Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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March 22 - Evening

"In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there."

- Ruth 1:1-6

Naomi's Disasters

During the days of the book of Judges in the years 1200-1150 BC, the land of Israel suffered a famine. A man from the tribe of Judah living in Bethlehem took his wife and two sons out of the famine by abandoning the Promised Land and crossing the Dead Sea to live in the land of Moab. In Moab, the man, named Elimelek died and is removed from the story. The book of Ruth begins with a foreboding sense of judgment from YHWH – famine, leaving the Promised Land, living in Moab the land of Chemosh, and a death leaving a widow with two unmarried sons. This is not good and there is a sense of the displeasure of the Lord, especially when we recognize the poor spiritual condition of the Israelite culture at this time that correlates with the time of Gideon’s son Abimelech, etc.

The widow, Naomi, allowed her two sons to marry Moabite women. The word “married” is the Hebrew word masa ‘issa, which means “to lift or carry a woman,” instead of the more favorable lqah ‘issa, which means “to take a woman.” The phrase translated correctly “marry” is used nine times in the Old Testament including Judges 21:23 when the 200 men of Benjamin abducted woman from the dance at Shiloh. Masa ‘issa is also used in 2 Chronicles 11:21; 13:21; 24:3; Ezra 9:2; 9:12; 10:44 and Nehemiah 13:25. The consistent factor in these marriages is that they are illegitimate or involve foreign woman.

The distress builds with the death of Naomi’s two sons who had “married” these Moabite women. The account of disaster is interrupted when Naomi hears that the Lord is moving again in the Promised Land by coming to the aid of his people by breaking the famine and, possibly, by rising up a good judge that delivered the land from foreign invasion and raiding parties.

Naomi, with her Moabite daughter-in-law Ruth, returns to the Promised Land after ten years of sojourning in Moab.
Apokalupsis (Gr) – Revelation (Eng) – apolalupsis is a Greek word that means “an uncovering.” In Luke 2:32 apokalupsis refers to the removal of the veil over the Gentiles. Ephesians 3:3 speaks of the showing the mystery of this age. Ephesians 1:17 uses apokalupsis to speak of receiving the knowledge of God. Revelation 1:1 says the title of John’s book is Apokalupsis. We translate this word that means the “uncovering” as Revelation or the uncovering and the revealing of Jesus Christ.
I will continue to trust God and faithfully live righteously while I wait for his help when I face hardships and difficulties.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

General Text


To be a good friend


Manifestation of Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Local economy
Burkina Faso

Toni walking in a wadi in the Negev of Judah.
Details labeled on a model of the ancient city of Salem (Jerusalem) or the city David took from the Jebusites to establish as the center of his kingdom.

Someone to Quote

"Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of peace."
- J. C. Ryle

Something to Ponder

Soteriology is the study of the doctrine of salvation (Greek word sozo means save, rescue, deliver, cure; Greek word soter means savior, preserver). God’s salvation covers:
• Eternity past
• Eternity future
• Every person without exception, either positively or negatively
• Effects angelic realm in the heavenlies and underworld
• Includes personal salvation
• Includes national salvation
• Includes cosmic salvation
• Centers on Jesus Christ

Here’s a Fact

The Psalms of Solomon, a pseudepigraph (“false title” or a document claiming to have been written by a false author at a false time), was actually written between 63-5 BC, and not by Solomon in 950 BC. These psalms encourage hope among the Jews whose land had been occupied by the Romans in 63 BC. The writing speaks of a militant “Lord and Messiah” (Hebrew) or “Lord and Christ” (Greek) who was going to arise among the people and lead the righteous Jews in an overthrow of the Roman Empire. It is interesting that Jewish groups were looking for a Christ when Jesus came, but they had already politically and militarily identified what they expected Jesus to do. Mary was told by the angel that the son she would bear would be called Jesus and, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:32-33)
(Details here and here. Psalms of Solomon here)


"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
- Proverbs 22:6

Coach’s Corner

The talent that is easy to see in people has most likely already been identified and exploited. Our job is to find the unidentified resources in people and help them believe, develop and use these gifts.

