Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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July 16 - Morning

"Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor.

There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor.

This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."

- Ecclesiastes 4:13-16

People are Fickle

Indeed, a young man who has no experience, but is willing to learn is better than an experienced king who has stopped listening to advice. Yet, these are not exclusive character traits. It is possible to have an older king who is both experienced and wise. There are kings who can be old and still be willing to listen to advice.

But, Solomon says, it doesn’t matter because popular culture is always going to side with the youth. The new idea always sounds better and the new opportunity gets people involved. This was the case for the young man Solomon who was preceded by the great King David. Be it good or bad, at least, the young Solomon had this principle in his favor:

“I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor.” - Ecclesiastes 4:15

But, Solomon knew the cycle would continue. He knew his day of public popularity would eventually fade. There would be a new generation who would favor a younger successor (or, an insurgent such as Jeroboam!) who had new ideas. Solomon knew that “there was no end to all the people who” supported him early on in his reign, but Solomon also knew certain trends were true:

“Those who came later were not pleased with the successor.” – Ecclesiastes 4:16

Time will move on. Popularity ratings will change. Opinions will be swayed. A king can gain experience, rule well and continue to take advice, but people are fickle and will eventually turn on their leader in order to support someone new. So, it is good to know ahead of time that:

“This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." –Ecclesiastes 4:16

The people you lead are fickle. Their opinion of you will change.
Chepets (Hb) - Pleasure (Eng) - The Hebrew word chepets means “pleasure,” “delight,” “desire,” “request,” “affair,” and “thing.” In 2 Samuel 23:5 chepets refers to what someone wants. In 1 Kings 5:8 chepets is King Hiram fulfilling King Solomon's desire for help building the Temple.
As a leader I will try to act in wisdom, gain experience and continue to listen to advice.
As a follower I will try to continue supporting those in leadership without being swayed by the "latest and greatest" new trends.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Compassion for the poor and needy


Understanding and Discovery of Spiritual Gifts
University students

Prayer at the Western Wall
Details of the Temple Mount today.

Someone to Quote

"Perhaps what the heretics allege might be credible, if - in the first place - the Holy Scriptures did not contradict them!"
- Caius, 215 AD (quoted by Eusibius around 320 AD)

Something to Ponder

Modalists (or, Sabellianism) is a Trinitarian Heresy from 190-268 AD that states that God is a single person. They believe that God revealed himself in the Old Testament as the Father, in the Gospels he manifested as the Son, after Jesus ascension God takes the form of the Holy Spirit. In this thinking the Father, Son and Holy Spirit never existed at the same time. Some modern groups still hold to this. They deny the Trinity, they claim that the name of God is Jesus and accuse Trinitarians of having three gods. Council of Antioch condemns it in 268.

Here’s a Fact

Two of the largest buildings ever discovered from the time of David are a royal storehouse and a royal residence (a palace) in the ancient city of Khirbet Qeiyafa in the hill country of Judah. Khirbet Qeiyafa (the biblical Shaaraim) was a fortified city set in the hills of Judah overlooking the Elah Valley where Israel often had to face Philistine invasions from the west.

This royal fortification today called Khirbet Qeiyafa was the biblical Shaaraim (meaning “two gates”) mentioned several times in the Bible. Archaeologists have uncovered almost the entire city wall which encircled the city in David’s time with two gates, just like the meaning of the name. In Joshua 15:36 Shaaraim is mentioned along with Sokoh and Azekah. There was a road running from the land of the Philistines to Shaaraim that is mentioned in 1 Samuel 17:52 when the Israelites routed the Philistines after David killed Goliath in the Valley of Elah.

It appears that after establishing his rule in Judah, King David fortified the city of Khirbet Qeiyafa (Shaaraim) with walls, fortifications, a governmental storehouse and a royal palace to serve as a headquarters when it was necessary to defend his territory from the Philistine advances that were typical for this area of the country. The remains of the walls, fortifications, storehouse and palace have been uncovered along with the two gates. (Details 1, 2)


"Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth." - Proverbs 16:13

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 24
New International Version (NIV)
David Enrolls the Fighting Men
24 Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”
So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”
But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”
The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.
After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.
After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.
Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.
10 David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”
11 Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: 12 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”
13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”
14 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”
15 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”
David Builds an Altar
18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”
“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”
22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”
24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.
25 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
Ezekiel 15
New International Version (NIV)
Jerusalem as a Useless Vine
15 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, how is the wood of a vine different from that of a branch from any of the trees in the forest? Is wood ever taken from it to make anything useful? Do they make pegs from it to hang things on? And after it is thrown on the fire as fuel and the fire burns both ends and chars the middle, is it then useful for anything? If it was not useful for anything when it was whole, how much less can it be made into something useful when the fire has burned it and it is charred?
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem. I will set my face against them. Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the Lord. I will make the land desolate because they have been unfaithful, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
Isaiah 13-14
New International Version (NIV)
A Prophecy Against Babylon
13 A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:

Raise a banner on a bare hilltop,     shout to them; beckon to them     to enter the gates of the nobles.

