Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

August 16 - Evening

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August 1 - Evening

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, 'Where is your God?' These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."
- Psalms 42:1-5

Longing to Once Again Join the Worship Band


Psalm 42 begins “Book Two” of the collection of Hebrew psalms (Psalms 42-72). It is an accepted interpretation that Psalm 42 and 43 were originally one psalm. The reason for their division is unknown, but it could have been for liturgical purposes. The several reasons for understanding them to be two parts of the same psalm is:

1. Psalm 42 is titled, but Psalm 43 is not titled. You will notice that all of the psalms in “Book Two” of the psalms (Psalms 42-72) have titles with the only other exception being the next to last psalm in “Book Two,” which is Psalm 71. But, even Psalm 71 seems to be connected to Psalm 70 since it serves as an introduction to Psalm 71.
2. Hebrew manuscripts themselves exist that present Psalm 42 and 43 as a single psalm.
3. The same chorus is repeated three times after each of the three sets of verses which are presented like this:
  1. Stanza #1 (Psalm 42:1-4)
  2. Chorus (Psalm 42:5)
  3. Stanza #2 (Psalm 42:6-10)
  4. Chorus repeated (Psalm 42:11)
  5. Stanza #3 (Psalm 43:1-4)
  6. Chorus repeated (Psalm 43:5)

Psalm 42 is about someone being separated from the worship of God for some reason. It appears the separated writer was one of the Levites from the family of Korah who may have been physically removed from worshipping the presence of the Lord at the temple in Jerusalem because of exile, expulsion, uncleanness, sickness, travel or some other unknown reason.

The second best thing to being there for the Levitical worship service was the memory of having once been part of the “procession to the house of God….among the festive throng.” (Psalm 42:4) At least this person could recall better times of being in the midst of the crowd worshipping God as he sang and performed skillfully on his musical instrument.

This Levite compares his desire to worship God to the desire of a deer for water. This water is called “streams of water” which is known as moving water or living water in contrast to stagnant pools of stale water. So, of course, the psalmist compares the deer searching for streams of living water to his soul’s desire “for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2) It is interesting to note that in this second book of Psalms the writers typically refer to “God”, or Elohim, instead of “Lord”, YHWH.

The chorus that is repeated three times voices the hope of the psalmist as he speaks to his own self that he will again “yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5, 11 and Psalm 43:5)
Hupodeiknumi (Gr) – Warn (Eng) – a Greek word which comes from hupo meaning “under” and deiknumi meaning “to show.” Together hupo-deiknumi, “to show under” means “to give information,” “to share a private tip,” and “to point out” (as in Luke 3:7). The idea of hupodeiknumi can refer to thoughts making their way into the mind where they can be understood.
Today I will begin to be thankful for the great things that have happened in my past. I will remember the goodness of the Lord that I have already experience.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

An elderly person

Church

Vision of potential
Local economy
Germany



Original stone carvings and decoration from Herod's New Testament Temple time in the jamb of the Triple Gate in the south wall of the Temple Mount retaining wall. People visiting the Temple in the New Testament would have walked past this decorated gate jamb and ascended the stairs behind the blocked entrance on the right side of this photo to enter the Jewish Temple courts. (Details, Photo)
Details of the account of Deborah in
Judges chapter 4 on a map




Someone to Quote

(On taking an oath to uphold Magna Carta in 1253...)
"All these things shall I keep faithfully and undiminished, as a man, as a Christian, as a soldier, and as a king, crowned and anointed."
- Henry III (1207-1272),
King of England

Something to Ponder

Use these online flash cards to study and review the names of the Assyrian gods, then take the test -
Flash Cards and Test HERE

Here’s a Fact

Critics of Moses’ authorship of Exodus in 1400 BC instead assign the origins of the book of Exodus to the Jewish exiles in Babylon around 500-400 BC. The problem with the critics rejecting a 1400 BC date is the overwhelming amount of accurate details of Egyptian life, culture and land (slave-labor practice, royal court proceedings, Flora, fauna, language, geography of Egyptian) from the time of the Exodus. It is hard to imagine an author in Babylon 1000 years after the exodus writing a story that contains such an apparent familiarity with a land he had never seen from an age he had never lived in.

Proverb

"The way of the Lord is a refuge for the righteous,
but it is the ruin of those who do evil."

