Tag Archives: peace

Numbers 6 – Blessed

I really like this chapter of Numbers.  In it we see the law of the Nazirite.  It is a special vow that a man or woman may make in order to dedicate him or herself to the Lord / YHWH for a period of time.  With this vow, he abstains from any alcohol or strong drink; there is to be no drinking or use of vinegar, not even grape juice or fruit of the grape vine of any kind can be consumed.  During this time of dedication no razor shall go over his or her body.  The hair should continue to grow long.  He shall not touch anything unclean for he is holy to YHWH.  If somehow unintentionally or out of their control he or she becomes defiled, then he has to become clean once more and start all over again.

The Nazarite vow is not necessarily an easy task, but it is meant to set someone aside to be holy and dedicated to the Lord / YHWH for a time.  At the end he shall make an offering and shave his or her dedicated head of hair.  Then he or she is free to drink of the vine.  I honestly believe that every person should, at some point in their life, go through something similar to this Nazarite vow.  Every man and woman should set themselves aside for a time to be holy to YHWH.  To pursue Him and to be holy in His sight.  I believe that this should be something that we do on a regular basis (like fasting) to help us to be holy and line our lives back up with YHWH.

The last six verses of this chapter, especially verses 24-26 are absolutely beautiful.  They are a blessing that YHWH gives to Moses to give to Aaron to speak over the people of Israel.  It is YHWH’s blessing to the people:

The LORD bless you, and keep you;

 The LORD make His face shine on you, 
And be gracious to you;

 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, 
And give you peace.

In the copy of the Bible that I am writing I wrote the English NASB translation of the verses that make up this blessing, then from right to left (sentences & words) i wrote out the Hebrew transliteration.  It looks something like this:

The LORD (YHWH) bless you, and keep you;

ramahs HWHY karoB

 The LORD (YHWH) make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you; 

nanahc le’ myinap HWHY erO

 The LORD (YHWH) lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.

molahs mwus le’ myinap HWHY ‘asaN

This is such an amazing blessing.  When you break it down piece by piece, there is so much here that i could write 3-4 posts on this blessing itself.  If you love to study God’s work like i do, then do a deep study of this blessing / these blessings.  It is an amazing three verses of scripture.

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Leviticus 4 – Guilt Offering

I find it interesting that the chapter on the peace (or thanksgiving) offering immediately precedes the unintentional sin (or guilt) offering.  It almost seems like the priority is the peace offering, and as a counter to that, we have the guilt offering.  I don’t know how much significance there is in this, but i’m sure someone can make it very significant.

The chapter is split up into four sections.  The first talks about the offering that is required if the priest sins unintentionally.  Secondly, is the offering that is required for when the congregation as a whole sins unintentionally.  In that case the leaders are responsible and they are the ones that lay their hands on the head of the bull as it is sacrificed.  The leaders are responsible for the actions of the people.  The third sacrifice is the sacrifice when a leader sins unintentionally.  He has a greater responsibility thus his sacrifice is separate from those of the common people.  Then finally, the sacrifice for the common people.  Each sacrifice is different in type or sex of the animal.

It’s very significant to me that the sacrifice for the leaders of the congregation is different and of greater value than the common people.  It says so much about the expectations and demands placed on the leaders.  Being a leader is a double edged sword.  It means you have more authority and power, but it also means that you hold more responsibility, including responsibility for the actions of those you are leading.  That is a common theme throughout the Bible.  When the people go astray, the leaders are to blame.  Do our leaders live up to those expectations?  Do we?

Do we take sin seriously?  God does!  Do we even bring our intentional sins before YHWH in repentance, or do we just brush them aside?  Even if we do that, do we bring our unintentional sins to Him as well?  Even for those who are willing to say “yes”  about the first (intentional sins), chances are we don’t say “yes” in response to the second (unintentional).  I know i tend not to even bring my intentional sins to Him, let alone my unintentional.  That is something that needs to change.

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Leviticus 3 – Peace Offering

What is a peace offering?  I’ve read about the peace offering many times.  I’ve seen the term in the text and i’ve wondered what makes an offering a peace offering?  How is that different from a sin offering?  Why “peace”?  Is it somehow an offering asking YHWH for peace, or thanking him for the peace they already have?  Is it a personal peace or a peace for the nation?  It seems like it is a regular part of the sacrificial system, so i could probably rule out thankfulness for national peace as part of what they are commanded and directed to do would prevent national peace at times.  There must be more to it than that.

After some research (word studies, commentaries, Strong’s dictionary), i’m finding that what is referred to as a peace offering is more of a thank offering.  It relates to the relationship between God and man in that the one  that is offering the peace offering is doing so at his / her choice.  It is an offering of blessing seeking blessing and being thankful for a blessing.  It is an offering meant to bring or express peace with / to YHWH.  Thus that peace is the peace between YHWH and man both real, prophetic, and desired.

Do we offer peace offerings?  Should we?

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Exodus 34 – Response

Everything has finally settled down.  The masses have found a semblance of peace and are ready to handle themselves while Moses goes up the mountain again.  God calls Moses, and he responds.  He returns to Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights again where he brings two new stone tablets for the LORD to write on.

This is the same type of incident as before, but things have changed.  There are definitely some key and significant differences.  One of the beautiful things that happens here is that Moses relationship and connection with YHWH appear to have made some definite improvements.  He is there for the same role and the same purpose as he was before, but Moses seems to have more responsibility as well as more depth in relationship with YHWH.  The connection is much more direct and face to face.  So much so that when Moses comes down this time, his face is shining so brightly that the people can’t even look at him.  Their response is to fear him, and it is only after covering his face with a veil that he is able  to come before the people.  This covering of God’s glory, outpouring through Moses, continues each time he meets with YHWH.  The veil becomes a constant reminder of Moses connection and response  to God.

