Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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July 26 - Evening

"This is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:

‘Go, say to this steward, to Shebna the palace administrator:

"What are you doing here and who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock? Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you and hurl you away, you mighty man. He will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country. There you will die and there the chariots you were so proud of will become a disgrace to your master’s house. I will depose you from your office, and you will be ousted from your position.

In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David -

what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat of honor for the house of his father. All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots — all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars." '

 'In that day,' declares the Lord Almighty, 'the peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down.'

The Lord has spoken."

- Isaiah 22:15-25

Shebna Gets Demoted, Then Deported

In Isaiah 22:15-25, the prophet Isaiah rebukes Shebna for cutting a tomb for himself outside Jerusalem. Shebna, who is mentioned as one of the palace administrators for Hezekiah here in Isaiah 37:2 will have been replaced and demoted to a secretary sometime after 712 BC, but before 701 BC.

But, here in Isaiah 22:15-25 in 712 BC the Lord tells Jeremiah to go speak these words to Shebna:

“Go, say to this steward,
    to Shebna the palace administrator: ‘What are you doing here and who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock?
Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you
    and hurl you away, you mighty man. He will roll you up tightly like a ball
    and throw you into a large country.
There you will die and there the chariots you were so proud of will become a disgrace to your master’s house. I will depose you from your office, and you will be ousted from your position.’ ”

In the midst of national crisis Shebna, a crucial palace official of Hezekiah’s, was more concerned about his memorial and his decorated tomb that he will use after his life of luxury and palace leisure than he is about his responsibilities to the people of Judah and King Hezekiah. Shebna should instead have focused on current international and local issues. He should have consulted the Word of God and assisted Hezekiah in the formulation of wise plans for Judah’s future.
About ten years later in Isaiah 37:2-3, Shebna is one of the palace officials sent by Hezekiah to ask Isaiah for advice concerning Sennacherib's invasion of 701 BC. But, it appears Shebna demise had begun by Isaiah 37 since Eliakim seems to have Shebna’s position as being “over the house." Shebna has been demoted to “secretary” by 701 BC . Eliakim may have favored Isaiah’s policy of independence and encouraged trust in the Lord, while Shebna continued to promote international reliance on Assyria and Egypt.

The Shebna Inscription (details 1, 2; image; diagram) was found in a tomb in Silwan on the slopes of the Kidron Valley outside the City of David (Jerusalem). This is considered the possible location of Shebna's focus in 712 BC when he was King Hezekiah’s royal steward. The inscription is from the burial tomb of "--iah, the royal steward." The inscription reads:

"This is ... [the tomb of Shebna] ...iah, the royal steward. There is no silver or gold here, only ... [his bones] ... and the bones of his maidservant with him. Cursed be the man who opens this [tomb]."

It is likely that Shebna was never buried here since the Lord promised him that he was going to:

"take firm hold of you and hurl you away, you mighty man. He will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country." - Isaiah 22:17-19

The Hebrew word root word tsnp, meaning "to wind" and "to wrap" is used to form three Hebrew words that are used in a sequence, to say: tsanop yitsnapeka tsenepa. Literally, those words are saying something like:

"winding up he will wind you a winding."

The idea is that Shebna is going to be crumpled up like a piece of paper into a wad so that the Lord can throw him like a ball of paper out of the land of Judah. The ESV translates Isaiah 22:17-19 like this:

"will roll you up tightly like a ball
    and throw you into a large country.
There you will die
    and there the chariots you were so proud of
    will become a disgrace to your master’s house."

It looks like Shebna is going to be taken into Assyria before he dies along with the chariots he both rode in and trusted in, would also be taken.
Basanizo (Gr) – distress (Eng) – the Greek word basanizo literally means “to test by rubbing on the touchstone.”
The word
basanos is “touchstone.” 
can mean “to question or test with torture.”
basanizo is used in the context of a trying situation it can mean “to be harassed” and “to be distressed” as in Matthew 14:24 and Mark 6:48.
I will not live for my brief time here on earth, but will consider the long term effects of my decisions on others and on my eternity.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text


Right words for the right moment


Attitude of encouragement

One of Herod's palace/fortresses, the Herodian.
The location of the same Herodian stones in the actual Western Wall compared to a model showing where they were in Herod's Western Wall in New Testament times before the destruction and rubble build up covered the streets and raised the ground level. (Western Wall details.) (Here is another great illustration by Leen Ritmeyer.)

Someone to Quote

"The Bible is either absolute, or it's obsolete."
- Leonard Ravenhill

Something to Ponder

Early Bishops in Jerusalem

the Lord’s brother, was killed in 63 AD

the son of Clopas (who was a brother of Jesus' father Joseph), followed his cousin James as bishop of Jerusalem and bishop before, during and after the Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD









Justus II




(died 148 AD) from the family of Jesus, the 15th bishop and last Hebrew bishop because in 135 AD Hadrian put down a Jewish revolt and Jews were forbidden to enter Jerusalem

Marcus, the first gentile bishop of Jerusalem

and the list continues. . .

Here’s a Fact

Isaiah 20:1 mentions Assyrian King Sargon’s invasion of Ashdod of the Philistines 33 miles west of Jerusalem and about 2-3 miles from the Mediterranean coast. In 712 BC Sargon responded to a revolt in Ashdod that was predicted by Amos around 750 BC in Amos 1:8. Sargon recorded the details in his capital city in a recording that says Azuri, the king of Ashdod, had refused to pay tribute to Assyria and was plotting with neighboring nations (possibly Judah and the present King Hezekiah). Archaeological evidence of Sargon’s attack is found at level VIII in Ashdod. Fragments of an Assyrian victory stela found there is credited to Sargon and his invasion of Ashdod that is accurately recorded in Isaiah 20:1 and Amos 1:8. (Sargon Victory Stela at Ashdod 1, 2. Details 1, 2.)


