Not to Destroy but Fulfill

“Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). I have heard the verse above used to prove that Christians are still required to keep the law.  Jesus said He didn’t come to destroy the law so we need to keep…

The Pain of Childbirth

After leaving Bethel, Rachel goes into labor.  It is hard labor.  She dies while birthing a son.  Scripture says, “With her last breath—for she was dying—she named him Ben-oni, but his father called him Benjamin” (Gen. 35:18).  Ben-oni means, “Son of my sorrow,” while Benjamin means, “Son of my right hand.” This turn of names…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Where Sword Edges Crash

Joseph’s name means “He adds” or “Add to” and was a prayer of Rachel’s: “May the LORD add another son to me” (Gen. 30:24). Jacob agreed to work seven years in exchange for Rachel.  Joseph’s birth coincided with the completion of that seven years. The timing of these things is significant. Jacob asked Laban to…

The Son—Come Hell or High Water

Genesis 29:14 through 30:24 tells how Jacob came to have wives and children. Jacob first works seven years to marry Rachel but his father-in-law, Laban, sneaks his older daughter, Leah, into Jacob’s tent on the wedding night. Jacob is furious but receives Rachel also after celebrating his wedding to Leah for a week. Then there’s…