Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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July 23 - Evening

"Now the house of David was told, 'Aram has allied itself with Ephraim!'

So the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah,
'Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field.  Say to him,

"Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood — because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.   Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying,

'Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.'

Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

"It will not take place, it will not happen, for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people. The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son. If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” '

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz,
'Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.'

But Ahaz said, 'I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.'

Then Isaiah said, 'Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.' "

- Isaiah 7:2-14

Trust the Lord, or Fail

About 733 BC, Ahaz, king of Judah, heard the news that the Arameans (a nation north of Israel also called Syria) had made a treaty with the Ephraim (or, the nation of Israel, north of Judah). The citizens of Judah along with King Ahaz and his governmental administration were shaken (Hebrew nua, same as 6:4).

The Lord sent his prophet Isaiah to the fearful King Ahaz with words of encouragement and prophecies of events to give the king confidence to stand firm in faith.
Isaiah is a young father at this time and is in about his seventh year of ministry (assuming Isaiah began in 740 BC the year Uzziah died.) Isaiah is told to go meet Ahaz in Jerusalem where the aqueduct feeds water into the Upper Pool. This is a reference to the water system of Jerusalem before the digging of Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Likely, this is water being fed into the city from the Gihon Springs and the reference to the Upper Pool could indicate there was a lower pool by the springs. (Another alternative is to locate this Upper Pool to the northwest of the city where the ancient water pool called Hezekiah’s Pool is located (Details 1, 2). King Ahaz is apparently out inspecting the water supply for the city as he faces an attack from the two nations united against him, Aram and Israel.

The Lord tells Isaiah to take one of his young sons, whose name is important for this encounter with the king and the message of hope Isaiah is to give King Ahaz. The boy’s name is Shear-Jashub which means “a remnant will return.” The meaning of the name of Isaiah’s first son, Shear-Jashub, is clear, but the Lord’s intention for the name is difficult to unravel, which is in keeping with Isaiah’s ministry. Is it good news saying, “Be of good cheer, a remnant will return!” Or, is it bad news saying, “You will be defeated with a mere remnant returning from the battle!” The meaning is clear, but what is the intent?

The words that the prophet give King Ahaz seem to be clear. While holding his young son, Isaiah gives instructions to the king of Judah while the king is preparing for and invasion. The message is this:
  • Don’t be afraid.
  • Two smoldering stubs of firewood are King Rezin of Aram and Remaliah’s son (King Pekah) of Israel
  • This is their plan is to overthrow King Ahaz of Judah, divide his land between Aram and Israel and make Tabeel’s son, a man from Jerusalem, the new king of Judah.

After revealing the planned coup d'état to King Ahaz, the Lord tells Ahaz that this plan will not happen because behind these nations and plans are mere men. Instead, the Lord tells Ahaz what the Lord is planning over the next 65 years (733-668 BC). The Lord says Ephriam (northern Israel) will no longer be a nation 65 years from 733 BC!.

Historically, the Assyrians rose to power to defeat the Arameans (Syria). By 721 BC Assyria destroyed the northern nation of Israel. 65 years later in 669 BC the Assyrian Kings Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal would be making their final deportation of Israelites out of northern Israel (Ezra 4:2 and 4:10).

King Ahaz has a choice to make. He can trust YHWH, the sovereign Lord, who is controlling history or Ahaz can abandon his faith and live a shaky, unstable life while he tries to manipulate international affairs with dangerous covenants that are devised to undermine his independence.
Logos (Gr) – word (Eng) – the Greek word logos means more than just “a word.” Logos means “the expression of a thought.” It is not just the name of something in a word, but the embodiment of an idea. Logos appears several times along with the ones listed here:
Luke 7:7
1 Corinthians 14:9
Romans 9:9
Ephesians 1:13
I will trust the Word of the Lord instead of trusting my ability to manipulate people and situations.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Life application of Biblical Truth

This domed, hewn-stone ceiling with an oculus (circular opening in the top) in one of Herod's warm baths on the Herodion is the oldest orbed ceiling found in Israel.
(Photos 1, 2. Details 1, 2.)
A map detailing the locations mentioned in Isaiah 18-21.

Someone to Quote

"It is right to supply need, but it is not well to support laziness."
- Clement of Alexandria,
195 AD

Something to Ponder

New Testament words for sin:
  1. Kakos – means bad as in morally bad
  2. Poneros – means evil, usually moral evil. Often used to describe Satan and demons.
  3. Asebes – means godless or ungodly
  4. Enochos – means guilty, and when used in a legal context, it usually refers to being worthy of capital punishment.
  5. Hamartis – means to miss the mark
  6. Adikia – used to refer to any unrighteous conduct.
  7. Anomos – means lawless and is translated “iniquity”
  8. Parabates – means transgressor and refers to violations of the law

Here’s a Fact

Flood traditions from ancient cultures have some similarities with the firsthand account recorded by Noah in Genesis 6:

Native American tradition has 1, 3 or 8 people saved in a boat from water that covered the mountains.
Hindu tradition has says a man was warned, built a ship and survived.
Chinese tradition preserves the account of a man, his wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters who escaped the flood that was sent to destroy rebellious mankind.
Druid tradition says a righteous man was saved on a great ship from the flood sent to destroy wicked mankind.
Greek tradition says a man was warned, built an ark, landed on a mountain and sent out a dove 2x
Mexican tradition has a man, his wife and their children saved.
Polynesian tradition preserves the fact that eight people escaped the flood.
(Details 1, 2, 3.)


