Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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April 11 - Evening

"Meanwhile, Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him. Then Hushai the Arkite, David’s confidant, went to Absalom and said to him, 'Long live the king! Long live the king!'

Absalom said to Hushai, 'So this is the love you show your friend? If he’s your friend, why didn’t you go with him?'

Hushai said to Absalom, 'No, the one chosen by the Lord, by these people, and by all the men of Israel—his I will be, and I will remain with him. Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve the son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you.'
Absalom said to Ahithophel, 'Give us your advice. What should we do?'"

- Second Samuel 16:15-20

Ahithophel's Advice vs. Hushai's Advice

After four years of self-promotion Absalom’s conspiracy had spread and broke out into a full force rebellion against David. Absalom went to Hebron where the trumpet call sounded across the land as people shouted in unison, “Absalom is king in Hebron!” (2 Samuel 15:10) A messenger was sent to inform David that, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” (2 Samuel 15:13)

David fled Jerusalem and headed east over the Mount of Olives into the Judean wilderness. But, not before he  set a few wheels into motion to confuse and confront Absalom. David sent Hushai the Arkite, one of his most trusted and wise advisors back to provide Absalom with bad advice. Absalom already had a group of advisors and wise counselors which included the leading advisor Ahithophel (Bathsheba’s grandfather).

When Absalom saw Hushai the Arkite enter his court after Absalom had arrived in Jerusalem, Absalom was at first suspicious of Hushai and questioned his loyalty to his friend David. Absalom asked Hushai, “Is this the love you show your friend?”

Hushai’s quick and logical response was enough to convince the arrogant and self-centered Absalom. Hushai told Absalom,
“No, the one chosen by the Lord, by these people, and by all the men of Israel – his I will be!” (2 Samuel 16:18-20)

Although it was a lie and other counselors could see right through the ploy, Absalom’s own arrogance prevented him from seeing the deception since he had convinced himself that he was chosen by God. Absalom had conspired for four years and portrayed himself as the one chosen by all the men in Israel! In fact, because Hushai simply told Absalom what Absalom wanted to be true, Absalom immediately dropped all suspicion, considered Hushai a truly wise counselor and welcomed him into his court.

When it came time to develop the battle plans Ahithophel (who despised David) actually gave solid advice that would have destroyed David and secured Absalom’s rebellion.  Hushai spoke second and smoothly, but he spoke deceitfully. Hushai’s advice used correct facts, but his application of these facts was very poor. Fortunately for David, Absalom rejected the good advice of Ahithophel and went with Hushai’s worthless advice. Because of this blunder by Absalom the rebellion was over almost as soon as it had started. And, Ahithophel knew it was over and that the traitors would not escape…see 2 Samuel 27:23.
Kenoo (Gr) – Empty (Eng) – kenoo is Greek word meaning “to empty.” This is a key word used to establish Christology from Philippians 2:7 where Christ kenoo himself of his rights and privileges (but, not his Godhood) to become a servant and a human. Kenoo is used in Romans 4:14; 1 Cor. 1:17; 9:15; 2 Cor. 9:3.
I will avoid being self-center and arrogant because these traits blind a man from perceiving truth and dull his ability to judge situations with wisdom.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Contacts with people and network building


Fruit and production

A pillar in the Church of the Nativity marking the cave where Jesus was born in Bethlehem in 4 BC. The pillar is covered with a fresco image painted by the Crusaders (1000 AD) on one of the pillars from this church built by Constantine in 326 AD and dedicated on May 31, 339. (Details)
Details of 2 Chronicles 26:6-8 account of the wars fought by Judah's King Uzziah located on a map.

