Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

August 11 - Morning

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August 1 - Morning

"I said, 'I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.'

So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:

'Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.' "

- Psalms 39:1-5

Think Before You Spew Out Your Questions


The superscript of David’s Psalm 39 contains the name Jeduthun:
            “For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.”

Jeduthun is mentioned in First Chronicles 16:42 as being one of two Levites “responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song.” Jeduthun was a Levites who ministered in song during the days of Zadok the high priest when the tabernacle was set up at the high place in Gibeon around 1000 BC. Even though the Ark of the Covenant had been brought into Jerusalem and set inside the tent of David, the Levite Jeduthun led the music in the tabernacle courts in order to give thanks to the Lord during the daily sacrifices 7 miles to the north of Jerusalem at the High Place of Gibeon. (See First Chronicles 16)

The psalm begins with David realizing that he has to watch what he says since he is being challenged emotionally and intellectually concerning the true meaning of life and wicked people. David realizes if he simply allows his thoughts to burst out in words he will be sinning with his mouth. So, instead David vows to “put a muzzle” on his mouth in order to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. (Psalm 39:1)

Yet, the anguish of his thoughts and the questions he had concerning life and wicked men burned in his soul. He sought a logical balance in life between purpose, sinful behavior and the justice of God. (Psalm 39:2-3)

Ultimately David has to speak and he begins by not spewing out his rash conclusion, but instead begins his quest by first establishing a perspective. David begins by asking to see or understand the length and limits of a human life. Now, from this lofty vantage point David can begin to analyze with a proper perspective all the issues that are bothering him. (Psalm 39:3-8)
Kbd (Hb) – to be heavy (Eng) – Kbd is a Semitic root that means “to be heavy.” The adjective kabed means “heavy” and kabod means “weight, honor, majesty.” Kabed, “heavy in weight,” is used in 1 Samuel 4:18 to refer to the overweight high priest Eli. In Exodus 17:12 kabed is used in reference to Moses’ tired arms. Kbd was used negatively to refer to the weight of a burden on a person. Positively kbd can refer to the | weight of honor a person deserves or to the majesty of God.  
I will focus on thinking about the effect my words will have on others, on situations and on myself before I speak. I will put a muzzle on and | give myself a chance to analyze my thoughts before they become spoken words.



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Personal

Physical strength

Church

Outreach
Local mayors and city officials
Germany



Warren's fallen ashlar stone seen by Charles Warren in 1873 (photographed here in 2012) in the city gutter (or, sewer) under the road that ran along the Western Wall of Herod's temple mount. This is below Robinson's Arch and was probably the result of a construction accident around 10 BC during Herod's construction of Robinson's Arch. The ashlar fell during construction, but was never retrieved. (I wonder if there was a follow-up inspection and fines assigned by OSHA?) See Warren's 1873 image here.
Three phases of salvations work in our lives.




Someone to Quote

"Christianity is a battle, not a dream."
- Wendell Phillips

Something to Ponder

"On average, an ordained Protestant pastor serving a small congregation received a median salary and housing package of $31,234, according to a study by sociologist Jackson Carroll."
(source)

Here’s a Fact

An ancient Egyptian document from 1300 BC, “Destruction of Mankind”, describes a group of people who were not Egyptian fleeing from the Land of Goshen (eastern Nile Delta area), but pursued by the armies of Pharaoh. Within this document is the Egyptian root. YWY, which is the name of the Hebrew God YHWH, or, I AM THAT I AM. (Hieroglyphic text) (Translated text)

Proverb

"Whoever listens to me (wisdom) will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."
- Proverbs 1:33

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.

"In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the Lord in the presence of the priests and all the people: 

'This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

"I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.  Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the Lord’s house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin… declares the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.” '

Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah before the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord. He said,

'Amen! May the Lord do so! May the Lord fulfill the words you have prophesied by bringing the articles of the Lord’s house and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon. Nevertheless, listen to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: From early times…the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.'

Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it… After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 

'Go and tell Hananiah, This is what the Lord says: "You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron…" 'Therefore this is what the Lord says: "I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord." '

In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died."

- Jeremiah 28:1-10, 13-14, 16-17

Dueling Prophets: Hananiah vs. Jeremiah


Jeremiah 28 is a great account of two prophets contradicting each other’s prophetic words while standing among the people and priests on the Temple Mount in the year 593 BC.

