Monday, March 26, 2012

Gen. 34:18-24 The Folly of Shechem

18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,
 21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.
 22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
 23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
 24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.

Many people attach themselves to religion but with the wrong motives.  Here the people of Hamor and Shechem were motivated by money.  They were supposing that gain is godliness (1 Tim. 6:5).  Many treat God the same way.  They relate to God on a superficial basis with a consumerism type attitude.  Perhaps the Lord Jesus is perceived as a fire escape or as a bitter pill to “accept” in order to carry on living for self and self-promotion.  This is wickedness!  And God will have none of it.  This passage is also a classic example of exactly how inadequate outward ceremony is securing God’s favor.  The Bible says that “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God” (1 Cor. 7:19).  It is in the keeping of the commandments of God that matters.  It is borne out of a heart attitude that is surrendered to God’s Word.  Ps. 51:6 says that God desires truth in the inward parts.  Shechem wanted Dinah and was willing to use religion to get to her.  The people of Shechem wanted the wealth of Israel and were willing to use religion to get gain.  In both cases God was not the object of true desire and concern, but only a ladder to step upon in order to gain more of self.  Let us ever beware of this kind of attitude.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mark 8:1-2 The Lord Jesus and His Compassion

1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

The Lord Jesus continues his ministry of healing, teaching and preaching in Galilee.  Evidently, he became quite popular.  But as popular as He was, He never lost sight of truly loving and serving people.  The Lord Jesus demonstrated another miracle (similar to what Mark had already recorded, yet distinct as to its event, and proportions) as a teaching tool for His followers, and as a way to show that He indeed was the very Son of God, because no man can perform miraculous works like He did that day.  What motivated Christ to provide for the people?  The answer: Compassion.  The Lord Jesus has the ability to suffer along-side people.  His love made a way to satisfy their hunger.  I am so thankful that God is not some impersonal force, or an unloving being.  I am so thankful that He had compassion on us in sending His only begotten Son to die on the cross as atonement for our sins.  We can win people to Christ, when we talk to them about their lost condition and tell them about God’s great compassion for them.  When we serve people, it must be motivated by compassion.  A coming along side, to feel pity, to be moved by love and concern, and to do something about their true needs, not that we have the supply nor the power, but recognizing that God has given us the supply and the power to accomplish His will. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gen. 34:6-17 Folly in Israel and the folly of Jacob's sons

6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
7 And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
11 And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.

Both Hamor and Shechem did that which was honorable in trying to secure Dinah and thus rectify the wrong. The sons of Jacob wanted nothing but revenge, and were despicable in that they used their religion as a cloak for their wickedness. How often is God’s name taken in vain, or His cause injured because of our sinfulness? 2 Tim 2:19b says: “And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” We would do well to obey this command rather than act like Jacob’s sons.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Soon, hopefully, soon, Blogger will re-directed to you to my new domain,