Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

August 21 - 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.

"Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. Then the word of the Lord came to me:

'Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them,

‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’

Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!' "

- Ezekiel 14:1-6

God Will Deceive the Idolater with the Words of the False Prophet


The elders among the captives in Babylon would come to listen to Ezekiel. One day the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel concerning these leaders of Israel that were with Ezekiel in captivity and were setting with him.

God has a message for these elders. God says they have “idols in their hearts” and “put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces.” These elders enquire of the Lord, but are determined to see things from their own perspective. They use the Lord’s name, but only accept what they have already determined is what they want.

God says that if an Israelite inquires of the Lord in this condition (“idols” and “blocks”) then “the Lord will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry.” This means God will not answer the Israelite’s question, but will tell the man what he desires to hear. He will not tell him the truth, but what the idolatrous Israelite wants to be true. The Lord says he “will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry.” (Ezekiel 14:4)

God tells them, “Repent!” (Ezekiel 14:6). Then, in verse 9 (Ezekiel 14:9) the Lord says:

“And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the Lord have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel.” - Ezekiel 14:9

God will set his face against the man who comes to God for direction. The Lord will “entice” the prophet who wants to give a pleasing answer and not the truth to the man enquiring of the Lord.

“Entice” is the Hebrew word pathah. The root means “to open”, “to be roomy”, “to be simple”, “to delude”. It means, “allure, deceive, flatter, and persuade.” The New International Dictionary of OT says, “Scriptures speak of the Lord deceitfully inspiring false prophets” concerning this verse and 1 Kings 22:21-23.


Thorax (Gr) – breastplate (Eng) – the Greek word thorax means “the breast” and refers to the two pieces of the protective equipment worn on the front and back of a soldier from the shoulders to the waist.
Do I do seek God and do what is right because of the physical benefits I receive from this behavior?
Or, do I seek God and live righteously because these are truth and reality?
I will seek the Lord for Truth and do what is righteous.


Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Esther 2 (479 BC)


Personal

Finances

Church

Fruit and production
Malaysia
President's administration


Looking down on a Jerusalem street in the Old City.
Details of Philip's travels and ministry in the book of Acts.
Esther 2 New International Version (NIV)
Esther Made Queen
Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her. Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah. Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.
15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.
Mordecai Uncovers a Conspiracy
19 When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.
21 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. 22 But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. 23 And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were impaled on poles. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.
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 44-45New International Version (NIV)
Disaster Because of Idolatry
44 This word came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews living in Lower Egypt—in Migdol, Tahpanhes and Memphis—and in Upper Egypt: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.
“Now this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Why bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant? Why arouse my anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves a curse and an object of reproach among all the nations on earth. Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestors and by the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem? 10 To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your ancestors.
11 “Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah. 12 I will take away the remnant of Judah who were determined to go to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by sword or famine. They will become a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach. 13 I will punish those who live in Egypt with the sword, famine and plague, as I punished Jerusalem. 14 None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.”
15 Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, 16 “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! 17 We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. 18 But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”
19 The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”
20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, who were answering him, 21 “Did not the Lord remember and call to mind the incense burned in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem by you and your ancestors, your kings and your officials and the people of the land? 22 When the Lord could no longer endure your wicked actions and the detestable things you did, your land became a curse and a desolate waste without inhabitants, as it is today. 23 Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.”
24 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah in Egypt. 25 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You and your wives have done what you said you would do when you promised, ‘We will certainly carry out the vows we made to burn incense and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.’
“Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows!
26 But hear the word of the Lord, all you Jews living in Egypt: ‘I swear by my great name,’ says the Lord, ‘that no one from Judah living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name or swear, “As surely as the Sovereign Lord lives.” 27 For I am watching over them for harm, not for good; the Jews in Egypt will perish by sword and famine until they are all destroyed. 28 Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand—mine or theirs.
29 “‘This will be the sign to you that I will punish you in this place,’ declares the Lord, ‘so that you will know that my threats of harm against you will surely stand.’ 30 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am going to deliver Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies who want to kill him, just as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the enemy who wanted to kill him.’”
A Message to Baruch
45 When Baruch son of Neriah wrote on a scroll the words Jeremiah the prophet dictated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, Jeremiah said this to Baruch: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You said, ‘Woe to me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.’ But the Lord has told me to say to you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the earth. Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’”
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.
"If you look at the world,
you'll be distressed.
If you look within,
you'll be depressed.
If you look at God
you'll be at rest."

- Corrie Ten Boom


According to evolution things should be improving naturally with more species of animals appearing and the environment becoming stronger. Yet today we face decline, extinction, environmental devastation while disease increase. Revelation 16:2-4; 8-12 and 6:1-14 foretold the disastrous effects of a declining environment that is not evolving but has been decreasing since the day sin entered the picture. (Hebrews 1:10-12; Romans 8:20-23)


While excavating Mizpah (one of Samuel’s towns mentioned in 1 Samuel 7:5-6) a seal was discovered that said, “Jaazaniah, officer of the king.” The man and this title are mentioned together in 2 Kings 25:23 in Mizpah with Gedaliah. (Details 1, 2, 3. Image 1, 2.)


"A man who strays from the path of understanding
comes to rest in the company of the dead."

- Proverbs 21:16




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