Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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June 4 - Evening

"Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might. Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. Arrogant foes are attacking me; ruthless people are trying to kill me— people without regard for God.

- Selah -

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them."

- Psalms 54:1-5

Calling on the Name of the Lord

Psalm 54 was the prayer for deliverance that David prayed when the Ziphites from the Wilderness of Ziph reported to Saul in First Samuel 23:19-24 that they knew David was hiding in their hill country.

David begins in 54:1 by seeking God’s “name” which, according to 54:6, is YHWH or “Lord.” To have the “Name” was to have the presence of God and the presence of God would include his character and his salvation (protection, deliverance, etc.) This concept is seen in Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 21 when the Lord said he would “put his name” in the place for him to be worshipped (Jerusalem) and then again in 1 Kings 8:1-66 when Solomon dedicates the temple as the seat of the presence of the Lord because God had put his name there.

In the wilderness of Ziph “in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon” (1 Sam. 23:19) David asks God to “Save me…by your name!” (Ps. 54:1) The word “save” comes from the Hebrew root word that means “to be wide and broad” and communicates idea of being set loose in wide open space, free from constrictions. The meaning is “help,” “deliver,” “rescue.” In the second line of 54:1 David uses the word “vindicate” when he asks God to “vindicate me by your might.” The word “vindicate” is a legal term from the Hebrew court system that means “defend” and “judge.” David considers himself innocent. He sees himself as righteous, yet persecuted by villains in a military conflict and in a legal battle.

David is asking for the presence of God to be manifest and to deliver him from the hands of men. These men are described in Psalm 54:3 as:

  • “Strangers” ("Arrogant foes") who “are attacking” David. These would be the men of Ziph who are handing over David merely for political gain. David has done these men no harm, thus he calls them “strangers” because David doesn’t even know them.
  • “Ruthless men”…“without regard for God.” Saul is the “ruthless” tyrant who is persecuting David, the man of God. If Saul knew God’s will, God’s word and God’s ways he would not be hunting David, yet because Saul is “ruthless” and is “without regard for God” he comes against God and God’s man.

At the end of 54:3 David writes Selah as if to stop and meditate on the content of the first three verses:

  • God’s name is his presence;
  • God’s presence is salvation;
  • God hears David;
  • David is innocent in a legal matter that has escalated into a military conflict;
  • the men who betray David have no quarrel with David;
  • the man who hunts David, the man of God, has no regard for the things of God

Then, after a time of meditation, Psalm 54:4 begins with the Hebrew word hineh meaning “Look!” which is written in a form that means, “Look! God is about to help me” or “Look! God has already began helping me.”

            “Surely! God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Psalm 54:4

David then states in 54:5:             “Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them!” - Psalm 54:5
Epieikes (Gr) – Gentle (Eng) – a Greek word from epi-, which means “unto,” and eikos, which means “likely.” Together epi- and eikos (epieikos) mean “equity, lenient, kindly.” The character of epieikes is the man who looks with patient reason at the facts. The opposite is to be contentious. It is used in the following verses: 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 3:2; James 3:17; 1 Peter 2:8; 2 Cor. 10:11 and Phil. 4:5. A man who possesses epieikes is reasonable, fair, lenient and equitable as a leader and humble and steadfast as a servant instead of hateful or bitter towards others and blasphemous towards God when treated with injustice and disgrace or is disregarded.
I will realize that God’s presence is salvation, deliverance and strength for those who believe.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Changed to be like Jesus


Understanding of Grace

This is an industrial basalt stone grinder made and found at Capernaum.
This hourglass-shaped piece would be placed over a stationary cone-shaped piece of basalt stone and turned by a wooden post fit into the square hole on the side of this top piece of the grinder. Grain would be placed in the top of this piece and fall through a hole in the center to be ground on this top piece turning on the bottom cone piece.
Dr. Carl Rasmussen's photos and explanations 1, 2, 3.
Similar grinder found at Pompeii.
Diagram with explanation of the Roman grinder.
Model of the Western Wall of Herod's New Testament Temple Mount (Labeled photo. Details.)

Someone to Quote

"There's a great deal of ego bound up with Christian ministry today...But impressing people isn't the name of the game. Today's heroes are tomorrow's zeroes."
- Frank Viola

Something to Ponder

Six Reasons Young People Leave the Church

Isolationism. One-fourth of 18- to 29-year-olds say church demonizes everything outside church, including the music, movies, culture, and technology that define their generation.

Shallowness. One-third call church boring, about one-fourth say faith is irrelevant and Bible teaching is unclear. One-fifth say God is absent from their church experience.

Anti-science. Up to one-third say the church is out of step on scientific developments and debate.

Sex. The church is perceived as simplistic and judgmental. For a fifth or more, a "just say no" philosophy is insufficient in a techno-porno world. Young Christian singles are as sexually active as their non-churched friends, and many say they feel judged.

