From Genesis to Now: Genesis 35:1-14
When life turns bad, we tend to do one of two things: respond with defiance like Simeon and Levi or turn to God, like Jacob. Finally, Jacob decided to be all in. Of course, God out and out telling him what to do probably helped.
Jacob’s family was steeped in idolatry. Along with serving God, they also worshipped a plethora of other idols from who knows where. They not only worshiped other gods, they carried around amulets associated with differing superstitions. But, Jacob demanded them all. Once and for all they handed them over to Jacob, and he buried them right under a great oak tree. The Bible doesn’t say, because it isn’t really relevant to the story, but I wonder what he thought when Rachel handed over her father’s household gods that Laban had searched for so desperately, and Jacob had put the thief’s own life on the line if Laban found the guilty one. How unwittingly we can come close to disaster and not even know it. It’s a sobering thought.
First, Jacob put away all the things of this world that drew him and his family away from God. Then, he led them to the place God had directed his grandfather Abraham to go when he called him out of Er. And, here we notice that when Jacob determined to follow the Lord God, God came to him and reassured him of all He had intended from the beginning of his life: The true blessing—the promise of redemption for all the earth would come through Jacob’s lineage.
The slaughter of Shechem was terrible. It should never have happened. Jacob was not responsible, yet it totally affected him.
Sometimes we, as well, end up in messy, bad situations. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we’d planned.
When it doesn’t, there are two choices: We can run from God or to God.
The choice is ours.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything