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Jacob Lesson 18 – Be angry but sin not

(Read Genesis 34:22-31)

Discussion points

  1. Simeon and Levi (Jacob sons), who were supposed to know better as God’s people prostituted the sign of God’s covenant for their own violent purpose by making a deal with the men of Shechem in deceit, to circumcise all their men so the two parties can form an alliance together for the future. (v22)
  2. The father and son (Hamor and Shechem) had to convince the men of their community to receive the painful and possibly dangerous procedure of circumcision. (v23)
  3. The men of Shechem agreed and all received the painful and potentially dangerous operation of circumcision. (v24)
  4. The sons of Jacob took advantage of the weak estate of the men of Shechem to carry out their brutal murder and massacre of the whole city knowing fully well that circumcision could be quite incapacitating, particularly after two or three days”. (v25)
  5. This was not only a brutal, deceptive act, but it also disgraced God’s covenant of circumcision (v25)
  6. There was no sparing of the sword. Even relatively good men like Shechem who was the most honourable of all the men of his household amongst the Canaanites (Genesis 34:19) were killed. (v26)
  7. Taking Dinah back from Shechem’s house was a mission accomplished for the brothers. (v26)
  8. Sin is always the same and one will likely lead to another, the sons of Jacob went from anger to murder to stealing and to looting the booties from the same city where their sister had been defiled. The bible admonished us as Christians to be angry but not to sin. (v27)
  9. Simeon and Levi plundered the wealth of the Hivites, they also took their daughters and wives in which they had vested so much confidence as slaves. This is just to let us understand that trusting in worldly gains is vanity upon vanity. (v29)
  10. In response to the terrible massacre and plundering of Shechem, Jacob seemed to only be concerned with himself and the danger of retribution against his small family (I am few in number). There was no concern for right and wrong, for God’s righteousness, or for the death and plunder of innocents. This was Jacob still living in his past, not the new Israel in action. (v30)

Summary

A violent deception

  1. Among the Canaanites of his time and place, Shechem was more honorable than others. He sincerely delighted in Jacob’s daughter though he didn’t go about it in the right way God would have wanted us as his children to approach marriage. The marriage bed must be kept undefiled. (Genesis 34:19, Hebrews 13:4)
  2. Hamor and Shechem out of greed convinced the men of their community that agreeing to circumcision was worth it after all because they could then take their daughters to them as wives and take their livestock, property, and every animal of theirs. The potential gain of wealth made it worth it. (Luke 12:15, 1 John 2:16, Hebrews 13:5)
  3. Surely, with this clever act of violent deception, Simeon and Levi showed themselves to be the children of Jacob from a bitter, competitive home environment who have been used to the deceptive ways of their father all along. As Christians, we must be careful not to model the wrong behaviours to our children and mentees as they are watching and following closely. (Philippians 4:8, Titus 2:7)
  4. It was a bold plan to massacre an entire community of men under the covering of their acceptance of the demand to be circumcised. It was bold in the cause of evil. The two men were bold in perpetrating an evil cause. If truth be told, Satan is always bold in carrying out his evil plans and that is why we as believers can no longer be complacent and watch the world destroy our inheritance, we need to rise up boldly and take it by force through prayers, fasting, teachings and study of the word. (1 Peter 5:8)
  5. The sons of Jacob justified this murder and theft by saying their sister and family had been dishonored, but the punishment was clearly excessive. Wicked men will always have reasons for their wicked acts, may we never be a prey in their hands. (Genesis 34:31, Proverbs 24:1-2)
  6. By way of making some amends for their sister’s defilement, the sons of Jacob completely plundered the city of Shechem, including taking the surviving women and children as slaves. This brought the guilt of murder upon a family which ought to have been holiness unto the Lord.” Genesis 34:26-29)
  7. Simeon and Levi were deeply gutted by the fact that their sister was not only violated in Shechem but was also treated as a harlot. They were correct that their sister Dinah had been abused and treated terribly. Yet none of that justified their outrageous evils of mass murder, enslaving women and children, and theft through plunder. It was right to be angry about the sin, but they were angry for the wrong reason: They were not concerned about God’s glory. Their family pride was offended: “Should he treat our sister as a harlot?” While they were bothered by Shechem’s sin against Dinah, they were oblivious to their own sins of deception, vengeance, murder, and theft. In their deception, they were truly Jacob’s sons. (Ephesians 4:26, 1 Corithians 10:31, Colossians 3:17)
  8. By all standard, Jacob had not been a good role model to his sons. He brought this trouble upon himself. He had passed down his own deceitful nature into his boys indirectly. He set them a constant example of guile. They heard him lie to Esau at Peniel and start northwest after he went southeast. They saw his interest in the fat pastures when he pitched his tent in Shechem instead of Bethel as the Lord had commanded. And to make it worst, he said nothing when Dinah was violated. (Ephesians 6:4)
  9. Jacob who had a better understanding of how God works and a revelation of God’s promises to him and his family decided to be passive by taking the backseat where he needed to have stepped up, this led to the emerging of his sons who took matters into their own hands and the end result was sheer calamity. If Jacob had stepped up and took charge of the whole scenario as the head of the family, perhaps, the outcome would have been favourably different. (Ephesians 5:25 ESV)
  10. God’s purposes will not be overthrown, even when the circumstances involve human sin, and even when it feels like God is not there. Though, the murder of the men of Shechem was an evil act, it meant that the purposes of God for his children not to be yoked with unbelievers through marriage and business was not overthrown. (Acts 5:38-39)

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Father, deliver me and my entire household from the sin of greed. Do not allow greed to cripple our destiny.
  2. O Lord, do not allow deceitful tongues to prosper over us as a church, a community, and a people.
  3. Father, strengthen me where I am vulnerable. Do not let me fall for the evil plot of men.
  4. A whole community was massacred and destroyed by Jacob’s sons, Father, do not give room for violent men to cut my live or the live of any member of FA short. Protect and cover us with your blood.
  5. Lord, I seek your help today, quench every fire of anger in me before it is too late. Anger must not cause me to sin in Jesus name.
  6. O Lord, you rescued Dinah from the pit of destruction, Lord rescue me and my family from every likely and unlikely trouble that may be waiting for us in the remaining days of this year.
  7. Father, abort and terminate every evil plan, plot and scheme of our enemies before it is too late. Do not allow their hands to perform their enterprise over us.
  8. I refuse to be disadvantaged Lord, father let me find favour in the sight of men and with you all the days of my life.
  9. Help all our men and women in FA not to be a failure Lord, make them a constant example of a good Christian in Jesus name.
  10. Father, let your everlasting purpose of joy and satisfaction be fulfilled in our lives, homes and Church in Jesus mighty name.

 

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