Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

  • Stacks Image 5021

August 10 - Evening

"This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:

'...Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.  Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper... This is what the Lord says:

"When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” ' "

- Jeremiah 29:1, 5-7, 10-14

Jeremiah's Letter to the Captives in Babylon

Interestingly, one of the most frequently quoted verses among Christians, Jeremiah 29:11, is a verse that was written to 10,000 people who had been taken by force on a 550-650 mile march by the Babylonian military. This generation had been taken from their homeland of Judah and deported as exiles into the foreign land of the Chaldeans in 597 BC eleven years before their Temple would be burnt to the ground and their capital city of Jerusalem would be left in a smoldering heap of ruins. Jeremiah writes to these captives, most of whom, will never see their homeland again:

“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” - Jeremiah 29:11

The children and grandchildren of these exiles would be given a chance to return to rebuild residences out of the Jerusalem rubble beginning in 539-538 BC, fifty-eight years later. (See the book of Ezra.) Some of them might return as 60-90 year olds if they were 2-32 years old at the time of the deportation in 597.

Those who received this letter in Babylon knew the author Jeremiah. They knew it was from Jeremiah who was still in Jerusalem. They had heard Jeremiah proclaim his message and warn them that this captivity was just the beginning and that a greater destruction was coming. Some may have listened and repented or sneered and mocked during Jeremiah’s first thirty years of ministry. Jeremiah had progressively proclaimed his message in the years 627-597 BC.

Either way, these people now had another chance to hear and respond to the Word of the Lord. As captives in Babylon they were told, first, don’t leave you bags packed, but move in and plant a garden because you are NOT coming home.

Second, while you are in Babylon seek the peace and security of your new nation/empire. Bless the country you are living in because it is your home until the seventy years are fulfilled.

Third, have families and teach them that they have a great future in God’s plan for Israel.

Once again, Jeremiah’s words were contrary to the false prophets who were predicting a soon return and a miraculous deliverance. Even in captivity the people had to choose between the false message of false hope and the true message with a true hope.

While the people were in Babylon God would raise up for them a true prophet within the land of Babylon to guide, encourage, warn and teach them. While they built homes in Babylon, worked jobs in the Babylonian workforce, raised children in a Babylonian culture and planted gardens in the soil near the Euphrates River the prophet Ezekiel would explain many things to these people in his public lectures and object lessons. Ezekiel would speak about the people’s future, their current events and their past sins.
Hedone (Gr) – pleasure (Eng) – the Greek word hedone is used to refer to the sinful gratification of the natural or fleshly nature of man.
Luke 8:14 – “And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature."
Titus 3:3 – “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another."
James 4:1, 3 – “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?...You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
2 Peter 2:13 – “They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you."
I know God has good plans for me and that there is hope for my future.
But, I also realize that God's plans may not be my plans.
My hope is not realized when my dreams come true, but is instead in God my Savior.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Daniel 11 (535 BC)


For desire to be productive


Grow in love for God
Local school system

A pomegranate that is still not ripe and starting to turn red in the Hinnom Valley.
Details of David sending officials out to count his fighting men according to 2 Samuel 24.

"The devil doesn´t mind how many sermons we preach or prepare if it will keep us from preparing ourselves"
- Vance Havner

Paul was whipped on five different occasions with the forty lashes minus one (or, 39 lashes) by the Jews, beaten with rods as a Roman punishment three times (illegally since Paul was a Roman citizen), stoned one time by a crowd hurling rocks at him while he was confined, most likely, in a shallow pit and shipwrecked three times. (2 Corinthians 11:24-25)

The Jews that survived Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian invasion in 586 BC fled to the city of Tahpanhes in Egypt and took Jeremiah with them (Jer. 40:3; 41:1-3; 43:5, 7). Tahpanhes was excavated in 1886. Fragments of a tablet inscribed in cuneiform letters (Chaldean and Babylonian alphabet) describe Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Egypt which Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 43:8-11. (Tahpanhes excavation details 1, 2. Cuneiform details 1, 2.)

"The wages of the righteous bring them life,
but the income of the wicked brings them punishment."

