June 27



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Psalm 80-85

We are in the Wisdom Stream reading from the New King James Version this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Thank you God for your great faithfulness. You truly are our heavenly Father. Your desire is for us to walk with you and for you to hear our grateful response to your love.  You are the God we Love. Amen

80 – This Psalms comes on the heels of a great disaster that was spelled out painfully in Psalm 79. It seems to give comment to a time when Israel as a nation (before being a kingdom divided) is attempting to recover.  The mood has a concession tone similar to, “God, you’re right, we were wrong, we got punished, we deserved it, we are down, you’ve been angry with us, we are now wondering how long you are going to be ‘cross’ with us. We wish to be restored, please.  The shame of seeing your land and your people smashed is horrible to us too.  Revive us again so that we may call upon your Name. We wish to worship in your presence and be saved.

81 – God has been so true and supportive of His people.  His sustenance and protection have been unfailing,  He made the rules clear as the noonday sun – no idols and no foreign gods… and yet they wouldn’t listen. They could have blessed God with their obedience and He would have satisfied them with the richest. But their hands were placed over their ears instead of raised in surrender to God who loved them.

82 – is another Psalm about Israel’s wayward nature.  The focus here is pointed to unjust judges who are derelict in their duty.  The show partiality and favor the wicked for pay offs no doubt. They neglect the needy and oppressed.  Injustice seems to be upsetting the foundations of everything.  The writer; Asaph, who was David’s worship director, is calling on God to come and judge the earth since the people are failing at it so badly.
83 – Asaph is calling out again and rousing God to action.  The enemies at the border [in all directions] are conspiring to remove Israel from the earth, off the map and out of memory. They are calling on God to act fast and decisively. Even Assyria has joined in the march to assist the perverted people of the earth to band together and destroy Israel.  The litany of Asaph saying, “God you did it before, do to these people like you did to all the others that you knocked flat.  Asaph wants to see them get what we might call a good old medieval country whooping … and make it apocalyptic in nature while you’re at it God!
84 – the prior Psalm ends with a pressing urge to know God   And it morphs beautifully into 84  one of the warmest devotional stretches of Scripture there is.  The craving is to be with God in His House.  All the punishment of the prior Psalms, the running from enemies, and battles.   Holy Moly, can we just get some blessed peace and come into the sanctuary and spend time reveling in the joy of God?  This Psalm reads like a passionate love note of two who cannot wait to be together again.  It’s really all God wants from us… a heart longing to be with Him.
85 – This is a prayer that favor be restored to Israel, the children of Jacob who were brought back from captivity.  They are thankful, a trifle bewildered, in need of sustaining mercy, and surprisingly they are aware of their need for mercy.  This Psalm rings of faith, new resolve and willingness to listen and follow God’s prompting.  They really want to hear Him now.  They believe good days are coming.

June 26



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I Kings 15-18

New King James Version

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God, some of the things you need to do to clean up the world that man messes up is almost too much to bear.  But we want to be on your side of righteousness, on your side the law, and sided with you in all your grace.  Thank you for calling us as you called Elijah.  Amen.

15 – In case the memo missed anyone, the reading today opens in 915 B.C.   That is before most of us started kindergarten… really….! Abijah had a short reign of a couple years or so. He was mostly all-in for evil.  He fought with the northern king Jeroboam who started the rebellion against the south about 18 years prior. His mother was evil and apparently she mentored him so.  He did win back some cities from the north as the LORD stepped in for Judah; the southern kingdom.  Comparing Abijah’s story here with the one in II Chron. 13 gives the fuller picture of Abijah.

