Spiritual Training

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August 23 - Morning

"I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

- Ezekiel 22:30-31

A Nation Without a Spiritual Defense System

The wall around a city was designed to defend the city from invasion. A gap in the wall meant the defensive system created by the wall was weak and would be useless against an attack by the enemy. The gap created by a collapse of a portion of the wall or by the removal of a section of the wall to make reconstruction or expansion possible would leave the city vulnerable when the defensive purposes of the wall were needed.

Ezekiel 22:30-31 says the Lord saw the nation of Judah as a city with a large portion of their wall collapsed. These fallen stones created a gap in the wall which would allow an invading enemy to enter and destroy. The Lord looked for someone to lead the people in the reconstruction process of their nation’s spiritual defense system. Was there anyone who could defend the gap created in the nation’s moral security system?

The Lord was looking for spiritual and moral leadership to assist the people in rebuilding their nation’s spiritual wall of defense in 591 BC just as Nehemiah would lead the people to rebuild Jerusalem’s physical city wall in 445 BC.

There was no leadership in Judah in 591 BC (see date of August 14, 591 in Ezekiel 20:1) that could lead the people in the reconstruction of spiritual truth and righteous morality. This nation would be swept away by judgment from the God that they did not understand. Their spiritual protection had crumbled because of the unrighteous lives they lived before the righteous God they did not know.

God would destroy a people because the priests failed to rebuild the walls and the prophets failed to stand in the gaps left by the broken down stones.
Tirosh (Hb) – new wine (Eng) - The Hebrew word tirosh refers to new wine that has not fully fermented. The Hebrew word yayin refers to any type of fermented grape, but tirosh is specifically a wine that is not fully fermented. In Genesis 27:28 Isaac blesses Jacob with the promise of abundant tirosh.
I will listen to the ideas of others and consider their opinions.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text

Esther 5 (474 BC)


Property and possessions


Secretary of Education

An ancient water trough at the Pool of Siloam. Notice the holes bored in the rock that were used to stabilize the water jugs as they were filled. (See Pool of Siloam photos and details)
Diagram illustrating three false views used to try to explain the Trinity

Someone to Quote

“It is time the church armed their men and gave them a strategy, instead of giving them points of application and distracting them with activities.” - Galyn Wiemers

Something to Ponder

Circumcision was practiced on the eighth day after birth. (Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3; Luke 1:59) We now know through science that prothrombin, the chemical that clots blood peaks in a newborn baby on the eighth day. (details)

Here’s a Fact

Joseph's tomb is identified in two places today:

1) Shechem - details 1, 2

2) Avaris in Egypt - with bones having been removed. Details 1, 2, 3

Images 1, 2, 3, 4


"Buy the truth and do not sell it —
    wisdom, instruction and insight as well."

- Proverbs 23:23

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.

2 Kings 7 New International Version (NIV)
Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”
The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”
“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”
The Siege Lifted
Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”
At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”
10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” 11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.
12 The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’”
13 One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”
14 So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.” 15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the Lord had said.
17 Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. 18 It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”
19 The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!” 20 And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.
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.
Esther 5 New International Version (NIV)
Esther’s Request to the King
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”
“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”
“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”
So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared.
As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”
Haman’s Rage Against Mordecai
Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.
Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife,
11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”
14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.
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 49 New International Version (NIV)
A Message About Ammon
49 Concerning the Ammonites:
This is what the Lord says:
“Has Israel no sons?     Has Israel no heir? Why then has Molek taken possession of Gad?     Why do his people live in its towns?

But the days are coming,”     declares the Lord, “when I will sound the battle cry     against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it will become a mound of ruins,     and its surrounding villages will be set on fire. Then Israel will drive out     those who drove her out,” says the Lord.

“Wail, Heshbon, for Ai is destroyed!     Cry out, you inhabitants of Rabbah! Put on sackcloth and mourn;     rush here and there inside the walls, for Molek will go into exile,     together with his priests and officials.

Why do you boast of your valleys,     boast of your valleys so fruitful? Unfaithful Daughter Ammon,     you trust in your riches and say,     ‘Who will attack me?’

I will bring terror on you     from all those around you,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. “Every one of you will be driven away,     and no one will gather the fugitives.

“Yet afterward, I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites,” declares the Lord.
A Message About Edom
Concerning Edom:
This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Is there no longer wisdom in Teman?     Has counsel perished from the prudent?     Has their wisdom decayed?

Turn and flee, hide in deep caves,     you who live in Dedan, for I will bring disaster on Esau     at the time when I punish him.

If grape pickers came to you,     would they not leave a few grapes? If thieves came during the night,     would they not steal only as much as they wanted?
But I will strip Esau bare;     I will uncover his hiding places,     so that he cannot conceal himself. His armed men are destroyed,     also his allies and neighbors,     so there is no one to say,
‘Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive.     Your widows too can depend on me.’”
12 This is what the Lord says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must drink it. 13 I swear by myself,” declares the Lord, “that Bozrah will become a ruin and a curse, an object of horror and reproach; and all its towns will be in ruins forever.”
I have heard a message from the Lord;     an envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Assemble yourselves to attack it!     Rise up for battle!”
“Now I will make you small among the nations,     despised by mankind.
The terror you inspire     and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks,     who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s,     from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
“Edom will become an object of horror;     all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff     because of all its wounds.
As Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown,     along with their neighboring towns,” says the Lord, “so no one will live there;     no people will dwell in it.
“Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets     to a rich pastureland, I will chase Edom 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 Edom,     what he has purposed against those who live in Teman: The young of the flock will be dragged away;     their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
At the sound of their fall the earth will tremble;     their cry will resound to the Red Sea.
Look! An eagle will soar and swoop down,     spreading its wings over Bozrah. In that day the hearts of Edom’s warriors     will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
A Message About Damascus
23 Concerning Damascus:
“Hamath and Arpad are dismayed,     for they have heard bad news. They are disheartened,     troubled like the restless sea.
Damascus has become feeble,     she has turned to flee     and panic has gripped her; anguish and pain have seized her,     pain like that of a woman in labor.
Why has the city of renown not been abandoned,     the town in which I delight?
Surely, her young men will fall in the streets;     all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord Almighty.
“I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;     it will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.”
A Message About Kedar and Hazor
28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked:
This is what the Lord says:
“Arise, and attack Kedar     and destroy the people of the East.
Their tents and their flocks will be taken;     their shelters will be carried off     with all their goods and camels. People will shout to them,     ‘Terror on every side!’
“Flee quickly away!     Stay in deep caves, you who live in Hazor,” declares the Lord. “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has plotted against you;     he has devised a plan against you.
“Arise and attack a nation at ease,     which lives in confidence,” declares the Lord, “a nation that has neither gates nor bars;     its people live far from danger.
Their camels will become plunder,     and their large herds will be spoils of war. I will scatter to the winds those who are in distant places     and will bring disaster on them from every side,” declares the Lord.
“Hazor will become a haunt of jackals,     a desolate place forever. No one will live there;     no people will dwell in it.”
A Message About Elam
34 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah:
35 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“See, I will break the bow of Elam,     the mainstay of their might.
I will bring against Elam the four winds     from the four quarters of heaven; I will scatter them to the four winds,     and there will not be a nation     where Elam’s exiles do not go.
I will shatter Elam before their foes,     before those who want to kill them; I will bring disaster on them,     even my fierce anger,” declares the Lord. “I will pursue them with the sword     until I have made an end of them.
I will set my throne in Elam     and destroy her king and officials,” declares the Lord.
“Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam     in days to come,” declares the Lord.
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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