June 6


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Psalm 69-72

We are in the Wisdom Stream reading some of King David’s psalms. We are using the New Living Translation this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

69 – This is a cry for relief from suffering that is slamming David at so many levels; spiritually, physically, socially.  It is akin to Psalm 22 in its desperation tone.  Ps. 69 is quoted 8 times in the N.T.  David feels he is going down in so many ways.   And amid this pain he remains confessional and deeply committed to God’s house.  He is wading through a slough of ridicule, rejection, derision – so much so that he feels that the insults are going to kill him.  He’s really going under … so it seems.  He wants all his punishers to be punished, and those who are punishing him are just about everybody.  David wants people to just let him be and let him be with his God again, undisturbed.  David wants to praise God in jubilation [a little more joy and a little less anguish in his worship it that’s not too much to ask!!]  David also wants lovers of God to be well.  It’s a landmark prayer coming from a good heart bent on walking with God.

70 – This Psalm is reminiscent to what we heard in the latter part of Ps. 40.  David is demonstrating in his words here that there is joy that can be clung to; joy in the Lord even thought there is persecution going on.  It reminds us that in all circumstances we are to search for God even when things are difficult.
71 – In a world where most of the people the world over were chanting things like, “this rock is my god,”  David gave a clarion call to look up for answers – not out and around.  He declared, “God is my rock.”  He is looking back on a life filled with God’s faithfulness and his assurance and security are the stuff of devotional material that is shared wherever there is judeoChristian theology and a proper perspective of God in Heaven who reigns on earth.
72 – Solomon is speaking in a wondrous tone here.   Certainly carried throughout this Psalm is the imagery of Christ reigning on the earth when He returns.  The things that all those who have a heart for God sense ought to be on earth truly are.  There is prosperity, the rescue that is needed is readily provided, the godly flourish, all worship the one true God, .

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!