Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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August 24 - Morning

"The word of the Lord came to me:

'Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears. Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.'

So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded.

Then the people asked me, 'Won’t you tell us what these things have to do with us? Why are you acting like this?'

So I said to them, 'The word of the Lord came to me: Say to the people of Israel, This is what the Sovereign Lord says: "I am about to desecrate my sanctuary — the stronghold in which you take pride, the delight of your eyes, the object of your affection. The sons and daughters you left behind will fall by the sword." ' "

- Ezekiel 24:15-21

Ezekiel's Wife's Death is Used as a Sign

On the day Nebuchadnezzar began his siege of Jerusalem (January 15, 588 BC) the Lord gave Ezekiel a second message. The first message with a demonstration for the people to watch was the parable of the boiling pot (Ezekiel 24:1-14). The Lord told Ezekiel that his wife, the delight of his eyes, would be taken (die) “with one blow.” The use of the phrase “with one blow” is a translation of a word (Heb. magephah) that referred to a plague or disease (Ex. 9:14; Num. 14:37) and a sudden death (1 Sam. 4:17; 2 Sam. 17:9).

Ezekiel is forbidden to mourn for his wife. Although Ezekiel is allowed to weep and groan quietly (privately), there is to be no public demonstration of sorrow and no visible signs that Ezekiel is grieving the loss of the wife he loved.

These customary signs of grief and morning for the dead normally observed are forbidden:

• long, loud wailing
• covering the head and placing hands on the head
• throwing dust in the air and on one’s head
• going barefoot
• eating bland, simple food
• covering mustache

The captives in Babylon would observe Ezekiel’s strange and coarse response to his wife’s death and ask, “Why?” Ezekiel’s personal tragedy is turned into a symbol and a sign for the people. This sign is acted out and explained to the people concerning their own cultural situation and the response that will be received when the Lord’s temple, his own sanctuary, in Jerusalem is destroyed.

Basic social behavior has broken down in Jerusalem. There will be no funerals and no mourning for the multitude of the dead people as was prophesied by Jeremiah.

- Jeremiah 7:32-8:2
- Jeremiah 16:5-9
- Jeremiah 15:5
- Jeremiah 22:10
- Jeremiah 19:6

The Lord’s own temple will be destroyed and overrun by pagans with no one left in the city to mourn the loss.
Qanah (Hb) - buy (Eng) - The Hebrew word qanah means “to get,” “to acquire” and “to create.” In Genesis 4:1 qanah refers to God’s creative act of bringing something into existence. In Deuteronomy 32:6 the Lord qanah Israel. The personification of Wisdom is credited with qanah of creation in Proverbs 8:22-36.
The basic meaning of qanah as “make a purchase agreement” is seen in Genesis 47:20 and Exodus 21:2
Do I have enough accurate knowledge about God to have effective active faith?
I will believe and act on what I know to be true about God and Jesus.
I will seek to gain more accurate knowledge and insight about God and the Lord Jesus 
so I can grow in faith and access the grace and peace that God has for me.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text

Esther 7 (474 BC)


Spiritual enlightenment


Proclamation of God’s Word

Toni Wiemers in Hezekiah's Tunnel that was cut through the bedrock under the old City of David in 701 BC to bring water from the Gihon Springs to the Pool of Siloam. (Details and photos 1, 2.)
A map detailing the Greek Orthodox and Latin/Roman Catholic split in The Great Schism of 1054 AD. (More teaching on this time period)

Someone to Quote

"Instead of looking for heroes, be one and help other people shine."
- Donald Collins

Something to Ponder

During the days of the Judges (and, the book of Ruth) contracts were negotiated in the city gates where a crowd of men and elders would gather. Legal agreements were sealed by one of the men removing their sandal (Ruth 4:7). This practice came from the Nuzi culture and is documented in the Nuzi Tablets where the image of the sole of a man’s foot stands on his property. In the Mesopotamian culture that came into the land of Canaan a man who was selling his land would lift his foot up from his land and have the other man’s foot placed on the land. The removing of the sandal captures this image. Notice the wording of Psalm 60:8 (and Psalm 108:9) where the Lord claims possession of a land by casting his sandal over the land of Edom.

