Thursday, February 11, 2016

Reflection on Genesis 44: Divination in God's Family?

In Genesis 30, Laban tells Jacob, "I have divined that the LORD has  blessed me on your account."  Through divination, Laban figures out that  the reason he has been so prosperous over the years is because Jacob  has God's favor and he has been indirectly blessed by this.   

In  Genesis 44, when Joseph meets his brothers after years of living in  Egypt, he has his cup secretly placed in Benjamin's bag.  But it is not  just any ordinary cup. It is the cup that Joseph uses for divination. 

Apparently,  even though these folks seemed to follow Yahweh, they still were  engaging in the pagan practice of divination.  I am reminded of when  Saul was told in 1 Samuel 15 that "rebellion is as the sin of  divination."  This indicates that divination is something that God finds  abhorrent.

I wonder, under what circumstances did they  practiced divination?  Why didn't they seek the Lord for guidance?  Was  divination a way they tried to find guidance from Yahweh?  Didn't they  understand that Yahweh is not bound by spells, incantations, or any  other attempts to try and manipulate him?   Did they not know that this is actually a pagan notion and not a true view of God? 

I wonder if we have pagan notions of God, or some other unbiblical notion of God that affects how we approach him?  I wonder if  we have our own ways of trying to manipulate him.  Maybe it is  bargaining with God, or thinking that using a verbal formula or posture for  praying will be the thing to make him do something.  What forms of “divination” do we have in our lives? 

How patient God is as we grow in  our understanding! How merciful he is even in our stubbornness!  In spite of our immaturity, God still blesses us due  to his graciousness, just as he blessed Laban, Jacob or Joseph through the rough times  in  life.  Truly, God is Good! 

Lord, please for give us for our foolish ways.  May we always seek you as you are, not not as we wish you to be.  Help us to humbly seek you through your word and to be faithful and devoted to your in spite of our weaknesses.  Thank you Lord for your long-suffering patience. 

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