From Grief to Joy

God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there."
GENESIS 35:1
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From Grief to Joy
In extreme necessity and despair, as it were, God comes to the help of His patriarch, as is stated in Psalm 9:9-10, and He is really a helper in need.. . Therefore after God sees that Jacob is forsaken and despised and ridiculed by his own sons and that they are not very much distressed for having brought their father into a very critical situation and for having made him very sad, He is present in season and comforts him. For his groaning filled heaven and earth. "Your prayer and tears," He wants to say, "compel Me to come to your aid. The things which seemed to threaten you with destruction will not harm you at all. I am the Lord your God! The Shechemites were killed by My permission, and this whole tragedy was enacted that I might prove you, discipline you, and make you approved and chosen. But be of good courage! I will restrain and check all the fury and raging of the people and change your grief and lamentation into joy. You will be a lord in Shechem, for so it has been ordained by Me." . . . God permits all these things to be done that He may teach us to pray, cry out, and groan. For this is the column of smoke ascending from the desert. In this manner a very great storm is calmed here, and Jacob receives very welcome consolation and peace of heart.
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