Here’s a Fact

In 2 Kings 2:19-20 the water at the spring in Jericho is contaminated. This spring has supplied the area of Jericho with fresh water for centuries and was known to create a fertile region even in Deuteronomy 34:3 where it is called “the City of Palms.” Excavations have revealed a tower from the Neolithic period and indications that Jericho was a settled city around 9000 BC. The spring that Elisha miraculously restored in 2 Kings 2:19-20 is still flowing today. It is called the spring of ‘Ain es-Sultan, and has been known as “Elisha’s Fountain" since the days of the Crusaders.
(Details. Image)


"To show partiality in judging is not good:
Whoever says to the guilty,
'You are innocent,'
    will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations."

- Proverbs 24:23-24

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 8 New International Version (NIV)
The Shunammite’s Land Restored
Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years.
At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to appeal to the king for her house and land. The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, “Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.” Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land.
Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.”
The king asked the woman about it, and she told him.
Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”
Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad
Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill. When the king was told, “The man of God has come all the way up here,” he said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the Lord through him; ask him, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a gift forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus. He went in and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
10 Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless, the Lord has revealed to me that he will in fact die.” 11 He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep.
12 “Why is my lord weeping?” asked Hazael.
“Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites,” he answered. “You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women.”
13 Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?”
“The Lord has shown me that you will become king of Aram,” answered Elisha.
14 Then Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. When Ben-Hadad asked, “What did Elisha say to you?” Hazael replied, “He told me that you would certainly recover.” 15 But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king’s face, so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king.
Jehoram King of Judah
16 In the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat began his reign as king of Judah. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 18 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 19 Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever.
20 In the time of Jehoram, Edom rebelled against Judah and set up its own king. 21 So Jehoram went to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he rose up and broke through by night; his army, however, fled back home. 22 To this day Edom has been in rebellion against Judah. Libnah revolted at the same time.
23 As for the other events of Jehoram’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 24 Jehoram rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.
Ahaziah King of Judah
25 In the twelfth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. 27 He followed the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family.
28 Ahaziah went with Joram son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram; 29 so King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramoth in his battle with Hazael king of Aram.
Then Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to Jezreel to see Joram son of Ahab, because he had been wounded.
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 7 New International Version (NIV)
Haman Impaled
So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.”
King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”
Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen.
The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.
Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.
The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”
As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.
Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”
The king said, “Impale him on it!”
10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.
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 51 New International Version (NIV)
51 This is what the Lord says:
“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer     against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.

I will send foreigners to Babylon     to winnow her and to devastate her land; they will oppose her on every side     in the day of her disaster.

Let not the archer string his bow,     nor let him put on his armor. Do not spare her young men;     completely destroy her army.

They will fall down slain in Babylon,     fatally wounded in her streets.

For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken     by their God, the Lord Almighty, though their land is full of guilt     before the Holy One of Israel.

“Flee from Babylon!     Run for your lives!     Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord’s vengeance;     he will repay her what she deserves.

Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand;     she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine;     therefore they have now gone mad.

Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.     Wail over her! Get balm for her pain;     perhaps she can be healed.

