The world's allurements and performance-based external religion distract us from Gospel productivity. Paul instructs the Corinthians to enjoy working together in Gospel living and focus on their confident hope so they will avoid distraction, find renewal, and keep being spiritually productive.
Paul continues to address Pastor Timothy directly, yet there is still something for every Christian to learn from his words. Instructions to pastors affect the whole church, because a flock naturally becomes like its pastor.
Genesis 33 ended with Jacob’s family worshipping together. They were in God’s will living at Shechem on their way to Bethel where God had called them. The next chapter shows how quickly things can change. Jacob’s family got comfortable and settled down in the culture around them. Their hearts were no longer inclined toward Bethel. They became under-whelmed with God’s will, and the results were tragic.
All Scripture is God’s Word, and is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). It’s our natural tendency to apply principles that we know from the New Testament to Old Testament stories. But remember, a text taken out of context leaves just a con. So don’t judge Jacob too harshly. His family did not have the written Bible, but they did have the oral Word of God which they were responsible for.
Genesis 19 is a hard chapter to understand. It is often misunderstood and misinterpreted as judgment on one particular sin, but it is not. Rather, it should be read as a sub-narrative in Abraham’s story about how God’s people can slip into living like the world.
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