Thursday, March 31, 2016

DBRP_092 DEU.1 PSA.49 ACT.7.30-60

Today we start DEUTERONOMY!

Yesterday in the conclusion of Numbers, we learned that each clan's allotment of land must stay within that clan, even when parcels of land could be inherited by daughters.

Mears says, “Deuteronomy is a book of remembrance. The name ‘Deuteronomy’ means “second law,” which indicates that the law is repeated. Moses did this to remind the people what God had done for them and what they were to do to serve Him when they reached the Promised Land. This book omits the things that relate to the priests and Levites but includes the things that the people should know. And the happenings in this book would cover only about two months, including the 30 days of mourning for Moses.”

I love this book because it seems to be a transcription of Moses’ last sermons to the people. Imagine sitting at the feet of the aged and revered leader and hearing him tell what is most important! I love the way this book frequently records Moses speaking in the first person.

Translation notes:
1:46 “So then, after we had stayed at Kadesh for a long time,
2:1 we finally turned and went into the desert, on the road to the Gulf of Aqaba, as the Lord had commanded, and we spent a long time wandering about in the hill country of Edom.

We turn to PSALM 49.

This powerfully thought-provoking psalm shares important wisdom which should help us be content with whatever our situation is in this life. Note the parallels with Jesus' teaching.

Opening for the second time to ACTS 7:

Yesterday we heard the first part of Stephen's speech. Shephen was accused of two things: “This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses. We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” So far it is clear that Stephen was NOT teaching against the laws or customs Moses gave the people of Israel.

Translation notes:
43 It was the tent of the god Molech that you carried,
and the image of Rephan, your star god;
[— the//they were] idols that you had made to worship.
And so I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.’


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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

DBRP_091 NUM.36 PSA.48 ACT.7.1-39

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 36.

Yesterday we heard about the boundaries for the nation of Israel, the 12 clan leaders appointed by the Lord, and about cities set aside for the Levites and cities of refuge— to protect from unjust prosecution of murder.

We turn to PSALM 48.

This psalm praises God for Jerusalem and  shows that Jerusalem is a reflection of God's glory. It is clear that more than the earthly Jerusalem is the topic. God has prepared a city for us!

We turn for the first time to ACTS 7.

Yesterday in chapter 6 we heard how grumbling in the ever-expanding group of believers in Jerusalem required that seven helpers (the first deacons) be appointed. (The word ‘deacon’ comes directly from a verb in Greek that means ‘to serve’.) One of them, Stephen, became the object of controversy with the Greek-speaking Jews. Before the council, his face shone with radiance like that of an angel. The false witnesses made two accusations against Stephen, and today we hear his defence against the first of them.

Translation notes:
18 [And finally it happened that//At last] a king who did not know about Joseph began to rule in Egypt.
31 Moses was amazed by what he saw, and went near the bush to get a better look. But he heard the Lord's voice [saying,//:]
35 Moses is the one who was rejected by the people of Israel[, when they said,//.] ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?’ [0//they asked.]
38 [Moses//He] is the one whom God sent to rule the people and set them free with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the burning bush. He is the one who was with the people of Israel assembled in the desert; he was there with our ancestors and with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and he received God's living messages to pass on to us.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

DBRP_090 NUM.34 NUM.35 PSA.47 ACT.6

Turning to NUMBERS 34-35:

Yesterday we heard the listing of the stages of the nomadic journey of the people of Israel. God began giving instructions for the time when the people would enter the promised land.

We turn to PSALM 47.

This is a jubilant song of praise. This has been a special Psalm for our family. We remember singing this whole Psalm with one of our favorite churches. And when we were in Indonesia, they made a recording and we listened to it many times.

Translation note:
5 [See!  God goes up to his throne. There are shouts of joy and the blast of trumpets, as the Lord goes up.

We turn to ACTS 6.

Yesterday we heard Peter and the apostles give fearless testimony before the Jewish high council. They were beaten, but counted it an honor.

Translation notes:
1 Some time later, as the number of disciples kept growing, there was a quarrel between the Greek-speaking Jews and the native Jews. The Greek-speaking Jews claimed that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of [food//funds].
2 So the twelve apostles called the whole group of believers together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the preaching of God's word in order to [wait on tables//handle finances].

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Monday, March 28, 2016

DBRP_089 NUM.33 PSA.46 ACT.5.17-42

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 33.

Yesterday we heard how the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh promised to go ahead of their fellow Israelites into battle on the west side of the Jordan, because they were receiving land on the east side of the Jordan. In hindsight, I must say this was not a great idea. Because of how often all the men were required to go to Jerusalem for the holy assemblies, it must have been very easy to not attend those events and grow increasingly far from the Lord.

We turn to the famous PSALM 46.

This was the inspiration for the hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. The word translated by the GNT as ‘shelter’ in v.1 can also mean ‘refuge’. And the word translated as ‘refuge’ in verses 7 and 11 can also mean ‘secure height’.

We turn for the second time to ACTS 5.

Yesterday we heard the sobering story of Ananias and Sapphira. Then, just when God was using the apostles to perform many miracles, they were arrested.

Translation notes:
28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach [by the authority//in the name] of this man,” he said; “but see what you have done! You have spread your teaching all over Jerusalem, and you want to make us responsible for his death!”

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

DBRP_088 NUM.32 PSA.45 ACT.5.1-21

Let’s read NUMBERS 32.

Yesterday we heard of the conquest of the Midianite people. That story is an example of how hard it is for us humans to follow God's instructions.

We turn to PSALM 45.

This psalm may have originally been intended as a wedding song for King Solomon, but from our vantage point we can see that it is really a song of praise to our King, the Messiah, and we— the people of God, are the bride.

We turn for the first time to ACTS 5.

Yesterday we heard of the fearless praying of the believers after being commanded to no longer teach about Jesus. And we heard of the wonderful unity of spirit among them.

Translation notes:
3 Peter said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan take control of [your heart//you] and make you lie to the Holy Spirit by keeping part of the money you received for the property?

