Gen. 34:18-24 The Folly of Shechem
18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,
21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.
22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
Many people attach themselves to religion but with the wrong motives. Here the people of Hamor and Shechem were motivated by money. They were supposing that gain is godliness (1 Tim. 6:5). Many treat God the same way. They relate to God on a superficial basis with a consumerism type attitude. Perhaps the Lord Jesus is perceived as a fire escape or as a bitter pill to “accept” in order to carry on living for self and self-promotion. This is wickedness! And God will have none of it. This passage is also a classic example of exactly how inadequate outward ceremony is securing God’s favor. The Bible says that “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God” (1 Cor. 7:19). It is in the keeping of the commandments of God that matters. It is borne out of a heart attitude that is surrendered to God’s Word. Ps. 51:6 says that God desires truth in the inward parts. Shechem wanted Dinah and was willing to use religion to get to her. The people of Shechem wanted the wealth of Israel and were willing to use religion to get gain. In both cases God was not the object of true desire and concern, but only a ladder to step upon in order to gain more of self. Let us ever beware of this kind of attitude.