Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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April 6 - Evening

"During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul. Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner,
'Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?'

Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So he answered,
'Am I a dog’s head—on Judah’s side? This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman! May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.'

Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him."

- Second Samuel 3:6-11

Ish-Bosheth Accuses His General of Treason

David’s military general was Joab. Joab was also David’s nephew and the brother of Abishai and Asahel. These three boys were the sons of David’s older sister Zeruiah (1 Chron. 2:16).

Saul’s military general had been Abner. Abner was Saul’s cousin (1 Samuel 14:50). After Saul’s death and the death of the heir apparent, Prince Jonathan, it appears that Abner may have begun to make a series of political moves towards putting himself on the throne of Israel. Atleast, that is what Ish-Bosheth, one of Saul’s surviving sons accuses Abner of planning.

One of the strategies Abner is accused of using to secure the throne was to sleep with Rizpah (whose name means “hot stone”), one of Saul’s concubines. This was an act equivalent to usurping the throne. Abner had publicly put himself forward as having successfully ascended the throne of Saul. In the ancient Near Eastern culture sleeping with the king’s wife or concubine was exactly that – the usurping of the throne. This is seen in 2 Samuel 16:21-22 when David’s son Absolom is adviced to sleep with David’s concubines on the roof of the palace in the sight of all Israel. Even Adonijah’s mere request to marry Abishag, the young woman who had cared for his aged father, King David, was considered an act of treason by King Solomon. Solomon ordered the death of Adonijah that very day (1 Kings 2:22-27).

Abner is clearly offended by Ish-Bosheth’s accusation, which as far as we can tell from the text could have been a false accusation as easily as it could have been a true accusation. If it was a false accusation by Ish-Bosheth then it could have been the result of Ish-Bosheth’s paranoia and insecurity. Ish-Bosheth could be accusing his leading man and most loyal supporter in the same way that Saul had accused his leading man David. It is safe to assume there were many other’s (including Jonathan at times) that Saul had driven away because of his insecurity and paranoia.

This conversation is enough to send Abner over to David and Judah’s side. It may be that after having served Saul all those years while he hunted innocent David like a criminal that Abner is not willing to go on that ride again with Saul’s son who is showing signs of the same obsessive paranoia.

Abner vowed to Ish-Bosheth’s face that he would hand the kingdom of Israel over to David. Ish-Bosheth was left powerless. He had no words and no counter maneuver.
Exelko (Gr) – Drawn Away (Eng) – exelko is Greek word that means "drawn away" in James 1:14. Exelko comes from the root word helko meaning "to draw," "to tug," and "to compel." Helko has the prefix ek (meaning "out" and "away") added to it in James 1:14 to make this word exelko which means to be "drawn out" and "tugged away" from God's way for man.
Do I create problems by reading too much into situations or people's words?
Do I respond negatively because of fear or suspicion?
I will trust God and not allow fear to cloud my view of reality and my ability to evaluate situations and people accurately.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Confess sin


Avoid self-righteousness attitudes
Foreign conflicts

The Strouthion Pool, a pool in the Western Wall Tunnels near the NW corner of the Temple Mount that was an open air pool in the days of the New Testament, but was covered by Hadrian in 135 AD. (Map. Details.)
A map of today's Old City of Jerusalem with the Pool of Bethesda located in the NE part of the city in the Muslim Quarter. (Details.)

Someone to Quote

“To modern man in his frustration and despair, the full-orbed gospel of Christ, as Paul presents it to the Colossians, is the one message of hope.” – F. F. Bruce

Something to Ponder

The New Testament has:
- New Commandment (Jn13:34;1Jn2:7-8;2 Jn5)
- New Creation (2Co5:17; Gal.6:15)
- New Heaven (2 Pet.3:13; Rev.21:1)
- New Man (Ephesians 2:15)
- New Self (Ephesians 4:24)
- New Covenant (Lk 22:20)
- New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2)
- New Song (Rev. 5:9; 14:3)

Here’s a Fact

When the Babylonian officials entered Jerusalem in July of 586 BC Jeremiah 39:3 says they sat in the Middle Gate. This gate has been found in Jerusalem’s north wall near the Broad Wall built by Hezekiah around 700 BC. (Details)


"Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy."
- Proverbs 6:15

Coach’s Corner

Nothing is more defeating to the Christian than to fake spirituality. Instead, be genuine, and focus on growth and honest behavior.

James 1:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
1 Samuel 23
New International Version (NIV)
David Saves Keilah
23 When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” he inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
The Lord answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”
Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah. (Now Abiathar son of Ahimelek had brought the ephod down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.)
Saul Pursues David
Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.” And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.” 10 David said, “Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant.”
And the Lord said, “He will.”
12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?”
And the Lord said, “They will.”
13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
14 David stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.
15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
19 The Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hakilah, south of Jeshimon? 20 Now, Your Majesty, come down whenever it pleases you to do so, and we will be responsible for giving him into your hands.”
21 Saul replied, “The Lord bless you for your concern for me. 22 Go and get more information. Find out where David usually goes and who has seen him there. They tell me he is very crafty. 23 Find out about all the hiding places he uses and come back to me with definite information. Then I will go with you; if he is in the area, I will track him down among all the clans of Judah.”
24 So they set out and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the Desert of Maon, in the Arabah south of Jeshimon. 25 Saul and his men began the search, and when David was told about it, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Desert of Maon. When Saul heard this, he went into the Desert of Maon in pursuit of David.
26 Saul was going along one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side, hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his forces were closing in on David and his men to capture them, 27 a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Come quickly! The Philistines are raiding the land.” 28 Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. That is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth. 29 And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.
Judges 21
New International Version (NIV)
Wives for the Benjamites
21 The men of Israel had taken an oath at Mizpah: “Not one of us will give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamite.”
The people went to Bethel, where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly. “Lord, God of Israel,” they cried, “why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?”
Early the next day the people built an altar and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.
Then the Israelites asked, “Who from all the tribes of Israel has failed to assemble before the Lord?” For they had taken a solemn oath that anyone who failed to assemble before the Lord at Mizpah was to be put to death.
Now the Israelites grieved for the tribe of Benjamin, their fellow Israelites. “Today one tribe is cut off from Israel,” they said. “How can we provide wives for those who are left, since we have taken an oath by the Lord not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?” Then they asked, “Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the Lord at Mizpah?” They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly. For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there.
10 So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children. 11 “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin.” 12 They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.
13 Then the whole assembly sent an offer of peace to the Benjamites at the rock of Rimmon. 14 So the Benjamites returned at that time and were given the women of Jabesh Gilead who had been spared. But there were not enough for all of them.
15 The people grieved for Benjamin, because the Lord had made a gap in the tribes of Israel. 16 And the elders of the assembly said, “With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left? 17 The Benjamite survivors must have heirs,” they said, “so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out. 18 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.’ 19 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.”
20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, “Go and hide in the vineyards 21 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. 22 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.’”
23 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.
24 At that time the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance.
25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

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