Genesis 49:16-18 “Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backwards. I look for your deliverance, O LORD.”
It is almost unbelievable as one reads the story of the children of God in the Old Testament to discover how paper thin their faith could be. They’d experienced the mighty works of God, deliverance from the plagues of Egypt, the Red Sea opening, manna from heaven day by day, water from the rock, so that a million of them were being taken through the Sinai desert and into the promised land. Yet whenever the slightest trial came they whinged, and they wished they were back as slaves in Egypt. They soon were turning away from God to worship an idol of a cow they had watched being made out of the gold ear-rings that they had provided. Who were these people following?
So as their leader Joshua settles them into the land of Canaan he senses how divided they are. He sets the future and its choices starkly before them; “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). A man in the crowd hearing these words could turn to his wife and say, “Well, who will it be Deborah? What do you think? Shall we go for the gods of the Amorites? I always thought they were very nice gods, and such a lovely temple, and I like the robes their priests wear. What shall we do? Shall we serve old Jehovah like your Dad and mine and Grandpa Ezra did? It’s such a tough choice isn’t it? Maybe we can serve them both.” You could hear such conversations in ten thousand homes of the children of Israel as they settled in the land of promise. Their faith in the Lord was as thin as paper.
Or again think of the situation on Mount Carmel with thousands and thousands of Jews stand around a vast natural amphitheatre and there are 850 prophets of Baal on one side of the stage and one prophet of the Lord, Elijah on the other side, and the people again were unpersuaded and curious. The prophets of Baal had been working for centuries going up and down the land with their nature worship and propaganda so that tens of thousands of the children of Israel went regularly to their groves, altars and Ashtoreth poles (like totem poles) to make their sacrifices to Baal for fertility and rain and recovery from sickness and victory in battles. Baal worship was all so understandable and accessible and the priests were so accommodating. Everyone got what he deserved and if you didn’t get it then it was your fault. You had secret sins or you hadn’t paid the prophets of Baal enough. It seemed to Elijah that there was nobody left worshipping Jehovah, and he challenged the thousands of spectators gathered to watch this contest between Baal and Jehovah, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. A man turned to his wife and said to her, “Deborah, we’ve heard it all before, haven’t we? It’s not that simple – like he makes out, is it? I like the old ways of the Lord, but those priests of Baal are so sincere, and they’ve been such a help to me and my mother. I want to keep my options open” Their faith in Jehovah was as thin as paper.
Or think of the Jews a few centuries later in Jerusalem. It is the Day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit has come upon the church, 120 followers of the risen Jesus Christ, and all of them are filled with the Holy Spirit without a single exception. They are speaking in languages they had not known before and they are telling people from all over the Roman Empire of the mighty works of God in Christ. There is the sound of a rushing mighty wind, and cloven tongues as of fire rest upon them without their being burnt. Then there are crowds seeing all this, and a spokesman for many of them calls out, “They are drunk! That’s the reason for all of this – alcohol!” Then Peter responds; he gets up and speaks to them; “Drunk at 9 o’clock in the morning? No. These men are disciples of Jesus Christ filled with the Spirit of God that the risen ascended Lord has poured upon them just as the prophet Joel told us would happen in the last days. God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.” And again a man turned to his wife and said, “Well, what do you think Deborah? Those men are certainly acting very strangely. They do seem drunk, but I liked what that fisherman from Galilee said. He seemed to me very sincere. But we don’t have to decide today do we? Let’s go home and put the children to bed.” And off they went wondering what the weather would be like tomorrow and could they organize a trip to take their children to Galilee to visit Deborah’s parents.
Or think of the church in what we call today Turkey, in a place called Ephesus, and that congregation was once discerning and zealous. It could get a massive letter from the apostle Paul, understand it and devour it. They had been a people who’d put on the whole armour of God and they walked in the Spirit. What a change now! You listen to one of them talking to his wife and he says, “Deborah, we thought we knew all the answers in those days didn’t we? We knew everything! I think our home life and family life suffered so much. I’m glad we’ve got things back in proportion again.” And Deborah smiled and nodded her agreement, but the Lord Jesus was the head of the church and he took its temperature, and he said, “I hold this against you. You have forsaken your first love” (Rev. 2:4).
