Tag Archives: 10

Exodus 35 – Our Offering

In Exodus 32 (Sheep and Calf) we brought up this concept of the people’s desire to worship and offer sacrifice to God.  They wanted it so much that when it wasn’t given to them how and as fast as they were looking for it, they created their own god so that they would have something… some sort of god to worship.  They had been instructed by Aaron to give the earrings from their ears and he created a god for  them from the gold.  Here however, God, YHWH, has a better way.  He doesn’t just want gold, He wants silver, and bronze, and fine fabrics, and goats hair, and acacia wood, and oil, and spices, and setting stones, and so much more.  There should not have been a single person of the sons of Israel that could not give / offer something.  They have all had a desire to give to the God that gave to them.  Now they finally have a chance to do that.  They can finally give back  to YHWH to their heart’s content.  They finally have a healthy outlet for their appreciation.

We have that need too.  We have the need to honor and serve something / someone: to express our honor and our praise.  It is something that is deep inside of every one of us.  It is as much a part of us as our very need to breathe.  We are a people of thanksgiving and blessing.  If we are not worshiping YHWH, the God of the universe and everything, then we are worshiping money, or family, or education, or entertainment, or ourselves, or something else entirely.  We have to find an outlet for our praise and worship or it tears us up inside.  We are a people of offering.

It is such a fascinating concept to consider; that WE are beings with a need and primal desire to worship.  To give and be an offering.  It makes sense when we understand that YHWH created us for relationship with Him.  Whether it is purposeful or simply a side effect of that purpose, we NEED to praise, worship, give an offering, and BE an offering.

This chapter also parallels back to Exodus 31 (Work & Rest) in a couple of different ways.  Right away the LORD emphasizes the need for a Sabbath rest.  In fact, in verse 1 the people are told, “These are the things that the LORD (YHWH) has commanded you to do:”  Then the very first thing listed is observing a sabbath rest.  In our busy schedules, how often do we ignore this so important command?  The other parallel from chapter 31 is that our offering is our giving of our skills and abilities.  So often we get into this rut of thinking that our tithe and offering to God is the first 10% of our money, but God doesn’t just ask for our money.  He seeks our hearts and our lives.  He accepts /expects / demands from us our very lives.  Our tithes and offerings are not just our money, they are our skills, abilities, and work / play.

We ARE our offering, and we need to live that way.

 

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Exodus 20 – Big Ten!

I am not a Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew expert.  I wish that i was, and someday i may become those, but today is not one of them.  The nice thing is though that i have studied under people who are, and i have learned a great deal as a result.

One of the principles that i have learned from and really grasped into my life is a better understanding of this concept of “You shall”: “You shall have no other gods before me.”  “You shall not make for yourself an idol…”  “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God (YHWH-Elohim) in vain.”  When you read those words, “You shall”, what does it mean to you?  Chances are, if you are like most people, you see “You shall” as a command.  It begins the 10 commandments and it is God telling us that we have to do something.  While that is not incorrect, neither is that an accurate understanding.

This is one of those easily misunderstood things that once you have a grasp of it, can change your whole outlook on something.  The words “You shall have” here is יהיה (hâyâh).  Strong’s concordance says, “…to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass…”.  So what does that mean for us?  It means that this is not simply a command; it is a promise.  This WILL come to pass!  It is something that we are to do, but when we pursue and surrender to God, this is also a promise to/for us.  So this promise is not just “Don’t have any other god’s before me!”  It’s also, “Don’t worry, you won’t have any other gods before me.”

Isn’t that beautiful!  It’s not only the 10 commands, but it’s also the 10 promises!  That’s what our relationship is like with God.  Yes, He gives us commands to follow!  Yes, we have rules we have to obey; but as time goes by and we pursue Him, these are things that He promises us will no longer be rules and regulations, they will also be a part of who we are.  They go from external instruction to internal drives and motivation.  We have a promise! …that this is who we are to become! …and i love it!

There are still many times that i struggle and sin.  There are still times that i mess up, screw up, and fail.  I have struggled with the concept of repentance, and i need God’s help to get to that place.  Part of these big 10 promises is learning to accept and acknowledge that we fail and we sin.  Understand, i am not some expert in this.  I am just as messed up and flawed in this as so many others.  I need to repent of my sins and stand on these promises as who i am in the process of becoming.  I need the prayer and help.

Thank you,

 

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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