Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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April 16 - Evening

"Solomon had twelve district governors over all Israel, who supplied provisions for the king and the royal household. Each one had to provide supplies for one month in the year... The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy...
God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol.
And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom."

- First Kings 4:7, 20, 29-34

Politician, King, Author, Wiseman, Song Writer, Scientist, Scholar, International Advisor

Solomon did what Samuel had warned Israel about if they received the king they had asked for. (1 Samuel 8:10-22). King Solomon made a large central government in Jerusalem, staffed it and then increased the taxes on the rest of the nation. The nation was divided into twelve districts (map of districts) which were roughly divided according to their tribal territory assigned by Joshua. Each district would provide the financing of the kingdom for a month each year. These taxes and provisions would be collected by the district’s chief officer. The tribe of Judah was exempt from taking their turn which, obviously, was not going to be accepted easily by the northern tribes.

Solomon’s quest for wisdom was a traditional value in the ancient Near East. Egyptian writings and sayings of wisdom from Amenemope a hundred years before Solomon are still available. Even in the Akkadian Empire (Mesopotamia) of 2300 BC wisdom was sought and recorded. Some of the wisdom from the Akkadian Empire comes to us in the recordings of the Wisdom of Ahiqar. Details 1, 2

The Bible in 1 Kings 4:30-31 mentions the wisdom of the East and the wisdom of Egypt and even mentions some of the individual wisemen – Ethan, Heman, Kalkol and Darda. These are men whose sayings and thoughts have probably come down to us in some form or revision through other writers from the ancient world. 1 Chronicles 2:6 lists these same men as being descendants of Tamar and Judah. They were skilled not only in wisdom, but also in music (see Heman’s song in Psalm 88 and Ethan’s song in Psalm 89) and in dance since the word mahol in 1 Kings 4:31 means “dancer.”

Solomon was greater and more famous than all of these men in Egypt, in the East and in all the recorded history. Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. In the modern Western world this would mean Solomon was being quoted in self-help books and at business seminars, he would be listened to on i-tunes with a continual musical presence in the nation’s top forty pop songs. But, more Solomon was also a scientist speaking about the smallest plants to the largest trees with insight into zoology, also. Solomon’s talents made him more than a mere national celebrity. Solomon’s fame spread into other countries so that even kings sent their diplomats and representatives to Solomon to seek his advice concerning political and international situations.  

Solomon was “the Man!”
Hyperballon (Gr) – Exceeding (Eng) – hyperballon is Greek word that literally means “throw beyond.” Hyperballon comes from two Greek words. The first is hyper, which is equivalent to “super” in Latin and means “above and beyond.” The second is ballo, meaning “throw” and “cast.” Together hyper and ballo mean “super-throw” and is translated as “exceeding” or “surpassing” in places such as Ephesians 2:7.
Do I love wisdom? Do I treasure the basic principles of truth and reality that make life, society, economics and science work?
I will pursue knowledge and wisdom in order to live more productively and to make decisions with understanding and insight.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

General Text


Enough income to meet your needs


Hearts of servants
Gun control issues
China, PRC

The original steps from the days of the New Testament used to access the Temple Mount from the south. These steps were designed to create a slow procession up the to the Temple Mount by alternating a wide step (long run, 35 inches) with narrow step (short run, 12 inches) as seen in this photo.

This flight of stairs is 210 feet wide. The stairs are a combination of smooth stone slabs and carved bedrock. The stairs alternate between a 35 inch run(the length of the step) and a 12 inch run, except for the first and last three steps, which are all 12 inches. The alternating step width caused the Jewish worshippers to proceed toward the Temple Mount with a steady, unrushed pace.

Jewish writings record Gamaliel (the Apostle Paul’s Jewish instructor and the man who suggested the release of the Apostles in Acts 5:34) sitting on these steps with the elders:
It happened once with Rabban Gamaliel and the elders, that they were sitting on the stairs in the Temple Mount.  -Tosefta Sanhedrin 2:6

(Image, Details)
Details from 2 Kings 3 when Judah and Israel went to war agains Moab and Elisha had the troops dig trenches to supply the troops with water and deceive the enemy.

Someone to Quote

“The coming decade of decision will be marked either by evangelical penetration of the world, or by the world’s penetration of the evangelical movement and an inner circle’s reactionary withdrawal into some modern Dead Sea Caves.” – Carl F. H. Henry

Something to Ponder

Regeneration – “re-” and “generate” are of Latin origin and mean “generated over again”, “born again”, or “born a second time” (John 3:7; Titus 3:5; 1 John 3:2; 1 John 3:1; 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17). God is the father of the new birth (John 1:12, 13).

