Daily Audio Bible

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1 Samuel 20-21

20 David ran for his life. He left Naioth in Ramah and found Jonathan.

David: What have I done? Of what am I guilty? What crime have I committed against your father to make him want to kill me?

Jonathan: Impossible! Don’t worry about it. You’re not going to die. My father doesn’t make any decision, large or small, without telling me. And why would my father hide this from me? It is not so.

David: But your father knows we are friends, and he has said, “Don’t tell Jonathan about this; he will be upset.” I swear to you, as the Eternal lives—and as you live—I am on the verge of being killed.

Jonathan: Whatever you ask, I will do for you.

David: Look. Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should be sitting with the king at his table. But let me go and hide myself in the field until three days have passed. If your father asks about me, tell him that I asked to return to my hometown, Bethlehem, for an annual family sacrifice. If he says, “Fine,” then all will be well with your servant. But if he is angry, you will know that he intends to harm me. So deal kindly with your servant, for you have made a sacred covenant with me, your servant. But if I am guilty, then kill me yourself. Why should you have to bring me in front of your father?

Jonathan: That will never happen. If I knew my father planned to hurt you, wouldn’t I tell you?

David: 10 So who will tell me if your father gives you a good or bad answer?

Jonathan: 11 Let’s go out to the field.

They went out to the field so that David could find a place to lie low.

Jonathan (to David): 12 Let the Eternal God of Israel be my witness; this is my vow. When I have talked to my father, about this time tomorrow or no later than the third day, if he acts friendly about you, won’t I send an answer to you? 13 But if my father plans to harm you, then may the Eternal do to me what he plans for you—and more—if I don’t let you know and send you away to safety.

May the Eternal One be with you, as He has been with my father. 14 If I live, then show to me the faithful love of the Eternal that I may not die. 15 Do not ever take your faithful love away from my descendants, not even if the Eternal were to remove all the enemies of the house of David from the face of the earth.

16 With these words, Jonathan made a covenant with David and his descendants.

Jonathan: May the Eternal One guarantee this promise by the hands of David’s enemies.

17 And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for Jonathan loved him more than life itself.

Jonathan: 18 Tomorrow is the festival of the new moon. People will notice you are gone because your place will be empty. 19 On the day after tomorrow, you will be greatly missed. On that day, quickly go down to that place where you hid yourself the first time and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of the stone, as if I’m shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy after them, saying, “Go find the arrows.” If I tell him, “Look, the arrows are on this side of you,” then come back, for as the Eternal One lives, you are not in any danger. 22 But if I tell the boy, “No, the arrows are beyond you,” then flee, because the Eternal has shown you that you must leave. 23 But as for the agreement that we have spoken together, the Eternal One is witness to it forever.

24 So David hid himself in the field.

When the new moon festival began and the king sat down to eat, 25 he took his usual seat in a place of safety with his back to the wall. Abner, his general, sat at the king’s side; Jonathan stood, but David’s seat was empty. 26 That first night, Saul said nothing. He thought that perhaps David had somehow become ritually unclean, and he could not attend a sacred feast. 27 But on the next day, the second day of the feast of the new moon, when David’s seat remained empty, Saul spoke to Jonathan.

Saul: Why hasn’t the son of Jesse joined us at the feast these past two days?

Jonathan: 28 David asked me if he could go to Bethlehem. 29 “Please allow me to go,” he said. “Our family is sacrificing in the city, and my brother has insisted that I come. So if you think highly of me, I ask that you let me go there and see my brothers.” That is why he is not at the king’s table.

30 Saul, not fooled for a moment, became very angry with Jonathan.

Saul: You son of a degenerate and rebellious woman! Do you think I don’t know that you have befriended the son of Jesse? This is just as shameful for you as your mother’s nakedness was. 31 As long as David walks the earth, you will never rule this kingdom. Now send for him. Bring him here to me, because he will most certainly die.

Jonathan: 32 Why should David be put to death? What offense has he committed?

33 At that, Saul threw his spear at him, fully intending to hit him, so Jonathan knew that it was truly his father’s intention to have David killed. 34 Jonathan left the table in a rage, without eating a bite on the second day of the festival. He was grieved because of David and because his father had disgraced him.

35 In the morning, Jonathan took his bow and went out into the field, as he had arranged with David, and he brought a small boy with him.

Jonathan (to the boy): 36 Run and find the arrows that I shoot.

The boy ran, and Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy reached the place where the arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out.

Jonathan: Isn’t the arrow beyond you? 38 Hurry! Be quick about it. Don’t hang around out there!

So Jonathan’s young servant gathered the arrows and returned to his master. 39 He knew nothing, of course; only Jonathan and David knew what had just transpired. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and told him to take them back to the city.

41 As soon as the boy left, David rose from his hiding place south of the stone and prostrated himself before Jonathan. He bowed to Jonathan three times, and then David and Jonathan kissed each other. Both of them wept, but David wept more.

Jonathan (to David): 42 Go in peace and safety, since we have both sworn in the name of the Eternal One, “He will mediate between me and you, and between our descendants, forever.”

