Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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March 18 - Evening

Then Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” 
And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman … And Manoah arose and went after his wife and came to the man and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to this woman?”
And he said, “I am.”  
And Manoah said, “Now when your words come true, what is to be the child's manner of life, and what is his mission?” 
And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, | “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. All that I commanded her let her observe.” 
Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you.” 
And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the Lord.” (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the Lord.) 
And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord,  “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?”
And the angel of the Lord said to him,  “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?”

- Judges 13:8-18

Manoah - Insight into Samson's Dad

Manoah is the name of Samson’s father. The Angel of the Lord has appeared to Manoah’s wife and told her she was going to have a son. Manoah’s wife was told specific instructions that included directions for her and for the child when he was born:
  • No wine or fermented drink for the mom
  • No unclean food according to the Levitical code for the mom
  • No razor used on the head of the boh
  • The boy will be a Nazirite all of his days (The law of Moses gave details concerning the stipulations and guidelines for a person taking a Nazirite vow in Numbers 6.)
Manoah’s wife told Manoah that, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome….” (Judges 13:6-7). She also told Manoah the specific instructions the angel had given her.
Manoah’s response to his wife’s news and Manoah’s dialogue with the Angel of the Lord when he returns is interesting and gives insight into the level of theology, or lack thereof, common in Israel at that time. We can learn a few things from this dialogue with the Angel of the Lord about the corrupt theology and the failure it produces in a man’s life and character.
  1. Manoah wants to see and speak with this Angel himself. Why? Is he a thrill seeker? Does he want the experience?  Does he doubt his wife? Or, does he really care and want more precise information. It appears Manoah is manipulating the situation and seeks to gain power by accessing this divine messenger.
  2. Manoah prayed to the Lord in 13:8, yet in 13:16 Manoah does not know he is talking to the Angel of the Lord. As would be expected a man in this generation does not have a clear line of demarcation between the Canaanite religion and YHWH worship or between the pagan gods and the Lord Almighty.
  3. Manoah wants more information in 13:8, but the Angel of the Lord responses to this by saying, “Your wife must do all that I have told her.” And, then merely repeats what he had already said. Important point here! The Lord does not add to or take away from his word. And, there is no further revelation. The Lord did not forget something. He said what he meant and he meant what he said.
  4. The Angel of the Lord appears again to Manoah’s wife who was in the field (13:9)
  5. Both times the Angel of the Lord appeared the man Manoah was not working in the field, but his wife was. In fact, when Manoah’s wife comes to get Manoah the second time the text says, “The woman hurried to tell her husband…Manoah got up and followed his wife.” (13:10-11) It appears that Manoah was lazy, slept in, and sent his wife to the fields instead of himself.
  6. When the angel replies to Manoah’s question, “Are you the one…,” the Angel of the Lord says, “I am.”
  7. When Manoah asks for more details, the Angel of the Lord does not provide any, but merely repeats the Word that had already been revealed. Literally Manoah asks, in the Hebrew, to know “the boys justice and his deeds.” The Angel of the Lord ignores this question and returns to the previous revelation given to the woman. Manoah will learn nothing new, other than confirmation that the Lord is dealing with his wife…not him.
  8. Manoah asks the Angel of the Lord to say for a meal. Manoah was either thinking he was a man of God from one of the tribes of Israel, or a prophet, since “Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the Lord,” in 13:16. Or, Manoah was following the custom and understanding of the times that believed that feeding a meal to a divine being would both detain the deity causing them to spend more time with their host and would obligate the deity to provide additional blessings to the host. The Angel of the Lord says very specifically, “I will not eat any of your food.” The Angel of the Lord ate with Abraham and Moses because they were friends and allies, but Manoah is not considered faithful, worthy or a friend of God.
  9. The Angel of the Lord does say, “But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord.”
  10. Manoah asked the name of the Angel of the Lord. Manoah still thinks it is a man or a prophet, and  Manoah says they want to honor the man (probably as a true prophet) when his words come true. Manoah may doubt the words of the Angel of the Lord, and seek to hold him accountable by asking his name. Or, by knowing the name of a deity a man had access to the deity and gave the man a form of power and privilege. Worst case scenario – Manoah wanted to honor the messenger instead of the Lord.
  11. The Angel of the Lord replies to the request to know his name by asking the question: “Why do you ask my name?” and then making a statement concerning his name: “It is beyond understanding.”  The Angel of the Lord’s answer indicates that he is no mere messenger, but contains the divine nature of God himself. This is the second member of the Trinity, the Son of God, speaking to Manoah and his wife.
Tapeinos (Gr) – Humble (Eng) – tapeinos is a Greek word that means “low lying,” and “humble.” Tapeinos means “humble in spirit” in Matthew 11:29 and 2 Corinthians 16:1; “of low degree” in Luke 1:52; “of low estate” in Romans 12:16; and in 2 Corinthians 7:6 Tapeinos refers to “cast down” of “lowly.”
Do I control the words of my mouth? Do I consider the consequences my words produce?
I will learn from my mistakes and correct my speaking habits.
I will speak words of wisdom in truth and love.
I will refrain from speaking rashly.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Recharged mind and soul to reengage life


Spirit of prayer and intercession
Foreign pollcy

This is a photo taken in the ancient city water system of Jerusalem below the southwest corner of the Temple Mount. A building stone that fell from the Temple Mount around 10 BC during the construction of Robinson's arch plummeted to the street, wedged into the gutter system and was never recovered. Charles Warren came across this stone in 1873 and captured it in one of his drawings.
(See Warren's drawing from 1873 of the same stone.)
Details of a Persian Silver drachm coin from before 333 BC showing a god seated on a winged wheel. This is very similar to Ezekiel's vision of YHWH in Ezekiel 1:15-28.

