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Praying in Public and Walking with the Hurting
Episode 319th October 2021 • Everyday Disciples • St Matthew, Grand Rapids
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In our first segment, we talk with Aidan Hunt, Matthew Starner, and CJ Geluso about a "How to" for everyday disciples - how to pray in public without passing out. Speaking in public can be scary enough for most people but praying in public can be downright terrifying! We talk about some ways to approach praying out loud with your family or small group that can make it seem less scary.

In the second segment, Pastors Rob and Matthew continue their conversation from a previous episode about suffering - this time asking how we can walk alongside someone who is struggling and bring hope and comfort.

In the final segment, That's in the Bible?!, Aidan and Matthew talk about one of those strange stories in the Bible that we don't hear about in Sunday School or sermons much - Elisha and the bears.

Do you have something you'd like to hear us talk about or address? Let us know! Send us a message at media@stmatthewgr.com.

Transcripts

Matthew Starner:

Hi, everybody, and welcome back to another

Matthew Starner:

episode of everyday disciples. I'm Pastor Matthew Starner and

Matthew Starner:

I'm so glad that you're here. You know, we've been so

Matthew Starner:

encouraged by the response to our first couple of episodes.

Matthew Starner:

When we started this experiment, we weren't even sure anyone

Matthew Starner:

would listen. But the numbers keep going up. And we're already

Matthew Starner:

amazed by the comments that we've gotten. Thanks for

Matthew Starner:

listening. And we hope you continue to join us each week as

Matthew Starner:

we strive to be everyday disciples. On today's episode, I

Matthew Starner:

talk with Aiden hunt, and CJ Geluso. about a topic that

Matthew Starner:

strikes fear in the hearts of so many Christians praying in

Matthew Starner:

public, we'll talk about how to pray in public without passing

Matthew Starner:

out and we'll see that you know, might not be quite as hard as we

Matthew Starner:

make it seem. In the second segment, we continue a

Matthew Starner:

conversation from our first episode with Pastor Rob Appold,

Matthew Starner:

about suffering, this time talking about how we can come

Matthew Starner:

alongside someone who's walking through a difficult time. And

Matthew Starner:

lastly, Aiden hunt. And I take a look at one of those weird Bible

Matthew Starner:

stories that you don't hear about in church or Sunday school

Matthew Starner:

very often. All the lightshot and the bears. We've got some

Matthew Starner:

great stuff ahead. Let's go.

Matthew Starner:

Welcome back to the podcast. Once again, I'm Pastor Matthew

Matthew Starner:

Starner and I'm joined again by Aiden hunt and CJ Geluso. And we

Matthew Starner:

are here today on a segment we're calling how to, we decided

Matthew Starner:

to call this one how to pray in public without passing out. So

Matthew Starner:

oftentimes, as leaders in different ministries around here

Matthew Starner:

we pray in public all the time, whether that's, like in worship

Matthew Starner:

in small group settings, and meetings and youth group and

Matthew Starner:

things like that. And I know for a lot of people, the idea of

Matthew Starner:

praying in public just, it's like, it's like a step worse

Matthew Starner:

than public speaking. Right? That's, that's the one thing

Matthew Starner:

everybody's afraid of. And so I thought we'll gather this group

Matthew Starner:

around here to kind of maybe share some ideas for folks. How

Matthew Starner:

do you approach that praying in public, I mean, ideally, should

Matthew Starner:

be something every Christian should be able to do, right? It

Matthew Starner:

doesn't take any special training, it doesn't take any

Matthew Starner:

special skills. I went through seminary and never had a class

Matthew Starner:

on prayer. We talked about it a different times. But it was

Matthew Starner:

never a class on how to get up and pray in public. But it's

Matthew Starner:

something that I think people think is harder than it is.

Matthew Starner:

Maybe just for for everybody else's sake around here. Do you

Matthew Starner:

remember one of the first times that you had to pray in public

Matthew Starner:

like at a small group or a meeting or something? How did

Matthew Starner:

you feel that first time that you were in that situation?

Aidan Hunt:

The first one from like a larger group standpoint,

Aidan Hunt:

it was I prayed for a meal at a camp for the whole camp. And so

Aidan Hunt:

they were like, but it wasn't that many people there was 120

Aidan Hunt:

people, which is still quite a bit. But they asked me to pray

Aidan Hunt:

before lunch one day, and I just remember being like, I don't I

Aidan Hunt:

don't know how to do that in front of this many people. I

Aidan Hunt:

went fine. I didn't, you know, the food I think was blessed. So

Aidan Hunt:

No One No One choked and died. So I think it went fine. But

Aidan Hunt:

yeah, I definitely think I overthought it and I think a lot

Aidan Hunt:

of people overthink, praying in public, but like that's the

Aidan Hunt:

first one I can remember was, in my mind,

CJ Geluso:

The first time I've really prayed in public. I was a

CJ Geluso:

junior in high school, and I was a student leader at a Youth for

CJ Geluso:

Christ group. We were basically leading the middle schoolers,

CJ Geluso:

and after the group, as we're closing all the leaders were

CJ Geluso:

coming together and talking about the day doing highs and

CJ Geluso:

lows kind of talking about God sightings. And they asked me to

CJ Geluso:

pray, they asked me to close in prayer. And at first I was just

CJ Geluso:

like, yeah, I can't close in prayer. And then I went to pray

CJ Geluso:

and I stuttered, I started well, you know, just pray now you

CJ Geluso:

pray, and I stuttered. And at that point, I froze for a

CJ Geluso:

second. And I ended up bringing it back together in closing the

CJ Geluso:

prayer, but it was really like it was a nerve wracking moment I

CJ Geluso:

even think praying in public is a little bit above kind of

CJ Geluso:

public speaking to an extent

Matthew Starner:

I've had those moments when so like, when I'm

Matthew Starner:

closing out a sermon and doing a prayer very rarely will I ever

Matthew Starner:

write out that prayer usually it's just a prayer from the

Matthew Starner:

heart you know as I'm closing the sermon, and sometimes you

Matthew Starner:

get going down a down a trail of thought, and then it's like wait

Matthew Starner:

a minute, this is going nowhere and you start like overthinking

Matthew Starner:

where am I going, what what am I trying to say here and I get to

Matthew Starner:

inside my head and then that's when I start doing that and have

Matthew Starner:

all those awkward pauses and yeah, it's those right just just

Matthew Starner:

quick get to the Amen. Get to the Amen, we're gonna be okay.

