Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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May 12 - Morning

"Now the leaders of the people settled in Jerusalem. The rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of every ten of them to live in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the remaining nine were to stay in their own towns. 
The people commended all who volunteered to live in Jerusalem."

- Nehemiah 11:1-2

Repopulating Jerusalem by Casting Lots

The population was meager in Jerusalem when Nehemiah arrived. Because Jerusalem had no walls the city’s infrastructure and economy were insufficient and unsatisfactory. Plus, Jerusalem was a hotbed of conflict both politically and militarily.
Nehemiah had completed the walls and the leadership of Judah wanted their capital city to be revitalized since it was the center of their culture. Their plan was to repopulate the city with Jews who had returned from Babylon, but had settled in towns throughout the land of Judah.
The plan was that one out of every ten would move into Jerusalem where the leaders of the people had already settled.
Map showing the Villages of the people of Judah 1, 2, 3

Decree to Rebuild


Ezra 7: 8-9, 12-26

Daniel 9:25

Ezra 10:9-16
  • In Artaxeres’ seventh year he issues the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem.
  • Ezra leaves Babylon on April 8 and arrives in Jerusalem in August.
  • December 19 the people assemble and the investigation of intermarriage begins.
  • The 70 weeks (or, 490 years) of Daniels prophecy in Daniel 9:25 begins with Artaxerxes’ decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 458 BC. The decree is found in Ezra 7:12-26.
    The 70 weeks (490 years) are interrupted after 69 weeks (483 years) with the coming of the Messiah. 458 BC minus 483 years equals 25/26 AD which is when John the Baptist will introduce the Messiah to the Jewish nation

Ezra 10:17
Ezra committee ends their three month long investigation into intermarriage by Mar/Apr


Nehemiah 1
Nov/Dec, Nehemiah is in Susa and hears a report from a Jew from Jerusalem that the walls of Jerusalem have not been rebuilt

Nehemiah 2:1

Nehemiah 4

Nehemiah 6:15

Nehemiah 8:2

Nehemiah 8:13

Nehemiah 9
  • Artaxerxes 20th year
  • Mar/Apr, Nehemiah, Artaxerxes cup bearer, speaks to
    Artaxerxes about Jerusalem’s ruined wall system. (Neh. 2:1)
  • August 10, Nehemiah begins to rebuild the walls of
  • Opposition to building the walls. (Neh. 4, 6)
  • October 2, The walls of Jerusalem are completed in 52 days. (Neh. 6:15)
  • October 8, Ezra reads the law to public for first time in
    thirteen years. (8:2)
  • October 9, the people of Jerusalem celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (8:13)
  • October 30, Israel confesses their sin. (Neh. 9)
  • If Esther were 25 when she married Xerxes she is now 58

Nehemiah 5:14

Nehemiah 13:6
  • Nehemiah is recalled to Artaxerxes after a 12 year absence.
  • Artaxerxes is in his 32 year as the king of the Persian

  • The book of Malachi is written.
  • Malachi accuses:
    1. the priest of not honoring God
    2. the people of unlawful marriages
    3. the people of having given up on the Lord’s return
    4. the people of failing to give properly to God
  • Malachi ends with a promise in 3:1, “See, I will send my
Goral (Hb) – Lot (Eng) – Goral refers to a small stone or a stick with markings which make it useful in determining a “yes” or “no” answer from God. The use of the goral is seen in Lev. 16:8 and Josh. 5:1. According to Proverbs 16:33 the Lord controls the goral.
Isaiah 17:14 goral contains the idea of “destiny.”
Do I understand that as a believer in Jesus Christ I have been sanctified, set in the church (the body of Christ) and commissioned for service with the gifts and grace God has given to me?
I will recognize my calling and be active in serving the Lord, the body of Christ and the world.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Open doors for financial growth


Spiritual growth
Foreign conflicts

An ancient cistern
Map detailing First Kings 9 when Solomon searched for gold.

Someone to Quote

"Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” - C. S. Lewis

Something to Ponder

In the 1350’s a university education was new and rare. John Wycliffe had studied and taught at Oxford. By 1377 Wycliffe appeared before the bishop of London on charges of heresy for having:
• Questioned the right of the Catholic Church to control the civil governments and their temporal wealth.

