HIS Love Conquers All

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It is both amazing and appalling what is done “in God’s Name.”

Jacob continues to practice deception. Not only has he manipulated things so that he comes away from his father-in-law with enough wealth to make Laban’s heirs jealous, but he lies to Leah and Rachel by saying that God blessed him with all this wealth because Laban had cheated him of the wages he deserved over the course of the twenty years that Jacob remained in exile from his own family. One sin does not require another to correct it. But Jacob had yet to learn that lesson.

Genesis 31 continues the sad story of "deceive and be deceived."

Whatever goodwill Laban had extended to Jacob is well tarnished now. Genesis 31:2 says, “And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.” I guess Laban noticed that Jacob was getting richer while he was getting poorer. So Jacob deceives his father-in-law again and runs off into the night with his family and his belongings.

Rachel even steals her father’s “household gods” (31:19) on her way out the door. When challenged later by her father as to the whereabouts of these images, she will lie (31:35).

We know, because we know the end of the story, that God can work good even out of the most evil of circumstances and work through, and despite, the actions of the most sinful people. It’s the essence of Romans 8:28. Paul reminds his readers that everyone and everything, creation included, is suffering because of sin. But he concludes, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who have been called according to his purpose.” No matter what, nothing can separate us from His love and no matter what, we can have victory over whatever comes our way (Romans 8:37-39).

But caught up in the minutiae of daily life it is hard to see anything but the evil.

Before Christmas I subscribed to thirteen free weeks of the Toronto Star. I watch the news on television. And I read my Bible.

Different era. Same sin.

And people are still doing things in the Name of God, supposedly to “help Him out,” that He didn’t command. You see, the Ten Commandments, often denied and trampled on, are summed up in these two given to us by Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

To love our neighbour is to do him no harm—to not kill him, lie to him, steal from him, commit adultery against him, envy what he has to the point of evil. We are incapable of not doing harm to those who differ from us unless, and until, we learn to love God with all we are—first things must come first. And we cannot say we love God, or truly operate in His Name, if we do our neighbour harm. John is adamant about this when he writes: “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness” (1 John 2:9).

And we are all brothers and sisters from the same family tree—children of Adam and Eve. For those of us who have been adopted into the family of God through faith in Christ, we have been commanded to model Him. John writes: “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6).

The memorials, left behind at the Mosque in Quebec City after the shooting rampage of Sunday night, have often expressed this adage, that love will conquer all. It will—but only if it is as an expression of God’s love through us as we walk, talk, and act, as Jesus did. Nothing will change until He, by His Spirit, changes us.

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