Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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August 9 - Morning

"The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said:

'Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.'

But Jeremiah answered them, 'Tell Zedekiah, This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:
I am about to turn against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside the wall besieging you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath.' "

- Jeremiah 21:1-5

Tempting God by Rejecting His Word, but Seeking a Miracle

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In 588 the Babylonians had returned to enforce a blockade and begin their final siege of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25). In these desperate times King Zedekiah sends a royal advisor Pashhur and a priest Zephaniah to ask Jeremiah to seek the Lord and request a miraculous deliverance similar to the days of Hezekiah when the Lord delivered Jerusalem from the hands of Sennacherib and his Assyrian forces (2 Kings 19:1-35).

In a few months this royal advisor Pashhur (not the priest that was renamed Terror-on-every-side in ch. 20) will side with Gedaliah and Jehucal (whose bulla signatures have been found) in Jeremiah 38:1-6 to demand King Zedekiah kill Jeremiah for his negative words.

This priest Zephaniah is referred to in Jeremiah 29:25-26. The priest Zephaniah was accused of not properly disciplining Jeremiah when Jeremiah sent letters to the captives already taken to Babylon and for prophesying that Zephaniah would be promoted as the overseer of the Temple to replace another priest. Zephaniah the priest was sent to Jeremiah by King Zedekiah again in 37:1-3.

Zedekiah will call on Jeremiah several times (here, 37:3-10; 37:17-21; 38:14-18) and Jeremiah’s answer was consistent: Judah will be defeated and the only hope for the king and his people was to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar.
It is worth noting that the Lord had determined at the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry in 627 BC to overrun Judah with the forces of Babylon (Jer. 1- 3). It was vain of Zedekiah to ask for a miraculous deliverance when he had already been told repeatedly Jerusalem would fall and the only hope of survival was to surrender. Zedekiah, his royal officials and the priesthood were using God’s name in vain and acting presumptuously by asking God for a miracle. Zedekiah’s behavior was not an act of faith, but was behavior that tested God. Faith would have trusted the Word of the Lord and acted in obedience. Faith will trust and obey. Praying to demand miracles is not faith, but the sin of using God’s name in vain.
‘abal (Hb) - mourn (Eng) - The Hebrew word ‘abal means “to mourn,” “to lament.” ‘Abal is used in Genesis 37:34, Isaiah 3:26, Amos 1:2.
I will listen and obey the Word of the Lord instead of seeking to have the Lord meet my requests.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text

Daniel 6 (538 BC)


For favor with people


Increase Spiritual hunger
City governments

A model of a wooden wheel designed to move Herodian ashlar stones for the building projects. (Hewn ashlar stones details.)
Details concerning Solomon's Twelve Districts of 1 Kings 4:7-19 located on a map.

Someone to Quote

“If pastors do not teach and people do not know, then the question must be asked, ‘What is it that the pastors want their people to apply in their lives?’ ”  - Galyn Wiemers

Something to Ponder

By 1523 Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland had noticed in his study of Scripture how far the Roman Church had corrupted itself. Zwingli continued to preach in his local church and the public and civil government of Zurich, Switzerland followed him in his rebellion. Zwingli faced opposition from those (the Anabaptists) in Switzerland who wanted to take the rebellion (or, the Reformation) further. Eventually, the Catholic Church went to war with Zwingli’s followers and Zwingli was killed in battle. The Catholic warriors hacked his body into pieces as a sign of disrespect for the rebel Ulrich Zwingli.

Here’s a Fact

The city of Asshur is mentioned in Numbers 24:22. Asshur was the early capital of Assyria and named after Shem’s son, Asshur from Genesis 10:22. Asshur was excavated in 1853. (Details 1, 2. Book. Photo 1, 2)


"The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked."
- Proverbs 10:3

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 15 New International Version (NIV)
Abijah King of Judah
15 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom.
He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been. Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam throughout Abijah’s lifetime. As for the other events of Abijah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. And Asa his son succeeded him as king.
Asa King of Judah
In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10 and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom.
11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. 12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made. 13 He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 15 He brought into the temple of the Lord the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.
16 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
18 Asa then took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace. He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 19 “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”
20 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maakah and all Kinnereth in addition to Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah—no one was exempt—and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah.
23 As for all the other events of Asa’s reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? In his old age, however, his feet became diseased. 24 Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.
Nadab King of Israel
25 Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit.
27 Baasha son of Ahijah from the tribe of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it. 28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king.
29 As soon as he began to reign, he killed Jeroboam’s whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the Lord given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite. 30 This happened because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and had caused Israel to commit, and because he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel.
31 As for the other events of Nadab’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 32 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns.
Baasha King of Israel
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
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 6 New International Version (NIV)
Daniel in the Den of Lions
It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”
16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:
“May you prosper greatly!
26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God     and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed,     his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;     he performs signs and wonders     in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel     from the power of the lions.”
28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
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 7-8New International Version (NIV)
False Religion Worthless
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.
“‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord.
12 “‘Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 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. 14 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. 15 I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’
16 “So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to arouse my anger. 19 But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?
20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.
21 “‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’
27 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.
29 “‘Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.
The Valley of Slaughter
30 “‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind. 32 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 33 Then the carcasses of this people will become food for the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 34 I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, for the land will become desolate.
“‘At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be removed from their graves. They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped. They will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground. Wherever I banish them, all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, declares the Lord Almighty.’
Sin and Punishment
“Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘When people fall down, do they not get up?     When someone turns away, do they not return?

Why then have these people turned away?     Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit;     they refuse to return.

I have listened attentively,     but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness,     saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course     like a horse charging into battle.

Even the stork in the sky     knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush     observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know     the requirements of the Lord.

“‘How can you say, “We are wise,     for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes     has handled it falsely?

The wise will be put to shame;     they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord,     what kind of wisdom do they have?
Therefore I will give their wives to other men     and their fields to new owners. From the least to the greatest,     all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike,     all practice deceit.
They dress the wound of my people     as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say,     when there is no peace.
Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?     No, they have no shame at all;     they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen;     they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.
“‘I will take away their harvest, declares the Lord.     There will be no grapes on the vine. There will be no figs on the tree,     and their leaves will wither. What I have given them     will be taken from them.’”
Why are we sitting here?     Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities     and perish there! For the Lord our God has doomed us to perish     and given us poisoned water to drink,     because we have sinned against him.
We hoped for peace     but no good has come, for a time of healing     but there is only terror.
The snorting of the enemy’s horses     is heard from Dan; at the neighing of their stallions     the whole land trembles. They have come to devour     the land and everything in it,     the city and all who live there.
“See, I will send venomous snakes among you,     vipers that cannot be charmed,     and they will bite you,” declares the Lord.
You who are my Comforter in sorrow,     my heart is faint within me.
Listen to the cry of my people     from a land far away: “Is the Lord not in Zion?     Is her King no longer there?”
“Why have they aroused my anger with their images,
    with their worthless foreign idols?”
“The harvest is past,     the summer has ended,     and we are not saved.”
Since my people are crushed, I am crushed;     I mourn, and horror grips me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?     Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing     for the wound of my people?
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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