Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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June 2 - Morning

"We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.... ...But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies. You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us. You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations.... ...All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant. Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals; you covered us over with deep darkness. If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever."
- Psalms 44:1-3, 9-11,17-23

A Song of Lamentation on the Field of a Lost Battle

Psalm 44 is a song of national lamentation after the loss of a military battle. Judges 5 is an example of a victory song that would have been sung by the victorious Hebrew soldiers on the battle field after their success and continued on their march home. But, Psalm 44 is the song they would have sung after a military defeat (Psalm 44:10-11) when the POW’s had been taken (Psalm 44:13) and warriors had been slaughtered on the field of battle (Psalm 44:22-23, 25)

We do not know when this Psalm was written, nor can we assign it to a historical time or to a specific battle. It could certainly have been applied and used after any of several battles lost by the Davidic kings of Judah, or battles lost to local forces in the days of the Persians, and certainly to battles lost to the Greeks during the days of the Maccabean period, and many times since then. But, we do not know the specific historical event that caused the origin of this psalm.

Psalm 44 is written in a style that alternates between the speaker being a single individual and the speaker being referred to in the first person plural (“we,” “us”). This seems to indicate that there were two speaking parts that alternated as a responsive reading, or more likely, a responsive song sung back and forth between the king (singular “I”, “my”, “me”) and the surviving soldiers (and, the people of the community.) In this case the breakdown of the speaking parts in Psalm 44 would be:

History of God’s Previous Faithfulness Soldiers: Psalm 44:1-3 King: Psalm 44:4 – “You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob.” Soldiers: Psalm 44:5 King: Psalm 44:6 – “I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory.” Soldiers: Psalm 44:7-8

Lamentation Soldiers: Psalm 44:9-14 King: Psalm 44:15-16 – “I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge. Soldiers: Psalm 44:17-22

Prayer Both Soldiers and King: Psalm 44:23-26
Tm (Hb) – to be unclean (Eng) - The Hebrew verb tm occurs 160x in the OT. 85% of the OT occurrences of tm are in Leviticus, Numbers and Ezekiel. In Judges 13:4, 7, 14 Samson’s mother was not to eat anything tm. In Amos 7:17 Amaziah is told that he will die in a tm land. Isaiah calls himself a man of tm lips (Isaiah 6:5
I will not give up on God because of my suffering. I will not forsake the Lord when he seems distant from me.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text




Local School Syatem

Inside a tomb on the side of Mount Olives in the Kidron Valley. The burial bench and the niches called loculi (or kokhim) can be seen. These narrow shafts cut in stone inside the tomb were where the bodies would be layed. After about a year the flesh would have decayed and the bones would be gathered and placed in an ossuary. This was the most common style of burial, but the second most common was the tomb that housed a burial bench called arcosolia which served as a resting place for the deceased body until the bones where collected.
(Tombs in the Kidron Valley. Details 1, 2, 3)
Riblah, 608 BC - Jehoahaz is taken to Riblah to appear before Pharaoh Neco before he is sent in chains into Egypt never to be heard from again. (2 Kings 23:33; Jeremiah 39:5)

Someone to Quote

"Man seems to be capable of great virtues but not of small virtues; capable of defying his torturer but not of keeping his temper."
- G. K. Chesterton

Something to Ponder

Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (1627-1704), a French theologian and bishop wrote in the First Article of the Gallican "Declaration des Quatre Articles" (or, ("Declaration of Four Articles) in 1682 this revolutionary concept:

"Kings and Princes are by the law of God not subject to any ecclesiastical power nor to the Keys of the Church in respect to their temporal government."

Included in this Declaration of the Clergy of France against the Catholic Church from Italy were these four statements that became known as Gallicanism:

1. The popes and the church have dominion from God only over spiritual things, and not over temporal and civil things.

2. The authority of spiritual things belongs to the Church according to the Council of Constance. This meant the pope was regulated by previous church councils.

3. Apostolic authority must be regulated by the rules established by the Holy Spirit throughout church history, including the churches in France.

4. The pope has authority in matters of faith and his decrees apply to all the churches, yet, his decisions are reversible with the consent of the churches.

Here’s a Fact

The book of Matthew was referred to or quoted thirteen times before 200 AD in the writings of the early church teachers, leaders and bishops. Below are the documents and the year they were written that reference the book of Matthew before 200 AD:

70-130 AD, Pseudo-Barnabas
95, Clement of Rome
110, Ignatius
110-150, Polycarp
115-140, Hermas
120-150, Didache
130-202, Ireanaeus
150-155, Justin Martyr
170, Muratorian Canon
150-215, Clement of Alexandria
150-220, Tertullian  
185-254, Origen
200, Old Latin Text


"Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways."
- Proverbs 2:12-13

Coach’s Corner

The great bands, the championship teams and the history changing inventors did not happen just because they bought some equipment, ordered uniforms or had an idea. They happened intentionally, improved on purpose and continued to persevere until the equipment, the uniforms and the idea were used to achieve the goal.

1 Samuel 11
New International Version (NIV)
Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh
11 Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you.”
But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.”
The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.”
When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud. Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, “What is wrong with everyone? Why are they weeping?” Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.
When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one. When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand.
They told the messengers who had come, “Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.’” When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated. 10 They said to the Ammonites, “Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.”
11 The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
Saul Confirmed as King
12 The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.”
13 But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.”
14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.
Micah 1
New International Version (NIV)
The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah—the vision he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear, you peoples, all of you,     listen, earth and all who live in it, that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you,     the Lord from his holy temple.
Judgment Against Samaria and Jerusalem

Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place;     he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth.

