Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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May 5 - Morning

"Josiah desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molek.
He removed from the entrance to the temple of the Lord the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melek. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.
He pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts of the temple of the Lord. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley.
The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon.
Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.
Even the altar at Bethel, the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin—even that altar and high place he demolished. He burned the high place and ground it to powder, and burned the Asherah pole also.
Then Josiah looked around, and when he saw the tombs that were there on the hillside, he had the bones removed from them and burned on the altar to defile it, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by the man of God who foretold these things.
The king asked, 'What is that tombstone I see?'
The people of the city said, 'It marks the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and pronounced against the altar of Bethel the very things you have done to it.'
'Leave it alone,' he said. 'Don’t let anyone disturb his bones.' "

- Second Kings 23:10-18

622-612 BC, Josiah Purifies the Land of Judah and Israel

Josiah destroyed the many pagan worship centers in Jerusalem and through out Judah. The text mentions several gods and the location of their high places of worship. One was called Topheth. When the people of Judah began to worship demons and offer their children in the fire, they did it in the Hinnom Valley. When Josiah became king, he went down into the Hinnom Valley where children had been sacrificed to demons, and he desecrated the altar/image (or, “the burner” called “Topheth”) that the wicked people used to burn their children as an offering to the god Molech. When God spoke through Isaiah of the coming judgment he also spoke of “the burner”:
Topheth has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze.” - Isaiah 30:33

“The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it (Solomon’s Temple). They have built the high places of Topheth (“the burner”) in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire – something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind. So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.” - Jeremiah 7:31-33

When Josiah had finished restoring the worship of the Lord in Judah, he turned his attention north into Israel. As prophecy by a prophet from Judah in 930 BC had foretold to Jeroboam while the first king of Israel was presenting an offering on the altar to the golden calf in Bethel,

“Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’ ” – 1 Kings 13:2

Josiah smashed and burned the high place of worship set up in Bethel in 930 BC (300 to 308 years before). Then Josiah emptied the tombs near the altar that had the bones of the priests and burned them over the remains of the sanctuary to desecrate it and leave it unusable for any pagan ceremony. But, when the tomb of the prophet from Judah who had announced these events was located Josiah ordered that it not be disturbed (1 Kings 13)
622 BC
Jeremiah 11-12 Jeremiah 7-10
  • Jeremiah 11 and 12 are given.
    These are followed by chapters 7, 8, 9, 10.
  • Ezekiel is born.
  • Josiah tries to purify the land.
612 BC
Ninevah Falls Nahum 1-3 fulfilled
  • Nineveh is destroyed according to Nahum’s prophecy in 663-654
  • Babylon, under Nabopolassar, becomes a world power.
Asar (Hb) – Bind (Eng) – asar means “ton bind,” “to imprison,” to tie,” “to gird” and “to harness.” Asar is what was done to horses or donkeys to secure them. Oxen were asar or harnessed to carts. Men could be asar spiritually as in Psalms 146:7 or asar emotionally by a woman’s hair as in Song of Solomon 7:5 or asar with bow strings like Delilah did to Samson.
I will stabilize my life by hearing the Word of God instead of opinions of men and points of application.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text





A portion of the bedrock of Calvary (details)
An image of a sample of the Oxyrhynchos Fragments from the first century

Someone to Quote

“Two thousand years…the centuries themselves are measured from the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. At the end of this year, calendars in India and China, like those in Europe, America, and the Middle East, will register the dawn of the third millennium.” – Kenneth l. Woodward, in Newsweek, March 29, 1999

Something to Ponder

"Are we still to remain open-minded when all reason says that there can be only one conclusion?"...Thus, being constantly in a state of absolute open-mindedness is the same as the error of being close minded! What about absolute truth? Isn't a commitment to openness an absolute? So, the open minded must be open to absolute truth! Today in education, society and religion the EMPTY MIND is often mis-identified as the OPEN MIND!!...the ignorant, open minded are easily swayed and conquered... seek truth then believe it and commit to it!

Here’s a Fact

Sidon, the Phonecian city, is often mentioned in the Old Testament: Genesis 9:18; 10:15, 19; Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; 1 Kings 11:1, 33; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21; 32:30; Joel 3:4; Matthew 15:21; Luke 6:17. Sidon was a major sea port with a beautiful landscape. There are many ruins of this ancient city and some have been excavated. The black sarcophagus of Eshmunazar, king of the Sidonians from the time of Nehemiah and Ezra has been discovered with 990 words on its eight foot long lid. (details)


"At the end of your life you will groan,
    when your flesh and body are spent.
You will say,
'How I hated discipline!
    How my heart spurned correction!' "

- Proverbs 5:11-12

Coach’s Corner

When you have determined your goal and have made plans to achieve it, don’t look back. Instead, if you think it is worth your time, do it.

