29:15 - 31:9 - Jacob meets his match in Laban, when it comes to being deceitful. After seven years of working to marry Rachel, Laban gives Jacob his daughter Leah in her place! Then he makes Jacob work seven more years after he allows him to marry Rachel also. (29:19-30) And when Jacob makes a deal with Laban that allows Jacob to keep all the speckled, etc. animals Laban takes all his animals that qualify and hides them from Jacob! (30:35&36) Though God increases Jacob's flock in spite of Labans deception. (30:37-43) Finally Labans hostility is too much and Jacob heads back to his homeland after God tells him to (31:3)Chapter 34 is all about how Dinah is raped by Shechem (and basically held hostage, v.26) and Jacob and his sons retaliate by tricking all the men of the city to be circumcised, then they attack and kill them while they are still weak. Yikes!
35:22 - Reuben sleeps with his fathers concubine.
37:20 - Joesephs brothers plot to kill him.
37:23-36 - At Reubens prodding they tear off Josephs robe and throw him in a cistern instead of killing him, then they sell him to a passing caravan as a slave and then they lie to their father saying that Joseph is dead and break Jacobs heart!
38:6-10 - Er, Judahs firstborn is wicked so God puts him to death. Then Onan purposefully keeps from producing offspring with Er's widow, so God puts him to death.
38:13-26 - Judah does not give Er's widow, Tamar, to his son Shelah as he said he would, so she disguises herself and Judah sleeps with her thinking she is a prostitute. She then becomes pregnant by him and is almost put to death but is able to prove that he is the father (by the pledge he left with her) so she is spared and he is rebuked since he knew he was wrong for not giving her to his son as he said he would.
39:7-20 - Joseph is falsly accused and imprisoned by Potiphars wife.
And lastly the sad words in 40:23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. How could he forget him?! That is so sad! Though I know that it was just not God's timing yet, as I will read about tomorrow. I still feel sad for Joseph having to spend 2 more years in prison.
These are all some pretty weighty things in my view. Deception, rape, murder...selling a brother into slavery, wow!
Again, however, we see God's mercy and grace as well as He works out His plans in spite of sinful people. God gives Leah children first, to comfort her since she is not loved by Jacob (29:31), then He has mercy on Rachel also and opens her womb as well (30:22). He increases Jacobs flocks in spite of Laban's deception (30:37-43). He allows a peaceful meeting between Jacob and Esau(33:4), though Jacob does have his own plans for trying to bring that about and never quite trusts Esau. And then we see God lifting Joseph up even in prison (39:20-23)
Josephs story is one of my favorite stories in all of scripture. I look forward to reading more of it tomorrow. It is so cool to see the words - (God) gave him success in whatever he did. Considering his family history it is amazing that Joseph was such a Godly, righteous man. I have heard it said that he is one of the few (I think even just he and Daniel) main bible characters for whom no sin is recorded. We know, of course, that only Jesus committed no sin but Joseph was definitly an amazingly good guy. And we get to see how richly God blesses him because of that.
Jonathan Edwards resolution for today:
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.