Matthew Starner:

So I don't think you know, for anybody, you know, praying in

Matthew Starner:

public, maybe doesn't come supernatural for everybody. But

Matthew Starner:

it is something that all of us Christians should be able to do

Matthew Starner:

it after all. Prayer is simply talking to God, right? It's not

Matthew Starner:

like it's a incantation, or some sort of formulation of words

Matthew Starner:

that we're saying for something, we're just sharing our heart

Matthew Starner:

with God. But it's something that we're maybe more

Matthew Starner:

comfortable doing in private, right? It feels like more of an

Matthew Starner:

intimate conversation with God that way. So maybe that's one of

Matthew Starner:

the places where some people get tripped up in that. I'm used to

Matthew Starner:

doing this sort of intimate thing. And now I have to do it

Matthew Starner:

in front of people. And everybody's gonna hear me and

Matthew Starner:

hear the words that I say that that can seem a little bit

Matthew Starner:

scary, I get that

Aidan Hunt:

Prayer is a very intimate thing. And we think of,

Aidan Hunt:

you know, prayer is our communication with God. That's

Aidan Hunt:

how we both speak to him and listen to him. Because it's a

Aidan Hunt:

conversation, like you said, like, it's, it's us talking to

Aidan Hunt:

God, and that's us, spending intentional time with him. And

Aidan Hunt:

to do that in front of a bunch of people corporate prayer,

Aidan Hunt:

like, can be very intimidating, because we don't want to say the

Aidan Hunt:

wrong thing. We don't want to, you know, mess up, we want

Aidan Hunt:

people to think over good prayers. And we're, we're so we

Aidan Hunt:

say such eloquent words, and we're beautiful speakers. But I

Aidan Hunt:

heard this quote, I think a few months ago, but the best way to

Aidan Hunt:

think about prayer, both in your, in your personal, intimate

Aidan Hunt:

time with the Lord, but also in front of the people is, prayer

Aidan Hunt:

is not a place to perform, it's a place to be present. And

Aidan Hunt:

prayer is not a place to be perfect. It's a place to be

Aidan Hunt:

honest. So if your prayers are just present and honest, that is

Aidan Hunt:

the best way to pray. There's no right way to do it. There's no

Aidan Hunt:

wrong way to do it. But it's you sharing your heart with those

Aidan Hunt:

around you.

CJ Geluso:

And if you're praying by the Spirit, I mean, I've

CJ Geluso:

throughout my life, I've become so much more comfortable

CJ Geluso:

praying, and in a public setting and leading prayer, just for the

CJ Geluso:

fact that I think that I, I kind of call on the spirit more for

CJ Geluso:

prayer, I asked the spirit to make itself president and kind

CJ Geluso:

of use my words for himself. And I and I found like, I've become

CJ Geluso:

a lot more comfortable in the prayer setting. And then when in

CJ Geluso:

doubt, when I start to stutter, I just start up the Lord's

CJ Geluso:

Prayer,

Matthew Starner:

It is helpful, growing up in a tradition that

Matthew Starner:

that values something like the Lord's Prayer, some of those

Matthew Starner:

those kind of common shared prayers that we can, we can say

Matthew Starner:

together, those are always helpful. I think for some people

Matthew Starner:

in I don't know different strains of Christianity. There's

Matthew Starner:

almost like a disdain for that sort of thing. Like those aren't

Matthew Starner:

real prayers, because you memorize that those are, those

Matthew Starner:

are just words, you know, they're not your words. And I

Matthew Starner:

don't think that's true, I think we can pray those words that

Matthew Starner:

we've memorized and cherish in our heart, we can pray those

Matthew Starner:

with just as much meaning as the words that I pray off the cuff

Matthew Starner:

in the moment, they can have that same same value. So don't

Matthew Starner:

be afraid to, to go to those prayers that you know and are

Matthew Starner:

familiar with,

Aidan Hunt:

especially considering in Matthew six, when

Aidan Hunt:

Jesus teaches. This is part of terminal amounts. He's teaching

Aidan Hunt:

a lot of people how to say this prayer, he says, Therefore you

Aidan Hunt:

should pray like this. And then our Father who is in heaven,

Aidan Hunt:

hallowed be your name, your kingdom come Your will be done

Aidan Hunt:

on earth as it is in heaven. Those are all the prayers that

Aidan Hunt:

we things we want to say when we pray, is, you know, God, you are

Aidan Hunt:

hallowed You are Holy, and I am I belong to you also, like, lead

Aidan Hunt:

us to do what you are calling us to do. Like Your kingdom come

Aidan Hunt:

your will be done like this is your king like this is a place

Aidan Hunt:

for you to be glorified, like use us in your way. Like that's

Aidan Hunt:

a it's a great prayer because it covers all of the bases. And

Aidan Hunt:

also, it's the one that Jesus literally told people to pray,

Aidan Hunt:

like,

Matthew Starner:

and that's the best part of that, though. And

Matthew Starner:

what I think is so helpful for us to remember is those words

Matthew Starner:

that Jesus says when he sets it up, when you pray, pray like

Matthew Starner:

this, not pray these words, you know, so that he's giving us a

Matthew Starner:

pattern. We can pray those words. But we get to, we get to

Matthew Starner:

pray in that same vein of we're talking to our father, and we're

Matthew Starner:

after the things of the kingdom, we're setting our heart on those

Matthew Starner:

things. It's it's a pattern for us to follow, which is so

Matthew Starner:

helpful. It's not like those are the only ways that we can pray

Matthew Starner:

or we've got to pray with flowery language or poetic

Matthew Starner:

language or that kind of stuff. If that's your gift, go for it.

Matthew Starner:

Most of us aren't wired that way to pray, especially off the cuff

Matthew Starner:

in a poetic sort of a way. And so just using the words that are

Matthew Starner:

on our heart, to speak to our Father, I think that's huge.

CJ Geluso:

And there's a significance to not only just

CJ Geluso:

reciting the Lord's Prayer, but actually saying it and meaning

CJ Geluso:

it, and in understanding the words that you're saying, and

CJ Geluso:

less of more just like reciting a poem and praying to your

CJ Geluso:

Father in heaven.

Matthew Starner:

So maybe one of the other ways that we can talk

Matthew Starner:

about prayer here for for folks who are who find themselves

Matthew Starner:

whether that's in a small group setting, in a meeting, setting

Matthew Starner:

and in family setting, doing devotions, and you're just going

Matthew Starner:

to lead prayer with your, your spouse and your kids. What are

Matthew Starner:

some some maybe patterns that you followed if you kind of

Matthew Starner:

maybe have a like a framework for prayer, or some some ways

Matthew Starner:

that you kind of approach that to kind Think through the words

Matthew Starner:

that we're saying. You certainly can do sort of the what I call

Matthew Starner:

like stream of consciousness prayer, which is usually like my

Matthew Starner:

prayer at night, as I'm falling asleep, as it's all the

Matthew Starner:

different things that are running through my head. But

Matthew Starner:

sometimes those aren't the most helpful in those sorts of

Matthew Starner:

settings. So what have you guys use and found helpful in those

Matthew Starner:

sort of scenarios.

CJ Geluso:

So when I come to when, and when I come to God in

CJ Geluso:

prayer, I always try to start by, by being thankful, I offer

CJ Geluso:

up my gratitude towards him. And then I tried to humble myself.

CJ Geluso:

And then that's when I get into kind of the stuff that I feel

CJ Geluso:

that weighs on my heart that I think I want to see God work in,

CJ Geluso:

and whether that's for the sick, whether that's for someone I

CJ Geluso:

know, personally, who's dealing with some rough stuff, and

CJ Geluso:

whether that's a depression, anxiety and a family member's

CJ Geluso:

life and kind of come with those, those requests. And then

CJ Geluso:

I lead more into asking for things, or asking for

CJ Geluso:

forgiveness, thanking him for Jesus, and trying to try to end

CJ Geluso:

the prayer by asking for his will to be done in my life.

