Tag Archives: problems

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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Exodus 18 – Perspective

Isn’t it nice to have an outside perspective sometimes.  We look at our own situation time and time again.  We see the same problems the same ways.  We walk through the same doors and fall into the same traps.  It’s so easy to get caught up in our own way of doing things that we lose track of the idea that there may be another, better solution.  We also get so used to seeing the same blessings that we fail to see them as blessings.  We see our successes in light of our situation and lose track of how amazing they can be sometimes.

Moses had started to get into some of these kinds of ruts.  He was hearing the same people complaining about the same problems while doing the same things over and over.  Then along came Jethro, his father-in-law, bringing Moses wife and two sons, and they saw it all anew.  They heard the stories for the first time.  They learned about the situation and saw all the blessings that God was doing for the people off Israel, and they were amazed.  Jethro was the priest of Midian.  He was a man of experience and wisdom, and yet he said, “Now I know that the LORD (YHWH) is greater than all the gods.  Indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people.”  He saw how God had treated those who stood proudly against His people, and Jethro, the priest of Midian, knew that there was no God like YHWH.

In response Jethro took a burnt offering and sacrifice to the LORD.  He prepared it as a meal and invited the leaders of Israel to eat a meal together before God.  He served in his role as a priest, yet he also set a precedent for the leaders; one of fellowshipping together before the LORD.  Don’t you love a good perspective!?

The chapter finishes with Moses sitting before the people judging them.  They came to him with their conflicts and problems, and he judged between the people.  As i was reading this, it reminded me of the incident in chapter 2 “He (Moses) went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’  But he said, ‘Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and said, ‘Surely the matter has become known.’”  So Moses has become the judge that he had tried to be.  He went from poser to the man of the hour; yet ironically, it was too much.

Jethro to the rescue!  He tells Moses that this is too much work for him alone; that he needs to abdicate the work to others.  To those who hate injustice so that it does not become too much of a burden.  Do we pursue an outside perspective for our lives?

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Exodus 12-2 – Obedience

I split this chapter at the end of verse 27 due to the length of chapter overall.  Thus the first verse in today’s work was 28; “Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD (YHWH) had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.”  (NASB)  Opening this section with this verse really struck me.  If there is one thing that i have learned about the Hebrew people through most of  the old testament, it’s that they didn’t like doing what they were told.  They tended to be very stubborn people who took a whole lot of convincing to get them to follow simple instructions sometimes.  Even when they did follow directions, many times it also involved grumbling and complaining.  This was especially true of this particular generation.  Once they go out into the wilderness, Moses has all kinds of problems with them.  So much so that, apart from two people, none of them is allowed to actually enter the promised land.

Yet here we see a simple statement of profound importance.  “Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD (YHWH) had commanded…”  This and similar statements are made three times in this second half of Exodus 12 (vs. 28, 35, & 50).  Why is simple obedience such a difficult thing to do?  I know that the Hebrew people are not the only ones that have that difficulty.  Pharaoh had the same problem… and so do I.  I know that it would be better to do things God’s way.  I know that it would make my life better and easier.  I know that i can trust Him even when i don’t understand.  Yet time and time again the choice i make is the wrong one.  Then, i have the gall to get upset when things don’t go the way i expect them to.  I just don’t get it sometimes.

This section is where the exodus of the Hebrew people really begins.  The final miracle occurs; the firstborn of everyone from Pharaoh’s household to the prisoners in the dungeon lost their lives.  Pharaoh and the people of Egypt “urged” the Israelites to leave.  So exactly 430 years to the day after Israel and his family came to Egypt, the LORD (YHWH) brings them out again.

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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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