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

DBRP_087 NUM.31 PSA.44 ACT.4.19-37

Turning to NUMBERS 31:

Yesterday the listing of sacrifices continued with those for the Festival of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the 8 day Festival of Shelters. Then in Numbers 30 we heard laws concerning the annulment of rash vows. These laws show how seriously God takes any vows made to Him!

We turn to PSALM 44.

This is a psalm with extreme contrast between part one and part two. Part one has a tone of praise— reciting the wonderful way God helped Israel. But part two accuses God of abandoning Israel. This psalm can be a pattern for us in how to plead with God to fulfill his promises or to again act as He has in the past.

Translation note:
20 If we had stopped worshiping [You,] our God[,] and prayed to a foreign god,

We turn for the second time to ACTS 4.

Yesterday we heard the start of the dramatic trial that happened after Peter and John were arrested following the healing of the lame man in chapter 3. Their arrest was due to Peter and John's teaching about the resurrection of Jesus. The council recognized that the two apostles had been with Jesus.

Translation notes:
30 Reach out your hand to heal, and grant that wonders and miracles may be performed through the [authority//name] of your holy Servant Jesus.”


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Friday, March 25, 2016

DBRP_086 NUM.29 NUM.30 PSA.43 ACT.4.1-22

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 29-30.

Yesterday we heard about the request of the daughters of Zelophehad, and the Lord told Moses that it was time for him to die. Joshua was appointed to lead in Moses' place. And we were given the list of sacrificial offerings to be given every day in the morning and evening, those given each Sabbath, and those offered on the first day of the month, at the festival of unleavened bread, and the harvest festival. More of the same starts our reading today.

We turn to PSALM 43.

This psalm is a companion to Psalm 42,  containing the same refrain at the end. Both Psalms seem to be the prayers of someone in exile, who is unable to go to Jerusalem. This is a prayer for God to defend and guide each of us as worshipers of the Lord.

Translation note:
5 Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in [You, O] God, and once again I will praise [You] him, my savior and my God.

We turn for the first time to ACTS 4.

Yesterday we heard the story of the remarkable healing of lame beggar at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. Peter's speech was interrupted as we will hear today.

Translation notes:
7 They made the apostles stand before them and asked them, “How did you do this? What power do you have or whose [authority//name] did you use?”
10 then you should all know, and all the people of Israel should know, that this man stands here before you completely well through the power [and authority//of the name] of Jesus Christ of Nazareth—whom you crucified and whom God raised from death.


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Thursday, March 24, 2016

DBRP_085 NUM.27 NUM.28 PSA.42 ACT.3

Let’s open to NUMBERS 27-28.

Yesterday we heard of the second registration of Israel's troops.

Translation notes:
1 Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah were the daughters of Zelophehad[. Zelophehad traced his genealogy as the] son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph.
2 [His daughters//They] went and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders, and the whole community at the entrance of the Tent of the Lord's presence and said,


This Psalm contains words we often sing. It is a song about renewing hope in the Lord after discouragement.

Translation note:
I hope that you remember who the clan of Korah was! Note that the presence of this Psalm is an interesting proof that God forgave and accepted the service of Korah’s clan.
This is another Psalm where the writer speaks honorific fashion to the Lord, speaking to him using the third person. To us, this makes it seem that the writer switches back and forth rapidly to talking about the Lord and talking to the Lord. I agree with CEV in adapting this Psalm to modern English and maintaining the perception that the whole poem is a prayer. Rather than reading from the CEV, I have simply made the required changes in the GNT at verses 4-9, and verse 11.

We turn to ACTS 3.

Yesterday we heard the conclusion of Peter's first sermon. 3,000 believed in Christ that day and were baptized. And the believers devoted themselves totally to the apostles' teaching.

Translation notes:
6 But Peter said to him, “I have no money at all, but I give you what I have: [by the power//in the name] of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I order you to get up and walk!”
16 GNT: It was the power of [Jesus//his name] that gave strength to this lame man. [This miracle that you can plainly//What you] see and know was done by [believing in Him//faith in his name]; it was [belief//faith] in Jesus that has made him well, as you can all see.
16 revised NLT: “Through [fully believing//faith] in [Jesus//the name of Jesus], this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. [Fully believing in Jesus//Faith in Jesus’ name] has healed him before your very eyes.
[Peter uses a common Jewish metonymy here— where ‘name’ stands for the whole person of Jesus. We use metonymy in English (in sayings like “The _pen_ is mightier than the _sword_.”) While many English speakers will understand ‘name of Jesus’ to simply refer to Jesus himself, others (and especially some of my podcast listeners from other cultures) could mistakenly think that the Bible teaches followers of Christ use ‘the name of Jesus’ like magic words.
NET has this note at 3:6: In the name. … The reference to “the name” is not like a magical incantation, but is designed to indicate the _agent_ who performs the healing. The theme is quite frequent in Acts (2:38 plus 21 other times).
If any of you say, “I’ve never heard ‘in the name of Jesus’ used like magic words!” I answer: Start listening! It’s happening all the time.]

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

DBRP_084 NUM.26 PSA.41 ACT.2.16-47

Let’s open to NUMBERS 26.

Yesterday we heard Balaam's final prophecies. Even though he was a shaman and a charlatan, God chose to speak through him on that occasion, giving a small glimpse of God's redemptive plan.

We turn to PSALM 41.

God hears us when we are down and cry out for his help.

We turn for the second time to ACTS 2.

Yesterday we heard how the Holy Spirit came with tongues of fire and a loud noise, and the beginning part of Peter's first famous sermon.

