Genesis 33-35, Matthew 10:1-20 • Key Verse: Genesis 35:3
There are times when we see the past in the future. We may sing, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow,” but tomorrow may have clouds of our own making.
God wrestled with Jacob to make him the man He wanted him to be. He left Peniel a changed man, whose limp reminded him with every step of when he “saw God face to face, and yet [his] life was spared” (32:30).
But some effects of past actions are not removed by a decision. Both the reunion with Esau and the rape of Dinah are strong evidence of that. Jacob’s deception of his father and the stealing of the birthright destroyed his relationship with his brother. In chapter 33 he faced the ongoing effects of past actions.
When his daughter was raped, his sons followed the family pattern of deception to get their revenge on the people of Shechem. Jacob’s weak leadership in the situation allowed them to carry out their wicked plan to restore the family honor. He had a fresh start at Peniel, but the effects of past actions remained.
A right decision does not remove all the remains of our past. We must still determine daily to do what is right.
It’s easy to be a person of habit. Patterns get ingrained in our lives and those of our family, but we are not condemned to always live that way. By God’s grace we can change.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett