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.
Jesus sermon while on the mount continues through chapter 6 and into 7. Here we get into more depth of life and ministry. Jesus begins to deal with what it means to serve and worship Him. Here we begin to see and get an understanding of what religion is, our purpose, and having a relationship with the Father.
From chapter 5 to 6 there is a transition from dealing with personal relationships to how we relate to the world and to God. Jesus criticizes the Pharisees and religious leaders because while they obey the letter of the law, they do so for personal and political gain. It’s not that they care for the poor and orphans. It’s that they desire to show the world that they are obeying the commands of God. Meanwhile Jesus is saying here not that doing those kinds of things is wrong, they’re not. In fact the pharisees are completely correct in giving to the poor and praying and fasting and everything else. The issue is not so much in what they do, rather it’s in how they do it.
Jesus the Christ seems to be saying here that why and how we do what we do may be even more important than our doing it. He tells the disciples that the pharisees have the action and obedience right, which was more than most, but at the same time He was very critical of them for how and why they were doing it:
Give to the poor, but do it in secret so you will have treasure in heaven.
Pray like this, but not in vain repetitions.
Forgive others so it may be forgiven you.
Make sure you fast, but don’t let others see or know you are fasting.
Don’t store up your treasures here on earth. Store them up in heaven where they have real value.
You can’t serve God / YHWH and wealth. You can either serve the maker or the tool.
Then last but certainly not least… Do not Worry! God / YHWH is in control. He provides all things for all. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will continue and be added. I honestly believe that this is one of the most accepted sins in the church. When we worry, we live by works and not by faith. We say, “We know You say You are in control, but I don’t really believe that. Not fully.” I know that this is something that I struggle with on a daily basis.
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.