Tag Archives: Numbers

Numbers 19 – Purpose

We talked about the weight of being chosen and the wages as well.  Now we look at the purpose.  Aaron & his sons and the rest of the Levites were not chosen for the fun of it.  They were given a reason, a purpose.  This is where we begin to see that.

This is where we see the ordinance of the red heifer.  The red heifer is meant to be a sacrifice, but not just any sacrifice.  It is the sacrifice that cleanses the tabernacle.  That is one of the primary roles and purposes of the priest.  They are to offer the sacrifices and teach the people so that they can be purified and so that their sins can be covered.  Their purpose is to serve YHWH, and to help the unclean to become clean before the LORD.

What happens when the unclean does not become clean… when the priest does not do his duty as he has been called by YHWH to do?

20 ‘But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself from uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD;

If the priest did not do his duty, the peoples sins were not covered, and they were forever separated from the assembly … the people … the congregation of YHWH.  That’s quite the responsibility.

Aren’t you glad that there is both a perfect Sacrifice and a perfect Priest.  One who cannot fail in his priestly duties because He is both the one who cleanses us, and the one who makes us clean.  The one sent of YHWH to answer the perfect call with perfect purpose.

Thank you Jesus the Christ.  The one prophesied to come, and the one to fulfill all of the prophesies.  Now we too can have a purpose!

Rev. John Camiolo Jr.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Content, Numbers, Old Testament, Purpose, Torah

Numbers 18 – Weight & Wages

YHWH has shown who He has chosen.  He has made it clear that HE has chosen Aaron and his line for the priesthood.  This is the calling of the LORD.

Last chapter so many were seeking it, but only one was chosen.  Verse 1 of chapter 18 says, “So the LORD said to Aaron, ‘You and your sons and your father’s household with you shall bear the guilt in connection with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the guilt in connection with your priesthood.”  Wait a minute?  I thought that the priesthood was supposed to be a blessing!  Yet as soon as it is clear that Aaron’s line is chose, the weight of that choice is laid out.

Oh, to be the chosen of the LORD!  Tevya (Fiddler on the Roof) said,  “I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?”  The Levites are the chosen people, but it also means that they have a huge responsibility.  If anything goes wrong, the blame fell squarely on them.  Being chosen is a blessing, but it comes at a price.  Look at anyone chose of YHWH.  The prophets were chosen of God, yet so many of them were rejected and killed for speaking the truth.  Job was chosen to be blessed of the LORD, yet look at the trial he went through.  The disciples were chosen, yet martyrdom became their prize.  The Messiah Himself came and fulfilled His purpose.  The purpose outlined in Isaiah 52-53.  53:7 says,

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. 

That’s what it means to truly means to be chosen.

That is not the end of the chapter.  That may be the weight, but there are still the wages.  The priests may have had to bear the weight and the responsibility of priesthood, but they were not without the wages.  Many of the sacrifices offered to YHWH were the priests payment.  In vs. 17, it says, “…they are a gift to you, dedicated to the LORD…”  Given to the LORD, yet payment to the priests.

This principle should still exist today.  Those called to be pastors have a HUGE responsibility.  More so than even they realize most times.  However, there should be no one more blessed in all the congregation than the pastor who has been called of God.  It comes at a price.  A price that is overwhelming.  BUT, it should not be without the blessing.  Keep that in mind if / when you are ready to be critical of a pastor.  Chances are, they are holding the responsibility, are you giving them the blessing?

John J. Camiolo Jr.

1 Comment

Filed under Application, Content, Numbers, Old Testament, Person, Torah

Numbers 14 – Doubt

Well, the damage has been done, and it has only just begun.  The bad report has been made, and now the people respond!  “Why have you brought us and out children out here to die?”  “Their walled cities are just too big!”  “There’s some terrible people up in them there hills!”  “We won’t stand a chance!”  “The enemy’s too big”  “I just can’t figure it out”  “We don’t have a five-year plan”  “But we just don’t have time”  “We can’t afford to do that in this kind of economy”  “It costs too much” “How am I going to take care of my family?”  “But God!  Be reasonable!”  “Why do we need to do that.  We haven’t needed to do it that way before.”  “What about the separation of church and state?”  “We could lose our tax-exempt status!”  “Someone else will do it”  “I’m just not ready”

There is always a reason why we can’t do what God / YHWH has called us to do.  The people sinned because they rejected what YHWH was doing.  It didn’t matter that God was in control.  What matters is what we can think / worry about.  We look at how big the enemy is, and we forget about how much bigger our YHWH is. 