Asa, his son reigned immediately following.  Asa sought the Lord wholeheartedly and his plan was to clean up Judah. He banished his twisted grandmother (Abijah’s mother), he rid the lude idols and the Lord gave him reign for 41 years; a time span that covered 7 of Israel’s kings in the north. II Chr. 14-16 has more of Asa’s story. Notice that he turned to Syria [not the LORD] for military help,  He did the same in his old age regarding the problems with his feet and he suffered for his refusal to come to God in this matter.  Take note here, friends!
I Kings 15-16, for the remainder of the run here, lists a string of kings that coincides with the reign of Asa.  It’s a grisly, bloody, backstabbing, horrid time in Israel.  The kings are practically trying to outdo each other in an “ungodliness contest” wherein the thirst for darkness doesn’t seem to be quenchable. They are then listed and described in succession; Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Ahab [Jezebel’s wife] . None are people of character nor virtue. Their exploits are garish, huge and far reaching for the next 35 years or so. Keep in mind that “1 & 2 Kings” is much more of the northern perspective, while simultaneously, while 1 & 2 Chronicles is much more the southern perspective. Kings is a zany rendition of simply what happened as a nation frantically ran from God. Chronicles has a couple dozen reminders and anecdotes that are an attempt to see Judah return to following the Lord.
17 –  Enter Elijah, one of the most glorious and powerful characters in the whole Bible.  He is so etched in the “hall of heroes” among Judaism that the leaders in Jesus’ day think that it is Elijah that Jesus is calling out to 800+years later as he is gasping to breath on the Cross.  Just in reading this part of the incidents in Elijah’s life we see why he had Messianic level status as he did many miraculous deeds, multiplied food, raised the dead, won victories and so forth.  He first declares a drought and then is instructed to hide in a canyon by a brook west of the Jordan. He is miraculously fed there until God prompts him onward. He then is to go to a widow in duress who is out of food.  Elijah restores her food supply. Her son then dies and Elijah brings her son back to life.  He has quite a string of salient assignments and he follows God’s prompting gloriously.  We can see why he is so highly revered in Judaism and later in Christianity.
18 – Elijah and Obadiah have an encounter, as they are both on the right side of faith and Elijah has Obadiah set up a meeting with Ahab.  Ahab was the most wicked king to date. His wife Jezebel even outdid Ahab for treachery, paganism, murder of God’s people and diabolical deeds.  Elijah calls for a spiritual showdown on Mt. Carmel and wanted all of Ahab/Jezebels’ prophets present and for Israel to watch this showdown.  They meet on Mt. Carmel and Elijah set the parameters.  Each side sacrificed and arranged a bull on their respective places and they were to call on their divine source for God/god/Baal to light the fire and burn the sacrifice.  The Baal worshipers commenced and called and danced and cut themselves as their false religion required of them. All the while Elijah jeered and cheered them on sarcastically as if they weren’t trying hard enough.  Elijah then arranged his sacrifice and soaked it with a laborious amount of water to over prove his point. There well could have been ca. 300 gallons of water poured over the wood and bull and to fill the trench. Then God sent down fire as Elijah called for God to give this sign.  It was so hot that the entire altar burned up and vaporized with the bull and the wood.  Even the stones were burnt and gone!!  My husband looked this up for me and stones vaporize / “evaporate”  at +3450 degrees fahrenheit.  They turn white hot and then are gone.  Btw, the surface of the sun is calculated to be 10K degrees!  This was a demonstration of many things among them is that “our God is a consuming fire” / He is livid at Baal worship / He’s all powerful / …the list goes on. Israel was on their face in worship and confession.  Elijah orders that all the Baal prophets be executed.  The drought then ends in a wild display as Elijah orchestrated the exit from Carmel and ran ahead of, shall we call it –> “Ahab’s parade”.?  This would make quite a movie scene would it not?  It’s a scene that is among the most wild-like nature miracles and savagely impressive in all the Bible.

