Tag Archives: abuse

Leviticus 14 – Cleansing

Leviticus 14 is another long chapter with almost 60 verses, but the subject matter is very important.  Chapter 13 was about leprosy and how to discern leprosy from not leprosy.  Meanwhile, this chapter is about cleansing.  It’s about overcoming the problems and being able to return to health and life.  It is about hope and the process of coming to cleansing.  Leprosy was considered to be one of the more incurable diseases of the time.  Once you had true leprosy, there was little hope of ever living a normal life again.  It was generally a death sentence.

But this chapter brings hope.  It brings the promise that a person can come out of it.  This is a chapter of cleansing.  In  this chapter the priests and people are given instructions on what to do when a person is shown to be clean.  What steps are necessary to allow them to return to the lives that they lost… their homes, their families.  It is a promise that there are no true lost causes.

When i look and think about this, i think about those who have been consumed by drug and alcohol abuse.  Those who lose their lives and purpose due to choices they have made over the years.  There is hope.  YHWH can bring cleansing and strength to those who need it.  But it’s not limited only to drug and alcohol abuse.  It is also for all other sins.

We are not without a way out.  God can make a way.  Not only can He, but He does time after time, day after day.  No situation… no life is hopeless.  We need simply to pursue Him.  He is the one who brings cleansing.

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Exodus 22 – Holy Men

The legal code continues.  This (i want to call it a project because i am used to doing projects such as i am doing now) work that God is doing with the Israelite people was a relatively new thing.  God was personally setting up the government of a nation for that nation.  He was establishing the rules, laws, and regulations for a nation of 1,000,000+ people.  As a result there was a whole lot of ground to cover.  The nice thing is that there wasn’t a whole bunch of politics going on.  It was clear cut and straight forward.  God said it… it was so.

Here we focus on personal property and what happens when something is stolen, lost by another, or destroyed.  It also looks at various relationships and abuse.  There is a focus on lending and firstfruits to the LORD.

What i really like about this chapter are two verses, 28 & 31.  Verse 28 says; “You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”  It sets a precedent early on that says to treat not only YHWH but also the rulers of the people with respect.  I honestly believe that one of the big problems with our culture today is this mentality that it’s all about me.  Those in authority are here to serve ME, and i have every right to bash them publicly if they are doing something i don’t like.  I know that this is such a common thing that we don’t think twice about it.  I also know that we feel justified to do this because we are in a democratic republic, but that’s not what God says.  He says don’t “curse a ruler of your people“.  Can we disagree?  Absolutely!  Should we voice our opinion publicly?  To some extent.  Should we insult, ostracize, or otherwise denigrate our leaders?  Absolutely not!  Christ said to love those who hate you and pray for those who despitefully use you.  We are to stand up and bring them before God seeking YHWH’s will praying for guidance and direction for them.

All of this is summed up in the beginning of the end of the chapter; “You shall be holy men to Me“.  We are not to act like self-centered and self-focused men and women.  We are to be holy to God.  Set apart to do His good will.

 

John Camiolo

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Exodus – Introduction

It’s amazing to me  to consider that Genesis is done.  I have made a personal copy of one of the most powerful and influential books ever written.  All 50 chapters word-for-word.  Now we enter a new era.  It is a time of re-revelation; a time of hope, struggle, inspiration, and new life (revival).

Four-Hundred years have passed since the close of Genesis.  The Israelites have gone from blessed and honored guests to mistreated and abused slaves.  The Pharaoh who knew and loved Joseph and insisted that the Israelites had to stay there has long since died and been forgotten.  Since then the Egyptians have become concerned with how blessed the Israelites have been, and how quickly they are growing.

The Israelites are here residing on their land and overrunning them like rats in the sewer.  The Egyptians realize that if they don’t do something about this “Hebrew problem” soon, it’ll be too late.  So a “wise” Pharaoh decides that it’s time to turn the table on these Israelite invaders.  He begins by hiring them.  He uses them for cheap labor.  Pharaoh even goes down to help work in the trenches.  He takes his clean robe off and becomes one of the men; doing the work of the masses.

However, what has started out as hard work for a decent wage becomes sweatshop work, then eventually slavery under whips and cruel taskmasters.  The Israelites are toiling and dying under the abuse and under the expectation of their daily quota.  So, they begin crying out for help from the God of their fathers.

This is the God that they know only from their history; the stories passed down of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob / Israel and their covenants with Him.  The Israelites are surrounded by the many gods of the Egyptians, each one with a name, a face, and a purpose.  Yet their God seems to have none of those things.  Yet in order to worship Him properly, the Israelites need to know these things.  Is He one of the gods of the Egyptians?  How about one of the Baals from a neighboring nation?  Maybe he’s Moloch of the Ammonites?

How do you serve a God that you do not know?  How do you cry out to Him?  How do you appease Him when He is angry at you for some unknown transgression and therefore allowing you to be mistreated, beaten, and killed, and He doesn’t appear to be doing anything about it?  What do you do!?!

That’s the backdrop of this book.  The Israelites don’t realize that this is part of a plan much bigger than they are.  A plan with a story that is about to play out for all of history to see.  Their Exodus is about to begin…

In the meantime, what does this say about us?  How are we treating those who are sojourning in our land?  …those who have left their homes due to famine, troubles, and a desire for a better life?  Do we treat them with contempt because they don’t speak very good English?  Do we kick  them out and tell them “We don’t want your kind here”?  Do we put them into sweatshops, one step above slavery; sometimes not even a step above?  Do we fear  them like the Egyptians did, or do we embrace them?  What is God’s plan?

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