Translation notes:
18 Yes, even on [the slaves who obey me//my servants], both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message.
[Nowadays a pastor may be respectfully referred to as “a servant of the Lord”, but that is not the meaning of ‘servant’ that was intended here. This is about the lowest class of people, the slaves— whom no one would expect to be blessed by an outpouring of God’s Spirit.]
38 Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ], so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God's gift, the Holy Spirit.
[I remind what I said earlier this year: ‘Christ’ is a title and grammatically should be placed before the proper name, just as we do for all other titles.]
42 They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in [the prayers and the fellowship meals [(which included celebrating the Lord’s Supper)//the fellowship meals and the prayers].
46 Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and they [shared//had their] meals together in their homes [(including celebrating the Lord’s Supper)], eating with glad and humble hearts,
[The phrase “breaking of bread” in verses 42 and 46 included both a meal and the celebration of communion.]

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

DBRP_083 NUM.24 NUM.25 PSA.40 ACT.2.1-24

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 24-25.

Yesterday we heard how Balak sent for the shaman Balaam to curse Israel, and we heard that God instead moved him to bless Israel two times. And a third sacrifice of 7 bulls and 7 rams was made.

We turn to PSALM 40.

This is a psalm that is quoted in the New Testament. It is a great psalm of praise which conveys many New Testament concepts. (Some of you will perceive some differences in the NT quote. This is because the NT quote was taken from the Septuagint— the ancient translation of the OT into Greek.)

Translation note:
1 I waited patiently for the Lord's help;
[and] then he listened to me and heard my cry.

We turn for the first time to ACTS 2.

Yesterday we heard about Jesus' followers who were waiting in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit and for power from God.


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Monday, March 21, 2016

DBRP_082 NUM.22 NUM.23 PSA.39 ACT.1

Turning to NUMBERS 22-23:

In Numbers 21, the Lord gave victory to the Israelites over the Amorites, and then over King Sihon. And because of Israel’s grumbling, the Lord sent poisonous snakes among them. When the people cried out to Moses, the Lord told him to make a snake and set it up on a pole. This is an unannounced picture of Christ.

Translation note:
8 [But] How can I curse what God has not cursed,
Or speak of doom when the Lord has not?

We turn to PSALM 39.

This is a prayer for relief by David when he felt he was under the discipline of the Lord.

Today we start ACTS!

We follow up Luke's first report to Theophilus with his second to the same man. (Or perhaps Luke meant this account to be for any 'lover of God'.) The book covers the story of what happened after Jesus’ death in 33AD to Paul’s two-year house arrest that ended in 62AD.

Since only a few of the apostles are told about in this book, rather than ‘Acts of the Apostles’, others have suggested the name ‘Acts of the Holy Spirit’. Constable quotes William Neil, who is quoting Streeter:

“Streeter suggested that an alternative title for the book of Acts might be ‘The Road to Rome’, for this is indeed the significance of Luke’s work. Whatever minor motifs Luke had in mind— such as the establishment of Christianity in men’s minds as a constructive and not destructive element in the social order, his main concern was to show that, in God’s plan for the renewal of the life of mankind, Jerusalem, the heart of old Israel, was the goal of Stage I [i.e., the Book of Luke], while Rome, the centre of the world, was the goal of Stage II [i.e., the Book of Acts].”

I also like this quote from Rosner:

“. . . Luke in Acts is not merely concerned to draw a link between the time of Jesus and the time of the early church, as is commonly noticed, but also between the time of Israel and the time of Jesus and His church. Acts insists that the God who was at work in the history of his ancient people, Israel, bringing them salvation, is the same God who is at work in the church.”


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Sunday, March 20, 2016

DBRP_081 NUM.21 PSA.38 LUK.24.30-53

Turning to NUMBERS 21:

Yesterday we heard about the water of purification, which involved the burnt offering of a red heifer and following very exacting requirements. Then we heard the story of Moses and Aaron's failure to display God's holiness in the issue of speaking to— rather than striking the rock. It is no wonder Moses was exasperated by the people. And following that incident, not being able to pass through the land of Edom, they turned back to Mount Hor, where Aaron died.

We turn to PSALM 38.

This is a beautiful song of repentance.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 24.

Yesterday we heard the story of the women not finding Jesus in the tomb, and the story of the two men meeting the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus.


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Saturday, March 19, 2016

DBRP_080 NUM.19 NUM.20 PSA.37.20-40 LUK.24.1-34

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 19-20.

In yesterday's portions we heard how God proved again His choice of Aaron and the Levites by causing Aaron's staff to bud and even produce almonds. And God explained to the Levites and priests that their portion was not land— as for the other Israelites, but God himself and all the gifts given to God.


Today we return to the acrostic poem, Psalm 37. Look for how this poem shows us God’s perspective about this world.

We turn for the first time to LUKE 24.

At the end of chapter 23, we heard of the events of the crucifixion, including the miracle of the torn curtain in the temple. Jesus was laid in a tomb while the women watched, and they prepared spices to go back and anoint his body.

Translation notes:
7 ‘[I,] The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later [I will] rise to life.’”

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Friday, March 18, 2016

DBRP_079 NUM.17 NUM.18 PSA.37.1-20 LUK.23.26-56

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 17-18.

Yesterday we heard another dramatic chapter in Israel's history: The rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. They must have been included in those who refused to go to the Promised Land, but then they had the gall to find fault with Moses that he didn't lead them to that land. It is also incredible that God would prove Moses' authority so dramatically (resulting in the death of the three conspirators and their families), yet the people would the next day without fear accuse Moses of killing the Lord's people (further resulting in a plague).

Translation notes:
18:1 The Lord said to Aaron, “You, your sons, and the Levites must suffer the consequences of any guilt connected with serving in the Tent of my presence; but only you and your sons will suffer the consequences [of any guilt connected with your serving//of service] in the priesthood.
15 “Every first-born [male] child or animal that the Israelites present to me belongs to you. But you must accept payment to buy back every first-born [son//child], and must also accept payment for every first-born animal that is ritually unclean.
16 [First born sons//Children] shall be bought back at the age of one month for the fixed price of five pieces of silver, according to the official standard.

We turn for the first time to PSALM 37.

This is an acrostic poem,and a great Psalm for giving us the right perspective in our fallen world.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 23.

