Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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March 16 - Evening

"The Lord said to Gideon, 'You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ "
-Judges 7:2

Getting Rid of the Fearful and Distracted Men

The nation of Israel was ready to act. They had been oppressed long enough, so they responded in large numbers to Gideon’s call (Judges 6:34). But, because there was so little knowledge of the Lord in the land and the people had such a corrupt understanding of the Covenant they had with YHWH, the Lord tells Gideon he has too many men. An army of 32,000 men had assembled when Gideon blew his trumpet to summon Israel to battle. Because of their ignorance of the Lord these men would credit themselves with the victory that the Lord wanted to give them.

In order to demonstrate to this new generation of ignorant Israelites the Lord reduces the number of fighting men in two phases from 32,000 to 10,000 to 300. The Lord first eliminates all the men who were fearful by inviting them to leave. And, 22,000 men left. Then the Lord eliminated the men who were not focused on the battle, but where more concerned about their own comfort and provision by telling 9,700 men who drank water like a dog to leave. Now, with 300 fearless, focused men the Lord would demonstrate his power and fulfill his covenant to Israel by acting in the positive sense of deliverance instead of discipline and punishment.
Euangelizo (Gr) – Proclaim Good News (Eng) – euangelizo is a Greek word that is translated “to preach good tidings” in Luke 4:18 as quoted from Isaiah. Euangelizo is also used in Acts 13:32, Romans 10:15 and Hebrews 4:2 to say “to brings good tidings” and “to declare glad tidings” referring to the presentation of the facts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 3:6 and Luke 1:19 it is referring to announcing good news that is something other than the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
I will not allow fear to prevent me from doing what I know is right and what I know is my responsibility.
I will replace fear with focus on the mission. I will focus and take action.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Fruitfulness in your personal ministry


Attitude of encouragement
Political parties

This is a view of the Wadi Besor located in the Western Negev Basin and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. David's men moved about in this area. Abraham and Isaac's city of Gerar of Genesis 20:1 and 26:1-7.
This is a labeled photo of a model of the southwest corner of the Temple Mount as it would have appeared in the days of the New Testament.

Someone to Quote

“The kingdom of God bursts history open, sets it in motion…toward the liberation of men in all the many stratifications in which they are endangered or enslaved.” – J. M. Lochman

Something to Ponder

1.  He had only one major publication.
2.  It was in Hebrew.
3.  It had no references.
4.  It wasn't published in a refereed journal.
5.  Some even doubt he wrote it himself.
6.  It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?
7.  His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
8.  The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.
9.  He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects.
10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects.
11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.
12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the Book.
13. Some say he had his son teach the class.
14. He expelled his first two students for learning.
15. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed his tests.
16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.

Here’s a Fact

A coin with the name Quirinius has been found which identifies him as the proconsul of Syria and Cilicia from 11 BC until sometime after 3 BC. This indicates that there was a Quirinius governing Syria at the time of Jesus’ birth just as Luke 2:2 says. Some confusion and skepticism has arisen in the past because Josephus refers to another Quirinius who governed Syria in 6 AD and was also part of a census. The 6 AD date, the second Quirinius and the second census do not fit the Gospel account concerning Jesus’ birth since Herod the Great died in 4 BC.  The early Quirinius and his governorship, confirmed by the coin, matches Luke’s record perfectly. (Images. Details - support and criticism.)


"Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided."
- Proverbs 16:6

Coach’s Corner

A moment of self-control may save you from days of disappointment.

Genesis 20:1
New International Version (NIV)
Abraham and Abimelek
20 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar,
Genesis 26:1-7
New International Version (NIV)
Isaac and Abimelek
26 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”
Judges 8
New International Version (NIV)
Zebah and Zalmunna
Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?” And they challenged him vigorously.
But he answered them, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?” At this, their resentment against him subsided.
Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it. He said to the men of Sukkoth, “Give my troops some bread; they are worn out, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”
But the officials of Sukkoth said, “Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your troops?”
Then Gideon replied, “Just for that, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will tear your flesh with desert thorns and briers.”
From there he went up to Peniel and made the same request of them, but they answered as the men of Sukkoth had. So he said to the men of Peniel, “When I return in triumph, I will tear down this tower.”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with a force of about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the armies of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen had fallen. 11 Gideon went up by the route of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the unsuspecting army. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna, the two kings of Midian, fled, but he pursued them and captured them, routing their entire army.
13 Gideon son of Joash then returned from the battle by the Pass of Heres. 14 He caught a young man of Sukkoth and questioned him, and the young man wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven officials of Sukkoth, the elders of the town. 15 Then Gideon came and said to the men of Sukkoth, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me by saying, ‘Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’” 16 He took the elders of the town and taught the men of Sukkoth a lesson by punishing them with desert thorns and briers. 17 He also pulled down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the town.
18 Then he asked Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men did you kill at Tabor?”
“Men like you,” they answered, “each one with the bearing of a prince.”
19 Gideon replied, “Those were my brothers, the sons of my own mother. As surely as the Lord lives, if you had spared their lives, I would not kill you.” 20 Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, “Kill them!” But Jether did not draw his sword, because he was only a boy and was afraid.
21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Come, do it yourself. ‘As is the man, so is his strength.’” So Gideon stepped forward and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels’ necks.
Gideon’s Ephod
22 The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”
23 But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” 24 And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)
25 They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. 26 The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.
Gideon’s Death
28 Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years.
29 Jerub-Baal son of Joash went back home to live. 30 He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. 31 His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelek. 32 Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
33 No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god 34 and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. 35 They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them.
Deuteronomy 16
New International Version (NIV)
The Passover
16 Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night. Sacrifice as the Passover to the Lord your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the Lord will choose as a dwelling for his Name. Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning.
You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the Lord your God gives you except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. Roast it and eat it at the place the Lord your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents. For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the Lord your God and do no work.
The Festival of Weeks
Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you. 11 And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you. 12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.
The Festival of Tabernacles
13 Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. 14 Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. 15 For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: 17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.
18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. 20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Worshiping Other Gods
21 Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the Lord your God, 22 and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the Lord your God hates.

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