Today in God’s Word
Genesis 34; Mark 5
In Genesis 34 today is a tragic story. Tragic because of what happens to Dinah and tragic because of the response of Simeon and Levi. Yet in the midst of tragedy and sin, the will of our sovereign God is served. In this story we see Israel protected from broad inter-marriage with the Canaanites, we will eventually see the rise of Judah as son to receive the birth right and blessing of Jacob (since Abraham passes over the two son who did this evil), and we see the destruction of a wicked people (the most honored among them being a rapist). So evil is evil but evil cannot escape serving the will of almighty God. This is, of course, most evident at the cross of Christ…
“24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” (Acts 4:24–28, ESV)
Wickedness is rampant in this chapter. The sign of the covenant is abused by both sides. Each family’s own sin is barely acknowledged or even ignored. However, some lessons can be drawn:
- Keep watch over our children and be discerning with the company they keep
- Dinah went out to be with the women of the land
- Do not abuse a holy ordinance of God for our own sinful purposes of gain or of disguising evil
- The people of Shechem would receive circumcision only for gain of wealth
- The Israelites would would commend circumcision only to facilitate a mass murder
- Fear the Lord and do not be quick to act in response to the sin of others
- Simeon and Levi had wicked fury that led them to great sin, for which Abraham later condemns them rightly
- Like Cain, we must beware of the sin that crouches at the door waiting to take our unrighteous anger and put it to use. We must come to the Lord for relief in our distress and we must consider the reaction of our hearts. We must be silent before God trusting him and offering him right sacrifices (cf. Psalm 4).
Soli Deo Gloria!