May 3



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Jeremiah 2-4

We are in the Prophetic Stream as we read from The Living Bible this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Dear Lord: The prospects of the ungodly are oh so grim. The end of the disobedient is certain. I pray we are ready and alert souls who will have ministry in mind as we encounter those who have come the the end of themselves and are therefore ready to hear of The Savior. Amen.

Here are some statistics: Jeremiah spent 20 years warning Judah to repent, 20 years amid the sabres of war as Babylon was sacking the southern Kingdom, and 20 years in retrospect lamenting the destruction of the land of God; Judah and Israel.

2 – The nation has fallen so far. God wants to know, and Jeremiah is assigned to tell them: “you once loved me so much. I defended you and fed you. Anyone who threatened you paid severely.  Now you will worship anything as long as it isn’t Me. There is a national attitude of “whatever buddy!” toward God.  Even the priests and leaders are given to Baal and Molech.”  God is going to continue pursuing Judah and will be trying to love them, but things do not look good.  They were so free and prosperous and strong but have turned themselves into slaves. They rebel at every turn.  They have become more proficient at sinning than those who have had no training in goodness (and vice versa!) It’s as if those who were lost all along come to the Israelites to learn about ‘how to be better sinners.’  It is so utterly pathetic what these people have turned themselves into.  They are dirty dirty dirty, lusting 24/7, anyone who comes to minister to them gets murdered, …and they think that a foreign government is going to be of aid to them!
3 – Israel, called out to be God’s bride, has turned itself into a trolling whore that will expend herself on anyone but her husband, and she doesn’t come home.  God is willing to forgive and reunite with them but their sinfulness is a bit more appealing to them at the time.  Judah held onto God a bit longer (the southern Kingdom) but they have slouched in their pursuit of God too.  Manasseh is king at present.  He’s the one who had Isaiah killed and he is turning out to be the darkest leader the Semitic world has ever seen.  His Satanic wretchedness far outdid Ahab. Manasseh was throwing live babies and young children into fires at evening rituals as a sacrifice to Molech.  Here was Jerusalem – no city had been so blessed, yet no place or people on earth had descended so far down from so far up. They had even become more wicked than their relatives in Israel; the northern kingdom. Judah was disaffectionately dubbed, “the adulterous wife”. And that was just the tip of the matter as for how bad they had become.
4 –  The opening of ch. 4 sounds like, “this is your final chance to exit from the highway to destruction…”  God wants to see total transformation of His people, yet they are bent on wickedness.  and the enemy army is on the march to come flatten them!  The sword is raised, a lion is at the gate, their chariots and horses are coming, war and death and crushing will engulf Judah. It is going to be awful – and Jeremiah can see it prophetically. It will happen.  The first influx of Babylonian soldiers enter Judah in 605 B.C. – 21 years after Jeremiah is called into ministry. The siege is progressively moving across Judah until 586 B.C. when Jerusalem is sacked and the Temple is destroyed.  Jeremiah is warning them for two decades to turn but God’s people are stubborn, dull to truth, skilled at deviance, and moronic about righteousness. It’s amusing that, as the enemy is closing in on them, some of the Judeans are pausing to put on mascara and “doll up” themselves.  That’s as dopey as the town being on fire, and stopping the work of dousing the fire so you can have time to wash and paint your house … before it burns to an ash heap!  Something is really wrong with these people. The sad thing is that it is an illustration of all of us.

May 2



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Psalm 38-41

We are in the Wisdom Stream reading from the The Living Bible today.

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Lord God, we can learn from David today. May we, like David, when in anguish and pain turn to you and not turn on you.  Amen.

Things are not looking too good for David and that is the tone for most of what we find in the Psalms today.

