Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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August 13 - Evening

"Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the Lord.

‘I am going to ask you something,’ the king said to Jeremiah. ‘Do not hide anything from me.’

Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘If I give you an answer, will you not kill me? Even if I did give you counsel, you would not listen to me.’

But King Zedekiah swore this oath secretly to Jeremiah: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who has given us breath, I will neither kill you nor hand you over to those who want to kill you.’

Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, 'This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live. But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians and they will burn it down; you yourself will not escape from them.” ’

King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, ‘I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me.’

‘They will not hand you over,’ Jeremiah replied. ‘Obey the Lord by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you:

“They misled you and overcame you—
    those trusted friends of yours.
Your feet are sunk in the mud;
    your friends have deserted you.”

All your wives and children will be brought out to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape from their hands but will be captured by the king of Babylon; and this city will be burned down.’

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, ‘Do not let anyone know about this conversation, or you may die.’ ”

- Jeremiah 38:14-24

Jeremiah's Clandestine Ultimatum

As the pressure of enduring the two years of Babylonian siege against the walls of Jerusalem intensified, Zedekiah, Judah’s final king, began to have second thoughts concerning his decision to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar. The king also began to reconsider his opinion concerning Jeremiah, the Lord’s prophet. The priests, the royal officials and public opinion had encouraged Zedekiah to continue to reject Jeremiah’s words and to consider Jeremiah as an unpatriotic, pro-Babylonian sympathizer.

King Zedekiah sent to meet the prophet at “the third entrance to the temple of the Lord.” This must have been a clandestine meeting and “the third entrance” may refer to the private royal entrance to the Temple Mount that is accessed from the palace.

Zedekiah had threatened Jeremiah’s life on several occasions and handed him over to be imprisoned or abused by his royal administrators. Every time Jeremiah’s word had been spoken to King Zedekiah it had been rejected, refuted or rebuked. So, Jeremiah’s suspicion of danger and anticipated rejection were well founded.

Jeremiah’s advice to Zedekiah continues to be the same: surrender and you will spare your life, the lives of your family and the city. If you decide to reject God’s Word and rebel against Nebuchadnezzar then you will lose the city, and your family will accuse you of misleading them instead of protecting them.

Zedekiah seems to fear the Jews that have already surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar and are waiting outside the city in a holding center. Many of these people are likely Zedekiah’s political enemies who Zedekiah anticipates will be more than happy to see Zedekiah neutralized and without his royal protection. But, this was the risk God wanted Zedekiah to face as he chose between fighting in self-willed rebellion or humbly submitting to God’s declared will that was manifesting stronger and clearer as each day past.

Although the ultimatum Jeremiah gave Zedekiah is consistent, clear and simple, the faith and humility required to make the right choice was much more complicated than Zedekiah could manage to unravel. Zedekiah will suffer the worst fate.

Also, consider Jeremiah’s resolve and clear, unwavering commitment to the Lord and to the Truth. At a time when King Zedekiah still had the authority to release Jeremiah and to make Jeremiah’s life pleasant in so many other ways, Jeremiah chose to remain true to the Lord. This decision meant Jeremiah would remain a prisoner under the persecution of the king and his officials. How easy would it have been for Jeremiah to slightly compromise the message and the mission by justifying the value found in meeting the king halfway? Jeremiah could have reasoned like a mere man who does not have ears to hear or eyes to see the Lord and his will. Jeremiah surely could have “logically” found a way to receive some temporal relief. Instead, Jeremiah lays down an ultimatum that forces the king to make a choice that will determine the king’s future, but also determines how the king will deal with Jeremiah in the immediate future.
Timios (Gr) – precious (Eng) – the Greek word timios refers to “costly” and “precious.” Timious is used in James 5:7; 1 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 1:4.

Four other Greek words can also mean “precious”, “expensive” and “costly.”

Entimos used in 1 Peter 2:4
Poluteles used in Mark 14:3
Polutimos used in 1 Peter 1:7
Barutimos used in Matthew 26:7 (barus means “weighty”)
I will not compromise the mission and message of the Lord for temporary pleasure or momentary acceptance.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Zechariah 3 (520-519 BC)


Recharged mind and soul to reengage life


Race relations

A view down the side of the Western Wall to see the still good condition and unweathered Herodian Ashlar stones that were exposed by the early explorers and archaeologist of the 1800's. These Ashlars are visible in the shaft which is itself in an underground tunnel below the modern street level.
(More in the Western Wall Tunnels)
The Angel of the Lord appears to the people at Bokim in Judges 2:1-5 and rebukes them. This is located on this map.

Someone to Quote

“If you want to learn something that will really help you, learn to see yourself as God sees you and not as you see yourself in the distorted mirror of your own self-importance. This is the greatest and most useful lesson we can learn: to know ourselves for what we are, to admit freely our weaknesses and failings, and to hold a humble opinion of ourselves because of them.”
– Thomas A Kempis (1380-1471) in his book “The Imitation of Christ” in Germany (read)

Something to Ponder

Christianity is based on solid faith, not blind faith. There is no such thing as blind faith, at least not in the good or useful sense of the phrase. God has always provided enough evidence for you to put your faith in something: his actions, his existence, his word, Jesus’ miracles, etc. For example, Romans 1:19-20 says that the creation of the world is evidence of God's invisible nature.

Here’s a Fact

A monument to the “Unknown God” was discovered in 1903 in the city of Pergamum. (Images 1, 2)


"Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly."
- Proverbs 13:16

Coach’s Corner

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

Zechariah 3 New International Version (NIV)
Clean Garments for the High Priest
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
“‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
10 “‘In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit under your vine and fig tree,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
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 25 New International Version (NIV)
Seventy Years of Captivity
25 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem: For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.
And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. They said, “Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”
“But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.”
Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. 10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
12 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever. 13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”
The Cup of God’s Wrath
15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16 When they drink it, they will stagger and go mad because of the sword I will send among them.”
17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink it: 18 Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin and an object of horror and scorn, a curse—as they are today; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials and all his people, 20 and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (those of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); 21 Edom, Moab and Ammon; 22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon; the kings of the coastlands across the sea; 23 Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who are in distant places; 24 all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who live in the wilderness; 25 all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media; 26 and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshak will drink it too.
27 “Then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you.’ 28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: You must drink it! 29 See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword on all who live on the earth, declares the Lord Almighty.’
30 “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them:
“‘The Lord will roar from on high;     he will thunder from his holy dwelling     and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes,     shout against all who live on the earth.
The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth,     for the Lord will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind     and put the wicked to the sword,’” declares the Lord.
32 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Look! Disaster is spreading     from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising     from the ends of the earth.”
33 At that time those slain by the Lord will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground.
Weep and wail, you shepherds;     roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come;     you will fall like the best of the rams.
The shepherds will have nowhere to flee,     the leaders of the flock no place to escape.
Hear the cry of the shepherds,     the wailing of the leaders of the flock,     for the Lord is destroying their pasture.
The peaceful meadows will be laid waste     because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
Like a lion he will leave his lair,     and their land will become desolate because of the sword of the oppressor     and because of the Lord’s fierce anger.
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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