Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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May 18 - Morning

"Then Job replied:
'Indeed, I know that this is true. But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God? Though they wished to dispute with him, they could not answer him one time out of a thousand. His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed? He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble.' "

- Job 9:1-6

It’s a Communication Problem

Job replies with statements of truth and agreement concerning God’s greatness and glory in chapter nine. He contrasts God’s lofty, eternal state with man’s low, fragile state. And, this contrast reveals the real problem: lack of communication. In all good relationships communication is the key. But, because of the vast abyss between God’s glorious nature in the heavenlies and man’s mortal existence in dirt, “How can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?” Later in the chapter Job will say:

“He is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court.” – Job 9:32

Job desires someway of restraining God’s overpowering presence and God’s mortality-melting wisdom. If these divine attributes could be contained for a moment of communication, Job says,

“Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.” – Job 9:35

Throughout chapter 9 Job lists all the splendid things God does and the omnipotent power he displays, but Job honestly concludes that all this glory and earth-shaking splendor does create the communication problem between God and man. They simply cannot understand each other. Indeed, as surely as man cannot understand God, neither can God understand man! And, since God is the creator and the mature person in the relationship, Job thinks it is God’s responsibility to fill this communication gap. Job makes a simple suggestion: Find someone to stand in the middle ground. Find someone who understands God, but also can relate to man. Then, that arbitrator could communicate for both God and Job. It is a reasonable solution!

“If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more.” – Job 9:33-34
Lacham (Hb) – Fight (Eng) – the Hebrew word lacham means “to fight,” “to do battle,” and “to engage in combat.” (Numbers 21:23; Joshua 10:5). Lacham refers to hand to hand combat in 1 Samuel 17:32-33. In Deuteronomy 20:4 God himself does lacham.
Have I accepted God's mediator, Jesus Christ, as my personal representative from God and to God? Have I taken time to read the material God had men record in order to communicate with man? I will accept Jesus Christ as my savior and as the way, the truth and the light. I will read and study the text of scripture that reveals God and his way.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Compassion for the poor and needy


Vice President

machicolation, typical of castles and fortifications of the Middle Ages, where hot oil or rocks were dropped on the invading enemy below.
One of the features of medieval warfare was the machicolation—a porch in the wall with openings between the supports (corbels) where hot oil, boiling water or stones could be poured or dropped through the floor down onto the invading troops below. The use of animal fat and oil was very dangerous for the defenders to use because it could reach 400 degrees F. The oil would not be boiled since the smoking point of oil (the temperature at which the oil begins to break down) is lower than its boiling point. This means it would start smoking before it started to boil. This would make it difficult to reach the boiling point since the smoke would be extremely irritating to the eyes and throats of those who were heating it as a defensive weapon.

Josephus records the use of this technique in the following account:
They (Romans) began already to get upon the wall. Then did Josephus take necessity for his counselor in this utmost distress, and gave orders to pour scalding oil upon those whose shields protected them ...they (Jews) brought being a great quantity also, and poured it on all sides upon the Romans, and they threw down their vessels as they were still hissing from the heat of the fire: this so burnt the Romans, that it dispersed that united band, who now tumbled down from the wall with horrid pains, for the oil did easily run down the whole body from head to foot, under their entire armor, and fed upon their flesh like flame itself.
-Josephus, The Great Roman-Jewish War, III.7.27-28
Photos of machicolations 1, 2.
Tombs in Silwan as viewed from the City of David over the Kidron Valley with the Mount of Olives in the background.

Someone to Quote

"Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ."
- A. W. Tozer

Something to Ponder

The way of salvation is both simple and very deep with the richness of God’s wisdom and power.

The Roman Road: The Way of Salvation

Romans 5:12
Death came to all men

Romans 3:23
All men have sinned

Romans 3:20
No one will be declared righteous by obedience

Romans 5:8
Christ died for us

Romans 4:25
Christ died for our sins; Christ rose because we were justified

Romans 6:23
Wages of sin is death; God’s gift is eternal life

Romans 3:21
Righteousness from God through faith

Romans 1:16
Gospel is the power of God for everyone who believes

Romans 10:9
Confess Jesus and be saved

Romans 6:14
Sin shall not be your master

Romans 8:28
All things work together for good of those who love God

(See blog)

Here’s a Fact

Three clay cooking pots and a small ceramic oil lamp where discovered inside a cistern in the sewer that runs from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mound in Jerusalem. These items indicate that someone around the time of 70 AD was eating food while they and the food were hidden in the underground tunnels. These were likely used by Jews hiding food from other Jews during the Roman siege of Jerusalem (69-70 AD) or hiding from the Romans themselves. (details 1, 2; photos 1, 2)

