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Bible Pathways 01/12/2002

January 12

Read Genesis 34 -- 36

In Today's Reading:

Don't miss reading how, surrounded by the rampant immorality and idolatry of the Canaanites, the godliness of Abraham gradually degenerates into gross immorality in many of his descendants. Consider the warning to us as we read how Jacob postpones full obedience -- then, after 10 years, read the consequences.

Verse for Today:

God appeared to Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him (Genesis 35:9).


Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah, was raped; Simeon and Levi's revenge; Jacob's return to Bethel; Abrahamic Covenant renewed with Jacob; Rachel and Isaac die; descendants of Esau.

At least 10 years had passed since Jacob left Padan-aram and began his 500-mile journey back to Bethel, the place where God had promised to bless him. He was off to a good start and was almost there when he was sidetracked by the exceptional pasturelands around Succoth. There he built a home and settled down. His family began associating with their idol-worshiping neighbors in Shechem.

Jacob had failed to destroy the idol which his favorite wife Rachel had taken from her father's home. Jacob's faith in and love for God are confirmed, for God . . . blessed him. But his failure to separate his family from worldly influences resulted in the rape of his daughter Dinah and the cruel crimes committed by his sons in revenge. It was after these events that Jacob insisted that his family get rid of all idols (Genesis 35:2), purify themselves, leave their home near Shechem, and journey on to Bethel.

Just as Jacob had to leave Succoth, each of us must separate ourselves from the things and people that compromise our testimony and keep us from fulfilling God's will for our lives. Failure to separate ourselves from the world, with its lusts and desires, eventually ends in disaster. That is the real reason why God has warned us: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:15-16).

A Thought from Proverbs: Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes. For the Lord shall be your confidence (protection), and shall keep your foot from being taken (preserve you from all danger) (3:25-26).

Christ Revealed:

As God Almighty, El-Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One (Genesis 35:11). Jesus said: I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).

Word Studies:

34:2 defiled = raped and dishonored; 34:3 clave = was passionately attracted to; 34:6 commune = speak; 34:7 wrought folly = dishonored; brought disgrace; 34:19 deferred not = did not delay; 34:27 spoiled = plundered; 34:30 troubled = made trouble for; make me to stink = give me a bad name; 35:2 strange gods = foreign idols; 35:7 Elbethel = the God of Bethel; 35:11 out of thy loins = your offspring; 35:29 ghost = spirit; was gathered unto his people = entered paradise in Sheol, the place of the dead, awaiting the coming of the Messiah; 36:7 bear = support; 36:15 dukes = chiefs.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX) and Rep. Karen Thurman (FL) · Pray for your Pastor · Country: New Zealand (4 million) two large islands southeast of Australia · Major languages: English and Maori · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Pray to the Lord with sincere lips (Psalms 17:1).

Optional Reading: Matthew 12

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:3

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