Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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August 2 - Evening

"See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him
— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness —
so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed."

- Isaiah 52:13-13:5

The Character and Mission of the Servant

Chapter 53 is the middle of the second section (chapters 40-66) of Isaiah. Isaiah is quoted 80 times in New Testament.  Most of these quotes come from Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53:1-12 is part of a set of verses that begin in 52:13-15.  These verses make up a literary collection of five stanzas with three verses each:
  1. 52:13-15
  2. 53:1-3
  3. 53:4-6
  4. 53:7-9
  5. 53:10-12
One of the reasons this collection of verses is separated after 52:15 is because Medieval Jews and a few other early scholars could understand that 52:13-15 is describing the Messiah (victorious), but 53:1-12 could not be referring to the Messiah in their understanding since the servant suffers in defeat.

Ironically, the very place they begin to stumble in their understanding begins by asking: Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Almost all modern scholars agree that the chapter break is misplaced   Much study has been committed to these verses. The conclusions basically agree these are details of the servant’s character and his work. The difficulty comes when scholars state who the servant is. This difficulty may be intentionally caused by the author who is forcing the readers to make a decision and apply it to the text. It seems that if you know the answer the text is clear, but if you do not know the answer then there are many possible options.  Each option clouds the reader from seeing.   The Second Set of Verses 53:1 Is a continuation of chapter 52:14-15 when it explained that the servant of the Lord would:
1. The extreme suffering of The Servant of the Lord
1. Many appalled at him
2. His appearance was disfigured, marred beyond human likeness
2. The universal exaltation of The Servant of the Lord that followed
1. He will sprinkle many nations
2. Kings will shut their mouths because of him
3. Gentile nations will understand Him and his work

The thing that would amaze the nations is that a deliverer would go so low to help them. Reminds us of Luke 22:25,

The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.  But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves . . . But I am among you as one who serves.

53:1 is Isaiah asking, “Who will believe this?” and “To whom has God revealed this powerful plan?”   Isaiah job is to preach this message to Israel and the nations.
Isaiah himself has believed the message (or, promise) since he calls it “our” message.
(More notes)
Phulakterion (Gr) – Phylactery (Eng) – the Greek word phulakterion means “an outpost” and “fortification” in a military setting. (The word phulax itself means “a guard.”) The word phulakterion came to mean “any kind of safeguard” and began to be used to refer to amulets which is an object worn to protect the owner from danger or harm similar to a good luck charm. In the NT the phulakterion, or phylactery, was a small headpiece made of parchment that was worn like a headband. It contained written scriptural quotes to remind the worshipper of the Law of Moses and the commandments of God. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 23:5.
I will pray today for the people I know who do not understand the Lord's plan of salvation or
do not have an understanding of the reality of God.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Jeremiah 41 (586 BC)


Changed to be like Jesus


World outreach
Social Security

Priest ascending stairs to calvary in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Joshua 24:29-33 - details and locations on a map of the burial of Joseph, Joshua and Phinehas in the Promised Land.

Someone to Quote

"Let us never tolerate the slightest inroad on the discipline of our ancient, our holy Church. Let us never consent that she should be made the hireling of the Ministry (the State). Our forefathers would have died - nay, they perished in hopeless slavery - rather than consent to such degradation."
- Daniel O'Connell (1775-1874) an Irish nationalist in a speech at Dublin in 1814.

Something to Ponder

1. God Cannot Produce Sin
– Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 18:30; Matthew 5:48.

2. God Cannot Promote Sin
– James 1:13.

3. God Can Permit Sin
– Genesis 12:3, 20.

4. God Can Produce a Greater Good by Allowing Sin
– Romans 5:3-5; James 1:24; Hebrews 12:11

Here’s a Fact

Nebuchadnezzar’s city, Babylon, the capital of his empire (Daniel 4:29-31), can be seen today in ruins covering 2,000-3,000 acres, 56 miles south of Baghdad. This includes Nebuchadnezzar’s royal palace where Daniel served (Daniel 1) and many more identified locations. Jeremiah predicted this eventual ruined fate of this glorious city in Jeremiah 25:12 and Jeremiah 51
“It shall be desolate forever” (Jeremiah 51:62) And, also, Isaiah 13:19-20:

Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them. It will never be inhabited or lived in for all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there; no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there. - Isaiah 13:9-20

(Details 1, 2, 3, 4.)


"The integrity of the upright guides them, but the
unfaithful are destroyed
by their duplicity."

- Proverbs 11:3

Coach’s Corner

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

Jeremiah 41 New International Version (NIV)
41 In the seventh month Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood and had been one of the king’s officers, came with ten men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating together there, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him got up and struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword, killing the one whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the land. Ishmael also killed all the men of Judah who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, as well as the Babylonian soldiers who were there.
The day after Gedaliah’s assassination, before anyone knew about it, eighty men who had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes and cut themselves came from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria, bringing grain offerings and incense with them to the house of the Lord. Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went. When he met them, he said, “Come to Gedaliah son of Ahikam.” When they went into the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw them into a cistern. But ten of them said to Ishmael, “Don’t kill us! We have wheat and barley, olive oil and honey, hidden in a field.” So he let them alone and did not kill them with the others. Now the cistern where he threw all the bodies of the men he had killed along with Gedaliah was the one King Asa had made as part of his defense against Baasha king of Israel. Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with the dead.
10 Ishmael made captives of all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah—the king’s daughters along with all the others who were left there, over whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took them captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.
11 When Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the crimes Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed, 12 they took all their men and went to fight Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the great pool in Gibeon. 13 When all the people Ishmael had with him saw Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers who were with him, they were glad. 14 All the people Ishmael had taken captive at Mizpah turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah and eight of his men escaped from Johanan and fled to the Ammonites.
Flight to Egypt
16 Then Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led away all the people of Mizpah who had survived, whom Johanan had recovered from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after Ishmael had assassinated Gedaliah son of Ahikam—the soldiers, women, children and court officials he had recovered from Gibeon. 17 And they went on, stopping at Geruth Kimham near Bethlehem on their way to Egypt 18 to escape the Babylonians. They were afraid of them because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the land.
2 Kings 21 New International Version (NIV)
Manasseh King of Judah
21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.” But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
10 The Lord said through his servants the prophets: 11 “Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. 12 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies; 15 they have done evil in my eyes and have aroused my anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.”
16 Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
17 As for the other events of Manasseh’s reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 18 Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.
Amon King of Judah
19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He followed completely the ways of his father, worshiping the idols his father had worshiped, and bowing down to them. 22 He forsook the Lord, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in obedience to him.
23 Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace. 24 Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place.
25 As for the other events of Amon’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. And Josiah his son succeeded him as king.
2 Chronicles 32:1-5
New International Version (NIV)
Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem
32 After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to wage war against Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. They gathered a large group of people who blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” they said. Then he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the terraces of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields.

2 Chronicles 32:30
New International Version (NIV)
30 It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David. He succeeded in everything he undertook.

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