Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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March 22 - Morning

"The people grieved for Benjamin, because the Lord had made a gap in the tribes of Israel.  And the elders of the assembly said, ‘With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left? The Benjamite survivors must have heirs,’ they said, ‘so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out. We can’t give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: “Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.” But look, there is the annual festival of the Lord in Shiloh, which lies north of Bethel, east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.’
So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, ‘Go and hide in the vineyards and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife. Then return to the land of Benjamin.  When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, “Do us the favor of helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war. You will not be guilty of breaking your oath because you did not give your daughters to them.”
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.”

- Judges 21:15-23

Literally, Picking a Girl Up at the Dance

In Israel’s desperate attempt to seek vengeance on evil they did not fight the Canaanites, but instead untied to fight against one of their own tribes. The tribe of Benjamin was determined to stand alone and defend their right to be immoral and to protect the actions of their perverted men. In the process Israel killed everyone but the last 600 men in the tribe of Benjamin. This “holy war” almost destroyed one of the tribes the Lord had given to Israel and which was included in the promises and the future of Israel. The problem was complicated when the men of Israel took a rash vow before the Lord (typical ridiculous behavior by Israelite men in the book of Judges). They vowed never to let any of their woman marry a man from the tribe of Benjamin. So, now with only 600 men left from the tribe of Benjamin and all the woman and children of Benjamin dead, Benjamin’s elimination from the plans and future of God is sealed. Four hundred virgins where spared when Israel went up to Jabesh Gilead to kill the men who did not show up to fight Benjamin. These 400 virgins were brought back and given to 400 of the 600 surviving men of Benjamin. But, Israel was still short 200 woman for the other 200 men.

This problem was resolved when it was decided that the last 200 men of Benjamin will “seize” one of the girls of Shiloh when the girls come out to dance during an annual festival. Since this festival is not one of the Mosaic festivals that Israel was to celebrate each year, it appears it is part of the Canaanite cultural influence in Israel. If this is a celebration of one of the three annual feasts (Passover/Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks and Firstfruits) defined in Exodus 23 and Deuteronomy 16, the ignorance of the people and the neglect of the Levites and priests has allowed it to deteriorate into something that neither we nor the author could recognize.

As planned, the 600 men left from the tribe of Benjamin hide in the vineyards and when the girls come out to dance they leaped out, chased one of the girls down and caught her. Each man then “carried her off” in this government approved kidnapping to treat the captured girl from Israel as his wife.
Problem solved!

The book of Judges ends with the last 600 men from a tribe decimated in a war fought to defend perverted sexual deviance being given state approval to kidnap young woman who are then forced to repopulate the tribe trying to avoid extinction!  
Tamim (Gr) – Perfect (Eng) – tamim is a Hebrew word that means “perfect,” “blameless,” “sincere,” “whole,” “complete” and “full.” Tamim is used in Leviticus 3:9, Joshua 10:13 to refer to time that is “complete” or “full. Deuteronomy 18:13, 32:4 use tamim to identify something free from flaw and meeting God’s requirement to be perfect.
Do I walk in the ways of God? Do I seek to apply the wisdom of God?
I will make my life easier by living righteously and demonstrating godly character.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Improved understanding of love


Local mayors and city officials
Burkina Faso

A view of the north shore of the Sea of Galilee in June.
Details labeled on the western wall of the Temple Mount identifying an ancient lintel over what is known as Barclay's Gate used to access the Temple Mount in New Testament times. (Details of Barclay's gate here and here. Diagram locating Barclay's gate.)

