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July 12 - Morning

"The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but man is tested by the praise he receives."
- Proverbs 27:21

The Test of Public Praise

The crucible is used when testing, exposing and purifying silver just like the furnace is used to purify gold. The soul of a man can also be tested and exposed in order to reveal his flaws and purify his character. Isaiah 48:10 says man is tested in the fire of affliction:

“I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.”

But, there are other ways to test and reveal a man’s heart. One of them is the praise he receives from people as is found here in Proverbs 27:21. Just like affliction can try the soul of a man, so can praise and success.

1 Samuel 18:7 records the song of praise that tested the motives and attitudes of both King Saul and David. A portion of the lyrics are recorded like this:
“And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,
‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.’ ”

The praise recorded in 1 Samuel 18:7 could just as easily have ruined David as it did Saul if David was arrogant and seeking to overthrow Saul. Instead, the praise of 1 Samuel 18:7 merely made David more committed to Saul and encouraged David to be more effective as a soldier and commander serving his country for the Lord.

The translation “praise he receives” in Proverbs 27:21 refers to a man’s public reputation and to what people are saying about him.

The reference to a “man’s praise” may also refer to the things the man himself praises or holds as important in life. What a man values can also reveal who he is just like his response to public praise can reveal his intentions.
Nsh (Hb) - test (Eng) - The Hebrew word nsh means “to examine,” and “to conduct a test.” Nsh is used in Ecclesiastes 7:23. God will nsh (or “test”) men.

But, God is often the one that is being nsh (“tested”). To nsh God means to desire a wonder or a miraculous manifestation as in: Exodus 17:2 Exodus 17: 7 Numbers 14:22 Isaiah 7:12 Psalms 78:18, 41 Psalms 95:9 Psalms 106:14

Deuteronomy 6:16 prohibits this type of behavior such as nsh God, or testing God, which is seeking a miracle or asking God to prove himself.

The Jewish faith and relationship with their God was different than the pagans who always sought a sign from their gods. Jesus rejected Israel for testing God like this in Matthew 16:4.
I will guard my heart so that I do not fail the test of affliction or the test of praise.
I will seek to remove the flaws in my character that are revealed by affliction and by public praise.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


For desire to be productive


Government spending

The Assyrian siege ramp from 701 BC can still be seen among the remains at Lachish.
(Details 1, 2, 3)
Details of Pharoah Shishak's invasion of Jerusalem in 1 Kings 14:21-30 located on a map.

Someone to Quote

"The Word of God presents the good message of how a man can be delivered from sin, death, destruction and damnation."
- Galyn Wiemers

Something to Ponder

Study and test your knowledge of dates, names, events and more concerning the book of Acts:
Flash Cards/Test HERE

Here’s a Fact

John 2:20 says that construction on the Herodian temple had been underway for 46 years when Jesus was there in John 2:20. If Jesus’ ministry began in 26 AD then according to this verse Herod’s construction on the temple would have begun in 20 BC. Josephus says work began on the temple mount in 22 BC. Also, an inscription found by Benjamin Mazar below the Double Gate south of the Temple Mount supports the beginning of the construction of the temple and temple mount to around 22-20 BC. (Details 1, 2)


"An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble."
- Proverbs 12:13

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 20
New International Version (NIV)
Sheba Rebels Against David
20 Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bikri, a Benjamite, happened to be there. He sounded the trumpet and shouted,
“We have no share in David,     no part in Jesse’s son! Every man to his tent, Israel!”
So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba son of Bikri. But the men of Judah stayed by their king all the way from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
When David returned to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to take care of the palace and put them in a house under guard. He provided for them but had no sexual relations with them. They were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows.
Then the king said to Amasa, “Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself.” But when Amasa went to summon Judah, he took longer than the time the king had set for him.
David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba son of Bikri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master’s men and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and escape from us.” So Joab’s men and the Kerethites and Pelethites and all the mighty warriors went out under the command of Abishai. They marched out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bikri.
While they were at the great rock in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As he stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath.
Joab said to Amasa, “How are you, my brother?” Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab’s hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bikri.
11 One of Joab’s men stood beside Amasa and said, “Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab!” 12 Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the road, and the man saw that all the troops came to a halt there. When he realized that everyone who came up to Amasa stopped, he dragged him from the road into a field and threw a garment over him. 13 After Amasa had been removed from the road, everyone went on with Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bikri.
14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maakah and through the entire region of the Bikrites, who gathered together and followed him. 15 All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maakah. They built a siege ramp up to the city, and it stood against the outer fortifications. While they were battering the wall to bring it down, 16 a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him.” 17 He went toward her, and she asked, “Are you Joab?”
“I am,” he answered.
She said, “Listen to what your servant has to say.”
“I’m listening,” he said.
18 She continued, “Long ago they used to say, ‘Get your answer at Abel,’ and that settled it. 19 We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the Lord’s inheritance?”
20 “Far be it from me!” Joab replied, “Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not the case. A man named Sheba son of Bikri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I’ll withdraw from the city.”
The woman said to Joab, “His head will be thrown to you from the wall.”
22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bikri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.
David’s Officials
23 Joab was over Israel’s entire army; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; 24 Adoniram was in charge of forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 Sheva was secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite was David’s priest.
Ezekiel 7
New International Version (NIV)
The End Has Come
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to the land of Israel:
“‘The end! The end has come     upon the four corners of the land!

