Tag Archives: king

Matthew 1 – The People

It’s interesting to me to see not only the life and lives of the scriptures coming to life, but also the arguments and debates.

This first book of the New Testament is clearly written for Jewish people.  This is seen from the very beginning of the very first chapter.  Matthew 1 begins with a genealogy for Jesus the Messiah that sets up Joseph the husband of Mary as a direct descendant of David and Abraham.  This genealogy serves at least a dual purpose.  1) It shows that Jesus has every right and privilege of being King David’s direct descendant.  And, 2) It takes a step toward proving that Jesus is indeed the Messiah by showing the fulfillment of prophecy through this genealogy.  It is the history of a Jew for Jews.

One of the debates that comes up is about the genealogy itself.  According to Matthew’s depiction of the genealogy there are 14 generations defined from Abraham to David, 14 generations defined from David to the fall of, and 14 generations defined between the captivity and Jesus the Messiah.  It’s a great pictorial representation, but it’s not without its issues.  For instance, there appear to be discrepancies between this listing and the listing in the book of Luke, but my issues are more direct than that.   How can there be 14 generations between Abraham and David?

When i go through this genealogy I see “Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.”  That’s 4 generations between the time of Moses and the time of David.  1) Salmon to Boaz  2) Boaz to Obed  3) Obed to Jesse 4) Jesse to David.  So according to this listing, all that happened between Moses bringing the people to the Jordan River in the end of Deuteronomy to David being anointed King by Samuel occurred within that 4 generation time span.   That includes all of the book of Joshua (very feasible as it would have been done within one generation), and all of Judges (not so feasible?).

That’s where i get a bit more skeptical.  Just looking at Judges 10 we see numerous minor Judges who served for a number of decades, died then another judge arose and judged Israel, and died and the people sinned again and are afflicted for decades again before we hear of another judge arising.  Then when Samuel is born, the word of the Lord appears to have been scarce for a long time and he serves as Judge and priest for a long time before ever anointing David.  That’s just a sampling of the issue.  There’s still Deborah & Barak, Sampson, Gideon, etc.  How could all of that fit into 4 generations?

Considering that all my life and experience with God / YHWH has shown me beyond a doubt that the scriptures truly are written by the inspiration of God and are infallible, how do i reconcile this and other difficult questions?  The answer to this and other quandaries is much more simple and elegant than we may think.  I have my answers / solutions to the puzzle, but what are yours?  😉

 

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Exodus 38 – Court of the King

So the tabernacle and all that it will contain has been made.  Now on to the court and the alter.  If i thought that the ark of the covenant was small, the alter is HUGE!  At 5 cubits long (~7 1/2 feet) and 5 cubits wide and 3 cubits (~4 1/2 feet) tall, this thing was not small at all.  But then again, when sacrifices included bulls, size does matter!

So the court of the tabernacle is underway with its pillars and linen hangings.  All around the tabernacle are these hangings of fine twisted linen connected to pillars of bronze with hooks of silver.  The entryway was to the east, to the rising sun, and the work of making all of the tabernacle and its tools of worship is finished.  All that’s left is the priestly garments, putting everything together, and… the results.

All of this came  together with structure and a plan.  It took time, and effort, and finances to make it happen.  It wasn’t just God doing it because it would be faster and easier for Him to do it Himself than to rely on humans to do it.  He gave us the work.  He gave us the plan.  He gave His people the desire to make it happen.  Do we have a structure and plan for our spiritual growth?  Are we willing to invest ourselves into that plan?  Are we willing to put our time, effort, and finances into loving God and loving others, or are we only willing to do the absolute minimum in order to get away with the least we can.  Are we giving our firstfruits or our leftovers?  Do we want to enter the court of the King, or are we satisfied with just passing it by and knowing that it’s there if we need it?

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Exodus 1 – Purpose?