What promised land had YHWH already promised to give to you?  Are you pursuing it under God’s direction, or are you running from it because the problems look too insurmountable?  Will you lose out on the promise that YHWH made to you because of your own fears and lack of faith, or will you proceed under YHWH’s direction and pursue the work and will of God?

LORD, give me the ability to see these concerns and these problems through your eyes.  YHWH, continue to give me guidance and direction.  I do not want to be a foolish builder, but then neither do i want to be an Israelite rejecting the promised land for fear of the Canaanites.  Guide and direct me today.  In Jesus name I pray,  AMEN (that it be done).

John J. Camiolo Jr.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Numbers, Old Testament, Person, Process, Purpose, Torah

Numbers 13 – 40 Days

It has taken all this time, and now the people are finally here.  They are on the border, the edge of the land flowing with milk and honey.  So what needs to happen next?  God tells Moses to send out men to spy out the land; one leader from each tribe.  They are to go, spy out the land, and report back what they found out.

40 days they were gone
40 days of travel
40 days of seeking out
40 days to unravel
40 days to know the truth.

40 days of guidance
40 days of fruit
40 days to seek it all
40 days for you
40 days with paradise to see.

40 days in valley
40 days in hill
40 days to see the men
40 days of skill
40 days to look and see and know.

40 days of beauty
40 days of awe
40 days to try the fruit
40 days they saw
40 days to take all in before they go.

40 days to know the good
40 days to see the bad
40 days in paradise
40 days they had
40 days to see, hear, and make report.

40 days; are they strong?
40 days; are they weak?
40 days to take their polls
40 days before they speak
40 days is all; it’s all that they have

40 days in the valley
40 days on the mountain
40 days to see the sights
40 days river and fountain
40 days to make the plan, to know what to say

40 days to breathe it in
40 days exhale
40 days through YHWH’s eyes
40 days to live the tale
40 days now to report; to bring it all back home

Now 40 days come crashing down
For in their fears they fail.
40 days, now 40 years
Of the dozen, only two prevail.

So close… and now so far!

John J. Camiolo Jr.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Numbers, Old Testament, Poetry, Project, Torah

Numbers 12 – Rank Unrest

The unrest continues.  In chapter 11 the people complained to Moses & the LORD yet again.  Moses became fed up with having to deal with it all the time and he complained to the LORD about the people.  So YHWH gave Moses 70 elders to assist him in leading the people.  Every one of them spoke prophetically when the Holy Spirit descended on them the first time.  Then the people’s complaints led to YHWH striking them with a plague.

Now, we arrive at Numbers 12, and it’s not done yet!  The people are doing it; Moses has done it; now Miriam and Aaron are joining the fray.  Everyone’s airing their complaints, now they are going to as well.  A while back, before the whole Exodus trip, Moses had been in the wilderness for 40 years and while there he married a woman of the people of Cush instead of an Israelite woman.  This is part of the problem as this is what leads into the other complaint, the real issue.  Miriam and Aaron use this as a stepping point to help justify their big complaint.  Moses is getting all of the glory!  He leads, and now he has just given these other people, these 70 elders some of the leadership and authority given to him by YHWH!

How do we know that these 70 elders are worthy of being leaders?  The Holy Spirit came upon them and they prophesied!  So if proof of God / YHWH’s divine calling is to prophesy, Miriam & Aaron should be able to lead as well!

Why does Moses get to do all the leading?  YHWH has obviously spoken in and through them as well.  These other leaders have only been doing this for a day and they are leaders of the people.  Miriam and Aaron have been at the forefront, been actively involved, and have been prophesying (being a mouthpiece of YHWH) since before Egypt for Aaron, and at least since they crossed the Red Sea for Miriam!  Yet here they are, playing second fiddle to these underlings!