Someone to Quote

"A soul that is unoccupied with truth will fill itself with false realities to satisfy the void." - Galyn Wiemers

Something to Ponder

Mark Twain describes the appearance of Jerusalem in his book "The Innocents Abroad" when he visited the Holy Land in 1869:
"A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is. The appearance of the city is peculiar. It is as knobby with countless little domes as a prison door is with bolt-heads. Every house has from one to half a dozen of these white plastered domes of stone, broad and low, sitting in the center of, or in a cluster upon, the flat roof. Wherefore, when one looks down from an eminence, upon the compact mass of houses (so closely crowded together, in fact, that there is no appearance of streets at all, and so the city looks solid,) he sees the knobbiest town in the world, except Constantinople. It looks as if it might be roofed, from center to circumference, with inverted saucers. The monotony of the view is interrupted only by the great Mosque of Omar, the Tower of Hippicus, and one or two other buildings that rise into commanding prominence."
- Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad 1869

Here’s a Fact

Trees are used throughout scripture as a symbol of life, eternal life, immortality, physical health and spiritual healing. Jewish artwork, masonry work in stone and literary writings commonly depicts trees as symbols of life. In 1 Kings 6:31-35 images of trees were carved into the two olive wood doors leading into the Most Holy Place. Palm trees, cherubim and flowers were also carved into the two pine doors for the main entrance into the Temple. These doors were overlaid with gold. The Menorah itself may have been designed to represent a tree supporting light. There was one menorah, or lampstand in the Tabernacle, but there were ten in Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 7:49). Trees are seen in these important verses: Genesis 2:8-9,16-17; 3:1-7, 22-24; Ezekiel 47:7, 12; Psalm 1; Proverbs 3:18; Revelation 22:1-5. (An image of the Menorah from the Herodian Temple of the New Testament is seen on the Arch of Titus. A Menorah cut into stone from a synagogue in Eshtemoa, near Hebron, Israel. Other images of Menorahs.)


"The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating."
- Proverbs 18:6

Coach’s Corner

Do not confuse education and learning. You can get an education without actually getting learning.

1 Kings 6:31-35
New International Version (NIV)
31 For the entrance to the inner sanctuary he made doors out of olive wood that were one fifth of the width of the sanctuary. 32 And on the two olive-wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with hammered gold. 33 In the same way, for the entrance to the main hall he made doorframes out of olive wood that were one fourth of the width of the hall. 34 He also made two doors out of juniper wood, each having two leaves that turned in sockets. 35 He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.
1 Kings 7:49
New International Version (NIV)
49 the lampstands of pure gold (five on the right and five on the left, in front of the inner sanctuary);
the gold floral work and lamps and tongs;
Genesis 2:8-9
New International Version (NIV)
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 3:1-7
New International Version (NIV)
The Fall
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Genesis 3:22-24
New International Version (NIV)
22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Ezekiel 47:7
New International Version (NIV)
When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.
Ezekiel 47:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
Proverbs 3:13-18
New International Version (NIV)
Blessed are those who find wisdom,     those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver     and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;     nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;     in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,     and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;     those who hold her fast will be blessed.
Revelation 22:1-5
New International Version (NIV)
Eden Restored
22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Ezekiel 1:15-28
New International Version (NIV)
15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.
19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
22 Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. 23 Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.
25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
Judges 12
New International Version (NIV)
Jephthah and Ephraim
12 The Ephraimite forces were called out, and they crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We’re going to burn down your house over your head.”
Jephthah answered, “I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn’t save me out of their hands. When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I took my life in my hands and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victory over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?”
Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh.” The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,” they said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.
Jephthah led Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead.
Ibzan, Elon and Abdon
After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem led Israel. He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He gave his daughters away in marriage to those outside his clan, and for his sons he brought in thirty young women as wives from outside his clan. Ibzan led Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.
11 After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel ten years. 12 Then Elon died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
13 After him, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, led Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. He led Israel eight years. 15 Then Abdon son of Hillel died and was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.
Deuteronomy 23
New International Version (NIV)
Exclusion From the Assembly
23 No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord.
No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation.
No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim to pronounce a curse on you. However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them as long as you live.
Do not despise an Edomite, for the Edomites are related to you. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you resided as foreigners in their country. The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.
Uncleanness in the Camp
When you are encamped against your enemies, keep away from everything impure. 10 If one of your men is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp and stay there. 11 But as evening approaches he is to wash himself, and at sunset he may return to the camp.
12 Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. 13 As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. 14 For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.
Miscellaneous Laws
15 If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master. 16 Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them.
17 No Israelite man or woman is to become a shrine prostitute. 18 You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the Lord your God to pay any vow, because the Lord your God detests them both.
19 Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest. 20 You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a fellow Israelite, so that the Lord your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.
21 If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.
24 If you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat all the grapes you want, but do not put any in your basket. 25 If you enter your neighbor’s grainfield, you may pick kernels with your hands, but you must not put a sickle to their standing grain.

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