Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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July 14 - Morning

"The sayings of King Lemuel —
an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

'Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!

Do not spend your strength on
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
It is not for kings, Lemuel —

it is not for kings to drink
not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

(Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.)

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the
rights of all who are destitute.

Speak up and
judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."

- Proverbs 31:1-9

Advice to a King...from his mother

It is possible that Lemuel was a king from a northern Arabian nation called Masa (a different translation of “an inspired utterance” or “oracle) (Details). These verses may be Arabian wisdom brought into Jerusalem from a land southeast of Israel. It would make sense that Arabian wisdom literature had an influence on Israel’s wisdom literature just like the wisdom literature of Egypt left its mark (Remember “Instructions of Amen-emOpet").

Queens in Arabian nations were influential at home, in government and in international affairs. This is attested to in Assyrian documents and in the biblical text. (Consider the Queen of Sheba as an example, 1 Kings 10.)

King Lemuel’s mother, the queen mother, reminds the king of two things:
  1. He is her son a son she cares for.
  2. He was born as an answer to prayer, so he has a destiny and she has a vow to fulfill

The Queen mother’s first wise warning to her son of destiny concerns women. This advice is not concerning a wife, but concerning women. Most likely the harem. She tells her son not to waste his strength on woman. Don’t use your position as king to serve yourself by spending your time and all your energy in the harem. As a son of destiny, King Lemuel needs to attend to more important matters. A ruler has responsibility and doesn’t have the luxury of a life of frills and entertainment.  Neither does he get to enjoy the pleasure of numbing his senses. This leads to point number two.

Her second wise warning concerns the numbing effects of alcohol. A ruler who reigns with justice and is responsible to his people doesn’t get to drink his problems away. The ruler needs to be at the top of his game serving people. Now, some of the people the king is responsible for are the very people who deserve the alcohol because they have no other escape and they have no answer. At least beer will help them through their miserable state in society. With the mention of these poor miserable people suffering through life the queen moves to her third point: The king needs to help the suffering people in his realm.

The third wise bit of advice concerns the original intent of government. Serve the people. The king is to use his energy and his time speaking for those who have no rights and serving those who are unable to help themselves.

So in three quick and precise lines of instruction the Queen mother has laid down the basics for a king to provide a just and effective government:
  1. Don’t use your power to serve yourself
  2. Keep your head clear so you can see and judge fairly
  3. Serve the powerless and speak for those who have no voice

The king is to refrain from being distracted by his power and instead serve the people.
Cherpah (Hb) - reproach (Eng) - The Hebrew word cherpah means “reproach” that can be a disgrace such as an unmarried woman in Isaiah 4:1 or a condition of failure and weakness such as Israel experienced in the Babylonian captivity as described by Daniel in Daniel 9:16.
I will not use my life serving myself.
I will not spend time numbing myself and neglecting my responsibilities.
I will live my life with purpose and fulfill the responsibilities God has destined me to have.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Enough income to meet your needs



A Roman mile marker still stands beside a cistern and a water trough along a modern road in Israel.
Details of 1 Samuel 24 where Saul pursues David to En Gedi

Someone to Quote

"Let us revert to the Scriptural proof furnished by those apostles who did also write the gospel."
- Irenaeus, 180 AD

Something to Ponder

313  Edict of Milan
• Constantine had granted toleration of Christianity and restitution of property taken from Christians in the lands of Gaul, Spain and Britain in 306.
• By 310 Maxentius had done the same in Italy and Africa.
• In 311 Galerius and Licinius decreed tolerance to Christianity in the Balkans and began restitution in 313.
• The Edict of Milan came in 313 when emperors Constantine and Licinius proclaimed religious tolerance throughout the Roman Empire to include newly acquired land taken from Maximinus.
• The Edict of Milan came in the form of a letter from Licinius to the Governor of Bithynia in June of 313. It was sent on behalf of Emperor Licinius in the East and Emperor Constantine in the West. It was to be circulated to the governors throughout the east.

Here’s a Fact

The many believers baptized in Acts on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:40-41) would have been baptized in the mikvah located around the south side of the Temple Mount and at the base of the southern stairs (Image). (Image of Mikvah on south side of Temple Mount 1, 2) (Southside details)


"Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and joy may end in grief."

- Proverbs 14:13

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 22
New International Version (NIV)
David’s Song of Praise
22 David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,     my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—     from violent people you save me.

“I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,     and have been saved from my enemies.

The waves of death swirled about me;     the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

The cords of the grave coiled around me;     the snares of death confronted me.

“In my distress I called to the Lord;     I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice;     my cry came to his ears.

The earth trembled and quaked,     the foundations of the heavens shook;     they trembled because he was angry.

