Thursday, 18 November 2010
Parents Find Help in Christ During Family Troubles; Genesis 34
In this chapter the history of the Patriarch records the beginning of the afflictions with which he was exercised, as they arose out of the circumstances of his children.
Dinah his daughter, and as it should seem his only daughter, prompted by vain curiosity, going forth to see the daughters of the land, is ravished by Shechem prince of the Hivites.
Jacob's soul is grieved at the hearing of it.
How dreadful the effect of unbridled passions!
What sad events have been induced by their indulgence in all ages.
And what is the whole history of mankind since the fall, but the same distressing page of suffering and sorrow, by reason of iniquity and sin.
Blessed Jesus! how endearing here again is the recollection of Thy merciful character, in that Thou camest to take away sin by the sacrifice of Thyself.
• I think that this chapter affords a very interesting lesson to young women.
Female modesty is truly graceful and becoming, that too much care can never be taken of it.
Like the fine bloom of the purple plumb it cannot be touched without injury.
Had the daughter of Jacob been less exposed, her chastity would not have been violated.
Hence among the precepts of the apostle to young women, which he gives in charge to his beloved Titus, to teach the church, he particularly dwells on this, that they be chaste and keepers at home: as if wandering abroad tended, most likely, to the loss of their chastity.
• And while this lesson is read to daughters, and especially to the daughters of gracious parents, from this chapter; let not an exercised soul among parents that are gracious forget to derive this instruction also from it, that a godly father may have ungodly children.
Grace is not by descent. It runs not in the blood.
Jacob was dear to his God; but Jacob's children were very often a source of sorrow to him. Many afflicting providences were in his family.
David also, though the man after God's own heart. Yet concerning his children he might well cry out, as he did in one of his Psalms, Lord, remember David and all his afflictions!
Reader! if God in His providence should have called you to the interesting character of a parent, and in His wisdom should see fit to exercise you with such distresses, where will you find resources to bear you up under the heavy pressure?
There is but One that can give relief, and that One the holy men of old possessed.
And that is a comfortable and well-grounded assurance of an interest in the covenant righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. This acts like an anchor to the soul in a dark and stormy night.
David fled to this in his troubles, and found that he rid by it safely through the tempest: "Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow" (2 Samuel 23:5).