David got up from the ground and left, and Jonathan returned to the city.

In the law of Moses, people are commanded to love their neighbors as themselves; and Jonathan does just that, loving David as he does himself. David’s love for Jonathan is also clear. When they are parted here, David is filled with sadness. Although both of them weep, David weeps more; and when Saul and Jonathan are later killed in battle, David celebrates and remembers their friendship in one of the most beautiful songs in the Bible. These two demonstrate exactly what it means to follow the command of the law and love unselfishly.

21 David went to a place called Nob, where he visited the priest Ahimelech, who came forward fearfully to meet him.

Ahimelech: Why are you here alone, without anyone else?

David: The king has given me a mission that is not to be revealed to anyone else, and my servants are waiting for me at a place where I have sent them. Now what do you have here to eat? Let me have five loaves of bread or whatever you have.

Ahimelech: I have no ordinary bread—only the holy bread. You may take it, if your men have not recently had sexual intercourse.

David: Of course. They have stayed away from women since we have been on the road, three days now. If their bodies must be kept pure even when we go on a typical journey, how much more must they be kept pure when we are on a mission like this one?

The priest gave him consecrated bread since the bread of the Presence was replaced when other fresh, hot bread was brought before the Eternal One and no other bread was available.

Now one of Saul’s servants, Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds, was waiting before the Eternal that day.

David (to Ahimelech): Isn’t there a sword or spear here? I left so swiftly on my errand for the king that I did not bring my sword or weapons with me.

Ahimelech: We have no weapons here except the sword of Goliath, the Philistine you killed in the valley of Elah. Look, you’ll find it wrapped in a cloth behind the sacred vest. You may take that, if you like, for that is the only weapon here.

David: It is one of a kind. Let me take it.

10 So David left and fled that same day from Saul and went to Saul’s enemy, King Achish of Gath. 11 The king’s servants reminded the king,

Servants: Isn’t this David who some claim to be the very ruler of the land? Didn’t they sing about him while they celebrated and danced?

Saul has slain his thousands
and David, his tens of thousands.

12 When David heard that these were the kinds of things people were saying about him, he was afraid of what Achish, the king of Gath, might do, 13 so he acted differently when they were around and even pretended to be insane. He scarred the doors at the city’s gates with his fingernails and drooled into his beard.

Achish (to his servants): 14 Look at him. Can’t you see this man is crazy? Why have you brought him to me here in my house? 15 Don’t I have enough crazy people around here already, or did you think I might need yet another?

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 9

John and many people in his community are Jews. As a son of Abraham, his criticism of certain Jewish leaders is not a criticism of a whole people. He’s not stereotyping or making generalizations. “The Jews” he remembers in this passage are a corrupt group of power brokers who conspire against Jesus with the Romans to have Him crucified and who later have John’s own followers expelled from the synagogue. Their behavior may be compared to the behavior of those Israelites condemned by Old Testament prophets. Prophets have the duty—Jeremiah said he had “a fire in his bones” (20:9)—to speak for God and condemn hypocrisy and unbelief wherever it is found, especially when it’s found close to home. That’s what John’s doing when recalling this event.

9 While walking along the road, Jesus saw a man who was blind since his birth.

Disciples: Teacher, who sinned? Who is responsible for this man’s blindness? Did he commit sins that merited this punishment? If not his sins, is it the sins of his parents?

Jesus: Neither. His blindness cannot be explained or traced to any particular person’s sins. He is blind so the deeds of God may be put on display. While it is daytime, we must do the works of the One who sent Me. But when the sun sets and night falls, this work is impossible. Whenever I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.

After He said these things, He spat on the ground and mixed saliva and dirt to form mud, which He smeared across the blind man’s eyes.

Jesus (to the blind man): Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.

Siloam means “sent,” and its name reminded us that his healing was sent by God. The man went, washed, and returned to Jesus, his eyes now alive with sight. Then neighbors and others who knew him were confused to see a man so closely resembling the blind beggar running about.

Townspeople: Isn’t this the man we see every day sitting and begging in the streets?

Others: This is the same man.

Still Others: This cannot be him. But this fellow bears an uncanny resemblance to the blind man.

Formerly Blind Man: I am the same man. It’s me!

Townspeople: 10 How have your lifeless eyes been opened?

Formerly Blind Man: 11 A man named Jesus approached me and made mud from the ground and applied it to my eyes. He then said to me, “Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.” I went and washed, and suddenly I could see.

Townspeople: 12 Where is this man who healed you?

Formerly Blind Man: I don’t know.

13-14 The townspeople brought the formerly blind beggar to appear before the Pharisees the same day Jesus healed him, which happened to be on the Sabbath Day. 15 The Pharisees began questioning him, looking for some explanation for how he could now see.

Formerly Blind Man: He smeared mud on my eyes, and I washed; now I see.

Some Pharisees: 16 God can’t possibly be behind this man because He is breaking the rules of the Sabbath.

