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Bible Study Notes 2/20/2024

Winter Series: God Never Gives Up On You!             

Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton

Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tues., 20 Feb. Lesson 10, Part 1

 

Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up On You © 2024

Quiet Time: Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up, Pages 113-125


Avoiding Costly Diversions – It’s possible for our attention to be diverted from God’s plan. Such a distraction could be from a lack of focus on the path God has set before us; inattentiveness; or, personal desires. These do not always defeat God’s ultimate plan for our lives, but they can exact a very costly price. The wisdom of Scripture, warns us to keep our focus on the things of God, and do everything we can to remain in the right path. (Read, Proverbs 4:26-27, NLT). Evil is described in many ways in the Bible; however, inherent in the term is the idea of “destruction.” The wisdom writer in Proverbs says we are to “keep our feet from following evil.” We should not be “enticed” into directions that can harm us.  There is instinctive in human nature the desire to explore; which could be good or bad. When our ego or emotions lead us in a direction that’s contrary to a path God would approve; our pursuits could lead us into danger. There are many incidents and narratives in Scripture, where making the choice to go in a direction contrary to what God commanded, ends up in some temporary; or even fatal disaster. Jonah, the reluctant prophet, is such an example. God commissioned Jonah to prophesy in Ninevah, a city for whose inhabitants Jonah held a strong racial bias. Jonah decided to take a diversion west, instead of east; intending to travel to Tarshish (modern-Spain). The rough seas swallowed Jonah as he was thrown overboard in a storm. He was captive in a great fish for 3 days and 3 nights, until God released him and he appeared safe on dry land. Jonah’s detainment was the price he paid for his diversion from God’s commission. The harrowing confinement forced Jonah to turn his thoughts to God in prayerful devotion. Jacob experienced the pain of diverting his attention from God’s directive, when upon entering Canaan, he did not go as told, directly to the place of his birth. (Read, Genesis 31:13, NLT). Instead, Jacob took a diversion to Shechem, and engaged in dealings with the King there. (Read, Genesis 33:18-19, NLT). In his book, God Never Gives Up On You, Max Lucado describes Jacob’s diversion: “Shechem was only twenty miles from Bethel. Jacob had covered five hundred miles since fleeing Laban. He was within eyeshot of his goal. But he stopped short.”  Jacob’s failure to do as God commanded him exacted a heavy toll on his family, especially his daughter Dinah. (Read, Genesis 34:1-5, NLT).  The resulting violence and bloodshed that occurred as a result of Jacob’s diversion, had consequences which create divisions among Semitic people groups today. (Read, Genesis 34:25c-26; 30b, NLT). After Jacob’s sons massacred the Hittites, the Scripture records, “Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have ruined me. You have made me [odious] among the people of this land…[all] the Canaanites and Perizzites. (Gen. 35:30b, NLT).


Key Idea:

What We Believe!

  1. “God’s grace never quits.” – Max Lucado


Key Verses:

Proverbs 4:26-27, NLT

“Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”


Genesis 31:13, NLT

“I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel, the place where you anointed the pillar of stone and made your vow to me. Now get ready and leave this country and return to the land of your birth.”


Genesis 33:18-19, NLT

“Later having traveled all the way from [Mesopotamia] , Jacob arrived safely at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan. There he set up camp outside the town. Jacob bought the plot of land where he camped from the family of Hamor, the father of Shechem for 100 pieces of silver, and there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel.”  


Genesis 34:1-5, NLT

“One day Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the young women who lived in the area. But when the local prince, Shechem son of Hamor the Hittite, saw Dinah, he seized her and raped her. But then he fell in love with her, and tried to win her affection with tender words. he said to his father Hamor, “Get me that young girl. I want to marry her.” Soon Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter, Dinah.  But since his sons were out in the fields herding his livestock, he said nothing until they returned.”


Genesis 34:25c-26; 30b, NLT

“…Then they slaughtered every male there, including Hamor and his son Shechem. They killed them with their swords, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house and returned to their camp…Jacob said…” I will be ruined and my household wiped out.” 

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