Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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June 2 - Evening

"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

- Selah -
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress."

- Selah -

- Psalms 46:1-7

Confidence Among the Chaos

The eleven verses of Psalm 46 are presented in three parts with a Selah in place between each section for the worshipper to stop speaking (singing) in order to meditate on what has just been presented in the Word of God while the music continues to play. The sections are:
  • Creation - Psalm 46:1-3 is focused on the superiority of the Creator over the forces of chaos and the current instability of creation.
  • Jerusalem - Psalm 46:4-7 is focused on the security and peace in the city of God in the midst of the uproar of nations and the falling of kingdoms because God’s presence dwells in there.
  • History - Psalm 46:8-11 is focused on God’s ultimate victory and dominion historically on earth among the nations.
The superscript of the Psalm identifies this as a song written by Levites from the family line of Korah which was to be performed while accompanied by an alamoth, an unidentified musical instrument. The general congregation of worshippers would have joined in the singing of this song in national praise song since the first-person plural is used throughout the Psalm: “our”, “we”, “us”.
In the first section (46:1-3) the forces of chaos that were subdued in Genesis 1 continue to be a threat. Even though chaos gave way to the order implemented by the Creator, these forces continue to be maintained by God who is a source of refuge, strength and help for his people when:
  • The continental plates give way
  • The mountains tremble and tumble
  • The seas become tsunamis
In the worst case of natural disaster God is still present to help and provide refuge and strength for his people.
In the second section (46:4-7) the song turns to the security of Jerusalem, the city of God. Here there is an ever flowing supply of water from the Gihon Springs (which still flows today as it has for thousands of years). God’s presence among his people provides them with security, peace and provisions, but among the raging nations he raises his voice to melt the earth causing the nations to fall.
Those who know and trust God have security that goes beyond nature, politics and history. God is an ever present help with provisions that make glad the people of his kingdom.
Noutheteo (Gr) – Warn (Eng) – a Greek word which means “to admonish,” “to warn,” and “to exhort.” Paul uses this word in Acts 20:31 when he tells the Ephesian leaders that over a period of three years he did not stop “warning” (noutheton) them night and day.
I will look to God for refuge in moments of disappointment, times of loss and in the midst of national chaos.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Best friend


Understanding and discovery of spiritual gifts
Local community groups

The road in the land of Benjamin that goes from Lebonah to Shiloh in Judges 21:19 where it is mentioned in an account from around 1090 BC. Notice that the modern road still follows a similar route since this is the best route to travel through the land in this area.
Details of Fort Antonia labeled on a model showing the north wall of the 30-70 AD Herodian Temple Mount.

Someone to Quote

"The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God." 
- Søren Kierkegaard

Something to Ponder

1534 – In Germany and Switzerland the Reformation against the Catholic Church came from men searching the Scriptures and calling the church to return to a biblical foundation. But, in England King Henry VIII attacked Luther’s views in 1521 and was honored by the Pope as the “Defender of the Faith.”
Henry had married his brother’s widow (Catherine), but she had born no son, so Henry was attracted to the younger woman, Anne Boleyn. Henry petitioned the Pope for a divorce, but the Pope refused the divorce because he feared upsetting Catherine’s nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
So, Henry took matters into his own hands by appointing Thomas Cranmer as archbishop. Cranmer then granted Henry a divorce, Anne had a daughter (Elizabeth) and the English Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy that declared King Henry VIII was the supreme head of the Church of England. In England there was not a rebellion against the Catholic Church (or, a Protestant Reformation), but a rebellion to make King Henry the “pope” of his own church in England and to grant him the divorce that he wanted.

