June 5


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I Kings 4-7

We are in the Nation Stream and learn about the applied wisdom of Solomon. We are reading from the New Living Translation this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God, we learn of the Temple that was the highest of priorities and so engrossing for so many, …and it is humbling and inspiring to hear, learn and know that WE are the Temple you are interested in.  We are beauty and worth investing in.  Your love for us is a marvel.  Amen.
Solomon's Temple
Solomon’s Temple
King Solomon's Palace
King Solomon’s Palace
4 – Solomon was what gets called, “large and in-charge”.  He inherited the most powerful Kingdom in existence at the time.  His father David had expanded the borders to the greatest they had ever been.  The residents of the newly absorbed areas sent in tribute money and Solomon commenced building the kingdom to even greater and more than it ever had been.  It blossomed to the height of it’s greatness under Solomon.  The peace and prosperity and culture and music and education was a national marvel that left countless people enthralled to visit Jerusalem and the rest of the country.  The national administration of officers and governors are listed.  Just a note in case it is news, the Hebrew prefix “Ben- ” before a name means “son of”. It’s the same as in English putting “son” at the end of a name/ “sen” in Swedish/ the prefix “Mc” in Gaelic – you get it, right?
-the people were numerous, the population along with Solomon’s staff are well fed, the stalls are filled with animals; including horses for royalty. Solomon is writing voluminously, and ambassadors come from the world over to learn from Solomon. Solomon had asked for wisdom in I Ki. 3 [also II Chr. 1] and God granted his request – did He ever!
5 – The preparations for the building of the Temple went into high production.  The relationship with Lebanon and her leaders was rich, deep, and warm.  They traded heavily as Lebanon supplied cedar and staffing as Israel offered food in exchange. To put it into what may be simpler to envision–> The wheat shipped north was 12+1/2 full size truck loads per year (and there are no trucks at the time!).  The olive oil sent each year to Lebanon was a volume that would fill four full size in-ground swimming pools. The staffing and labor and construction crews and supervisors were more than 180,000 men.  They began making the timber and the stone for the Temple and more projects that Solomon had planned.
6 – The Temple begins construction.  Can you imagine the excitement?  It was 480 years since leaving Egypt and the goal of the culture was under construction. Notice in verse seven that there was no sound of hammer, ax or any iron tool.  There was no sawing sound either.  What?! a construction site that is nearly silent….! This was the house of God and it was a reverent undertaking. Mid-job, God reminded them that they would have God’s presence with them eternally as long as they keep His commands.  The dimensions of the Temple are given again, the details of the interior are listed. the intricacies are boggling and beautiful. The aroma of all the cedar, and the breathtaking beauty of all the gold! good heavens.  The Temple was up in the realm of seven years. And it was astonishing to gaze at. The expense, and the staffing, the transport, the work being done in silence – we’ve heard a clear and intriguingly credible description from a world-reknowned leader that this Temple could not be built today.
7 – Solomon then built his palace to be his residence. There was also the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon, the Hall of Pillars, the Throne Room/Hall of Justice. Solomon is quite the architect, y’might say!  Then a man named “Huram” is conscripted to come and do metal work and carvings.  His skill is legendary in his giftedness. The things he made, carved, shaped and formed are mind-boggling. It’s difficult to envision it all.  He made things for the Temple plus numerous furnishings for the Temple.  When the Temple was completed all the dedicated gifts were brought in and stored in the treasury of the Temple.  Such a feat was completed.