Today has just started as one of those days.  I got up, got my chapter done, and in a short 21 verse chapter i just could not stay awake.  It took me quite a bit longer than it should have.  Afterwards i immediately went back to bed and crashed… hard.  This project can be a real struggle sometimes.  I love it, and i love doing it, but on days like today i just want to quit.  I wonder if it’s really worth getting up two hours early to get the chapter copied over and the post written?

Add to that the fact that i am a man in my early 30’s and i feel like i have accomplished nothing in my life.  That’s at least a third of my life gone, with what feels like nothing to show for it.

Then i look at this passage, and i wonder.  Joseph was a man who did what God called him to do.  He put all this work, time, and effort into being the man of God that was needed for the time.  God spent all that time prepping him, and he worked so hard for Pharaoh.  He perhaps single handedly (with God’s direction) saved the lands of Egypt and Canaan from a major drought that would have left the land barren and the people starved to death.

He did all this, and “(n)ow a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.”  This new king owed everything he owned to Joseph, but that didn’t matter.  Joseph struggled, worked, and toiled all his life, helped Egypt to grow in prosperity and strength, and it doesn’t matter.  The king saw all of the Israelites in the land and decided that that was going to be his target.  Joseph’s work and all that he did didn’t mean a thing to this Pharaoh.

I struggle with this because, if all that Joseph did ceases to matter, and he, with God’s direction, did some amazing things, how much more I.  Do i even matter?  Does anything that i could accomplish really matter?  I’ve gotten this far into my life, and it feels like i have accomplished little of real value, but even if i did, does it really matter?  Fifty years after my death, will anyone even remember me or what i have done?  If they do, will they even care?

 

John Camiolo

P.S.  I know, i know.  Many of you will point out that what Joseph did did matter.  After all, we know Joseph’s story, and it was all a part of God’s much bigger plan.  Also some will say that it’s not about our credit here, but we are storing up treasures in heaven…  I understand these concepts and more, but there are times when the facts get buried in how we feel.  And that’s where i’m at today.

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Genesis 14 – Abram

So who is Abram, and what makes him so special?  This chapter, while mostly not about Abram, gives us a great picture of who he is and what makes him so different.

The majority of this chapter is all about politics.  Five kings came up in battle against four.  One king Chedorlaomor had subjugated numerous other nations for 12 years, these other nations ended up rebelling, a bunch of other stuff happened, and there was a battle.  Five kings came up in battle against four.  In the end, the kings and armies of Sodom and Gomorrah fled.  When that happened, the enemies of these kings came and took spoils of war.  As part of those spoils, they kidnapped Lot, his family and things, and a bunch of other people and goods.

Needless to say, Abram was not too pleased with this turn of events, so he set out to resolve the issue.  So he took 318 men born in his house and pursued the victors.  He got back Lot and all that was his, as well as the other spoils taken from Sodom and Gomorrah.

I found it interesting that through much of this chapter, Abram does what he can to avoid the politics of the day.  He remains neutral in any way he can.  He does not take part in the fight.  In fact, it appears that he avoids it.  He is not interested in getting involved in petty disputes.  However, when it hits home (Lot is taken) then he turns around, takes a group of men (much smaller than the armies he is pursuing), attacks and drives off the victors.  Then, not only does he not desire reward from those he helps, but he refuses to take anything apart from the food that his people ate (after he pays tithe to the King of Salem, priest of the Most High God no less).  Why?  Because he does not want the other kings to be able to turn around and say, “Look, I made Abram rich.”  He is not interested in politics and trading favors.  He is interested in what is just, righteous, and holy.  Are we more interested in what is right, or what we can get out of a deal?

Also of note in this chapter:  We see El-Elyon (God Most High) and YHWH El-Elyon (YHWH God Most High) used what appears to be for the first time in this chapter.  We see the Melchizadek king of Salem referred to as the priest of El-Elyon, and Abram tells the king of Sodom that he has sworn to YHWH (the LORD) El-Elyon, possessor of heaven and earth that he would not take even a thread from the spoils.

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