- Proverbs 10:29

Coach’s Corner

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

"How deserted lies the city,
once so full of people!
How like a widow is she,
who once was great among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces
has now become a slave.
Bitterly she weeps at night,
tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers
there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.
After affliction and harsh labor,
Judah has gone into exile.
She dwells among the nations;
she finds no resting place.
All who pursue her have overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.
The roads to Zion mourn,
for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate,
her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
and she is in bitter anguish."

- Lamentations 1:1-4

Jeremiah's Lament Begins


Lamentations is the funeral dirges spoken by Jeremiah in 586 BC after his 41 years of prophesying came to pass and Jerusalem was sieged, breeched, plundered, dismantled and burnt. Baruch wrote Jeremiah’s mourning into this poetic lament in an acrostic style. Each verse in chapters 1, 2 and 4 begins with one of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet in sequential order. Thus, there are 22 verses in chapters 1, 2 and 4. In chapter 3 each letter is used to start three verses, so a new Hebrew letter is used after every three verse set giving chapter 3 sixty-six verses. Lamentations is five chapters long in the English Bible. Chapter 5 is not acrostic in style, but begins with a direct address to Yahweh and continues to develop a theme of confidence and trust as the voice of Israel complains to the Lord and seeks his assistance they are confident they will ultimately receive (see Lamentations 5:21). This chapter closes the book of Lamentations with twenty-two verses, also. Jeremiah wrote other dirges and laments during his ministry, for example, one from 609 BC is referred to in 2 Chronicles 35:25 at the time of King Josiah’s death:

“Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the men and women singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments.”2 Chronicles 35:25-26 (also see Jeremiah 22:10 and Jeremiah 22:15-16 from 608 BC)

Lamentations 1:1“How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.”

• Jerusalem was a great city with a variety of markets, the temple, and international trade. Jerusalem was visited by foreign dignitaries.
• Jerusalem was the economic center of Israel and Israel was the land bridge that connected Africa and the southern hemisphere with Asia and the northern hemisphere.
• Jerusalem is compared poetically to a woman who is now a widow.
• As a woman Jerusalem had been a queen, but now as an abandoned widow Jerusalem is a slave.

Lamentations 1:2“Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are on her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is no one to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.”

• As a woman, Jerusalem now weeps alone having been forsaken by her former lovers.
• But, if Jerusalem the woman was married, the reference to “her lovers” in the plural would indicate her unfaithfulness. This is likely a reference to other gods that she worshipped and called out to.
• Even Jerusalem’s friends have turned against her. These other woman refer to great cities and their nations who had treaties and supported Jerusalem during her days of happiness.

Lamentations 1:3 “After affliction and harsh labor, Judah has gone into exile. She dwells among the nations; she finds no resting place. All who pursue her have overtaken her in the midst of her distress."

• This is a reference to her loss of citizens. Jerusalem’s people are gone.

Lamentations 1:4“The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to her appointed festivals. All her gateways are desolate, her priests groan, her young women grieve, and she is in bitter anguish."

• The roads are personified as being sad and in a state of mourning because they are no longer filled with Israelites coming to worship in the Jerusalem Temple for the three annual festivals: Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and Festival of Booths.
• The traveling pilgrims would sing the songs of Zion and the Songs of Ascent as they traveled on foot to the city. - Songs of Zion: Ps. 46; Ps. 48; Ps. 76; Ps. 84; Ps. 87; Ps. 122. - Songs of Ascent: Psalms 120-134
• The formerly busy gates which had been the centers of public life and the markets were empty. And, actually, dismantled into piles of rubble.
• The “young women” of the woman “Jerusalem” would be her citizens. The people of Jerusalem are referred to as the “children,” “young men,” and “young woman.” These had been under the care of their mother, the city of Jerusalem.


Teras (Gr) – wonder (Eng) – the Greek word teras means “something strange.” The word teras is used along with “signs” (semeia) and “miracles” (dunamis, or “power”) in the New Testament in Acts 2:22 and Acts 7:36.
The righteous Lord is given credit for the appearance of a teras 13x. But, 3x the teras is a manifestation of Satan through a man:

Matthew 24:24“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Mark 13:22)

2 Thessalonians 2:9 “ The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie."
I will remember Paul's words to the Galatians:
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." - Galatians 6:7


Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Zechariah 9 (520-519 BC)


Personal

Listen to someone in need

Church

Avoid self-righteous attitudes
Luxembourg
Cultural values


An arch in Avdat (details)
Details of the events in the life of Israel's judge Ehud located on a map according to Judges 3:12-30.
Zechariah 9 New International Version (NIV)
Judgment on Israel’s Enemies
A prophecy:
The word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrak     and will come to rest on Damascus— for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel     are on the Lord—

and on Hamath too, which borders on it,     and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful.

