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Daily Devotionals

Voice of the Lord

Devotional for 7th of Tishrei, 5781

Shim'on [Simeon] and Levi are brothers.... I will divide them in Ya'akov [Jacob] and scatter them in Isra'el (Genesis 49:5-7).

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Considering human weakness, it's no wonder that we are vulnerable to discouragement, especially when we fail the Lord. Shim'on and Levi had seriously jeopardized the future of their descendants by their act of violence and cruelty, as recorded in Genesis 34. They avenged the rape of their sister Dinah by killing all the males in the city where the rapist lived. In fact, their father Ya'akov had prophesied that they would be dispersed throughout Israel, thus missing their own unique inheritances.

The prophecy came true for both of the tribes. The sons of Shim'on, rather than having their own territory, were settled in cities within the boundaries of Judah, where they were eventually swallowed up by that tribe. However, for Levi, the prophecy was fulfilled for good and not for evil. Their dispersal throughout the nation facilitated their role as ministers and priests in Israel.

The difference in outcome was due to the faithfulness of the Levites when the majority of the nation sacrificed and bowed down to the golden calf (see Exodus 32). In spite of the overwhelming pressure to compromise in the face of mass defections, the tribe of Levi chose to do what was right. The temptation to submit to idolatry would have been reinforced by the knowledge that, as the above Scripture says, they already had a curse pronounced against them for a past transgression. That could have easily led to despondency since it seemed their fate had already been sealed. However, the sons of Levi stayed faithful to God and changed the curse that was on them to a blessing.

...cast off all discouragement and despair over my past sins and failures. Instead, I will remain faithful to my God, knowing that he remains faithful to me.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright © 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.

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Friday, September 25th, 2020
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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