“‘We would have healed Babylon,     but she cannot be healed; let us leave her and each go to our own land,     for her judgment reaches to the skies,     it rises as high as the heavens.’
“‘The Lord has vindicated us;     come, let us tell in Zion     what the Lord our God has done.’
“Sharpen the arrows,     take up the shields! The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,     because his purpose is to destroy Babylon. The Lord will take vengeance,     vengeance for his temple.
Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon!     Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen,     prepare an ambush! The Lord will carry out his purpose,     his decree against the people of Babylon.
You who live by many waters     and are rich in treasures, your end has come,     the time for you to be destroyed.
The Lord Almighty has sworn by himself:     I will surely fill you with troops, as with a swarm of locusts,     and they will shout in triumph over you.
“He made the earth by his power;     he founded the world by his wisdom     and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;     he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain     and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
“Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;     every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud;     they have no breath in them.
They are worthless, the objects of mockery;     when their judgment comes, they will perish.
He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,     for he is the Maker of all things, including the people of his inheritance—     the Lord Almighty is his name.
“You are my war club,     my weapon for battle— with you I shatter nations,     with you I destroy kingdoms,
with you I shatter horse and rider,     with you I shatter chariot and driver,
with you I shatter man and woman,     with you I shatter old man and youth,     with you I shatter young man and young woman,
with you I shatter shepherd and flock,     with you I shatter farmer and oxen,     with you I shatter governors and officials.
24 “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord.
“I am against you, you destroying mountain,     you who destroy the whole earth,” declares the Lord. “I will stretch out my hand against you,     roll you off the cliffs,     and make you a burned-out mountain.
No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,     nor any stone for a foundation,     for you will be desolate forever,” declares the Lord.
“Lift up a banner in the land!     Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her;     summon against her these kingdoms:     Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her;     send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
Prepare the nations for battle against her—     the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their officials,     and all the countries they rule.
The land trembles and writhes,     for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand— to lay waste the land of Babylon     so that no one will live there.
Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting;     they remain in their strongholds. Their strength is exhausted;     they have become weaklings. Her dwellings are set on fire;     the bars of her gates are broken.
One courier follows another     and messenger follows messenger to announce to the king of Babylon     that his entire city is captured,
the river crossings seized,     the marshes set on fire,     and the soldiers terrified.”
33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
“Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor     at the time it is trampled;     the time to harvest her will soon come.”
“Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us,     he has thrown us into confusion,     he has made us an empty jar. Like a serpent he has swallowed us     and filled his stomach with our delicacies,     and then has spewed us out.
May the violence done to our flesh be on Babylon,”     say the inhabitants of Zion. “May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia,”     says Jerusalem.
36 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“See, I will defend your cause     and avenge you; I will dry up her sea     and make her springs dry.
Babylon will be a heap of ruins,     a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn,     a place where no one lives.
Her people all roar like young lions,     they growl like lion cubs.
But while they are aroused,     I will set out a feast for them     and make them drunk, so that they shout with laughter—     then sleep forever and not awake,” declares the Lord.
“I will bring them down     like lambs to the slaughter,     like rams and goats.
“How Sheshak will be captured,     the boast of the whole earth seized! How desolate Babylon will be     among the nations!
The sea will rise over Babylon;     its roaring waves will cover her.
Her towns will be desolate,     a dry and desert land, a land where no one lives,     through which no one travels.
I will punish Bel in Babylon     and make him spew out what he has swallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him.     And the wall of Babylon will fall.
“Come out of her, my people!     Run for your lives!     Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.
Do not lose heart or be afraid     when rumors are heard in the land; one rumor comes this year, another the next,     rumors of violence in the land     and of ruler against ruler.
For the time will surely come     when I will punish the idols of Babylon; her whole land will be disgraced     and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
Then heaven and earth and all that is in them     will shout for joy over Babylon, for out of the north     destroyers will attack her,” declares the Lord.
“Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain,     just as the slain in all the earth     have fallen because of Babylon.
You who have escaped the sword,     leave and do not linger! Remember the Lord in a distant land,     and call to mind Jerusalem.”
“We are disgraced,     for we have been insulted     and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered     the holy places of the Lord’s house.”
“But days are coming,” declares the Lord,     “when I will punish her idols, and throughout her land     the wounded will groan.
Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens     and fortifies her lofty stronghold,     I will send destroyers against her,” declares the Lord.
“The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,     the sound of great destruction     from the land of the Babylonians.
The Lord will destroy Babylon;     he will silence her noisy din. Waves of enemies will rage like great waters;     the roar of their voices will resound.
A destroyer will come against Babylon;     her warriors will be captured,     and their bows will be broken. For the Lord is a God of retribution;     he will repay in full.
I will make her officials and wise men drunk,     her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep forever and not awake,”     declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.
58 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled     and her high gates set on fire; the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing,     the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.”
59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign. 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon—all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, ‘Lord, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.’”
The words of Jeremiah end here.
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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