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The Difference Between Godly and Cultural Stability

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.

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Reconciliation among men is the clearest picture of God's grace on earth.

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Our spiritual strength comes from our surrender to God.

Along the path of Christian growth, sometimes we can feel like we’re stuck in a traffic jam on a one-lane highway. The pace slows sometimes with trials and afflictions, and other times it speeds up. The Lord determines the pace.

As Genesis 32 begins, Jacob’s pace is picking up. He’s reminded that divine help always goes with him along the way. Likewise, Christians have angelic forces that minister to us, always working to help us be more like Christ.

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God's resources are sufficient to carry us through difficult relationships.

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Of all things we experience in life, our relationships reveal the most about our character.

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.

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Our reason to be thankful is found in the character of God.

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Once saved, we never graduate from the School of Christ while on earth.

You’ve probably of someone “cramming 4 years of college into 10.” In Genesis 29, Jacob spends 20 years in the school of spiritual hard knocks. The first events are glorious, but they are soon followed by tragedy and consequences.

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Please be patient: God is not finished with Jacob yet!

God can still use saints that have failed and help them make right choices again, even in their last years. Isaac and Rebekah are an example that it’s never too late to do right. True saints experience guilt and conviction that leads to repentance, forsaking sin, and prospering again. Now governed by the Spirit, Isaac comes to his senses and sends Jacob on a journey to continue in God’s will.

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God’s Strength and Sovereignty Remain as Our Faith Struggles.

Our study of the Regeneration section of Genesis continues with the second and third of the patriarchs, Isaac and Jacob. Isaac demonstrated his faith throughout his life by being a submissive perpetuator of the faith. He made mistakes, but he won more spiritual battles than he lost. Lest we read this account from the end of his life and assume he was a failure, remember that Isaac is included in the Great Hall of Faith (see Hebrews 11:20).

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