Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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July 11 - Morning

"Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness."

- Proverbs 25:4-5

Establishing a Throne and its Government Administration

Proverbs 25:1 says that chapters 25:1-29:27 are proverbs of Solomon that were copied by the scribes of Hezekiah. The proverbs collected in chapters 10-19 are individual proverbs organized into categories and collections. The Proverbs copied by Hezekiah’s scribes begin talking about something that was important to King Hezekiah, governmental administration and the establishment of the royal throne.

Just as the silversmith must first remove the dross and the impurities from the silver before he can craft a valuable, beautiful silver vessel, so wicked officials and evil philosophies must be removed from a government for it to be established.

“Wickedness” can refer to actions and “evil” can refer to those twisted philosophies and warped ideologies that justify the wicked actions and immoral legislation.

A basic principle of reality is that evil destroys itself. Wickedness and immorality are self-destructive. Thus, a government that wants to be more than a momentary flash in world history must avoid evil philosophies and wicked administrations. Self-serving leadership will only serve themselves for a brief time before their lack of integrity destroys them.
Nepes (Hb) - soul (Eng) - The Hebrew verb Nepes means “to exhale.” As a noun Nepes can have several meanings:
  1. Breath
  2. Throat
  3. Longing or desire such as hunger, vengeance, wish
  4. Soul and words related to moods/attitudes such as happy, melancholy, hoping, loving, hating
  5. Life
  6. A living being
I will support my national and local government by contributing righteous ideas and righteous acts.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


For joy


Spiritual understanding
Social justice

The sun in the Judean Wilderness
Model of one of Herod's steam rooms in his bath house on Masada. Notice the mosaic floors and the fresco walls. (details)

Someone to Quote

"There are many things in life you 'can do' for God. And the more success you have, the more opportunities will come. (You will know more people, you will have more resources, etc.) But most opportunities are distractions in disguise. Therefore find the one thing you 'must do' for God."
- Howard Hendricks

Something to Ponder

432 AD - Patrick to Ireland
• Patrick was captured in Britain by pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave in his youth.
• Patrick escaped back to Britain and went through monastery training.
• Patrick returned as a missionary to Ireland in response to a vision.
• The people Patrick converted were Celts. They had not been under Roman occupation and thus had not been influenced by the Roman way of life.
• Patrick had to overcome the Druid religion and the superstitions of the Irish.
• They had no cities or Roman order so the church that Patrick established did not look like the Roman Church. This became known as Celtic Christianity. It would continue successfully in Ireland until the Roman Church moved in two hundred years later.

Here’s a Fact

The year Paul went to Antioch in 43 AD was the year the city of Antioch replaced an older festival with the Olympic Games. Antioch was a growing active city in the midst of being rebuilt while Paul was there. (1, 2)


" 'Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!'
But little do they know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of the grave."

- Proverbs 9:17-18

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 19
New International Version (NIV)
19 Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, “The king is grieving for his son.” The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle. The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now.”
So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men were told, “The king is sitting in the gateway,” they all came before him.
Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes.
David Returns to Jerusalem
Throughout the tribes of Israel, all the people were arguing among themselves, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies; he is the one who rescued us from the hand of the Philistines. But now he has fled the country to escape from Absalom; 10 and Absalom, whom we anointed to rule over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”
11 King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests: “Ask the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his palace, since what is being said throughout Israel has reached the king at his quarters? 12 You are my relatives, my own flesh and blood. So why should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my own flesh and blood? May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you are not the commander of my army for life in place of Joab.’”
14 He won over the hearts of the men of Judah so that they were all of one mind. They sent word to the king, “Return, you and all your men.” 15 Then the king returned and went as far as the Jordan.
Now the men of Judah had come to Gilgal to go out and meet the king and bring him across the Jordan.
16 Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, hurried down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 With him were a thousand Benjamites, along with Ziba, the steward of Saul’s household, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants. They rushed to the Jordan, where the king was. 18 They crossed at the ford to take the king’s household over and to do whatever he wished.
When Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell prostrate before the king
19 and said to him, “May my lord not hold me guilty. Do not remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind. 20 For I your servant know that I have sinned, but today I have come here as the first from the tribes of Joseph to come down and meet my lord the king.”
21 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this? He cursed the Lord’s anointed.”
22 David replied, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? What right do you have to interfere? Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Don’t I know that today I am king over Israel?” 23 So the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king promised him on oath.
24 Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, also went down to meet the king. He had not taken care of his feet or trimmed his mustache or washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned safely. 25 When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?”
26 He said, “My lord the king, since I your servant am lame, I said, ‘I will have my donkey saddled and will ride on it, so I can go with the king.’ But Ziba my servant betrayed me. 27 And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king. My lord the king is like an angel of God; so do whatever you wish. 28 All my grandfather’s descendants deserved nothing but death from my lord the king, but you gave your servant a place among those who eat at your table. So what right do I have to make any more appeals to the king?”
29 The king said to him, “Why say more? I order you and Ziba to divide the land.”
30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him take everything, now that my lord the king has returned home safely.”
31 Barzillai the Gileadite also came down from Rogelim to cross the Jordan with the king and to send him on his way from there. 32 Now Barzillai was very old, eighty years of age. He had provided for the king during his stay in Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and stay with me in Jerusalem, and I will provide for you.”
34 But Barzillai answered the king, “How many more years will I live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? 35 I am now eighty years old. Can I tell the difference between what is enjoyable and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats and drinks? Can I still hear the voices of male and female singers? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will cross over the Jordan with the king for a short distance, but why should the king reward me in this way? 37 Let your servant return, that I may die in my own town near the tomb of my father and mother. But here is your servant Kimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him whatever you wish.”
38 The king said, “Kimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him whatever you wish. And anything you desire from me I will do for you.”
39 So all the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed over. The king kissed Barzillai and bid him farewell, and Barzillai returned to his home.
40 When the king crossed over to Gilgal, Kimham crossed with him. All the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel had taken the king over.
41 Soon all the men of Israel were coming to the king and saying to him, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, steal the king away and bring him and his household across the Jordan, together with all his men?”
42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “We did this because the king is closely related to us. Why are you angry about it? Have we eaten any of the king’s provisions? Have we taken anything for ourselves?”
43 Then the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king; so we have a greater claim on David than you have. Why then do you treat us with contempt? Weren’t we the first to speak of bringing back our king?”
But the men of Judah pressed their claims even more forcefully than the men of Israel.
Ezekiel 5
New International Version (NIV)
God’s Razor of Judgment
“Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair. When the days of your siege come to an end, burn a third of the hair inside the city. Take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city. And scatter a third to the wind. For I will pursue them with drawn sword. But take a few hairs and tuck them away in the folds of your garment. Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to all Israel.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees.
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept my laws. You have not even conformed to the standards of the nations around you.
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations. Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. 10 Therefore in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. 11 Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will shave you; I will not look on you with pity or spare you. 12 A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword.
13 “Then my anger will cease and my wrath against them will subside, and I will be avenged. And when I have spent my wrath on them, they will know that I the Lord have spoken in my zeal.
14 “I will make you a ruin and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15 You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke. I the Lord have spoken. 16 When I shoot at you with my deadly and destructive arrows of famine, I will shoot to destroy you. I will bring more and more famine upon you and cut off your supply of food. 17 I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I the Lord have spoken.”
Amos 1-3
New International Version (NIV)
The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.
He said:
“The Lord roars from Zion     and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up,     and the top of Carmel withers.”
Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors
This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Damascus,     even for four, I will not relent. Because she threshed Gilead     with sledges having iron teeth,