Someone to Quote

"Scripture is above our natural reason, understanding, and comprehension."
- Justin Martyr

Something to Ponder

In an attempt to state the doctrine of the Trinity in words Charles Ryrie says:
“A definition of the Trinity is not easy to construct. Some are done by stating several propositions. Others err on the side either of oneness or threeness. One of the best is Warfield’s: ‘There is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence.’ The word “Persons” might be misleading as if there were three individuals in the Godhead, but what other word would suffice? The word “substance” might be too materialistic; some would prefer the use the word “essence.” Many will not know the meaning of subsistence, but a dictionary can remedy that (‘necessary existence’).”
- Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, 1999, p.61

Here’s a Fact

There are 70 cultures with ancient accounts of a worldwide flood. Accounts with varying degrees of similarities to the biblical account are found from Babylon to Israel across Africa to the American Indians; from the Middle East into Greece, Europe to the Artic; and, from those biblical lands east into India and China and down to the lands of Australia and New Zealand out to the Pacific Islands. (Details 1, 2. Chart 1, 2)


"The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead."
- Proverbs 11:8

Coach’s Corner

Sometimes the biggest change comes from the simple decisions and the smallest adjustments. Make the simple, necessary changes today and create a different tomorrow.

2 Samuel 15:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’”
2 Samuel 15:13
New International Version (NIV)
David Flees
13 A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.”
2 Samuel 16:18-20
New International Version (NIV)
18 Hushai said to Absalom, “No, the one chosen by the Lord, by these people, and by all the men of Israel—his I will be, and I will remain with him. 19 Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve the son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you.”
20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?”
2 Samuel 17:23
New International Version (NIV)
23 When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb.
2 Chronicles 26:6-8
New International Version (NIV)
He went to war against the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. He then rebuilt towns near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal and against the Meunites. The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful.
2 Samuel 1
New International Version (NIV)
David Hears of Saul’s Death
After the death of Saul, David returned from striking down the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days. On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.
“Where have you come from?” David asked him.
He answered, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.”
“What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.”
“The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”
Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”
“I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit. When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’
“He asked me, ‘Who are you?’
“‘An Amalekite,’ I answered.
“Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’
10 “So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.”
11 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
13 David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?”
“I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,” he answered.
14 David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”
15 Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’”
David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan
17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):
“A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.     How the mighty have fallen!
“Tell it not in Gath,     proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,     lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
“Mountains of Gilboa,     may you have neither dew nor rain,     may no showers fall on your terraced fields. For there the shield of the mighty was despised,     the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.
“From the blood of the slain,     from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,     the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
Saul and Jonathan—     in life they were loved and admired,     and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles,     they were stronger than lions.
“Daughters of Israel,     weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery,     who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
“How the mighty have fallen in battle!     Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;     you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful,     more wonderful than that of women.
“How the mighty have fallen!     The weapons of war have perished!”
1 Samuel 14
New International Version (NIV)
One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.
Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.
On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba.
Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”
“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.”
11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”
So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.”
13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.
Israel Routs the Philistines
15 Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.
16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions. 17 Then Saul said to the men who were with him, “Muster the forces and see who has left us.” When they did, it was Jonathan and his armor-bearer who were not there.
18 Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God.” (At that time it was with the Israelites.) 19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.”
20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords. 21 Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit. 23 So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.
Jonathan Eats Honey
24 Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food.
25 The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. 28 Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.”
29 Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”
31 That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Mikmash to Aijalon, they were exhausted. 32 They pounced on the plunder and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood. 33 Then someone said to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has blood in it.”
“You have broken faith,” he said. “Roll a large stone over here at once.”
34 Then he said, “Go out among the men and tell them, ‘Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep, and slaughter them here and eat them. Do not sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood still in it.’”
So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there.
35 Then Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first time he had done this.
36 Saul said, “Let us go down and pursue the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive.”
“Do whatever seems best to you,” they replied.
But the priest said, “Let us inquire of God here.”
37 So Saul asked God, “Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel’s hand?” But God did not answer him that day.
38 Saul therefore said, “Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed today. 39 As surely as the Lord who rescues Israel lives, even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan, he must die.” But not one of them said a word.
40 Saul then said to all the Israelites, “You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here.”
“Do what seems best to you,” they replied.
41 Then Saul prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Why have you not answered your servant today? If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault, respond with Thummim.” Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared. 42 Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.
43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.”
So Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the end of my staff. And now I must die!”
44 Saul said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan.”
45 But the men said to Saul, “Should Jonathan die—he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the Lord lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God’s help.” So the men rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death.
46 Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land.
47 After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them. 48 He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.
Saul’s Family
49 Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal. 50 His wife’s name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul’s army was Abner son of Ner, and Ner was Saul’s uncle. 51 Saul’s father Kish and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel.
52 All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service.

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