The Holy Spirit is the active agent that causes the new birth (John 3:5-6). The Word of God is the means by which the Holy Spirit produces the new birth because a man cannot believe in something of which he is ignorant (1 Peter 1:23; Romans 10:17). Faith is the mechanism that accomplishes the new birth (Galatians 3:26; John 1:12). The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the power of the new birth (1 Peter 1:3). The blood of the new covenant is the starting point of the new birth (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Here’s a Fact

Hebrews 11:37 refers to an account recorded in the ancient Hebrew book “Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah” that records King Manasseh of Judah sending orders to have Isaiah captured and sawn in half.


"Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice."
- Proverbs 16:8

Coach’s Corner

People often use flattery and pleasant compliments as keys to unlock the treasures of your soul.

1 Kings 4:30-31
New International Version (NIV)
30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.
1 Chronicles 2:1-8
New International Version (NIV)
Israel’s Sons
These were the sons of Israel:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
To Hezron’s Sons
The sons of Judah:
Er, Onan and Shelah. These three were born to him by a Canaanite woman, the daughter of Shua. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death. Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar bore Perez and Zerah to Judah. He had five sons in all.
The sons of Perez:
Hezron and Hamul.
The sons of Zerah:
Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Kalkol and Darda—five in all.
The son of Karmi:
Achar, who brought trouble on Israel by violating the ban on taking devoted things.
The son of Ethan:
Psalm 88
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 88
A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth. A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

Lord, you are the God who saves me;     day and night I cry out to you.

May my prayer come before you;     turn your ear to my cry.

I am overwhelmed with troubles     and my life draws near to death.

I am counted among those who go down to the pit;     I am like one without strength.

I am set apart with the dead,     like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more,     who are cut off from your care.

You have put me in the lowest pit,     in the darkest depths.

Your wrath lies heavily on me;     you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.

You have taken from me my closest friends     and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape;

    my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, Lord, every day;
    I spread out my hands to you.
Do you show your wonders to the dead?     Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
Is your love declared in the grave,     your faithfulness in Destruction?
Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,     or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
But I cry to you for help, Lord;     in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why, Lord, do you reject me     and hide your face from me?
From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;     I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
Your wrath has swept over me;     your terrors have destroyed me.
All day long they surround me like a flood;     they have completely engulfed me.
You have taken from me friend and neighbor—     darkness is my closest friend.
Psalm 89
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 89
A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;     with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known     through all generations.

I will declare that your love stands firm forever,     that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,     I have sworn to David my servant,

‘I will establish your line forever     and make your throne firm through all generations.’”

The heavens praise your wonders, Lord,     your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.

For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?     Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?

In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;     he is more awesome than all who surround him.

