Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23 - Genesis 32-34

Today’s reading comes from Genesis 32-34. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word.

As we have read through the story of Abraham, Isaac and now Jacob there has been one theme that keeps rearing its ugly head and it really bothers me. Throughout this story we have seen all sorts of levels of dishonesty. We witnessed when Abraham lied not once but twice about Sarah being his wife. While the lie wasn’t fully true … she was his half-sister having the same father but different mothers … it was still a lie, she was his wife. We see Isaac make a very similar lie telling the same group of people that Rebekah was not his wife. We then see between Rebekah and her sons Esau and Jacob there is dishonesty when she sends Jacob in to receive Esau’s blessing from Isaac. Now today, we conclude our reading with a pact made by Jacob’s sons and the Shechemites.

Now the Schechemites do something very detestable to her … Genesis says he violated her 34:2. At the very best she was a willing partner but because no marriage had taken place he defiled her, and at the very worst … which is the most likely scenario … he raped her. This outraged her brothers. But her brothers did a detestable thing in making a pact with the Schechemites, tricking them into circumcision and then slaughtering them in their pain. I wasn’t there, I only have the benefit of reading about it, but there had to be a better more peaceful way to resolve this issue. At least there had to be an honest way to do so.

Maybe there is something in this I am missing. But let me encourage you … whenever you have been wronged, whenever you are in a tight situation, do not cause God to have to come to your rescue like he has done for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do the noble and right thing from the beginning. And remember, God’s story is full of people who haven’t always gotten it right. He has never hid that from us in his word. It is there bright and loud and he used them through their weaknesses. And he can and will use you despite your weaknesses. 

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