Does that sound familiar to some of you?  Was there some merit in their argument?  Absolutely!… kind of.  They had been used by YHWH that whole time.  Aaron had even performed miracles in Egypt.  The reality is that Miraim and Aaron had been leaders the entire time.  They did not have the titles that these other “leaders” were given (although Aaron was High Priest), but they were just as much leaders, if not even more, than those appointed.  So what happens to Miriam and Aaron when they, as leaders, speak out against Moses, YHWH’s chosen leader?  “…behold, Miriam was  leprous, as white as snow…”  Miriam was the leader in this complaining (hence her name showing up first), so she received the responsibility and the brunt.  She got what she asked for.  She was the leader and she got the punishment.  Even then, her leadership was proven.  She ended up cast out of the camp for a week because of her uncleanness from the leprosy, and the whole congregation refused to leave where they were until she was back where she belonged.  THAT’S what a good leader looks like!  She may not have had the title she wanted, but she was a leader.

Are we so caught up in titles that we lose focus on our purpose?  Do we get upset when someone lower than us is “given” a leadership role we “deserve”?  Be careful what you speak against YHWH’s anointed.  YHWH does not take that criticism lightly.

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

Leave a comment

Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Numbers, Old Testament, Person, Project, Purpose, Torah

Numbers 11 – Unrest

There appears to be unrest in the ranks.  Two chapters ago God was telling the people to look back and remember all that had happened in the last year.  He called for the celebration of the Passover feast and a time for the people to reflect back.  He was setting / reinforcing a precedent, preparing the people for the next stage of the journey.  So the people had their second Passover feast and their time to reflect on all the ways YWHW has blessed them.  They are finally setting out on their journey to the promised land!

Then… well, the first verse says it all: “Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled”  Oy vey!  The complaining just continues.  The people are on their way to the land flowing with milk and honey.  They are eating Manna, food provided directly to them by God.  They have seen miracle after wonder after miracle after wonder, and what do they do?  We complain!  We complain and we complain and we complain!  How often does YHWH do something amazing for or through us, and within a month, a week, or even a day we are ready to complain that things are not good enough!

I’m a little bit behind again on my posting (about 4 chapters or so), so the other day I was talking with my wife about this chapter and how much this is a reflection of us.  We have really felt like the last few years of our lives have been a wilderness experience for us.  In this wilderness YHWH has blessed and provided for us in so many different ways.  He has continued to take care of us even when I was jobless or only making a minimal wage at a very difficult part-time job, and my wife has been a stay at home mom with our four young kids.  Through this time His blessings have continued and all of our “needs”, and even many of our “wants” have been provided for.

Yet through this all, my wife and I find ourselves complaining about what we don’t have; about how we are going through all of this and these other people are being blessed even when they act foolishly and we are acting wisely; about what we can’t do and where we aren’t living.  It’s funny; after going through chapter 9 where it talks about the people celebrating the Passover it’s easy to be critical of them complaining and their foolishness, but the reality is that we aren’t much different.

Lord, YHWH, forgive us for our complaints, our unrest.  Help us to have the right attitude and  to worship you freely.  Help us to look to You and to be a blessing to those around us.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Rev. John

1 Comment

Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Numbers, Old Testament, Person, Project, Torah

Numbers 10 – Israel Go

The time has come,
The time is now.
Just go, go, go!
I’ll tell you how.

Silver trumpets sound,
That’s when all will know;
Time for battle or for feast,
Leaders meet and the nation go!

When the tabernacle cloud arise,
Or the pillar as of fire go by night;
As it leaves from that place,
All Israel move out at its sight.

Each tribe in its place,
Goes out in its way.
The people know it’s time,
Whe’r by night or by day.

They move on out,
All tribes in formation;
As a cross they proceed,
The Israelite nation.

Only YHWH does know,
Where their steps will all lead.
So the people with faith,
Do trust and concede.

Following cloud or fiery pillar,
The people proceed;
With faith and with hope,
YHWH’s all that they need.

When the time has come,
For the nation to settle;
The icon they follow,
Drift down as a petal.

Now the nation does rest,
Where cloud & fire remain.
Will they stay in peace,
Or will they go on and complain?

The time had come,
The time had went.
The people of Israel,
Had gone as been sent.

 

The introduction was adapted from Marvin K Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Dr. Seuss 

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Content, Numbers, Old Testament, Project, Torah