A Difficult Chapter to Read in the Bible…

Genesis 34 – One of the most difficult chapters to read in the Bible! It was part of my Bible reading this morning during my time of “Coffee with the Lord”…

You may have heard a godly leader or parent somewhere say it (and it’s true!)… “TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A ‘RIGHT!”

Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, raped by Shechem, a pagan neighbor…

After the rape he tries to get Dinah as his wife…

Jacob’s sons agree (deceptively, I might add) on one condition – Shechem, his father, Hamor, and the entire Hivite clan, must undergo circumcision (God’s covenant sign with His people)!

They accept the terms of Jacob’s sons…

While recovering from the circumcision and still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons – Simeon and Levi – took their swords, came against the Hivite city and killed all its males! Then all of Jacob’s sons plundered the city, stole all their property, took all their children, their wives, and plundered them.

Jacob confronts his sons and warns them, “You have brought trouble on my by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land!” And their self-righteous defense for their despicable behavior? “Should Shechem have treated our sister like a prostitute?”

One more time – and important to remember… “TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT!

Imagine it… Being a Person of Godly Influence!

People of incredible influence… Individuals whose very presence impact a conversation… The kind of person who moves into a neighborhood or community and the entire moral and spiritual climate begins to change for the better…

CAN YOU IMAGINE IT?

In my Bible reading today during “coffee with the Lord” I read a snapshot of that kind of person – a passage urging Christians to be “individuals of influence” within a corrupt culture – to model and express godly, gracious behavior! Here is the lifestyle features that Apostle Paul urged…

“Let your love be genuine!

Abhor what is evil – hold fast to what is good!

Love one another with brotherly affection [like love in a wonderful family]!

Outdo one another in showing honor!

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord!

Rejoice in hope!

Be patient in tribulation!

Be constant in prayer!

Contribute to the needs of others!

Show hospitality!

Bless those who persecute you – don’t curse them!

Rejoice with those who rejoice – weep with those who weep!

Live in harmony with one another!

Never be haughty but associate with the lowly!

Never be wise in your own sight!

Repay no one evil for evil!

Try to do what is honorable in the sight of all!

Do your best to live peaceably with everyone!

Never take revenge – leave ‘getting even’ to God!

If you have an enemy feed him, give him something to drink!

ABOVE ALL, DO NOT LET EVIL OVERCOME YOU – INSTEAD OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD!”

(Adapted from Romans 12:9-21)

IMAGINE SOMEONE LIVING LIKE THAT IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

What a wonderful thing that would be! What a reputation a person would have! What an impact a group of people [a church] like that would have! What healthy, healing potential! Almost “heaven on earth” – not fully “heaven” yet, but almost! Don’t you want to do your part with God’s help, Christ’s example, and the “nudge” of the Holy Spirit, to make it a reality in your community? I want to in mine!

Where Can Wisdom Be Found?

Job 28 – One of my absolute favorite passages!!! … Where can wisdom be found? (a repost)

What an inspired and lofty literary poetic masterpiece!!! The Holy Spirit was certainly inspiring Job’s words!!! An inspired discourse on “Wisdom” – God’s wisdom – where it is to be found… Let me be one voice urging you to slow down, read this passage reflectively, and be prepared to respond to it’s truth and challenge!  It was a part of my Bible reading today during my time of “Coffee with the Lord!”

1) Human ingenuity and effort have accomplished much, but that has not uncovered it! (vss. 1-11)

2) “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living!” (vss. 12-13)

3) The value – the price of it – is beyond estimation!! (vss. 14-19)

4) The question posed again: “From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?” (vss. 20-22)

5) THE DECLARATION! … “GOD UNDERSTANDS IT WAY, AND HE KNOWS ITS PLACE! … He saw wisdom and declared it! He prepared it, indeed He searched it out! And to us He said, ‘BEHOLD THE FEAR [REVERENCE] OF THE LORD, THAT IS WISDOM, AND TO DEPART FROM EVIL IS UNDERSTANDING!!!” (vss. 23-28)

We’ve got to get it from God – true wisdom!!! Oh God, may I make that discovery – I need it! I can only find it in You!!!

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