Tag Archives: comfort

Matthew 11 – Reactions

When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.”  When i read this, I take it as Jesus instructing and sending out the disciples and while they are sent out to do the work of ministry, He is going to their home cities to teach and preach.  It seems almost like a mentality of, “You go take care of these places and meanwhile I have your back.  I am going to make sure your families and friends are taken care of. ”  It’s like His reaction to their stepping out is to take care of those they care about.

Meanwhile, John the Baptist, the one who recognized Jesus conception from the womb and leapt in his mother’s womb at His presence, the one who prepared the way for Jesus, the one who told Jesus that he couldn’t baptize Him because he was not even worthy to untie His sandals, the one who heard the voice of God (YHWH) speaking and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Jesus, the one who said, “He must increase, and I must decrease”, that John; He has set for too long and has come to the point of wondering and doubting that which He had previously known beyond a shadow of a doubt.  So he sends his disciples, the ones that are left, to Jesus to ask if He is the one.  Jesus reaction is not one of disgust that John is even asking such a thing and reacting in such a way, but His reaction is to tell them to observe and report.  That that is the answer for John’s doubt.  There is no criticism of John, only comfort.

Meanwhile, Jesus begins to respond to the reaction of the cities He has already been to.  He had preached, and taught, and healed, and done miracles, and called them to repentance, yet they had not.  They had continued doing what they knew was wrong and treating Jesus teaching like a passing fad.  So Jesus pronounces “Woe” on them.  They rejected the message, so that reaction is going to affect their standing on the judgment day.

Finally, Jesus calls for a reaction from the people.  The conclusion to the chapter is, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

So what is your and my reaction to His message?

 

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Leviticus 26 – The Old

As we are closing up on the end of the book of Leviticus, God / YHWH paints a picture of what the rest of the Old Testament / Covenant will look like.  It is a peek into the future of Israelite people, and a picture of both the good and the bad.  I just wish that it wasn’t SO bad.  Ultimately though, we begin to see the picture of the peoples relationship to God.  We get a feel for just how much the people will turn away, and how that turning away will affect their relationship with YHWH and their own futures.

YHWH starts off with a command.  “‘You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or…  You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary; I am the LORD (YHWH).”  It’s simple really.  Don’t worship idols / false gods, and keep His Sabbaths and reverence His sanctuary.  How difficult can that be.  Apparently that can be very difficult because it does not take long (a single generation after Joshua) for all of it to begin to fall apart.

Are we any different?  Have we changed any from this in the thousands of years since it was written, or are we still going from generation to generation following the ways and directions of our culture over what God’s word says?  This is the picture of the Old Testament, the entire 49 books.  Yet, this is also the picture of today.  Instead of pursuing God / YHWH, we are pursuing education and technology and financial stability and comfortable homes.  Instead of keeping His Sabbaths and revering His sanctuary, we are keeping ourselves as busy as we possibly can with all of our “responsibilities”.  We are too busy trying to stay busy, that we push away the very purpose of our lives.  In the end, what does that bring us?  …exhaustion, sickness, loss, anger, frustration, being overwhelmed, seeing the work that we have built coming to nothing?

Our pursuit needs to be not a pursuit of what’s the best, brightest, and shiniest.  It needs to be a pursuit of YHWH first and foremost.  We need to not make the same old mistakes that the Old Testament Israelites made.  We must pursue YHWH.

 

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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Genesis 24-2 – Fulfillment

One of the things that i get annoyed with the way things are written in the Bible deals with the repetition.  A huge majority of what is written in the second half of this chapter is simply a repetition / retelling of exactly what happened in the first half.

On the other hand, it is good seeing the complete honesty and frankness with which the servant poses the situation to Rebekah and her family.  There is no mixing of words.  There is no skirting the subject.  There isn’t even any breaking it to the family slowly.  It is what it is, and all that the servant seems to care about is the fulfillment of the promise.  He has been sent on a mission.  He is going to fulfill the promise, and he is not interested in excuses, comforts, or delays.  Are we like the servant when God gives us a purpose / call / mission?  Do we, knowing that God sent us to do it, try to break it lightly to those affected by it, or do we go after it like an arrow from a bow?  Do we, like the servant, assume that because God has called us to do it, that He will make it happen, we just have to act?

I know that in many ways and many times i think more and long before i act.  I hear God telling me, and then i process it and think about it, and try to figure it out before i do it.  The servant’s focus was on fulfilling the promise and on nothing else.  I need to start doing that more.

The other thing that i wanted to note.  When Rebekah finally meets Isaac, there is a very different dynamic going on here in regards to marriage than that we see / understand in today’s world.  Isaac meets her, and the servant tells him the entire story.  Isaac then brings her into his mother’s tent, he takes Rebekah, and she becomes his wife.  There are some interesting implications here.  First off, the word for took is actually a compound word.  It is more literally self-taking, or taking her to himself.  So Isaac takes her into his mother’s tent, takes her to himself (intercourse) and thus she becomes his wife.

The very act of Isaac taking Rebekah was her becoming his wife.  We see the same concept in Genesis 2 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”  This was / is marriage.  The very act of sexual intercourse is the very act of marriage.  When a man and a woman have sex for the first time, they become one flesh, husband and wife.  There is no ceremony, there is no priest (other than God).  There is only man, woman, God, and the consummation or fulfillment.  Now husband and wife.

So what does this say of us?  How many times have we been married?  Do we have more than one husband / wife?  What now?

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