Do Not Rely on Yourself

Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land."
GENESIS 34:30
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Do Not Rely on Yourself
Where is faith here and the remembrance of the promises? Why does [Jacob] not induce his heart   to say: "You have prevailed against God. How much " more, then, will you prevail against neighboring nations? All this has slipped away from him. Trial devours the splendid promises and most glorious victories of faith. But he does not yet despair, although he is very similar to one in despair. He does not fall into misbelief and is not an unbeliever, although it appears so. This is trial, just as Paul says of himself: "So that we might not rely on ourselves, we had the sentence of death in ourselves" (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9). It is necessary for the saints to be disciplined in this way, to descend into hell and the abyss, and to be recalled from there into heaven. For so far Jacob retains a smoking flax in his heart. When it was announced that Simeon and Levi had smitten and plundered the whole city, it was impossible for him not to be deeply moved on account of so many murders. So there was undoubtedly very great weakness here, complaining, wailing, and crying out to God. . .. This prayer was heard according to the promise, for he had the spirit of faith or of grace and prayers.
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