Spiritual Training

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June 26 - Morning

"You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain...

...For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be."

- Psalms 139:1-6

Forming and Testing...all of us!

Psalm 139 begins by focusing on God’s knowledge of our inner man. (Psalm 139:1-2). This inner man is compared to the den of an animal when the Hebrew word rov’a is used in verse 139:3. The Lord will “winnow” this “den” (rov’a) or inner man. “Winnow” comes from an agricultural root z-r-h which means here “to analyze and critically assess.” Psalm 139:5 expresses the idea of the Lord putting his hand, or “palm”, on the psalmist like a potter places his palm on the spinning clay on the pottery wheel. The Lord has his hand “behind and in front” of him on the spinning wheel of life in order to shape this man.

Throughout this Psalm words are used to refer to God’s oversight and evaluation of the inner man that he is forming with the palm of his hand on the potter’s wheel: “know,” “examine,” “see,” and “probe.” The psalmist knows that the Lord is using life situations to form his character and then the Lord follows up by testing that character formed in the inner man.

Interestingly, and surprisingly, the psalmist suddenly changes directions in verse 139:19! The focus of this Psalm goes from God knowing and judging the individual writer of this Psalm to God’s responsibility of judging others. In this case, the others who have opposed God’s attempt to form their inner man and have opposed the psalmist who has submitted to God.

This Psalm is very similar to the context and direction of the prayers and lamentations of Jeremiah who uses the same imagery crediting God with forming and testing Jeremiah’s inner man while also challenging God to be accountable and do the same thing to others. Jeremiah demands that the Lord destroy those who refuse to submit to formation by the palm of the Lord or fail the Lord’s testing.

“Yet you know me, O Lord; you see me and test my thoughts about you. Drag them off like sheep to be butchered! Set them apart for the day of slaughter!” – Jeremiah 12:3

“You understand, O Lord; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors.
You are long-suffering – do not take me away; think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.”

– Jeremiah 15:15
Tob (Hb) - Good (Eng) - The Hebrew root word tob means “good” but the Hebrew context often requires tob to be translated into English in a variety of the following ways in order to express more adequately the Hebrew intentions: “agreeable,” “pleasant,” “satisfying,” “favorable,” “useful,” “right,” “pretty,” “fragrant.” In general tob means good concerning:
  • Suitable for a purpose
  • An indication of quality
  • Characterization of people
  • Evaluation of a decision
  • Ethical behavior
I will thank Him today for creating me and having a plan for my life before I was ever born.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Spiritual enlightenment


Increase Spiritual hunger
Military and National Defense

Panoramic view of the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem looking over the Kidron Valley.
Details of locations in Isaiah chapters 15, 16 and 17 on a map

Someone to Quote

"We Italians then owe to the Church of Rome and to her priests our having become irreligious and bad, but we owe her a still greater debt, and one that will be the cause of our ruin, namely that the Church has kept and still keeps our country divided."
- Niccolo Machiavelli

Something to Ponder

Study and test your Old Testament knowledge of dates, names and more here:

Flash Cards/Test HERE

Here’s a Fact

Expert Witness Testimony Confirming the Authenticity of the James Ossuary

Epigrapher ancient Hebrew inscriptions: “Not doubt that the entire inscription was ancient and inscribed in a single event. No reason to believe the contrary.”
Paleographer, Hebrew University: “Concluded that the entire inscriptions of ancient origin…If this is a forgery, I quit.”
Expert in Hebrew Ossuary Inscriptions, IAA Committee: “Found no indication of forgery in the inscription.”
Expert on Hebrew Inscriptions: “Found no indication that the inscription is a forgery or is modern. The text and paleography make it difficult to rule out the authenticity of the inscription.”
Professor, prosecution witness: “No indication the inscription is a forgery.”
Experts in archaeometry at the Geological Survey of Israel in Jerusalem: “They identified natural bio-patina in all the letter grooves, thus demonstrating the inscription occurred prior to the scratches and patina forming. They have no doubt about the ancient origin of the entire inscription.”
Senior antiquities conservator for IAA, chemist and specialist in the conservation of ancient stone items: “Based on careful analysis of the patina within the letter grooves under various light conditions concluded with certainty the phrase ‘brother of Jesus’ had been engraved in ancient times.”
Several others with similar credentials testified in support of the authenticity of the James Ossuary.
(Details 1, 2 and Photo)


"As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly."
- Proverbs 26:11

Coach’s Corner

Do not let the failures of the past and the fears of the future crowd out the joy, hope and life of today.

2 Samuel 4
New International Version (NIV)
Ish-Bosheth Murdered
When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed. Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab; they were sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the tribe of Benjamin—Beeroth is considered part of Benjamin, because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day.
(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.)
Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest. They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.
They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah. They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”
David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! 11 How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”
12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.
Habakkuk 2
New International Version (NIV)

I will stand at my watch     and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me,     and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
The Lord’s Answer
Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation     and make it plain on tablets     so that a herald may run with it.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;     it speaks of the end     and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it;     it will certainly come     and will not delay.

“See, the enemy is puffed up;     his desires are not upright—     but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—

indeed, wine betrays him;     he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave     and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations     and takes captive all the peoples.
“Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying,
“‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods     and makes himself wealthy by extortion!     How long must this go on?’

Will not your creditors suddenly arise?     Will they not wake up and make you tremble?     Then you will become their prey.

Because you have plundered many nations,     the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood;     you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain,     setting his nest on high     to escape the clutches of ruin!
You have plotted the ruin of many peoples,     shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
The stones of the wall will cry out,     and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed     and establishes a town by injustice!
Has not the Lord Almighty determined     that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire,     that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord     as the waters cover the sea.
“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors,     pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk,     so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!
You will be filled with shame instead of glory.     Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed! The cup from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you,     and disgrace will cover your glory.
The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,     and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood;     you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman?     Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation;     he makes idols that cannot speak.
Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’     Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance?     It is covered with gold and silver;     there is no breath in it.”
The Lord is in his holy temple;     let all the earth be silent before him.
1 Kings 15:25-16:34
New International Version (NIV)
Nadab King of Israel
25 Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit.
27 Baasha son of Ahijah from the tribe of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it. 28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king.
29 As soon as he began to reign, he killed Jeroboam’s whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the Lord given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite. 30 This happened because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and had caused Israel to commit, and because he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel.
31 As for the other events of Nadab’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 32 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns.
Baasha King of Israel
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
16 Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu son of Hanani concerning Baasha: “I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins. So I am about to wipe out Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and birds will feed on those who die in the country.”
As for the other events of Baasha’s reign, what he did and his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Baasha rested with his ancestors and was buried in Tirzah. And Elah his son succeeded him as king.
Moreover, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani to Baasha and his house, because of all the evil he had done in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger by the things he did, becoming like the house of Jeroboam—and also because he destroyed it.
Elah King of Israel
In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah two years.
Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk in the home of Arza, the palace administrator at Tirzah. 10 Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Then he succeeded him as king.
11 As soon as he began to reign and was seated on the throne, he killed off Baasha’s whole family. He did not spare a single male, whether relative or friend. 12 So Zimri destroyed the whole family of Baasha, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu— 13 because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed and had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols.
14 As for the other events of Elah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Zimri King of Israel
15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah seven days. The army was encamped near Gibbethon, a Philistine town. 16 When the Israelites in the camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp. 17 Then Omri and all the Israelites with him withdrew from Gibbethon and laid siege to Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, 19 because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
20 As for the other events of Zimri’s reign, and the rebellion he carried out, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Omri King of Israel
21 Then the people of Israel were split into two factions; half supported Tibni son of Ginath for king, and the other half supported Omri. 22 But Omri’s followers proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king.
23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill.
25 But Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him. 26 He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols.
27 As for the other events of Omri’s reign, what he did and the things he achieved, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 28 Omri rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Ahab his son succeeded him as king.
Ahab Becomes King of Israel
29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.
34 In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

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