Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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August 8 - Morning

"This is what the Lord says (to Jeremiah): 'Go and buy a clay jar from a potter.  Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, and say,

"Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.  For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.  They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.  So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter…"

…Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching, and say to them, This is what the Lord Almighty says:

"I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room…"

…Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people, 

“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.' "
- Jeremiah 19:1-6, 10-11, 14-15

An Object Lesson in the Hinnom Valley to Help the Leaders and Priests Understand

603 BC - This is one of Jeremiah’s bold object lessons. Jeremiah had been preaching, at this point of his ministry, for 45 years (648-603 BC). This is not the first time Jeremiah had said these things. Jeremiah had proclaimed his message at the gates of the Temple. Jeremiah had proclaimed his message privately to individuals and to crowds at the city gates. Jeremiah had written his message and had the scrolls delivered to leaders in the priesthood, in the palace, and, even to foreign countries.

This time the Lord tells Jeremiah to do the following things in an attempt to communicate the message to the leadership of the nation of Judah.

  • Go buy a clay jar
  • Take some of the governmental leaders and some of the priests who are willing to go with you
  • Go outside the Potsherd Gate and into the Hinnom Valley
  • When you get there I will give you a message.

Jeremiah does the above and then in the presence of some leaders and some priests Jeremiah proclaims the Lord's message again, but in a new way. The message is basically this:

  • A spine tingling disaster is coming
  • People have turned to foreign gods
  • False gods have been worshipped here in the Hinnom Valley
  • Altars have been built in the Hinnom Valley
  • The innocent blood of children has been sacrificed to Baal here in the Hinnom Valley
  • So, the Lord will fill this Hinnom Valley with the bodies of slaughtered people from Jerusalem

Then, after these initial statements Jeremiah throws down the clay jar as a visual aid to communicate his next words:

“I will smash this city…like the jar it cannot be fixed…this Hinnom Valley will be so full of dead bodies that there is no more room for another dead body.”

After his meeting with the leaders and the priests in the Hinnom Valley, Jeremiah was told to take the same message (probably without the breaking of the jar) to the Temple courts for the people to hear and think about.

The word Topheth means “the burner” and probably refers to the type of altar that was used to burn alive the children sacrificed in the Hinnom Valley around 603 BC. (Hinnom Valley is HERE)
Har (Hb) - mountain (Eng) - The Hebrew word har refers to a “mountain range,” a “mountain,” and a “mountainous region.” Har does not only refer to a mountain, but it is also used to refer to any elevated geographical area including hills.
I will take advantage of the provisions God has given me such as fellowship with believers,
words of encouragement from others, the presence of the Holy Spirit and Bible teaching.
I will provide encouraging words of truth and refreshing fellowship for other believers.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text

Ezra 1 (538 BC)


Contacts with people and network building


Christ-like attitudes and actions

A Roman pillar with the inscription identifying the 10th Legion (Leg X). This Roman column was set in place around 200 AD near the camp of the Tenth Roman Legion, which had been stationed in Jerusalem since 70 AD. Today this pillar is located in the Christian Quarter at an intersection of four covered streets, which is up a narrow road going north, just inside the Jaffa Gate. The inscription reads:
Marco lunio Maximo Legato Augustorum Legionis X Fretensis C. Domitius Sergius Antoninianae Strator eius
Details from Judges 11 located on a map concerning the days of the judge Jephthah.

Someone to Quote

"To stay here and disobey God — I can't afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed." 
- Amanda Berry Smith

Something to Ponder

When Israel is at war and has defeated an enemy nation Deuteronomy 21:10-13 explains the steps an Israeli warrior must take if he “notices among the captives a beautiful woman and is attracted to her.” If the Israeli warrior wants to marry the captive woman these are the details that must be followed:
1 - bring her to his home
2 - shave her head
3 - trim her nails
4 - give her some clean clothes
5 - let her live under your care for a month
6 - let her mourn for a month the loss of her father and mother (basically the fall of her culture and the death of her family)
7 - After a month the Israeli warrior may take the captive woman to be his wife

Here’s a Fact

An ancient rock altar from the time period of the Book of Judges has been found in Zorah. Samson was from Zorah (Judges 13:2) and Samson’s father, Manoah, is recorded as having offered a sacrifice on an altar in Zorah where the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Judges 13:19-20). (Details. Photo)


"The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old."
- Proverbs 8:22

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.

