17 01 2011

DAY SEVENTEEN : Genesis 34 v. 1 – 35 v. 29; Matthew 12 v. 46 – 13 v. 17; Psalm 10 v. 1 – 11

JACOB’S DAUGHTER, DINAH – this is a horrifying story of Dinah being taken against her will (literally). Shechem’s desire for Dinah leads him to rape her and almost demand his father “Get me this girl as my wife.” This act of defilement and disgrace is outdone by Jacob’s  family scheming and getting the whole town of men to be circumcised (before they would consider intermarrying and ‘settling’ amongst them).

OUCH‘three days later, while all of them were still in pain, Simeon and Levi took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male.’ Ruthless revenge for the evil done to Dinah. Jacob is displeased with what Simeon and Levi have done, fearing reprisals from others in the region, so they move on (under God’s instruction) to Bethel, back to where God had given him the dream of the stairway to heaven.

JACOB AND FAMILY SETTLE – in the land of Canaan, back where God had appeared to Jacob previously. Rebekah’s nurse, Deborah, gets a mention.
(Jacob’s name-change to Israel is confirmed).

RACHEL DIES IN CHILDBIRTH – although she gets to name her new son Beni-Oni (meaning ‘son of my sorrow/pain’), Jacob changes it to Benjamin (meaning ‘son in my old age’). They are journeying towards Bethlehem (Ephrath)

BACK WITH DAD – finally Jacob arrives back to Isaac, in Mamre, Hebron. Isaac ended his days with his sons reunited around him. Good!

MATTHEW – Jesus’s words about His brothers, sisters and mother being those ‘who do the will of my Father in heaven’ sound challenging, and even hurtful to his blood-family waiting outside, but are a reminder that His mission here is much broader, and is seeking to draw in ALL who desire God, and His purposes.

THE SOWER – Jesus teaches this wonderful parable whilst on a boat on Galilee (there’s a fantastic excavated first century boat on exhibition on the shores of Galilee – amazing to consider Jesus occupying one such boat), teaching the crowds on the shore. Idyllic setting. Rural landscape. Preparing hearts to hear and respond to God’s word. May our lives be fertile, good soil, Lord for Your word today.

THERE’S ALWAYS MORE – Jesus’s words about the secrets of the kingdom are enticing to those of us who love a sense of adventure, of discovery. God reveals more and more to us along the way….’morning by morning new mercies I see…”.

RANTING PSALMIST – In the first half of Psalm 10, the writer/singer pours out angst to God for the apparent propering of the wicked, unrighteous person, living his/her life as if God were not watching, not looking on. But pride can come before a fall, prosperity can be an illusion. Part two comes tomorrow….

My re-created thoughts :


Lord, give me ears to hear,
and eyes to see
the wonders of Your love today.

Lord, give me a mind to explore
and a heart to yearn
for more of You, and of Your kingdom today.

Lord, give me a voice to proclaim
and a life to promote
more of You, Your purposes and Your plan.

God – Father, Son and Spirit,
inhabit me,
and create holy habits
which reveal You to others,
today and always.