CJ Geluso:

Because I could, I could have a list of things that I want God

CJ Geluso:

to do, but maybe that's not what he wants to do. And I think I

CJ Geluso:

think there's an importance to understanding that God's view

CJ Geluso:

and God's way is different than ours, to an extent now. I mean,

CJ Geluso:

when you're walking by the Spirit and praying to God, and

CJ Geluso:

all things, now, maybe your will can become his Well,

Aidan Hunt:

there's an acronym. PRAY that people use. Now, I

Aidan Hunt:

think the P is praise. So when you pray, like open your prayer

Aidan Hunt:

with praise, like praising God, and then Repent, so confess the

Aidan Hunt:

things that you've done your sins to him A is ask I believe,

Aidan Hunt:

I don't know what so like, ask for your the things you were

Aidan Hunt:

asking God for. And you can pray boldly. And the why I don't know

Aidan Hunt:

what the Y is, I usually do it is, what is it? Y is

Matthew Starner:

yield yield. I always yield to like, like, you

Matthew Starner:

were just saying, You, CJ, you know, to kind of offer it up to

Matthew Starner:

God, but then whatever your will is God

Aidan Hunt:

the what the why I always say My mind is yearn.

Aidan Hunt:

Like that. It's kind of similar to yielding but it's like sure

Aidan Hunt:

your name for the things that like you want to see God do and

Aidan Hunt:

like for the for the ways that he will, he will appear. I think

Aidan Hunt:

that's one really good way if you're like looking for a nice,

Aidan Hunt:

right, if you're a format person, you want that that's a

Aidan Hunt:

good way to do it. I think an important practice for prayers

Aidan Hunt:

is befriending silence. It's like learning how to be okay

Aidan Hunt:

with silence and not have things play in the background. Because

Aidan Hunt:

the silence is where you can really not only speak to God

Aidan Hunt:

fully, but you can hear him as well, because the conversation

Aidan Hunt:

is not one way. And the Lord will put words on your heart and

Aidan Hunt:

I'll speak to you maybe not audibly, but he will put things

Aidan Hunt:

in your in your heart and in your mind that you're thinking

Aidan Hunt:

this might be from God. And so when you listen to him, it's

Aidan Hunt:

really important that you that you do that in prayer. That's

Aidan Hunt:

both, you know, by yourself and in public when you're publicly

Aidan Hunt:

praying. I think another part of public prayer that I think

Aidan Hunt:

people want to be better is like praying for other people. So

Aidan Hunt:

when somebody asks you for prayer, I think it's it's

Aidan Hunt:

wonderful when you have your prayer time to like, pray over

Aidan Hunt:

the names and pray over the things that they they're asking

Aidan Hunt:

for. And that's a wonderful practice. But if you ever pray

Aidan Hunt:

for somebody on the spot, oh, that really hits them in a

Aidan Hunt:

different way because somebody asked you for prayer and the

Aidan Hunt:

letter came with proof that right now they're they're kind

Aidan Hunt:

of caught off by that like, oh, what you're gonna do that I have

Aidan Hunt:

a friend who's really good at that we call her a prayer

Aidan Hunt:

warrior, because she is like, she's she's, she's amazing at

Aidan Hunt:

prayer, like one of the people who's just gifted and speaking

Aidan Hunt:

to God not in like a really eloquent fancy way. She just

Aidan Hunt:

like pours her heart out to him bread on the spot and, and I

Aidan Hunt:

think yielding is a good way of thinking about it. She really

Aidan Hunt:

just yields to whatever the father is saying. And she like

Aidan Hunt:

if you ask her for prayer, she will pray for you on the spot.

Aidan Hunt:

And it just I don't know what it is. But it's, it feels more

Aidan Hunt:

meaningful when she and maybe because I know they're praying

Aidan Hunt:

for me, instead of that they will pray from your I've asked

Aidan Hunt:

them to But no, I know you are definitely praying.

Matthew Starner:

It's the, you know, on line or you know, so

Matthew Starner:

many times you see somebody asked a prayer request and folks

Matthew Starner:

will comment like, Oh, you know, sending thoughts your way or

Matthew Starner:

whatever like this, I actually get to hear the thought I get to

Matthew Starner:

hear the prayers. You know, you are, you're going before the

Matthew Starner:

throne of God with this request for me. And I'm hearing it like

Matthew Starner:

that's a that's a big deal. I remember I had an encounter like

Matthew Starner:

that one time I was having lunch with another pastor. And we were

Matthew Starner:

talking about church stuff. And this was years ago, this was

Matthew Starner:

like, long before I was ever I was only a worship guy at the

Matthew Starner:

time. I wasn't even thinking about going to seminary, and

Matthew Starner:

somebody at a table just a couple down from us at the

Matthew Starner:

restaurant. Heard that we must have been pastors came over I

Matthew Starner:

don't remember what the situation was that was going on

Matthew Starner:

but he asked if we would pray for him. And the pastor that I

Matthew Starner:

was with spoke up right away it was like you know, let's can we

Matthew Starner:

pray for him about that right now. And I really appreciated

Matthew Starner:

what he said because he was like, we're not gonna fold our

Matthew Starner:

head. We're not gonna hold hands here. In the restaurant, we're

Matthew Starner:

not gonna close our eyes and get weird. We're just going to we're

Matthew Starner:

going to talk and talk to God because He hears us. And he

Matthew Starner:

just, you know, simple lifted up that request that that gentleman

Matthew Starner:

shared with us. And I mean hit the guy who asked, the request

Matthew Starner:

was touched, I was to just like being there as this participant

Matthew Starner:

and getting to pray now for this person. And the whole thing, the

Matthew Starner:

whole encounter with the request and everything, maybe took a

Matthew Starner:

minute and a half, from the start of the conversation to

Matthew Starner:

when the guy went back to his table, it was just a simple

Matthew Starner:

thing. But man, I'm sure that made a difference for that guy.

Matthew Starner:

And I've remembered it all these years later. There have been

Matthew Starner:

times when somebody will call me up and it's going through a hard

Matthew Starner:

time, and I'm in the car driving down the road. And well, let's

Matthew Starner:

pray about that right now. So I'm not closing my eyes. I'm, I

Matthew Starner:

got, you know, hands on the wheel here where the task is at

Matthew Starner:

hand. But go talk to God about this situation. Just kind of

Matthew Starner:

maybe circling back for a second to those different patterns that

Matthew Starner:

we talked about with prayer. One of the things that I appreciated

Matthew Starner:

so you know, CJ, you kind of talked about your your pattern

Matthew Starner:

that you follow. Aiden, you were talking about kind of the pray

Matthew Starner:

acronym. I know there's other ones like acts of prayer,

Matthew Starner:

adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

Matthew Starner:

There's, there's, there's different ways you can do it.

