Tag Archives: Family

Matthew 2 – Coming Together

This is one of those things that i find so awesome about the Bible and the scriptures.  How even the little things mean a whole lot.  And, how everything seems to just come together.  It becomes clear that God is a step ahead of man and his work… or hundreds, even thousands of years ahead.  In this chapter we see AT LEAST four different prophecies being fulfilled in those first years of His life.

What’s even more interesting to me is that of these four prophecies, three of them seem to be contradictory of one another.  The first one states that from Bethlehem of Judah will come forth the ruler (Messiah).  Thus Jesus, the Christ, is born in Bethlehem.  The second says that “Out of Egypt I called My Son”.  So the Messiah is to come out of Egypt… wasn’t He supposed to come out of Bethlehem of Judah, not Egypt?  Yet here He is, the Messiah coming out of Egypt as well.  Then there’s the prophecy that, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”  He shall be called a Nazarene because He came out of Nazareth.  So now we have three different conflicting prophecies being fulfilled by the same child.

This is what i love about the scriptures.  In what seems like an insurmountable conflict and opposing ideas, there is a smooth and elegant solution that surpasses and bypasses our lack of understanding.  Prior to understanding how all of this comes together in the end, these three passages could almost seem impossible to reconcile together.  Yet God / YHWH brought it all together.  That brings us back to the conflict mentioned in chapter 1’s post.  The conflict seems almost insurmountable with no real answer in sight, and it may remain that way through your entire life.  Yet, as we can see from this chapter; what seems impossible to man, is more than possible with God / YHWH.

I have answers to the conflict of Chapter 1, but i will not give them at this time.  Faith, Hope, and Love abide.  In this conflict, pursue those things.

Rev. John Camiolo

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Leviticus 23 – Celebrate

That’s one of the things that i like about YHWH.  It’s not all just about rules and regulations.  It’s about utilizing all kinds of aspects of life.  It’s about creativity and connecting the past, to the present, to the future.  Worship is not just about sacrifices and burnt offerings.  It’s also about bringing something before God that you are to consume in his presence.  It’s about festivals and rest as well.

There are a number of festivals that are to be celebrated throughout the year; the Passover, Pentacost, the feast of weeks, the feast of booths, etc.  They all have meanings and important interpretations.  For instance, passover is a celebration of freedom from bondage and slavery under the Egyptians.  It is a celebration of new life and hope.  It is a celebration of freedom.  Meanwhile, the feast of booths is a week long celebration in which the first day is a day of rest and the only work that can be done is the building of small booths made of the branches, boughs, and fronds of trees.  It is a celebration as a reminder of the Israelite’s time in the wilderness where they had to rely on God for protection and provision.  It is a time of blessing.  The feast of booths begins and ends with a day of rest to the LORD.  I mean honestly, how many religions do you know that celebrate rest?

Are we taking seriously what YHWH has done for us?  Do we make it a point to remember and celebrate together the ways that He has brought health and healing to our lives?  Do we remind one another and celebrate together His work and purpose in and through us?  How can we do this more?

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Leviticus 22 – Priestly Laws

The priestly laws continue.  It must be hard to be a priest in Biblical times.  The rules and regulations you had to keep track of.  Some of them are obvious of course… like if you touch something unclean you will remain unclean until evening.  No leaper of the sons of Aaron may eat of the holy sacrifices, and while the family may eat, the married daughters may not eat unless she is divorced or widowed with no children and returns home to her father’s house.  It just seems like the laws and rules never end, but they are there for a reason.  An important reason.  Because someone needed to represent the people to YHWH, and YHWH to the people.

So the priests were responsible for the sins of the people and their relationship with YHWH.  They are the ones who placed their lives on the line day after day to make sure  that the people’s sins were covered.  They are the ones who had to do everything perfectly every day and every time.  They had to teach the people the precepts of YHWH.  It is their responsibility and their honor.  YHWH is a holy and a jealous God.  To serve Him day by day is an honor and a responsibility of a lifetime.

Do we take YHWH seriously, or do we just use Him as a rescue raft.  Do we worship the Holy God, or do we demand assistance from a galactic servant.  Do we pursue a relationship with Him in awe and wonder, or do we attempt to flippantly use Him for our advantage and advancement?  We are the servants of the Most High.  Maybe we need to start acting that way… if that’s alright with you.