During  this time on the mountain, YHWH decides to make note of the people’s tendency towards idolatry,  He makes it clear to them that they are to destroy ALL evidence of the nations that exist in the land of Canaan, and to tear down anything that represents their false gods.  This is more than just a command.  This is a mandate.  This is the direction that the people must take, even though God already knows that they are not going to.  It is a notice that must be made and a direction that must be followed.

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Exodus 5 – Trouble

Well, things changed as a result of God’s referendum to Pharaoh alright.  God said, “Let my go!”  Pharaoh said, “What?  You want me to do what with your people?  …you want me to make their work harder?  OK, I can arrange that.”

Wow, this overarching concept and idea feels very familiar for some reason.  The LORD gives a command to do something.  In obedience it is carried out.  Life gets harder, not easier as a result of the obedience.  You would think that when the God of the universe instructs you to take a stand and obediently place yourself at risk before everyone, He would come through when you expect him to.  But, that’s not necessarily how He works.  Taking that step of faith sometimes means getting your toes run over by a steamroller.

The question is, knowing that that is the case, are we willing to be obedient?  Are we willing to step out in faith?  Are we being obedient to get something out of it, or is our obedience because He is LORD of our life?  Can He trust us  to obey even when it means more trouble for ourselves?

That’s a difficult problem for most of us Americans.  Many times our outlook is; “What’s in it for me?”  If we aren’t getting something out of it, we aren’t willing to put anything into it.  God doesn’t work that way though.  He’s not a direct “If…then…” God.  “If you do this for Me, then I will do that for you.”  If that’s what you are looking for in a god, then you are looking in the wrong place.  Yes, God will bless you amazingly and  abundantly when you obey Him.  Yes, you will find peace in your life.  Yes, you can trust Him, but you cannot count on Him to do what you want Him to do, or even anywhere close to when you want Him to do it.  He works on His terms not ours.  However, we are still responsible for obeying Him.  The benefits will be amazing, but so will the troubles.

So what’s the LORD calling YOU to be obedient to today?

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Genesis 39 – God’s Blessing

Well, it looks like i labeled yesterday’s chapter 39 instead of 38.  It’s fixed now, but if you were confused as  to why Genesis 39 didn’t have anything to do with Judah and his family, that’s because it doesn’t.  It was supposed to be Genesis 38.  Well, now on to the real Genesis 39.

Why does it seem at times that God’s blessing is immediately proceeded by some sort of trial or struggle?  At times through my life it has felt like the moment things start going right and smoothly, that is the moment it all starts to fall apart.  It feels like i just start to bounce back from one problem and… BANG!  I’m hit by the next.

That’s what appears to be happening here in Joseph’s life.  Joseph was a good young man, but his brother’s were jealous of him and his father’s favoritism towards him.  So they tried to make him miserable.  In turn God blesses him with dreams foretelling a future in which his brothers will bow down to him.  At which point his brothers decide to kill him, then at the last minute sell him as a slave.  So he gets sent down to Egypt and is sold into the household of an important leader.  Joseph does the right thing and God blesses Him.  Joseph continues to do  the right thing and as a result of doing the right thing he ends up accused of something he didn’t do with no way to defend himself.  So now he’s in a maximum security foreign prison with no hope of release.  I mean honestly, how much lower can a guy get? So what does he do?  He does the right thing.  He does his job well, and he becomes the most respected prisoner in that foreign maximum security facility.

Where is that going to get him.  Every time he does  the right thing and begins to excel beyond his situation, he loses out.  He drops deeper and deeper, like a man falling in a pit trying to climb out and each time he finally starts to make progress, he falls deeper in.

For those who already know, we know where this is going.  For those who don’t, this isn’t the end.  At one point in my life as i saw this happening, God spoke to me.  He told me that He loved me and not to worry.  Do you know what my automatic reaction was?  My reaction was, “Oh great, NOW what’s going to happen?”  You see, this had become my mentality.  This is how i had begun to see God and how He worked.  I began to believe that as soon as God began to bless me, it was just a predecessor to another trial… to another struggle, and i began to lose hope.

I know better now, but this is still how i feel sometimes.  I know a number of you can relate.  If that’s where you are.  You feel like it doesn’t matter how much you try… how much you do the right thing time, and time, and time, and time, and time again, and it seems like it’s a waste of time and life.  Well it’s not.  There is hope.  There is always hope.  It may not feel like it but God does love you, and He is taking care of you.  It’s never as bad as it seems, so just trust Him!  (I know, easier said than done sometimes, but do it anyways.)

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Genesis 33 – Fizzled

So now it all comes to a head!  After all this worry and anxiety and stress and prepping and planning; we come to the moment of truth.  Jacob goes ahead and leaves the ladies and children to follow.  He falls at Esau’s feet, and fizzle.  There is no conflict.  There is no major issue, no battle, no defeat, no destruction, nothing.  There is only reconciliation as brother meets brother and the past seems to be nothing more than a passing fad.

Israel insists that Esau takes his gifts, Esau meets Jacob’s family, and they move on.  Israel settles in a separate part of Canaan buys some land and puts up his tent and some shelters for his animals.  He builds an alter and calls it God the God of Israel, or Mighty God of Israel.  Thus it ends.

Do we do the same thing?  Do we get ourselves worked up over nothing?  Do we hear God’s promises to us, then worry so much about what COULD happen that we lose out on the peace that God has promised us?  I know i do sometimes.  I also know that that is sin, it is a prideful mentality that we know and can prepare better for the problems that may come to us than God can or will.  In order to fully/best embrace the work God has for us, we must trust that He who makes the promises is willing and able to keep them.  End of story.

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