Tag Archives: blessed

Numbers 6 – Blessed

I really like this chapter of Numbers.  In it we see the law of the Nazirite.  It is a special vow that a man or woman may make in order to dedicate him or herself to the Lord / YHWH for a period of time.  With this vow, he abstains from any alcohol or strong drink; there is to be no drinking or use of vinegar, not even grape juice or fruit of the grape vine of any kind can be consumed.  During this time of dedication no razor shall go over his or her body.  The hair should continue to grow long.  He shall not touch anything unclean for he is holy to YHWH.  If somehow unintentionally or out of their control he or she becomes defiled, then he has to become clean once more and start all over again.

The Nazarite vow is not necessarily an easy task, but it is meant to set someone aside to be holy and dedicated to the Lord / YHWH for a time.  At the end he shall make an offering and shave his or her dedicated head of hair.  Then he or she is free to drink of the vine.  I honestly believe that every person should, at some point in their life, go through something similar to this Nazarite vow.  Every man and woman should set themselves aside for a time to be holy to YHWH.  To pursue Him and to be holy in His sight.  I believe that this should be something that we do on a regular basis (like fasting) to help us to be holy and line our lives back up with YHWH.

The last six verses of this chapter, especially verses 24-26 are absolutely beautiful.  They are a blessing that YHWH gives to Moses to give to Aaron to speak over the people of Israel.  It is YHWH’s blessing to the people:

The LORD bless you, and keep you;

 The LORD make His face shine on you, 
And be gracious to you;

 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, 
And give you peace.

In the copy of the Bible that I am writing I wrote the English NASB translation of the verses that make up this blessing, then from right to left (sentences & words) i wrote out the Hebrew transliteration.  It looks something like this:

The LORD (YHWH) bless you, and keep you;

ramahs HWHY karoB

 The LORD (YHWH) make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you; 

nanahc le’ myinap HWHY erO

 The LORD (YHWH) lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.

molahs mwus le’ myinap HWHY ‘asaN

This is such an amazing blessing.  When you break it down piece by piece, there is so much here that i could write 3-4 posts on this blessing itself.  If you love to study God’s work like i do, then do a deep study of this blessing / these blessings.  It is an amazing three verses of scripture.

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 5 – Discipleship 101

Jesus and His disciples were being surrounded and pursued by crowds of people.  They all wanted to be around Jesus because of His teachings and miraculous works.  So He took His disciples aside, away from the crowds and took them up a mount to meet with and teach them specifically.  As a result, we now have a discipleship primer… Discipleship 101 if you will.

He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying“.  It’s interesting because, the word “saying” here is a word that refers to continually repeating.  These ideas and thoughts were not just things that Jesus said to the disciples one time.  They were thoughts that were repeated over and over and over and over.  These are basic lessons on what it means to understand the kingdom of heaven and how to be a disciple of Christ.  These are the foundational responsibilities of discipleship.  Without understanding and living out these foundational principles, a man cannot move on to the more complex aspects of ministry.  Without these foundations, the reality of discipleship is nothing more than listening to some sermons, watching some miracles and going about your daily life.  It is these principles and actions that separate a “crowd follower” from a disciple.

Have we made these discipleship basics the foundation to our walk in Christ, or are we just hanging around to get the free food, hear some good preaching, and see some amazing things happen?  Are we here for a show, or are we here to be disciples?

John

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Leviticus 20 – Profane

Leviticus 20 parallel’s chapter 18 in most ways.  They both deal with those things that profane the people and the land.  They both respond to sexual sins and blatant ungodliness.  Both refer to the corruption of the nation through the corruption of the people, and that the very land itself will spew them out when their actions come out this way.

All of this is important for all people.  These are sins that cause the land to become unfertile and to reject its inhabitants, whether they be Christians, or Muslims, or Jews, or Hindu’s, or Buddhists, or Atheists, or Animists, any others.  When we pursue sexual immorality and spiritists, we will find time and time again that our nations will become more and more corrupt and that we will lose what we cherish most.

On a more positive note, in this chapter we come across a new name of God; YHWH Qadash.  YHWH Qadash appears in verse 8, and it means the LORD (YHWH) who sanctifies you.  It is a beautiful picture of how YHWH cherishes His people and sets them apart for Himself.  Those who are His children are blessed and honored by His name and His work in and through us.  We are pursued and set apart by the Most Holy God.  It is both an honor and a responsibility, and it must not be taken lightly.  It must not be profaned.