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Leviticus 17 – Sacrifice & Blood

Then God (Elohim) spoke all these words, saying,
‘I am the LORD your God (YHWH Elohim), who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.   You shall have no other gods before Me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.  You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God (YHWH Elohim), am a jealous God (Elohim),’” Exodus 20:1-5a

Leviticus 17 expands on and deals with the particulars of this passage a little bit more.  There are two connected issues here.  First, no one may slaughter an ox, lamb, or goat within or outside of camp without bringing the body to the tabernacle to offer it as an offering to the LORD.  This is to ensure that there is no other worship except the worship of YHWH in the Israelite camp.  If a man or a woman sacrificed an animal to another god, that would have brought defilement upon the camp and people of Israel.

Reading that you could not slaughter an ox, sheep, or goat without offering it as a sacrifice to YHWH, i wonder how the Israelites could harvest their flocks and herds.  If sheep, goats and oxen were the primary means of meat for the Israelites, and they could only be slaughtered to sacrifice them to God, where do they get the meat needed to live on?  I don’t have the answer to that one, but knowing me, i’m probably just missing something simple.

The second part of this chapter deals with the command not to consume blood.  Blood is the life of the creature.  That’s been backed up by research for centuries.  The essence of the creature, it’s life and support system, comes from the blood.  As such, God requires that we do not consume of it.  In fact, when we hunt or kill an animal, we are instructed to let the blood drain out and cover it with dirt.

Do we take Exodus 20:1-5a seriously?  Have we made for ourselves gods other than YHWH?  Obviously we don’t make idols.  However, we have a tendency to worship, pursue, and trust in many things other than YHWH.  Some worship the god of money, others the god of family, others the god of education, others of technology.  Most American’s worship and bow down to the god of self.  When we place any of these things before YHWH, we are making them gods in our eyes.  What will it have to take to change our view and for us to start truly worshiping YHWH, the one true God, once again?

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Leviticus 13 – Leprosy

We are beginning to see more that God is not simply talking to Moses.  In the very first verse we see YHWH speaking to Moses AND Aaron.  As Aaron has begun to take on his new role as the high priest, we see God communicating with him as well as Moses.  There are more expectations of Aaron, while Moses continues to be the leader of the people.  He continues to lead and guide the masses, but Aaron begins to take on more and more important of a role in this infant nation.  That is a good thing.

As we move on from motherhood, we come to the next major topic for the law of the Levities.  So, who wants to talk about leprosy!?!  “Anyone, anyone?”  What, no takers?  You mean that leprosy isn’t an exciting, world changing subject?  Well, it certainly is to the one who has it!

Imagine being the person who wakes up one day to find the white mark in your hand or arm.  You wonder what it is, and you hope that it isn’t serious.  As the days go by you notice it more and more.  You try to ignore it, but there it is starting at you ominously.  Others begin to notice and tell you that you need to go see the priest.  You finally go, the priest looks at the mark and decides that you need to be isolated for a week.  So you are separated from your friends and family and everyone that you love waiting and hoping and praying for this mark to heal.  Meanwhile it is ever so slowly getting worse and you are stressed, panicked, and all alone.  You come before the priest, he looks over your wound and the rest of your body, and… you could be spending the rest of your days an outcast.  What do you do?

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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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Leviticus 11 – Food!

What makes something clean or unclean?  What gives one thing value over another?  Is it its color, its shape, its size?  How about its purpose, the way it’s used, or how strong it is?  What gives you and i value?

We live our lives day after day giving value to one thing over another.  We set priorities in our lives.  Yes, i will take that call.  No, i don’t have time for that meeting.  Will i rise early and do my devotions, or will i shut off the alarm and get some much needed extra sleep.  In everything we do we are giving things, people, and situations value and purpose in our lives.

In this chapter, YHWH is doing the same thing.  God is saying, these kinds of animals have value when it comes to what you eat.  These others are not worth keeping around.  If you eat these animals it’s alright, if you even touch the carcasses of these you will be unclean.  You should definitely not touch them to eat them.  They are forbidden.

It’s interesting to me seeing what makes the clean different from the unclean.  The clean animals are all herbivores.  None of them purposefully eat another living creature.  Thus the carrion birds are forbidden.  Those who eat unclean things are forbidden.  Thus pigs are rejected.  Insects that have jointed legs with which to jump are clean.  So grasshoppers and locusts are clean, but spiders and ants are not.

One of the things that really interests me is understanding the very nature of these kinds of animals for food.  For instance, sheep, the most common animal used for meat for the Israelites, are the healthiest meat there is other than buffalo.  Meanwhile, fish with scales and fins are very healthy for you with oils that are very good for you.  What YHWH has called the “clean” animals have time and again proven to be the best meats nutritionally and health wise.

It’s almost like God’s rules about food and meats actually work to help keep you healthy!  Imagine that!  I wonder how many other of His rules and regulations benefit man in the same kinds of ways?

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