March 28


Psalm 9-17

We are in the Wisdom Stream today while using the God’s Word Translation this week. | #7Streams | @7Streams Method |  @serenatravis
Commentary by Drake Travis
Lord God thank you for this sterling reading from King David who is yet to take his throne.  Let it inspire us to walk with you and hang on to you though the road be rough or the next steps of our pilgrimage may seem uncertain.  Thank you Lord that our destiny is salvation as your word states.  Amen.

In Psalm 9, David is thankful for victories; victories that he personally has experienced and also those that affected Israel, his nation.  Miracles have happened, there is joy and music and praise.  The Lord has been true and the enemies of the Lord are in a bad way and going down further.  God triumphs and the truth of this is evident to those who look to God for their refuge.

In Psalm 10, David starts the Psalm feeling that God is far off and that the wicked get to have their run of things.  David lists the things he sees about oppressors. They boast, rob, curse, oppress, deceive, they pounce, and crush.  David calls for God to arise and deal with them justly and to do so as the God who is able to.  David seems to be encouraging himself with the truth that he knows God to be v.s. the justice that may seem delayed as he is witnessing it. The Psalm ends with a mighty praise about God’s encouragement and protection for the orphan and the oppressed.

For Psalm 11 and following: The next three Psalms are David asking desperate questions and feeling very troubled about wicked people who seem to be everywhere and running everywhere and behaving with ill will.  He was running from Saul during these times [ I Sam. 18-26 ].  He is vexed when he sees enemies all around.  He is at the same place blessed when he is able to pause and look to God knowing of His righteousness

In Psalm 12, David is feeling almost completely alone and that liars include just about the entire human race. Somehow David knows that God’s promises are pure and good and the Lord will protect him.
In Psalm 13, David did feel alone in human terms.  Now he feels alone spiritually. It seems God uses these days in David’s life to embed in him deeply the need to seek the Lord with all his heart.  We find David doing this fervently. We find him trusting God, enjoying his salvation and singing to God for His goodness to David!  David declares this in spite of his current sentiments.
In Psalm 14, David articulates his disgust for fools, for the godless who have no regard for God.  The corruption, the rebellion – David finds it all sickening.  St. Paul quotes this passage in his observation of the same perversion [Romans 3:10-12].  For such behavior there is a judgment day coming and there will be sheer panic for them.  On that same day, God’s people will rejoice for their fate will be much different.
In Psalm 15, This is a great testament of who gets to be with God; in His Presence.  The traits of those who walk with God are clearly listed.  ‘Such an inspiration is this man of integrity, commitment, wholesome speech, righteous dealings, forthrightness and stability
Psalm 16 is a marvel of all that is good and the resurrection that is destined.  It would do us good to be reading and learning; even memorizing this Psalm.  We can hear echoes of Paul’s theology metaphorically showing up in this chapter.  v. 10 is a reference to Jesus and the protection from death afforded to those who pledge their lives to Jesus.

March 27


I Samuel 13:23-16:23

We are in The Nation Stream today as we continue the story of King Saul and his courageous son Jonathan. We are reading from God’s Word Translation today.





Commentary by Drake Travis

The battle between Israel and the Philistines is an over-arching backdrop for the reading today.  Saul’s hollow and selfish character is fully revealed and as the phrase goes, “the handwriting is on the wall” as to what’s IN THE AIR where things are going and what needs to happen to get the nation to where God can glorify Himself through this nation of Israel.

In chapter 14, Jonathan shows his cagey and intelligent nature as a battle strategist and defeats the Philistines in the first battle described here. Remember what is developing: in the prior chapter, Jonathan wins the battle, and Saul his father, declares that he:Saul had won the battle [I Sam.13:3-4].

So without saying or doing anything to “right” this mis-perception, Jonathan goes right ahead, without Saul’s knowledge, and marches into [and wins!] the next battle.  Keep in mind that Israel does this without legitimate war material, arms or weapons.  It was truly the hand of God stepping in to give victory in spite of Saul-the moral hot-air balloon / turned control freak obsessed with being Mr. Everything…  The man has paltry management skills and tries to compensate this through trying to monitor all matters like a school marm who forgot to retire 25 years ago.

Next he orders an ill-timed fast that all must follow – or be executed.  And who violates the illicit fast unwittingly? His son Jonathan, who is spared only by the level-headed soldiers around him.

Yes, Saul has battle victories throughout his life. We’ll grant him that, but the victories had almost nothing to do with Saul; absolutely nothing – almost.

In chapter 15, Saul errs again when he doesn’t finish the job in decimating Amalek.  They brought some of the animals back so they could, uh, “sacrifice them to God” uh-hum, yeah right!  Saul is an ante-example of how not to obey the Lord.  The LORD doesn’t need our version of obedience in order for us to obey Him. God needs to obeyed precisely.  Again, Saul can’t do what he is told. Samuel’s famous words, “to obey/follow instructions is better than sacrifice” still is relevant now and always will be.  Saul reveals his weakness of character again in v. 24 “…I was afraid of the people and listened to them.”  Saul is a typical politician that does not listen to wisdom or prophets or God. He consults the people; !he takes a poll! v.s. asking of God what to do.

