Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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June 3 - Morning

"Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King. God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress. When the kings joined forces, when they advanced together, they saw her and were astounded; they fled in terror. Trembling seized them there, pain like that of a woman in labor. You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish shattered by an east wind. As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of the Lord Almighty, in the city of our God: God makes her secure forever.
- Selah -
Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love."

- Psalms 48:1-9

The City of Jerusalem

Psalm 48 recognizes the glory of Jerusalem and credits the city’s majesty and military security to God’s presence in the city. This song is part of a collection of hymns within the Book of Psalms called the Songs of Zion (also included would be Psalm 76; Psalm 84; Psalm 87 and Psalm 122). God is the glory within this city that he protects.

“Zaphon” means “north” and is the mythical mountain fortress of the Canaanite god. In this psalm Mount Zion, or Jerusalem, is the true and historical “Mount Zaphon” since the true God dwells there. People can meet with the Lord at this “Zaphon” located in Jerusalem.

The Great King is the Lord. Verses 4-8 seem to be recalling (or, prophesizing) a military invasion of Jerusalem from the Mediterranean Sea. The kings of the earth joined forces and began their advance from the coastal plain through the Judean hills towards Jerusalem (48:4-5). But, upon their arrival the mere sight of this great city struck the invading kings with such terror that they fled back to their ships on the coast only to arrive in time to be destroyed by an east wind (48:6-7). The East wind from the desert is always trouble, and in this case, trouble for the forces invading from the West, identified as Tarshish.

The glory of Jerusalem and the strength of the city’s walls and ramparts are a manifestation of God’s unfailing love that protects the people and causes them to live in security. Before this event the people of Jerusalem had heard ancient accounts of the Lord’s glory and greatness in Jerusalem, but now they can say, “As we have heard, so have we seen.” (48:8)

This psalm breaks after verse 8 for a Selah (a time to consider the meaning and make personal application of these truths just sung), and resumes in verse 9 with pilgrims progressing through the city to celebrate in Jerusalem.

The psalm ends with citizens and pilgrims being advised to “walk about Zion,” “count her towers,” “consider her ramparts” and “citadels” (Psalm 48:12-14) so that they will be able to make an accurate report concerning the greatness of Jerusalem to the next generations:

“Walk about Zion, go around her,     count her towers, consider well her ramparts,     view her citadels that you may tell of them     to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever;     he will be our guide even to the end.”
- Psalm 48:12-14
Yrs (Hb) – to inherit (Eng) – Yrs is a root word meaning “to inherit” and “to take possession.” Yrs is used to mean “to inherit” in:
Genesis 15:3-4
Genesis 21:10
Jeremiah 49:1
I will remember that beauty, order, decency, success and prosperity are only possible with the presence of the Lord. And, religion is not necessarily the same thing as the presence of God.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Family friends and their children


Experience God's presence
International relationships

Jacob's Well is in the modern city of Nablus in the West Bank. This is the Old Testament city of Shechem and the New Testament city of Sychar. It was here that Jesus met the Samaritan woman in John 4:4-7. The ancient well, which was hewn through solid rock is in the church in the center of this photo with the domed roof.
Details of 1 Kings 11:14-40 concerning Solomon's three adversaries that arose during his reign.

Someone to Quote

"Much of what we do for 'church' was lifted directly out of pagan culture in the postapostolic period."
- Viola and Barna

Something to Ponder

Immaculate Conception means Mary was conceived without original sin or its stain—"immaculate" means: without stain. For those who want to believe this, Scriptural support for the Immaculate Conception is found in the angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary when he said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene which is said to express a characteristic quality of Mary. 
Mary’s mother (Anne) conceived Mary the normal way, but the Virgin Birth refers to the supernatural conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary. (Matt.1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38) Because of this Jesus was born without the sin nature that all other men inherited from Adam. The virgin birth was universally accepted in the church by 120 AD and challenges to the teaching did not gain momentum until the 1700’s.

Here’s a Fact

This is list #2 of 4 that identifies a total of forty-one bullae (seal impressions in clay) used on official documents and sealed by someone mentioned in the Bible or by a servant of a biblical personality. The existence and discovery of these bullae (seal impressions in clay) attest to the accuracy and historicity of the text in the Old Testament documents:

Hoshea (2 Kings 17:1-6), “Belonging to Abdi, the servant of Hoshea”

Shebna (Isaiah 22:15-25) says, “…Shebna, servant of the king”

Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1-18; 2 Chr.34:20) two finds: “Belonging to Manasseh, son of the king” and “Belonging to Manasseh son of Hezekiah”

Asaiah (2 Kings 22:12, 14; 2 Chr.34:20) says, “Belonging to Asayahu (Asaiah), minister of the king.”