1 Kings 14 New International Version (NIV)
Ahijah’s Prophecy Against Jeroboam
14 At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, and Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go, disguise yourself, so you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there—the one who told me I would be king over this people. Take ten loaves of bread with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.” So Jeroboam’s wife did what he said and went to Ahijah’s house in Shiloh.
Now Ahijah could not see; his sight was gone because of his age.
But the Lord had told Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son, for he is ill, and you are to give her such and such an answer. When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else.”
So when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense? I have been sent to you with bad news. Go, tell Jeroboam that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I raised you up from among the people and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me.
10 “‘Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. 11 Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!’
12 “As for you, go back home. When you set foot in your city, the boy will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only one belonging to Jeroboam who will be buried, because he is the only one in the house of Jeroboam in whom the Lord, the God of Israel, has found anything good.
14 “The Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will cut off the family of Jeroboam. Even now this is beginning to happen. 15 And the Lord will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their ancestors and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they aroused the Lord’s anger by making Asherah poles. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit.”
17 Then Jeroboam’s wife got up and left and went to Tirzah. As soon as she stepped over the threshold of the house, the boy died. 18 They buried him, and all Israel mourned for him, as the Lord had said through his servant the prophet Ahijah.
19 The other events of Jeroboam’s reign, his wars and how he ruled, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel. 20 He reigned for twenty-two years and then rested with his ancestors. And Nadab his son succeeded him as king.
Rehoboam King of Judah
21 Rehoboam son of Solomon was king in Judah. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite.
22 Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than those who were before them had done. 23 They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.
25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 26 He carried off the treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made. 27 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. 28 Whenever the king went to the Lord’s temple, the guards bore the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom.
29 As for the other events of Rehoboam’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 30 There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 31 And Rehoboam rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. And Abijah his son succeeded him as king.
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.
Ezra 1 New International Version (NIV)
Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”
Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
This was the inventory:
gold bowls
gold dishes


silver dishes


silver pans




matching silver bowls


other articles


11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
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 4-5New International Version (NIV)

“If you, Israel, will return,     then return to me,” declares the Lord. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight     and no longer go astray,

and if in a truthful, just and righteous way     you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ then the nations will invoke blessings by him     and in him they will boast.”
This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:
“Break up your unplowed ground     and do not sow among thorns.

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,     circumcise your hearts,     you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire     because of the evil you have done—     burn with no one to quench it.
Disaster From the North

“Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say:     ‘Sound the trumpet throughout the land!’ Cry aloud and say:     ‘Gather together!     Let us flee to the fortified cities!’

Raise the signal to go to Zion!     Flee for safety without delay! For I am bringing disaster from the north,     even terrible destruction.”

A lion has come out of his lair;     a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place     to lay waste your land. Your towns will lie in ruins     without inhabitant.

So put on sackcloth,     lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the Lord     has not turned away from us.