Now concerning all those divided and unpersuaded people, at the time of Joshua, or Elijah, or at Pentecost, or in Ephesus and Laodicea, the son of Jacob whom we are considering today, Dan, is the father of all those who can’t make up their minds, the father of those who have left their first love, of believers who are neither hot nor cold. Dan is the leader of the pack, and as he stands before Jacob to get his own blessing from his father, and as his descendants went on to live their lives, then we are confronted with a double-mindedness, a people constantly torn between two opinions. That meant they could never serve the true God as they should. You were never certain where you were with the tribe of Dan; there was a serpent-like quality about them and their behaviour. His was a divided life torn between serving the old enemy, the Serpent, and the Lord of glory.
- HOW DAN WAS CONCEIVED.
How peculiar was Jacob’s family. Right at the beginning of the Bible it is set before us to tell us how fragile families are who are led by feelings and do their own thing. So much of Genesis is given over to how Jacob go
t his wives and gained his concubines and the trouble he had with his children. Jacob loved Rachel, and worked for her father for years until she was his. They adored one another, but the years went by and she had no children. Her sister Leah, whom her father had tricked Jacob into taking as his wife as well, had five sons, but Rachel had none. Every month came a reminder that she was not pregnant and Rachel became desperate. There seemed to be a cloud of failure and judgment hanging over her; she felt that she was despised by her fruitful sister, and though Jacob spoke to her of how much he loved her, Rachel became frantic, fearing that Jacob would abandon her.
Now you realise that desperation is the worst state to be in when it comes to a Christian making decisions. Let us try to avoid that state of mind in any way we can, worrying about various things that might happen and how we might respond to them. Let us establish firm biblical boundaries long before stuff threatens to smother us. We are going to be faithful to the Lord in desperate times, but in this Rachel was a total failure. She couldn’t contain her mounting frustration, and she turned angrily on her husband Jacob and she cried to him, in the opening verse of Genesis chapter 30, “Give me children or I’ll die!” You give me children! You must! I can’t go on living without children. I can’t bear the reproach from the looks of my sister and the others servant maids that I am never pregnant. You do something about this. Give me children, or I’ll die.
When Jacob heard his wife speaking to him like that he was justly angry with her; “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” What Jacob was doing was to go back to the First Cause of every providence. JAcob could not be in the place of God – any more than the most eloquent preacher in the world can be the reason for people being converted under his congregation. That is God’s grand prerogative to give spiritual life and physical life. The fruit of the womb is his reward; in that honour none shall share. Of course there are moral medical procedures that can be followed but we ignore our heavenly Father’s sovereignty in this matter of fertility to our peril.
But Rachel was determined; she had made up her mind; she had a plan and it would be a brave husband to stop her. She hit poor, ruffled, flustered Jacob, looking at his weeping, angry wife, with these words, “Take my maid. Take her to wife in order that children born of your union with her shall be mine!” The slave girl Bilhah would still be a slave; having a child would not buy her freedom, not for a day. As a slave she had no rights. No property, and no children, and so any child would be her mistress’s. Remember, this was the line of Abraham, the line of promise, and Abraham’s own grandson was being pressured by the person he loved most in the world to take such a step. This family should have been an example of blessed monogamy for all future generations, and though every wealthy family around them in the world was doing what Rachel was suggesting yet such a procedure was prohibited by God. How important is that to you, that there is something that is so desirable, and so enjoyable, and so beautiful but it is wrong? So that is enough for you, simply because God said so.
