I found it sad that Jacob did not really trust Esau's forgiveness. Jacob said he would follow Esau to Seir, but instead he settled in Shechem - which resulted in disaster.
All sin is wrong, but sexual sin seems to have some of the most disastrous consequences. Dinah's family was righteously angry over Shechem's sin, but they reacted unrighteously. They were right to be angry, but they were wrong to exact revenge the way they did. A huge reminder to us not to let righteous anger turn into unrighteous behaviour.
Jacob showed a disturbingly lack of parenting in this chapter as well. Not only did he do nothing about the disgrace to his daughter, but he was going to passively allow the plan of inter-marrying with the Canaanite.
The sad thing is that if Jacob had obeyed God, none of this would have happened. He wasn't supposed to be near Shechem, he was supposed to be in Bethel.
In Chapter 35 he finally obeys God and goes to Bethel - as he had vowed to do 30 years before, and as he had set out to do when he left Laban 10 years before. Talk about delayed obedience! It seems like the disastrous events of Chapter 34 finally opened up Jacob's ears to hear the call of God. God's purpose is never thwarted by our refusal to obey - but our ability to experience the blessing of God is forfeited when we do so.
Our Romans passage reminds us not to be proud about our salvation, but to continue to work it out with fear and trembling, to remain faithful till the end. He has given us (Gentiles) salvation due to His mercy and grace alone, not based on any of our own merit, and we must not forget that.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Genesis 36-38, Romans 12
Delayed obedience. I like that description. How often do we do it ourselves...."not now", "in a minute", "when I have more time" we use our own excuses too for not obeying immediately. I get frustrated with my kids when they do not respond immediately. I'm sure God suffers the same frustration with my delayed disobedience.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
We are all sinners and we come through God through faith in God's plan of salvation through Jesus. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, salvation is there to all who accept it. I guess this verse makes me think of the "once saved, always saved" argument and this verse seems to say that just because you are grafted in...if your life and faith indicate your desire is not to follow God, he will cut you off to suffer the punishment that you deserve.
Great post Tammy!
A good reminder in Romans to not take our salvation for granted. As easy as it is to receive it, we can also loose it.
I'm not convinced we can lose our salvation, I think if we come to that point it simply proves that our salvation/conversion was not genuine in the first place.
"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out....And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me" John 6:37,39)
I'm reading a great booked called "Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to know For Sure You are Saved" by JD Greear. He says it's not so much that "once saved, always saved" is incorrect, but rather that it's incomplete. It might be more accurate to say "once saved, always following" because those who are genuinely saved will persevere in their faith until the end. He coined a different phrase - "Faith that fizzles before the finish was flawed from the first". Ha ha!
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