Settling at Bethel

After the incident with Shechem, the Lord tells Jacob to go to Bethel and settle there.  Jacob went to Bethel with all his family, servants, and livestock.  Then, “Jacob built an altar there and called the place God of Bethel because it was there that God had revealed Himself to him when he was fleeing…

Trouble and Trumpets

Recently, I found myself rather sick of the world.  Sick of hearing sirens.  Sick of politics.  Sick of fires and famine.  Sick of systems that don’t really solve human problems.  Sick of it all.  And sick of whining about it 😉 The Lord brought John 16:33 to my heart like a balm.  And it got…

Staying Buried

In Genesis 34, Leah’s daughter, Dinah, is raped by Hivite Prince Shechem.  Infatuated, Shechem bargains with Jacob and his sons to make Dinah Shechem’s wife.  Jacob’s sons tell Shechem he can’t have Dinah unless he and their men are circumcised.  The Hivites agree. They will benefit by mingling with the Hebrews: flocks and possessions will…

This Is the Day…

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24). The verse above is famous.  I can’t count (even on my fingers and toes) how many times I’ve heard it quoted.  Most of us have heard the popular song as well (complete with echo: “This is the day, This…

Struggling and Prevailing (Part 2)

Please read part one before continuing… Jacob named the place he wrestled with God, “Face of God,” adding that he saw God’s face and was delivered (Gen. 32:30).  In a sense, seeing God’s face and dislocating his hip were of a piece.  Said another way, Jacob’s hip was dislocated because he saw God’s face. We…

Struggling and Prevailing (Part 1)

In fear of meeting his brother, Esau, Jacob sent his family away.  That night, alone, he wrestled with a man until daybreak (Gen. 32:24-32).  The man touched Jacob’s thigh at the hip and put it out of joint.  He told Jacob to release him but Jacob refused, saying he wanted a blessing.  The man told…

Two-Faced

Recently, I watched a documentary about young-earth creationism.  For the uninitiated, young-earth creationists believe a literal reading of Genesis: creation took six days, and the earth is less than 10,000 years old.  This is worlds apart from the common belief that life today resulted from billions of years of natural processes. I am far from…

Love Is King

The following article appeared in our local paper today.  Unfortunately, the paper changed the title and cut the last two paragraphs so I am not linking this to their digital edition. *** Believe it or not, “Christ” is not Jesus’s last name.  “Christ” means “anointed one.”  Anointing in biblical times meant pouring oil on someone’s…

Parting Ways

As Jacob increased in wealth, he came into conflict with Laban (Gen. 31:1-2). We’ve seen that Jacob’s increase was the increase of what is spiritual and that this leads to escalating conflict with what is fallen and fleshly. God doesn’t let this conflict go on indefinitely.  God told Jacob to leave Laban.  He brought separation…

The Most High Priest

Moses said to Aaron, “Sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, as the LORD has commanded.” Aaron then brought the offering that was for the people. As they led him away, a large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Then he lifted…