The end is now upon you,     and I will unleash my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct     and repay you for all your detestable practices.

I will not look on you with pity;     I will not spare you. I will surely repay you for your conduct     and for the detestable practices among you.
“‘Then you will know that I am the Lord.’
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Disaster! Unheard-of disaster!     See, it comes!

The end has come!     The end has come! It has roused itself against you.     See, it comes!

Doom has come upon you,     upon you who dwell in the land. The time has come! The day is near!     There is panic, not joy, on the mountains.

I am about to pour out my wrath on you     and spend my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct     and repay you for all your detestable practices.

I will not look on you with pity;     I will not spare you. I will repay you for your conduct     and for the detestable practices among you.
“‘Then you will know that it is I the Lord who strikes you.
“‘See, the day!     See, it comes! Doom has burst forth,     the rod has budded,     arrogance has blossomed!
Violence has arisen,     a rod to punish the wicked. None of the people will be left,     none of that crowd— none of their wealth,     nothing of value.
The time has come!     The day has arrived! Let not the buyer rejoice     nor the seller grieve,     for my wrath is on the whole crowd.
The seller will not recover     the property that was sold—     as long as both buyer and seller live. For the vision concerning the whole crowd     will not be reversed. Because of their sins, not one of them     will preserve their life.
“‘They have blown the trumpet,     they have made all things ready, but no one will go into battle,     for my wrath is on the whole crowd.
Outside is the sword;     inside are plague and famine. Those in the country     will die by the sword; those in the city     will be devoured by famine and plague.
The fugitives who escape     will flee to the mountains. Like doves of the valleys,     they will all moan,     each for their own sins.
Every hand will go limp;     every leg will be wet with urine.
They will put on sackcloth     and be clothed with terror. Every face will be covered with shame,     and every head will be shaved.
“‘They will throw their silver into the streets,     and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold     will not be able to deliver them     in the day of the Lord’s wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger     or fill their stomachs,     for it has caused them to stumble into sin.
They took pride in their beautiful jewelry     and used it to make their detestable idols. They made it into vile images;     therefore I will make it a thing unclean for them.
I will give their wealth as plunder to foreigners     and as loot to the wicked of the earth,     who will defile it.
I will turn my face away from the people,     and robbers will desecrate the place I treasure. They will enter it     and will defile it.
“‘Prepare chains!     For the land is full of bloodshed,     and the city is full of violence.
I will bring the most wicked of nations     to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the pride of the mighty,     and their sanctuaries will be desecrated.
When terror comes,     they will seek peace in vain.
Calamity upon calamity will come,     and rumor upon rumor. They will go searching for a vision from the prophet,     priestly instruction in the law will cease,     the counsel of the elders will come to an end.
The king will mourn,     the prince will be clothed with despair,     and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. I will deal with them according to their conduct,     and by their own standards I will judge them.
“‘Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”
Amos 6-7
New International Version (NIV)
Woe to the Complacent

Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,     and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation,     to whom the people of Israel come!

Go to Kalneh and look at it;     go from there to great Hamath,     and then go down to Gath in Philistia. Are they better off than your two kingdoms?     Is their land larger than yours?

You put off the day of disaster     and bring near a reign of terror.

You lie on beds adorned with ivory     and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs     and fattened calves.

You strum away on your harps like David     and improvise on musical instruments.

You drink wine by the bowlful     and use the finest lotions,     but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.

Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;     your feasting and lounging will end.
The Lord Abhors the Pride of Israel
The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself—the Lord God Almighty declares:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob     and detest his fortresses; I will deliver up the city     and everything in it.”
If ten people are left in one house, they too will die. 10 And if the relative who comes to carry the bodies out of the house to burn them asks anyone who might be hiding there, “Is anyone else with you?” and he says, “No,” then he will go on to say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.”
For the Lord has given the command,     and he will smash the great house into pieces     and the small house into bits.
Do horses run on the rocky crags?     Does one plow the sea with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison     and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness—
you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar     and say, “Did we not take Karnaim by our own strength?”
For the Lord God Almighty declares,     “I will stir up a nation against you, Israel, that will oppress you all the way     from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah.”
Locusts, Fire and a Plumb Line
This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
So the Lord relented.
“This will not happen,” the Lord said.
This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: The Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. Then I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
So the Lord relented.
“This will not happen either,” the Sovereign Lord said.
This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?”
“A plumb line,” I replied.
Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

“The high places of Isaac will be destroyed     and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined;     with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.”
Amos and Amaziah
10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. 11 For this is what Amos is saying:
“‘Jeroboam will die by the sword,     and Israel will surely go into exile,     away from their native land.’”
12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say,
“‘Do not prophesy against Israel,     and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’
17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city,     and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up,     and you yourself will die in a pagan country. And Israel will surely go into exile,     away from their native land.’”

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