In the first half of this chapter, Jesus was tried by Pilato (the phonetic pronunciation I use in the podcasts) and Herod, before finally Pilato caved into pressure and sentenced Jesus to death. Let’s repeat a few verses, starting at verse 36.

Translation notes:
47 The army officer saw what had happened, and he praised God, saying, “Certainly he was [an innocent//a good] man!”
[The Greek can mean either ‘innocent’ or ‘righteous’, but I prefer not to simply say ‘good’, although it is an acceptable translation.]

I read the hymn “How deep the Father’s love for us” for our prayer today. This was composed by Stuart Townend, and here is the link to his story about writing it:


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Thursday, March 17, 2016

DBRP_078 NUM.16 PSA.36 LUK.23.1-34

Let’s read NUMBERS 16.

In Numbers 15, we found out that there were sacrifices that could be made for unintentional sins— whether done by the whole community or by an individual. But there was no sacrifice to cover an intentional sin— such as working on the Sabbath, as was so clearly illustrated by the man who gathered wood on the Sabbath. Then at the very end of chapter 15, we heard the instruction about the tassels with a blue cord that were to hang on the four corners of the Israelites’ garments. Those are the tassels that Tevia in Fiddler on the Roof doesn't know the meaning of.

We turn to PSALM 36.

While this is a song praising God’s unfailing love, notice how some parts of this poem are so appropriate to what we just read about Dathan, Abiram, and Korah.

Translation notes:
1 Sin speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts; they reject God and do not have reverence for him.
2 Because they think so highly of themselves, they think that God will not discover their sin and condemn it.
10 [O Lord,] Continue to love those who know you and to do good to those who are righteous.

We turn for the first time to LUKE 23.

Chapter 22 ended with Peter's denial of being a follower of Jesus, and we heard of the council's decision against Jesus.

Translation notes:
3 Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “[It is right, as you say.//So you say,]” answered Jesus.


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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

DBRP_077 NUM.15 PSA.35 LUK.22.39-71

Let’s open to NUMBERS 15.

Yesterday in Numbers 14 we heard the very important and dramatic story: The people of Israel became unworthy to enter the Promised Land because of their stubborn unbelief. In the midst of that experience, Moses' prayers to God on behalf of the people are prime examples of how to plead with the Lord. The key revealed in that passage is to plead with God in accordance with his character and quoting his promises!

Turning to PSALM 35:

In today’s psalm, David prays for victory against his enemy, King Saul, who became David's enemy for no good reason— only because of envy.

Translation notes:
9 Then I will be glad because of [You, Lord//the Lord]; I will be happy because [You/he] saved me.
10 With all my heart I will say to [You//the Lord], “There is no one like you. You protect the weak from the strong, the poor from the oppressor.”
13 But when they were sick, I dressed in [rough clothes to show I was in mourning for them!//mourning;]
I deprived myself of food; I prayed with my head bowed low,

We turn for the second time to LUKE 22.

Yesterday in this chapter we heard of Judas betraying Jesus to the Jewish leaders, of the last supper, and of Jesus' last words to the disciples, including the prophecy that Peter would deny Him three times.

Translation notes:
48 But Jesus said, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you betray [Me,] the Son of Man?”  
64 They blindfolded him and [kept on asking him, “If you’re such a great prophet, tell us who hit you!//asked him, “Who hit you? Guess!”]
69 But from now on [I will be seated as the Son of Man//the Son of Man will be seated] at the right side of Almighty God.”
70 They all said, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He answered them, [“You are right in saying that I am.”//“You say that I am.”]


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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

DBRP_076 NUM.14 PSA.34 LUK.22.1-38

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 14.

Yesterday we again found out what the Lord thinks when we grumble against him! Let's remember Miriam. Then the Lord commanded to send out the spies, but after taking stock of the land of Canaan, they brought an evil, unbelieving report— forgetting all the miracles the Lord had done to bring them out of Egypt.

We turn to Psalm 34.

This is an acrostic psalm. I cannot write an introduction that is better than the one already written by the ancient Rabbis.

We turn for the first time to LUKE 22.

Yesterday in chapter 21, we heard Jesus' prophecy about what will happen in judgement upon Jerusalem before his return.

Translation notes:
1 The time was near for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is [also] called the Passover.
3 Then Satan entered into Judas, [the man from the village of Carioth//called Iscariot], who was one of the twelve disciples.
22 [I, the//The] Son of Man will die as God has decided, but how terrible for that man who betrays [Me//him]!”
32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your [belief in me//faith] will not fail. And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers.”
33 Peter [(whose other name was Simon)] answered, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you and to die with you!”
35 Then Jesus asked his disciples, “When I sent you out that time without [wallet//purse], bag, or shoes, did you lack anything?”
“Not a thing,” they answered.
36“But now,” Jesus said, “whoever has a [wallet//purse] or a bag must take it; and whoever does not have a sword must sell his coat and buy one.


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Monday, March 14, 2016

DBRP_075 NUM.12 NUM.13 PSA.33 LUK.21.17-38

Opening to NUMBERS 12-13:

In Numbers 10 we heard about the signals given to the people using two silver trumpets, and about the first journey leaving Mount Sinai. Then we heard of the start of the grumbling against Moses and God. Moses appointed 70 leaders, and God sent quail in response to the people's complaints. Even Moses said some things that sound like complaining to me. But remember the name Kibroth Hattaavah. We have strong evidence that God doesn’t like complainers.

We turn to PSALM 33.

This psalm is full of important wisdom for us! This is the 4th Psalm without a title given by the rabbis.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 21.

Chapter 21 starts with the short account about the widow's offering exceeding (according to heavenly reckoning) the large gifts of the rich. Most of the chapter is Jesus' important prophecies about signs that will occur before he returns.