"As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed."
- Proverbs 26:14

Coach’s Corner

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

2 Kings 24:20New International Version (NIV)
20 It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.
The Fall of Jerusalem
Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
2 Kings 25:1-26New International Version (NIV)
25 So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it. The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.
By the ninth day of the fourth[a] month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat. Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians[b] were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah,[c] but the Babylonian[d] army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, and he was captured.
He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him.
They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.
On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down. 10 The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon. 12 But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.
13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 15 The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls—all that were made of pure gold or silver.
16 The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the movable stands, which Solomon had made for the temple of the Lord, was more than could be weighed. 17 Each pillar was eighteen cubits[e] high. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was three cubits[f] high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its network, was similar.
18 The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers. 19 Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men, and five royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of the conscripts who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed.
So Judah went into captivity, away from her land.
22 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to be over the people he had left behind in Judah. 23 When all the army officers and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite, and their men. 24 Gedaliah took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid of the Babylonian officials,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.”
25 In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood, came with ten men and assassinated Gedaliah and also the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah. 26 At this, all the people from the least to the greatest, together with the army officers, fled to Egypt for fear of the Babylonians.
  1. 2 Kings 25:3 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Jer. 52:6); Masoretic Text does not have fourth.
  2. 2 Kings 25:4 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 13, 25 and 26
  3. 2 Kings 25:4 Or the Jordan Valley
  4. 2 Kings 25:5 Or Chaldean; also in verses 10 and 24
  5. 2 Kings 25:17 That is, about 27 feet or about 8.1 meters
  6. 2 Kings 25:17 That is, about 4 1/2 feet or about 1.4 meters
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 42-43New International Version (NIV)
The Servant of the Lord
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,     my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him,     and he will bring justice to the nations.

He will not shout or cry out,     or raise his voice in the streets.

A bruised reed he will not break,     and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

    he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.     In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

This is what God the Lord says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,     who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,     who gives breath to its people,     and life to those who walk on it:

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;     I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you     to be a covenant for the people     and a light for the Gentiles,

to open eyes that are blind,     to free captives from prison     and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

“I am the Lord; that is my name!     I will not yield my glory to another     or my praise to idols.

See, the former things have taken place,     and new things I declare; before they spring into being     I announce them to you.”
Song of Praise to the Lord
Sing to the Lord a new song,     his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,     you islands, and all who live in them.
Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;     let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy;     let them shout from the mountaintops.
Let them give glory to the Lord     and proclaim his praise in the islands.
The Lord will march out like a champion,     like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry     and will triumph over his enemies.
“For a long time I have kept silent,     I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth,     I cry out, I gasp and pant.
I will lay waste the mountains and hills     and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn rivers into islands     and dry up the pools.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,     along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them     and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do;     I will not forsake them.
But those who trust in idols,     who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’     will be turned back in utter shame.
Israel Blind and Deaf
“Hear, you deaf;     look, you blind, and see!
Who is blind but my servant,     and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one in covenant with me,     blind like the servant of the Lord?
You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;     your ears are open, but you do not listen.”
It pleased the Lord     for the sake of his righteousness     to make his law great and glorious.
But this is a people plundered and looted,     all of them trapped in pits     or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder,     with no one to rescue them; they have been made loot,     with no one to say, “Send them back.”
Which of you will listen to this     or pay close attention in time to come?
Who handed Jacob over to become loot,     and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord,     against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways;     they did not obey his law.
So he poured out on them his burning anger,     the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand;     it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.
Israel’s Only Savior
But now, this is what the Lord says—     he who created you, Jacob,     he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;     I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,     I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,     they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,     you will not be burned;     the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord your God,     the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom,     Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,     and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you,     nations in exchange for your life.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;     I will bring your children from the east     and gather you from the west.

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’     and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar     and my daughters from the ends of the earth—

everyone who is called by my name,     whom I created for my glory,     whom I formed and made.”

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,     who have ears but are deaf.

All the nations gather together     and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this     and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,     so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,     “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me     and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed,     nor will there be one after me.
I, even I, am the Lord,     and apart from me there is no savior.
I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—     I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
    Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand.     When I act, who can reverse it?”
God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness
This is what the Lord says—     your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon     and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,[b]     in the ships in which they took pride.
I am the Lord, your Holy One,     Israel’s Creator, your King.”
This is what the Lord says—     he who made a way through the sea,     a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,     the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again,     extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
“Forget the former things;     do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!     Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness     and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,     the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness     and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen,
    the people I formed for myself     that they may proclaim my praise.
“Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,     you have not wearied yourselves for[c] me, Israel.
You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,     nor honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with grain offerings     nor wearied you with demands for incense.
You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,     or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins     and wearied me with your offenses.
“I, even I, am he who blots out     your transgressions, for my own sake,     and remembers your sins no more.
Review the past for me,     let us argue the matter together;     state the case for your innocence.
Your first father sinned;     those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;     I consigned Jacob to destruction[d]     and Israel to scorn.
  1. Isaiah 43:3 That is, the upper Nile region
  2. Isaiah 43:14 Or Chaldeans
  3. Isaiah 43:22 Or Jacob; / surely you have grown weary of
  4. Isaiah 43:28 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
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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