Tag Archives: woman

Numbers 12 – Rank Unrest

The unrest continues.  In chapter 11 the people complained to Moses & the LORD yet again.  Moses became fed up with having to deal with it all the time and he complained to the LORD about the people.  So YHWH gave Moses 70 elders to assist him in leading the people.  Every one of them spoke prophetically when the Holy Spirit descended on them the first time.  Then the people’s complaints led to YHWH striking them with a plague.

Now, we arrive at Numbers 12, and it’s not done yet!  The people are doing it; Moses has done it; now Miriam and Aaron are joining the fray.  Everyone’s airing their complaints, now they are going to as well.  A while back, before the whole Exodus trip, Moses had been in the wilderness for 40 years and while there he married a woman of the people of Cush instead of an Israelite woman.  This is part of the problem as this is what leads into the other complaint, the real issue.  Miriam and Aaron use this as a stepping point to help justify their big complaint.  Moses is getting all of the glory!  He leads, and now he has just given these other people, these 70 elders some of the leadership and authority given to him by YHWH!

How do we know that these 70 elders are worthy of being leaders?  The Holy Spirit came upon them and they prophesied!  So if proof of God / YHWH’s divine calling is to prophesy, Miriam & Aaron should be able to lead as well!

Why does Moses get to do all the leading?  YHWH has obviously spoken in and through them as well.  These other leaders have only been doing this for a day and they are leaders of the people.  Miriam and Aaron have been at the forefront, been actively involved, and have been prophesying (being a mouthpiece of YHWH) since before Egypt for Aaron, and at least since they crossed the Red Sea for Miriam!  Yet here they are, playing second fiddle to these underlings!

Does that sound familiar to some of you?  Was there some merit in their argument?  Absolutely!… kind of.  They had been used by YHWH that whole time.  Aaron had even performed miracles in Egypt.  The reality is that Miraim and Aaron had been leaders the entire time.  They did not have the titles that these other “leaders” were given (although Aaron was High Priest), but they were just as much leaders, if not even more, than those appointed.  So what happens to Miriam and Aaron when they, as leaders, speak out against Moses, YHWH’s chosen leader?  “…behold, Miriam was  leprous, as white as snow…”  Miriam was the leader in this complaining (hence her name showing up first), so she received the responsibility and the brunt.  She got what she asked for.  She was the leader and she got the punishment.  Even then, her leadership was proven.  She ended up cast out of the camp for a week because of her uncleanness from the leprosy, and the whole congregation refused to leave where they were until she was back where she belonged.  THAT’S what a good leader looks like!  She may not have had the title she wanted, but she was a leader.

Are we so caught up in titles that we lose focus on our purpose?  Do we get upset when someone lower than us is “given” a leadership role we “deserve”?  Be careful what you speak against YHWH’s anointed.  YHWH does not take that criticism lightly.

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Numbers 5 – Defiled

YHWH takes a strong stance on defilement.  He is Holy, and He cannot have sin in His presence.  So when He puts His name on and makes His residence among the people of Israel, it is, must be, and must remain a big deal that the people remain pure.  As much as God / YHWH is Love, even more so He is Holy.

So we come to chapter 5.  God / YHWH makes it clear, that anyone who becomes defiled cannot be in the camp.  They must reside outside of the camp.  As such, anyone with leprosy, anyone with a discharge, anyone who has touched a dead person, anyone who was unclean had to be sent outside of the camp.  So the Israelites did it.  They sent them outside the camp.  What’s amazing to me is that this is one of those things that the people of Israel continued to do.  They didn’t just do this for a little while and stop.  This separation of the defiled from the rest of the people of Israel extended up to the time of the downfall of the city of Jerusalem.  We see in Jeremiah that when the Assyrian army was at Jerusalem’s doorstep, it was the leapers and outcasts that were outside of the city walls that went to the Assyrian camp and found that the army had been destroyed.  Even when Israel had abandoned almost all of the other laws of YHWH, this is one that remained.

