Spiritual Training

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April 3 - Evening

“But David thought to himself, ‘One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.’
So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath. David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.
When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.
Then David said to Achish, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?’
So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.”

- First Samuel 27:1-6

David and his Men Serve the Philistines as Mercenaries

After several years of running from King Saul through the land of Judah David realized that there must be an easier and safer way to wait for the Lord’s plan to develop in his life. In addition to this the David and his men realized they could not continue to stay on the run with their families. They needed to find a place to settle down. David went into the Philistine kingdom to the city of Gath which was ruled by King Achish Ben-Maoch. Along with David and has immediate family came his 600 men and their families. They would live among the Philistines for the next 16 months.

David and his men basically followed a practice very well documented in the Near East of offering their services as mercenaries, or professional military personal, in exchange for land. It appears that the land that David and his men were rewarded with was actually a town. King Achish Ben-Maoch gave David and his 600 men the town of Ziklag, which the text says “has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since.” This editorial note helps support a very early date for the writing of 1 Samuel since this statement would only be true up through the beginning of Rehoboam's (Solomon's son) reign, because Egyptian king Shishaq took control of this area in his well documented campaign in 925 BC (1 Kings 14:25). Although Hezekiah controlled this area around 740-710 BC, the territory that included Ziklag was soon controlled by Assyrians in the 600's. The only time this statement would have been true and made sense would have been the earliest years of Rehoboam's reign (930-925 BC).

David’s defection to the Philistines is understood in the Philistine’s perspective as David’s reaction to Saul’s unjust and oppressive behavior towards David and the other men who appear to have already been fugitives from Saul’s government when they joined up with David in the Judean wilderness.

This practice of using mercenaries was common and was, in fact, used by David when he hired Cretans and Philistines to serve as his personal body guard (they are called Kerethites and Pelethites or 2 Samuel 8:18; 23:22-23). These mercenaries would be more dependable for a king than native soldiers or citizen soldiers since mercenaries only reward would have come from the king and his rewarding of these troops from the bounty of the king’s success. Political interest or national factions will be less likely to influence a professional mercenary.

Ziklag was a good location for David to operate from since it was 35-40 miles south of Gath in the land of Philistia which was far enough away to avoid continual Philistine supervision. Ziklag was also a safe distance from King Saul.
Adelphos (Gr) – brother (Eng) – adelphos is Greek word that refers to “a brother” or “a relative.” Adelphos is used to identify:
  • A brothers with the same parents (Mt. 14:3)
  • Descendents of same parents (Heb.7:5)
  • People of the same nation (Acts 3:17)
  • Any man of neighbor (Luke 10:29)
  • People with the same purpose (Mt.5:47)
  • The disciples (Jn. 20:17)
Am I willing to make adjustments for the benefit of others and to wait for the Lord's plan to develop?
I will make decisions in my life while considering the needs and desires of others.
I will behave in a way that allows God to develop his plan as I serve and wait patiently.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Congressional leaders

Southwest corner of the Old City walls of Jerusalem.
A map showing the location of the Cave of Machpelah where Abraham was buried in Genesis 25:7-11.

Someone to Quote

“While it is possible all the religions of the world are false, it is a certainty that they cannot all be true.” - David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times

Something to Ponder

A continuous chain of prophets through the beginning and completion of the Old Testament Canon:

Moses – Ne.9:14; Lk.24:27
Joshua – Joshua 1
Samuel -  1 Chr.29:29
Nathan -  1 Chr.29:29
Gad -  2 Chr.12:15
Ahijah -  2 Chr.9:29-31
Shemaiah – 2 Chr. 12:15
Iddo -  2 Chr.13:22
Jehu -  2 Chr.20:34
Isaiah -  2 Chr.32:32
Hozai -  2 Chr.33:19
Jeremiah – Jer. 1:1-3
Ezekiel – Ezek. 1:2; 40:1
Daniel – Dan.1:1; 10:1
Ezra – Ezra 6:18; 7:11; 9:4
Zechariah – Zech. 1:1
Malachi – Mal. 4:5
Nehemiah – Neh. 1:1; 5:14; 13:6

Here’s a Fact

Babylonian King Belshazzar offered Daniel the position of the third highest ruler int eh kingdom in Daniel 5:7 because Belshazzar’s father, Nabonidus, was still alive and ruling in the southern part of the kingdom. Nabonidus had moved south to Tema in the Arabian Desert 500 miles from Babylon. So, Nabonidus was the king of the empire and Belshazzar was the king of Babylon and the north. Daniel was offered the next highest position available. (Details)


"Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed."

- Proverbs 3:13-18

Coach’s Corner

There is physical strength and then there is moral strength. Moral strength is what makes a strong man great.

Genesis 25:7-11
New International Version (NIV)
Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
1 Samuel 19
New International Version (NIV)
Saul Tries to Kill David
19 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”
Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”
So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.
Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.
11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.
14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”
15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.
17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?”
Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’”
18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.
23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Judges 12
New International Version (NIV)
Jephthah and Ephraim
12 The Ephraimite forces were called out, and they crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We’re going to burn down your house over your head.”
Jephthah answered, “I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn’t save me out of their hands. When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I took my life in my hands and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victory over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?”
Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh.” The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,” they said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.
Jephthah led Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead.
Ibzan, Elon and Abdon
After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem led Israel. He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He gave his daughters away in marriage to those outside his clan, and for his sons he brought in thirty young women as wives from outside his clan. Ibzan led Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.
11 After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel ten years. 12 Then Elon died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
13 After him, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, led Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. He led Israel eight years. 15 Then Abdon son of Hillel died and was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

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