Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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July 10 - Morning

"When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.

Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Do not eat the food of a begrudging host, do not crave his delicacies; for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. 'Eat and drink,' he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments."

- Proverbs 23:1-8

Rules for Dining with Wealthy Rulers

Proverbs 23:1-8 is a father giving his noble son some advice concerning future opportunities he will have greeting and meeting the rich and famous, the movers and shakers, the dignitaries and rulers. This portion of information is divided into three basic pieces of advice:
  1. Understanding is necessary (23:1-3)
  2. Wisdom would demonstrate restraint (23:4-5)
  3. Nothing is free, they will expect a favor in return (23:6-8 and 23:3)

First, this meeting and this meal are a tests. The host is testing the guests to see if they are self-controlled. Are the guests impressed with wealth? Are the guests interested in talking, learning and being with the host? Or, are the guests interested in FREE food!?

Second, this meeting and this meal are indeed preparation for “networking”, but this exchanging of favors will include contracts, commitments, and compromise. That is what is meant by the NIV translation in 23:1-3, “When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you.” The advice is not, “Son, memorize the menu!” Instead, the Hebrew can also be translated, “Make sure you understand what is really going on in front of you!” This is a good translation because the rich host is testing you, and the ruling host is expecting a favor in return! Don’t be impressed with yourself. This stuff is NOT FREE.

These men have worked hard to get where they are and to have what they are setting in front of you. Do not crave it because the price they have paid is steep.

Do not eat their food like a glutton, because that is not really what you are here for. You are here to be impressed. The food is not really there to eat. It is there to impress. If you think this ruler has worked hard so he can feed you, then WAKE UP! He wants your compliments and your favors. He doesn’t want to feed you. If you do not understand this then you will leave this meeting gaging. The LXX translations says it this way, “For like a hair in the throat, so is he.” You will gage on his sweet, manipulative talk and vomit up the entire experience you feasted on in gluttony and self-worship.
Nazir (Hb) – Consecrated Person (Eng) - Nazir or nzr is a common Semitic root word. Nazir appears in: Ezekiel 14:7 Hosea 9:10 Zechariah 7:3 Leviticus 22:2

Nazir originally referred to something removed from everyday life and set aside or dedicated: Genesis 49:26 Deuteronomy 33:16
I will discern between a meal organized to meet, greet and network and an all-you-can-eat barbeque in the backyard. They are not the same thing.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Open doors for financial growth


Private property

Rolling round stone balls stored on Herodian would be used to defend the fortress. These would be rolled down the slopes of the rampart into the invading army as they attempted to climb the ramparts or launched with catapults.
Diagram of the Jerusalem temple and the details of Ezekiel's vision recorded in Ezekiel 9 in 592 BC.

Someone to Quote

“Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitudes toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.” - Chuck Swindoll

Something to Ponder

Simeon (63-107 AD), bishop of Jerusalem

Simeon, son of Clophas (Joseph’s brother), was chosen in 63 to be the new bishop of Jerusalem by the surviving apostles and disciples of Jesus.

As Roman armies approached Jerusalem in 66 Simeon led the Jerusalem church across the Jordan into Pella in the Decapolis to save them.

After the fall of Jerusalem, Simeon led the Christians back across the Jordan to the defeated city of Jerusalem, built a church and won many Jewish converts.

In order to prevent another revolt after the fall of Jerusalem the Emperor Vespasian ordered the death of anyone who was a descendant of David but Simeon escaped this order from 70 AD.

Emperor Domitian (81-96) followed up on the order to execute the line of David and was informed that there were grandsons of Jesus’ brother Jude. They were ordered to appear before Domitian. When Domitian saw how simple and poor they were he allowed them to live and considered them to be no threat.

Simeon was later killed in 107 AD at the age of about 120 when Emperor Trajan gave a similar order to execute the line of David.

Here’s a Fact

The Sanhedrin may have moved their official meeting location to the Royal Porch (Royal Colonnade, Royal Portico, Royal Stoa) by the time they held Jesus on trial in 30 AD. The Babylonian Talmud says the Sanhedrin moved to this new location “forty years before the destruction of the Temple.” The Royal Colonnade was located along the south wall of the Temple Mount with 162 monolithic columns that were 27 feet tall and 4.6 feet in diameter and arranged into four rows. Several of the column fragments and the remains of their Corinthian capitals have been recovered. (Image, Details)


"A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret."
- Proverbs 11:13

Coach’s Corner

Personal growth increases your personal potential. The failure to learn and the refusal to change is the rejection of increasing your opportunity for success.

