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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Genesis 32:13-34:31; Matthew 11:7-30; Psalm 14:1-7; Proverbs 3:19-20 (New Living Translation)

1. Once again we see Jacob hiding behind gifts, etc.

2. Jacob wrestles all night with someone. (is it God?) Then someone changes his name. From that moment on he is Israel. This seems to be part of a pattern. We have Abram-->Abraham, Sarai --> Sarah, and now Jacob --> Israel.

3. To name a thing is to know it, to define it. When we enter into God's promises, we are given a new name. That name is saved, redeemed...

4. This brings me to another point. Most people don't like reading the Old Testament. They don't like a God who gets upset with His people. I think the beauty of the Old Testament is that these people, the patriarchs and matriarchs of our faith are AVERAGE and NORMAL. To use the vernacular, they "screw" things up all the time...and God forgives them, and brings them back into the fold. These people are just like you and me...at least a lot like me. No matter how hard I try, I am imperfect, I am human. But I serve a God and a Savior who watch over me, even when I do the dumbest things.

5. Notice the order for the line-up of Jacob's family...maidservants and their children, Leah and her children, Rachel and her children. Is this still in case something goes wrong, so that a "remnant" might be saved? But we'll come to this point again as we read through Genesis.

6. The brothers (Jacob and Esau) reunite and all seems to be forgiven

7. Then we have the story of Shechem (name of the city and the prince) and Dinah. Shechem raped her then fell in love and had to have her for his wife. Lust, then love (?)

8. Hamor never apologizes for the conduct of his son.

9. Shechem never apologizes for the rape.

10. They are not suppose to intermarry with these people...they are Canaanites! It's one of the rules. This is what makes the son's response deceitful. They are making a promise they have no intention of keeping.

11. Hamor's speech to his city is double-talk as well. He starts out by saying these guys are our friends. And concludes by saying that if they do this thing (get circumcised so they can marry), all the livestock and possessions will be theirs.

12. They all get circumcised, not realizing that obtaining God's promise and bounty is not confined to physical circumcision.

13. Simeon and Levi destroy the whole city. They took everything (cattle, women, children, possessions).

12. It is spiritual circumcision...circumcision of the heart that matters. A repentant and contrite heart.

Grace and Peace,
"See" you next post...

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