June 4


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Exodus 34:1-37:24

We are in the World Stream learning about the building of the Tabernacle. We are reading from the New Living Translation this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

“Thank you Lord for second chances, for grace unending, for love that never fails, for rest, and for caring so much that your top concern for us is that we find you, walk with you, and are well, May we be found faithful in what you have asked us to build in your Name.  Amen”

34 – The Lord makes a second inscription of the Ten Commandments since Moses broke the original last time he came down the mountain.  The rerun for Moses is overwhelming, the worship that God’s Presence brought upon Moses is most impressive.  God gives Moses a few reminders to be sure and assert upon and teach the Israelites so that they live long godly healthy lives.  The time Moses spent with God; the Light of the World, even affected Moses’ face so that it glowed too.
35 –  The Sabbath Law is presented to the people again.  And then comes the occasion of the offering for the making of the Tabernacle and the articles therein.  The list of items to bring forward is presented.  The articles to be built from the offerings are listed and then the excitement begins as each went back to their tents to gather what they would bring as their offering for the Lord.  The Spirit moved in a touching way over the people.  Hearts were stirred for generosity.  Women got going and got sewing. Gems were brought forth. It really was a worship experience.  Bezalel and Oholiab were presented as the ones who would lead the project and teach others their skills as well.
36 – The work began and a wonderful “problem” occurred in that people were still bringing offerings beyond what was needed to complete the Tabernacle.  This is a pastor’s dream, btw. Imagine having to tell people to stop bringing offerings because it was excessive! Halelujah, what a problem  🙂  The work commences. After all these instructions and the drama of the Ten Commandments.  It had to be something to take part in this. There is no hint of the usual attitudes or complaining.  The atmosphere is abuzz as all are jumping in to do what they can to see this structure go up as their “house of God” in the desert.
37 – Then the time came to make the Ark of the Covenant.  It is amazing the way this box has entranced the religious world for 33-34 centuries. The Raiders of the Lost Ark was a landmark piece of cinema. The arguments about the Ark’s location even today can make one’s ears tingle. Well here in Exodus 37 is where it started. The gold, the gold, the gold!  It has to be beauty that challenged anyone’s ability to describe such a thing. Then the table was made, the lampstand, and the incense altar.  There was so much gold involved in the Tabernacle endeavor.  There would be more than a ton of gold involved in the building of all this by the time of completion.  We will complete the project next week and marvel at what God does once His house is built!

June 3



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I Corinthians 10-12

We are in the Church Stream reading from the Modern English Version this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Thank you God for another week together as we spent a day in each stream of Your Scripture. Your Word is truly our guide and handbook for a good life in you and a good eternity with you.  We thank you with our lives as our offering to you.  Amen.=