John

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Leviticus 12 – Motherhood

When i was in college and engaged to my wife, Lori, we were having Sunday dinner at her apartment.  It was Lori, her roommate, another friend (girl) from seminary, and me.  I’ll call this friend Karice.  So the four of us are all sitting around this little table together just hanging out and talking and the conversation slid idly over to the subject of kids.  Karice very excitedly look each of us in the eye and says, “Do you realize, we are all going to be mothers one day!”

As she says this i’m trying very hard not to spit milk out my nose or mouth from laughter.  After i finish swallowing i ask her a clarifying question; “So we are all going to be mother’s some day?”  In a very serious tone she says, “Yes, we are all going to be mothers some day!”  So i give it a few seconds to sink in, “WE are ALL going to be mothers one day.”  Karice looks at me like i am talking gibberish, and continues confused yet excitedly, “Of Course we are ALL going to be mothers some day.”  Meanwhile Lori and her roommate are both trying very hard not to break out laughing.  This goes on for another minute or so as Karice becomes more insistent and the rest of us are trying so hard not to break out laughing.  Finally Lori says to lost and confused Karice, “So John is going to be a mother some day too?”  It finally sinks in and Karice turns about 3 shades of pink darker as the bewilderment on her face quickly morphs into complete embarrassment, poor girl.

Eight years later and her prophetically spoken statement is 75% accurate.  I’m still not a mother, and i think that at this point it is safe to say that i probably never will be.  The three ladies in the room are all married with kids, and i am still the only guy in a place full of girls.

Motherhood is blessed.  It is not a thing of shame or to be disappointed about.  It is not dirty or unclean.  It is about faith, hope, and love embodied.  To bring new life in the world.  To share the joys and sorrows of life, and to pass down who you are to the next generation.

YHWH understands that… He created it.  Here in chapter 12 of Leviticus He tells the mother what needs to be done for her purification and return to communion with Him.  It is a beautiful promise given after a beautiful process of bringing about life.  The very work that YHWH has done and is continuing to do.

Blessed be the name of the LORD!

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Exodus 3 – YHWH!

I really hate that i have come to this chapter on a Saturday.  This is my most rushed day of the week.  I am very time limited in the morning, and i work a 13 hour day.  There is so much really good stuff here, that it’s really hard to limit what i want to say and still look at more than just a speck of what is here.  I could study and talk about this chapter alone for close to a month.  Well, here goes not much. 🙂

So Moses has gone from being trained in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, with a courtly education.  He has lived this way for approximately 40 years.  From there, he has gone out to the wilderness, and spent another 40 years wandering around Midian with a flock of sheep.  My, how the mighty have fallen!  It is here, after 40 years in the wilderness that God / YHWH calls him.  A man uniquely gifted, both in the highest courtly education possible, and as a lowly shepherd who has learned to lead a flock of sheep.  It is these two polar opposite preparation that provide him with the skills that he needs to do this tremendous work.

It’s amazing and fascinating to me the way that God works sometimes.  Here he tells Moses, “I have seen the affliction of my people… so I have come down to deliver them… Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”  It’s hilarious to me.  God says that He has come down to deliver them, so now Moses YOU go and bring them out of Egypt.  So is it God / YHWH that’s bringing them out, or is it Moses?  God says that it’s Him, and then tells Moses to go and do it.  Talk about priceless!

Then, Moses asks God a simple question; “What is your name?”  What does God answer?  “I AM WHO I AM!”  I almost feel bad for the guy.  Suddenly he is going from a simple shepherd to the redeemer of a nation.  Then when he asks a simple question, he gets what appears to be a non-answer.  What’s the poor guy to think!

What about us?  Does God teach and prepare us in unusual ways, giving us unique and unusual giftings that seem to make no sense.  Then we come to YHWH with a question, expecting some sort of significant answer, we find Him not only NOT giving us the answers that we are looking for, but also expecting us to do something that is so out of our comfort zone that it feels like it is going to kill us?  I love it!  That’s God for you alright!

If you have never been blessed that way, i pray that you will be, and you will be soon.  God Bless.

 

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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