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Genesis 34:1-31 - Danger/Disobedience - Part 3
So far we have seen a very difficult chapter as we finish it off starting in vs. 25.
Vs. 25-29 - “Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male.
They put Hamor and his son Shechem to the sword and took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left. The sons of Jacob came upon the dead bodies and looted the city where their sister had been defiled. They seized their flocks and herds and donkeys and everything else of theirs in the city and out in the fields.
They carried off all their wealth and all their women and children, taking as plunder everything in the houses.
On another level, does this not speak to the credibility of the Scriptures? What people group is going to advance a legend of dishonor?
Go out and study all the people groups in the world. They will advance legends of greatness and prosperity! Not dishonoring stories like these.
Vs. 30-31 -“Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”
But they replied, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”
This is a big set-up job is what it was! Jacob’s sons were just a bit more devious than the Shechamites thought! So, they go through with this religious ritual, the men are all circumcised, and that’s when Levi and Simeon swoop in for the kill.
From Joshua 5:8 we understand there’s a period of time where you're going to be - shall I say - “disabled” after such a procedure. There’s a great deal of pain and swelling... So they wait until the 3rd day, when the pain is the greatest, and they go in and start killing.
Jacob isn’t too happy with the boys, but what’s wild to me here is that it’s all about him! He’s not upset about the tremendous injustice in the mass murder and the deception and the severity of all this as much as he is afraid for his own life.
Should he be angry? Yes, he should. The severity went way beyond the crime. In fact, the justice that his kids meeked out is infinitely more severe than the Mosaic law will later legislate for this.
But what he should have been ticked off about, is here he is building altars among the pagans and yet his own kids are acting worse than the pagans. What he should have been angry at is their testimony is being destroyed! This is the reason God chose them as a people. To show the surrounding nations what?
When we look at it, it should come as no surprise. Where did these boys learn this deception? They learned it from good ole’ dad, didn’t they!
Just a chapter before, he told their Uncle Esau - “Hey, we’ll be right there behind ya!” Then hightails it in the opposite direction.
Maybe Jacob didn’t conduct a school of deception, But the way he lived his life was training the boys in that very thing.
This is something we need to be so very careful with is the way we live our lives before our kids and the way we order our lives before the lost. It speaks volumes about who we are and who they perceive the people of God to be.
In closing, let’s back out of the trees and look at the whole forest.
What we have is a man who knowingly stepped outside the will of God for a period of time, and that period of time was an absolute bike wreck for he and his family that can’t be erased and long term consequences that will have to be dealt with, particularly for Levi and Simeon as we’ll discover down the road.
Remember that “Bethel” means “House of God.” We started covering that back in ch. 12. Had this man lead his family to the House of God, none of this would have ever come to pass.
But here we have a man delaying obedience, living outside of God’s will for his life, and there is just a boatload of rotten fruit that has been produced.
The safest and most peaceful place to be is right smack dab in the middle of where God has called us to be. Just being about the next thing the Lord has for us. The Lord is never going to overload your spiritual inbox, but we have to be about one step at a time, that’s why Psalm 119 says: “Your word is a light unto my path.” Illuminating my next step!
Here’s an example of a man who knew where he was supposed to live, and he wasn’t living there, and consequently, he had ushered a whole lot of trouble into his life.
So it’s important that as we have these encounters with God, as we believe we’ve been converted by God... Remember, our conversion was just the beginning and the next steps in our lives involve simply walking in obedience to the will of our heavenly Father and whatever that next thing is that He is placing before us.
So one of the things we ought to be concerning ourselves with this week is just self-examination before the Lord.
“Lord, am I where you really want me to be in life? Am I about what you would have me be about?”
Or, am I pursuing my own interests and my own desires apart from you?
Am I leading my family in the direction that I ought to be leading them in?
Am I living my life in such a way before unbelievers that it is drawing them to you rather than pushing them further away and destroying my witness?
Let’s bring self-examination before the Lord this week.
Bring confession, bring repentance and we’ll discover that the Lord will literally pour out His mercy and grace upon your life and begin to set you back upon that path that He desires you and created you to be upon.
Blessings to you all.