Translation notes:
22 For those will be [the prophecied ‘/‘The] Days of Punishment,’ to make come true all that the Scriptures say.
27 Then [I,] the Son of Man will appear, coming in a cloud with great power and glory.
35 like a trap. For it will [suddenly] come upon all people everywhere on earth.
36 Be on watch and pray always that you will have the strength to go safely through all those things that will happen and to stand before [Me,] the Son of Man.”


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Sunday, March 13, 2016

DBRP_074 NUM.10 NUM.11 PSA.32 LUK.21.1-19

Let’s open to NUMBERS 10-11.

Yesterday we heard about the position of the lamps on the lampstand in the Holy Place, and the Levites were dedicated for service. The second Passover was celebrated. The Israelites received their marching orders based on when the cloud moved from over the sacred tent.

Turning to PSALM 32:

Psalm 32 gives essential spiritual principles conveyed in David's testimony. I encourage every listener to camp out a while in this psalm.

Translation note:
5 Then[, O Lord,] I confessed my sins to you;
I did not conceal my wrongdoings.
I decided to confess them to you,
and you forgave all my sins.

We turn for the first time to LUKE 21.

In the last confrontation in Luke 20, Jesus soundly refuted the Sadducees. After this, his teaching further embarrassed and offended the religious teachers.


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Saturday, March 12, 2016

DBRP_073 NUM.8 NUM.9 PSA.31 LUK.20.20-47

Let’s open to NUMBERS 8-9.

In Numbers 7, we heard about the gifts given by the leaders of Israel following the dedication of the sacred tent.

Translation note:

Who it is who does the ‘waving’ in this ‘wave offering’ is variously interpreted in 8:13. And it could be taken simply as a presentation, because it would be rather hard to ‘wave’ this object.
NLT:  Then have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons, and raise your hands and present them as a special offering to the LORD.
HCSB: … and you are to present them before the Lord as a presentation offering.
CEV: They will stand at my altar in front of Aaron and his sons, who will dedicate the Levites to me.
GNT: “Dedicate the Levites as a special gift to me, and put Aaron and his sons in charge of them.

Turning to PSALM 31:

Psalm 31 is a desperate, yet confident, prayer for protection. This prayer models the secret of effective prayer— praying with full belief in the Lord.

Translation notes:
21 [Let everyone] Praise the Lord!
How wonderfully he showed his love for me
when I was surrounded and attacked!
23 [Listen, all his faithful people: Love the Lord!//Love the Lord, all his faithful people.]
The Lord protects the faithful,
but punishes the proud as they deserve.
24 Be strong, be courageous,
all you [who//that] hope in the Lord.

Let’s turn for the second time to LUKE 20.

Yesterday’s reading in first part of Luke 20 showed how the Jewish leaders tried to confront and discredit Jesus. I remember reading these passages in the summer after 6th grade and being so impressed with Jesus' wisdom.

Translation note:
27 Then some Sadducees, [the religious party] who say that people will not rise from death, came to Jesus and said,

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Friday, March 11, 2016


Here’s the link to the Digging Deeper DBRP Facebook group:

I wanted to send a shout out to some very interesting people who listen to the DBRP. For this I have compared the stats for three representative podcasts, with the earliest from February 9. It is not surprising that the vast majority of the DBRP listeners ( 78.8%) are from the United states. The next countries listed are United Kingdom (3.7% which I realize we might break down further), and Canada (3.3%), followed by Singapore. So those countries account for around 85% of the listeners.

Next I will list the countries where it appears we have 3 to 10 listeners— going from a couple of countries that perhaps have 10 to those with fewer listeners:
South Africa (shout out to Carol),
Republic of Korea,
New Zealand,
Saudi Arabia,
United Arab Emirates (shout out to Alexandra),
and a category called ‘Other Regions’.

If you are listening from any of those countries, I’ll have something to say to you after the next listing.

Next are countries where it looks like we have two listeners:
Hong Kong,
and France.

And finally, the countries that for the three days I checked we have one lone listener:
Czech Republic,
Indonesia (and I think that must be you, Santosa, Greetings!),
then Thailand,
Dominican Republic,
Saint Lucia, and

You can see this listing of countries in the episode notes for this podcast. Just imagine how different the lives and situations must be among our listeners! I urge everyone listening to this to use a little sanctified imagination and pray for our listeners who may be very isolated from other believers. If you are a listener from any of those countries that make up 15% of the DBRP listeners, we would love to hear from you. I hope you have registered at Facebook. Please visit the the Digging Deeper DBRP Facebook group linked in the episode notes, then please click to join the group. Once you have been accepted, please tell us a little about yourself. Are you actually from that country or transplanted from somewhere else? Please feel free to give us a prayer request. I realize that some of you may need to be very careful about what you share with us. In that case, you may simply write, “Please pray for me.” We promise to pray for you.

I especially would be interested in you contacting us if your country was not listed. You might be from that ‘Other Regions’ category!

I thought it was interesting to see which US States have only one listener, and this is based on the News Update podcast that was numbered 41. For that episode, so far there have been 473 downloads, and so far there has only been one listener from these 4 states:
South Dakota,
Rhode Island,
and Hawaii.

But there are the 16 states with zero listeners to that episode:
New Hampshire,
South Dakota,
North Dakota,
New Mexico,
and Oregon.

For anyone in any country, if you are a listener who would identify yourself as one who has just started to follow Christ, or not yet committed to following Christ, please don’t feel hesitant to join the Facebook group. You may not want to share very much. But you could just say, “I’m a new believer,” or, “I’m just testing the waters.” We’ll take it from there and pray for you.

Thanks to those of you who have prayed for me and Gale, our family, and our ministry. I gave prayer requests in the last update which was number 60 LeapDayNews.

To all of you, I praise the Lord that you allow me the privilege of reading God’s Word to you. May the Lord bless you ‘real good’.


