John the Baptist had a purpose for his life. He was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah. His purpose was to point people to THE Christ. His primary message was, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Once the Christ came, he was to decrease so that Christ could increase.
How often do young people, and even older people, seek purpose for their lives? How often do they pursue understanding for who they are, and what they are to do and become? But, what if we did know? What if we did know that we were to prepare the way for something great… and then, that’s it. What if we knew that we would spend years and years of our lives dedicated to the work of preaching, teaching, calling, etc. Then it would lead up to ONE day! …one minute! …one moment! And then… what?
You’ve just spent your entire life getting ready and it’s over. Now “He must increase, and I must decrease.” None of the rest of it matters all that much. Your purpose is done, and the rest of your life is mostly meaningless. Not only for that to happen, but to know that that was going to happen. Wow, that’s tough.
I really wonder if in today’s world we could handle knowing the truth? I really wonder if we aren’t so caught up in ourselves that if God / YHWH actually told us what we wanted to know, how many of us would simply run away. There are those that would say that in those times people were made of sterner stuff. I don’t know to what extent i would agree with that. People are people. Someone may be taught to be stronger, better, wiser… whatever, but we are still made of the same stuff.
Would you or I be able to simply let go, knowing that our purpose has been served and we have nothing left but to push people away and tell them to follow something else… not because we had done something wrong, but because we had done it all right? John the Baptist was an amazing man. He lived the life that YHWH had made him f or, then when that moment was over, he decreased so that Christ could increase. I don’t know if i could do that.
Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.
In chapter 4 God gives Moses instructions about the types and ways of guilt offerings. Here in chapter 5 God gives some instruction and examples of unintentional sins and the guilt offering required for them.
It’s funny how much our world changes. We live in a culture where even most Christians don’t take repentance seriously unless there are consequences that drastically affect them. We sin daily, and we talk about having a relationship with God and our prayer life, but how often does our prayer life consist of a list of demands to make our life more enjoyable and “better”? How often are we so worried about our own “problems” and wants that we completely ignore the directions and instructions that YHWH puts in our life?
Sin, both intentional and unintentional, becomes so commonplace in our lives that we begin to not even recognize that we have sin that we need forgiveness from. Yet God takes even minor, unintentional sins (like touching a dead body or swearing thoughtlessly) seriously. Do we take time daily to come before God daily for repentance, or do we see YHWH as our buddy, buddy?
I know that i fall into that struggle, and that it is something that i need to be doing daily, yet it is something that i rarely do. Maybe it’s time for me to change that… Lord, you know me, my comings and goings, my desires and actions. YHWH I want to be obedient and not carry all of these sins around with me. YHWH forgive me and help me to turn away from…
I am not a Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew expert. I wish that i was, and someday i may become those, but today is not one of them. The nice thing is though that i have studied under people who are, and i have learned a great deal as a result.
One of the principles that i have learned from and really grasped into my life is a better understanding of this concept of “You shall”: “You shall have no other gods before me.” “You shall not make for yourself an idol…” “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God (YHWH-Elohim) in vain.” When you read those words, “You shall”, what does it mean to you? Chances are, if you are like most people, you see “You shall” as a command. It begins the 10 commandments and it is God telling us that we have to do something. While that is not incorrect, neither is that an accurate understanding.
This is one of those easily misunderstood things that once you have a grasp of it, can change your whole outlook on something. The words “You shall have” here is יהיה (hâyâh). Strong’s concordance says, “…to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass…”. So what does that mean for us? It means that this is not simply a command; it is a promise. This WILL come to pass! It is something that we are to do, but when we pursue and surrender to God, this is also a promise to/for us. So this promise is not just “Don’t have any other god’s before me!” It’s also, “Don’t worry, you won’t have any other gods before me.”
Isn’t that beautiful! It’s not only the 10 commands, but it’s also the 10 promises! That’s what our relationship is like with God. Yes, He gives us commands to follow! Yes, we have rules we have to obey; but as time goes by and we pursue Him, these are things that He promises us will no longer be rules and regulations, they will also be a part of who we are. They go from external instruction to internal drives and motivation. We have a promise! …that this is who we are to become! …and i love it!
There are still many times that i struggle and sin. There are still times that i mess up, screw up, and fail. I have struggled with the concept of repentance, and i need God’s help to get to that place. Part of these big 10 promises is learning to accept and acknowledge that we fail and we sin. Understand, i am not some expert in this. I am just as messed up and flawed in this as so many others. I need to repent of my sins and stand on these promises as who i am in the process of becoming. I need the prayer and help.
Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.
They have come to the Mountain of God (Elohim). All that has happened in Egypt and in the wilderness has been in preparation for this. When Moses told Pharaoh to let the people go, it was to bring them to this; “We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD (YHWH) our God (Elohim) as He commands us.” So now here they are (three months later) at the foot of Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.
God is getting ready to speak with the people of Israel, so he first meets with Moses in order to get the people prepared to meet with Him. The people are given a few simple instructions before they come near to God. God instructs Moses to consecrate the people, they must wash their clothes, and the men must abstain from a woman for the three days. When they do come to the mountain of God, they must not touch the mountain. Anyone who does must be killed and their bodies not touched… this is obviously very serious.
The third day finally comes and Moses goes up Mount Sinai to meet with God, but YHWH wants to make sure that the people are not going to break through to see Him. So, He sends Moses back down to remind the people that they cannot touch the Mountain of God, and for Moses to bring Aaron back up with him.
So that naturally leads to the question, do we prepare to meet with God? When we go to spend time with YHWH, do we prepare ourselves? Do we understand that our God is the God of such Holiness, that any sin we bring into His presence is a foul stench in His nostrils? Are we preparing ourselves to meet with Him, or is He of such little regard to us that it doesn’t matter what kind of state we are in? The beautiful thing is that we do not need two days of preparation and abstaining from sexual intercourse in order to meet with Him. With the blood of Christ through repentance we are made clean. We are able to come into the presence of God cleaned from the inside. We are prepared through repentance and the blood.
When you come to God, do you come prepared? I know that repentance is something that i just do not do as i should, so that is something that i need to work on.
Rev. John Camiolo Jr.