Tag Archives: anger

Exodus 4 – Go! Do!

What would you do if God spoke to you on a personal level?  How would you respond if God came to you, speaking to you through a burning bush that was never consumed?  MercyMe in their song I can Only Imagine poses these questions;

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus,
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence,
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Halelluja,
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine!

So what does Moses do in this situation?  Well, he says, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say?…”  In spite of seeing the Glory of God and coming into His presence, Moses doubts and makes excuses!  Here he is speaking to God, and all he can do is give reasons why he can’t do what God is telling him he will do!  Moses says, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent… for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”  God’s response?  “Who has made man’s mouth?  Or who makes him mute or deaf or seeing or blind?  Is it not I, the Lord?”

So God comes to Moses in a piece of His glory, and all Moses can do is make excuses?  I’m not surprised that God’s anger burned against him!  I think mine would too.

It’s easy to turn around and be shocked and confused by how Moses could act this way.  It’s easy to blame Moses for his reaction, but don’t we do the same  thing?  Doesn’t God come to us day after day?  Don’t we have the ability to meet and talk with God as a man talks with his friend?  Doesn’t God talk to us daily through His Word, the Bible, and His Holy Spirit?  And how do we respond?  “Oh, those commands don’t apply to me.”  “That’s old testament law and doesn’t apply today.”  “That’s just my imagination / conscience and not God trying to tell me something.”  “If i go and talk to that person about God,  they will just think that i’m a Bible thumper.”  “Oh, I’ll let someone else do that.”  “I know God wants me to love everyone, and tell them that He loves them, but i just don’t like them and i need to show them God’s love before i can tell them.  So i need to wait until his Holy Spirit works in my heart and changes how i feel about them and towards them before i go and talk to them.”

So what are your excuses?  I’ve already told you some of mine.  What excuses and idols are you putting before God as “reasons” why you can’t do what He calls you to do?

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Genesis 49 – Jacob’s Last

Well, Genesis is almost done.  It is the beginning’s end.  I really liked copying this chapter down.  It was easy to process and write as there is a solid thought on each line (or in the least a solid chunk of a solid thought).  It makes the process, oh, so much easier!

Israel has some final words to say to each of his sons.  It is here that Jacob makes changes to the natural order of his progeny.  Reuben was the firstborn, but here he officially loses that honor and privilege due to his hasty actions of sleeping with his father’s concubine.  Yeah, now that was smart, Reuben </sarcasm>!  Simeon and Levi are next in line, but they both lose that honor due to their rash decision to annihilate the Hivites  (chapter 34)  whose prince raped their sister Dinah.  In fact, Simeon ended up receiving no natural inheritance at all when the Israelites reentered the land of Canaan.

So that left Judah to become heir apparent.  He received the lion’s share of the blessing and inheritance (and gave some to Simeon because it was too much for them).  Judah also received the blessing of having the Messiah, the Christ, come through his line.

It’s interesting to note that this is probably the last time that Joseph specifically gets named in the listing of the sons/tribes of Israel.  From now on, Joseph’s place is taken by the half-tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s two sons that Israel claimed as his own in chapter 48).

After charging his sons (i like the way this brings the word “charging” into a clearer understanding than the way we recognize it today) to bury him with his fathers in the cave at the end of the field bought from Ephron, Jacob finally breathes his last.

What do we do to ruin our inheritance?  Are we like Reuben, Simeon, and Levi allowing our rash, unthinking, and angry natures to destroy our blessings?  Is that even possible?  Think on these things.

Also of note, there are some interesting names of God that appear in this text: Abir Yacob (Mighty One of Jacob), Ra-ah (Shepherd), Eben Yisrael (Stone of Israel), Shaddai (Almighty), and of course El (God).

Rev. John

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Genesis 42 – Testing

Joseph is more than 37 years old at this point.  He was sold into slavery at the age of 18.  He has lived more of his life in Egypt than he ever did in Canaan.  Now, for the first time in 19 or more years he comes face to face with his brothers.  They sold him into slavery because of his dreams and their jealousy of him and their father’s love for him.

Now, here they are bowing on their faces before him.  After more than 19 years, Joseph has the opportunity to exact his revenge.  He could arrest them, imprison them, and sell them into slavery, or worse.  He could mock them, laugh at them and let them starve to death.  He could reveal himself and simply threaten their lives.  So what does he do?

Joseph decides to test them.  He wants to know if they are the same jealous, angry, bitter men that they were when he was a child.  He wants to know if there is remorse or if there is humility and love.  He wants to know if they care more about themselves, or if they care about their family.  So he accuses them of being spies, questions them, and puts them for a short stay in prison.  Then he tells them that in order to be released or to get more grain they need to bring their youngest brother Benjamin back to Egypt with them.  Meanwhile, he took Simeon and held him until the other brothers returned with Benjamin.

The brothers return home and tell Jacob, their father, what happened in Egypt.  Jacob is upset and as time goes by they begin to run out of grain again.  The brothers know that they can’t return to Egypt empty handed, so Reuben takes responsibility for Benjamin placing Benjamin’s fate on his own sons heads.