Someone to Quote

"If you want to follow Jesus because He'll fix your marriage, if you want to follow Jesus because He'll give you a better life, that's idolatry. Follow Christ for the sake of Christ; He is worthy!"
- Paul Washer

Something to Ponder

The Ministries of Christ After His Ascension 1. Head of his Body, the church - Eph. 1:20-24 (Christ formed the church -1 Cor.12:13; Rm. 6:4-5… Cares for Church - Ep.5:26; Ep.5:29; Ep. 6:4… Equips and Gifts Church -Ep.4:7-8… Empowers Church - John 15:1-10; John 14:17) 2. Priest for Believers before God – Heb.2:18; Heb.4:14-16; Heb.7:25 3. Prepares a Place for Believers – John 14:1-3

Here’s a Fact

Joseph was sold to the Midianite caravan for 20 shekels of silver (8 ounces or valued today at $216.25 at $26.83 per ounce). This was the common price of a slave from the time period 1800-1400 BC according to documents from this time period and Leviticus 27:5. By the 700’s BC the price of a slave had risen to 50-60 shekels and 90-120 by the 400’s BC. (Details here, here, and here.)


"In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them."
- Provebs 22:5

Coach’s Corner

Victory can only go to a player who is in the game, and most often it will go to the player who is playing aggressively.

Leviticus 3:9
New International Version (NIV)
From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them,
Joshua 10:13
New International Version (NIV)
So the sun stood still,     and the moon stopped,     till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
Deuteronomy 18:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 32:4
New International Version (NIV)

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,     and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong,     upright and just is he.
Numbers 14
New International Version (NIV)
The People Rebel
14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”
13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16 ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’
17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ 19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25 Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.”
26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. 34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35 I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”
36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. 38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.
39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!”
41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! 42 Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43 for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.”
44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
Judges 19
New International Version (NIV)
A Levite and His Concubine
19 In those days Israel had no king.
Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.
But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.
On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.” So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.” And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.
Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.” 10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.
11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”
12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.” 13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.” 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.
16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”
18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord. No one has taken me in for the night. 19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”
20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.
22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”
23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”
25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.
27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”
Deuteronomy 32-33
New International Version (NIV)
Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;     hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.

Let my teaching fall like rain     and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass,     like abundant rain on tender plants.

I will proclaim the name of the Lord.     Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,     and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong,     upright and just is he.

They are corrupt and not his children;     to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.

Is this the way you repay the Lord,     you foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator,     who made you and formed you?

Remember the days of old;     consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you,     your elders, and they will explain to you.

When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,     when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples     according to the number of the sons of Israel.

For the Lord’s portion is his people,     Jacob his allotted inheritance.
In a desert land he found him,     in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him;     he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
like an eagle that stirs up its nest     and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them     and carries them aloft.
The Lord alone led him;     no foreign god was with him.
He made him ride on the heights of the land     and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock,     and with oil from the flinty crag,
with curds and milk from herd and flock     and with fattened lambs and goats, with choice rams of Bashan     and the finest kernels of wheat. You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;     filled with food, they became heavy and sleek. They abandoned the God who made them     and rejected the Rock their Savior.
They made him jealous with their foreign gods     and angered him with their detestable idols.
They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God—     gods they had not known,     gods that recently appeared,     gods your ancestors did not fear.
You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;     you forgot the God who gave you birth.
The Lord saw this and rejected them     because he was angered by his sons and daughters.
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,     “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation,     children who are unfaithful.
They made me jealous by what is no god     and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people;     I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.
For a fire will be kindled by my wrath,     one that burns down to the realm of the dead below. It will devour the earth and its harvests     and set afire the foundations of the mountains.
“I will heap calamities on them     and spend my arrows against them.
I will send wasting famine against them,     consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts,     the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.
In the street the sword will make them childless;     in their homes terror will reign. The young men and young women will perish,     the infants and those with gray hair.
I said I would scatter them     and erase their name from human memory,
but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy,     lest the adversary misunderstand and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed;     the Lord has not done all this.’”
They are a nation without sense,     there is no discernment in them.
If only they were wise and would understand this     and discern what their end will be!
How could one man chase a thousand,     or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them,     unless the Lord had given them up?
For their rock is not like our Rock,     as even our enemies concede.
Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom     and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are filled with poison,     and their clusters with bitterness.
Their wine is the venom of serpents,     the deadly poison of cobras.
“Have I not kept this in reserve     and sealed it in my vaults?
It is mine to avenge; I will repay.     In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near     and their doom rushes upon them.”
The Lord will vindicate his people     and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone     and no one is left, slave or free.
He will say: “Now where are their gods,     the rock they took refuge in,
the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices     and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you!     Let them give you shelter!
“See now that I myself am he!     There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life,     I have wounded and I will heal,     and no one can deliver out of my hand.
I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear:     As surely as I live forever,
when I sharpen my flashing sword     and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries     and repay those who hate me.
I will make my arrows drunk with blood,     while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives,     the heads of the enemy leaders.”
Rejoice, you nations, with his people,     for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies     and make atonement for his land and people.
44 Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Moses to Die on Mount Nebo
48 On that same day the Lord told Moses, 49 “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”
Moses Blesses the Tribes
33 This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death. He said:
“The Lord came from Sinai     and dawned over them from Seir;     he shone forth from Mount Paran. He came with myriads of holy ones     from the south, from his mountain slopes.