Matthew Starner:

And the great thing is there's no there's no one right way to

Matthew Starner:

pray. That's the biggest takeaway. I think I want anybody

Matthew Starner:

who's listening to get from this. However, you come before

Matthew Starner:

God in prayer, lifting up your heart, whether that's between

Matthew Starner:

you and God, individually or with other people listening in

Matthew Starner:

that God hears your prayers, you don't have to get his attention

Matthew Starner:

with flowery language with saying it the quote unquote,

Matthew Starner:

right way. You just just pray, open up your heart and speak

Matthew Starner:

before God. When in doubt, keep it short. Keep it simple. And

Aidan Hunt:

Because the food's gonna get cold, right, your

Aidan Hunt:

prayer for dinner, your blessing is going way too overboard.

Aidan Hunt:

People are like colds keep us

Matthew Starner:

and the good thing to remember too. You know,

Matthew Starner:

God, God knows the cares that are on our hearts, even before

Matthew Starner:

we bring them Now that doesn't mean he doesn't still want to

Matthew Starner:

hear from us, right? As a parent, you know, maybe what

Matthew Starner:

your kids want. But even before they ask about it, but you still

Matthew Starner:

want to talk to your kids, you want to hear that from them, you

Matthew Starner:

want to hear their heart. And God wants that from us too. And

Matthew Starner:

so you know, go before God pray and and recognize everybody is

Matthew Starner:

scared the first few times they do that. And eventually, I would

Matthew Starner:

say like I still at the end of a sermon or during service, when I

Matthew Starner:

pray, my heart still still like speeds up a little bit. So I get

Matthew Starner:

a little butterflies in my stomach. And you know, maybe the

Matthew Starner:

trick is getting those butterflies to fly in formation.

Matthew Starner:

And just lean into it that you know what? It's nerves, but

Matthew Starner:

God's the one who's listening and everyone else is praying

Matthew Starner:

along to so great. Thanks, guys for being part of this. And I

Matthew Starner:

look forward to the next time we get to talk about some some

Matthew Starner:

spiritual how tos.

Matthew Starner:

Alright, well, once again, I'm sitting here with Pastor Rob,

Matthew Starner:

and we're here for another deep dive. And last time on this

Matthew Starner:

segment, we were talking about the the nice, pleasant topic of

Matthew Starner:

suffering. And why is there suffering in the world. And we

Matthew Starner:

had a good conversation about that. It was good to kind of,

Matthew Starner:

you know, start to dig into why do bad things happen in this

Matthew Starner:

world, and maybe how to have a little bit more of a godly

Matthew Starner:

perspective on when those things happen. You mentioned a story in

Matthew Starner:

the Bible from about David, that we were we were trying to look

Matthew Starner:

up quick on the fly as that happened and write one of those

Matthew Starner:

you never hear a rod, right? It's not a Sunday school story.

Matthew Starner:

It's not one that often gets, I don't think I've ever heard a

Matthew Starner:

sermon on it. I know I've never preached why I've never preached

Matthew Starner:

on it either. And so I wanted to just kind of revisit that story

Matthew Starner:

here at the beginning. So for those who are wondering, or at

Matthew Starner:

first Chronicles, Chapter 21.

Rob Appold:

I think we were a little too, too far back.

Matthew Starner:

Yeah, we were talking about the first

Matthew Starner:

Chronicles last time, but chapter 21. Again, this is what

Matthew Starner:

Chronicles is probably not a book that people spend a whole

Matthew Starner:

lot of time writing. But a lot of stories about David in here,

Matthew Starner:

and this this story, just to kind of summarize that we don't

Matthew Starner:

have to read it verse for verse here. But to just by way of

Matthew Starner:

summary in chapter 21, Satan comes to David basically and

Matthew Starner:

tells like temps David, basically to take a census of

Matthew Starner:

the people of Israel. Right. And David, does that. Yes. Which

Matthew Starner:

seems like kind of an odd thing for Satan to tempt David to do.

Matthew Starner:

David does that joab David's kind of right hand guy, Andrew,

Matthew Starner:

I think Yeah. It's like Why? Why do we need to they're all God's

Matthew Starner:

people. Why do we need to take a stand?

Rob Appold:

He does say don't do it does any? Why don't do this

Rob Appold:

sinful thing or

Matthew Starner:

Does he call it a sinful thing? He asked like

Matthew Starner:

why then should should my lord speaking of David require this?

Matthew Starner:

Oh, why should it be a cause of guilt for evil? Okay, at least

Matthew Starner:

that's how the the ESV puts it here that I've got in front of

Matthew Starner:

me but, but David persists and does the census. And God's not

Matthew Starner:

happy about that. Now we're not we're not giving any insight

Matthew Starner:

into why God is displeased. But But God basically speaks to

Matthew Starner:

David and says, you've done this bad thing. You've got, like,

Matthew Starner:

basically three options for punishment. One is three years

Matthew Starner:

of famine. One is three months of devastation by your foes, or

Matthew Starner:

one is the third one is three days of the sword of the Lord. I

Matthew Starner:

got I'm going to come and punish you. And you were kind of

Matthew Starner:

commenting on David's response there of like, well, I guess I

Matthew Starner:

guess I go for God. Because God's merciful. I know that

Matthew Starner:

about God. My foes, not so much.

Rob Appold:

There will be no mercy from my enemies, right?

Matthew Starner:

And so it is what? Tell me maybe what why,

Matthew Starner:

why that story came to mind when you're thinking about the

Matthew Starner:

suffering? Well,

Rob Appold:

I find the well, the way it's interpreted or the way

Rob Appold:

I I've often heard that often, when I come across a story is

Rob Appold:

that David's pride that gets the best of them, he wants to see

Rob Appold:

how big has my kingdom got? Look how great I am. Now, I don't

Rob Appold:

know if the text ever says that. I don't think that text does,

Rob Appold:

but I don't know if it's alluded to somewhere else. But that's

Rob Appold:

the and Chronicles is that theological history. You know,

Rob Appold:

it's looking at all the things that and that's where we get the

Rob Appold:

kind of the, the bad stories about David, to be honest with

Rob Appold:

you, if Samuel gives, mostly the good things that happened in

Rob Appold:

David's life, Chronicles is where we get Absalom and a lot

Rob Appold:

of the other things about David, you know, the, the broken,

Rob Appold:

David. Sure. But anyhow, getting to this reminds me Okay, Satan

Rob Appold:

caused Satan. Satan brought it to David. He did it. And God

Rob Appold:

punishes I mean, I think we can give us outward here, David for

Rob Appold:

his behavior. And David, God brings consequences to David.

Rob Appold:

And then I also like David's thinking on that, hey, if I'm

Rob Appold:

gonna suffer from somebody, I'd rather suffer from God because

Rob Appold:

He is merciful. But what but MIT? What made me think of it to

Rob Appold:

answer your question is God brings us into David's life?

