The Biblical Way – January 12

Read Genesis 34

In today’s reading:

Dina, daughter of Jacob and Leah, was raped; the revenge of Simeon and Levi; Jacob returns to Bethel; and the covenant of Abraham is renewed

J acob continues on his way to Bethel, for the Lord had told him : “I am the God of Bethel. . . return to the land of your birth “ (Genesis 31:13). But, a short distance before reaching Bethel, Jacob discovered beautiful valleys with good opportunities for profit, near “the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan” (near the promised land) (33:18).

For ten years Jacob’s stay in that place seemed to be a good success. Then we read about the tragedy of his daughter Dina: “And Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of that land, saw her, and took her, and lay with her, and dishonored her” (34: 2). In revenge for the rape of their sister Dina, Simeon and Levi killed all of Shechem’s men.

Good parents too are often so committed to their materialistic goals that they forget that God said, “Instruct the child in his way. . . (Proverbs 22: 6). This sometimes results in the attractions of the world gaining control of their children’s hearts, ending in tragic consequences.

We can surely learn from Jacob that the prosperity of material things does not give us an assurance that we are in God’s will. But the biggest lesson we can learn from Jacob’s tragedies is that he didn’t give up when he found himself in desperate situations. On the contrary, he returned to the Lord, who had told him: “Get up and go up to Bethel, and stay there; and make an altar to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau ” (Genesis 35: 1). During this time of renewal, Jacob instructed his family and told them, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and cleanse yourselves, and change your clothes. And let’s get up, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar to God who. . . he has been with me in the way that I have walked ” (35: 2-3).

There are three things that Jacob told his family that are in parallel with Christians. First he said: «Take away the other gods. . . “ A good reminder that the habits of our sins must be abandoned. Secondly: ” . . . and clean yourselves, and change your clothes ” , a reminder to “ Pursue peace with all, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord ” (Hebrews 12:14). Third, we must worship only God: «. . . You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve ” (Luke 4: 8).

Our participation in our local church worship services is a very important way God speaks to us, through Bible school, through Bible studies, and through sermons. «. . . Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for her, to sanctify her, having purified her in the washing of water by the Word “ (Ephesians 5: 25-26).

Thought for today:Commitment without morals always ends in disappointment.

Optional reading:  Matthew 12

Memory Verse of the Week:  Psalms 100: 1-2

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