This exchange of words and prophetic threats takes place four years after Nebuchadnezzar’s second deportation of 10,000 Jews back to Babylon. This included 18 year old King Jehoiachin and 25 year old Ezekiel in 597 BC. (2 Kings 24:11-18; 2 Chronicles 36:9-10)

Now, four years later in 593 BC in chapter 27 Jeremiah had put on a wooden yoke to indicate the Lord’s approval of Nebuchadnezzar’s oppression of Judah in Jeremiah 27:2-11:

“Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck…Now I will had all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar…If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation…So do not listen to your prophets…who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ They prophesy lies to you…”

Apparently, one of the prophets of grace who was speaking words of hope and encouragement to Judah was the prophet Hananiah. The name Hananiah appropriately means, “Yahweh is gracious” and “The Lord is Gracious.” We can suppose that Hananiah felt obligated to speak words of God’s grace to the people and to stand against the negative messages of the oppressive, hateful and unpatriotic Jeremiah. Surely, wearing a wooden ox yoke into the Temple courts of the gracious Lord to represent the oppression and suffering caused by a pagan king was not appropriate.  The priests and the people should not have to tolerate Jeremiah’s ridiculous proclamation that the Lord approved of this foreign invasion!

So, on that August day in 593 Hananiah stepped up to rebuke Jeremiah’s oppressive words and his offensive sign of the yoke. Hananiah gave the people his own prophecy from the gracious Lord. Hananiah proclaimed his message to a crowd that surely responded by breaking out in loud applause and cheering:

'This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.  Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the Lord’s house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin… declares the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”  - Jeremiah 28:3-4

Who can argue with such a positive message filled with grace? So, Jeremiah replies with his own words of support:

“Amen! May the Lord do so! May the Lord fulfill the words you have prophesied!”

But, Jeremiah adds a scriptural warning supported with scriptural references by saying that Hananiah’s words of grace must come true:

“The prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.”

The cheering subsides as the people listen to Jeremiah’s warning of rebuke. Hananiah feels compelled to recapture the moment with a dramatic display that would surely bring the crowd back to an emotional frenzy. Hananiah removes the yoke from Jeremiah’s neck and breaks the yoke as his own personal sign of rejection of Jeremiah’s words. But, as the crowd cheered, Hananiah’s actions were merely a conformation of the nation’s rebellion against the Lord.

In this contest between the dueling prophets on the Temple Mount, Jeremiah responds appropriately with a prophetic message, first, for the people. Then, second, for Hananiah, the prophet of the Lord’s Graciousness.

First, the broken wooden yoke would be replaced by Nebuchadnezzar’s yoke of iron.

Second, the prophetic word for Hananiah:

"I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord."  - Jeremiah 28:16

Hananiah died two months later in October of 593 BC.


Rabah (Hb) - multiply (Eng) - The Hebrew word rabah means “to multiply,” “to become numerous,” “to become great.” Rabah is used to refer to the increase in numerical value and an increase in time. Genesis 1:22 Job 39:4 Ezekiel 16:7
Today I will be gracious to people and speak words of hope.
I will leave room for the Lord to be gracious and kind.
I will be a servant of encouragement for the Lord.


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Daniel 10 (535 BC)


Personal

For peace and contentment

Church

Stand firm in face of opposition and persecution
Latvia
Local economy


This arched ceiling was built over the open air pools on the northwest side of the first century Temple Mount. The pools were called Strouthion Pool. Hadrian covered these pools in 135 AD and set up a street market at ground level above. The square openings were for lowering buckets from the street to get water. These pools are underground now and still hold water. (Details of the Western Wall Tunnels. Photo.)
Judges 9 and the story of Abimelech located on a map.
1 Kings 16 New International Version (NIV)
16 Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu son of Hanani concerning Baasha: “I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins. So I am about to wipe out Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and birds will feed on those who die in the country.”
As for the other events of Baasha’s reign, what he did and his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Baasha rested with his ancestors and was buried in Tirzah. And Elah his son succeeded him as king.
Moreover, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani to Baasha and his house, because of all the evil he had done in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger by the things he did, becoming like the house of Jeroboam—and also because he destroyed it.
Elah King of Israel
In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah two years.
Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk in the home of Arza, the palace administrator at Tirzah. 10 Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Then he succeeded him as king.
11 As soon as he began to reign and was seated on the throne, he killed off Baasha’s whole family. He did not spare a single male, whether relative or friend. 12 So Zimri destroyed the whole family of Baasha, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu— 13 because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed and had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols.
14 As for the other events of Elah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Zimri King of Israel
15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah seven days. The army was encamped near Gibbethon, a Philistine town. 16 When the Israelites in the camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp. 17 Then Omri and all the Israelites with him withdrew from Gibbethon and laid siege to Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, 19 because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
20 As for the other events of Zimri’s reign, and the rebellion he carried out, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Omri King of Israel
21 Then the people of Israel were split into two factions; half supported Tibni son of Ginath for king, and the other half supported Omri. 22 But Omri’s followers proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king.
23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill.
25 But Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him. 26 He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols.
27 As for the other events of Omri’s reign, what he did and the things he achieved, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 28 Omri rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Ahab his son succeeded him as king.
Ahab Becomes King of Israel
29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.
34 In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.
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.
Daniel 10 New International Version (NIV)
Daniel’s Vision of a Man
10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.
At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.
I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.
10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”
18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”
When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”
20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.
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.
Genesis 19
New IJeremiah 10-11New International Version (NIV)
God and Idols
10 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says:
“Do not learn the ways of the nations     or be terrified by signs in the heavens,     though the nations are terrified by them.

