Firstborn, my might, my 1st sign of strength, first in rank and power. Turbulent as the water, unruly as a flood, you will no longer excel (you will be first no longer).
Reuben followed his eye (his lust) into a situation he knew to be wrong. He wavered and did not hold strong to his conviction to his father or God. As such, he became a person with divided loyalty, unstable, tossed. Do not expect to receive anything because loyalty is divided between God and the world
Protect your eyes to not draw you into a temptation to waver in faith. Eyes are either filled with light or darkness, but can’t be both. If try to do both, we are as unsettled as a wave with divided loyalty and will receive no reward from God.
weapons are instruments of violence. May I never join in their meetings or be party to their plans. Curse on their anger, curse on their wrath – they are fierce and cruel. I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob, disperse them
Slaughtered all the men of Shechem after the rape of their sister Dinah.
Ex 32:27, After Moses returns from the mountain to find the golden calf he draws sides and the Levites side with him and go from one end of camp to the other killing 3000. Part of the role of the priests is to guard the temple and the laws even against their own brothers.
In my youth I did not make wise decisions in friends or activities. My education suffered, my faith wavered and my ability to witness for God was tarnished. While none of those things can be reversed, it does not mean that God can’t use them in me now to make me a dedicated learner, to associate with Godly friends and to lead my family to not repeat my mistakes. Had Levi not dishonored Jacob, the Levites may not have learned from that mistake and may not have stood with Moses.
My Daily Journal:
What tough love Jacob showed to his sons. None of us have difficulty giving blessings of good news and we tend to gloss over the negatives or avoid them all together. Jacob knew the habits of his sons, particularly the older sons, and, on his deathbed he told them the truth. He did it not in hatred or spite but in love. Notice that he doesn’t curse Simeon or Levi, he curses their anger and their wrath.
Are they locked into this? Is this just “who they are”? The story of God’s redemptive love tells us otherwise. The example I am using in my children’s lecture is to not allow your cow paths to become canyons.
Cows in a field have the ability to walk anywhere. The land is generally flat and grass grows throughout it. But if you look at any pasture where cows have dwelt for some time you will find “cow paths.” They develop habits and walk the same path over and over again, wearing a trail. However, with a single step they can step out of that rut. However, if they don’t then, over lots of time, that rut grows deeper and deeper and could eventually grow to be a deep canyon.
Jacob saw the cow paths his sons had formed in their lives. While he was inspired by God, it did not take divine intervention to see where those paths lead. By speaking the truth to them he entrusted to them the wisdom to see for themselves and either continue along the same rut or step out of it.
For many of us the ruts of decisions in our lives already run very deep. We likely don’t have the strength to climb out on our own. The good news of Christ is we don’t have to. He will lift us up and carry us on his shoulders. He sends others into our life to help us and gives us his church on earth to work together to help each other.
I’m reading a book by John Maxwell and one section of the book asks the question, “what is the most important day in your life?” The empowering answer to that question is always, today. The past is with us and we need to assess and learn from it, but there is nothing we can do to change it. The future is worth planning and preparing for, but living in the future is called procrastination. The key is to live in today, to make the right decisions today, to love God and His people today and honor and server Him today. When Moses came down from the mountain and drew sides, the Levites had learned to choose that day whom they would serve. Not a few, but every single man of the tribe, every descendent of Levi, and learned the lesson and chose wisely.