Dinah, Won’t You Blow Your Horn? | Genesis 34, P2

Christians can be quick to see the sin of the openly wicked but slow to see the evil of good people, and that kind of evil is actually worse because it often goes unrecognized and even denied. Remember, it was not the prostitutes and drunks who crucified Jesus — it was the good, righteous people. We live in a wicked world, but wickedness is not something on which the world of unbelievers has a monopoly. Often, there is evil also among the believing community. Beware.

Dinah, Won’t You Blow Your Horn? | Genesis 34, P1

Genesis 34 is a chapter in the Bible that reveals such heinous acts by the people of God that it’s difficult to know how to address it in preaching or teaching, much less just reading it and attempting to reconcile it to the remainder of the Bible. Genesis 34 records the rape of Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, and the merciless blood-stained revenge of her brothers on the city of Shechem. It is disgraceful and embarrassing. So, what are we to do with this narrative? Perhaps, ignore it and hope that no one notices or asks us about it. However, we cannot. Are you ready for the fray?

One More World to Conquer | Gensis 33

From the moment God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, the name Abram was never used again. Yet, after God changed Jacob’s name, his old name was employed twice as much as his new name in the remaining chapters of Genesis. Jacob became a changed man as the result of wrestling with God at Peniel. Yet, he also remained unchanged. Apparently, there remained a lot of the old man in the new patriarch, just as there often remains a lot of the old man or woman in us.

Finding Joy in the Struggle, P2 | Philippians 3:17-4:1

It’s stunning that the greedy person is on the same list as the homosexual; that the gossiper is on the same list as the hater of God; that the habitual drunk is on the same list as the murderer. This entire list is like the McDonald’s menu. Mix and match any items you want – and it all ends up costing the same price. So, here’s the question: If everyone is on the list; if everyone can be found somewhere on this list, and the result is the same, then what different does it make – aren’t we all doomed? Find out in part 2 of finding joy in the struggle.

Wrestle Mania | Genesis 32:24-32

When the chickens come home to roost, being optimistic is almost impossible. How often Jacob had thought of the very moment that now came upon him. Would he survive? Would he have a future? He wanted to be flush with hope, but the regrets had piled so high they seemed to hide even the possibility of hope. Yet, God used this precise event to produce usefulness in Jacob. It is at the Jabbok River that he left behind the immaturity of the past and, at last, took a huge step toward spiritual adulthood. Your Jabbok may be just ahead.

Finding Joy in Curly’s Law | Philippians 3:8-11

In the 1991 movie, City Slickers, Curly, played by Jack Palance, said: There is only one thing in life that really matters. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else means nothing. Mitch, played by Billy Crystal, asked: What is that one thing? We waited with bated breath and eager anticipation for the answer. Who doesn’t want to know the one thing in life that really matters? Curly answered: That’s what you’ve got to figure out. Paul figured it out! Paul discovered the one thing in life that really mattered – and you can too!

Finding Joy in Genuine Worship | Philippians 3:3

From the beginning of our lives, we are indoctrinated with the philosophy that achievement is the key to reward, honor and happiness. This is true academically, athletically and behaviorally. This is also true in the business world, the entertainment industry as well as the halls of government. If this is true in the physical/material world, then it makes sense that it would be true in the spiritual/immaterial world. That’s what the believers at Philippi thought. What do you think?