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  •  WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 2012

    Genesis 34

    Scripture:  Genesis chapter 34

    Observation:  This is one difficult chapter to read.  If it were a movie, it would be rated R.  Dinah, Leah's daughter, goes to visit the Hivite women, the women who live in the land where her father Jacob has purchased land.  There she is seen by Shechem, the son of Hamor who owns everything in those parts.  Shechem is obviously the apple of his father's eye; the city where they live is named after him.  Shechem takes Dinah, and violates (rapes) her (v.2).  However, he doesn't do it like some serial rapist; he actually falls in love with her and demands that his father get him Dinah for his wife.  Hamor meets with Jacob to arrange the marriage.  Jacob had heard of the rape, but it was his sons who reacted with grief and anger over what had been done to their little sister.  Hamor pleads with Jacob to allow a marriage between their children.  He made it sound like a sound investment - they'd intermarry, trade, and live together peacefully.  Jacob's sons had other plans.  They told Hamor and Shechem that it would be impossible to allow their sister to marry an uncircumcised man.  They would not intermarry with such uncleanliness.  If the men of Shechem agreed to be circumcised, then the sons of Israel would consent to Dinah's marriage.  Hamor and Shechem agreed, and convinced the men of the city to do the same.  Three days after their circumcision, when they were in extreme pain, Simeon and Levi came into the city and killed all the men.  Then their brothers came in and ransacked the city, taking women, children and slaves prisoners.  Jacob is outraged at his son's behavior, and worried about the consequences.  They will now be outcasts, and what's more the Canaanites and Perizzites may come against him because of what his sons had done.  But they stood firm; they would not allow these men to get away with treating their sister like a prostitute.

    Application:  So many things went wrong during this time.  First, Dinah shouldn't have been mixing in the company of the Hivite women.  Their beliefs and culture were totally contrary to that of her family.  Shechem is completely responsible for his actions towards Dinah, but had she been with her own family perhaps this incident could have been avoided altogether.  Second, we see the deceit that had been Jacob's downfall with his own brother, and the deceit of their grandfather Laban, giving fruit to yet more deceit, this time from Jacob's sons.  They knew they couldn't defeat the men of Shechem because they were outnumbered, so instead they trick them into getting circumcised, knowing full well they wouldn't be able to fight back.  Had Simeon and Levi attacked only Shechem and his father, it would have been considered justice, an eye for an eye.  But to kill every man in the city, and then destroy the town as they did, was uncalled for.  This was no longer vengeance, it was murder, and that is not justifiable.  Keeping apart from the world, and leaving vengeance to the Lord, would have been the proper course for these young people to take.

    Prayer:  Father, Your Word tells us that we will reap what we sow.  How true that is!  It's easy to point to these people and see what's wrong with their actions, but what about my own?  Am I so quick to see what I'm doing that is contrary to Your will, and am I eager to change my ways?  Help me to see my faults and my failings, and to humbly come to You for correction, so that I don't have to suffer the way Dinah and her family suffered because of what seemed to be an innocent mistake.  Thank You for Your guidance and wisdom imparted in Your Word.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Posted by Arlene at 5:43 AM No comments: 

    Labels: Genesis

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