2 Samuel 18
New International Version (NIV)
18 David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. David sent out his troops, a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, “I myself will surely march out with you.”
But the men said, “You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.”
The king answered, “I will do whatever seems best to you.”
So the king stood beside the gate while all his men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands.
The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders.
David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men. The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.
Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.
10 When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”
11 Joab said to the man who had told him this, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior’s belt.”
12 But the man replied, “Even if a thousand shekels were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.’ 13 And if I had put my life in jeopardy—and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me.”
14 Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. 15 And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.
16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes.
18 During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.
David Mourns
19 Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run and take the news to the king that the Lord has vindicated him by delivering him from the hand of his enemies.”
20 “You are not the one to take the news today,” Joab told him. “You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king’s son is dead.”
21 Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off.
22 Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, “Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite.”
But Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.”
23 He said, “Come what may, I want to run.”
So Joab said, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite.
24 While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out to the king and reported it.
The king said, “If he is alone, he must have good news.” And the runner came closer and closer.
26 Then the watchman saw another runner, and he called down to the gatekeeper, “Look, another man running alone!”
The king said, “He must be bringing good news, too.”
27 The watchman said, “It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok.”
“He’s a good man,” the king said. “He comes with good news.”
28 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well!” He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise be to the Lord your God! He has delivered up those who lifted their hands against my lord the king.”
29 The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”
Ahimaaz answered, “I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was.”
30 The king said, “Stand aside and wait here.” So he stepped aside and stood there.
31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My lord the king, hear the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today by delivering you from the hand of all who rose up against you.”
32 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”
The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.”
33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Ezekiel 3
New International Version (NIV)
And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”
10 And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 11 Go now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing. 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. 14 The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord on me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days—deeply distressed.
Ezekiel’s Task as Watchman
16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20 “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
22 The hand of the Lord was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.
24 Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious people. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.
Isaiah 5-6
New International Version (NIV)
The Song of the Vineyard

I will sing for the one I love     a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard     on a fertile hillside.

He dug it up and cleared it of stones     and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it     and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,     but it yielded only bad fruit.

“Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah,     judge between me and my vineyard.

What more could have been done for my vineyard     than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes,     why did it yield only bad?

Now I will tell you     what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge,     and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall,     and it will be trampled.

I will make it a wasteland,     neither pruned nor cultivated,     and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds     not to rain on it.”

The vineyard of the Lord Almighty     is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah     are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;     for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.
Woes and Judgments

Woe to you who add house to house     and join field to field till no space is left     and you live alone in the land.
The Lord Almighty has declared in my hearing:
“Surely the great houses will become desolate,     the fine mansions left without occupants.
A ten-acre vineyard will produce only a bath of wine;     a homer of seed will yield only an ephah of grain.”
Woe to those who rise early in the morning     to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night     till they are inflamed with wine.
They have harps and lyres at their banquets,     pipes and timbrels and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord,     no respect for the work of his hands.
Therefore my people will go into exile     for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger     and the common people will be parched with thirst.
Therefore Death expands its jaws,     opening wide its mouth; into it will descend their nobles and masses     with all their brawlers and revelers.
So people will be brought low     and everyone humbled,     the eyes of the arrogant humbled.
But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice,     and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts.
Then sheep will graze as in their own pasture;     lambs will feed among the ruins of the rich.
Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit,     and wickedness as with cart ropes,
to those who say, “Let God hurry;     let him hasten his work     so we may see it. The plan of the Holy One of Israel—     let it approach, let it come into view,     so we may know it.”
Woe to those who call evil good     and good evil, who put darkness for light     and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet     and sweet for bitter.
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes     and clever in their own sight.
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine     and champions at mixing drinks,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,     but deny justice to the innocent.
Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw     and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay     and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty     and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against his people;     his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake,     and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.
He lifts up a banner for the distant nations,     he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come,     swiftly and speedily!
Not one of them grows tired or stumbles,     not one slumbers or sleeps; not a belt is loosened at the waist,     not a sandal strap is broken.
Their arrows are sharp,     all their bows are strung; their horses’ hooves seem like flint,     their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.
Their roar is like that of the lion,     they roar like young lions; they growl as they seize their prey     and carry it off with no one to rescue.
In that day they will roar over it     like the roaring of the sea. And if one looks at the land,     there is only darkness and distress;     even the sun will be darkened by clouds.
Isaiah’s Commission
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;     the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;     be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
Make the heart of this people calloused;     make their ears dull     and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,     hear with their ears,     understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”
And he answered:
“Until the cities lie ruined     and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted     and the fields ruined and ravaged,
until the Lord has sent everyone far away     and the land is utterly forsaken.
And though a tenth remains in the land,     it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak     leave stumps when they are cut down,     so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

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