Joezer and Igdaliah (Jer.35:4; 1 Chr.12:7) says, “Belonging to Yehoezer son of Yigdalyahu”

Azaliah and Meshullam (2 Kings 23:11) says, “Azaliah the son of Meshullam”

Nathan-melech (2 Kings 23:11) says, “Nathan-melech, servant of the king”

Ahikam and Shaphan (2 Kings 22:12 says, “Belonging to Ahikam, the son of Shaphan”


"By wisdom the Lord laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place."
- Proverbs 3:19

Coach’s Corner

Sometimes leadership is more about being alone while preparing for what is coming next, than it is about being in front of the crowd talking about what is now.

1 Samuel 12
New International Version (NIV)
Samuel’s Farewell Speech
12 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right.”
“You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.”
Samuel said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.”
“He is witness,” they said.
Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors up out of Egypt. Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the Lord as to all the righteous acts performed by the Lord for you and your ancestors.
“After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the Lord for help, and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
“But they forgot the Lord their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. 10 They cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned; we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal, Barak, Jephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.
12 “But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! 15 But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.
16 “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! 17 Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king.”
18 Then Samuel called on the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel.
19 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”
20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.”
Micah 3
New International Version (NIV)
Leaders and Prophets Rebuked
Then I said,
“Listen, you leaders of Jacob,     you rulers of Israel. Should you not embrace justice,

    you who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people     and the flesh from their bones;

who eat my people’s flesh,     strip off their skin     and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan,     like flesh for the pot?”

Then they will cry out to the Lord,     but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them     because of the evil they have done.
This is what the Lord says:
“As for the prophets     who lead my people astray, they proclaim ‘peace’     if they have something to eat, but prepare to wage war against anyone     who refuses to feed them.

Therefore night will come over you, without visions,     and darkness, without divination. The sun will set for the prophets,     and the day will go dark for them.

The seers will be ashamed     and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their faces     because there is no answer from God.”

But as for me, I am filled with power,     with the Spirit of the Lord,     and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression,     to Israel his sin.

Hear this, you leaders of Jacob,     you rulers of Israel, who despise justice     and distort all that is right;
who build Zion with bloodshed,     and Jerusalem with wickedness.
Her leaders judge for a bribe,     her priests teach for a price,     and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,     “Is not the Lord among us?     No disaster will come upon us.”
Therefore because of you,     Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,     the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.
Proverbs 1-2
New International Version (NIV)
Purpose and Theme
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;     for understanding words of insight;

for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,     doing what is right and just and fair;

for giving prudence to those who are simple,     knowledge and discretion to the young—

let the wise listen and add to their learning,     and let the discerning get guidance—

for understanding proverbs and parables,     the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,     but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom
Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction     and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

They are a garland to grace your head     and a chain to adorn your neck.
My son, if sinful men entice you,     do not give in to them.
If they say, “Come along with us;     let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,     let’s ambush some harmless soul;
let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,     and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we will get all sorts of valuable things     and fill our houses with plunder;
cast lots with us;     we will all share the loot”—
my son, do not go along with them,     do not set foot on their paths;
for their feet rush into evil,     they are swift to shed blood.
How useless to spread a net     where every bird can see it!
These men lie in wait for their own blood;     they ambush only themselves!
Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;     it takes away the life of those who get it.
Wisdom’s Rebuke
Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,     she raises her voice in the public square;
on top of the wall she cries out,     at the city gate she makes her speech:
“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?     How long will mockers delight in mockery     and fools hate knowledge?
Repent at my rebuke!     Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,     I will make known to you my teachings.
But since you refuse to listen when I call     and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
since you disregard all my advice     and do not accept my rebuke,
I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;     I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
when calamity overtakes you like a storm,     when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,     when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
“Then they will call to me but I will not answer;     they will look for me but will not find me,
since they hated knowledge     and did not choose to fear the Lord.
Since they would not accept my advice     and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways     and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,     and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety     and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Moral Benefits of Wisdom

My son, if you accept my words     and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom     and applying your heart to understanding—

indeed, if you call out for insight     and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver     and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord     and find the knowledge of God.

For the Lord gives wisdom;     from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He holds success in store for the upright,     he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

for he guards the course of the just     and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just     and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,     and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,     and understanding will guard you.
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,     from men whose words are perverse,
who have left the straight paths     to walk in dark ways,
who delight in doing wrong     and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
whose paths are crooked     and who are devious in their ways.
Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,     from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
who has left the partner of her youth     and ignored the covenant she made before God.
Surely her house leads down to death     and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
None who go to her return     or attain the paths of life.
Thus you will walk in the ways of the good     and keep to the paths of the righteous.
For the upright will live in the land,     and the blameless will remain in it;
but the wicked will be cut off from the land,     and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

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