Wycliffe also challenged the Church’s:
• Sale of indulgences
• Sale of leadership positions in the church
• Worship of saints
• Worship of relics
• Papal authority
• Transubstantiation

Wycliffe countered the church by teaching the Scripture to the common man in England in the English language. Oxford fired Wycliffe from his teaching position, but many in England rallied around Wycliffe. These followers took Wycliffe’s English translation of the Bible (hand written copies) and preached to other English people. Wycliffe died of a stroke in 1384, and 31 years later in 1415 the church dug up his bones to burn them in protest of his teaching.

Here’s a Fact

Critic of Intelligent Design: “The only substantive part of Intelligent Design is as a negative argument that diametrically opposed to evolution, otherwise it has nothing of substance to offer science.”

Response: False on three points.

i) Intelligent Design is a positive argument that intelligence preceded and caused the origin of life. Intelligent Design is an independent theory that would not necessarily be true if evolution were proven false.

ii) Intelligent Design is not diametrically opposed to evolution, if “evolution” is defined as “change over time.” ID is diametrically opposed to the theory that living things originated from random events.

iii) The goal of Intelligent Design is not to “offer” something to “science,” the goal is the same as that of science. . .to seek the truth concerning our origins. Intelligent Design is a testable theory that can be falsified in exactly the same way as the theory of evolution.


"Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant     than pretend to be somebody and have no food." - Proverbs 12:9

Coach’s Corner

Aim high.

Judges 15
New International Version (NIV)
Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines
15 Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let him go in.
“I was so sure you hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”
Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.
When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” they were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his companion.”
So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death.
Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I swear that I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.” He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.
The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. 10 The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?”
“We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”
11 Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?”
He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.”
12 They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”
Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”
13 “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock. 14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.
16 Then Samson said,
“With a donkey’s jawbone     I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone     I have killed a thousand men.”
17 When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.
18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord, “You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi.
20 Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
2 Kings 1
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord’s Judgment on Ahaziah
After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.”
But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’” So Elijah went.
When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you come back?”
“A man came to meet us,” they replied. “And he said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, “This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!”’”
The king asked them, “What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?”
They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.”
The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”
Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!’”
10 Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.
11 At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, “Man of God, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!’”
12 “If I am a man of God,” Elijah replied, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.
13 So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! 14 See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!”
15 The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.
16 He told the king, “This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!” 17 So he died, according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken.
Because Ahaziah had no son, Joram succeeded him as king in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.
18 As for all the other events of Ahaziah’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Psalm 65-67
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 65
For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;     to you our vows will be fulfilled.

You who answer prayer,     to you all people will come.

When we were overwhelmed by sins,     you forgave our transgressions.

Blessed are those you choose     and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house,     of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,     God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth     and of the farthest seas,

who formed the mountains by your power,     having armed yourself with strength,

who stilled the roaring of the seas,     the roaring of their waves,     and the turmoil of the nations.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;     where morning dawns, where evening fades,     you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it;     you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water     to provide the people with grain,     for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;     you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty,     and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;     the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks     and the valleys are mantled with grain;     they shout for joy and sing.
Psalm 66
For the director of music. A song. A psalm.

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!

    Sing the glory of his name;     make his praise glorious.

Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!     So great is your power     that your enemies cringe before you.

All the earth bows down to you;     they sing praise to you,     they sing the praises of your name.”

Come and see what God has done,     his awesome deeds for mankind!

He turned the sea into dry land,     they passed through the waters on foot—     come, let us rejoice in him.

He rules forever by his power,     his eyes watch the nations—     let not the rebellious rise up against him.

Praise our God, all peoples,     let the sound of his praise be heard;

he has preserved our lives     and kept our feet from slipping.
For you, God, tested us;     you refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison     and laid burdens on our backs.
You let people ride over our heads;     we went through fire and water,     but you brought us to a place of abundance.
I will come to your temple with burnt offerings     and fulfill my vows to you—
vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke     when I was in trouble.
I will sacrifice fat animals to you     and an offering of rams;     I will offer bulls and goats.
Come and hear, all you who fear God;     let me tell you what he has done for me.
I cried out to him with my mouth;     his praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart,     the Lord would not have listened;
but God has surely listened     and has heard my prayer.
Praise be to God,     who has not rejected my prayer     or withheld his love from me!
Psalm 67
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.

May God be gracious to us and bless us     and make his face shine on us—

so that your ways may be known on earth,     your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God;     may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy,     for you rule the peoples with equity     and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, God;     may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest;     God, our God, blesses us.

May God bless us still,     so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

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