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DBRP_072 NUM.7 PSA.30 LUK.20.1-26

Preparing to read NUMBERS 7:

Yesterday we heard how people had to follow through with God’s commands, and those with defiling diseases were expelled from their camp until such time as they could be declared ritually clean again. And we heard about cleansing for issues involving the conscience, and what a man might do if he suspected his wife of unfaithfulness. (A man would have to be a terrible jerk to do this to his wife if he didn't have good reasons for his suspicions!) The 6th chapter dealt with the Nazarite vow, and the ended with the famous Aaronic blessing.

In today’s chapter 7 of Numbers, the GNT has done a beautiful job of giving the complete information in a way that is clear, precise, and that reduces repetition.

We turn to PSALM 30.

This is a wonderful song of thanks to God.

Translation note:
4 [Hey, listen up, all God’s faithful people, sing praise to the Lord!//Sing praise to the Lord, all his faithful people!] Remember what the Holy One has done, and give him thanks!
7 You were good to me, Lord;
you protected me like a mountain fortress.
But then[, when] you hid yourself from me,
and I was afraid.

Let’s turn for the first time to LUKE 20.

Yesterday in the second half of chapter 19, Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem. While on the road he wept over Jerusalem because of the spiritual blindness of the leaders, and he cleansed the temple of commerce.

Translation note:
7 So they answered, “We don't know where [his right to baptize//it] came from.”
13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? [I know.] I will send my own dear son; surely they will respect him!’

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

DBRP_071 NUM.5 NUM.6 PSA.29 LUK.19.20-48

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 5-6.

Yesterday we heard the assignments for the Kohathite, Gershonite, and Merarite clans in regard to the care and moving of the sacred tent, all under the direction of Aaron's sons.

Translation note:
25 the priest shall take the offering of flour out of the woman's hands, hold it out in dedication to the Lord, and present it [before//on] the altar.

We turn to PSALM 29.

This is one of my personal favorite psalms because of the response of the people in the temple to God's glorious revelations of himself in nature.

Translation note:
22 [The king//He] said to him, ‘You bad servant! I will use your own words to condemn you! You know that I am a hard man, taking what is not mine and reaping what I have not planted.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 19.

In yesterday's reading, Zacchaeus— a notorious sinner, dramatically came to Jesus. Then Jesus told a very thought-provoking parable. He is the King who will return and He will ask for an accounting from each of us— his servants.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

DBRP_070 NUM.4 PSA.28 LUK.19.1-27

Let’s open to NUMBERS 4.

Yesterday we learned that the Levite clans were given separate tasks in the care of the sacred tent. The 12,000 Levites were the substitute for Israel's 12,273 first-born sons.

We turn to PSALM 28.

David cries out to the Lord with all his heart. I love the imagery of the Lord as David’s ‘rock’, ‘shield’, and ‘shepherd’. (v1, 7, 9) As a translator, one sometimes has to make the choice of whether to retain a figure of speech more literally, or just to give its meaning. The GNT chose to translate the meaning at the first of v1 and7, but I will follow the NLT in those two places because I think we will understand David’s metaphors.

Translation notes:
1 [GNT: O Lord, my defender, I call to you.//NLT: I pray to You, O Lord, my rock.]
Listen to my cry!
If you do not answer me,
I will be among those who go down to the world of the dead.
5 They take no notice of what [You have done, Lord,//the Lord has done]
or of what [You have//he has] made;
so [You//he] will punish them
and destroy them forever.
6 [How I praise you Lord!//Give praise to the Lord;]
[You have//he has] heard my cry for help.
7 [You protect and defend me.//based on NLT: You, Lord, are my strength and shield.//The Lord protects and defends me;]
I trust in [You//him].
[You give me help and make me glad!//He gives me help and makes me glad;]
I praise [You//him] with joyful songs.
8 You, Lord, protect your people.//The Lord protects his people;]
[You defend and save me, your chosen king.//he defends and saves his chosen king.]

We turn for the first time to Luke 19.

Yesterday in Luke 18, we heard of Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man, Jesus again predicted his death, and blind Bartimaeus (as named in Mark) was healed at Jericho.


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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

DBRP_069 NUM.3 PSA.27 LUK.18.18-43

Let’s open to NUMBERS 3.

Yesterday we heard about the organization of Israel's camp, having three tribes on each of the four sides of the tabernacle. This also determined their marching position when the whole group moved.

We turn to PSALM 27.

This is a beautiful song, expressing David's confidence in the Lord’s protection, and he asks the Lord to vindicate him.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 18.

Yesterday in the first half of the chapter, Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow and the one about the Pharisee and the tax collector. And we heard Jesus' surprising response to the rich young man.

Translation notes:
19 [Jesus started his reply by saying,//] “Why do you call me good?” [0//Jesus asked him.] “No one is good except God alone.
29 [Jesus replied,//] “Yes,” [0//Jesus said to them,] “and I assure you that anyone who leaves home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God 30 will receive much more in this present age and eternal life in the age to come.”
31 Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “Listen! We are going to Jerusalem where everything the prophets wrote about the [Me, the] Son of Man[,] will come true. 32 [I//He] will be handed over to the Gentiles, who will make fun of [me//him], insult [me//him], and spit on [me//him]. 33They will whip [me//him] and kill [me//him], but three days later [I//he] will rise to life.”
42 Jesus said to him, “Then see! [It is because you believe in Me that you are healed.//Your faith has made you well.]”

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Monday, March 7, 2016

DBRP_068 NUM.2 PSA.26 LUK.18.1-30

Let’s turn to NUMBERS 2.

Yesterday in chapter 1, God ordered a census of the men capable as soldiers in war. And we heard the list of the clan leaders of the 12 listed tribes— excluding Levi. (The number of tribes remains at 12 because the tribe of Joseph is split in two.)

We turn now to PSALM 26.

This poem is a personal lament. It is similar to Psalm 25, but does not contain confession. David asks for God’s vindication because of his personal integrity, and shows his love for God by his devotion to God’s sanctuary.

We turn for the first time to Luke 18.

Yesterday we heard about the suddenness of the coming of Jesus as the Son of Man, and that believers will be suddenly taken out of a context that looks like ‘business as usual’. Jesus again says that first He must suffer and be rejected.

