Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Messed Up Family

I'm still reading about Jacob. At the end of Genesis 35, I've learned that Jacob's daughter was raped and Jacob ignored the issue in chapter 34. His sons, being completely outraged, murdered an entire town to rescue her. Then, in chapter 35, God told Jacob to move and He gave Jacob a new name. He named him Israel! Also, in this chapter, he lost his beloved wife, Rachel after she gave birth to her second son.  His father also died. And, I am told he had twelve sons!
At the bottom of this chapter, the last time I read through Genesis, I wrote this:
"It's a pretty messed up family! But, God uses this family, not because they are such great candidates, but because He has chosen  them by His grace alone."
I also noticed that God told Jacob to go to Bethel, and live there. Jacob did go to Bethel, but he didn't stay there or live there, he left!  What a guy. I'm fascinated with the way God pursued Jacob, and built a nation, yes, an entire nation upon this man! ISRAEL.  This is the promise God gave to Jacob:

"But Israel shall be your name.
I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply;
A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you.
The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, And I will give the land to your descendants after you."

God speaks this wonderful promise to Jacob and then Jacob trotted off and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder, not Bethel. Still, God used him.
I like that God keeps pointing me to the story of Jacob. It brings a smile to my face every time, and laughter. I need to laugh. And, I'm so amazed at God's grace and patience. I can see myself doing the very same things that Jacob did, so I'm encouraged by his story. I want God to use me, to pursue me, to continue to speak to me. And, He is, because He has chosen me.
Say That Again, Father, You have chosen me, because You are a God of amazing grace!

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