Spiritual Training

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August 23 - Evening

"In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the Lord came to me:

'Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.

Tell this rebellious people a parable and say to them: This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

Put on the cooking pot; put it on and pour water into it. Put into it the pieces of meat... ... Pile wood beneath it for the bones; bring it to a boil and cook the bones in it.' "

- Ezekiel 24:1-5

Boiling the Meat Off the Bones

In Ezekiel 24:1 Ezekiel receives and records a revelation from God in Babylon and dates it to January 15, 588 BC. It had been two years and five months since Ezekiel’s last series of prophetic messages (Ezekiel 20:1). Ezekiel began to receive his next set of messages from the Lord on the very day that Nebuchadnezzar began his siege on Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:1) to begin the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s previous prophecies.

The first words the Lord speaks to Ezekiel in Babylon are:

“Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.”Ezekiel 24:2

The Lord wants to explain with a parable what is about to transpire now that this date has arrived and Nebuchadnezzar is outside Jerusalem’s walls. Actually, the Lord gives Ezekiel three messages on this date which are recorded in Ezekiel 24-25.

This first parable is given to Ezekiel for “this rebellious people.” The parable is acted out by Ezekiel for the captives in Babylon to watch. A bronze (or, possibly a rusty) pot with water is placed on wood and brought to a boil in order to cook the meat off the bones.

Ezekiel 24:6-8 identifies the pot as Jerusalem and claims the reason for Jerusalem’s destruction was the innocent blood shed in the city. The boiling pieces of choice meat taken from the flock represent the people of Jerusalem that will be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and consumed by the Babylonian forces.
Diikneomai (Gr) – pierce (Eng) – the Greek word diikneomai is built from the Greek word dia- meaning “through” and ikneomai meaning “to go.”  Together dia-ikneomai means “through-to go.” Diikneomai is translated in Hebrews 4:12 as “penetrating” or “piercing.”
I will respond to people and situations in wisdom by doing what is right,
not by doing what appears to be the most advantageous.
In appropriate situations I will seek the good of others before I seek what is best for myself.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Esther 6 (474 BC)


Wisdom and insight


Proclamation of God’s Word
Chief Justice

The Ophel, which is the area between the north wall of the old City of David and the south wall of the Temple Mound. The word "ophel" means "rising" or "risen area" and refers to the land that rises out of the City of David up to Mount Moriah. (Details 1, 2.)
A chart illustrating Greek prepositions.
(More Greek teaching.)

Someone to Quote

“Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system...the love of God taught as the Christian ‘conception’ of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins…Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer in “The Cost of Discipleship” (more quotes 1, 2) published in 1937. Bonhoeffer’s radio message criticizing Hitler in 1933 was cut off midway so he fled to London. He returned to Germany to lead a new seminary faithful to the Word of God, but the seminary was shut down. He was imprisoned in 1943 and executed in 1945 at the concentration camp at Flossenburg saying, “This is the end – for me, the beginning of life.”

Something to Ponder

According to Exodus 16:31 Manna tasted like honey wafers.

Here’s a Fact

The worship of the calf created by Aaron in Exodus 32-34 and later in northern Israel at Dan and Bethel may be understood easier if we consider that the calf was the platform or the means of transportation used by the deity. Due to syncretism (the blending of culture with true worship of the Lord) the Israelites may have associated YHWH with Baal. It is clear from the ancient world that Baal and other gods were portrayed standing on a bull as one would stand on a pedestal. This is very similar to the Lord being seated above the cherubim or traveling by means of the cherubim (Ezekiel 1 and Ezekiel 10)
(Also see Hosea 2:16-17 and Hosea 14:8).


"The father of a righteous child has great joy;
 a man who fathers a wise
son rejoices in him.
May your father and
mother rejoice;
may she who gave you
birth be joyful!"

- Proverbs 23:24-25

Coach’s Corner

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

Esther 6 New International Version (NIV)
Mordecai Honored
That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
“What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.
“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.
The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.
His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”
“Bring him in,” the king ordered.
When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?”
So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’”
10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”
11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”
12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, 13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.
His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!”
14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.
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 50 New International Version (NIV)
A Message About Babylon
50 This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians:

“Announce and proclaim among the nations,     lift up a banner and proclaim it;     keep nothing back, but say, ‘Babylon will be captured;     Bel will be put to shame,     Marduk filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame     and her idols filled with terror.’

A nation from the north will attack her     and lay waste her land. No one will live in it;     both people and animals will flee away.