Judges 8
New International Version (NIV)
Zebah and Zalmunna
Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?” And they challenged him vigorously.
But he answered them, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?” At this, their resentment against him subsided.
Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it. He said to the men of Sukkoth, “Give my troops some bread; they are worn out, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”
But the officials of Sukkoth said, “Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your troops?”
Then Gideon replied, “Just for that, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will tear your flesh with desert thorns and briers.”
From there he went up to Peniel and made the same request of them, but they answered as the men of Sukkoth had. So he said to the men of Peniel, “When I return in triumph, I will tear down this tower.”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with a force of about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the armies of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen had fallen. 11 Gideon went up by the route of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the unsuspecting army. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna, the two kings of Midian, fled, but he pursued them and captured them, routing their entire army.
13 Gideon son of Joash then returned from the battle by the Pass of Heres. 14 He caught a young man of Sukkoth and questioned him, and the young man wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven officials of Sukkoth, the elders of the town. 15 Then Gideon came and said to the men of Sukkoth, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me by saying, ‘Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’” 16 He took the elders of the town and taught the men of Sukkoth a lesson by punishing them with desert thorns and briers. 17 He also pulled down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the town.
18 Then he asked Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men did you kill at Tabor?”
“Men like you,” they answered, “each one with the bearing of a prince.”
19 Gideon replied, “Those were my brothers, the sons of my own mother. As surely as the Lord lives, if you had spared their lives, I would not kill you.” 20 Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, “Kill them!” But Jether did not draw his sword, because he was only a boy and was afraid.
21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Come, do it yourself. ‘As is the man, so is his strength.’” So Gideon stepped forward and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels’ necks.
Gideon’s Ephod
22 The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”
23 But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” 24 And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)
25 They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. 26 The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.
Gideon’s Death
28 Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years.
29 Jerub-Baal son of Joash went back home to live. 30 He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. 31 His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelek. 32 Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
33 No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god 34 and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. 35 They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them.
1 Kings 9
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Appears to Solomon
When Solomon had finished building the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do, the Lord appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. The Lord said to him:
“I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
“As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’
“But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.’”
Solomon’s Other Activities
10 At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built these two buildings—the temple of the Lord and the royal palace— 11 King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and juniper and gold he wanted. 12 But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 13 “What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?” he asked. And he called them the Land of Kabul, a name they have to this day. 14 Now Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.
15 Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s temple, his own palace, the terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. 16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up Lower Beth Horon, 18 Baalath, and Tadmor in the desert, within his land, 19 as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horses—whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.
20 There were still people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites). 21 Solomon conscripted the descendants of all these peoples remaining in the land—whom the Israelites could not exterminate—to serve as slave labor, as it is to this day. 22 But Solomon did not make slaves of any of the Israelites; they were his fighting men, his government officials, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and charioteers. 23 They were also the chief officials in charge of Solomon’s projects—550 officials supervising those who did the work.
24 After Pharaoh’s daughter had come up from the City of David to the palace Solomon had built for her, he constructed the terraces.
25 Three times a year Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord, burning incense before the Lord along with them, and so fulfilled the temple obligations.
26 King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. 27 And Hiram sent his men—sailors who knew the sea—to serve in the fleet with Solomon’s men. 28 They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.
Psalm 1
New International Version (NIV)
Psalms 1–41
Psalm 1

Blessed is the one     who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take     or sit in the company of mockers,

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,     and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,     which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—     whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!     They are like chaff     that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,     nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,     but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Psalm 2
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire     and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth rise up     and the rulers band together     against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,

“Let us break their chains     and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;     the Lord scoffs at them.

He rebukes them in his anger     and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

“I have installed my king     on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;     today I have become your father.

Ask me,     and I will make the nations your inheritance,     the ends of the earth your possession.

You will break them with a rod of iron;     you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Therefore, you kings, be wise;     be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear     and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry     and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.     Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 15
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 15
A psalm of David.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?     Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,     who does what is righteous,     who speaks the truth from their heart;

whose tongue utters no slander,     who does no wrong to a neighbor,     and casts no slur on others;

who despises a vile person     but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts,     and does not change their mind;

who lends money to the poor without interest;     who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
    will never be shaken.

Psalm 22
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 22
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?     Why are you so far from saving me,     so far from my cries of anguish?

My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,     by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;     you are the one Israel praises.

In you our ancestors put their trust;     they trusted and you delivered them.

To you they cried out and were saved;     in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,     scorned by everyone, despised by the people.

All who see me mock me;     they hurl insults, shaking their heads.

“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,     “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him,     since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;     you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you;     from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,     for trouble is near     and there is no one to help.
Many bulls surround me;     strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear their prey     open their mouths wide against me.
I am poured out like water,     and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax;     it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,     and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;     you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me,     a pack of villains encircles me;     they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;     people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them     and cast lots for my garment.
But you, Lord, do not be far from me.     You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword,     my precious life from the power of the dogs.
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;     save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
I will declare your name to my people;     in the assembly I will praise you.
You who fear the Lord, praise him!     All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!     Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or scorned     the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him     but has listened to his cry for help.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;     before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied;     those who seek the Lord will praise him—     may your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth     will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations     will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the Lord     and he rules over the nations.
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;     all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—     those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him;     future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,     declaring to a people yet unborn:     He has done it!

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