Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping
Pastors International Genesis
JacobŐs Experience after Peniel
A. These final chapters in the life of Jacob give the reader
insight into a person who is learning to walk with God. After JacobŐs encounter
with God at Peniel, he is a different person but he is by no means perfect in
all his actions.
B. Again these chapters reveal to us how God in His sovereignty
is able to overrule the sinful acts of men, and somehow work all things for His
II. JACOB MEETS ESAU 33:1-20
A. Jacob Faces Esau (33:1-7). Jacob
has yet to meet Esau face to face, and he realizes that Esau is coming with 400
men. Esau had vowed to kill Jacob for his deceitful stealing of the birthright
20 years before. He divided his children according to the mothers and Rachel
and Joseph were last because they were his favorites. Esau was anxious to see
Jacob. His anger had passed and at their greeting they wept. NOTE. Jacob had an encounter with God at
Peniel but he still had many spiritual obstacles in his life to face, for
Peniel was just the beginning of learning to trust God in the midst of
crisis. NOTE. God had prepared
EsauŐs heart and all of JacobŐs scheming did not make that much difference. God
can and does change the attitudes of men because He is sovereign. NOTE: Jacob
acknowledges that his children are from God (33:5). It is a great privilege to
have children for God Himself gives them to us.
B. Jacob Insists That Esau Accept His Gifts
(33:8-11). Esau did not want JacobŐs
gifts, for it was not JacobŐs gifts that had changed EsauŐs heart but JacobŐs
God. NOTE. This does not imply that Esau had some
spiritual experience with God, for there is no indication that he was a true
believer in Jehovah. Since Esau was now prosperous and attached no particular
value to the birthright there was no reason why he should not be reconciled to
his twin brother. Esau had a
natural love for his brother and there was no reason to harbor hatred for him.
C. Jacob and Esau Separate (33:12-17)
D. Jacob Gets Side-tracked
(33:18-20). God had specifically
told Jacob that he was to return to Bethel in the land (31:11-13) but Jacob
stopped at Shalem, a city of Shechem, in Canaan. He should have gone to Bethel
but something sidetracked him. He did erect there an altar and named it El-elohe-Israel
(God, the God of Israel).
NOTE. Jacob had only
partial obedience. He was in the land but he was not in Bethel. Because he is not
in the complete will of God, he is in for some trouble. NOTE: Jacob seems to forget Peniel and
resort to some of his old devices. Even after Peniel he does not trust God
wholly. Sanctification for Jacob, and for us, is not by one great stride or in
one experience. It is a lifelong process, a continuing warfare.
III. JACOBŐS FAMILIESŐ SCANDAL 24:1-31
A. Dinah Defiled by Shechem (34:1-4). Dinah, the daughter of Jacob born to
Leah, becomes involved in a sexual sin with Shechem, a Hivite prince, and son
of Hamor. Surely Dinah was not innocent for there was love between Shechem and
Dinah (34:3). Dinah brought scandal on Jacob, but Shechem wanted to marry her.
NOTE. The ways of the flesh in Jacob are now beginning to show up in his
children. NOTE: Dinah may not have been in this trouble had Jacob gone on to
Bethel in obedience instead of stopping at Shechem.
B. Jacob and His Sons Hear of the Affair (34:5-7). The
sons of Jacob, especially Simeon and Levi, who were brothers to Dinah through
Leah (34:25), were upset and mad about the defilement. They did not blame Dinah
but took out their wrath on Shechem.
C. Hamor and Shechem Want Dinah to Marry (34:8-12). Hamor wanted Shechem to marry Dinah
because he desired to please his son. He suggested that the Canaanites and
Israelites intermarry and have full social and business intercourse
(34:9-10). This would, of course,
have pulled Jacob and his family down spiritually. Shechem was willing to give
a big dowry for Dinah.
D. JacobŐs Sons Conceive a Deceitful Plot
(34:13-24). The sons of Jacob,
aching to get revenge, plot a treacherous deed. Never planning to keep the
offer, they suggest that there be social and business relationships between the
Canaanites and Israelites (even intermarriage) but the Shechemites would have
to be circumcised. The unsuspecting men of Shechem complied with this
request (34:18,24). However, these Shechemites had other motives and that was
to ultimately take over all JacobŐs material possessions and family (34:21-23).
E. Simeon and Levi Slay the Men of Shechem
(34:25-31). The Shechemites were
circumcised for they trusted the IsraeliteŐs word. On the third day after
circumcision, these men were very sore. Simeon and Levi came into the
city, slew all the men, including Hamor and Shechem, and took Dinah away. Then
JacobŐs other sons came upon the city and sacked it (34:27) and took the
cattle, wives and children. This was a dastardly act and brought even more
scandal upon the house of Israel (Jacob). Finally Jacob speaks out with a mild
rebuke. His concern does not seem to be with the awfulness of the sin committed
but his own reputation and fear of retaliation by other Canaanites (34:30).
NOTE. The treachery of Jacob
showed up in his children, for what a man sows that shall he reap.
IV. JACOBŐS RETURN TO BETHEL (35:1-29)
A. Jacob Called Back to Bethel (35:1). God calls Jacob
back to Bethel, which is the center of GodŐs will for him. Bethel was only
about 30 miles from Shechem but it was many years before Jacob finally arrived
B. Jacob Separates Unto God
(35:2-4). Jacob commands his
entire household to put away their idols and he buried them under the oak at
Shechem. They were to be a clean people before God, for they were to worship
Him in spirit and in truth. NOTE.
There must be a separation from all idolatry and worldliness if true
devotion to God is to be given by the child of God. Certain things must be
buried and left behind if true devotion to God is to be maintained. An idol is
anything that takes the place of Christ in the life of a Christian, or to put
it another way, an idol is anything that comes between an individual and God (1
John 5:21). Idols must be given up to receive the full blessing of God (Acts
19:19 cf. 1 Thess. 1:9).
C. Jacob Protected God (35:5-8). God
restrained the other Canaanites from attacking Jacob and his family because Ňthe
terror of God was upon the cities.Ó Jacob is learning to rest in GodŐs
purposes, for the person in temporal fellowship knows that if God is for
me who can be against me. Jacob built an altar to God.
D. Jacob is Reaffirmed Concerning the Covenant
(35:9-15). In the place of
blessing, God repeats the Abrahamic Covenant to Jacob. God is always faithful
to His promises.
E. Rachel Dies (35:16-21). Rachel died while giving birth to Benjamin the twelfth son
of Israel (Jacob) (35:17-18).
F. JacobŐs Named (35:22-26)
G. Isaac Dies (35:27-29): IsaacŐs life was the longest
of the patriarchs, 180 years (35:28). Jacob and Esau, whom God had reconciled,
now cooperate in burying their father who had blessed Jacob but also blessed
Esau in a lesser way (35:29).
V. ESAU, THE ORIGINATOR OF THE EDOMITES 36:1-43
there any heart discouraged as it journeys on its way?
there seem to be more darkness than there is of sunny day?
itŐs hard to learn the lesson, as we pass beneath the rod,
the sunshine and the shadow serve alike the will of God;
there comes a word of promise, like the promise in the bow,
That however deep the waters they shall never overflow.