Tag Archives: marriage

Matthew 19 – Marriage & Money

Marriage:
How lightly do we esteem divorce?  How easily do we let it go?  In the time of Christ, divorce was an easier process than it is now.  You had just to get a certificate of divorce from the Scribes and/or Pharisees.  I have heard it said that it was easier than that.  I have heard it said that all a man needed to do was to tell his wife, “I divorce you.” three times together, and they were divorced.

Jesus makes it clear that once the marriage has been sealed, divorce is not in the design or the plan.  Yet so often, we don’t see it that way.  Men are looking for t he perfect wife, and women are looking for the perfect man.  They marry the person that they think is “the one” or their “soul mate” and when things don’t quite go as  expected, there is a running of the bulls.  The couple flees and the marriage dissolves.   Yet that is not how it is meant to happen.  Yet we, in our selfishness and pride, would rather destroy what God made and blessed than admit that we may be wrong, or that we need to change in ways that we don’t want / like to… especially when we feel hurt by someone who was supposed to protect / respect us.  There are so many things i could go into explaining and blaming for this mentality; the age of marriage, pre-marital emotional intimacy, a lack of marital support / mentoring, a lack of understanding of what marriage really is, but i need to move on.

Money:
I am very interested in this story of the rich young ruler.  In Bible college I had a professor that put a very interesting spin / perspective on this story.  The rich young ruler is a young man that clearly desires to be righteous and be a part of what God / Christ is doing.  However, he gets so caught up in his own wealth, that he can’t let it go to pursue Christ.  However, this story may not end here.  From what i’ve heard, this young man reappears in the Bible in the book of acts.  Apparently Josephus (the non-Christian Jewish historian) reports that the Apostle John taught his disciples that this rich young ruler was the same man that is named in Acts (4:36-37) “Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  Barnabas went on, partnered with Paul, and was one of the first missionaries.  He did great things with the kingdom, but ONLY after he let go of his riches.  I have not studied this in depth, but i believe this to be true because i have seen how God works.  To have a man consumed by his riches and reject Christ / his call at first because of these things finally turn, reject the wealth, and become the true man of God he was meant to be.  That kind of redemption can only be the work of God / YHWH!

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Genesis 28 – Response

Jacob is sent away to marry from Rebekah’s family.  He is given a proper blessing by his father, and instructed not to marry from the Canaanites around him.  I remember in Sunday School always being taught that Esau heard about this and ran off to marry a Canaanite woman to spite his father and mother.  I have also brought that presupposition into my previous readings; so i didn’t pay that much attention.

However, that doesn’t really seem to be the case. The passage says, “So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; and Esau went to Ishmael and married” (NASB).  So Esau did not turn away, he simply attempted to fulfill his father’s wishes the only way he reasonably knew how.  He did not marry from the Canaanites, he married from his uncle Ishmael, just as Jacob was sent to marry from his uncle Laban.  It’s not hugely significant, but it’s one of the things that i have never really caught in the many times that i was just reading the passage through.

This chapter contains some interesting theological situations.  For instance, what is described here is a ladder or staircase from earth to heaven.  It is a connection point: a point at which heaven and earth almost touch each other.  It’s a point at which those in heaven have access to earth and those on earth have access to heaven.  Being a dream, I don’t know the extent to which this “stairway to heaven” is literal or figurative, but it does give you reason to pause and wonder how this occurs and how many other of these “stairways” might exist throughout the world.  I also don’t know how important this “stairway to heaven” is overall, but it is a unique feature of this chapter.

What IS more important though, is Jacob’s reaction to the situation.  Instead of ignoring the “dream”, or running away, or trying to rationalize it away, he comes to realization.  He was amazed, and he was afraid, and he was in awe of the situation and where he was; “How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”  Beautiful isn’t it?  So Jacob turns around, sets up his pillow-rock as a pillar, pours oil over it, and calls the place Bethel or House of God.  Then he makes a vow to God that if He will be with him and take care of him, then Jacob will give a tithe (tenth) to God.

What is our reaction to God when He does something amazing?  What do we do when He shows up?  Do we run away, or try to ignore it, or rationalize it away, or try to justify ourselves; or do we fall in awe and wonder?  Do we, trembling, acknowledge God and make His truth a reality in our lives?  Do we pursue that God that we have had a personal experience with?  Do we take God’s truth into our very being and let it change who we are as a person?  Our reaction tells us who we really are.

 

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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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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