The Value Of Life

“So you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you. Dwell and trade in it, and acquire possessions for yourselves in it.”

Genesis 34:10

God’s command to Jacob was to return to Bethel in Canaan, the land of his family. Jacob did arrive in the area of Canaan yet was not completely obedient to the Lord’s instruction. Rather than settle in Bethel, he arrived in Shechem. Here, he ended up purchasing property and settling down. This was a place he was not supposed to be. 

This has been the pattern of Jacob’s life, still scheming and looking out for himself with half-hearted obedience to God. In fact, after his daughter Dinah is violated by the prince of that land, they came to Jacob with an offer. Shechem wanted Dinah as a wife and was offered the opportunity for commerce and success. Jacob’s focus was so much on the things of the world that even the life of his daughter seemed to have no value to him. Rather than view them as an enemy that desired to harm him, he wanted to join them. He was in agreement. 

I have heard it said, “When you love money, you use people.” That seems to be the case here with Jacob. His heart was contrary to the Lord, and he was in a place where he was not supposed to be. Rather than shaking hands in agreement of commerce with the world, he should have valued the life of his daughter and fought for her. He put vocation and possessions about the life of another, even his own family. He “sacrificed them upon the altar of fame and riches.”  

The Bible tells us that Satan made the same kind of offer to Jesus when he said, “if you worship before me, all will be Yours” (Luke 4:7). Jesus could have had riches and fame during His earthly ministry, but that is not what He came for. His mission from His Father was to die for our sins. He was to die for the sins of the world. He was instructed to give to the world, not take possessions from it. The only thing He took from this world was power over death. Now, He gives life!  

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:54-56
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