Exclusivity. Three in 10 young people feel the church is too exclusive in this pluralistic and multi-cultural age. And the same number feel forced to choose between their faith and their friends.

Doubters. The church is not a safe place to express doubts say over one-third of young people, and one-fourth have serious doubts they'd like to discuss.

- from David Kinnaman's book You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith (source)

Here’s a Fact

This is list #4 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:

Gedaliah and Pashhur (Jer.38:1) says, “Gedaliah son of Pashhur”

Azariah and Hilkiah (2 Kings 22:4-14; 23:4; 1 Chr.6:13; 9:11; Ezra 7:1) two finds say, “Seal of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah (the high priest) and “Seal of Hanan, the son of Hilkiah the priest”

Jehozhaz (2 Kings 23:31-34; 2 Chr.36:1-4) says, “Jehozhaz the son of the king”

Pedaiah (1 Chron.3:18) says, “Pedaiah the son of the king”

Seraiah and Neriah (Jer.51:59) says, “Seraiah son of Neriah”

Ba’alis (Jer.40:14) two finds say, “Baal-yasha king of the [Ammonites]” and “Milcom the servant of Ba’alis”

Jaazaniah (2 Kings 25:23) says, “Jaazaniah servant of the king”

Shelomith the sister of Elnathan (1 Chr.3:19; Ezra 8:16) two say, “Belonging to Shelomith” and “Belonging to Elnathan the governor”

Sanballat, Governor of Samaria (Neh.2:10) says, “{Belonging} to […]iah son of [San]ballat, Governor of Samar[ia]”


"Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evil men."

- Proverbs 5:14

Coach’s Corner

If you can’t find greatness in your neighborhood, if you can’t afford great lectures at seminars, if you are alone in the pursuit of your goal, then find books. The great authors can visit your neighborhood, lecture at your seminars and show you the way.

Micah 6
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord’s Case Against Israel
Listen to what the Lord says:
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;     let the hills hear what you have to say.

“Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;     listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people;     he is lodging a charge against Israel.

“My people, what have I done to you?     How have I burdened you? Answer me.

I brought you up out of Egypt     and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you,     also Aaron and Miriam.

My people, remember     what Balak king of Moab plotted     and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,     that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”

With what shall I come before the Lord     and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,     with calves a year old?

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,     with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,     the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.     And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy     and to walk humbly with your God.
Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—     and to fear your name is wisdom—     “Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.
Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,     and the short ephah, which is accursed?
Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,     with a bag of false weights?
Your rich people are violent;     your inhabitants are liars     and their tongues speak deceitfully.
Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,     to ruin you because of your sins.
You will eat but not be satisfied;     your stomach will still be empty. You will store up but save nothing,     because what you save I will give to the sword.
You will plant but not harvest;     you will press olives but not use the oil,     you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.
You have observed the statutes of Omri     and all the practices of Ahab’s house;     you have followed their traditions. Therefore I will give you over to ruin     and your people to derision;     you will bear the scorn of the nations.”
Proverbs 6
New International Version (NIV)
Warnings Against Folly

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,     if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,

you have been trapped by what you said,     ensnared by the words of your mouth.

So do this, my son, to free yourself,     since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go—to the point of exhaustion—     and give your neighbor no rest!

Allow no sleep to your eyes,     no slumber to your eyelids.

Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,     like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Go to the ant, you sluggard;     consider its ways and be wise!

It has no commander,     no overseer or ruler,

yet it stores its provisions in summer     and gathers its food at harvest.

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?     When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,     a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief     and scarcity like an armed man.
A troublemaker and a villain,     who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
    who winks maliciously with his eye,     signals with his feet     and motions with his fingers,
    who plots evil with deceit in his heart—     he always stirs up conflict.
Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;     he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
There are six things the Lord hates,     seven that are detestable to him:
        haughty eyes,         a lying tongue,         hands that shed innocent blood,
        a heart that devises wicked schemes,         feet that are quick to rush into evil,
        a false witness who pours out lies         and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Warning Against Adultery
My son, keep your father’s command     and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them always on your heart;     fasten them around your neck.
When you walk, they will guide you;     when you sleep, they will watch over you;     when you awake, they will speak to you.
For this command is a lamp,     this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction     are the way to life,
keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,     from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
Do not lust in your heart after her beauty     or let her captivate you with her eyes.
For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,     but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
Can a man scoop fire into his lap     without his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals     without his feet being scorched?
So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;     no one who touches her will go unpunished.
People do not despise a thief if he steals     to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,     though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
But a man who commits adultery has no sense;     whoever does so destroys himself.
Blows and disgrace are his lot,     and his shame will never be wiped away.
For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,     and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
He will not accept any compensation;     he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

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