!