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bible reading feb 2

Bible reading for Feb 2:  Genesis 34; Mark 5. 

Rape and revenge (Gen 34). Life in the promised land could be lawless and violent.  The Patriarchs dwelt peacefully in the land promised to them, living as resident aliens in their midst.  Generally, relations with the surrounding cities was good.  Chapter 34 chronicles a serious flare-up. Jacob's daughter Dinah was sexually assaulted, and two of Jacob's sons wreak vengeance upon that city. We should note that even in the OT such revenge was not approved among God's people.  Many years later, nearing his death, Jacob would say, "Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords. Let my soul come not into their council; O my glory, be not joined to their company. For in their anger they killed men, and in their willfulness they hamstrung oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel." (Gen 49:5-7)  Desiring justice is one thing, seeking revenge is another: "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"  (Rom 12:19; Deut 32:35)


"Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." (Mark 5:19)

Desperate situations (Mark 5).  Three very remarkable miracles further glorify the authority of Christ.  First, Jesus delivers the Gerasene demoniac. What's unusual: the condition of this man, possessed by "Legion" (a Roman Legion would number 4,000 to 5,000 soldiers; if the number is taken literally, that would mean a multitude of demonic spirits oppressed this man; Jesus traveled across the Sea of Galilee just to heal this one man; and apparently demons want to dwell in bodies [there's been much speculation about why that is so]). We also note that this man was not allowed to follow Jesus on the road, but rather was to go home and share his testimony.  What a great mercy was shown to this man!  And shouldn't this be true of us, as well, that we should "go home and tell your friends how much the Lord has done for you, and how he had mercy on you"?

Secondly, the woman with chronic bleeding for many years is healed by a touch, without even speaking to Jesus.  She was unclean and supposedly would have defiled Jesus (made him ritually unclean) by touching him, but with the Lord it works in the other direction: his power and holiness removed her uncleanness.  He does not rebuke here, but says, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease." (5:34)  It's noted that she had been sick the same number of years, 12, as Jairus's daughter had been alive.  

Thirdly, Jesus raises Jairus's daughter from the dead.  He said to Jairus, after he received the news of his daughter's death, "Do not fear, only believe." (5:36)  The disheartening delay in getting to Jairus's house actually resulted in a greater miracle -- raising the girl from the dead. Jesus took her hand and spoke gently, "Talitha cumi". He also was concerned that she get something to eat
What a wonderful and caring Savior we have!

Three very remarkable miracles for people in helpless situations!  We should never lose hope in the authority and power of Christ.

Image credit: Imperial Roman legionaries in tight formation, a relief from Glanum, a Roman town in what is now southern France. Photo above by Rama at  Wikimedia Commons. 

We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.  A PDF copy is available here

Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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