The second part (majority) of the chapter deals with a husband that suspects that his wife has had an affair.  If a husband suspects that his wife (who is under his authority) has cheated on him, he has the ability to bring her to the tabernacle and have YHWH pass judgment on whether she has defiled herself.  The priest offers a sacrifice and goes through a specific ritual including taking the dust from the floor of the temple and using it as part of a holy water for this woman to drink.  The woman makes an oath that she has not been unfaithful and that if she has been, she will be cursed with her abdomen (stomach) growing big, her thigh (fertility) would waste away, and she would be a curse among her people.  It was very shameful if she truly had disrespected her husband and marriage by coming out of her husband’s authority.  If she had not, then she was truly justified in front of her husband, the priest, and all of Israel.

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Matthew 15 – Man’s Heart

“If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”  A young lady that i know posted this quote on facebook a couple of days ago.  This is the type of quote that i would normally “like” and comment about how true it is, but the more i began to think about it, the more uncomfortable i became with it.  This is definitely the kind of statement that seems good, and that seems right, but that if lived out can lead to destruction.

If i let my mind wander (unrestrained) invariably it will end up drifting into sin.  It will drift into thoughts and areas where it should not be.  Verses 16-20 of Matthew 15 say; “Jesus said, ‘Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?  But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; …‘”  Is that where my heart is, or is that the sin in my life trying to rise up and consume me?

Once you get to know me, you can get a pretty good idea as to where my heart is… what i am passionate about.  Two big things that i’m passionate about are family and God / the Scriptures / Christianity / the church / Christian life.  These are things that mean a whole lot to me.  They are life consuming.  But, if i let my mind wander, too often my mind will meander to the areas of raw passion.  To emotions and desires unmet.  If you would, to areas of the ID (related to the Ego and Superego).  Are those thoughts my heart, who i am as a person?  They can be if i allow them to be!  Those are my raw emotions and passions, and if i allow them to be, they are my heart!

Colossians 3:2 says: “Set your minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”  II Corinthians 10:5 says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”  We must take every thought captive.  We must make it a decision to set our minds in the right direction.  If we let a meandering mind set the direction of our hearts, we will end up being consumed and ruled by our passions which will end up destroying us and all that we care about.

If you want your heart to be more than just your destructive raw passion and emotions, you must take your thoughts captive lest you become consumed.  The only way to have the strength to truly overcome your raw passions and reach all that you are meant to be, is to seek the one who created you in His image and from whom emotion and passion originated.

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 9 – Responses

As time goes on, Christ continues ministering.  It doesn’t matter where He is, or what He is doing, He keeps ministering.  However, as you will see, the people’s response to Him contrasts greatly.  A paralytic is brought to Him.  He tells him that his sins are forgiven, and not long after that, to get up and walk.  The scribes (educated folk) criticize him for the first thing, and the people were awestruck and praise YHWH for both.  Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners.  The Pharisees criticize Him for mingling with the rabble.  Meanwhile, the tax collectors and sinners come to repentance.  John (the Baptist)’s  disciples critically question him about why they and even the Pharisees disciples fast, but Jesus’ don’t.  Jesus replies that now is not the right time.  If you expect too much from someone or something at the wrong time, you can destroy the work that needs to be done.

Day by day, people keep coming to Him, in spite of the scribes and Pharisees criticisms.  We actually begin to see deep contrasts in who and how people come to Him.  A synagogue official (public VIP figure) comes boldly to Him pleading with Him to heal and revive his dead daughter.  Meanwhile an unclean woman with an issue of blood comes to Him secretly hoping to get a scrap from the master’s table.  She wants to be healed.  While she comes in secret, He heals her publicly.  While the leader calls to Him publicly, Jesus heals his daughter in secret.

As He goes on and casts out demons, the religious leaders follow along with the gentile beliefs and decide that the only way for a demon to be cast out is if you send in a stronger, tougher demon to kick the first one out.  But then you end up with a different, stronger, demon to deal with.

Yet none of this matters to Jesus.  He feels compassion for the people for they are like sheep without a shepherd.  So, what’s His response?  That answer is in chapter 10.

John Camiolo

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Leviticus 27 – Belonging to God

I was not expecting the last chapter of Leviticus (the book of the law) to be what it is.  I don’t quite know what i was expecting.  For some reason i figured it would be about some parting words the LORD had for Moses before leaving Mount Sinai, or that Moses and the sons of Israel packed up what they had and began to head out to Canaan.

