Join us today for an episode about the burden of the day...
Today's episode is focused on Exodus 16: 2-15 and Matthew 20: 1-16...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about both Exodus 16: 2-15 and Matthew 20: 1-16. I share how we often complain, and it causes us to miss where God is acting. I also talk about how we how we should turn our assumptions about the good life upside down.
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Episode 1359: The Burden of the Day
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1,359 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:08] Taylor Stevens: I'm Taylor
[00:00:09] Stevens, a k a Mr. Phi guy. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent. And your treasures to live out your calling, having the ability to focus on what's really important and define your route to independence is key.
[00:00:29] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend.
[00:00:48] Scott Maderer: we should settle in for the long haul and recognize that a lot of what we've learned about how the world work doesn't fit in us anymore. If we [00:01:00] truly accepted grace and forgiveness as a way of being, turning that upside down is a beautiful way to live. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:01:15] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you...
[00:01:41] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about both Exodus chapter 16, verses 2 through 15, and Matthew chapter 20, verses 1 through 6. I share how we often complain and it causes us to miss where God is acting. And I also talk about how we should turn our assumptions [00:02:00] about the good life upside down.
[00:02:02] Exodus chapter 16 verses 2 through 15 says, The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, If only we had died at the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots and ate our fill of bread. For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
[00:02:27] Then the Lord said to Moses, I'm going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instructions or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gathered on the other days.
[00:02:45] So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, In the evening you shall know that It was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we [00:03:00] that you complain against us? And Moses said, When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him, what are we?
[00:03:10] Your complaining is not against us, but against the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, Draw near to the Lord, for He has heard you complaining. And as Aaron spoke, the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
[00:03:28] The Lord spoke to Moses and said, I have heard the complaining of the Israelites. Say to them, At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God. And in the evening quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
[00:03:46] And when the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. And when the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, What is it? For they did not know what it was.
[00:03:59] Scott Maderer: Moses said to [00:04:00] them, It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.
[00:04:04] And Matthew chapter 20 verses 1 through 16 says, For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketing place, and he said to them, You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.
[00:04:27] So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same. And about five o'clock, he went out and found others still standing around, and he said to them, Why are you standing here idle all day? And they said to him, Because no one has hired us. He said to them, you also go into the vineyard.
[00:04:45] And when the evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first. When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more, but [00:05:00] each of them also received the usual daily wage.
[00:05:03] And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner saying these lasts worked only one hour and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day in the scorching heat. But he replied to one of them. Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
[00:05:21] Take what belongs to you and go. I chose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last. If you think about the beginning with the Exodus passage, it starts with grumbling.
[00:05:46] And I don't know about you, but if you've been around any group of people, but let's just stick with church. If you've been around a church group, you've probably heard grumbling. Don't like the music, wish the music was different. Oh, [00:06:00] I love the music it's really too hot in here, too cold in here.
[00:06:04] I don't like the color of the carpet. I wish we did more of this or less of that. There's always grumbling. There's always worry about this not being the way that we want it. The Exodus story is rife with complaints and some of them are rather over the top, hyperbolic a bit. Think about it. When we look at the Exodus story, we already know the ending.
[00:06:34] We know that they're being cared for, they're being protected, and we can see that they weren't trusting in the Lord. Their choices and their trust were less than optimum. But if you think about it for a minute, in their moment, from their point of view, not knowing yet the ending of the story, they're about six weeks into the wilderness wandering, which may not seem like so much, because we know they have 40 years to go, but [00:07:00] think, have you ever been camping?
[00:07:02] And there's this idealistic vision of what it's going to be, and then you actually go, and it's raining, and it's hot, and there's mosquitoes, and... It doesn't fulfill everything that you thought. It's almost like that. The imagination of running away from Egypt and being free seems to have been better than the reality.
[00:07:22] They're hungry, they're afraid, and they're pretty sure that they've made a mistake by launching off into this journey. Now granted, the way it's stated in the passage, If only we had died at the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt. Think about it. When things are bad, you tend to look back with nostalgia, and what you had seen as bad before may not feel like it would be have been as bad after all.
[00:07:51] They were conveniently overlooking the idea that they were slaves in Egypt. They ate their fill of bread. They [00:08:00] sat by flesh pots or big pots of simmering meat. There's meat, but they didn't get any. They ate their fill of bread. And yet that memory is still better than what they feel like they're facing today.
[00:08:13] And then God says, all right, I'll take care of it. I'll give you brain that rains from heaven. Something unusual. Doesn't really matter if there's a rational explanation for this or if this is a miracle, doesn't really matter. Even the people being fed by it don't understand it. It says what is this?
[00:08:35] What is it that's showing up in the morning? What is it? Or maybe they should have been asking, what is it that God is doing? Maybe by stopping and paying attention to what's actually happening around them, they could see God at work, even [00:09:00] when things were tough. Even when they're wandering in the desert.
[00:09:05] Even when we're complaining about the things that are wrong. Maybe we could stop for a minute and look around and recognize the miracles in the daily moments of our life. And notice also that God goes a little further. He says, not only are we going to give you bread, I'm going to go ahead and give you meat in the evening.
[00:09:29] You're going to get even more than you got when you were back in Egypt. That kind of brings us over to Matthew's gospel and Jesus parable here. What is it that God is doing? Think about here this kind of economic policy and the workers compensation that Jesus trots out might be a little crazy. If we think [00:10:00] about it in terms of the world in which it's set, it might make it a spiritual exchange, and somehow that's a little bit more palatable, because think about that in the real world for yourself.
[00:10:14] If you were working all day and you were paid the same as the person that worked one hour, we would be angry about that. But the spiritual analogy of accepting new people, that when people come into the fellowship of believers, they become equal and inheritors of the whole promise. They're equal members, even if they haven't put in enough, quote, pew time, even if they haven't attended enough church services, even if they didn't grow up in the church.
[00:10:48] And yet I'll tell you, I have heard people say I've been a member of this church for X number of years, and you haven't. So somehow [00:11:00] their belonging, their meaning, their understanding should carry more weight. And yet, maybe this is telling us we should be equal in the eyes of the Lord. And that's certainly a good and proper interpretation.
[00:11:19] But, it also could literally be about the monetary system. The way we pay people as well. About the economies of the world. And how are we determining who's worth what. Whether it's the owner, the manager, the employee. Maybe we're trying to make assumptions about what it means to be paid and to live the good life and what it's worth.
[00:11:44] Instead, we'd rather just adjust to the way things are and continue to complain rather than work towards a change that might make things better for everyone. What if we actually lived in a world that was shaped by grace and [00:12:00] generosity? How might that change what you do? How might that change... What the world looks like.
[00:12:08] It requires looking at the world a different way, not comparing, not looking for jealousies and envy and who has what and who believes what and who says what. Instead, rather than laboring in the vineyard like we're owed something, we should enjoy the labor and the service and the connection that it brings us.
[00:12:32] We should settle in for the long haul. And recognize that a lot of what we've learned about how the world work doesn't fit in us anymore if we've truly accepted grace and forgiveness as a way of being. Turning that upside down is a beautiful way to live. Thanks for listening.[00:13:00]
[00:13:01] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor. Go over to Facebook. com slash inspired stewardship.
[00:13:26] And like our Facebook page and mark it that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there. Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.[00:14:00]
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In today's episode, I talk with you about:
Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?' So the last will be first, and the first will be last." – Matthew 20: 15-16