Matthew Starner:

Yeah, yeah, God is, God certainly can be the

Matthew Starner:

source of suffering that we're going through, right. And like

Matthew Starner:

we said, last time, you know, some of that suffering is caused

Matthew Starner:

by, like, David, our poor choices, you know, can't always

Matthew Starner:

identify what the cause of our suffering is. I think it's, it

Matthew Starner:

can be a healthy kind of exercise to, to, when you're in

Matthew Starner:

that moment of suffering to just to reflect for a moment, is

Matthew Starner:

there something in my life that I have not repented of? Right,

Matthew Starner:

do I need to repent? You know, Jesus invites us to do that to

Matthew Starner:

come to him and receive that forgiveness for

Rob Appold:

really healing, true wholeness and true healing.

Rob Appold:

Yeah.

Matthew Starner:

And sort of, you know, to reflect and to take

Matthew Starner:

an honest look at our life. Is there something I that I need to

Matthew Starner:

repent of? Maybe there is maybe there isn't.

Rob Appold:

I put that in? And I hope this doesn't derail where

Rob Appold:

we're going here, but the fear of God factor? You know, that's

Rob Appold:

such a theme in Scripture, that, culturally, I think we've pretty

Rob Appold:

much lost. I don't know peep, I don't think. I don't think we're

Rob Appold:

scared of Judgment Day anymore. And yeah, until it until we're

Rob Appold:

almost in that accident, right, then we're scared, right? But in

Rob Appold:

our consciousness, I'm thinking, like to Luther, that was real.

Rob Appold:

That was present,

Matthew Starner:

right? Luther was that guy who, who, you know,

Matthew Starner:

would go to his father confessor, confess everything

Matthew Starner:

that he could think of, and then walk away. And then remember

Matthew Starner:

three or four things that he didn't go confront, and he run

Matthew Starner:

right back there and confess them again, because if I don't

Matthew Starner:

confess them, then then God is going to just smite me and

Matthew Starner:

strike me down. And

Rob Appold:

obviously that was too far. Right? Right.

Matthew Starner:

I think that's, that's a rare person today.

Rob Appold:

Absolutely. No, I

Matthew Starner:

don't think we see a lot of that sort of person

Matthew Starner:

today of that, like, fear of God is out to get me. God is God is

Matthew Starner:

going to punish me. If anything, our culture has turned God to

Matthew Starner:

that like grandfather, Santa Claus type person, just just

Matthew Starner:

loves you and thinks that everything is about us. Just

Matthew Starner:

just super, you know,

Rob Appold:

and I am a grandfather and that's right.

Rob Appold:

your grandkids, right? They

Matthew Starner:

could do no wrong. And so most people see

Matthew Starner:

God like that for us that, you know, we just can do no wrong in

Matthew Starner:

his eyes. And that's not a healthy, no perception of God

Matthew Starner:

either. I think we need to bring back a little bit of that fear

Matthew Starner:

of God, that respect for God and who God is,

Rob Appold:

and that God has a power that you don't want

Rob Appold:

unharness from his mercy,

Matthew Starner:

right. I like that. I like that turn of phrase

Matthew Starner:

there. But yeah, keep that hooked up to that mercy.

Rob Appold:

Yeah, again, what is it, he's slow to anger doesn't

Rob Appold:

mean he doesn't get angry. He but he's slow to anger, but

Rob Appold:

abounding in steadfast love that I just think it does help and

Rob Appold:

make a person of full person with the ballast of I don't want

Rob Appold:

to do something purposely to offend God. But I don't want to

Rob Appold:

walk in and coloring. Fear of trespassing, either. I mean,

Rob Appold:

there's a, there's a, there's a tension, like so much of

Rob Appold:

theology is about.

Matthew Starner:

Yeah, I think that's that's great to remember.

Matthew Starner:

Hard to remember when we're in those moments of suffering. Now

Matthew Starner:

God

Rob Appold:

does get into this suffering. And what do you do

Rob Appold:

with I mean, what when your friend is suffering, which is

Rob Appold:

what we were the topic we were going to talk about, you don't

Rob Appold:

want to hit him with, you know, God is punishing you. Right? Or

Rob Appold:

God is God is getting you for something you did? Absolutely.

Matthew Starner:

Which kind of maybe brings me brings me to

Matthew Starner:

like one of the kind of hallmarks of Lutheran theology

Matthew Starner:

of that that distinction of law and gospel. Amen. Right. And I

Matthew Starner:

can remember, a seminary Professor talking about the

Matthew Starner:

whole lawn gospel thing. And he used kind of the story that

Matthew Starner:

happened to him in his ministry of a woman comes into his office

Matthew Starner:

wanted somebody like, wasn't part of the congregation wanted

Matthew Starner:

to talk to a pastor, kind of wanted that like counseling

Matthew Starner:

thing with the pastor. And she comes in and right away, asks,

Matthew Starner:

like, right off the bat. Like, what does God think of abortion?

Matthew Starner:

And immediately, like going through his mind, or all these,

Matthew Starner:

you know, answers, and he kind of probed a little bit. And in

Matthew Starner:

probing kind of found that this woman wasn't coming because she

Matthew Starner:

wanted an answer. You're like, What? What does God Think about

Matthew Starner:

this, you know, right or wrong. She herself had had one. And so

Matthew Starner:

he was like, in that moment, kind of realizing, as this young

Matthew Starner:

pastor starting out here that, that this woman, she didn't need

Matthew Starner:

the law. She had the law. She came in burdened by this because

Matthew Starner:

she was feeling guilty about this, that that had happened. I

Matthew Starner:

forget how many years in her past, but in a long time, in her

Matthew Starner:

past, she had been carrying this weight around and he was like,

Matthew Starner:

she did not need one more, you know, hit with that law, she

Matthew Starner:

needed the gospel. And I think that's what so many people who

Matthew Starner:

are suffering in this world when we're walking alongside of

Matthew Starner:

somebody, they know God's law, right? They they know that God

Matthew Starner:

is upset with sin, they might be aware of sin in their life that

Matthew Starner:

may have caused something, they just might be aware of sin in

Matthew Starner:

general. It's kind of like, like, when, when we're doing a

Matthew Starner:

funeral, right? You don't in a funeral sermon, you don't tend

Matthew Starner:

to preach a ton of law, right? Because you got the law right

Matthew Starner:

there. The casket is right there in front of you. Like, we know,

Matthew Starner:

let's just get right to the gospel. Let's get to that good

Matthew Starner:

news that, that yes, death is real suffering is real bad

Matthew Starner:

things happen. But that big giant, but that God is is bigger

Matthew Starner:

than this. Jesus has conquered death, sin, suffering, whatever

Matthew Starner:

it is. And let's let's get to that good news. And I think

Matthew Starner:

that's maybe something to remember as we're walking

Matthew Starner:

alongside of somebody to like, we don't need to point them to,

Matthew Starner:

when you remember that thing you did you know, where you screwed

Matthew Starner:

up, or all the mistakes that you made. They don't need one more

Matthew Starner:

reminder of that. They need the reminder of Jesus loves you.

Rob Appold:

Yeah, in my best moments, and they happen to

Rob Appold:

rarely but to say, Why do you know let's get to the why behind

Rob Appold:

the question, right? Or, why did you come in What? What's

Rob Appold:

prompting you here? And that's, if you can peel back the onion

Rob Appold:

to get to that point. That's when you really find out what's

Rob Appold:

going on in somebody's world. And it's not always what's so

Rob Appold:

obvious or what the what the question original question might

Rob Appold:

be about.

