- Love for covenant people or covenant potential can lead to others also becoming covenant followers of God (1-24).
- Drawing the right conclusions often requires w/holding judgment until all the details have been considered (e.g. Dinah’s defilement: rape or consensual pre-marital sex? The evidence: 1) 1 = Literally, “went to be seen among the women of the land” – i.e. went to offer herself as available for sexual intimacy/marriage w/2 – “seized her” = seduced versus rape since there is no mention of Dinah resisting or crying for help – see Deu 22:28-29. The sex was therefore consensual. The act however leaves Dinah “humiliated” since: 1.1 It is before betrothal w/no guarantee that marriage will result – see Exo Exo 22:16-17, 1.2. If no marriage takes place her lack of virginity could forfeit any future bride-price [i.e. she wb considered “damaged goods”] – see Deu 21:11-14. 2) Jacob’s behavior after learning the news is incongruent w/rape: 2.1. He “held his peace” versus immediately telling her brothers – 5, 2.2. He agrees to Hamor’s proposal (though the bros do so deceitfully), 6-18, 2.3. Dinah goes to Shechem’s house (not something that would happen if she had been raped) – 26, 2.4. marriage is the solution/penalty to pre-marital sex – again Exo 22:16 (whereas the penalty for rape is death – Deu 22:25-27) 2.5. The Hivites convert to Yawehism and are circumcised or brought into covenant w/God – i.e. “become one people” w/Israel – 22; see also Gen 33:20 = Jacob est’s the house of God wherever he travels est’g also the means to others being brought into covenant since it has become sacred space -or the dwelling place of God for salvation.
- The pride and prejudices of people are often the key inhibitors to the advancement of God’s kingdom and glory (25-31; e.g. the Jews resisting the conversion of Gentiles – Act 22:21-22; Gal 6:13).
- We should expect to see Hamor, Shechem and the other circumcised Hivites killed by Simeon and Levi in heaven.
- W/O codified laws or an established government, justice is not swift – though people will still reap what they sow (Simeon and Levi seem to get away w/their crimes until we read Jacob’s curse in Gen 49:5-7; Gal 6:7-10; re: codified law and justice – see Rom 5:12-14; The consequences of Jacob’s failures wb addressed in the next ch.).
- The consequences of forgoing justice in favor of your kids (Gen 34:30 = Jacob should have turned Simeon and Levi over to the local authorities; 2, 4 = Jacob was aware that his children were possessing foreign gods yet did nothing about until after their expulsion from Shechem) can include the forfeiture of: 1) peace/stability (Jacob is on the run yet again, relocating back to Bethel, 1-7), 2) comfort/love (8 = Deborah, 16-20 = Rachel, 27-29 = Isaac), respect/authority (Gen 34:13, 25-29, 31 = Simeon and Levi’s dishonor of their father’s marriage covenant arrangement w/Hamor and voiced disagreement w/his judgment; 21-22a = Reuben attempts to usurp Jacob by sleeping w/his concubine, see similar – 2Sa 16:22).
- Our sin never causes God’s plans to fail (9-15).
- God’s plans always prevail (e.g. Gen 27:39-40 = desert land away from the promise land of Canaan): 1) often by the use of secondary means/influence (1-7 = growth/possessions/size cause Esau to leave Canaan for bigger territory), 2) even in the minor details (8 – “Seir/Edom” = desert land).
- God’s promises always prevail: 1) Isaac’s sons becoming two nations (9 – the Edomite peoples w/Gen 25:23), 2) Abraham possessing many descendants (10-30), 3) Abraham’s descendants including kings/rulers/chiefs from his descendants (31-43).
- It is the prevailing of God’s plans and promises that demonstrate Him to be the true (versus false) God of heaven and earth (Isa 41:21-29, 42:8-9, 43:10-13, 44:6-20, 45:5-13, 46:9-11, 48:3).
1 John 4
- One of the ways of discerning where the error in Christianity exists is by looking at what the majority believes (1 – “many” as in majority; Mat 7:13-14).
- We sb testing the beliefs/doctrine of those who claim to be Christian teachers before we accept them (1 – “test”)
- Those who deny that Jesus was (and is) the Messiah sent from God is an antichrist (2-3; e.g. Jews following Judaism, Muslims).
- Those who are of God and have overcome the antichrists of this world: 1) no longer listen to the world’s wisdom (the world’s understanding of morality), 2) are actively listening to and obeying God’s Word (the Bible’s view of morality) (4-6 w/2:24-27).
- Loving commitment (in our words and deeds – 3:18) to those in the covenant community is: 1) how we demonstrate ourselves to truly be God’s progeny (since He is love, 7-8), 2) the example God has given us in sending His Son to sacrifice His life for the covenant community (9-11), 3) how we know that we still possess God’s love and spirit (12-13, 16), 4) what gives us confidence regarding Judgment Day (17-18), 5) how we love God back (for first loving us) (19-21).
- Another way we know that we are abiding in God (and He in us) is our confession that Jesus is the Savior and Son of God (14-15).
1 John 5
- Being one of God’s children requires that we: 1) believe Jesus is the Messiah (1a), 2) love God’s other children thru keeping His commandments (1b-2).
- It is impossible to love our bros/sis and yet violate God’s commands (1-2).
- If we possess the love of God and have truly overcome the world then: 1) we are faithful to keep His commands and do not find them burdensome (3-4), 2) we believe that Jesus really is God’s Son (5).
- Jesus took our sins in His first baptism (“water”) and paid for them in His crucifixion/final baptism (“blood”) (6a).
- God’s testimony as preserved thru those possessing and speaking by the Spirit, is that Jesus – by His life and death, has given those who believe, eternal life (6b-11).
- Knowing and having eternal life therefore requires knowing and having the Son (as your God and Savior/Messiah) (12-13).
- When we have Jesus as our God and Savior we also have confidence that what we ask (according to will), He will give to us (14-15).
- One of the things we should ask of God is to forgive those who are not characterized by unrepentant sin since this is according to His will and He will grant it (16a w/18 – “keep on sinning” = unrepentance).
- We should not ask God to forgive those who are unrepentant since: 1) this brings the spiritual death of apostasy (16b-17), 2) this means they have forever forfeited their birthright and God no longer protects them from the evil one (18).
- Christians should know that b/c they are God’s children they are not like the rest of the world that is: 1) w/o understanding, 2) under the power/influence of Satan, 3) not in relationship w/the true God or possessing eternal life (19-20).
- Finally, if we are to remain God’s children, we must keep away from all views of Jesus or forms of Christianity that do not agree w/what has been taught (in John’s letter) as the marks/signs of true Christianity since it is idolatry (21).