And These Are the Good Guys?

There are some pretty nasty events that happen in chapters 31-36 of Genesis. In chapter 34 two of Jacob’s sons deceitfully slaughter an entire village of men. In chapter 35, one of Jacob’s sons has sex with his concubine. Jacob comes across as a “not so hot” father and his sons are a hot mess. This sort of sets the stage for what happens in chapter 37 as Joseph is sold into slavery. And yet these men are the patriarchs of the Jewish faith. They are the “heroes” that many teach about. And yet these are extremely flawed people…I mean very flawed people. And God used them anyway.

Why would God have preserved this information for us? Why would God paint His people, the ones He chose, in such a negative light? I wonder if it is to help each of us to understand that none of us is perfect. We all make mistakes…sometimes horrific mistakes. And though we almost always see consequences recorded for us in the Old Testament, we are reminded that God is a gracious God. With God it is never three strikes and you are out. God continually works in our lives; lovingly drawing us to Himself. Though I don’t condone sin in the patriarchs of the Old Testament, and I certainly don’t condone sin in my own life, I am very grateful for a gracious God who consistently works in the life of the “good guys” even when we do bad things.


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