Matthew Starner:

Yep, yep. Yeah. And same same in my life like

Matthew Starner:

and I'm one of those people who it's a it's a forever bad habit

Matthew Starner:

that I have of like, when people start asking a question I want

Matthew Starner:

To just like, immediately start formulating the answer and Okay,

Matthew Starner:

stop talking so I can get to my answer now. Like, no, I need to

Matthew Starner:

listen, I need to I need to probe a little bit to find out

Matthew Starner:

like, what what's what's really going on like that, that

Matthew Starner:

question behind the question, as you put it, to really get to the

Matthew Starner:

root of what are they? What are they really asking this this

Matthew Starner:

question that they're asking, you know, and maybe the question

Matthew Starner:

is the tip of the iceberg, right? Why? Why is there

Matthew Starner:

suffering? is really the beginning of a much larger

Matthew Starner:

discussion of like, what's going on in your life? what's what's

Matthew Starner:

happening? What what are you struggling with? You know, are

Matthew Starner:

you feeling like God is out to get you? Are you feeling like

Matthew Starner:

God is punishing you? What are you feeling like God's punishing

Matthew Starner:

you for, and then bring them right back around to that you

Matthew Starner:

are a child of God, you are forgiven, you have all of God's

Matthew Starner:

grace, and nothing that you could ever do would make him

Matthew Starner:

love you any more or less. He's got it all. When we're in the

Matthew Starner:

midst of that struggling and suffering, that can be a really

Matthew Starner:

hard thing to remember.

Rob Appold:

And believe. Yeah, I guess I would like to encourage

Rob Appold:

anybody who's listening is go there with a friend. I mean, if

Rob Appold:

you have a chance to go there, don't go that deep with a

Rob Appold:

friend. Don't pull back up from it, because and the reason why

Rob Appold:

is because we're scared to go there. We don't know the answer,

Rob Appold:

which probably we don't know the answer, right? So we're going to

Rob Appold:

avoid that great conversation. But I would say to the here with

Rob Appold:

us today, Christ is bigger. It's not you. But Christ is bigger

Rob Appold:

than any sin, any darkness, any misdeed of what is in anybody's

Rob Appold:

life. So you can walk with Christ into that situation. And

Rob Appold:

then I also wanted to say, you know, there is help for people

Rob Appold:

to talk to other people. We've used Steven ministry at St.

Rob Appold:

Matthew. It's not functioning right now. But the training is

Rob Appold:

fantastic for anybody. And one of the one of the books that

Rob Appold:

we've referenced in that book is don't sing songs to have a heavy

Rob Appold:

heart. And it's a, it's the idea of the book, I think it's pretty

Rob Appold:

self explanatory is when somebody's suffering, you don't

Rob Appold:

have to put on that happy face, to try to cheer them up there

Rob Appold:

feeling sad, they're feeling they're lamenting, maybe a loss,

Rob Appold:

maybe a change of life, that is true for them. Be honest with

Rob Appold:

them, that's, that's where we are. And we're coming in as a

Rob Appold:

friend, in Jesus name, to just say, you know what, this doesn't

Rob Appold:

change our relationship, it's probably going to have an

Rob Appold:

impact, but it doesn't change God's relationship with you or

Rob Appold:

my relationship with you either, right?

Matthew Starner:

Yeah, that those are some important words,

Matthew Starner:

I think they're, you know, to recognize when you're walking

Matthew Starner:

along with somebody, it's easy to feel like, wow, I'm just as

Matthew Starner:

broken as they are, how can I help? You know,

Rob Appold:

and Well, that's true, but it is true, absolutely

Matthew Starner:

true. But man, just just to remind them, and

Matthew Starner:

point them to Jesus in that, in that moment, right is huge. And

Matthew Starner:

anybody can do that. And you know, it doesn't take any

Matthew Starner:

special training doesn't take any, you don't have to memorize

Matthew Starner:

a schpeel or anything like that, but just tell people about Jesus

Matthew Starner:

point them to him. And don't be afraid to just walk along with

Matthew Starner:

them to just be with them. I mean, that's, that's huge in the

Matthew Starner:

midst of suffering. And I would say to like, if you're listening

Matthew Starner:

to this, and, and you are going through some sort of a struggle,

Matthew Starner:

some sort of a suffering, find someone to walk with, you know,

Matthew Starner:

maybe you don't have somebody. But like, that's, that's where I

Matthew Starner:

want to lean into somebody and say, like, that's, that's when

Matthew Starner:

you need to be at church, when you're struggling, because we'll

Matthew Starner:

struggle together and we'll walk we'll walk along with each other

Matthew Starner:

for that. That's why that's why we need each other. Find

Matthew Starner:

somebody to end that with.

Rob Appold:

Yes. And that's what we need. I was thinking and one

Rob Appold:

other thing that as we came along to is, the Steven ministry

Rob Appold:

training for me was very helpful because it helped identify what

Rob Appold:

what they call negative feelings. And I had, I was the

Rob Appold:

classic person who was told to ignore your negative feelings.

Rob Appold:

Don't you know, boys don't cry. You don't. I mean, yeah, you can

Rob Appold:

get angry, but you shouldn't ever be angry. Well, those

Rob Appold:

feelings are very real. And actually, anger is very

Rob Appold:

powerful, and to suppress it is not. I mean, that that'd be a

Rob Appold:

whole nother deep dive of anger. But um, but to acknowledge Those

Rob Appold:

negative feelings with a friend, they might be angry at their

Rob Appold:

spouse, but they don't want to talk to their spouse about and

Rob Appold:

yeah, you know, and I, I'm not thinking of anything in specific

Rob Appold:

but I'm angry. cancer in my life, you know, can cause up a

Rob Appold:

lot of negative feelings. And again are my maybe and I think

Rob Appold:

I'm not alone is to ignore those or to not probe them. Let's talk

Rob Appold:

about that. And you'll find Christ is super abundantly able

Rob Appold:

to provide more than we can ever ask our imagine

Matthew Starner:

and if there's one thing that the the Christian

Matthew Starner:

faith the Christian worldview is good at. It's it's understanding

Matthew Starner:

that everything's not great all the time. Yeah, you know we have

Matthew Starner:

we have a great theology of of why sin, why their sin why

Matthew Starner:

there's brokenness, we understand that we get it. So

Matthew Starner:

like when we come together as church, we don't have to pretend

Matthew Starner:

that everything's okay. You don't have to put on that mask

Matthew Starner:

and pretend to be happy. be sad, be be it bring your hurt, bring

Matthew Starner:

your pain, that's okay. You don't have to leave. You don't

Matthew Starner:

have to hide it, we get it. Let's let's talk about it. Let's

Matthew Starner:

share it. Let's walk with each other in that. I think we have

Matthew Starner:

in modern Christianity, there's this sense that like, we just

Matthew Starner:

have to pretend like now we've got Jesus everything's okay. And

Matthew Starner:

we know everything will be okay. We have that promise from God

Matthew Starner:

that one day when Jesus returns, everything is going to be better

Matthew Starner:

than it's ever been. But until then, we're still caught in the

Matthew Starner:

wake of sin. And let's not, let's not hide that under the

Matthew Starner:

rug. Let's, let's talk about it. Let's, let's point again to the

Matthew Starner:

hope that we have in Jesus

Rob Appold:

and again, what do you do with somebody who's

Rob Appold:

suffering with a friend who's suffering with your own

Rob Appold:

suffering? Bring it in prayer with a friend. Yep, is very

Rob Appold:

helpful, and very powerful. And the gospel does equip us to

Rob Appold:

acknowledge that, you know, you mentioned a funeral. And the

Rob Appold:

obviousness of of that I find a Christian funeral. So freeing in

Rob Appold:

that aspect to, to be able to, you know, you're remembering so

Rob Appold:

many of the good things and the good memories you have. But also

Rob Appold:

to say, You know what? We're not saying Joe was a perfect person.