10 – Paul wants those who are following Christ, in fellowship, and taking communion to continue in their faith and to do so in a holy manner.  Some were endangering their faith by taking part in wrongful practices – the habits from their former lives in the ungodly world. The illustration of the Exodus is a brilliant parallel for them. They had left Egypt and were ‘baptized’ being brought through the Red Sea. They were, however, not in the Promised Land…not yet! And those who strayed enroute, in the desert, died in the desert. In this day as before, they had been saved from bondage, they were on pilgrimage, but however, they needed to hang on to their holy faith in reverence, lest they be cast away and ‘die in the desert’ – not reaching the Promised Land of Paradise. Those parallelisms from Exodus applied in Corinth, and they apply today. Paul assures them that God will protect them as they hang onto their faith.  The living in lust, the complaining, the idolatry and the dabbling in the demonic – all that had to go!  Paul reminds that whatever we do, it must be all for the glory of God and the edifying of one another.
11 – The matter of headcoverings is far less contentious than some of the nervy feminists that have slipped into the church make it out to be. Paul is addressing an era wherein women had their heads covered in public unless they were “women of the night” / prostitutes / or just plain “loose” women.  Women were joining churches; and in various cases coming to Christ more readily than some reticent men and/or their husbands were.  The freedom in Christ was tremendously alluring to women of the world who, in the pre-Christian era, were seen as property, not much above slaves, and in many situations lower than the household pets. These women came to church and were so overjoyed that they would remove their head coverings in elation.  To some this was perceived as “gee, she joined a church, now she looks like a hooker! What is going on in that church anyway?!” <– This is what Paul is addressing.  He isn’t trying to jerk anyone around or squash women. He’s not trying to keep women under clothing tents as some cultures do even today. He simply is reminding Christian women to look different than women of ill-reputations.  He also wants women to not try to take over the churches but to be subject to the men who were in charge. All studies show that when there is an institution wherein the women take it over, the men don’t fight it – they just leave it (they “go fishing”) and they don’t come back. If this were to happen unchecked, the next generation would involuntarily leave; 75% of them. Once a second generation passes through, it would be all but dead. Guaranteed, if Paul had not addressed this matter, the Church would have been a phenomenon of the first century; a completely abandoned movement by 200 A.D. at the latest. That cannot happen.
-As for the communion, this too needed to be returned to its purpose. The Corinthians were turning communion into a lavish food contest; the rich were flaunting, and the poor were excluded from the table, others were ingesting wayyyy too much wine. What was started by Jesus at the Last Supper was turning into a “Roman food orgy”.  Christ was long forgotten for them.  So thankfully Paul [very appropriately] laid out the structure of what the communion was to be and how it was to be, who was to take part and under what conditions.
12 – This is the spiritual gifts chapter.  I love it when a sports commentator refers to someone as a gifted athlete.  [. . . whogave them that gift? or are we allowed to ask question in public anymore?]  Paul was explaining that each person’s gift(s) that were employed were to bless the body of Believers and the Kingdom as a whole as a gift.  Gifts are something we are excited about, grateful for, they are useful for blessing and building.  They are not to be issues to squabble over or compete with, or to use to get ugly toward others over !  These gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, languages (to bless and reach others for the gospel) were just that; GIFTS from God to build and bless.  They were one body and each played a part of that body for God’s glory.  No one was better than another.  Within that, the teachers were highly reverenced and therefore worthy of double honor.  But that only made them subject to more spiritual scrutiny – it was not for lording over others.  They were to abide with each other, call upon each other, honor one another, assist one another, bless and cover for each other, ad infinitum. For we are the unshakeable and unending Kingdom of God.
Looking back on this week – the details seemed of paramount importance:  The details of the
Tabernacle were intricate and manifold. This would be where God visited them. No slop allowed. Interesting that in the middle of this 15 chapter long section of scripture there is the golden calf incident to provide disgusting contrast of what it looks like when a people have no mind for details – only their latest urges to party like hyenas.
-the details following the aging and passing of David are quite interwoven. There are residual attitudes that needed to be addressed in a precise manner. Each one is dealt with properly and specifically – especially the rebels. David gave clear orders for Solomon to follow (Sol. could have paid better attention to this and to the details of the Law, yes?)
-The Psalms are classics and it is a issue of precision that David keeps his attitude properly segregated in that he remains adverse in heart to his enemies and yielded in heart to his God. Too many that we meet along the way in life, run into trouble from an adversarial person (who happens to be quite against God) and too many come away from something like this angry . . . at God – for something God didn’t do!  Let’s keep our emotional details straight here!!
-in Jeremiah, the details of Judah’s destruction, Jeremiah’s sorrow and preservation, his need to remain celebate, to not engage in the locals follies or ceremonies, to remain fixed on God, to keep the Sabbath and remind others of the same – these are details of dire importance.
-the famine that Joel tells of was a matter that, perhaps God could have gotten through to them some other way but, apparently no other detail worked on them.  So God used this. When people ignore God’s details for them nothing gets their attention like a fast.  And, uh, the storehouses were empty along with the fields – a detail that could not be ignored.
-the details of Jesus final days are astonishing. The specifics of the woman who anoints Jesus are the stuff of legend!–>and still talked about all over the world. Jesus makes numerous predictions and each is spot on. The Sanhedrin try to accuse Jesus but what doesn’t add up?…the details of their accusations! And it forever ought stick in our minds that Judas; who despises Jesus, kisses him (before killing himself) while Peter, who screams against Jesus, is committed to Him unto death and therefore has a triumphant ministry that shook a continent.
-the detailed gifts that God gives to His followers are numerous and wonderful. Do yourself a favor and read through them all again today.  Open yours and use it, Halleluia.