Spiritual Training

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April 1 - Evening

“David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, ‘Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?’
David answered Ahimelek the priest, ‘The king sent me on a mission and said to me, “No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.” As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find’…
…Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.
David asked Ahimelek, ‘Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.’
The priest replied, ‘The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.’
David said, ‘There is none like it; give it to me.’ ”

- First Samuel 21:1-9

David Seeks Refuge at Nob and Retrieves Goliath's Sword for Protection

Jonathan had confirmed David’s fear that King Saul had betrayed David and that Saul would have David killed in order to secure the throne for himself. Not knowing who to trust, David takes matters into his own hands. Instead of trusting God or seeking godly counsel David goes to Nob and deceives the high priest Ahimelek in order to get support, weapons and supplies.

After the Philistine’s fiery destruction of the tabernacle at Shiloh in Samuel’s youth, the remains of the holy site (without the Ark of the Covenant) had been set up in Nob, which is most likely on top of Mount Scopus (the highest hill to the NE of Jerusalem here and here). This is where David met with the priest Ahimelek.

David falsely reported that he was on a secret mission, that his men were meeting him at another location, and that they had left in such a hurry they did not have time to organize supplies or to pack weapons. Is this even believable!?! Ahimelek thinks it is and offers to help David. So, Ahimelek gave David permission to take the sword used by Goliath against David in their famous duel in the Valley of Elah. (The sword had been put in the presence of the Lord as a token of the Lord’s victory over the Philistines and as a symbol of the Lord’s faithfulness to Israel. Many items like this would be dedicated to the Lord in his sanctuary or to pagan gods in their temples.) Of course, the sword had not been of much use to Goliath when David trusted in the name of the Lord! Why does David think Goliath’s sword will help him now? This should have been a huge clue for David! It should have exposed him to the fact that he was running in fear without faith right into a bigger problem. Still, David took it and said, “There is none like it; give it to me!”

David’s deceptive and fearful behavior will have terrible consequences on the priesthood and their sanctuary at Nob. One of Saul’s supporters who was also on the King’s royal payroll. An Edomite named Doeg is attending to some ritual details there at Nob will serve as an informant to Saul concerning David’s whereabouts and his apparent conspiracy with the priesthood of Israel against King Saul himself.
Nothros (Gr) – sluggish (Eng) – nothros  is Greek word used in Hebrews 6:12 and Hebrews 5:11 to refer to believers who had become lazy in their thinking, study and desire to grow in the faith and spiritual production. The word nothros “dull, slow, sluggish” and is also translated as “slothful” or “lazy.” In the Greek language, the word nothros was used to refer to the numbed limbs of a sick lion. The lion in this example would have been hit by poison-tipped darts, which numbed the feeling and impeded the use of the limbs. The same word was also used in an ancient Greek story to describe the vain hopes of a foolish wolf who had heard a child’s nurse threaten to throw the child out to the wolves. The wolf had an opinion and an interpretation of the nurse’s words, but because the wolf’s doctrine was wrong, so was the hope he had based on false understanding.
Do I turn to my own schemes and to worthless forms of support when I begin to fear situations?
Does my fear make my faith ineffective? In times of stress, concern and fear I will put my trust in the Lord first. Before I run to the comfort of deception or flee to empty sources of assistance I will express my faith and my prayers to the Lord.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Recognition of error
University students
Central African Republic

A view of the synagogue from Peter's house in Capernaum.
Topography of Jerusalem as seen from the south.

Someone to Quote

“Our church, our very own church, still believes far too much in a good man and far too little in the only good Master. Too much and too little – that is why our church is perhaps no longer the light that lightens the darkness, which is what the church ought to be. It is a much too feeble church, a liberal church, just like the German Church that was overthrown in 1933.” – Karl Barth

Something to Ponder

Church History Key Events
Jerusalem Council
Rome Burns
Rome destroys Jerusalem and temple
Marcion and Gnosticism
Easter Conflict
Origen and Alexandrian Allegorical Interpretation
Cyprian and The Unity of the Church
Anthony and Monasticsm
Constantine and the Edict of Milan
Council of Nicea, and Arianism
Emperor Constantius and Religious Persecution by Christians
Augustine becomes a Christian
Jerome translates Bible into Latin (Latin Vulgate)
Pope Leo the Great
Clovis, King of the Franks
Pope Gregory the Great
Muhammad and Islam
Iconoclastic Controversy
Council of Nicea II
Battle of Tours
Charlemagne crowned emperor
Abbey of Cluny founded
Otto the Great
Eastern church splits from Western church
Hildebrand (Pope Gregory VII)
First Crusade
Fourth Lateran Council
Thomas Aquinas and Scholasticism
John Wyclif
Turks capture Constantinople
John Gutenberg and the printing press
Spanish Inquisition
Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation
William Tyndale and English translation of Bible
Council of Trent
Anabaptists and the Radical Reformation
The Great Awakening
William Carey and the missionary movement
False philosophies of Kierkegaard, Marx, Darwin, Freud, Wellhausen; False religions of Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventist
The Fundamentals are published and distributed

Here’s a Fact

The fate of the Ark of the Covenant could have been:
- It was stripped of its metal like the rest of the Temple furniture and walls, and the wood left to burn.
- 2 Macabbees 2:4-8 says that Jeremiah hid the ark on Mt. Nebo
- A priest(s) or King Josiah hid the Ark under the Temple in the Temple Mount in a place Solomon had prepared for it during a time of national emergency
- It was taken to Egypt when the remaining Jews took Jeremiah and it ended up in Ethiopia. (Details 1, 2, 3.)


"For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them."
- Proverbs 1:32

Coach’s Corner

Great ball players know how and when to let the game come to them instead of trying to control every situation. The same can be said about the Christian life. Do what’s right, obey the truth and let God’s will come to you. Then, when you have the shot, take it! When you get the pitch, drive it deep!

Romans 7:5
New International Version (NIV)
For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.
1 Samuel 15
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Rejects Saul as King
15 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.
Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”
13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”
15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
16 “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” Saul replied.
17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices     as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice,     and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,     and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,     he has rejected you as king.”
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”
26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”
27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”
30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”
Agag came to him in chains. And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”
33 But Samuel said,
“As your sword has made women childless,     so will your mother be childless among women.”
And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Judges 7
New International Version (NIV)
Gideon Defeats the Midianites
Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.
Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley.
During that night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. 10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. 12 The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.
13 Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”
14 His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.”
15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.” 16 Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.
17 “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. 18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”
19 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.
22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. 23 Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites. 24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites and seize the waters of the Jordan ahead of them as far as Beth Barah.”
So all the men of Ephraim were called out and they seized the waters of the Jordan as far as Beth Barah.
25 They also captured two of the Midianite leaders, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was by the Jordan.

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