Smoke rose from his nostrils;     consuming fire came from his mouth,     burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;     dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;     he soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his canopy around him—     the dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of his presence     bolts of lightning blazed forth.
The Lord thundered from heaven;     the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,     with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed     and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the Lord,     at the blast of breath from his nostrils.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;     he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,     from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,     but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;     he rescued me because he delighted in me.
“The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;     according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord;     I am not guilty of turning from my God.
All his laws are before me;     I have not turned away from his decrees.
I have been blameless before him     and have kept myself from sin.
The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,     according to my cleanness in his sight.
“To the faithful you show yourself faithful,     to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,     but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
You save the humble,     but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
You, Lord, are my lamp;     the Lord turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;     with my God I can scale a wall.
“As for God, his way is perfect:     The Lord’s word is flawless;     he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord?     And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength     and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;     he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;     my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield;     your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,     so that my ankles do not give way.
“I pursued my enemies and crushed them;     I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them completely, and they could not rise;     they fell beneath my feet.
You armed me with strength for battle;     you humbled my adversaries before me.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,     and I destroyed my foes.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—     to the Lord, but he did not answer.
I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;     I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets.
“You have delivered me from the attacks of the peoples;     you have preserved me as the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me,
    foreigners cower before me;     as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
They all lose heart;     they come trembling from their strongholds.
“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!     Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!
He is the God who avenges me,     who puts the nations under me,
    who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes;     from a violent man you rescued me.
Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;     I will sing the praises of your name.
“He gives his king great victories;     he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,     to David and his descendants forever.”
Ezekiel 11
New International Version (NIV)
God’s Sure Judgment on Jerusalem
11 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the Lord that faces east. There at the entrance of the gate were twenty-five men, and I saw among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people. The Lord said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city. They say, ‘Haven’t our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.’ Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.”
Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me, and he told me to say: “This is what the Lord says: That is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind. You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead.
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: The bodies you have thrown there are the meat and this city is the pot, but I will drive you out of it. You fear the sword, and the sword is what I will bring against you, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will drive you out of the city and deliver you into the hands of foreigners and inflict punishment on you. 10 You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 11 This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it; I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. 12 And you will know that I am the Lord, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.”
13 Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell facedown and cried out in a loud voice, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?”
The Promise of Israel’s Return
14 The word of the Lord came to me: 15 “Son of man, the people of Jerusalem have said of your fellow exiles and all the other Israelites, ‘They are far away from the Lord; this land was given to us as our possession.’
16 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’
17 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’
18 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
22 Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, spread their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. 23 The glory of the Lord went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it. 24 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God.
Then the vision I had seen went up from me,
25 and I told the exiles everything the Lord had shown me.
Micah 1-4
New International Version (NIV)
The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah—the vision he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear, you peoples, all of you,     listen, earth and all who live in it, that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you,     the Lord from his holy temple.
Judgment Against Samaria and Jerusalem

Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place;     he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth.

The mountains melt beneath him     and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire,     like water rushing down a slope.

All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,     because of the sins of the people of Israel. What is Jacob’s transgression?     Is it not Samaria? What is Judah’s high place?     Is it not Jerusalem?

“Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,     a place for planting vineyards. I will pour her stones into the valley     and lay bare her foundations.

All her idols will be broken to pieces;     all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;     I will destroy all her images. Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,     as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.”
Weeping and Mourning

Because of this I will weep and wail;     I will go about barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal     and moan like an owl.

For Samaria’s plague is incurable;     it has spread to Judah. It has reached the very gate of my people,     even to Jerusalem itself.
Tell it not in Gath;     weep not at all. In Beth Ophrah     roll in the dust.
Pass by naked and in shame,     you who live in Shaphir. Those who live in Zaanan     will not come out. Beth Ezel is in mourning;     it no longer protects you.
Those who live in Maroth writhe in pain,     waiting for relief, because disaster has come from the Lord,     even to the gate of Jerusalem.
You who live in Lachish,     harness fast horses to the chariot. You are where the sin of Daughter Zion began,     for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
Therefore you will give parting gifts     to Moresheth Gath. The town of Akzib will prove deceptive     to the kings of Israel.
I will bring a conqueror against you     who live in Mareshah. The nobles of Israel     will flee to Adullam.
Shave your head in mourning     for the children in whom you delight; make yourself as bald as the vulture,     for they will go from you into exile.
Human Plans and God’s Plans

Woe to those who plan iniquity,     to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out     because it is in their power to do it.

They covet fields and seize them,     and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes,     they rob them of their inheritance.
Therefore, the Lord says:
“I am planning disaster against this people,     from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly,     for it will be a time of calamity.

In that day people will ridicule you;     they will taunt you with this mournful song: ‘We are utterly ruined;     my people’s possession is divided up. He takes it from me!     He assigns our fields to traitors.’”

Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the Lord     to divide the land by lot.
False Prophets

“Do not prophesy,” their prophets say.     “Do not prophesy about these things;     disgrace will not overtake us.”

You descendants of Jacob, should it be said,     “Does the Lord become impatient?     Does he do such things?”
“Do not my words do good
    to the one whose ways are upright?

Lately my people have risen up     like an enemy. You strip off the rich robe     from those who pass by without a care,     like men returning from battle.

You drive the women of my people     from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing     from their children forever.
Get up, go away!     For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled,     it is ruined, beyond all remedy.
If a liar and deceiver comes and says,     ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’     that would be just the prophet for this people!
Deliverance Promised
“I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;     I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,     like a flock in its pasture;     the place will throng with people.
The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;     they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them,     the Lord at their head.”
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.
The Mountain of the Lord
In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established     as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills,     and peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,     to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways,     so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion,     the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He will judge between many peoples     and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares     and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation,     nor will they train for war anymore.

Everyone will sit under their own vine     and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid,     for the Lord Almighty has spoken.

All the nations may walk     in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord     our God for ever and ever.
The Lord’s Plan
“In that day,” declares the Lord,
“I will gather the lame;     I will assemble the exiles     and those I have brought to grief.

I will make the lame my remnant,     those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion     from that day and forever.

As for you, watchtower of the flock,     stronghold of Daughter Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you;     kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.”

Why do you now cry aloud—     have you no king? Has your ruler perished,     that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?
Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion,     like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city     to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon;     there you will be rescued. There the Lord will redeem you     out of the hand of your enemies.
But now many nations     are gathered against you. They say, “Let her be defiled,     let our eyes gloat over Zion!”
But they do not know     the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan,     that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
“Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion,     for I will give you horns of iron; I will give you hooves of bronze,     and you will break to pieces many nations.” You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the Lord,     their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.

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