I want to challenge everyone to dig deeper in God’s Word— including myself. The last verse of Luke 17 says,
37 The disciples asked him, “Where, Lord?” Jesus answered, “Wherever there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.”
Greek does not differentiate between ‘vulture’ and ‘eagle’. Because of the presence of the word ‘dead body’, translators chose to translate ‘vulture’, but how would it change your ideas if we read this as ‘eagles’? Also, it is possible that Jesus’ response was a common proverb. If that is so, what did Jesus mean by quoting that proverb? See the Shovels page at for web sites that will help you in researching such things.

Translation notes:
19 [Jesus started his reply by saying,//] “Why do you call me good?” [0//Jesus asked him.] “No one is good except God alone.
29 [Jesus replied,//] “Yes,” [0//Jesus said to them,] “and I assure you that anyone who leaves home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God 30will receive much more in this present age and eternal life in the age to come.”


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Sunday, March 6, 2016

DBRP_067 NUM.1 PSA.25 LUK.17.20-37

We start the book of NUMBERS today!

Numbers is the 4th of Moses' 5 books. And this is the one that I have looked forward to as the hardest book of all to read in the podcast! In this book we will see that unbelief hinders God's blessings for Israel. HC Mears says, “Numbers might be called the Wilderness Wanderings,” because it chronicles the journey. And “Numbers might be called the book of the March and the Roll Call. ... It might, too, be called the Book of Murmurings, because from beginning to end it is filled with the spirit of rebellion against God.”

“Leviticus dealt with the believers' worship— Numbers deals with the believer's walk. In Leviticus we see the believer’s privileges— in Numbers the wilderness is the drill field.”

Important lessons from the Book of Numbers:
*We must trust God, not people.
*God will supply all we need, including food, meat, water, leaders, and land.
*We must worship God according to his instructions.

We turn to PSALM 25.

This is our first acrostic poem. Verse 14 is translated as ‘secret’ by older translations which followed the KJV, but is better translated as ‘friendship/friend’. Here we read of the privilege of an intimate relationship with the Lord. I am reminded of a few years ago when things were not going well for me in relation to the leaders of my organization. Psalms like this were very comforting to me.

Translation notes:
Often it may seem to you that the Psalms shift quickly from praying directly to God to talking about God. But that may not be the case. Hebrew can use the third person (‘the Lord/He’) when talking directly to God. One might do this in rather old-fashioned English to formally address a king as ‘His majesty’ or a president as ‘Mr. President’. This is why in the podcasts I sometimes modify the text to make it clear that the whole Psalm is a prayer, like this:
8 [You Lord are good and do//The LORD is good and does] what is right;
[you show/he shows] the proper path to those who go astray.
9 [You lead//He leads] the humble in doing right,
teaching them [your/his] way.
In today’s reading of Psalm 25 from the GNT, I made modifications as above in verses 8-10,12, and 14-15.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 17.

Yesterday in 17a Jesus taught about the importance of forgiving others, the importance of believing fully and being humble servants. Then we heard of the healing of 10 men who had a contageous/dreaded skin disease.

Translation notes:
21 No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is [here in your midst.//within you.]”
22 Then he said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will wish you could see one of the [future] days [when I rule as the Son of Man//of the Son of Man], but you will not see [that//it].
23 There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, over there!’ or, ‘Look, over here!’ But don't go out looking for [that//it].
24 As the lightning flashes across the sky and lights it up from one side to the other, so [it will be on the day that I, the Son of Man return.//will the Son of Man be in his day. ]
25 But first [I//he] must suffer much and be rejected by the people of this day.
26 As it was in the time of Noah so shall it be [at my return as the Son of Man.//in the days of the Son of Man. ]


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Saturday, March 5, 2016

DBRP_066 LEV.26 LEV.27 PSA.24 LUK.17.1-21

Let’s turn to LEVITICUS 26-27.

Yesterday we heard about the Sabbath year and the year of Restoration/Jubilee. Before the Year of Restoration, property could be bought back//redeemed. In the Restoration year property was returned to the original owners and poor people who had become enslaved were set free. I suspect these laws were never done in all of Israel's history. If they were, perhaps only once— seventy years after Israel entered the land of Canaan.

Translation notes:
27:28 None of you may sell or buy back what you have unconditionally [given over//dedicated] to the Lord, whether it is a human being, an animal, or land. It belongs permanently to the Lord.
29 [No human being who has//Not even human beings who have] been unconditionally [sentenced/dedicated] [to capital punishment]* may be bought back; [he or she//they] must be put to death.
[The term ‘given over’ when it refers to persons may refer to capital punishment, as we have seen recently in chapters 20 and 24. The term (often translated ‘dedicated for destruction’) is also used for when the Lord condemns a city to be totally destroyed, such as the city of Jericho.]


This Psalm is one of the most majestic psalms! This ends with the song for welcoming the triumphant Messiah into Jerusalem.

We turn for the first time to LUKE 17.

Yesterday in chapter 16 we heard two longer parables— both very insightful: The parable of the shrewd manager, and the one about the rich man and Lazarus. Both of them show this lesson:
Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they (those friends) will welcome you to an eternal home.

Translation notes:
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Make our [belief//faith] greater.”
6The Lord answered, “If you had [belief//faith] as big as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Pull yourself up by the roots and plant yourself in the sea!’ and it would obey you.
19 And Jesus said to him, “Get up and go[. You have been made well because you believe in me.//; your faith has made you well.]”
21 No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is [here in your midst.//within you.]”

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Friday, March 4, 2016

DBRP_065 LEV.25 PSA.23 LUK.16

Today we read LEVITICUS 25.

Yesterday we heard about the seven important yearly celebrations of the Jewish religion. Then we heard about oil and bread for the tabernacle, and then there was the example of a law-breaker who was stoned to death for his crime of blasphemy.


Today we read the most famous psalm of all. My wife has often said: Psalm 23 is so often quoted at funerals, but this is a psalm about living, not dying!