"Listen to your father,
who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old."

- Proverbs 23:22

Coach’s Corner

The greatest miracle is salvation. The godliest spiritual manifestation is the transformed soul.

Jeremiah 33 New International Version (NIV)
Promise of Restoration
33 While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time: “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege ramps and the sword in the fight with the Babylonians[a]: ‘They will be filled with the dead bodies of the people I will slay in my anger and wrath. I will hide my face from this city because of all its wickedness.
“‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity[b] and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’
10 “This is what the Lord says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying,
“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,     for the Lord is good;     his love endures forever.”
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the Lord.
12 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In this place, desolate and without people or animals—in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks. 13 In the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand of the one who counts them,’ says the Lord.
14 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.
“‘In those days and at that time     I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;     he will do what is just and right in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved     and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it[c] will be called:     The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’
17 For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18 nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.’”
19 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20 “This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’”
23 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 24 “Have you not noticed that these people are saying, ‘The Lord has rejected the two kingdoms[d] he chose’? So they despise my people and no longer regard them as a nation. 25 This is what the Lord says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, 26 then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes[e] and have compassion on them.’”
  1. Jeremiah 33:5 Or Chaldeans
  2. Jeremiah 33:7 Or will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel
  3. Jeremiah 33:16 Or he
  4. Jeremiah 33:24 Or families
  5. Jeremiah 33:26 Or will bring them back from captivity
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Isaiah 33-34New International Version (NIV)
Distress and Help
Woe to you, destroyer,     you who have not been destroyed! Woe to you, betrayer,     you who have not been betrayed! When you stop destroying,     you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying,     you will be betrayed.

Lord, be gracious to us;     we long for you. Be our strength every morning,     our salvation in time of distress.

At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee;     when you rise up, the nations scatter.

Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;     like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it.

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;     he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.

He will be the sure foundation for your times,     a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;     the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.[a]

Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;     the envoys of peace weep bitterly.

The highways are deserted,     no travelers are on the roads. The treaty is broken,     its witnesses[b] are despised,     no one is respected.

The land dries up and wastes away,     Lebanon is ashamed and withers; Sharon is like the Arabah,     and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.
“Now will I arise,” says the Lord.     “Now will I be exalted;     now will I be lifted up.
You conceive chaff,     you give birth to straw;     your breath is a fire that consumes you.
The peoples will be burned to ashes;     like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze.”
You who are far away, hear what I have done;     you who are near, acknowledge my power!
The sinners in Zion are terrified;     trembling grips the godless: “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?     Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”
Those who walk righteously     and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion     and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder     and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—
they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,     whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied,     and water will not fail them.
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty     and view a land that stretches afar.
In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:     “Where is that chief officer? Where is the one who took the revenue?     Where is the officer in charge of the towers?”
You will see those arrogant people no more,     people whose speech is obscure,     whose language is strange and incomprehensible.
Look on Zion, the city of our festivals;     your eyes will see Jerusalem,     a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up,     nor any of its ropes broken.
There the Lord will be our Mighty One.     It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams. No galley with oars will ride them,     no mighty ship will sail them.
For the Lord is our judge,     the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king;     it is he who will save us.
Your rigging hangs loose:     The mast is not held secure,     the sail is not spread. Then an abundance of spoils will be divided     and even the lame will carry off plunder.
No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”;     and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.
Judgment Against the Nations
Come near, you nations, and listen;     pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,     the world, and all that comes out of it!

The Lord is angry with all nations;     his wrath is on all their armies. He will totally destroy[c] them,     he will give them over to slaughter.

Their slain will be thrown out,     their dead bodies will stink;     the mountains will be soaked with their blood.

All the stars in the sky will be dissolved     and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall     like withered leaves from the vine,     like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;     see, it descends in judgment on Edom,     the people I have totally destroyed.

The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood,     it is covered with fat— the blood of lambs and goats,     fat from the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah     and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.

And the wild oxen will fall with them,     the bull calves and the great bulls. Their land will be drenched with blood,     and the dust will be soaked with fat.

For the Lord has a day of vengeance,     a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause.

Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,     her dust into burning sulfur;     her land will become blazing pitch!
It will not be quenched night or day;     its smoke will rise forever. From generation to generation it will lie desolate;     no one will ever pass through it again.
The desert owl[d] and screech owl[e] will possess it;     the great owl[f] and the raven will nest there. God will stretch out over Edom     the measuring line of chaos     and the plumb line of desolation.
Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,     all her princes will vanish away.
Thorns will overrun her citadels,     nettles and brambles her strongholds. She will become a haunt for jackals,     a home for owls.
Desert creatures will meet with hyenas,     and wild goats will bleat to each other; there the night creatures will also lie down     and find for themselves places of rest.
The owl will nest there and lay eggs,     she will hatch them, and care for her young     under the shadow of her wings; there also the falcons will gather,     each with its mate.
16 Look in the scroll of the Lord and read:
None of these will be missing,     not one will lack her mate. For it is his mouth that has given the order,     and his Spirit will gather them together.
He allots their portions;     his hand distributes them by measure. They will possess it forever     and dwell there from generation to generation.
  1. Isaiah 33:6 Or is a treasure from him
  2. Isaiah 33:8 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text / the cities
  3. Isaiah 34:2 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 5.
  4. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  5. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
  6. Isaiah 34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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