I will send fire on the house of Hazael     that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.

I will break down the gate of Damascus;     I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of Aven and the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden.     The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir,” says the Lord.
This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Gaza,     even for four, I will not relent. Because she took captive whole communities     and sold them to Edom,

I will send fire on the walls of Gaza     that will consume her fortresses.

I will destroy the king of Ashdod     and the one who holds the scepter in Ashkelon. I will turn my hand against Ekron,     till the last of the Philistines are dead,” says the Sovereign Lord.
This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Tyre,     even for four, I will not relent. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom,     disregarding a treaty of brotherhood,
I will send fire on the walls of Tyre     that will consume her fortresses.”
11 This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Edom,     even for four, I will not relent. Because he pursued his brother with a sword     and slaughtered the women of the land, because his anger raged continually     and his fury flamed unchecked,
I will send fire on Teman     that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah.”
13 This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Ammon,     even for four, I will not relent. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead     in order to extend his borders,
I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah     that will consume her fortresses amid war cries on the day of battle,     amid violent winds on a stormy day.
Her king will go into exile,     he and his officials together,” says the Lord.
This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Moab,     even for four, I will not relent. Because he burned to ashes     the bones of Edom’s king,

I will send fire on Moab     that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth. Moab will go down in great tumult     amid war cries and the blast of the trumpet.

I will destroy her ruler     and kill all her officials with him,” says the Lord.
This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Judah,     even for four, I will not relent. Because they have rejected the law of the Lord     and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods,     the gods their ancestors followed,

I will send fire on Judah     that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem.”
Judgment on Israel
This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Israel,     even for four, I will not relent. They sell the innocent for silver,     and the needy for a pair of sandals.

They trample on the heads of the poor     as on the dust of the ground     and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl     and so profane my holy name.

They lie down beside every altar     on garments taken in pledge. In the house of their god     they drink wine taken as fines.

“Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them,     though they were tall as the cedars     and strong as the oaks. I destroyed their fruit above     and their roots below.
I brought you up out of Egypt     and led you forty years in the wilderness     to give you the land of the Amorites.
“I also raised up prophets from among your children     and Nazirites from among your youths. Is this not true, people of Israel?” declares the Lord.
“But you made the Nazirites drink wine     and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.
“Now then, I will crush you     as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.
The swift will not escape,     the strong will not muster their strength,     and the warrior will not save his life.
The archer will not stand his ground,     the fleet-footed soldier will not get away,     and the horseman will not save his life.
Even the bravest warriors     will flee naked on that day,” declares the Lord.
Witnesses Summoned Against Israel
Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:

“You only have I chosen     of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you     for all your sins.”

Do two walk together     unless they have agreed to do so?

Does a lion roar in the thicket     when it has no prey? Does it growl in its den     when it has caught nothing?

Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground     when no bait is there? Does a trap spring up from the ground     if it has not caught anything?

When a trumpet sounds in a city,     do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city,     has not the Lord caused it?

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing     without revealing his plan     to his servants the prophets.

The lion has roared—     who will not fear? The Sovereign Lord has spoken—     who can but prophesy?

Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod     and to the fortresses of Egypt: “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria;     see the great unrest within her     and the oppression among her people.”
“They do not know how to do right,” declares the Lord,     “who store up in their fortresses     what they have plundered and looted.”
11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“An enemy will overrun your land,     pull down your strongholds     and plunder your fortresses.”
12 This is what the Lord says:
“As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth     only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued,     with only the head of a bed     and a piece of fabric from a couch.”
13 “Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord, the Lord God Almighty.
“On the day I punish Israel for her sins,     I will destroy the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off     and fall to the ground.
I will tear down the winter house     along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed     and the mansions will be demolished,” declares the Lord.

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