Samuel finishes a gruesome task and ‘does in’ the last of Amalek in front of Saul and the LORD. Saul again stands corrected.  btw, Samuel never saw Saul again. God and Samuel left him. Think of it, why would God and Samuel try to stay around and communicate with a king who has his “fingers in his ears”?

In Chapter 16, Samuel is assigned to find and anoint the next king.  After a process that piques the interest of anyone literate, David is chosen and the Spirit of the LORD comes over David.  He has nice skin, bright eyes, is handsome and talented – sounds like a catch for sure!  It isn’t long before his musical skill takes him right to King Saul and it turns out Saul needs David to give him peace of mind amid the evil Saul has given himself to.  It is very intriguing the way God orchestrates a contrast between Saul and David. It’s these encounters that reveal the completely stark characters that emerge between these two men from different generations.  Saul and David – this is just the beginning – the showdown continues next week!

Lord, may we be found like David. Not for his flaws but because of his heart that turned to you over and over relentlessly for guidance and approval and peace.  We also ask that Your Spirit rest upon us the way it came over David.  Take us into your presence for worship; the very thing we were born to do.  Amen.

March 26


Genesis 46:1-49:28

We are in the World Stream. Israel reunites with Joseph takes the time to bless his grandsons and his sons. We are reading from the God’s Word Translation this week.

46 – Jacob/Israel, after 13 or 14 years of not seeing Joseph and resigning to accept that he was dead, he is now convinced that Joseph is alive and commences on his journey to Egypt. God appears to him for the 7th (and final) time and assures him that what is happening is good and that his legacy is secure. He will not become Egyptian; he will just be there awhile. The listing of the family is a fascinating tabulation. Even though we live in a world of brevity, instant messages and updates and world-wide news and such, let us not be weary as we scroll through this family line. Jacob was a single man when he ventured to Haran in Genesis 29. Now 17 chapters later he is the head of a family of 70 people. He’s not alone! A study of where these 70 people were taken to becomes as large as the hemisphere they were all born in. The Genealogies of Genesis 5 & 10 are equally as fascinating. They too are our best indication or look or “window” (if you will) into the ancient world. Even secular scholars interested in genealogy marvel at the accuracy and revelation of these listings.
Jacob/Israel’s arrival in Egypt and the reunion with his son Joseph is a wondrous illustration of beautiful restoration and the goodness of God.

47 – The meeting between Israel and Pharaoh is cordial and encouraging. Israel and family are afforded the land north near the mouth of the Nile river; Goshen. It is an interesting picture to ponder when Israel and Pharaoh meet. The meetings of the leader of Israel and the leader of Egypt through the millennia would not always be such congenial encounters. Be that as it may, this one is Providence in the first regard. The nation of Israel would take the next 430 years to rest, be blessed, and to multiply.
The management of the famine as it is described in the rest of ch. 47 is politics and taxation as only politicians could pull off. The crisis is used in such a manner that before it is over, Pharaoh owns everything. A government is doing what governments do!! They could have managed and served and blessed as Jesus later urges leaders to do. But they tax and scheme and seize as godless governments do.

48 – The scene of ch. 48 is a prophecy that Jacob preveniently sees though no one else does. It’s a very human story of the switched arms and Jacob refusing to be “corrected” by his son Joseph. Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim are blessed by their grandfather Israel, whom they have just met, and it is Ephraim who receives the prominent blessing regardless. Their history plays out accordingly hundreds of years later. Interesting that Manasseh the King by this same name [1100 years later] turns out to be the most wicked king Israel ever had. He was the one who ordered for Isaiah to be executed in a ruthless and bloody manner

49 – The final word is given by Jacob/Israel to the 12 sons. The word to Reuben is again asserted in Chronicles 5:1-2 if you want to better understand it. Jacob is referring to Reuben’s deeds from Genesis 35:22. Simeon and Levi are receiving the scolding, as it were, for their reactions described in Genesis 34:25 when they killed hundreds of men in Shechem. The word to Judah favors most prominently. Shiloh is mentioned in v. 10 and Shiloh is referring to a Savior that is coming. It was the tribe of Judah that in time, gave us David. And it was David’s line that brought the Savior. Who is “The Lion of The Tribe of Judah”? This is Jacob talking nearly 18 centuries before John writes that down in Revelation 5:5. Amazing concepts being seeded in our minds and hearts and into history here! Jacob’s words play out in a remarkable parallel to where and what each of the tribes end up becoming as the centuries pass by. Their history is being foretold and Israel is right about it.

“Lord God, give us ears to listen and heed what you are telling us. You only wish to establish us and see us well as we serve you. May we heed your instruction and understand your prophecies as you grant us wisdom. Amen.”