38 – David is pleading to God for the punishment he is feeling to relent.  David has sinned and God is angry.  David is near complete despair with pain and inflammation, disease and exhaustion. Loved ones and friends have departed. His enemies are still coming at him. David calls out to God in this state – it’s quite a lesson for all of us.
39 – David’s sin and punishment because of it is dragging on and it has him longing for happier days. It has him musing about the frailty and emptiness of life.  His final verse here sums things up: “spare me Lord, let me recover and be filled with happiness again before my death.” He simply longs to fellowship sweetly again like he did with his God when he was tending sheep and playing harp and singing to Him in better days.
40 – is one of the most popular Psalms of deliverance, recovery and relief. It’s been a favorite for 3,000 years.  The presence and loving hand of the Lord is what the heart really longs for. And God longs to be with us – ‘ever think about that? Sacrifices are … well yeah, … they are good but God wants us and we want God.  The fellowship is what is most sought for. God delivers, just keep calling for him until the relationship is restored.   It’s very interesting about how U2; the band from Ireland made a song out of Psalm 40 and it has been among the most popular songs ever performed.  All opinions and personal impressions aside, the world longs to be with it’s Savior – even though we seem to forget this more than we seem to remember it.
41 – David has a lovely piece about God’s ability to nurse us back to health. He then quickly launches into his word against those who have turned on him.  This Psalm best coordinates with what is found in II Samuel 15 when Absalom has turned and is now trying to wrestle the kingdom from David; his own dad. Absalom has recruited Ahithophel to join in the rebellion. Athithophel was once very close to David (they were the best of friends) but has now become the “Judas” of the Old Testament if y’know what is being said here.  Still David remains in prayer and is turning to God in his distress, isolation, and pain. Amid this anguish he ends the Psalm exclaiming about his eternal God who is from everlasting to everlasting.  What a heart for God David had!

May 1



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II Samuel 6-11

We are in the Nation Stream continuing the story of King David. We are reading from The Living Bible this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

6 – the stunning drama continues:  30,000 troops are in procession to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem where it belongs.  The man standing right by the Ark catches the Ark so to keep it from falling. The young man, Uzzah who touched the Ark falls dead instantly. Quick reminder: the Ark is nothing to be trifle with or light-hearted about. It is the most sacred item ever constructed on earth. No one was to touch it … so why was Uzzah less than an arm’s length away from it?  The Ark is then kept at a home nearby and that home is truly and deeply blessed. David, realizing this anew realizes it must be taken to Jerusalem so the whole city and nation can be blessed! David enters the city and the worship he triggers is most vigorous. His first wife, Saul’s daughter, resents all this excitement centering around God. So she is struck for her attitude and never has children.  Memo: when worship commences, it is better to join in than to sit on the sidelines and analyze it.

7 – David pauses to exclaim that a Temple be built to honor God. David had a good heart in stating this, but God has a better idea and tells him of it via Nathan the prophet. God is going to establish a throne for David that will make him among the most prominent men in history. David is going to shine above the rest for all time and indeed the Savior comes to the world by way of David’s line of descendants.  His response to God is most gracious and grateful and humble.  It reminds us of why God’s heart is after and upon David.
8 -10 – This starts David’s campaign of expanding the borders to the largest they had ever been. He is king, and operating 400 years after Moses he is taking the property lines to places no one ever thought they would be. God gave David success at every turn. He subdued the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Edomites, Ammonites, Amalekites, and all neighboring nations. He brought home great wealth and his sons assisted him. The whole family has covering.
[ 9 ]- This is a touching chapter in that David pauses amid ‘endless’ battels to inquire of Saul’s relatives. David seeks out Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son, who was dropped as a child.  And he takes him in and takes care of him for life.  Mephibosheth dines with the king from then on.  The marvel of this is that it tells of David’s kind heart amid the conquests. The common practice of many in this region was to find any possible dissenters of a prior ruler who might in any way be disloyal to [you] the current king, and to wipe them all out. David does the opposite and honors this grandson of Saul [who hated him] and son of Jonathan [whom he was close to].
11 – This is the chapter that creates a great turn in David’s life. He had trouble all his earlier day but there was blessing and protection and provision for him.  This is where David procures wife #8 and he does so in an illicit manner. He already has 7 wives! The problem is that a set up like this trains a man deep in his soul [albeit even doing so unconsciously] that he can have whomever and whatever he wants whenever he wants it.  This is not good.  It also (multiple wives) merely proves to the heart of any man that “enough” is never enough. He sees BATHsheba taking a bath and wants her…now! It was all over, babe. He takes her, gets her pregnant, and in an effort to cover himself, arranges for her husband to be killed. Her husband, [you remember in the story] Uriah shows more ethics when he is inebriated than David shows when he is sober, btw! David did what he did and seemed to get away with it, legally.  But God was not pleased with him. He thought he had troubles before! … They worsen now and never let up the rest of the days of his life.  David ruined his own plight here. His penchant for women [polygamy] is what weakened him and brought this on however.  It reminds of the warning in Proverbs 31:2-3, “my son, listen…do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.”  And remember this is not chauvanism – the warning comes to all men for all time – from a woman!