To: en & more
From: Su Min
Subject: Genesis 35-36
My dearest beloved, God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Europe, Asia, England, Thailand, Singapore, we have been chosen according to the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1-3)
My heart is warmed as we come to the end of this season of sharing Genesis, warmed particularly because it has been an enriching time for me as I pour my heart and soul into the searching of His word. Grateful I am too, of the opportunity to share this with you.
The plan is to look at Gen 35-36 today, then start at Genesis 37 in January. In the intervening weeks I have been moved to look at the messianic prophecies, the 36 texts in the old testament that tell of the coming of the anointed one. More of that tomorrow. For today we turn to Genesis 35:1 where God speaks to Jacob, instructing him to go to Bethel and build an altar there. In verse 2 Jacob instructs his family and household to purify themselves spiritually and physically, getting rid of all foreign gods and washing themselves, and putting on clean clothes. Turn over a new leaf. Start afresh.
Jacob acknowledges, "God answered me in the day of my distress and has gone with me wherever I have gone. vs (3)"
The people respond in obedience and are protected by God as they set out. (vs 5)
At Bethel an altar is built at the place where God revealed himself to Jacob when he was fleeing from his brother (vs 7).
Deborah dies and is buried.
God appears to Jacob again, and pronounces "Your name will be Israel vs 10."
In vs 11-12 God declares that "a community of nations will come from you" and "the land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I give to you and your descendants after you".
Jacob responds by setting up a stone pillar, poured out a drink offering and an oil offering, and named the place Bethel (vs 15).
They moved on from Bethel and Rachel dies in childbirth, bringing forth Benjamin (vs 18). Rachel is buried and entombed (vs 19.20). Jacob moves on to further regions, beyond Migdal Eder, and meanwhile in Dad's absence, Rueben is naughty (Vs 22).(Can you see the human logic of "If he can do it, I can do it"? Dads be careful: your sons are watching you!) Jacob returns to his father's household, and at a ripe old age, Isaac dies and is buried.
Chapter 36 is primarily of genealogy
(It behoves us to remember 1 Timothy 1:3,4)
"command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work which is by faith." and also Titus 3:9" Avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law because these are unprofitable and useless"
The list of descendants of Esau become known as the Edomites, and the area they occupy is called Edom. Of Amalek in Gen 36:12 I believe arose the nation or tribe of Amelikites, and in 1 Samuel 15:20 we read how Saul tried to spare Agag king of the Amelkites. The passage is not so important for the execution of Agag in 1 Samuel 15: 33, as for Samuel's perfect description of God's delight in our obedience as opposed to animal sacrifice: Do read 1 Samuel 15:22
If we look for one verse out of the whole lot of Gen 35-36, I believe it is in Gen 35:3 that teaches me most clearly, a verse for me to echo, for me to acknowledge the great faithfulness of The Lord God Almighty, "God answered me in the day of my distress and has gone with me where ever I have gone. vs (3)"
Let us pray
Teach us to acknowledge you every time, all the time,
when you answer us in the day of our distress,
when you are by our side in our day of joy.
Help us recognise your perfect will in our lives
and your constant presence with us.
Great is your faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
Amen and amen!
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
Back to Antioch's Well
Back to Antioch's Home Page