I have commanded those I prepared for battle;     I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath—     those who rejoice in my triumph.

Listen, a noise on the mountains,     like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms,     like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering     an army for war.

They come from faraway lands,     from the ends of the heavens— the Lord and the weapons of his wrath—     to destroy the whole country.

Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;     it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

Because of this, all hands will go limp,     every heart will melt with fear.

Terror will seize them,     pain and anguish will grip them;     they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other,     their faces aflame.

See, the day of the Lord is coming     —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate     and destroy the sinners within it.
The stars of heaven and their constellations     will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened     and the moon will not give its light.
I will punish the world for its evil,     the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty     and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
I will make people scarcer than pure gold,     more rare than the gold of Ophir.
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble;     and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty,     in the day of his burning anger.
Like a hunted gazelle,     like sheep without a shepherd, they will all return to their own people,     they will flee to their native land.
Whoever is captured will be thrust through;     all who are caught will fall by the sword.
Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;     their houses will be looted and their wives violated.
See, I will stir up against them the Medes,     who do not care for silver     and have no delight in gold.
Their bows will strike down the young men;     they will have no mercy on infants,     nor will they look with compassion on children.
Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms,     the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God     like Sodom and Gomorrah.
She will never be inhabited     or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tents,     there no shepherds will rest their flocks.
But desert creatures will lie there,     jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell,     and there the wild goats will leap about.
Hyenas will inhabit her strongholds,     jackals her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand,     and her days will not be prolonged.
The Lord will have compassion on Jacob;     once again he will choose Israel     and will settle them in their own land. Foreigners will join them     and unite with the descendants of Jacob.

Nations will take them     and bring them to their own place. And Israel will take possession of the nations     and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land. They will make captives of their captors     and rule over their oppressors.
On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:
How the oppressor has come to an end!     How his fury has ended!

The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,     the scepter of the rulers,

which in anger struck down peoples     with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations     with relentless aggression.

All the lands are at rest and at peace;     they break into singing.

Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon     gloat over you and say, “Now that you have been laid low,     no one comes to cut us down.”

The realm of the dead below is all astir     to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—     all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones—     all those who were kings over the nations.
They will all respond,     they will say to you, “You also have become weak, as we are;     you have become like us.”
All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,     along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you     and worms cover you.
How you have fallen from heaven,     morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth,     you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart,     “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne     above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,     on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;     I will make myself like the Most High.”
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,     to the depths of the pit.
Those who see you stare at you,     they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth     and made kingdoms tremble,
the man who made the world a wilderness,     who overthrew its cities     and would not let his captives go home?”
All the kings of the nations lie in state,     each in his own tomb.
But you are cast out of your tomb     like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain,     with those pierced by the sword,     those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
    you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land     and killed your people.
Let the offspring of the wicked
    never be mentioned again.
Prepare a place to slaughter his children     for the sins of their ancestors; they are not to rise to inherit the land     and cover the earth with their cities.
“I will rise up against them,”     declares the Lord Almighty. “I will wipe out Babylon’s name and survivors,     her offspring and descendants,” declares the Lord.
“I will turn her into a place for owls     and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,”     declares the Lord Almighty.
24 The Lord Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,     and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
I will crush the Assyrian in my land;     on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people,     and his burden removed from their shoulders.”
This is the plan determined for the whole world;     this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?     His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
A Prophecy Against the Philistines
28 This prophecy came in the year King Ahaz died:
Do not rejoice, all you Philistines,     that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper,     its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.
The poorest of the poor will find pasture,     and the needy will lie down in safety. But your root I will destroy by famine;     it will slay your survivors.
Wail, you gate! Howl, you city!     Melt away, all you Philistines! A cloud of smoke comes from the north,     and there is not a straggler in its ranks.
What answer shall be given     to the envoys of that nation? “The Lord has established Zion,     and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.”

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