Are there situations that occurred a lifetime ago that you are still bitter and angry about?  Do you have anger and unforgiveness towards someone that did something to you, or have you forgiven and moved on.  It’s not a question of whether there is someone who hurt you.  I don’t think that there is a person over the age of 20 who does not have emotional scars from something someone said or did to them.  The question is, what are you doing about it?  Joseph tested his brothers to see if they were still angry and bitter towards him and his brother Benjamin, but at the same time, God was testing Joseph to see if he still held anger and hostility towards his brothers.

When (not if) you are tested, how will you respond?  Have you allowed anger and bitterness to take root in your life.  I know that this is something that i am struggling with, and that i am in the process of trying to deal with.  What about you?

Rev. John

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Genesis 39 – God’s Blessing

Well, it looks like i labeled yesterday’s chapter 39 instead of 38.  It’s fixed now, but if you were confused as  to why Genesis 39 didn’t have anything to do with Judah and his family, that’s because it doesn’t.  It was supposed to be Genesis 38.  Well, now on to the real Genesis 39.

Why does it seem at times that God’s blessing is immediately proceeded by some sort of trial or struggle?  At times through my life it has felt like the moment things start going right and smoothly, that is the moment it all starts to fall apart.  It feels like i just start to bounce back from one problem and… BANG!  I’m hit by the next.

That’s what appears to be happening here in Joseph’s life.  Joseph was a good young man, but his brother’s were jealous of him and his father’s favoritism towards him.  So they tried to make him miserable.  In turn God blesses him with dreams foretelling a future in which his brothers will bow down to him.  At which point his brothers decide to kill him, then at the last minute sell him as a slave.  So he gets sent down to Egypt and is sold into the household of an important leader.  Joseph does the right thing and God blesses Him.  Joseph continues to do  the right thing and as a result of doing the right thing he ends up accused of something he didn’t do with no way to defend himself.  So now he’s in a maximum security foreign prison with no hope of release.  I mean honestly, how much lower can a guy get? So what does he do?  He does the right thing.  He does his job well, and he becomes the most respected prisoner in that foreign maximum security facility.

Where is that going to get him.  Every time he does  the right thing and begins to excel beyond his situation, he loses out.  He drops deeper and deeper, like a man falling in a pit trying to climb out and each time he finally starts to make progress, he falls deeper in.

For those who already know, we know where this is going.  For those who don’t, this isn’t the end.  At one point in my life as i saw this happening, God spoke to me.  He told me that He loved me and not to worry.  Do you know what my automatic reaction was?  My reaction was, “Oh great, NOW what’s going to happen?”  You see, this had become my mentality.  This is how i had begun to see God and how He worked.  I began to believe that as soon as God began to bless me, it was just a predecessor to another trial… to another struggle, and i began to lose hope.

I know better now, but this is still how i feel sometimes.  I know a number of you can relate.  If that’s where you are.  You feel like it doesn’t matter how much you try… how much you do the right thing time, and time, and time, and time, and time again, and it seems like it’s a waste of time and life.  Well it’s not.  There is hope.  There is always hope.  It may not feel like it but God does love you, and He is taking care of you.  It’s never as bad as it seems, so just trust Him!  (I know, easier said than done sometimes, but do it anyways.)

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Genesis 4 – Legacy

It’s funny the legacy we give to our children.  It is both our legacy, and their own.

Cain had a problem with anger.  Not just anger, but anger leading to sin.  He was given the opportunity to turn himself around.  He had the option of how he was to respond to that anger.  Would he master it, or would he allow it to master him?  He chose the self-focused route.  He chose the “ME”.  It sounds familiar doesn’t it?  His parents did the same thing.  Now they are all experiencing the consequences of those actions, not only directly, but also indirectly through the actions of Cain.  Not only does the sin expound, but the curse expounds as well.

It’s funny how when i read the history, it is just that, history.  It is something i am outside of.  I am an observer seeing and hearing from a distance.  When i am writing it out…  When i am copying it for myself, it becomes more.  It begins to have a life.  The names and events aren’t just names and events.  They are situations and lives.  They are people.  The experience goes from something i observe, to something i am a part of, and that is a part of me.  It becomes an experience rather than an event.

Generations go by.  Lamech comes on the scene, and that history… that legacy continues.  That anger comes to light once again.  We don’t know the details of this situation, but we know that according to Lamech, the other guy struck first.  In the end, Lamech kills a man and a boy.  He embraces that legacy and it becomes a part of him.  It is no longer the curse of Cain, it is the curse of Lamech.  “If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold”

So, is it a lost cause?  Is the legacy an unavoidable detriment to the line of Adam?  The chapter ends with the answer.  “No!”  That line and legacy continues unmastered, but God gives Adam and Eve a new son.  Seth is a new beginning.  A chance for a new legacy.  What legacy am i continuing, or giving to my children?  Am i embracing the past, or giving hope to the future.

Lord, help me to give the gift of blessing as a legacy to my children and grandchildren for generations to come.  Amen.

John Camiolo

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