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Bible Pathways - Jan. 12, 2008



Genesis 34

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Don't miss reading why Abraham, surrounded by immorality and idolatry of the Canaanites, remained faithful to God. In contrast many of his descendants degenerate into gross immorality. Consider the warning to us as we read how even Jacob's household which included his sons, their families, handmaidens, and servants had strange (popular, false) gods . . . among them (35:2).

After Jacob had made peace with Laban and then with Esau, he did not feel any urgency to complete his journey to Bethel and complete the vows which he had made with God twenty years before (28:20-21). And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel (35:1-3).

When he arrived at the well-watered plains of Succoth, located east of the Jordan, just north of the Jabbok, and only three miles from the promised land, he settled down with the Canaanites. Perhaps he didn't plan to stay long but, with the convenient markets of Shechem nearby, he built him an house (33:17). . . . And he erected there an altar (to God), and called it Elelohe-Israel (33:20), and settled down.

This was the only altar Jacob built where nothing is said of the Lord speaking to him. God said: Go up to Bethel . . . and make there an altar unto God. Sadly, we read that Jacob's family became friends with the Canaanites. Ten years passed swiftly. His compromise led to his daughter's tragedy and a series of sinful events.

Jacob again looked to God. Realizing that drastic changes were needed in his family before his worship could be acceptable, he said to them: Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments (35:2). The beginning step of being in a relationship with God is obedience to the Word of God.

In their attempt to gain possessions and material advantages, many have "postponed" doing the will of God. How easy it is to be sidetracked from obeying the Lord and assume they will soon be fully faithful to God. Some are successful in our society, but are often unaware that God's true blessings have been forfeited!

In grasping for earthly advantages, there is a great danger of losing sight of the will of God. Eventually, some tragedy or difficult circumstance will remind us to renew our relationship with God on His terms, just as He did for Jacob. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (I Timothy 6:10).

Thought for Today:

We all face the temptation to live carelessly, associating with the worldly-minded, and accepting their lifestyle. As Christians, we are to know the Word of God, but it is equally important to allow Christ to be Lord of our life.

Christ Revealed:

As God Almighty, El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One (Genesis 35:11). Jesus is the Lord . . . who is . . . the Almighty (Rev. 1:8).

Word Studies:

34:2 defiled =aped; 34:3 his soul clave unto =is heart was set on; (see 34:4,12); 34:7 wrought folly in =rought dishonor and shame; 34:12 dowry =ridal price; 34:19 deferred not =id not delay; 34:20 gate =lace of administration; 34:22 herein =n this condition; 34:27 spoiled =lundered; 35:1 Bethel =ouse of God; 35:2 strange =alse; 35:12 seed =ffspring, descendants; 36:7 bear =upport; 36:15 dukes =hiefs of the tribes.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Government Official: Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX) • Country: Algeria (31.5 million) in North Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Opposition to the Gospel is intense • 96.7% Muslim; 3.02% non-Religious; .29% Christian; .01% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment (Proverbs 2:1-6).

Optional Reading: Matthew 12

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 1:8

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