For the practices of the peoples are worthless;     they cut a tree out of the forest,     and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.

They adorn it with silver and gold;     they fasten it with hammer and nails     so it will not totter.

Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,     their idols cannot speak; they must be carried     because they cannot walk. Do not fear them;     they can do no harm     nor can they do any good.”

No one is like you, Lord;     you are great,     and your name is mighty in power.

Who should not fear you,     King of the nations?     This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations     and in all their kingdoms,     there is no one like you.

They are all senseless and foolish;     they are taught by worthless wooden idols.

Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish     and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made     is then dressed in blue and purple—     all made by skilled workers.
10 
But the Lord is the true God;     he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles;     the nations cannot endure his wrath.
11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”
12 
But God made the earth by his power;     he founded the world by his wisdom     and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;     he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain     and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
14 
Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;     every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud;     they have no breath in them.
15 
They are worthless, the objects of mockery;     when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 
He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,     for he is the Maker of all things, including Israel, the people of his inheritance—     the Lord Almighty is his name.
Coming Destruction
17 
Gather up your belongings to leave the land,     you who live under siege.
18 
For this is what the Lord says:     “At this time I will hurl out     those who live in this land; I will bring distress on them     so that they may be captured.”
19 
Woe to me because of my injury!     My wound is incurable! Yet I said to myself,     “This is my sickness, and I must endure it.”
20 
My tent is destroyed;     all its ropes are snapped. My children are gone from me and are no more;     no one is left now to pitch my tent     or to set up my shelter.
21 
The shepherds are senseless     and do not inquire of the Lord; so they do not prosper     and all their flock is scattered.
22 
Listen! The report is coming—     a great commotion from the land of the north! It will make the towns of Judah desolate,     a haunt of jackals.
Jeremiah’s Prayer
23 
Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;     it is not for them to direct their steps.
24 
Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—     not in your anger,     or you will reduce me to nothing.
25 
Pour out your wrath on the nations     that do not acknowledge you,     on the peoples who do not call on your name. For they have devoured Jacob;     they have devoured him completely     and destroyed his homeland.
The Covenant Is Broken
11 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.”
I answered, “Amen, Lord.”
The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’”
Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. 13 You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’
14 “Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
15 
“What is my beloved doing in my temple     as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes?     Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? When you engage in your wickedness,     then you rejoice.”
16 
The Lord called you a thriving olive tree     with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm     he will set it on fire,     and its branches will be broken.
17 The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal.
Plot Against Jeremiah
18 Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. 19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree and its fruit;     let us cut him off from the land of the living,     that his name be remembered no more.”
20 
But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously     and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them,     for to you I have committed my cause.
21 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands”— 22 therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. 23 Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”
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.rnational Version (NIV)
Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
19 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
“Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”
21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.)
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Lot and His Daughters
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
"Knowing that you do not heed his Word, why should I heed your explanation of it? You do not his will, and so you cannot understand him."
- George MacDonald,
1850-1900


The Tower of Babel was God’s antidote to the corruption he saw on earth. God confused the language of what was previously one unified, but evil, culture. This confusion diffused the unity and drove people apart, forming new groups where they could better understand each other. Each group (as a result of being driven apart) formed its own language, culture, and government. This was the establishment of the institution of nations.


Many of the ancient cities where the Apostles taught, where Paul started churches and to whom John addressed his letters have been positively identified and excavated into the archaeological layers of the New Testament times. Here is a partial list:

• Antioch (1932)
• Areopagus in Athens
• Caesarea (1960)
• Colossae (1835)
• Corinth
• Damascus
• Derbe
• Ephesus (1863)
• Laodicea
• Lystra (in 1885 a Roman altar inscribed LYSTRA was found here)
• Pergamum (1878)
• Philippi (1914-1934)
• Rome
• Sardis (1908-1958)
• Thessalonica
• Troas

(More 1, 2)


"The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor."
- Proverbs 10:15




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