Other Pharisees: How can such a lawbreaking scoundrel do something like this?

The Pharisees were at odds with one another about Jesus and could not agree whether His power came from God or the devil.

Pharisees (to the formerly blind man): 17 What do you say about this man, about the fact He opened your eyes so you could see?

Formerly Blind Man: I have no doubt—this man is a prophet.

18 Some of the Jews suspected the whole situation was a charade, that this man was never blind. So they summoned the man’s parents to testify about his condition.

Pharisees: 19 Is this man your son? Do you testify that he has been blind from birth? How therefore does he now see?

Parents: 20 We can tell you this much: he is our son, and he was born blind. 21 But his new sight is a complete mystery to us! We do not know the man who opened his eyes. Why don’t you ask our son? He is old enough to speak for himself.

22 The man’s parents were a bit evasive because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. It had been rumored that anyone who spoke of Jesus as the Anointed One would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 So they deferred the thorny question to their son, 24 and the Pharisees called on him a second time.

Pharisees: Give God the credit. He’s the One who healed you. All glory belongs to God. We are persuaded this man you speak of is a sinner who defies God.

Formerly Blind Man: 25 If this man is a sinner, I don’t know. I am not qualified to say. I only know one thing: I was blind, and now I see.

Pharisees: 26 What did He do to you? How did He give you sight?

Formerly Blind Man: 27 Listen, I’ve already answered all these questions, and you don’t like my answers. Do you really need me to say it all over again? Are you thinking about joining up with Him and becoming His followers?

Pharisees (berating him): 28 You’re one of His followers, but we follow Moses. 29 We have confidence that God spoke to Moses, but this man you speak of is a mystery; we don’t even know where He comes from.

Formerly Blind Man: 30 Isn’t it ironic that you, our religious leaders, don’t even know where He comes from; yet He gave me sight! 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but He does respond and work through those who worship Him and do His will. 32 No one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of any person blind from birth. 33 This man must come from God; otherwise, this miracle would not be possible. Only God can do such things.

Pharisees: 34 You were born under a cloud of sin. How can you, of all people, lecture us?

The religious leaders banished him from their presence. 35 Jesus heard what had happened and sought out the man.

Jesus: Do you believe in the Son of Man?

Formerly Blind Man: 36 I want to believe, Lord. Who is He?

Jesus: 37 You have seen His face with your new eyes, and you are talking to Him now.

Formerly Blind Man: 38 Lord, I do believe.

The man bowed low to worship Jesus.

Jesus: 39 I have entered this world to announce a verdict that changes everything. Now those without sight may begin to see, and those who see may become blind.

Some Pharisees (who overheard Jesus): 40 Surely we are not blind, are we?

Jesus: 41 If you were blind, you would be without sin. But because you claim you can see, your sin is ever present.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 113-114

Psalm 113

Psalms 113–118 comprise an important unit called the Hallel, which in Hebrew means “praise.” Composed after the exile, these six psalms are recited together by observant Jews during some of the major holidays on the Jewish calendar. The Gospel writers tell us that Jesus and His disciples sang a song following their last meal together, which was the Passover (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). That may have been the Hallel.

Praise the Eternal!
All of you who call yourselves the children of the Eternal, come and praise His name.
Lift Him high to the high place in your hearts.

At this moment, and for all the moments yet to come,
may the Eternal’s name ascend in the hearts of His people.
At every time and in every place—
from the moment the sun rises to the moment the sun sets—
may the name of the Eternal be high in the hearts of His people.

The Eternal is seated high above every nation.
His glory fills the skies.

To whom should we compare the Eternal, our God?
No one.
From His seat, high above,
He deigns to observe the earth and her thin skies,
stooping even to see her goings on, far beneath His feet.
He gathers up the poor from their dirt floors,
pulls the needy from the trash heaps,
And places them among heads of state,
seated next to the rulers of His people where they cannot be ignored.
Into the home of the childless bride,
He sends children who are, for her, a cause of happiness beyond measure.
Praise the Eternal!

Psalm 114

When the time came for Israel to leave Egypt—
for Jacob’s family to be free of those who spoke another language—
God chose to make Judah His sacred place,
and Israel became His realm.

And the waters of the sea witnessed God’s actions and ran away;
the Jordan, too, turned around and ran back to where it came from.
All of the mountains leapt with the strength of mighty rams,
and all of the hills danced with the joy of little lambs.

Why do you retreat, O sea?
Why do you roll back your waters, O Jordan?
Why, O mountains, do you leap with the strength of rams?
Why, O hills, do you dance with joy like little lambs?

Shudder and quake, O you earth, at the sight of the Lord.
The God of Jacob comes,
Who turns rock into pools of refreshing water
and flint into fountains of life-giving streams!

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:15-17

15 The poor and oppressed suffer hardship day after day,
but those with kind hearts continually feast.
16 It is better to live with less and honor the Eternal
than to have riches and carry the burdens that come with them.
17 Better to eat only vegetables served lovingly
than a fattened ox served hatefully.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

 

 

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