Tag Archives: sons

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.

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Leviticus 10 – Strange Fire

I have been waiting for this chapter.  I knew that it was coming, and to some extent i have been dreading it.  After everything that has happened.  After all of the preparing and anointing and consecrating, the time comes for Aaron’s grown sons to step up and do their part, and what happens?  Immediately they mess it up.  It’s not even like they just forgot something.  It’s that they knew what they were supposed to do and purposely did the wrong thing.

We don’t know what they were thinking.  We don’t know their plans, or their purpose, or their intent.  All we know is what happened, and the response of YHWH God to their clear violation of his law.  They “offered strange fire before the LORD (YHWH)“.  Strong’s concordance describes this word “strange” as;

זוּר – zûr (zoor)
A primitive root; to turn aside (especially for lodging); hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane; specifically (active participle) to commit adultery: – (come from) another (man, place), fanner, go away, (e-) strange (-r, thing, woman).

So the word “strange” here is defined under the context of foreign (not natural), profane, and adulterous.  So we aren’t just talking about mixing up the spices differently than they were supposed to.  We are referring to a completely inappropriate and sinful offering given to YHWH, the one HOLY God.

Here are the priests, the ones who are to stand before YHWH and represent the people.  They are to be coming into God’s presence holy, bringing a holy sacrifice to cover the people and their sins, and what do they do on one of the first days of their job?  They offer a profane and adulterous offering to YHWH!  They insult YHWH and basically do their best to slap Him in the face.  YHWH’s response?  Fire comes out from His presence and consumes them!  They are destroyed on the spot.

When those who are supposed to be standing before the LORD and ministering to YHWH and the people are purposely rejecting and disobeying Him, what does it say about Him, and what does it mean for them?  Those who are leaders and ministers need to take His work seriously.  If we don’t, what will His response be to us.  Those who are leaders are held to a higher standard, but we also have the potential for a greater reward.  However, we MUST pursue the holiness of the LORD.

John Camiolo Jr.

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Leviticus 7 – Error II

This was the second time that i had to rip out a page from by project Bible.  I have actually been posting about a day behind my writing for the last 4 or 5 days.  I do my chapter copying, but then i’m just so exhausted from going to bed 10:30-11:00 pm and getting up at 5:00 am (after being up for 30 min to an hour in the middle of the night with a crying baby) that after i finish my chapter (generally 6:00-6:45 am) i go back  to sleep until 7:00 am instead of doing my post.

Well, yesterday i was supposed to finish ch. 7, so today i started chapter 8.  About halfway through, i realized that i had never finished chapter 7!  I had gotten to around verse 25 yesterday when i was so exhausted that i stopped to sleep and was going to go back and finish it later in the day.  Needless to say, i was more than a little annoyed, but what could i do about it.  There was no way to simply paste in the missing verses, so i had to tear out the page, redo some of the work that i had lost, and finished the second half of chapter 7.  On a positive note, now my writing and my posts are on the same page!

Well, Leviticus 7 is not anything overly new.  There are more instructions for the priests concerning the sacrifices and when, where, and how to do what needs to be done.  One thing i did note however, is that this chapter includes a whole lot about what of the offerings belongs to the priest.  Every few verses it seems that there is a statement that this portion belongs to the priests, or that piece is for Aaron and his sons forever.  It’s not that those things haven’t been stated in previous chapters.  This chapter just seems to have a whole lot more to say.

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Exodus 29-1 – Setting Apart

It becomes the responsibility of Aaron and his sons to serve the LORD; to come between the people and YHWH; to bring the people, their requests, their need for cleansing to the LORD.  As such Aaron and his sons needed to have one foot on the earth, and the other in the doorway to heaven.  How do you balance the impurity and sin that is so prevalent in the world with the awesome purity and Holiness of God?  Talk about a difficult task; yet that is what Aaron and his sons are charged with doing.

The first steps in fulfilling that role are described here.  Before anything else, Aaron and his sons need to be separated from the group and cleansed both physically and spiritually.  They are responsible for being representatives / ambassadors / spokesmen of men to God.  Therefore in coming into God’s presence they must be as close to clean and pure as humanly possible.  So in this process, Moses is responsible to follow YHWH’s instruction and purify Aaron and his sons.

Could you imagine having the responsibility of being the one that stands between man and YHWH?  Every day you must perform your duties and bring the sacrifices and offerings of the people before Him.  Thus the process of being set apart for God is extremely important.

One thing of interest that i did note, in these first 25 verses of Exodus 29, is that in verse 22 it talks about taking the fat from the ram and from all of these different parts, and then it says, “and the right thigh (for it is a ram of ordination)“.  When i was looking at this, i thought it was kind of weird that it said to take the fat from the kidneys, and the fat from the entrails, and the fat tail, etc. and then randomly talked about the right thigh because it is a ram of ordination.

It does seem kind of strange, but not so much when you refer back to Genesis 32:24-32.  This passage in Genesis is where Jacob, who had been blessed and set apart by God, wrestles with God.  God touches his thigh socket and he has a limp from then on, and the sons of Jacob do not touch the sinew of the thigh of the meat that they eat.  It is an interesting parallel.  I don’t know beyond a doubt that this is what this is referring to, but it sure does give you pause to think.

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Genesis 48 – Favored

We are coming to the end of the beginning.  Israel is dying and Joseph is bringing his sons to Israel so that he can bless them.  Israel does something unexpected.  He tells Joseph that Joseph’s sons do not belong to him.  Israel is taking Manasseh & Ephraim and claiming them as his own.  Joseph can claim any others that come after them, but these two are his.

Then Israel goes to bless them.  Joseph puts Manasseh (the elder) at Israel’s right hand, and Ephraim at Israel’s left.  So Israel goes to bless them and he crosses his hands and places his right hand on Ephraim giving him the blessing of the elder while Manasseh gets the lesser blessing.

God does that sometimes.  He sets up certain expectations and standards of His own actions and behaviors and of ours.  Then He goes ahead and breaks those expectations as if they don’t really matter.  Go figure, the God who sets the expectations can rearrange them as He sees fit.  🙂  God blesses / favors him who he wishes to bless / favor, and curses him who he wishes to curse.

Does that mean that we can do the same thing?  I would say, absolutely positively, without a doubt, usually not.  God puts his rules and expectations into place for specific reasons, they are important and when we ignore them it means trouble (…the rules serve the reasons).  However, the purposes and reasons extend beyond the rules.

So when God chooses to bless His favored over the expectations of society and the individual, that is a choice He is free to make.

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