September 18, 2016
In spite of Jacob's shady past, God remains faithful and reinstated His covenant with Jacob. Genesis chapter 33 accounts the first meeting of Jacob and Esau after more than two decades of running away from his family. He showed humility by bowing down to his brother several times and calling him 'my lord'. Esau ran to meet him and without a word they reconciled forgetting 21 years of separation. By God's grace Jacob was delivered from the wrath of his brother Esau, because where sin runs deep God's grace is more. Our response to every circumstance should be to rejoice in God's deliverance. The Lord worked in the heart of Jacob transforming his heart from deceitfulness to humility, at the same time with Esau from revenge and bitterness to gentleness and love.
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While God does many miracles in our life, the greatest miracle He did for us is to deliver us from the slavery of sin. Giving the righteousness we do not deserve.
As Jacob settles in a land near his brother Esau, Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite defiled Dinah, daughter of Jacob to Leah. After hearing the news, Jacob kept silence while his sons grieved and were enraged of Shechem. Grieve is a natural human response just like Jesus grieved for the lost souls, hence laying his life in the cross for every one to believe in Him and be saved.
Blinded by anger, Jacob's sons schemed as Hamor spoke with them asking Dinah to be his son's wife by giving a condition that they will only give their sister to circumcised man. They asked all their male to be circumcised just like them, which Hamor and Shechem agreed. They were able to convince all the men in the city and while they were in pain, Jacob's son, Simeon and Levi took their sword, murdered all the men and plundered the city.
Here we could see how sin begets sin after another sin, but the issue is you cannot commit sin, wrap it nicely and expect God to to accept it. This is called man-made religion, when we try to outweigh our sins with our good works and try to live a double life.
Following the laste passages, while Jacob seems passive, his sons took justice into their hands. When faced with sin, we should neither be like Jacob who kept quiet and let wrong doings unnoticed or like his sons who avenged for themselves. When faced with prejudiced, we should leave justice to the Lord and trust Him that He will do what is right.
The most unjust killing in all of history is the death of Jesus Christ. Simeon and Levi slaughtered because their enemy has offense but Jesus died in the cross without sin by the people who offended him.
Finally the passage teaches us to show mercy like Christ did in the cross where justice was met and at the same time mercy was freely given away to the sinners at a precious price. We are reminded to show mercy like Christ did to the people who turned their back on him and rejected him. Jesus remained pure and sinless by choosing to show mercy and grace – God's richness at Christ expense.