Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

August 6 - Morning

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August 1 - Morning

"I said, 'I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.'

So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:

'Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.' "

- Psalms 39:1-5

Think Before You Spew Out Your Questions


The superscript of David’s Psalm 39 contains the name Jeduthun:
            “For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.”

Jeduthun is mentioned in First Chronicles 16:42 as being one of two Levites “responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song.” Jeduthun was a Levites who ministered in song during the days of Zadok the high priest when the tabernacle was set up at the high place in Gibeon around 1000 BC. Even though the Ark of the Covenant had been brought into Jerusalem and set inside the tent of David, the Levite Jeduthun led the music in the tabernacle courts in order to give thanks to the Lord during the daily sacrifices 7 miles to the north of Jerusalem at the High Place of Gibeon. (See First Chronicles 16)

The psalm begins with David realizing that he has to watch what he says since he is being challenged emotionally and intellectually concerning the true meaning of life and wicked people. David realizes if he simply allows his thoughts to burst out in words he will be sinning with his mouth. So, instead David vows to “put a muzzle” on his mouth in order to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. (Psalm 39:1)

Yet, the anguish of his thoughts and the questions he had concerning life and wicked men burned in his soul. He sought a logical balance in life between purpose, sinful behavior and the justice of God. (Psalm 39:2-3)

Ultimately David has to speak and he begins by not spewing out his rash conclusion, but instead begins his quest by first establishing a perspective. David begins by asking to see or understand the length and limits of a human life. Now, from this lofty vantage point David can begin to analyze with a proper perspective all the issues that are bothering him. (Psalm 39:3-8)
Kbd (Hb) – to be heavy (Eng) – Kbd is a Semitic root that means “to be heavy.” The adjective kabed means “heavy” and kabod means “weight, honor, majesty.” Kabed, “heavy in weight,” is used in 1 Samuel 4:18 to refer to the overweight high priest Eli. In Exodus 17:12 kabed is used in reference to Moses’ tired arms. Kbd was used negatively to refer to the weight of a burden on a person. Positively kbd can refer to the | weight of honor a person deserves or to the majesty of God.  
I will focus on thinking about the effect my words will have on others, on situations and on myself before I speak. I will put a muzzle on and | give myself a chance to analyze my thoughts before they become spoken words.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Physical strength

Church

Outreach
Local mayors and city officials
Germany



Warren's fallen ashlar stone seen by Charles Warren in 1873 (photographed here in 2012) in the city gutter (or, sewer) under the road that ran along the Western Wall of Herod's temple mount. This is below Robinson's Arch and was probably the result of a construction accident around 10 BC during Herod's construction of Robinson's Arch. The ashlar fell during construction, but was never retrieved. (I wonder if there was a follow-up inspection and fines assigned by OSHA?) See Warren's 1873 image here.
Three phases of salvations work in our lives.




Someone to Quote

"Christianity is a battle, not a dream."
- Wendell Phillips

Something to Ponder

"On average, an ordained Protestant pastor serving a small congregation received a median salary and housing package of $31,234, according to a study by sociologist Jackson Carroll."
(source)

Here’s a Fact

An ancient Egyptian document from 1300 BC, “Destruction of Mankind”, describes a group of people who were not Egyptian fleeing from the Land of Goshen (eastern Nile Delta area), but pursued by the armies of Pharaoh. Within this document is the Egyptian root. YWY, which is the name of the Hebrew God YHWH, or, I AM THAT I AM. (Hieroglyphic text) (Translated text)

Proverb

"Whoever listens to me (wisdom) will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."
- Proverbs 1:33

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.

"This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message:

“Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

'Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say,

"This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!"

If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever.

But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless…

…Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 

While you were doing all these things,'
declares the Lord, 'I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen;  I called you, but you did not answer. 

Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors.' " ' "

- Jeremiah 7:1-8, 12-14

Jeremiah's Temple Message


Around 622 BC Jeremiah would have stood at one of the gates that led into the temple courts to proclaim this message. It would have been a place of heavy traffic into the area of worship.

Jeremiah’s message challenged the people to reform their ways instead of merely trusting their mystical, magical worship and worship center. The people had begun to trust in a form of false religion that came from false teaching and a false understanding of the word of the Lord.

Jeremiah quotes the people of Judah and, then, rejects their words as an incantation of false hope:

"This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!"

The triple repetition of, “This is the temple of the Lord,” is similar to the beginning of Babylonian magical texts used at this time (Maqlu). The people had based their understanding of the Lord on their own contemporary culture’s understanding and had misinterpreted the Lord’s intervention and deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrian invasion by Sennacherib in 701 BC (2 Chronicles 32). Their lack of understanding had led them to believe the temple of the Lord was indestructible and they were protected. Jeremiah tells them the Lord will destroy his own temple, city and people if they do not reflect his character and truth.

Jeremiah then uses a biblical account of a historical example that occurred around 1100 BC when the Lord destroyed his own tabernacle in Shiloh (1 Samuel 4) to support his words of warning.


Za’aq (Hb) – to cry  (Eng) - The Hebrew word za’aq means “to cry,” “to cry out,” “to call.” Za’aq usually refers to the cry of a person in distress. In Judges 3:9; Jeremiah 11:12 and Jonah 1:5 people za’aq to the Lord for help.
I will not trust in religious rituals, but will seek to live in obedience to the will of the Lord.
I will learn the Word of God so I can discern between times when God destroys his Tabernacle as in the days of Samuel and when God delivers his Temple as in the days of Hezekiah.


Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text

Daniel 7 (553 BC)


Personal

Godly character and words

Church

Cooperation
South Korea
Foreign Policy


A view of the Megiddo Valley from Nazareth.
Details and photos of Megiddo Valley or Jezreel Valley.
Details of Herod's Temple in a diagram.
(More)
1 Kings 12 New International Version (NIV)
Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam
12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
“What share do we have in David,     what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, Israel!     Look after your own house, David!”
So the Israelites went home. 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
20 When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.
21 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered all Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.
22 But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God: 23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to all Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’” So they obeyed the word of the Lord and went home again, as the Lord had ordered.
Golden Calves at Bethel and Dan
25 Then Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel.
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”
28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 29 One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.
31 Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. 32 He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. 33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings.
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.
Daniel 7 New International Version (NIV)
Daniel’s Dream of Four Beasts
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
“The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.
“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
“As I looked,
“thrones were set in place,     and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow;     the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire,     and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 
A river of fire was flowing,     coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him;     ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated,     and the books were opened.
11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
The Interpretation of the Dream
15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.
“So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things:
17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’
19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
23 “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
28 “This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”
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.
Zephaniah 1-2New International Version (NIV)
The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:
Judgment on the Whole Earth in the Day of the Lord

“I will sweep away everything     from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.

“I will sweep away both man and beast;     I will sweep away the birds in the sky     and the fish in the sea—     and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.”
“When I destroy all mankind
    on the face of the earth,” declares the Lord,

“I will stretch out my hand against Judah     and against all who live in Jerusalem. I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,     the very names of the idolatrous priests—

those who bow down on the roofs     to worship the starry host, those who bow down and swear by the Lord     and who also swear by Molek,

those who turn back from following the Lord     and neither seek the Lord nor inquire of him.”

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord,     for the day of the Lord is near. The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;     he has consecrated those he has invited.

“On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice     I will punish the officials     and the king’s sons and all those clad     in foreign clothes.

On that day I will punish     all who avoid stepping on the threshold, who fill the temple of their gods     with violence and deceit.
10 
“On that day,”     declares the Lord, “a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,     wailing from the New Quarter,     and a loud crash from the hills.
11 
Wail, you who live in the market district;     all your merchants will be wiped out,     all who trade with silver will be destroyed.
12 
At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps     and punish those who are complacent,     who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The Lord will do nothing,     either good or bad.’
13 
Their wealth will be plundered,     their houses demolished. Though they build houses,     they will not live in them; though they plant vineyards,     they will not drink the wine.”
14 
The great day of the Lord is near—     near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter;     the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.
15 
That day will be a day of wrath—     a day of distress and anguish,         a day of trouble and ruin,     a day of darkness and gloom,         a day of clouds and blackness—
16 
    a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities     and against the corner towers.
17 
“I will bring such distress on all people     that they will grope about like those who are blind,     because they have sinned against the Lord. Their blood will be poured out like dust     and their entrails like dung.
18 
Neither their silver nor their gold     will be able to save them     on the day of the Lord’s wrath.”
In the fire of his jealousy
    the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end     of all who live on the earth.
Judah and Jerusalem Judged Along With the Nations
Judah Summoned to Repent

Gather together, gather yourselves together,     you shameful nation,

before the decree takes effect     and that day passes like windblown chaff, before the Lord’s fierce anger     comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath     comes upon you.

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,     you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility;     perhaps you will be sheltered     on the day of the Lord’s anger.
Philistia

Gaza will be abandoned     and Ashkelon left in ruins. At midday Ashdod will be emptied     and Ekron uprooted.

Woe to you who live by the sea,     you Kerethite people; the word of the Lord is against you,     Canaan, land of the Philistines. He says, “I will destroy you,     and none will be left.”

The land by the sea will become pastures     having wells for shepherds     and pens for flocks.

That land will belong     to the remnant of the people of Judah;     there they will find pasture. In the evening they will lie down     in the houses of Ashkelon. The Lord their God will care for them;     he will restore their fortunes.
Moab and Ammon

“I have heard the insults of Moab     and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people     and made threats against their land.

Therefore, as surely as I live,”     declares the Lord Almighty,     the God of Israel, “surely Moab will become like Sodom,     the Ammonites like Gomorrah— a place of weeds and salt pits,     a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them;     the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.”
10 
This is what they will get in return for their pride,     for insulting and mocking     the people of the Lord Almighty.
11 
The Lord will be awesome to them     when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him,     all of them in their own lands.
Cush
12 
“You Cushites, too,     will be slain by my sword.”
Assyria
13 
He will stretch out his hand against the north     and destroy Assyria, leaving Nineveh utterly desolate     and dry as the desert.
14 
Flocks and herds will lie down there,     creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl     will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows,     rubble will fill the doorways,     the beams of cedar will be exposed.
15 
This is the city of revelry     that lived in safety. She said to herself,     “I am the one! And there is none besides me.” What a ruin she has become,     a lair for wild beasts! All who pass by her scoff     and shake their fists.
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.
"Prior to the reign of the godly King Josiah, the law of God had been lost in the temple for many years. Has the same thing occurred among us? Has the evangel been lost among evangelicals?" 
- Paul Washer


The attitude of the monks and hermits from the 200's-400's who renounced the world for a life of asceticism, humility and charity can be found in a book entitled, "The sayings of the Desert Fathers." Here is a sample quote:

"Someone questioned Abba Biare in these words, 'What shall I do to be saved?' He replied, 'Go, reduce your appetite and your manual work, dwell without care in your cell and you will be saved.'"

(Read samples, full text)


Straight Street, mentioned in Acts 9:11, still exists in Damascus, although the Roman street of Acts 9 is about 20 feet below the modern street.
(Details 1, 2. Photos 1, 2.)


"These commands are a lamp...keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife."
- Proverbs 6:23-24




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