As head of a family and as a religious leader, Jacob faced many external pressures and temptations… “Many are the afflictions of the righteous” (Psalm 34:19). But in contrast to Genesis 34, this chapter shows Jacob finally taking command of his family after God reminds him of his duty. They needed to be whipped back into shape!
Jacob’s family was very blessed with earthly goods. But, they started becoming of the world, worshiping idols, instead of living in the world and spreading God’s love and glory. Immediately we may think, well I’m a Christian I don’t bow down to those ancient statues of “gods,” I’m in the clear! Idols are anything we find ourselves serving or worshipping. What navigates our hearts? Is it God’s Word? Or is it social media, money, clothing, women, men… Time to whip back into shape!
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:15-17
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15
And the most comforting verse of all (in my opinion):
“And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
We should not avoid our duty to the Lord, but any moment is better late than never, before it is too late. As a bonus, God lovingly reminds us to turn our eyes back to him. He reminds us of His promises to us. How? Look outside. Look around you. We are so blessed! No matter what trials or temptations come our way, He is our protector. We have the biggest mansion, tastiest dinner, and infinite happiness (for me, this means infinite puppies) awaiting us in Heaven (John 14:2 Revelation 21:4 Revelation 22:1-5). Sounds like a much better deal than this short, temporary life filled with trials and temptations! So what are we doing?? Is disobedience really worth it?? This deal is too good to miss out on! Time to whip into shape!!