Tyre has built herself a stronghold;     she has heaped up silver like dust,     and gold like the dirt of the streets.

But the Lord will take away her possessions     and destroy her power on the sea,     and she will be consumed by fire.

Ashkelon will see it and fear;     Gaza will writhe in agony,     and Ekron too, for her hope will wither. Gaza will lose her king     and Ashkelon will be deserted.

A mongrel people will occupy Ashdod,     and I will put an end to the pride of the Philistines.

I will take the blood from their mouths,     the forbidden food from between their teeth. Those who are left will belong to our God     and become a clan in Judah,     and Ekron will be like the Jebusites.

But I will encamp at my temple     to guard it against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people,     for now I am keeping watch.
The Coming of Zion’s King

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!     Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you,     righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey,     on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 
I will take away the chariots from Ephraim     and the warhorses from Jerusalem,     and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations.     His rule will extend from sea to sea     and from the River to the ends of the earth.
11 
As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,     I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12 
Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;     even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
13 
I will bend Judah as I bend my bow     and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, Zion,     against your sons, Greece,     and make you like a warrior’s sword.
The Lord Will Appear
14 
Then the Lord will appear over them;     his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet;     he will march in the storms of the south,
15 
    and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy     and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine;     they will be full like a bowl     used for sprinkling the corners of the altar.
16 
The Lord their God will save his people on that day     as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land     like jewels in a crown.
17 
How attractive and beautiful they will be!     Grain will make the young men thrive,     and new wine the young women.
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 34 New International Version (NIV)
Warning to Zedekiah
34 While Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms and peoples in the empire he ruled were fighting against Jerusalem and all its surrounding towns, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Go to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. You will not escape from his grasp but will surely be captured and given into his hands. You will see the king of Babylon with your own eyes, and he will speak with you face to face. And you will go to Babylon.
“‘Yet hear the Lord’s promise to you, Zedekiah king of Judah. This is what the Lord says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully. As people made a funeral fire in honor of your predecessors, the kings who ruled before you, so they will make a fire in your honor and lament, “Alas, master!” I myself make this promise, declares the Lord.’”
Then Jeremiah the prophet told all this to Zedekiah king of Judah, in Jerusalem, while the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah that were still holding out—Lachish and Azekah. These were the only fortified cities left in Judah.
Freedom for Slaves
The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom for the slaves. Everyone was to free their Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Hebrew in bondage. 10 So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. 11 But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.
12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I said, 14 ‘Every seventh year each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you six years, you must let them go free.’ Your ancestors, however, did not listen to me or pay attention to me. 15 Recently you repented and did what is right in my sight: Each of you proclaimed freedom to your own people. You even made a covenant before me in the house that bears my Name. 16 But now you have turned around and profaned my name; each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free to go where they wished. You have forced them to become your slaves again.
17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the Lord—‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 Those who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces. 19 The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, 20 I will deliver into the hands of their enemies who want to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.
21 “I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials into the hands of their enemies who want to kill them, to the army of the king of Babylon, which has withdrawn from you. 22 I am going to give the order, declares the Lord, and I will bring them back to this city. They will fight against it, take it and burn it down. And I will lay waste the towns of Judah so no one can live there.”
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.
"I...endeavour to minister to some the honey of the Scriptures, to intoxicate others with the pure wine of ancient wisdom; others I begin to nourish with the fruits of grammar, and to enlighten many by the order of the starts. But above all things I strive to train them to be useful to the Holy Church of God and for the glory of your kingdom."
- Alcuin (735-804), a Saxon priest and scholar writing to Charlemagne concerning his school at Tours, Italy in 796-797 AD


Lydia was a saleswoman, a seller of purple cloth, from Thyatira in Asia but living in Philippi, Macedonia at the time of Paul’s first visit to Philippi. (Acts 16:14) The church in Philiippi began to meet in her house.


It is interesting that at the time of John's writing Revelation the wills of both Emperor Vespasian and Caesar Augustus had been secured with seven seals.
(Details of sealing scrolls 1, 2.)
(Revelation 6:1-17; 8:1-5)


"How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!"
- Proverbs 16:16




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