Instead this last chapter is about value, ownership, dedication to the LORD, and tithe.  It starts out placing a monetary value on people of different ages.  Each has a different value depending on their age, sex, and the amount of time until the year of jubilee.  What i think is interesting about this is that it pushes this concept that ownership of people, animals, homes, and land only truly belongs to the LORD / YHWH.

When most things of true value are sold or redeemed, they are done so with reference to the year of Jubilee.  If a field is dedicated to the LORD, the priest places the value of that field at a certain price, related to how many years until the year of jubilee.  After which the LORD reverts that land back to the family that He initially gave it to.

Thus it is not slavery, but servanthood.  When a person is “sold”, they are done so in reference to the amount of labor that person would do between then and the year of jubilee.  It is understood that the “Master” is not “buying” a person.  They are simply paying for service from a person for a certain time period.  This would be similar to a person signing a contract to work for a company for a certain number of years.

The other major theme is that of tithe.  Of all of the animals that the people of Israel own, one out of every 10 must be returned to God.  As they go through the gate, every 10th, whether male or female, the pick of the flock or a little sickly one, the 10th gets dedicated to Him.  Also, the first that opens the womb is holy to YHWH.  Thus the first lamb, the first goat, the first bull, etc. that are born; they must be dedicated to YHWH and returned to Him.

The emphasis here is ownership.  Everything; the land, the people, the flocks, the fruit of the harvest, they all belong to YHWH.  We are simply caretakers receiving back a part of the profits from our hard work.  Do we view life and our work  that way?  Do we recognize that all that we “own” belongs not to us but to YHWH?  Do we treat people and our things as if this is the case?  Should we?

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Leviticus 23 – Celebrate

That’s one of the things that i like about YHWH.  It’s not all just about rules and regulations.  It’s about utilizing all kinds of aspects of life.  It’s about creativity and connecting the past, to the present, to the future.  Worship is not just about sacrifices and burnt offerings.  It’s also about bringing something before God that you are to consume in his presence.  It’s about festivals and rest as well.

There are a number of festivals that are to be celebrated throughout the year; the Passover, Pentacost, the feast of weeks, the feast of booths, etc.  They all have meanings and important interpretations.  For instance, passover is a celebration of freedom from bondage and slavery under the Egyptians.  It is a celebration of new life and hope.  It is a celebration of freedom.  Meanwhile, the feast of booths is a week long celebration in which the first day is a day of rest and the only work that can be done is the building of small booths made of the branches, boughs, and fronds of trees.  It is a celebration as a reminder of the Israelite’s time in the wilderness where they had to rely on God for protection and provision.  It is a time of blessing.  The feast of booths begins and ends with a day of rest to the LORD.  I mean honestly, how many religions do you know that celebrate rest?

Are we taking seriously what YHWH has done for us?  Do we make it a point to remember and celebrate together the ways that He has brought health and healing to our lives?  Do we remind one another and celebrate together His work and purpose in and through us?  How can we do this more?

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Leviticus 21 – Responsibility

Whenever YHWH sets a leader over His people, He sets up some pretty high expectations.  There are things that the people can do that the leaders must stay away from.  Those who act as priests, prophets, and kings are expected to live at a higher standard than those who do not have a direct connection and responsibility to YHWH.

In this chapter those of the priestly line and especially the priests who serve the LORD are instructed that they may not defile themselves by a corpse unless it is a direct family member.  Even then, the high priest may not even do that.  They may not marry a woman who has been widowed or divorced, or who has slept with any other man at any time in her life.  She must be a virgin or he may not marry her.  Nor may a priest tear his clothes in mourning or uncover his head.  If his daughter profanes herself in harlotry, it rests on him as well.  Then finally, if there is any physical defect in a man, He may not serve as priest before the LORD.  YHWH even goes so far as to say that if a man has a broken hand or foot, he may not serve the LORD.

Do we take our responsibility in representing the LORD seriously?  Do we set ourselves apart from the world, or do we do what everyone else is doing?  As people who pursue God and seek His work and will in our lives, we should be living examples of God and His work and will.  We should be truly pursuing Him in all holiness.

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