June 25



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Leviticus 6:8-9:24

We are in The World Stream reading from the New King James Version this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God Your will is for us to truly see and know you and walk with you and experience your glory and love.  Help us to this place, Lord God.  Amen
 6 – the rules for the garments and the eternal fire are part of God’s thinking that kept a rich sense of significance in this particular ritual within Judaism. The changing of the outfit and keeping a particular outfit for this phase, another for another phase was meaningful. We have certain outfits for certain tasks – do we not? An outfit for yardwork, a different one for cooking in, a different one for painting in, for church, for hiking, for formal dining. You don’t wear a tuxedo to a baseball game, You don’t go to church in swimwear. I wouldn’t eat at a restaurant where the entire staff wore painter’s overalls and everyone working there smelled like oil-based-primer. You wouldn’t either. Outfits need to be right and all of us feel this way.  Now what if God guffawed this matter and just smirked at us while bellowing, “outfits? for church? for worship? for Temple? awww, who cares? wear whatever! I guess…?!” We wouldn’t take God seriously if he was as sloppy about this as a dopey clown. And the fire was always lit because God was “always in”
The Grain and the Sin Offering were initially laid forth in chapter 2 and 4 respectively. God has us learning things incrementally and over time because hardly anyone hears an elaborate task once and then retains is responsively for life. These were what people produced and having portions of the produce set aside for God kept people’s minds on God and what the requirements were for being in fellowship with him.
7 – Notice that this Trespass Offering is most holy to the Lord. And it was required that the fat was required to be burned upon the fire. Fat makes for some rather volatile fuel for the fire that burned with extra heat and crackle. It can be almost as flammable as kerosene or diesel fuel. In fact there is research in process that could in time have certain cars burning fat as their fuel. We can be sure that these Trespass Offerings had everyone’s attention!    The Peace Offering was for a thanksgiving offering or voluntary. The rules varied. The issue of timing and consumption on 1st/2nd/3rd day was very strict. God did not want people neglecting these matters, getting an attitude of nonchalance, and also these meats sitting around for days get flies, then maggots and must not be eaten.  The blood and fat were not to be ingested. It was not healthy. Fat is used and overused by people who eat too much and/or eat too much of the wrong things. And for blood – it was red and red gets people’s attention. [God used the blood of His Son to get our attention!] And judging by he fact that ingesting blood by eating it cooked or drinking it ‘raw’ is a ritual that most all Satanic cults engage in, God wants all of us to have absolutely nothing to do with any of this or even anything that even remotely resembles this. The Bible states in Lev. 17:11 that “the life is in the blood”. God gives us life and our blood carries this life. Red is an arresting color – it’s all very intriguing. And yet we are to look to God for our answers in life and let Him save us His way. Trying to save ourselves our way leads to wrong thinking and we go amiss quickly. Drinking blood is cultic and wrong and God said it and that settles it for us.  The portion offered for the priest; Aaron and sons (and their families) was for them to live on. They were about God’s business all day, each day and this is how they subsisted.
8 – Everything that was instituted for the sacrifices was executed here.  We read through all these steps and procedures and here they are commenced upon.  The dressing up of the sons of Aaron and Aaron himself for worship had to be rather impressive. These were the garments that were explained in Exodus 28.  The gems and colors and layers and the beauty of it was something we do not see these days.  The 12 stones representing the 12 tribes and other vestments attached with gold chains testified to the significance of all this.  Think of being there for worship, the red sprinkled down the altar, fat on the fire crackling without exploding, the heat and the phases of it all.  It’s a stark contrast to so many who attend church but are not “all there” mentally or spiritually because of distraction from anything: hand-held devices or fatigue from being up too late the night before or boredom because church is slumped too far from the biblical model of what church is to be.  No one was asleep at these gatherings. Not when they are so significant and there is smoke and fire and the like .At any rate, the steps that were laid out by Moses were all gone through here on this day – in Lev. 8
9 – The ministry began before the people.  The rituals sounded very similar as they were laid out in prior chapters and executed as such.  Yet this time the people were witnessing it.  Moses asserted, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, and the Lord will appear to you.”  So all the offerings were given and made before the Lord.  The people were then blessed by Moses and Aaron. And then it happened – The Lord appeared gloriously, and fire came out as God did this to burn up the offering and the fat.  What a sight!!  The people shouted and fell on their faces in worship.  Think of this – if there was something God asked of you to do and stipulated that once this was done, He would then visibly appear to you in an impressive manner that had you wither to the floor overwhelmed and unable to stand you were so moved by the hand of God.  Would you do this or just shrug and keep checking you ‘in-box” or browsing the web?            God help us see what He is showing us.