Daily Archives: January 16, 2018

Daily Bible Study

It’s interesting to note that as we start Genesis 32 we Jacob is back on his way home after the encounter with his father-in-law and on the journey angels met him. Very few individuals in the Bible saw angels but Jacob was blessed to see them often. As he nears home he sends messengers to give Esau a heads-up on his return. The messenger come back with the report that Esau is on his way with 400 of his men. If you recall Jacob left in the first place because Esau wanted to kill him for getting the blessing from Isaac that he felt belonged to him. This was not the news he was hoping to hear. What a predicament, the average person would have prepared for war. Do you remember the Biblical principle with which we ended yesterday; “A soft answer turned away wrath?” why abandon a game plan that is working? He divides his entourage up into groups with the idea that if Esau decides to attack, the first group can keep him somewhat busy while the others escape to safety. What he does next is the MOST important. He doesn’t just trust in his plan of escape but he intreats the God of Heaven for protection seeing it was He that led Jacob to return in the first place. Now, this was not done arrogantly, as if to point the finger at God and say, “It’s your fault.” Instead Jacob realizes and confesses so, that he is “not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth” which God had bestowed on him and his family. He humbly casts his fate in the hands of the God he has come to trust and Who has shown that He can be trusted, praise God! God gives wisdom to men, especially at a time when it is absolutely needed to keep them alive and Jacob’s case is just that. Jacob also decides to offer gifts to Esau as he comes out to meet Jacob with his small army. It does appear that even though He is trusting in His God Jacob is dealing with his natural fear in such a situation. So often I hear people say, “You shouldn’t worry about that, just trust God.” The problem with that statement is that faith and flesh are two separate forces that work on us at the same time. While I can put my faith and trust in the God of Heaven in Whom I have all the confidence in the world, I still have to deal with the flesh in which I am imprisoned until the return of my Savior or the death of my body. Unfortunately that flesh is subject to fear and worry. It’s a natural thing. It’s like someone saying, “Dogs can sense your fear so don’t act afraid. Well regardless of how you act, if they SENSE your fear you can’t fool them. Fear is a natural phenomena that affects this body of flesh. Jacob send his family across the brook while he stayed just on the other side alone. While Jacob waited in fear “a man” engaged him in a wrestling match that lasted through the night. If the Scriptures weren’t clear who it was I would say he was wrestling his own conscience. But Jacob concluded that it was God with Whom he was wrestling. I always thought it was an angel until now, there is no Scripture indicating that it was an angel. At any rate the wrestling match ended at sun-up with a blessing for Jacob.

Esau shows up and hugs Jacob and it appears all of the worry was for naught. Someone has said time is a healer; it helps so much more when God gets involved. Esau tries to refuse the gifts he was given but Jacob would hear none of it. Esau offers to leave some men to help Jacob get into town but that too was unnecessary and Esau heads back while Jacob starts out at a much slower pace.

Having settled in the area of God’s leading, Jacob sets up his farm and begins the acclamation in his former land. One day Jacob’s daughter Dinah gives in to a desire to “see the world” you might say. As we have said earlier, man hasn’t changed. He is still driven by his fallen nature. The only check to that drive is the presence of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, and even in His presence sometimes, the flesh presses on. Away from her umbrella of protection, Dinah catches the eye of the prince who takes and has his way with her. The fact that Shechem the prince wants to do the right thing after the act doesn’t change the fact that he did wrong in the first place. I wonder what made Shechem think he could get away with his crime? Was it due to his affluence and position, ( as is the case with so many politicians, sports stars and Hollywood types) or was it because she was the daughter of “these Hebrew people” who were small in number and not well respected (my assumption only)? I suppose it could have been that they met and were flirting with each other as most careless young people do and one thing led to another and as they say, “it just happened.” We said it before and will say it many, many more times before we get to the revelation; one reaps what they sow.

The brothers are all working in the field when the word of the defilement came in. Jacob held his temper while waiting for them all to come in. But it seems the father of the prince decided to take the initiative and went out to Jacob. Apparently that got the brothers attention and they came in “grieved and angry.” While Hamor, Shechem’s father, tries to portray this event as an opportunity to join forces and become one, Shechem himself makes a more humble appeal. No doubt he senses the brother’s anger. If only things had been done differently; isn’t that what we hear so often. They could have been and they should have been but they weren’t and to try and pretend that it can just be brushed off and forgotten is silly and dangerous! Yet aren’t God’s people supposed to show the same grace and forgiveness that they have received from the Lord? The answer is “YES” though it doesn’t play well in our flesh.

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Sunday School 9:45 Sunday Morning Service 11:00 Sunday Evening Service 6:00 Wednesday Service 7:00

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