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?     You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;     when its waves mount up, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;     with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;     you founded the world and all that is in it.
You created the north and the south;     Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
Your arm is endowed with power;     your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;     love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,     who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long;     they celebrate your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength,     and by your favor you exalt our horn.
Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,     our king to the Holy One of Israel.
Once you spoke in a vision,     to your faithful people you said: “I have bestowed strength on a warrior;     I have raised up a young man from among the people.
I have found David my servant;     with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
My hand will sustain him;     surely my arm will strengthen him.
The enemy will not get the better of him;     the wicked will not oppress him.
I will crush his foes before him     and strike down his adversaries.
My faithful love will be with him,     and through my name his horn will be exalted.
I will set his hand over the sea,     his right hand over the rivers.
He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,     my God, the Rock my Savior.’
And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,     the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
I will maintain my love to him forever,     and my covenant with him will never fail.
I will establish his line forever,     his throne as long as the heavens endure.
“If his sons forsake my law     and do not follow my statutes,
if they violate my decrees     and fail to keep my commands,
I will punish their sin with the rod,     their iniquity with flogging;
but I will not take my love from him,     nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant     or alter what my lips have uttered.
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—     and I will not lie to David—
that his line will continue forever     and his throne endure before me like the sun;
it will be established forever like the moon,     the faithful witness in the sky.”
But you have rejected, you have spurned,     you have been very angry with your anointed one.
You have renounced the covenant with your servant     and have defiled his crown in the dust.
You have broken through all his walls     and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
All who pass by have plundered him;     he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes;     you have made all his enemies rejoice.
Indeed, you have turned back the edge of his sword     and have not supported him in battle.
You have put an end to his splendor     and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth;     you have covered him with a mantle of shame.
How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?     How long will your wrath burn like fire?
Remember how fleeting is my life.     For what futility you have created all humanity!
Who can live and not see death,     or who can escape the power of the grave?
Lord, where is your former great love,     which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked,     how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked,     with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
Praise be to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.
1 Kings 4:31
New International Version (NIV)
31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.
2 Kings 3
New International Version (NIV)
Moab Revolts
Joram son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father and mother had done. He got rid of the sacred stone of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless he clung to the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he did not turn away from them.
Now Mesha king of Moab raised sheep, and he had to pay the king of Israel a tribute of a hundred thousand lambs and the wool of a hundred thousand rams. But after Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So at that time King Joram set out from Samaria and mobilized all Israel. He also sent this message to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?”
“I will go with you,” he replied. “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
“By what route shall we attack?” he asked.
“Through the Desert of Edom,” he answered.
So the king of Israel set out with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them.
10 “What!” exclaimed the king of Israel. “Has the Lord called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?”
11 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?”
An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.”
12 Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why do you want to involve me? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.”
“No,” the king of Israel answered, “because it was the Lord who called us three kings together to deliver us into the hands of Moab.”
14 Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you. 15 But now bring me a harpist.”
While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha
16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: I will fill this valley with pools of water. 17 For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18 This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands. 19 You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones.”
20 The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water.
21 Now all the Moabites had heard that the kings had come to fight against them; so every man, young and old, who could bear arms was called up and stationed on the border. 22 When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites across the way, the water looked red—like blood. 23 “That’s blood!” they said. “Those kings must have fought and slaughtered each other. Now to the plunder, Moab!”
24 But when the Moabites came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and fought them until they fled. And the Israelites invaded the land and slaughtered the Moabites. 25 They destroyed the towns, and each man threw a stone on every good field until it was covered. They stopped up all the springs and cut down every good tree. Only Kir Hareseth was left with its stones in place, but men armed with slings surrounded it and attacked it.
26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle had gone against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but they failed. 27 Then he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall. The fury against Israel was great; they withdrew and returned to their own land.
2 Samuel 10
New International Version (NIV)
David Defeats the Ammonites
10 In the course of time, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king. David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father.
When David’s men came to the land of the Ammonites,
the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Hasn’t David sent them to you only to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?” So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away.
When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet the men, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.”
When the Ammonites realized that they had become obnoxious to David, they hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth Rehob and Zobah, as well as the king of Maakah with a thousand men, and also twelve thousand men from Tob.
On hearing this, David sent Joab out with the entire army of fighting men. The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance of their city gate, while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maakah were by themselves in the open country.
Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans. 10 He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai his brother and deployed them against the Ammonites. 11 Joab said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you. 12 Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”
13 Then Joab and the troops with him advanced to fight the Arameans, and they fled before him. 14 When the Ammonites realized that the Arameans were fleeing, they fled before Abishai and went inside the city. So Joab returned from fighting the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.
15 After the Arameans saw that they had been routed by Israel, they regrouped. 16 Hadadezer had Arameans brought from beyond the Euphrates River; they went to Helam, with Shobak the commander of Hadadezer’s army leading them.
17 When David was told of this, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan and went to Helam. The Arameans formed their battle lines to meet David and fought against him. 18 But they fled before Israel, and David killed seven hundred of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers. He also struck down Shobak the commander of their army, and he died there. 19 When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with the Israelites and became subject to them.
So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore.
Psalm 140-142
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 140
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;     protect me from the violent,

who devise evil plans in their hearts     and stir up war every day.

They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;     the poison of vipers is on their lips.

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;     protect me from the violent,     who devise ways to trip my feet.

The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;     they have spread out the cords of their net     and have set traps for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”     Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.

Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,     you shield my head in the day of battle.

Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;     do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;     may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
May burning coals fall on them;     may they be thrown into the fire,     into miry pits, never to rise.
May slanderers not be established in the land;     may disaster hunt down the violent.
I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor     and upholds the cause of the needy.
Surely the righteous will praise your name,     and the upright will live in your presence.
Psalm 141
A psalm of David.

I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me;     hear me when I call to you.

May my prayer be set before you like incense;     may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;     keep watch over the door of my lips.

Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil     so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers;     do not let me eat their delicacies.

Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness;     let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it,     for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.

Their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs,     and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.

They will say, “As one plows and breaks up the earth,     so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave.”

But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord;     in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.

Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers,     from the snares they have laid for me.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,     while I pass by in safety.
Psalm 142
A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.

I cry aloud to the Lord;     I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.

I pour out before him my complaint;     before him I tell my trouble.

When my spirit grows faint within me,     it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk     people have hidden a snare for me.

Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;     no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge;     no one cares for my life.

I cry to you, Lord;     I say, “You are my refuge,     my portion in the land of the living.”

Listen to my cry,     for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me,     for they are too strong for me.

Set me free from my prison,     that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me     because of your goodness to me.

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