Saturday, July 12, 2008

Genesis 34 - The snake

Genesis is dropping some heavy truths right now and chapter 34 is no different.

I think that one of the tricky things about sin is that it permeates every aspect of our life naturally. For instance, when I am struggling with lust, I will physically gain weight. My performance at work will change. How I respond to simple issues at home changes. The sin in my heart is not contained to one area of my life. It naturally flows through every inch of my existence.

You see that truth here in this chapter. Shechem rapes Dinah, Jacob's daughter. That is a grievous, personal sin. He forced himself on her and acted out of lust. But sin is never satisfied with just having one area of our lives. So Shechem agrees to have himself and his entire town circumcised when Jacob's sons tell him that is the condition to marry Dinah.

That is a transactional mistake. That is a dumb decision but Shechem's thinking was corrupted by his lust. If you read the chapter you see that Shechem thought of the circumcision like a business deal. He told his town that they would get all the property of Jacob and circumcising themselves was worth that gain. At that point, the sin essentially entered his business world.

Jacob's sons then came and murdered the entire city, when all the men there were weakened from being recently circumcised.

Sin works that way. It's never just "this area of my life." It pollutes you entirely like a snakebite. Have you ever seen what they do when a poisonous snake bites your foot? They tie a rope tight around your leg. Why? Because venom travels. It might start on your toe, but in seconds it is in your bloodstream and then your leg and then your heart.

Sin is poison. If you know it's in one area of your life, please don't make the mistake of thinking it will stay there. I have in the past and it always cost me more than I expected to pay.


Joe said...

I read that chapter after reading your post titled.

That is some good commentary. Thank you.

On the surface, Shechem was immmensely stupid because if I was one of Dinah's brothers, I would have at least punch straight through Shechem's throat.

I think for one moment, Shechem was thinking quite clearly and committed this crime. When his senses came back, he thought, "Oh crap, I have to deal with her 12 brothers." Then he goes into full panic scramble mode and thinks, "Oh yea, I can just marry the girl and that will calm her brothers."

Not quite.

As incredible as what Simeon and Levi did in response by slaughtering the entire town, it goes back to what God said about marrying and interacting with those who are not equally yoked.

Shechem and his gang totally missed the point about the circumcision. It is not the act of the circumcision that made you right standing with Dinah's family but it is your heart.

Yea, Shechem got circumcised. But he was trying to dance without hearing the music. If Shechem was truly sorry for what he had done and sought the One True God for forgiveness, then God would have protected Shechem and his town.

Debra said...

WOW! Okay that last statement says it all ... it cost more than you ever thought you would pay. If we could only get that! Thanks for sharing.

sam said...

Man. I love your funny posts, but your serious ones are just pure awesomeness. I wish I had smart and inspiring stuff to say everyday like you do, but alas, I don't. You blow my mind with all your metaphors and mental pictures. This site really brightens up my day, so thanks :] I'm addicted now, and sometimes I wish you could write more than one post each day, but then I remember you need a social life too. Awesome, AWESOME stuff. God is really using you. GOD BLESS! As a new Christian, your words really help me and mean so so much to me. Thanks again.

haemin said...

I think this is really difficult thing to admit, but thank you for writing about it. I'm starting to understand how true this is in my own life.