Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gen. 34:25-31 - The Folly of the Sons of Jacob

25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.
31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

Anger unchecked and not curtailed by temperance leads to destruction.  Here we see the violence that the sons of Jacob exacted upon Hamor and Shechem and the men of the city.  V. 31 explains their reasoning:  “Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?”  But Dinah wasn’t innocent in this matter too (as we have already seen).  There could have better ways of handling this situation but because Simeon and Levi acted in wrath they committed a barbaric act.  For this act of violence they will receive a curse and be scattered (Gen. 49:5-7).  We need to be reminded to turn away wrath (Pro.  29:8), that anger rests (or is welcomed and nurtured) in the bosom of fools (Ecc. 7:9), and to hate one’s brother, in the eyes of the Lord is equivalent to murder (1 John 3:15).  Just as Jacob lamented his family’s reputation (v.30), so should we ever think of our Lord’s reputation and cause whenever the follies of sin appear.  “…And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19b) says the Bible, and we would do well to obey it.

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