Rob Appold:

In fact, he never said it. He would come to church and

Rob Appold:

confess, I am a sinner who needs a savior. And that is a great,

Rob Appold:

let's take the air out of this and keep it in a proper

Rob Appold:

perspective. Great guy, great friend who we miss immensely,

Rob Appold:

but forgiven in in Jesus Christ. Absolutely. So walking,

Rob Appold:

patiently walking honestly, with somebody who's struggling or

Rob Appold:

suffering. What you know, Paul says, We comfort those comfort

Rob Appold:

with the comfort we ourselves have received in Christ.

Rob Appold:

Absolutely. You have to do but good to do. Right.

Matthew Starner:

A lifelong journey for for everybody. So

Matthew Starner:

well. I think this has been a great conversation here on

Matthew Starner:

suffering. And this is cool. Looking forward to our next hour

Matthew Starner:

to a lot of the conversations you have. Yeah, our next deep

Matthew Starner:

dive and see where we go here. Thanks, Matthew. Thanks, Pastor

Matthew Starner:

Rob.

Matthew Starner:

Welcome back to one more segment here in today's episode where

Matthew Starner:

we're gonna look at some crazy stories from the Bible. We just

Matthew Starner:

wanna take a couple minutes. I'm here with Aiden hunt, our

Matthew Starner:

student ministries leader, looking at some weird Bible

Matthew Starner:

stories, and Aiden, you brought this one up, it's you want to

Matthew Starner:

tell us a little bit about the story here where you found it

Matthew Starner:

and what brought it to your attention?

Aidan Hunt:

Well, to be fair, let me preface this by saying I

Aidan Hunt:

didn't bring this up with it with the intention of being a

Aidan Hunt:

toddler of conversation I would have to have in the future on

Aidan Hunt:

this podcast, I brought it up as an example. Oh, so you wanted

Aidan Hunt:

somebody else to deal with this one? Kind of Yeah, that's

Aidan Hunt:

usually the case. I usually say the things that provoke other

Aidan Hunt:

people to have to talk about them. But now you were like

Aidan Hunt:

eight, and you're gonna do it. And so

Matthew Starner:

we want you to dig into scripture. Oh, no, I'm

Matthew Starner:

kidding. So what is the story we've got before

Aidan Hunt:

us here? So it is Second Kings, chapter two.

Aidan Hunt:

Where? So? Should we give the context of what has just

Aidan Hunt:

happened?

Matthew Starner:

Let's start with a story first, maybe and

Matthew Starner:

then we'll get back out. Okay. So

Aidan Hunt:

this is Second Kings, chapter two verses. I'll

Aidan Hunt:

start at verse 2223. Verse 23. From there Alicia went up to

Aidan Hunt:

Bethel. As he was walking up the path some small boys came out of

Aidan Hunt:

the city and jeered at him chanting go up Baldy. Go up

Aidan Hunt:

Baldy. He turned around. have looked at them and curse them in

Aidan Hunt:

the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the

Aidan Hunt:

woods and mauled 42 of the children. From there, Alicia

Aidan Hunt:

went to Mount Carmel. And then he returned to some area. All

Aidan Hunt:

right, so this is the word of the Lord. Thanks, Peter. Right?

Matthew Starner:

Right. This is so this is one of those stories

Matthew Starner:

that you probably don't hear a whole lot in skirt. I don't in

Matthew Starner:

fact, I don't know if this one comes up in the lectionary at

Matthew Starner:

all nor is as a Sunday school. Right? This is not a classic

Matthew Starner:

Sunday school story. of some children getting getting eaten

Matthew Starner:

by bears is a classic Old Testament exactly where you're

Matthew Starner:

reading from the what version was reading from the CSB. The

Matthew Starner:

Christian is here by him. I've got the English Standard Version

Matthew Starner:

and the ESV in front of me, and they called him you bald head,

Matthew Starner:

which I thought it's funny insult. But yeah, so so the way

Matthew Starner:

that it's presented here, some some small boys, some children,

Matthew Starner:

depending on the translation, come out, they they kind of make

Matthew Starner:

fun of Elijah, and call him bald. And he calls down some

Matthew Starner:

curses from the Lord and bears come down and Maul them. And,

Matthew Starner:

and that's it. And we kind of come to a story like this and

Matthew Starner:

scratch our heads and say what on earth is happening here. And

Matthew Starner:

so I thought this was maybe a perfect one, we're only going to

Matthew Starner:

tackle this in just a few minutes here. We're not going to

Matthew Starner:

spend a huge amount of time on this one. But as a way of what

Matthew Starner:

do we do when we come across these stories that leave us just

Matthew Starner:

completely perplexed what that just don't seem to fit? And so

Matthew Starner:

maybe what's the what's the first step that you take Aden

Matthew Starner:

when when you come across a story like this.

Aidan Hunt:

So first things first, we need to look at the

Aidan Hunt:

context in which the story is written and what is happening,

Aidan Hunt:

what's taking place around this story. Because I think an

Aidan Hunt:

important thing to remember is that the Bible doesn't tell the

Aidan Hunt:

story of humanity the way it should be, it tells the story of

Aidan Hunt:

humanity the way it is. So there's really no good reason

Aidan Hunt:

for the author of Second Kings to put this in the Bible,

Aidan Hunt:

because it's not good for the whole Christian PR machine. This

Aidan Hunt:

is a Bible that are this is a story that confuses people,

Aidan Hunt:

makes people angry, and is used kind of more as, as, you know,

Aidan Hunt:

like, ammo for those who are against the Bible being seen as

Aidan Hunt:

authoritative, or is or is God being seen as loving? So like,

Aidan Hunt:

well, this is called a bear to some Muslim children. All

Aidan Hunt:

because he was called bald? Well, because this this problem

Aidan Hunt:

is called bald. Yeah, right? He's just really insecure. So

Aidan Hunt:

what, but I think we need to understand that it's in the

Aidan Hunt:

Bible as scripture because it happened. There's no other good

Aidan Hunt:

reason for it to be in there other than because it's true,

Aidan Hunt:

because that's just how it happened.

