Advent 2010

Jacob pt 3

Read Genesis 35:1-15

In the previous chapter, two of Jacob’s oldest sons (Simeon and Levi) avenged their sister’s rape by killing the men of the city of Shechem. As Jacob puts it, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink…” (Gen 34:30) Jacob’s people have to run to Bethel, and on the way, God sends a terror (the Hebrew word has something to do with fear and shaking you to pieces) that prevents the Canaanites from attacking them.

There, at Bethel, Jacob’s people put away their idols and God reveals himself to Jacob. This time, God calls him Israel or “prince of God” and gives him the covenant that was previously given to Abraham and Isaac.

The entire cycle of Jacob’s narrative has unfolded without Jacob receiving the promise that his father and grandfather received at the beginning of their part of the story.


God, sometimes my expectations of when you will tell me what is going on interfere with my submission to your will in my life. Help me to be directed and to simply obey.

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