Genesis 35:16-29Genesis 35:16-29. These family records mingle well with the story of God's grace. The mothers "Ben-oni is the father's Benjamin." Out of the pain and the bereavement sometimes comes the consolation. A strange blending of joy and sorrow is the tale of human love. But there is a higher love which may draw out the pure stream of peace and calm delight from that impure fountain. Jacob and Esau were separated in their lives, but they met at their father's grave. Death is a terrible divider, but a uniter too. Under the shadow of the great mystery, on the borders of an eternal world, in the presence of those tears which human eyes weep for the dead, even when they can weep no other tears, the evil things of envy, hatred, revenge, alienation do often hide themselves, and the better things of love, lessee, brotherhood, amity come forth. Jacob was with Isaac when he died, and Esau came to the grave. - R.
1. God carrieth His Jacobs sometimes from Ephrath to Edar, from one affliction to a worse.
The sons of Jacob.
2. The Church's journeys and stages are appointed and ordered by God.
3. Israel is willing to pitch his tents where God allots him.
4. The Church and its pastor sit down by the tower of the flock; shepherds and sheep have their tower (ver. 21).
5. The Church's habitation is not free from affection and affliction in the land of its sojournings.
6. Providence ordereth the permission of the foulest crimes sometimes in His own Church.
7. The chiefest in outward privilege in the Church may fall into greatest sin. God's wisdom orders it.
8. God will not suffer the blots in His Church to be wholly covered or silenced. Others may learn by them.
9. Great is the fascination of lust which makes a son and wife conspire to pollute the father's bed.
10. Deep impressions the tidings of such wickedness in the Church makes upon gracious men, to consternation.
11. Providence distinctly notes the genealogy and number of the Church's beginnings, to observe God's making good His promises. Now Jacob was come to twelve (ver. 22).
12. God doth not always cast out of His visible Church for greatest wickedness. Reuben is numbered.
13. The twelve first patriarchs were ordained of God's grace, not for their worth.
14. Scripture useth figurative speeches, warily to be opened by God's ministers (vers. 23-26).
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
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