- Proverbs 10:16

Daniel 11 New International Version (NIV)
And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)
The Kings of the South and the North
“Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. Then a mighty king will arise, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. After he has arisen, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.
“The king of the South will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power. After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power, and he and his power will not last. In those days she will be betrayed, together with her royal escort and her father and the one who supported her.
“One from her family line will arise to take her place. He will attack the forces of the king of the North and enter his fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious. He will also seize their gods, their metal images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the North alone. Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country. 10 His sons will prepare for war and assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood and carry the battle as far as his fortress.
11 “Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated. 12 When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant. 13 For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped.
14 “In those times many will rise against the king of the South. Those who are violent among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success. 15 Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. 16 The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. 17 He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him. 18 Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him. 19 After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more.
20 “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle.
21 “He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. 22 Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. 23 After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. 24 When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but only for a time.
25 “With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. 26 Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. 27 The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. 28 The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action against it and then return to his own country.
29 “At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before. 30 Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.
31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.
33 “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.
The King Who Exalts Himself
36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.
40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
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.
Jeremiah 12-13New International Version (NIV)
Jeremiah’s Complaint
You are always righteous, Lord,     when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice:     Why does the way of the wicked prosper?     Why do all the faithless live at ease?

You have planted them, and they have taken root;     they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips     but far from their hearts.

Yet you know me, Lord;     you see me and test my thoughts about you. Drag them off like sheep to be butchered!     Set them apart for the day of slaughter!

How long will the land lie parched     and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked,     the animals and birds have perished. Moreover, the people are saying,     “He will not see what happens to us.”
God’s Answer

“If you have raced with men on foot     and they have worn you out,     how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country,     how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

Your relatives, members of your own family—     even they have betrayed you;     they have raised a loud cry against you. Do not trust them,     though they speak well of you.

“I will forsake my house,     abandon my inheritance; I will give the one I love     into the hands of her enemies.

My inheritance has become to me     like a lion in the forest. She roars at me;     therefore I hate her.

Has not my inheritance become to me     like a speckled bird of prey     that other birds of prey surround and attack? Go and gather all the wild beasts;     bring them to devour.
Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard     and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field     into a desolate wasteland.
It will be made a wasteland,     parched and desolate before me; the whole land will be laid waste     because there is no one who cares.
Over all the barren heights in the desert     destroyers will swarm, for the sword of the Lord will devour     from one end of the land to the other;     no one will be safe.
They will sow wheat but reap thorns;     they will wear themselves out but gain nothing. They will bear the shame of their harvest     because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”
14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.
A Linen Belt
13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.” So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist.
Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.” So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me.
Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.” So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless! 11 For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’
12 “Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every wineskin should be filled with wine.’ And if they say to you, ‘Don’t we know that every wineskin should be filled with wine?’ 13 then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to fill with drunkenness all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets and all those living in Jerusalem. 14 I will smash them one against the other, parents and children alike, declares the Lord. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them.’”
Threat of Captivity
Hear and pay attention,     do not be arrogant,     for the Lord has spoken.
Give glory to the Lord your God     before he brings the darkness, before your feet stumble     on the darkening hills. You hope for light,     but he will turn it to utter darkness     and change it to deep gloom.
If you do not listen,     I will weep in secret     because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly,     overflowing with tears,     because the Lord’s flock will be taken captive.
Say to the king and to the queen mother,     “Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns     will fall from your heads.”
The cities in the Negev will be shut up,     and there will be no one to open them. All Judah will be carried into exile,     carried completely away.
Look up and see     those who are coming from the north. Where is the flock that was entrusted to you,     the sheep of which you boasted?
What will you say when the Lord sets over you     those you cultivated as your special allies? Will not pain grip you     like that of a woman in labor?
And if you ask yourself,     “Why has this happened to me?”— it is because of your many sins     that your skirts have been torn off     and your body mistreated.
Can an Ethiopian change his skin     or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good     who are accustomed to doing evil.
“I will scatter you like chaff     driven by the desert wind.
This is your lot,     the portion I have decreed for you,” declares the Lord, “because you have forgotten me     and trusted in false gods.
I will pull up your skirts over your face     that your shame may be seen—
your adulteries and lustful neighings,     your shameless prostitution! I have seen your detestable acts     on the hills and in the fields. Woe to you, Jerusalem!     How long will you be unclean?”
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.

Reps & Sets     Today's Workout   |   Locker Room   |   Coach Wiemers   |   Radio   |   Donate   |   Contact