Spiritual Training

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February 11 - Evening

"Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.'
So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."

- Numbers 6:23-27

The Priestly Blessing

This short prayer for blessing is known as the Aaronic Blessing. The pronoun “you” is singular in the Hebrew. It is not the community of Israel that is blessed first, but the individual is blessed which will make the whole community blessed. In the opening and closing the pronouns are plural: “This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them(plural)….So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them(plural).” But, all the blessings are pronounced to the singular or the individual Israelite:
  1. The Lord bless you – The Lord blessed people in the Old Testament by giving them children, property, land, crops, health and his presence.
  2. The Lord keep you – To be “kept” by God means to be guarded, guided and provided for as someone might “keep” fish in an aquarium or “keep” a pet in their home. The Lord will “keep” us and not abandon us to the hopelessness of an un-kept “aquarium” or suffer as a neglected pet. Peter tells us today that we are those “who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)
  3. The Lord make his face shine on you – The Lord is compared to a light that, like the sun or a lamp, shines around a person to help them see clearly which way to go and allows them to move about freely and work without hindrance. The Lord is that light around us.
  4. The Lord be gracious to you – Yahweh came to Israel to graciously give to them, not to demand from them.
  5. The Lord turn his face toward you – this illustrates the Lord paying attention to us. If we are in a crowd of people and someone asks us a question, out of respect and for good communication purposes, we naturally turn to face the person talking to us. To show your face to someone indicates you are giving them your attention and that your intention is to respond to what they say with word or deed. Thus, the Lord turns his face toward us.
  6. The Lord give you peace – “peace” is salom in Hebrew and means “well-being, health, prosperity, salvation.” It does not only mean absence of strife, conflict and war.
  7. My name on the Israelites – to place the name of a deity on a people or on a place meant that deity was present and that he claimed the people and the place as his own.

With this high priestly blessing God was putting his name and his presence on Israel to bless them, keep them, shine light on them, give to them, pay attention to them and give them well being. The Lord came to Israel to give and be gracious to them so that through them he might give and be gracious to the whole world.
(Archaeological note: the two small silver scrolls from the days of Jeremiah and Josiah around 650 BC found at Ketef Hinnom SW of Mount Zion with this Priestly Blessing written in Hebrew text…see details here and here. Photos.)
Akrogoniaios (Gr) – Cornerstone Eng) - akrogoniaios is compound Greek word that is made up of akron meaning "top" and "tip," and gonia meaning "an angle" and "a corner." Together akon-gonia, or akrogoniaios, refers to the stone set at the corner of a wall to set the beginning of the wall on a firm foundation and establish the wall as being plumb and square.
Do I trust that the Lord will bless me and keep me? Do I realize the Lord's presence is shining light and direction in my life and that the Lord has turned to pay attention to me when I speak?
I will look for God's goodness and trust his presence will shine a light in my life.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Guidance and direction in the roles you have in life


Foreign policy

A waterfall in En-Gedi near where David and his mighty men hid from Saul.
Joseph is taken to Egypt in Genesis 39.

Someone to Quote

" 'Aslan' said Lucy 'you're bigger.' 'That is because you are older, little one' answered he.
'Not because you are?'
'I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.' "

- C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia

Something to Ponder

What do church people want in a pastor?
The quick answer is:
"A sense of humor and an ability to laugh."
The denominational leaders want "sermons that display solid scholarship and organization," while church members "want to be personally moved and engaged" by a sermon.

Here’s a Fact

The biblical sites of Gibeon and the Pool of Gibeon have been identified six miles north of Jerusalem. Thirty-one jar handles inscribed with the Hebrew name gb’n, or Gibeon, where found here along with an 82 foot deep pool, or water shaft, that was 37 feet in diameter. This is the location mentioned in 2 Samuel 2:13 and Jeremiah 41:12. (Details here, here and here. Photos.


"Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” – Proverbs 11:4

Coach’s Corner

Prepare and practice before every performance.

Exodus 16
New International Version (NIV)
Manna and Quail
16 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’”
10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.
11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.
16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”
24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”
27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”
33 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.”
34 As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved. 35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.
36 (An omer is one-tenth of an ephah.)
Exodus 38
New International Version (NIV)
The Altar of Burnt Offering
38 They built the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood, three cubits high; it was square, five cubits long and five cubits wide. They made a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar were of one piece, and they overlaid the altar with bronze. They made all its utensils of bronze—its pots, shovels, sprinkling bowls, meat forks and firepans. They made a grating for the altar, a bronze network, to be under its ledge, halfway up the altar. They cast bronze rings to hold the poles for the four corners of the bronze grating. They made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with bronze. They inserted the poles into the rings so they would be on the sides of the altar for carrying it. They made it hollow, out of boards.
The Basin for Washing
They made the bronze basin and its bronze stand from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
The Courtyard
Next they made the courtyard. The south side was a hundred cubits long and had curtains of finely twisted linen, 10 with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 11 The north side was also a hundred cubits long and had twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and bands on the posts.
12 The west end was fifty cubits wide and had curtains, with ten posts and ten bases, with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 13 The east end, toward the sunrise, was also fifty cubits wide. 14 Curtains fifteen cubits long were on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases, 15 and curtains fifteen cubits long were on the other side of the entrance to the courtyard, with three posts and three bases. 16 All the curtains around the courtyard were of finely twisted linen. 17 The bases for the posts were bronze. The hooks and bands on the posts were silver, and their tops were overlaid with silver; so all the posts of the courtyard had silver bands.
18 The curtain for the entrance to the courtyard was made of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer. It was twenty cubits long and, like the curtains of the courtyard, five cubits high, 19 with four posts and four bronze bases. Their hooks and bands were silver, and their tops were overlaid with silver. 20 All the tent pegs of the tabernacle and of the surrounding courtyard were bronze.
The Materials Used
21 These are the amounts of the materials used for the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the covenant law, which were recorded at Moses’ command by the Levites under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest. 22 (Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything the Lord commanded Moses; 23 with him was Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan—an engraver and designer, and an embroiderer in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen.) 24 The total amount of the gold from the wave offering used for all the work on the sanctuary was 29 talents and 730 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel.
25 The silver obtained from those of the community who were counted in the census was 100 talents and 1,775 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel— 26 one beka per person, that is, half a shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, from everyone who had crossed over to those counted, twenty years old or more, a total of 603,550 men. 27 The 100 talents of silver were used to cast the bases for the sanctuary and for the curtain—100 bases from the 100 talents, one talent for each base. 28 They used the 1,775 shekels to make the hooks for the posts, to overlay the tops of the posts, and to make their bands.
29 The bronze from the wave offering was 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. 30 They used it to make the bases for the entrance to the tent of meeting, the bronze altar with its bronze grating and all its utensils, 31 the bases for the surrounding courtyard and those for its entrance and all the tent pegs for the tabernacle and those for the surrounding courtyard.

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