Here’s a Fact

The archaeological site of Tall el-Hammam (official Excavation Website) is a potential candidate for the site of Sodom and the historical events that made Sodom infamous. This is not the traditional site assigned to Sodom south of the Dead Sea, but Tel el-Hammam sets in the disk shaped plain SE of Bethel and Ai on the east side of the Jordan NE of the northern end of the Dead Sea. (Images 1, 2) This location fits the Biblical description. Archaeology has revealed a destruction layer of burnt ash one meter thick with burnt roofs, residences, jewelry, pottery, household items scattered among burnt human bones of the inhabitants. The remaining human bones are distorted by an apparent intense heat flash that came from the east and threw these bodies against the west walls of their residences. The flash heat that buried this site in ash and distorted human bones also did these things:

Turned Bronze Age (3300-1200 BC) pottery into glass which required a much higher heat than available in kilns of that time.
Soil samples reveal sand turned to glass as if produced by lightning or an atomic explosion
Some of the pottery not only melted into glass, but became so hot so fast that it bubbled like flowing volcanic magma in temperatures far above 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Why Sodom is not here at Tall el-Hammam) (Support for Sodom at Tall el-Hammam)


"The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart."
- Proverbs 17:4

Coach’s Corner

Mistakes are necessary for growth and are common along the path to improvement. Mistakes can indicate you are trying, growing and moving towards your goal. But, mistakes can also indicate: your lack of attention, your deficiency of desire, your failure to learn or your refusal to focus. In the first case, press on, victory is in store. But, in the second case, it is painful to watch until you decide to care.

Micah 2
New International Version (NIV)
Human Plans and God’s Plans

Woe to those who plan iniquity,     to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out     because it is in their power to do it.

They covet fields and seize them,     and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes,     they rob them of their inheritance.
Therefore, the Lord says:
“I am planning disaster against this people,     from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly,     for it will be a time of calamity.

In that day people will ridicule you;     they will taunt you with this mournful song: ‘We are utterly ruined;     my people’s possession is divided up. He takes it from me!     He assigns our fields to traitors.’”

Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the Lord     to divide the land by lot.
False Prophets

“Do not prophesy,” their prophets say.     “Do not prophesy about these things;     disgrace will not overtake us.”

You descendants of Jacob, should it be said,     “Does the Lord become[a] impatient?     Does he do such things?”
“Do not my words do good
    to the one whose ways are upright?

Lately my people have risen up     like an enemy. You strip off the rich robe     from those who pass by without a care,     like men returning from battle.

You drive the women of my people     from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing     from their children forever.
Get up, go away!     For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled,     it is ruined, beyond all remedy.
If a liar and deceiver comes and says,     ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’     that would be just the prophet for this people!
Deliverance Promised
“I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;     I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,     like a flock in its pasture;     the place will throng with people.
The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;     they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them,     the Lord at their head.”
  1. Micah 2:7 Or Is the Spirit of the Lord
Song of Songs 5-8
New International Version (NIV)

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;     I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;     I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, friends, and drink;     drink your fill of love.

I slept but my heart was awake.     Listen! My beloved is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling,     my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew,     my hair with the dampness of the night.”

I have taken off my robe—     must I put it on again? I have washed my feet—     must I soil them again?

My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening;     my heart began to pound for him.

I arose to open for my beloved,     and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh,     on the handles of the bolt.

I opened for my beloved,     but my beloved had left; he was gone.     My heart sank at his departure.[a] I looked for him but did not find him.     I called him but he did not answer.

The watchmen found me     as they made their rounds in the city. They beat me, they bruised me;     they took away my cloak,     those watchmen of the walls!

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you—     if you find my beloved, what will you tell him?     Tell him I am faint with love.

How is your beloved better than others,     most beautiful of women? How is your beloved better than others,     that you so charge us?
My beloved is radiant and ruddy,     outstanding among ten thousand.
His head is purest gold;     his hair is wavy     and black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves     by the water streams, washed in milk,     mounted like jewels.
His cheeks are like beds of spice     yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies     dripping with myrrh.
His arms are rods of gold     set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory     decorated with lapis lazuli.
His legs are pillars of marble     set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon,     choice as its cedars.
His mouth is sweetness itself;     he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend,     daughters of Jerusalem.

Where has your beloved gone,     most beautiful of women? Which way did your beloved turn,     that we may look for him with you?

My beloved has gone down to his garden,     to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens     and to gather lilies.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;     he browses among the lilies.

You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling,     as lovely as Jerusalem,     as majestic as troops with banners.

Turn your eyes from me;     they overwhelm me. Your hair is like a flock of goats     descending from Gilead.

Your teeth are like a flock of sheep     coming up from the washing. Each has its twin,     not one of them is missing.