But Jacob broke apart, his whole moral universe, under the pressures of those reproachful eyes, and that weeping, month after month, and the passionate exhortation of his wife that he should do something now that others were all doing, just to please her. He already had two wives and so monogamy was already gone. Thus he took Bilhah the servant of Rachel to his bed and she immediately conceived and gave birth to Dan. Rachel was thrilled and took the conception as God vindicating her decision; “He has listened to my plea and given me a son” (Gen. 30:6). But it was not her son at all. Everything here was ‘let’s pretend.’ The child was not hers. She chose the name ‘Dan’ and the meaning of that word is ‘God has judged’ or ‘God judges me.’ In other words, “I have been vindicated by God.” So she jumps from her anger against God, and her own devising, and all of human engineering, in order to make the claim of the union of her husband and her slave girl, “This is the work of God.” Just like people do in every area of their lives. “It feels so right it can’t be wrong . . . I now have what I did not have before and I am thrilled and so God approves . . .” Rachel had made up her mind that she would get a child this way. A son was born and that was the divine confirmation. Her sister had done the same; Leah had also given her servant to Jacob and that slave girl had had sons too. If everybody is doing it then it can’t be wrong. God was judging them right for taking this course of action, and so she called her son “the judge,” or “the judgment;” “Dan” (it’s a sort of play on words in Hebrew).
But what actually happens is division. Rachel could not wait on God, and wait patiently for God’s time until he’d give her Joseph and Benjamin later on. She didn’t know that this was going to happen, but she didn’t know it definitely wouldn’t happen. The devil whispered in her ear that it wouldn’t – he wants to drive us to despair and the folly that despair brings. She couldn’t wait. She was obsessed with human thinking . . . “What do I want?” A child. “When do I want it?” Now. God was moving too slowly for her, so we’ll do it this way, decided Rachel, and the pregnancy of her servant girl and the birth of Dan became for her the proof that God was acting and judging correctly. That was how Dan arrived in the world. That was his conception. Dan’s mother never expressed a word of sadness that she had done wrong. He was raised to believe that it was divinely approved to act like that; “desperate times require desperate measures” so when he grew he acted like that, like a serpent striking at the feet of horsemen going about their business. On top of that Dan had the spirit of his father’s restlessness, a man who was determined to get his birthright snatching it from his brother by any means.
- HOW DAN CONTINUED.
Let us look at three or four examples of how Dan’s descendants behave through the example and influence of their founder. Here is a man whose father and mother have formed his thinking and his values in a certain way, and he stands by them and so it affects his children and their children after them. We are living in secular and godless Wales, where men have largely abandoned believing in God. They are ignorant of the Bible. For them Christianity is unimportant, what Caesar does is far more important, and this is the legacy that for many generations they have passed on to their children and their children after them. They don’t do God. When I was a boy 65 years ago my father was probably one of the only fathers in my year in school who went to church. Men like Dan believe that you do what you want to do, and then claim that what you’ve done is approved by God, and that the worst sin is judging other people. We can all appreciate what a dangerous attitude that is. Of course Dan was als
o a believer in the Lord, and so of course he had descendants who also showed their faith in God, though they were flawed men. He was torn two ways; he was limping between two opinions; he was neither hot nor cold. Let’s look at double-mindedness in the descendants of Dan.
i] From Dan came the famous Spirit-filled Oholiab.
Who he? You’ll know about him when you turn to Exodus 35 verse 30, and read on to the end of the chapter and on to the first verse of chapter 36. Let’s call Oholiab the patron saint of all students! “Then Moses said to the Israelites, ‘See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers – all of them master craftsmen and designers. So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the LORD has commanded.’” So who we meet here is Oholiab, a member of Dan’s family, a man filled with the Spirit of God, but it was not to prophesy or preach. It was to do what we know today as ‘the works of common grace,’ in other words to be an artist and craftsman and designer, to work in wood and precious metals and cloth and stone – “just as the Lord had commanded.” The temple was to be built, and the measurements and design and materials were received from God, just what he’d said, not just as Oholiab imagined. He was not to be original; he was to be faithful in doing what God had given, and he needed the Spirit of God to do that – as all of us need him, to be faithful workmen and students. And so in the tribe of Dan there were men who did what God commanded, but the tribe was stronger in practical skills than in ethical and spiritual and evangelical teaching. That was Dan. Once again . . .
ii] From Dan came also the genocide of Laish.
(One of the benefits of studying each of the blessings coming on the sons of Jacob is that it introduces us to many places of the Old Testament of which we are fearfully ignorant.) In Judges chapter 18 we are introduced to the tribe of Dan and we are told in the opening verse that “they were seeking a place of their own where they might settle, because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel” (Judges 18:1). The reason was that they had met fierce resistance trying to occupy the territory that had been allocated to them. The Amorites and the Philistine were fighting back, and so instead of crying more mightily to God, and pleading with him to help them, Dan moved further and further north out of their allocated area. Up and up the coast they went to another area, and there they came across little, harmless Laish. We read of it in verse 7 of chapter 18 of Judges, “five men left and came to Laish, where they saw that the people were living in safety, like the Sidonians, unsuspecting and secure. And since their land lacked nothing, they were prosperous. Also, they lived a long way from the Sidonians and had no relationship with anyone else. When they returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers asked them, ‘How did you find things?’ They answered, ‘Come on, let’s attack them! We have seen that the land is very good. Aren’t you going to do something? Don’t hesitate to go there and take it over. When you get there, you will find an unsuspecting people and a spacious land that God has put into your hands, a land that lacks nothing whatever’” (Judges 18:7-10). Do you see that? Do you see that typical phrase for a descendant of Dan, in verse 10? “God has put this into our hands. All this is of God, our failure in driving out the Amorites and Philistines – yes, all that is God’s plan that we can attack these good-natured unsuspecting farmers, wipe them out and live here” That spirit is exactly what Rachel had when her slave girl Bilhah got pregnant through her husband. “Can’t you see that it’s all of God,” she said. So what did the tribe of Dan do? They wiped those people out; total genocide of an unsuspecting group, outside of the borders of Israel, not in the land that God had given them. We are told that the tribe of Dan, “went on to Laish, against a peaceful and unsuspecting people. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city. There was no-one to rescue them” (Judges 18:27&28). What fearful cruelty. This is Dan the serpent biting the heels of the horse Israel as it goes on its way so that down the horse falls and the rider. Dan pulls down the reputation and godlike nature of the people of God. Dan wanted the very name of that infamous place to be wiped out and so they changed its name and called it after themselves Dan – just like the Russians changing ‘St. Petersburg’ to ‘Leningrad.’ But God made sure their misdeeds were remembered. This is where the tribe of Dan ended up, in cruelty and self-justification (Incidentally we get the famous phrase henceforth which describes the northern and southern extremities of the country of Israel, Dan and Beersheba). Again . .
iii] From Dan a rival religion sprang up. This is recorded in that same 18th chapter of Judges. Entering that area the five spies came across the house of man named Micah and they received his hospitality and spent the night there. Now it was in his house that they discovered a young Levite (the religious order just below the priests). Micah had hired him, and the five spies asked him to come with them and become the priest of Dan, and he is another one who is absolutely confident he knows what God’s will is; “Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval” (Judges 18:6) – on their journey of mass destruction! And then, when the tribe arrived in Laish, they found in one house its household gods and carved images and idols (v.12) and so they took them back to Micah’s house and gave them to the Levite so that he became the leading priest of the cult of the tribe of Dan. We are told that after they wiped out the people of the city they built a shrine in Dan; “There the Danites set up for themselves the idols” (v.30). So unrighteousness is followed by ungodliness. You see the snake Dan, striking at the progress of the people of God and sending them crashing down. What would be the reputation of the god whom the people of Dan served in the north of the country after such a massacre?
iv] From Dan came Samson the most famous of the judges. What a divided life lived the people of Dan and nowhere is personal division seen more evidently in the Old Testament than in the life of this judge. He is a hero of the faith; he is called by God to serve him in a special way and yet there were times in his life when Self pushed the Lord off the throne of his life and dominated what Sams
on did. He was given tremendous physical strength, it seems he was the strongest man in the world at that time. He could pick up not one but two enormous city gates from Gaza and carry them all by himself to the top of a hill; he could tear a lion apart as if it were a lamb; he struck down a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass. Pow, pow, pow! Yet he was trapped by a pretty face; he took a woman from the Philistines whom he just saw and he insisted that he marry her though God forbade it, but after a few days of marriage she was given to one of his friends. Then he took Delilah for he same reasons, and she betrayed him. Samson was caught, his hair shaved off, his eyes were put out and he was chained to the grinding wheel back in Gaza, an object of mockery.