Matthew Starner:

And that's something that I always like to

Matthew Starner:

point out, especially about the Old Testament. Yeah, that so

Matthew Starner:

often, the Old Testament simply reports, it just records what

Matthew Starner:

happens, doesn't often explicitly in the text, make a

Matthew Starner:

conclusion from that. And sometimes it just leaves you as

Matthew Starner:

the reader to draw your own conclusion, especially as you

Matthew Starner:

just said, in the, in the broader scope of the entirety of

Matthew Starner:

Scripture, I think it's also important to to like, like you

Matthew Starner:

said, to set it in the context. And so for this particular story

Matthew Starner:

here, the the context is really key to understanding what's

Matthew Starner:

going on here. Now, this, this happens at the end of chapter

Matthew Starner:

two of Second Kings. And just a few verses ahead of this. We had

Matthew Starner:

alijah, the other prophets over this is Elijah. And hopefully I

Matthew Starner:

don't mix those two up as we go along. But Elijah was the

Matthew Starner:

prophet who was training Elijah. And Elijah is just called up to

Matthew Starner:

heaven on the fiery chariot. That kind of that is often a

Matthew Starner:

classic Sunday school story. And so this is right after that.

Matthew Starner:

Elijah is now on his own. He's been training under Elijah, and

Matthew Starner:

he's on his way up to Bethel. Bethel is kind of an important

Matthew Starner:

place. Bethel is a center of worship. It's where the people

Matthew Starner:

of God are supposed to be worshiping their God in the

Matthew Starner:

right way. But we also know in this time, that's not happening.

Matthew Starner:

That's that's not happening the way that's supposed to be the

Matthew Starner:

people of Israel have fallen into idol worship, bale worship.

Matthew Starner:

And so these these boys coming down from Bethel, meeting him on

Matthew Starner:

the way, they're coming out of this city that is not worshiping

Matthew Starner:

God correctly. Now, one of the other things we got to kind of

Matthew Starner:

pay attention to is the way when we find a story like this, I

Matthew Starner:

think it's also helpful to look at different translations, if

Matthew Starner:

you can, online is a great way to do that. You don't need any

Matthew Starner:

special software, just Google it and find some of the different

Matthew Starner:

versions and you'll start to see where there might be something

Matthew Starner:

going on in the original language that the translators

Matthew Starner:

are struggling with how to translate. The words that are

Matthew Starner:

translated in Hebrew here as in the ESV, it says small boys, how

Matthew Starner:

did how did you say that?

Aidan Hunt:

The CSB calls them small boys, small boy. The kgv,

Aidan Hunt:

though, are they're referred to as little children,

Matthew Starner:

little children, right? And that's

Matthew Starner:

really an unfortunate translation because that same

Matthew Starner:

word is also used in other places to, to talk about

Matthew Starner:

adolescence and anywhere up to 30 years old. Solomon when he

Matthew Starner:

becomes King is referred to by the same Hebrew word, he was not

Matthew Starner:

a small child. So this is and and there's clearly there's 42

Matthew Starner:

of the boys that get mauled. So it leads us to think there's a

Matthew Starner:

larger group than that. So is this a large gang, basically

Matthew Starner:

roving the the hillside here coming after Elijah, mocking him

Matthew Starner:

for being a prophet. The bald head, there's, there's all sorts

Matthew Starner:

of ideas, what the bald is about. Some of them think that,

Matthew Starner:

that maybe it's an idea that when they were prophets, they

Matthew Starner:

shaved their head. And so it was a sign of being a prophet that

Matthew Starner:

they were mocking him for. He also could have just simply been

Matthew Starner:

bald, you know, not not necessarily

Aidan Hunt:

follically challenged, there you go, like,

Aidan Hunt:

like some of us are.

Matthew Starner:

And so so he calls down, it says, He cursed

Matthew Starner:

them in the name of the Lord. Now that phrase is important,

Matthew Starner:

that he's cursing them in the name of the Lord, this isn't

Matthew Starner:

just he swore at them. And the bears came out, but that curse

Matthew Starner:

in the name of the Lord, it's actually a reference to to

Matthew Starner:

Deuteronomy, where aware, when someone was to this, this was

Matthew Starner:

the response of somebody attacking a prophet, or or

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ridiculing a prophet, because by reading, ridiculing the Prophet,

Matthew Starner:

you're basically ridiculing God. Because this is this is God's

Matthew Starner:

man, this is the one who speaks for God to his people. And so so

Matthew Starner:

that phrase is important to pick up in there. This is not just

Matthew Starner:

Alicia got his feelings hurt, and call these bears out. But

Matthew Starner:

these guys were attacking Alicia, because he's God's

Matthew Starner:

prophet. And thus, God then sends the bears to Maul them

Matthew Starner:

now. Whether that that I think leaves it open, whether they

Matthew Starner:

were killed or not, certainly, some of them could have been

Matthew Starner:

most of them probably wounded here, quite severely. But it's a

Matthew Starner:

it's a really interesting story here, one that maybe leads us to

Matthew Starner:

dig into scripture a little bit better. And if any final words

Matthew Starner:

you want to say about this,

Aidan Hunt:

I think I think it's important like you said,

Aidan Hunt:

Matthew, like you we need to look at the context of when

Aidan Hunt:

these these stories come up in Scripture. And the the

Aidan Hunt:

introduction to the story and the conclusion of the story like

Aidan Hunt:

it lead, there's no like buffer spaces. No, like, we don't get

Aidan Hunt:

an update on these 42 men. We don't get an update on what

Aidan Hunt:

happened afterwards. Next thing we know we're, we're talking

Aidan Hunt:

about one of the kings of Israel. I was like, what about

Aidan Hunt:

the Rena talking about that. And so I think it's important for us

Aidan Hunt:

to know that these are questions that we can ask that it's good

Aidan Hunt:

to have these kinds of questions. Bring your questions

Aidan Hunt:

to God, bring your questions to your pastor to, you know,

Aidan Hunt:

trusted mentor. And ask those hard questions. But also

Aidan Hunt:

understand, you know, the, the Bible is everything in the Bible

Aidan Hunt:

there for a reason we and so discovering those reasons is

Aidan Hunt:

something we don't do individually is something we do

Aidan Hunt:

collectively as a body of Christ. But yeah, pay attention

Aidan Hunt:

to what there is to learn from this and understand that maybe

Aidan Hunt:

it's not always as it seems, on the surface, it does take some,

Aidan Hunt:

some digging and some research and some, some real scholarly

Aidan Hunt:

work that we're all called to do. as followers of Jesus. Yeah,

Matthew Starner:

I think this is this is great. So don't be

Matthew Starner:

afraid of those those hard passages. And keep reading your

Matthew Starner:

Bible.

Matthew Starner:

Thanks for listening in today on all these great conversations.

Matthew Starner:

We'd love to hear from you as we continue this journey together.

Matthew Starner:

If you could rate and review us on whatever platform you're

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listening to us on that would help us out and help others find

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us. And if there's a topic you'd like us to talk about, let us

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know. You can email us at media at St. Matthew gr.com. Thanks

Matthew Starner:

for listening and keep following Jesus together as we become

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