Translation notes:
v1-3 I have read this using second person ‘You’ for God, in order to make it clear that David is praying right from the start of this Psalm.
4 [CEV 4 I may walk through valleys
as dark as death,
but I won't be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherd's rod d
makes me feel safe.//NLT Even when I walk
through the dark valley of death, 1
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.]
5 You prepare a banquet for me, [right] where all my enemies can see me; you welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim.

Opening to LUKE 16:

Yesterday in Luke 15, we heard the three-part parable of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son. There is much treasure to dig for there! Consider taking some time to reflect on that wonderful chapter.

Translation notes:
6 ‘One hundred barrels of olive oil,’ he answered. ‘Here is your account,’ the manager told him; ‘sit down and [change it to//write] fifty.’
7 Then he asked another one, ‘And you—how much do you owe?’ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he answered. ‘Here is your account,’ the manager told him; ‘[change it to//write] eight hundred.’


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Thursday, March 3, 2016

DBRP_064 LEV.23 LEV.24 PSA.22 LUK.15

Turning to LEVITICUS 23-24:

Yesterday we heard two chapters of regulations for the priests, all for the purpose of preserving their holiness. Again and again the Lord says, “I am the Lord”, emphasizing that, as He is holy, so the priests and the people of Israel must be holy.

Translation note:
24:7 [CEV: Alongside each row put some pure incense that will be sent up by fire in place of the bread as an offering to me.//Put some pure incense on each row, as a token food offering to the Lord to take the place of the bread.]


We turn to a famous psalm today, Psalm 22. This is one of the chief Messianic psalms, containing moving prophetic words about how Jesus would die on the cross. And then words about what Jesus has done and is doing even now.

Translation note:
I added a ‘But’ at v.22.

Turning to LUKE 15:

Today we read the three-in-one parable chapter. Yesterday in Luke 14, Jesus healed on the Sabbath, taught about humility and the cost of being his disciple, and gave the parable of the great feast.


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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

DBRP_063 LEV.21 LEV.22 PSA.21 LUK.14

Let’s turn to LEVITICUS 21-22.

Yesterday we heard various laws that are for preserving the holiness of God's people, and various kinds of punishment for disobedience.

Today's psalm is PSALM 21.

This poem is a companion to yesterday's, which was for the nation and the king in time of war. Today’s poem is the corresponding victory song.

Translation notes:
[In this Psalm, not only does David talk to God using the 3rd person (a custom which showed reverence), but he speaks of himself also in the 3rd person. The use of the 3rd person like this can be considered ungrammatical in today’s English, and translating literally here prevents most readers from seeing this Psalm as a very personal prayer. CEV picked up on the references to God, and the special translation for translators (T4T) picked up on both the reference to God and to ‘the King’.]
1 [O LORD, I— the king you have chosen, am so glad
because of the strength you have given me.//The king is glad, O Lord, because you gave him strength; he rejoices because you made him victorious.]
2 You have given [me my//him his] heart's desire;
you have answered [my//his] request.
3 You came to [me//him] with great blessings
and set a crown of gold on [my//his] head.
4 [I//He] asked for life, and you gave it,
a long and lasting life.
5 [My kingly glory//His glory] is great because of your help;
you have given [me//him] fame and majesty.
6 Your blessings are with [me//him] forever,
and your presence fills [me//him] with joy.
7 [I trust//The king] trusts in [You, O Lord Almighty//the Lord Almighty];
and because of [your//the Lord's] constant love
[I//he] will always be secure.
8 [CEV: With your mighty arm, Lord,
you will strike down all of your hateful enemies.//The king will capture all his enemies; he will capture everyone who hates him.]
9 [CEV: They will be destroyed by fire once you are here,
and because of your anger, flames will swallow them.//He will destroy them like a blazing fire when he appears. The Lord will devour them in his anger, and fire will consume them.]
10 [CEV: You will wipe their families from the earth,
and they will disappear.//None of their descendants will survive;
the king will kill them all.]
11 [CEV:  All their [evil] plans to harm you
will come to nothing.//They make their plans, and plot against him,
but they will not succeed.]
12 [CEV: You will make them run away
by shooting your arrows at their faces.//He will shoot his arrows at them and make them turn and run.]
13 We praise you, Lord, for your great strength!
We will sing and praise your power.

Let’s turn to Luke 14.

As we heard yesterday, Luke chapter 13 containes 4 parables. Jesus warned the people sternly to repent, and he grieved for the persistent stubbornness and hardness of heart of the people of Jerusalem. In both that chapter and today’s chapter, Jesus healed people on the Sabbath, using those occasions as opportunities to teach and rebuke his enemies.

Translation notes:
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your rich neighbors—for they will invite you back, and in this way you will be [re]paid for what you did.
24 I tell you all that none of those who were [first] invited will taste my dinner!’”
35 [It has of no value at all even to mix with soil or manure compost.//It is no good for the soil or for the manure pile;] it is [just] thrown away. Listen, then, if you have ears!”


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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

DBRP_062 LEV.19 LEV.20 PSA.20 LUK.13

Turning to LEVITICUS 19-20:

Yesterday we learned about the rule that all sacrifices be done at the tabernacle, the prohibitions of eating anything containing animal blood, and forbidden sexual practices.

Translation note:
20:23 Do not adopt the customs of the people who live there; I am driving out those [ungodly people groups//pagans] so that you can enter the land. They have disgusted me with all their evil practices.

We turn to PSALM 20.

This is a prayer for the nation of Israel and their king, asking for national security in time of war.

Translation note:
8 [Those others//Such people] will stumble and fall, but we will rise and stand firm.

Let’s turn to LUKE 13.

In the second half of Luke 12, Jesus taught about being ready for his return, and to be ready for division that would come about because of Jesus himself.

Translation note:
33 Yet I must be on my way today, tomorrow, and the next day; it is not right for a prophet to be killed anywhere [else] except in Jerusalem.

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