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Genesis 34:1-31 - Danger/Disobedience - Part 2
We continue with a chapter in Genesis that is difficult, and we noticed that the name of the Lord isn’t brought up one time in these verses. We now continue picking it up in vs. 5...
Vs. 5-24 - When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he did nothing about it until they came home.
Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. Meanwhile, Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened.
They were shocked and furious because Shechem had done an outrageous thing in Israel by sleeping with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done. (We’re going to discover later in the text that this isn’t a catch and release. This guy rapes her and now he’s got her locked up in his house. So keep that in mind.)
But Hamor said to them, “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take our daughters for yourselves. You can settle among us; the land is open to you. Live in it, trade in it, and acquire property in it.”
Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I’ll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the young woman as my wife.”
Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob’s sons replied deceitfully as they spoke to Shechem and his father Hamor. They said to them, “We can’t do such a thing; we can’t give our sister to a man who is not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us. We will enter into an agreement with you on one condition only: that you become like us by circumcising all your males. Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We’ll settle among you and become one people with you. But if you will not agree to be circumcised, we’ll take our sister and go.”
Their proposal seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. The young man, who was the most honored of all his father’s family, lost no time in doing what they said because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city to speak to the men of their city. “These men are friendly toward us,” they said. “Let them live in our land and trade in it; the land has plenty of room for them. We can marry their daughters and they can marry ours. But the men will agree to live with us as one people only on the condition that our males be circumcised, as they themselves are. Won’t their livestock, their property, and all their other animals become ours? So let us agree to their terms, and they will settle among us.”
All the men who went out of the city gate agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male in the city was circumcised.”
Now, what strikes me as more bizarre than anything else in this narrative is the fact that Jacob was silent in this whole deal. I don’t understand it! Here’s Jacob not only NOT saying anything, but there’s nothing recorded here as to where he is at with this and what he is thinking emotionally. I mean, come on! This is his only daughter here! I just don’t get it!!
His sons, however, a different story altogether! These boys are mad as heck, as they should be!
But again, what the lack of headship is producing in this home is just as staggering. Jacob may be silent, but what these boys are suggesting here makes absolutely so sense whatsoever!
Now, when we see what they are going to go through within a minute, we’ll understand that this is a huge set-up job!
But listen, Jacob doesn’t know that! He doesn’t know where his boys are going with this. He doesn’t know it’s a set-up job because we’re going to discover when this goes down, he’s going to say: “Guys, what did ya do that for?”
So, his silence is just bizarre. What he should be questioning in all this “suggested” course of action is: “Kids, have you lost your mind?! What good is circumcising these guys? What, are you going to make Jews out of them? They aren’t part of the covenant. This is not the mandate that God gave to us. What are you thinking?!” But he’s not leading these children. Listen, here’s Jacob, the man isn’t doing anything, he’s not saying anything... And this is sin!!
There are sins of commission in the Bible. But there is also what James calls sins of omission: James 4:17 - “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
Tremendous lesson here. Our fallen nature is bent in such a way that when we’re in a situation where we know what we ought to do but do not do it... Where there is an action to be taken but we’re too passive... here is a void that is then going to be created, and our nature is to fill that void with sin.
This is why the Word of God is saturated with commands to “DO!” James 1:22; Rom. 2:13; Luke 11:28; and on and on... The Bible places a heavy emphasis upon “DOING.” And the reason for that is that if we’re just sorta kicking back and we’re on cruise control and we’re just losing our passion for the things of God and we’re not doing what we ought to be doing... then spiritual voids will be produced there and we will fill those voids with sin.
So we see here that Jacob is outside where God wants him to be and there is not one mention of the Lord in this chapter! It is filled with nothing but sin.
As far as the Shechemites are concerned, these boys think they are being shrewd. They think they are going to take Israel for a ride.
Their thought process (vs. 23) is: “look, this is a business deal, we’re smarter than them, we’re going to let them trade, and as a result of that, we’re going to eventually absorb all of their wealth. We’re going to get all their stuff, so let’s just make the short-term sacrifice (Ouch, that’s a tough one!) for the long-term gains!
And of course, what’s this a picture of what? Men using a religious ritual that they have no intention of internalizing to any degree whatsoever! This is a picture of men using religion for material gain.
These guys are under the impression that they are dealing with country bumpkins here.
Now, they may be country bumpkins, but these are some crazy mad country bumpkins, as we will see next week when we finish off the chapter.
Blessings to you all.