Saturday, January 14, 2012
It’s the weekend! Welcome to Day 14 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Genesis 34, states that one of Jacob’s daughters, Dinah, is raped… v 31 says she was “treated like a prostitute.” I’m wondering about this… Why her brothers didn’t categorize this incident as rape as it states in v 2? Rape and prostitution are two different things.
Regardless, when Dinah’s brothers and dad got wind of this situation they angry. Wondering if they were more angry at how she was treated, or more unhappy that it was with whom it happened. More angry that she had been “defiled” by a foreigner, someone not of their tribe, who had no belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Or the circumstance surrounding this encounter itself?
“Shechem. 19 The young man, who was the most honored of all his father’s family.” Why would the “most honored son” commit an act like this?? This is such a sad situation all the way around… My heart sinks… Was this out of character for him??
“18 Their proposal [setting a price for her to be his wife, agreement between these people, that they be circumcised] seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man, who was the most honored of all his father’s family, lost no time in doing what they said, [being circumcised] because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter.” He was delighted with HER, but I’m wondering how she was with HIM? And where is Jacob in all this. No indication as to his feelings about her being “defiled” v 5.
Then Jacob’s sons (Simeon and Levi) go off and attack them after they had made an agreement? Where is the honor in that? They killed all the men of the city, including Shechem and his father, and took their sister back home.
Wondering about Dinah’s future. Were Simeon and Levi justified in doing what they did?
Note that Jacob did not thank them for what they did OR for getting his daughter back. He chastised them for “bringing trouble upon ME.” Upon ME?? It’s so easy to make situations about ME.
Sometimes when the Bible doesn’t record the detail I want it to, just causes me to wonder about the details. This whole story is so tragic.
BUT… Then God speaks to Jacob and tells him to go back to Bethel, the place God had revealed himself to him as he was fleeing Esau twenty-some years before. (Remember it had been twenty years since they had seen each other. Jacob worked 7 years for Rachel/Leah, then 7 more for Rachel, then worked another 6 for their father.)
Genesis 35, Rachel and Isaac both die in this chapter. Rachel during childbirth, but not before naming her last born son… So sad… Also records the twelve tribes of Israel (Jacob/Jacob’s sons).
Genesis 36, records Esau’s lineage… Note: God’s faithfulness continues in Esau’s life.
Luke 14, This question of “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath” comes up again! Jesus brought it up, as he knew he was being watched closely… A good opportunity, right in a Pharisee’s house. Chapter 13 Jesus healed a woman on the Sabbath in the synagogue in chapter 13…
Jesus took note of the seats they chose at this dinner… Vying for position. Told them to not just invite your family, or the rich and powerful, but the poor, the lame, the blind… those that may never receive an invitation. Jesus very clearly stated that those who were invited to the Great Banquet in the Kingdom would not be there… Referring to the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Teachers of the Law. They knew about God, they knew “the Law” but not the One who gave it. Remember the “woes?” “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Matthew 23:13
Consider the cost of following Christ. I know what it has cost me and my family over the years… but it has never cost us our lives as in some parts of the world. We have it relatively easy here… except for being ridiculed by our culture for our beliefs.
Always good to go back to where God revealed himself to us. Back to His word. Back to fellowshipping at church, drawing close to God in worship, living according to His word. Going back to that place of remembering what God has done for us.
Jesus always reserved his strongest language for the religious people. Note to self.
Be very careful about the decisions we make… Dinah’s decision to “visit the women of the land” had huge repercussions for her and her family, even the people of that land. Just think, all their men were killed. What did they do then?
Walking it out faithfully combats all the cultural stigma of being a Christian. Building a good reputation as one who is a believer and walks it out. Serving the community, serving the poor, being a resource, not a know it all, not self-righteous or pious. A humble servant.
Lord, give me wisdom and insight as I read your word… Help me to not miss the forest for the trees. To not get so caught up in the details that I would miss what you are saying to me. Help me to make smart decisions. To not go off as Dinah or Jacob’s sons did…
P.S. I pondered Genesis 34 for a long time this morning… Keep in mind, that’s what this journal is… my ponderings. I wonder about a lot of things… Why did Dinah go? What was her motivation? What were all the circumstances surrounding this incident? How did Jacob feel internally and why is his reaction not recorded when his sons brought her back?? Etc, etc, etc… I’m always looking for the timeless spiritual principle for my life in every passage. What can I learn from this?