“In those days, at that time,”     declares the Lord, “the people of Israel and the people of Judah together     will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.

They will ask the way to Zion     and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the Lord     in an everlasting covenant     that will not be forgotten.

“My people have been lost sheep;     their shepherds have led them astray     and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill     and forgot their own resting place.

Whoever found them devoured them;     their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty, for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture,     the Lord, the hope of their ancestors.’

“Flee out of Babylon;     leave the land of the Babylonians,     and be like the goats that lead the flock.

For I will stir up and bring against Babylon     an alliance of great nations from the land of the north. They will take up their positions against her,     and from the north she will be captured. Their arrows will be like skilled warriors     who do not return empty-handed.
So Babylonia will be plundered;     all who plunder her will have their fill,” declares the Lord.
“Because you rejoice and are glad,     you who pillage my inheritance, because you frolic like a heifer threshing grain     and neigh like stallions,
your mother will be greatly ashamed;     she who gave you birth will be disgraced. She will be the least of the nations—     a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.
Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited     but will be completely desolate. All who pass Babylon will be appalled;     they will scoff because of all her wounds.
“Take up your positions around Babylon,     all you who draw the bow. Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,     for she has sinned against the Lord.
Shout against her on every side!     She surrenders, her towers fall,     her walls are torn down. Since this is the vengeance of the Lord,     take vengeance on her;     do to her as she has done to others.
Cut off from Babylon the sower,     and the reaper with his sickle at harvest. Because of the sword of the oppressor     let everyone return to their own people,     let everyone flee to their own land.
“Israel is a scattered flock     that lions have chased away. The first to devour them     was the king of Assyria; the last to crush their bones     was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.”
18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land     as I punished the king of Assyria.
But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture,     and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan; their appetite will be satisfied     on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
In those days, at that time,”     declares the Lord, “search will be made for Israel’s guilt,     but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah,     but none will be found,     for I will forgive the remnant I spare.
“Attack the land of Merathaim     and those who live in Pekod. Pursue, kill and completely destroy them,” declares the Lord.     “Do everything I have commanded you.
The noise of battle is in the land,     the noise of great destruction!
How broken and shattered     is the hammer of the whole earth! How desolate is Babylon     among the nations!
I set a trap for you, Babylon,     and you were caught before you knew it; you were found and captured     because you opposed the Lord.
The Lord has opened his arsenal     and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do     in the land of the Babylonians.
Come against her from afar.     Break open her granaries;     pile her up like heaps of grain. Completely destroy her     and leave her no remnant.
Kill all her young bulls;     let them go down to the slaughter! Woe to them! For their day has come,     the time for them to be punished.
Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon     declaring in Zion how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,     vengeance for his temple.
“Summon archers against Babylon,     all those who draw the bow. Encamp all around her;     let no one escape. Repay her for her deeds;     do to her as she has done. For she has defied the Lord,     the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets;     all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord.
“See, I am against you, you arrogant one,”     declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty, “for your day has come,     the time for you to be punished.
The arrogant one will stumble and fall     and no one will help her up; I will kindle a fire in her towns     that will consume all who are around her.”
33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“The people of Israel are oppressed,     and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast,     refusing to let them go.
Yet their Redeemer is strong;     the Lord Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause     so that he may bring rest to their land,     but unrest to those who live in Babylon.
“A sword against the Babylonians!”     declares the Lord— “against those who live in Babylon     and against her officials and wise men!
A sword against her false prophets!     They will become fools. A sword against her warriors!     They will be filled with terror.
A sword against her horses and chariots     and all the foreigners in her ranks!     They will become weaklings. A sword against her treasures!     They will be plundered.
A drought on her waters!     They will dry up. For it is a land of idols,     idols that will go mad with terror.
“So desert creatures and hyenas will live there,     and there the owl will dwell. It will never again be inhabited     or lived in from generation to generation.
As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah     along with their neighboring towns,” declares the Lord, “so no one will live there;     no people will dwell in it.
“Look! An army is coming from the north;     a great nation and many kings     are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
They are armed with bows and spears;     they are cruel and without mercy. They sound like the roaring sea     as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation     to attack you, Daughter Babylon.
The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,     and his hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped him,     pain like that of a woman in labor.
Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets     to a rich pastureland, I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.     Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me?     And what shepherd can stand against me?”
Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,     what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians: The young of the flock will be dragged away;     their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;     its cry will resound among the nations.
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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