Josephus records that the Jews hid in the underground tunnels and sewers to eat their food during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD to hide their food sources and the fact that they were eating from the others to prevent being attacked. See Josephus's words here:

“As the famine grew worse, the frenzy of the partisans increased with it….For as nowhere was there corn to be seen, men broke into the houses and ransacked them. If they found some they maltreated the occupants for saying there was none; if they did not, they suspected them of having hidden it more carefully and tortured them.”  “Many secretly exchanged their possessions for one measure of corn-wheat if they happened to be rich, barley if they were poor. They shut themselves up in the darkest corners of the their houses, where some through extreme hunger ate their grain as it was, others made bread, necessity and fear being their only guides. Nowhere was a table laid…” (Josephus The Jewish War)


"One who is slack in his work
    is brother to one who destroys."

- Proverbs 18:9

Coach’s Corner

Don’t wait for the right opportunity or the “lucky break.” Work, plan, prepare and invest your time. What seems like the perfect time and the perfect plan is more about effort than perfection.

Job 9
New International Version (NIV)
Then Job replied:

“Indeed, I know that this is true.     But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?

Though they wished to dispute with him,     they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.

His wisdom is profound, his power is vast.     Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?

He moves mountains without their knowing it     and overturns them in his anger.

He shakes the earth from its place     and makes its pillars tremble.

He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;     he seals off the light of the stars.

He alone stretches out the heavens     and treads on the waves of the sea.

He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,     the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,     miracles that cannot be counted.
When he passes me, I cannot see him;     when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.
If he snatches away, who can stop him?     Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
God does not restrain his anger;     even the cohorts of Rahab cowered at his feet.
“How then can I dispute with him?     How can I find words to argue with him?
Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;     I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.
Even if I summoned him and he responded,     I do not believe he would give me a hearing.
He would crush me with a storm     and multiply my wounds for no reason.
He would not let me catch my breath     but would overwhelm me with misery.
If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!     And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him?
Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;     if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.
“Although I am blameless,     I have no concern for myself;     I despise my own life.
It is all the same; that is why I say,     ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
When a scourge brings sudden death,     he mocks the despair of the innocent.
When a land falls into the hands of the wicked,     he blindfolds its judges.     If it is not he, then who is it?
“My days are swifter than a runner;     they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
They skim past like boats of papyrus,     like eagles swooping down on their prey.
If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,     I will change my expression, and smile,’
I still dread all my sufferings,     for I know you will not hold me innocent.
Since I am already found guilty,     why should I struggle in vain?
Even if I washed myself with soap     and my hands with cleansing powder,
you would plunge me into a slime pit     so that even my clothes would detest me.
“He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him,     that we might confront each other in court.
If only there were someone to mediate between us,     someone to bring us together,
someone to remove God’s rod from me,     so that his terror would frighten me no more.
Then I would speak up without fear of him,     but as it now stands with me, I cannot.
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.
2 Kings 13
New International Version (NIV)
Jehoahaz King of Israel
13 In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord by following the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit, and he did not turn away from them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and for a long time he kept them under the power of Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad his son.
Then Jehoahaz sought the Lord’s favor, and the Lord listened to him, for he saw how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. The Lord provided a deliverer for Israel, and they escaped from the power of Aram. So the Israelites lived in their own homes as they had before. But they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit; they continued in them. Also, the Asherah pole remained standing in Samaria.
Nothing had been left of the army of Jehoahaz except fifty horsemen, ten chariots and ten thousand foot soldiers, for the king of Aram had destroyed the rest and made them like the dust at threshing time.
As for the other events of the reign of Jehoahaz, all he did and his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Jehoahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoash his son succeeded him as king.
Jehoash King of Israel
10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned sixteen years. 11 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he continued in them.
12 As for the other events of the reign of Jehoash, all he did and his achievements, including his war against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 13 Jehoash rested with his ancestors, and Jeroboam succeeded him on the throne. Jehoash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
14 Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
15 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”
18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”
20 Elisha died and was buried.
Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring.
21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.
22 Hazael king of Aram oppressed Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz. 23 But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence.
24 Hazael king of Aram died, and Ben-Hadad his son succeeded him as king. 25 Then Jehoash son of Jehoahaz recaptured from Ben-Hadad son of Hazael the towns he had taken in battle from his father Jehoahaz. Three times Jehoash defeated him, and so he recovered the Israelite towns.
Psalm 26
King James Version (KJV)
26 Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord:
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.
12 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the Lord.

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