“In that day,” declares the Lord,     “the king and the officials will lose heart, the priests will be horrified,     and the prophets will be appalled.”
10 Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats!”
11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, “A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse; 12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them.”
Look! He advances like the clouds,     his chariots come like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles.     Woe to us! We are ruined!
Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved.     How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?
A voice is announcing from Dan,     proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.
“Tell this to the nations,     proclaim concerning Jerusalem: ‘A besieging army is coming from a distant land,     raising a war cry against the cities of Judah.
They surround her like men guarding a field,     because she has rebelled against me,’” declares the Lord.
“Your own conduct and actions     have brought this on you. This is your punishment.     How bitter it is!     How it pierces to the heart!”
Oh, my anguish, my anguish!     I writhe in pain. Oh, the agony of my heart!     My heart pounds within me,     I cannot keep silent. For I have heard the sound of the trumpet;     I have heard the battle cry.
Disaster follows disaster;     the whole land lies in ruins. In an instant my tents are destroyed,     my shelter in a moment.
How long must I see the battle standard     and hear the sound of the trumpet?
“My people are fools;     they do not know me. They are senseless children;     they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil;     they know not how to do good.”
I looked at the earth,     and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens,     and their light was gone.
I looked at the mountains,     and they were quaking;     all the hills were swaying.
I looked, and there were no people;     every bird in the sky had flown away.
I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;     all its towns lay in ruins     before the Lord, before his fierce anger.
27 This is what the Lord says:
“The whole land will be ruined,     though I will not destroy it completely.
Therefore the earth will mourn     and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent,     I have decided and will not turn back.”
At the sound of horsemen and archers     every town takes to flight. Some go into the thickets;     some climb up among the rocks. All the towns are deserted;     no one lives in them.
What are you doing, you devastated one?     Why dress yourself in scarlet     and put on jewels of gold? Why highlight your eyes with makeup?     You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you;     they want to kill you.
I hear a cry as of a woman in labor,     a groan as of one bearing her first child— the cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath,     stretching out her hands and saying, “Alas! I am fainting;     my life is given over to murderers.”
Not One Is Upright

“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,     look around and consider,     search through her squares. If you can find but one person     who deals honestly and seeks the truth,     I will forgive this city.

Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’     still they are swearing falsely.”

Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?     You struck them, but they felt no pain;     you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone     and refused to repent.

I thought, “These are only the poor;     they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the Lord,     the requirements of their God.

So I will go to the leaders     and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lord,     the requirements of their God.” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke     and torn off the bonds.

Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them,     a wolf from the desert will ravage them, a leopard will lie in wait near their towns     to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great     and their backslidings many.

“Why should I forgive you?     Your children have forsaken me     and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs,     yet they committed adultery     and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.

They are well-fed, lusty stallions,     each neighing for another man’s wife.

Should I not punish them for this?”     declares the Lord. “Should I not avenge myself     on such a nation as this?
“Go through her vineyards and ravage them,     but do not destroy them completely. Strip off her branches,     for these people do not belong to the Lord.
The people of Israel and the people of Judah     have been utterly unfaithful to me,” declares the Lord.
They have lied about the Lord;     they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us;     we will never see sword or famine.
The prophets are but wind     and the word is not in them;     so let what they say be done to them.”
14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:
“Because the people have spoken these words,     I will make my words in your mouth a fire     and these people the wood it consumes.
People of Israel,” declares the Lord,     “I am bringing a distant nation against you— an ancient and enduring nation,     a people whose language you do not know,     whose speech you do not understand.
Their quivers are like an open grave;     all of them are mighty warriors.
They will devour your harvests and food,     devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds,     devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy     the fortified cities in which you trust.
18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely. 19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’
“Announce this to the descendants of Jacob     and proclaim it in Judah:
Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,     who have eyes but do not see,     who have ears but do not hear:
Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.     “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea,     an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;     they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts;     they have turned aside and gone away.
They do not say to themselves,     ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season,     who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’
Your wrongdoings have kept these away;     your sins have deprived you of good.
“Among my people are the wicked     who lie in wait like men who snare birds     and like those who set traps to catch people.
Like cages full of birds,     their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful
    and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit;     they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless;     they do not defend the just cause of the poor.
Should I not punish them for this?”     declares the Lord. “Should I not avenge myself     on such a nation as this?
“A horrible and shocking thing     has happened in the land:
The prophets prophesy lies,     the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way.     But what will you do in the end?
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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