The book of Judges tells us that Samson of the tribe of Dan had also been filled with the Spirit of God, and that was his strength, not his physique. His strength was God’s power in him, given to him for the purpose of delivering the people of God from their enemies, but Samson could use his physical strength like a Goliath, and could play with it, forgetting that he’d been separated to God as a Nazirite. He might touch no unclean thing, and yet he did. He trampled on what was holy, and God took his great strength from him. He lived a divided life; he was a typical child of Dan, maybe the best man ever to have come from Dan, and yet he was utterly unpredictable. What was Samson going to do next? What was a man of God doing catching foxes and tying their tails together and setting them on fire and driving them through fields of corn? What cruelty! What an oaf! He’s worse than Shrek! An ogre! Is he serving Jehovah or himself?
God took his strength away and finally he was captured and placed there eyeless in Gaza but there as a prisoner he offered himself to God. This man, who has never prayed when a judge and leader of the people, prays when he is at his lowest, sightless and in chains. Then he cried to God, and you know when you hear that prayer that this is a man who knows God, and you think, why didn’t he spend his earlier life praying more and fooling around with gates and riddles and foxes and women less. Samson was taken into the temple of Dagon the Philistines’ triumphant God; surely Dagon has shown that he has more power than the God of Israel! Samson was the figure of fun, and the people praised their god Dagon and say, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.” (Judges 16:24). Then Samson prayed like this, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes” (Judges 16:28). Let us understand that prayer. Samson has become a type of Jesus Christ, one who worked alone in destroying his enemies and ours, the world, Satan, sin and death. He determines to lay down his life to overcome those who hated God and sought to destroy his people. Then Samson’s strength was returned to him. He grasped the pillars around which the temple has been built and he pulled the whole place down, destroying the idol and all who served it and triumphing over them by his own brave death. What a life; what double standards, and this exactly represents the whole tribe of Dan. Dan was like Samson, living a divided life, so quickly leaving his first love, but then finding that love again at the end.
- HOW DAN CONCLUDED.
Let’s return to Egypt and the old patriarch Jacob, days before his death, and he is laying his blessing on his twelve sons and both the sons of Joseph who he has adopted. He loves each one of these boys of his, though many of them have broken his heart at different times. He begins by blessing his adopted sons by Joseph, and then on to Reuben, and he can shake his head at how that lad behaved, and then the next two sons, grieving at the conduct of Simeon and Levi. There’s not much to encourage him in those boys. Then he comes to Judah and we hope for better things from Judah that from him will come the great Shiloh, but the life of Judah has also been besmirched. We know that God will yet overcome Judah’s fall and will bring forth him who will be ruler in Israel forever, Jesus the Messiah, but that is through his grace not through Judah’s deserving. Then Jacob comes to the others and to Dan, and there is no hope in any of them as men and sons of his. Dan is unpredictable; what will come from Dan? You never knew with Dan what he would do next. Dan could produce men full of the Spirit, or spies who would lead the people into massacring communities of men, women and children. Dan could produce individual leaders who could be full of self-sacrificing love or who would fool around, and Samson was both.
Here stands Abraham’s grandson, old Jacob, knowing he has not long to live on this earth, and he is the heir of the promise that through his line the nations of the earth are going to be blessed. Through twelve boys like this, these kinds of boys, the Lord of glory is going to come. They will be his ancestors, and Jacob looks at them all, and he looks in particular at this one, the unpredictable, disappointing Dan, and he stops and suddenly he stops thinking of these sons of his, and he casts all his hope on Jehovah, “I look for your deliverance O Lord” (v.18). We don’t need any more Dans. The professing church is being destroyed by Christianity dominated by Dan. His life is a memorial warning to everybody, especially to us, because in the providence of God we are here listening to God saying these things to us now.
