Thursday, February 3, 2011

Genesis: Chapter 34

Forgiveness does not eliminate consequences and purifying fires burn very hot.  God had much to deal with in the life of Jacob--and even in the lives of the children reared under Laban's influence.  Self-will, deceit and manipulation are deep-set habits that can destroy lives.  This chapter shows how ugly sin is as it becomes full-grown.  Jacob had settled close to a city like Lot.  And like Lot's family, the weaknesses of the family were exacerbated by the proximity. 

We are to live 'in the world' but not be 'of the world' but it takes time for us to 'grow up' in God.  Jacob was a baby and he was not as God-conscious as he needed to be.  The children seemed to have run the household.  Dinah wandered about, the boys plotted and carried out revenge in a deceitful way--even implying that the difference between the people of Shechem and the people of God was a ritual.  Jacob never rebuked the children for the wandering from God's ways but he did bemoan having his reputation sullied.  Always our greatest concern must be God's reputation! But God is still at Jacob's lives, in his wives' lives, in the children's lives...and praise Him, in our lives!  We will make mistakes but He is greater than every mistake.  He loves us too much to leave us as we are!

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