Tag Archives: wrestle

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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Exodus 8 – Recognition

Well now, things just keep getting worse and worse for Pharaoh.  We have gone from blood to frogs and gnats and insects.  God is showing Pharaoh that not only is He the one true God and that he can create life and take it away, but he can also have creatures distinguish between Egyptian and Israelite lands.  Pharaoh’s magicians have gotten to the point where even they acknowledge that these things can only be done by God, and that’s saying something!

Pharaoh’s heart is beginning to change.  He’s trying to compromise with God.  Unfortunately what he’s finding is that God does not accept compromise.  It’s a tough lesson for Pharaoh to learn, and he’s not learning it very well.  Then again, do we?  So Pharaoh’s trying to save face in the face of watching his land be devastated.  He is beginning to understand that this is not such as small matter.  So while he is starting to soften in his view, he has made the choice to harden his heart and ignore the truth.

That is such a tough thing to do.  I’ve been there.  I’ve done that.  It’s a tough thing to do for a short time, but when you are trying to wrestle against YHWH for an extended period of time, that will wear you down really quickly.  The older i have gotten, the lazier i have gotten, and i have come to the conclusion that that is just too much work.  It is so much easier to just say, “OK God.  You win.  What do you want me to do?”

The nice  thing about letting God win is that it is worth it.  Life is so much easier, more joyful, and more fulfilling when i step out of the way and just let God.  It means going from slave to servant, but the difference between the two is amazing.

Rev. John Camiolo

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Genesis 32 – Coming Home

Wow, can Jacob never get a rest?  He is chased down by Laban and has to contend with him.  He overcomes Laban, continues travelling home, and after sending his servant ahead of him to let his brother know that he is coming and to scout out the situation; he finds out that his brother is coming to meet him with a mob of 400 men!

So Jacob wisely does some damage control.  He knows that Esau’s contention is with him, so he places some distance between himself and the majority of his belongings and family.  I have always seen this as a buffer of protection for Jacob.  Esau has to go through all of these things in order to get to Jacob.  Even if Esau destroys all of this other stuff, it gives Jacob a chance to run away, or for Esau’s anger to abate before he reaches Jacob.

However, this buffer is also for the protection of his family and property.  By separating the people and things from the source of the anger, the desire for vengeance is less likely to become focused on the things and family.  Also, the realization that Jacob has been so blessed by God that it becomes obvious that it is not in the best interest to attack what God is blessing.

The gift of goats, sheep, milking camels, cows, and donkeys doesn’t hurt the anger appeasement situation either.

However, the wrestling is far from over.  Jacob has one more wrestling match to go through before he faces off with his future and destiny.  Jacob has to wrestle with God!  I love this passage!  I don’t necessarily understand it, but i love it!  First off; how does a man wrestle with God?  How is that even possible?  Jacob can’t be stronger than God any more than we could pick up and carry a mountain.  Yet there it is.  He wrestled with God throughout the night.  He doesn’t beat God, but he succeeds in wrestling until morning?  Then he asks for a blessing on top of that!  I don’t understand how any of that works or is possible, but i also know that the Word is inerrant, so it must work somehow.  So what does Jacob get?  He gets a new name.  Jacob is now Israel.

What about you and i?  Do we wrestle with God?  Do we come face to face with God and wrestle with Him then ask Him for a blessing?  Do we even seek Him out?  When we do wrestle with Him, do we find that our reward is what we expect?  Or are we under estimating the power of words: the power of a name?

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