Luke 1:30-35
New International Version (NIV)
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
Judges 21:23
New International Version (NIV)
23 So that is what the Benjamites did. While the young women were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.
2 Chronicles 11:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 Rehoboam loved Maakah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
2 Chronicles 13:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 But Abijah grew in strength. He married fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
2 Chronicles 24:3
New International Version (NIV)
Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.
Ezra 9:2
New International Version (NIV)
They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”
Ezra 9:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’
Ezra 10:44
New International Version (NIV)
44 All these had married foreign women, and some of them had children by these wives.
Nehemiah 13:25
New International Version (NIV)
25 I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.
Luke 2:32
New International Version (NIV)
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,     and the glory of your people Israel.”
Ephesians 3:3
New International Version (NIV)
that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
Ephesians 1:17
New International Version (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Revelation 1:1
New International Version (NIV)
The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
Judges 20
New International Version (NIV)
The Israelites Punish the Benjamites
20 Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba and from the land of Gilead came together as one and assembled before the Lord in Mizpah. The leaders of all the people of the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of God’s people, four hundred thousand men armed with swords. (The Benjamites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the Israelites said, “Tell us how this awful thing happened.”
So the Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, said, “I and my concubine came to Gibeah in Benjamin to spend the night. During the night the men of Gibeah came after me and surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They raped my concubine, and she died. I took my concubine, cut her into pieces and sent one piece to each region of Israel’s inheritance, because they committed this lewd and outrageous act in Israel. Now, all you Israelites, speak up and tell me what you have decided to do.”
All the men rose up together as one, saying, “None of us will go home. No, not one of us will return to his house. But now this is what we’ll do to Gibeah: We’ll go up against it in the order decided by casting lots. 10 We’ll take ten men out of every hundred from all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred from a thousand, and a thousand from ten thousand, to get provisions for the army. Then, when the army arrives at Gibeah in Benjamin, it can give them what they deserve for this outrageous act done in Israel.” 11 So all the Israelites got together and united as one against the city.
12 The tribes of Israel sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What about this awful crime that was committed among you? 13 Now turn those wicked men of Gibeah over to us so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.”
But the Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites.
14 From their towns they came together at Gibeah to fight against the Israelites. 15 At once the Benjamites mobilized twenty-six thousand swordsmen from their towns, in addition to seven hundred able young men from those living in Gibeah. 16 Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred select troops who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
17 Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered four hundred thousand swordsmen, all of them fit for battle.
18 The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?”
The Lord replied, “Judah shall go first.”
19 The next morning the Israelites got up and pitched camp near Gibeah. 20 The Israelites went out to fight the Benjamites and took up battle positions against them at Gibeah. 21 The Benjamites came out of Gibeah and cut down twenty-two thousand Israelites on the battlefield that day. 22 But the Israelites encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day. 23 The Israelites went up and wept before the Lord until evening, and they inquired of the Lord. They said, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites?”
The Lord answered, “Go up against them.”
24 Then the Israelites drew near to Benjamin the second day. 25 This time, when the Benjamites came out from Gibeah to oppose them, they cut down another eighteen thousand Israelites, all of them armed with swords.
26 Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. 27 And the Israelites inquired of the Lord. (In those days the ark of the covenant of God was there, 28 with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministering before it.) They asked, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites, or not?”
The Lord responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.”
29 Then Israel set an ambush around Gibeah. 30 They went up against the Benjamites on the third day and took up positions against Gibeah as they had done before. 31 The Benjamites came out to meet them and were drawn away from the city. They began to inflict casualties on the Israelites as before, so that about thirty men fell in the open field and on the roads—the one leading to Bethel and the other to Gibeah. 32 While the Benjamites were saying, “We are defeating them as before,” the Israelites were saying, “Let’s retreat and draw them away from the city to the roads.”
33 All the men of Israel moved from their places and took up positions at Baal Tamar, and the Israelite ambush charged out of its place on the west of Gibeah. 34 Then ten thousand of Israel’s able young men made a frontal attack on Gibeah. The fighting was so heavy that the Benjamites did not realize how near disaster was. 35 The Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel, and on that day the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjamites, all armed with swords. 36 Then the Benjamites saw that they were beaten.
Now the men of Israel had given way before Benjamin, because they relied on the ambush they had set near Gibeah.
37 Those who had been in ambush made a sudden dash into Gibeah, spread out and put the whole city to the sword. 38 The Israelites had arranged with the ambush that they should send up a great cloud of smoke from the city, 39 and then the Israelites would counterattack.
The Benjamites had begun to inflict casualties on the Israelites (about thirty), and they said, “We are defeating them as in the first battle.”
40 But when the column of smoke began to rise from the city, the Benjamites turned and saw the whole city going up in smoke. 41 Then the Israelites counterattacked, and the Benjamites were terrified, because they realized that disaster had come on them. 42 So they fled before the Israelites in the direction of the wilderness, but they could not escape the battle. And the Israelites who came out of the towns cut them down there. 43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them and easily overran them in the vicinity of Gibeah on the east. 44 Eighteen thousand Benjamites fell, all of them valiant fighters. 45 As they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, the Israelites cut down five thousand men along the roads. They kept pressing after the Benjamites as far as Gidom and struck down two thousand more.
46 On that day twenty-five thousand Benjamite swordsmen fell, all of them valiant fighters. 47 But six hundred of them turned and fled into the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, where they stayed four months. 48 The men of Israel went back to Benjamin and put all the towns to the sword, including the animals and everything else they found. All the towns they came across they set on fire.
Deuteronomy 34
New International Version (NIV)
The Death of Moses
34 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land—from Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”
And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over.
Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.
10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
Psalm 91
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High     will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,     my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you     from the fowler’s snare     and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,     and under his wings you will find refuge;     his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,     nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,     nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side,     ten thousand at your right hand,     but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes     and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”     and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,     no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you     to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,     so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;     you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;     I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;     I will be with him in trouble,     I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him     and show him my salvation.”

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