Salvation will not be in any of those men. Not one son of Jacob can be our Saviour. They all need a mighty Saviour. Deliverance has to come in a different way, or otherwise it will never come. It has to come from the one who is the Lord, not from someone who lives a divided life, who can speedily lose his first love, but from someone who loves God with all his heart and soul, and his neighbour as himself. 147 year old Jacob, seeming here in this 49th chapter of Genesis to be so lonely and pathetic, vows that he has no confidence in his own sons. He will wait for this Saviour to come; “I look for your deliverance O Lord.” And when we have put our hope in the best theologians, and the most powerful preachers and faithful pastors, and the godliest elders we turn dissatisfied from them all because in the end they will disappoint us like the sons of Jacob disappointed him, and we will say with Jacob, “I look for your deliverance, O Lord,” and we know that we won’t look to Jehovah in vain, indeed that all who look to him will not be put to shame.
How troubling is this life of Dan to you and me, this unpredictable man with his unreliable tribe? It is deeply troubling. He does not seem to have done the wickednesses that his older brothers had done, and yet Jacob says to him, “You’re a snake, a viper, a serpent that bites at horses’ heels and causes the rider to fall over backwards.” The journey of that good man is over through the action of a man like Dan. And now at the end of the sermon I normally say, but salvation is all of grace, no matter how great have been our falls, even these bad boys have their names written on the gates of heaven, and they are sealed by the Spirit of God. You have heard that haven&r
squo;t you? And am I going to put a little plaster over this cancer that is the spirit of Dan the double-minded man?
Well, let’s do that again. Let’s turn to that scene in Revelation chapter 7 and the hope we have that heaven is full of redeemed sinners. Please let’s look at it one more time and I’ll start to read at verse four: “Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, [we’ll be getting to Dan soon] from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, [we’ll soon be there with the tribe of Dan], from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000 [it won’t be long now before we’ll reach the tribe of Dan], from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.” The end. And Dan . . .? Have I missed it? Or is it just absent from the NIV? Or in every version of the Bible that you all have brought is Dan absent? Yes, in every version, in the Greek and in the English. No Dan. No mention of Dan as being sealed. And I am given theological apoplexy. No place for a double-minded man like Dan. Not a hint that he has been sealed.
What is happening? I would say that the number twelve is the essential symbolic number for Israel in its tribes. We know that there were more than 12 because of the inclusion of Joseph’s sons, and yet they are never referred to as the thirteen or the fourteen, any more than the 12 apostles are made ‘the thirteen’ after Saul of Tarsus is added to them. Here John in Revelation is telling us of the people of God sealed by the Spirit of God and he includes all Israel, and that must mean Dan too. We are sure that Dan was in heaven, but he does not mention Dan by name. He is the one tribe excluded, and that is a fearful warning about the perils of trying to please self as well as Christ, of limping between two opinions, of trying to live in the kingdom of darkness as well as the kingdom of God. Even Reuben is named, and Simeon and Levi the mass killers are there also. Their names are of men sealed by God, but not Dan’s name. Now we are not likely to fall into the sins of those other men, taking our father’s concubine and massacring whole communities, that is unlikely to be the sin of members of our congregations even though the seeds of these sins are in all our hearts, but the sins of trying to run with the fox and the hounds, pleasing men and God, – all of us are only too susceptible to this. There is a book of life and the names of all God’s people are recorded in it, and please let’s be sure that our names are recorded in that book, that we are resting all our hopes in great Jacob’s greater son Jesus Christ, and that we are living credible godly lives of those who trust in him. Let’s read the life of Dan and his descendants and let’s fear. Let us determine to make this congregation a Dan-free zone, and let us say, “The Lord alone is our God and him alone we will serve all the days of our lives,” and cry to God for grace to live consistent godly loving lives. Faith without such works of godliness is as dead as a stony heart.
30th October 2011 GEOFF THOMAS