Highlights In Today's Reading:
Don't miss reading why Jacob, surrounded by the immorality and idolatry of the Canaanites, remained faithful to God.
Jacob's prayer was answered and Esau welcomed his return. Following Esau's departure, Jacob continued on toward Bethel since the Lord had said: I am the God of Bethel . . . return unto the land of thy kindred (31:13). But, just a short distance from Bethel, Jacob discovered the beautiful valleys and opportunities for financial gain at Succoth, and built him an house (33:17). He then came to Shalem . . . and pitched his tent (33:18) on the border of the Promised Land. It appears that he expected the blessings of God upon his "almost complete" obedience when he there erected an altar (33:20) and settled his family.
For ten years Jacob's stay seemed to be successful. Then we read of the tragedy of his daughter Dinah. When the prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her (34:2). After their sister's rape, Dinah's brothers Simeon and Levi retaliated with murder and their brothers looted homes and destroyed property, violently taking out their revenge upon the inhabitants of the city.
Oh, how often children suffer eternal consequences because of their parents' poor example or disobedience to train up a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6). Proper training can be accomplished only by teaching them to read and obey the Word of God. When parents become too involved with achieving material goals, they often neglect spiritual responsibilities to their children during their teachable years. This leaves the door open for worldly pursuits to gain control of their hearts. That often leads to a series of far-reaching, long-term consequences.
Often, as we increase materially, we decrease spiritually and it is not until we are faced with a crisis that the Lord is able to get our attention.
We can learn from Jacob's tragedies that he didn't give up when his situation looked hopeless. Instead, he turned to the Lord, who said: Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from . . . Esau thy brother (35:1).
We too need to be reminded of how we began our walk with the Lord, trusting Him for help, strength, and guidance. But, as time passes and God continues to bless us, often we lose the sense of urgency or the same simple dependence upon God that we had in the beginning. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Matt. 6:11-13).
Thought for Today:
We seldom realize the far-reaching effects of our disobedience. Our best defense is to read and obey all of the Word of God.
As God Almighty, El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One (Gen. 35:11). Jesus is the Lord . . . which is . . . the Almighty (Rev. 1:8).
34:2 defiled =raped; 34:3 his soul clave unto =his heart was set on; (see 34:4,12); 34:7 wrought folly in =brought dishonor and shame; 34:19 deferred not =did not delay; 34:20 gate =place of administration; 34:27 spoiled =plundered; 35:1 Bethel =house of God; 35:2 strange =false; 35:12 seed =descendants; 36:7 bear =support; 36:15 dukes =chiefs of the tribes.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Reverend Michael Hall • Government Official: Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX) • Country: Turkey (64 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe • Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic • Official resistance to Christian witnessing • 79% Sunni Muslim; 20% Alawi Shi'ite Muslim; .2% Christian; .04% Jewish (25,000); .09% Armenian Orthodox; .02% Syrian Orthodox; .02% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength (Is. 40:31).
Optional Reading: Matthew 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 4:4