BSF Genesis: Week 25, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
a.
Spiritual cleansing is purity: whiter than snow, pure heart, steadfast spirit.   Spiritual cleansing means change: stop doing wrong, turn away from evil deeds, walk in the light

b.
leads to fruit, the Holy Spirit, Humble yourself and He will lift you up

c.
Not just sacrifice, but who it is offered to – to God.  Separate ourselves from sin: immoral, impure, greedy have no inheritence.  We must abandon idols and turn only to God

d.
Time spent in pursuit of non-God serving activities, or better said, the activities are not the problem, but I am doing them on my own without seeking God and without giving the glory to Him alone.

12.
a.
Terror of God fell on towns around them so no one pursued them.  God reclaimed not only Jacob/Israel but his descendants

b.
He has reclaimed me and brought me back into His family of believers.  He has strengthened me by reminding me of His promises

c.
That God’s own voice is speaking to me, through the scriptures, in answer to prayer and through other believers

d.
Reunited for a time with his brother (vs 6-7), many descendents, chiefs, kings, a mighty nation

My Daily Journal

One of the comments our leader made in his lecture last week was “God is waiting for me to realize that He is in control.”  I thought it was amazing how we see this lived out in Jacob/Israel.  Jacob wrestles with “the man” and receives a blessing where he becomes a new person with a new name.  Clearly he has changed, but, he continued to live a life wanting to still be in the driver’s seat and have God as his co-pilot.

Instead of going to Bethel, as promised, he goes the opposite direction.  Instead of living apart, he moves right next door to people who, evidently, believe there is nothing wrong with raping someone then buying them to marry them.  Instead of being the spiritual leader of his house, he does nothing because his sons are out in the fields with the flocks.

But when things go south and he repents and returns to God, God is waiting.  God repeats His promise to him and changes his name (again) to Israel.

God’s place is not as co-pilot of our life.  If you were in a car with Jeff Gordon, would you want him riding shotgun or sitting behind the wheel?  I need to move over and let God drive.

God is waiting patiently for me to realize that He is in control.

BSF Genesis: Week 25, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

6.
a.
13. they were deceitful, v25, Simeon and Levi killed every male in the city.  28 they looted the city 29 they carried off the women

b.
Took matters into their own hands.  No mention of prayer or reliance on God.  The diminished the value of the covenant by using it as a trap for others.  They twisted it from something holy into something useful.

c.
They were angered on behalf of their sister.  Yes, I am protective of my family and feel hatred to those who harm them.

d.
do not repay evil with evil, do what is right, do not take revenge, trust in God to exercise His wrath

7.
a.
He did not trust their judgment, believing them quick to act in a state of anger.  He chastised them for “bringing trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites

b.
Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?

8.
Am I controlled by God and faith or by my emotions?  Where am I unwilling to wait to receive rightfully what I want and desire.

My Daily Journal:

So, I have to admit, my first inclination is to be more like Simeon and Levi than Jacob.  If someone hurts a member of my family like this, I would want to do them harm.  Clearly, though, Simeon and Levi crossed the line.  Any one would be very hard pressed to explain how looting the city and carrying off the women from this city in any way was done to bring honor to their sister.

But, as we work through this lesson and, in particular, the Romans 12:17-21 passage, it helped me realize how my first reaction (and that of Simeon and Levi) was allowing my emotions to rule me and not my faith.

Here is one way to look at it.  I’m this big (think very small) and God is that big (think very big).  Hamor and Shechem sinned against Dinah, but, even more so, they sinned against God, because any sin upon His people is a sin against Him.  So, if I’m the deliverer of vengence onto the wrong-doer, it is like a tiny child disciplining them with a toothpick and standing in the way of a very big God using a club.

I simply do not need to be in the middle of it.  I need to show the joy and blessing of the saving work of Jesus, offered to me while I was still a sinner and, which is also offered to anyone else who sins against God, as well, who repents and seeks to be saved.  If they do not make that choice, then God says He has it covered and I need to trust that His righteous wrath and punishment is far more significant than anything I would dispense.

BSF Genesis: Week 25, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Question:

3.
No, he saw God at Bethel.  He committed to build a house to God there and to return to his father’s household

4.
a.
Dinah did not bring on the danger, but it clearly would have been avoided if they did not live there

b.
To be set apart from the worldly and immoral.  To live a life that separates us from sinful things and sinful people

c.
No “sense” of wrongdoing.  He did wrong, but didn’t see it that way.  He treated her as a possession to be used and acquired

d.
They married.  Isaac and Jacob sought their wives from kin, believers. But they also lied out of fear and put their wives at risk.  Abraham allowed the mother of his first child to be abused by his wife and sent her out into the wilderness.

5.
intermarry with us, vs 9

My Daily Journal:

There is a very fine line being walked in our questions today regarding Dinah and could things have been avoided.  I think it is very important to note that Dinah did not do anything wrong.  She was the victim.  She was raped.

As a children’s leader I was, at first, very hesitant and concerned about our lesson this week.  My inclination was to move through it as quickly as possible.  However, this week I had the opportunity to hear Josh McDowell speak.  Josh is an amazing evangelist and apologetic who has spread the Word to college campuses for many years.  He has written some amazing books including my favorite, More than a Carpenter.  But, on this occasion Josh was sharing a movie and discussion about his own childhood which included not only a horribly broken home but also experiencing sexual abuse from the age of 6 to 13.  He pointed out that 1 out of 3 children have experienced sexual abuse but we just don’t talk about it.

BSF is not a counseling session or the right venue for disclosure, but we need to be bold in what the bible says and not shy away from teaching the truth as spelled out in the bible.  Just like Josh was not to blame for what occurred to him, Dinah is not to blame.  This was wrong.  This was a sin, whether Shechem, Hamor or her dad or anyone else saw it as such or not.  Through all of this story that is the part that troubles me most.  We have the accounts of what everyone else was doing but not what was going on with Dinah and the torment that she must have felt.  No where does it say she was comforted or cared for through this difficulty, although I trust in God that she was.

We will have women in BSF classes who have experienced rape.  We will have men who have forced themselves inappropriately on women and we will have young adults and children who have been or will be involved in inappropriate sexual situations.  We don’t need to be graphic, but we need to be clear that this is wrong and if someone is in this situation they need to get with a mature christian and seek help and counseling.