Your temples behind your veil     are like the halves of a pomegranate.

Sixty queens there may be,     and eighty concubines,     and virgins beyond number;

but my dove, my perfect one, is unique,     the only daughter of her mother,     the favorite of the one who bore her. The young women saw her and called her blessed;     the queens and concubines praised her.
Who is this that appears like the dawn,     fair as the moon, bright as the sun,     majestic as the stars in procession?
I went down to the grove of nut trees     to look at the new growth in the valley, to see if the vines had budded     or the pomegranates were in bloom.
Before I realized it,     my desire set me among the royal chariots of my people.[b]
Come back, come back, O Shulammite;     come back, come back, that we may gaze on you!
Why would you gaze on the Shulammite     as on the dance of Mahanaim?[c]

[d]How beautiful your sandaled feet,     O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels,     the work of an artist’s hands.

Your navel is a rounded goblet     that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat     encircled by lilies.

Your breasts are like two fawns,     like twin fawns of a gazelle.

Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon     by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon     looking toward Damascus.

Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.     Your hair is like royal tapestry;     the king is held captive by its tresses.

How beautiful you are and how pleasing,     my love, with your delights!

Your stature is like that of the palm,     and your breasts like clusters of fruit.

I said, “I will climb the palm tree;     I will take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,     the fragrance of your breath like apples,

    and your mouth like the best wine.
May the wine go straight to my beloved,     flowing gently over lips and teeth.[e]
I belong to my beloved,     and his desire is for me.
Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,     let us spend the night in the villages.[f]
Let us go early to the vineyards     to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened,     and if the pomegranates are in bloom—     there I will give you my love.
The mandrakes send out their fragrance,     and at our door is every delicacy, both new and old,     that I have stored up for you, my beloved.

If only you were to me like a brother,     who was nursed at my mother’s breasts! Then, if I found you outside,     I would kiss you,     and no one would despise me.

I would lead you     and bring you to my mother’s house—     she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink,     the nectar of my pomegranates.

His left arm is under my head     and his right arm embraces me.

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:     Do not arouse or awaken love     until it so desires.

Who is this coming up from the wilderness     leaning on her beloved?
Under the apple tree I roused you;     there your mother conceived you,     there she who was in labor gave you birth.

Place me like a seal over your heart,     like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death,     its jealousy[g] unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire,     like a mighty flame.[h]

Many waters cannot quench love;     rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give     all the wealth of one’s house for love,     it[i] would be utterly scorned.

We have a little sister,     and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister     on the day she is spoken for?

If she is a wall,     we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door,     we will enclose her with panels of cedar.
I am a wall,     and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes     like one bringing contentment.
Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon;     he let out his vineyard to tenants. Each was to bring for its fruit     a thousand shekels[j] of silver.
But my own vineyard is mine to give;     the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,     and two hundred[k] are for those who tend its fruit.
You who dwell in the gardens     with friends in attendance,     let me hear your voice!
Come away, my beloved,     and be like a gazelle or like a young stag     on the spice-laden mountains.
  1. Song of Songs 5:6 Or heart had gone out to him when he spoke
  2. Song of Songs 6:12 Or among the chariots of Amminadab; or among the chariots of the people of the prince
  3. Song of Songs 6:13 In Hebrew texts this verse (6:13) is numbered 7:1.
  4. Song of Songs 7:1 In Hebrew texts 7:1-13 is numbered 7:2-14.
  5. Song of Songs 7:9 Septuagint, Aquila, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew lips of sleepers
  6. Song of Songs 7:11 Or the henna bushes
  7. Song of Songs 8:6 Or ardor
  8. Song of Songs 8:6 Or fire, / like the very flame of the Lord
  9. Song of Songs 8:7 Or he
  10. Song of Songs 8:11 That is, about 25 pounds or about 12 kilograms; also in verse 12
  11. Song of Songs 8:12 That is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms
2 Chronicles 32:1-5
New International Version (NIV)
Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem
32 After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to wage war against Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. They gathered a large group of people who blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” they said. Then he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the terraces of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields.

2 Chronicles 32:30
New International Version (NIV)
30 It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David. He succeeded in everything he undertook.

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