The mountains melt beneath him     and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire,     like water rushing down a slope.

All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,     because of the sins of the people of Israel. What is Jacob’s transgression?     Is it not Samaria? What is Judah’s high place?     Is it not Jerusalem?

“Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,     a place for planting vineyards. I will pour her stones into the valley     and lay bare her foundations.

All her idols will be broken to pieces;     all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;     I will destroy all her images. Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,     as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.”
Weeping and Mourning

Because of this I will weep and wail;     I will go about barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal     and moan like an owl.

For Samaria’s plague is incurable;     it has spread to Judah. It has reached the very gate of my people,     even to Jerusalem itself.
Tell it not in Gath;     weep not at all. In Beth Ophrah     roll in the dust.
Pass by naked and in shame,     you who live in Shaphir. Those who live in Zaanan     will not come out. Beth Ezel is in mourning;     it no longer protects you.
Those who live in Maroth writhe in pain,     waiting for relief, because disaster has come from the Lord,     even to the gate of Jerusalem.
You who live in Lachish,     harness fast horses to the chariot. You are where the sin of Daughter Zion began,     for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
Therefore you will give parting gifts     to Moresheth Gath. The town of Akzib will prove deceptive     to the kings of Israel.
I will bring a conqueror against you     who live in Mareshah. The nobles of Israel     will flee to Adullam.
Shave your head in mourning     for the children in whom you delight; make yourself as bald as the vulture,     for they will go from you into exile.
Song of Songs 1-4
New International Version (NIV)
Solomon’s Song of Songs.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—     for your love is more delightful than wine.

Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;     your name is like perfume poured out.     No wonder the young women love you!

Take me away with you—let us hurry!     Let the king bring me into his chambers.
We rejoice and delight in you;     we will praise your love more than wine.
How right they are to adore you!

Dark am I, yet lovely,     daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar,     like the tent curtains of Solomon.

Do not stare at me because I am dark,     because I am darkened by the sun. My mother’s sons were angry with me     and made me take care of the vineyards;     my own vineyard I had to neglect.

Tell me, you whom I love,     where you graze your flock     and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman     beside the flocks of your friends?

If you do not know, most beautiful of women,     follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats     by the tents of the shepherds.

I liken you, my darling, to a mare     among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.
Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,     your neck with strings of jewels.
We will make you earrings of gold,     studded with silver.
While the king was at his table,     my perfume spread its fragrance.
My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh     resting between my breasts.
My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms     from the vineyards of En Gedi.
How beautiful you are, my darling!     Oh, how beautiful!     Your eyes are doves.
How handsome you are, my beloved!     Oh, how charming!     And our bed is verdant.
The beams of our house are cedars;     our rafters are firs.

I am a rose of Sharon,     a lily of the valleys.

Like a lily among thorns     is my darling among the young women.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest     is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade,     and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

Let him lead me to the banquet hall,     and let his banner over me be love.

Strengthen me with raisins,     refresh me with apples,     for I am faint with love.

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

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you     by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love     until it so desires.

Listen! My beloved!     Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains,     bounding over the hills.

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.     Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows,     peering through the lattice.
My beloved spoke and said to me,     “Arise, my darling,     my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past;     the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;     the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves     is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;     the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling;     my beautiful one, come with me.”
My dove in the clefts of the rock,     in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face,     let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet,     and your face is lovely.
Catch for us the foxes,     the little foxes that ruin the vineyards,     our vineyards that are in bloom.
My beloved is mine and I am his;     he browses among the lilies.
Until the day breaks     and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved,     and be like a gazelle or like a young stag     on the rugged hills.

All night long on my bed     I looked for the one my heart loves;     I looked for him but did not find him.

I will get up now and go about the city,     through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves.     So I looked for him but did not find him.

The watchmen found me     as they made their rounds in the city.     “Have you seen the one my heart loves?”

Scarcely had I passed them     when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go     till I had brought him to my mother’s house,     to the room of the one who conceived me.

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you     by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love     until it so desires.

Who is this coming up from the wilderness     like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense     made from all the spices of the merchant?

Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,     escorted by sixty warriors,     the noblest of Israel,

all of them wearing the sword,     all experienced in battle, each with his sword at his side,     prepared for the terrors of the night.

King Solomon made for himself the carriage;     he made it of wood from Lebanon.
Its posts he made of silver,     its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple,     its interior inlaid with love. Daughters of Jerusalem, 11 come out,     and look, you daughters of Zion. Look on King Solomon wearing a crown,     the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding,     the day his heart rejoiced.

How beautiful you are, my darling!     Oh, how beautiful!     Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats     descending from the hills of Gilead.

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

Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;     your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil     are like the halves of a pomegranate.

Your neck is like the tower of David,     built with courses of stone; on it hang a thousand shields,     all of them shields of warriors.

Your breasts are like two fawns,     like twin fawns of a gazelle     that browse among the lilies.

Until the day breaks     and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh     and to the hill of incense.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling;     there is no flaw in you.

Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,     come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana,     from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens     and the mountain haunts of leopards.

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;     you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes,     with one jewel of your necklace.
How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!     How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume     more than any spice!
Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;     milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments     is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;     you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates     with choice fruits,     with henna and nard,
    nard and saffron,     calamus and cinnamon,     with every kind of incense tree,     with myrrh and aloes     and all the finest spices.
You are a garden fountain,     a well of flowing water     streaming down from Lebanon.
Awake, north wind,     and come, south wind! Blow on my garden,     that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden     and taste its choice fruits.

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