Surely it is you who love the people;     all the holy ones are in your hand. At your feet they all bow down,     and from you receive instruction,

the law that Moses gave us,     the possession of the assembly of Jacob.

He was king over Jeshurun     when the leaders of the people assembled,     along with the tribes of Israel.

“Let Reuben live and not die,     nor his people be few.”
And this he said about Judah:
“Hear, Lord, the cry of Judah;     bring him to his people. With his own hands he defends his cause.     Oh, be his help against his foes!”
About Levi he said:
“Your Thummim and Urim belong     to your faithful servant. You tested him at Massah;     you contended with him at the waters of Meribah.

He said of his father and mother,     ‘I have no regard for them.’ He did not recognize his brothers     or acknowledge his own children, but he watched over your word     and guarded your covenant.
He teaches your precepts to Jacob     and your law to Israel. He offers incense before you     and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
Bless all his skills, Lord,     and be pleased with the work of his hands. Strike down those who rise against him,     his foes till they rise no more.”
12 About Benjamin he said:
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,     for he shields him all day long,     and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”
13 About Joseph he said:
“May the Lord bless his land     with the precious dew from heaven above     and with the deep waters that lie below;
with the best the sun brings forth     and the finest the moon can yield;
with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains     and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;
with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness     and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,     on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
In majesty he is like a firstborn bull;     his horns are the horns of a wild ox. With them he will gore the nations,     even those at the ends of the earth. Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim;     such are the thousands of Manasseh.”
18 About Zebulun he said:
“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,     and you, Issachar, in your tents.
They will summon peoples to the mountain     and there offer the sacrifices of the righteous; they will feast on the abundance of the seas,     on the treasures hidden in the sand.”
20 About Gad he said:
“Blessed is he who enlarges Gad’s domain!     Gad lives there like a lion,     tearing at arm or head.
He chose the best land for himself;     the leader’s portion was kept for him. When the heads of the people assembled,     he carried out the Lord’s righteous will,     and his judgments concerning Israel.”
22 About Dan he said:
“Dan is a lion’s cub,     springing out of Bashan.”
23 About Naphtali he said:
“Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the Lord     and is full of his blessing;     he will inherit southward to the lake.”
24 About Asher he said:
“Most blessed of sons is Asher;     let him be favored by his brothers,     and let him bathe his feet in oil.
The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze,     and your strength will equal your days.
“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,     who rides across the heavens to help you     and on the clouds in his majesty.
The eternal God is your refuge,     and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you,     saying, ‘Destroy them!’
So Israel will live in safety;     Jacob will dwell secure in a land of grain and new wine,     where the heavens drop dew.
Blessed are you, Israel!     Who is like you,     a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper     and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you,     and you will tread on their heights.”

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