Reading: Genesis 34
In chapter 33 we saw that the church had settled in the Promised Land. But before long it was attacked, from inside and outside. First Dinah seeks out the company of unbelievers and is violated by a young man. This is followed by an invitation for intermarriage between Jacob’s sons and the neighbouring unbelievers living in Shechem. In Genesis 35:2 we read that there was idolatry in Jacob’s family. These serious matters have the potential to destroy the church.
Jacob’s two sons then decide to take revenge on the people of Shechem for the violation of Dinah. By a dirty trick they make sure the men of Shechem are defenceless and they systematically kill all the males in the city. Jacob understands his family is now in deadly danger. He fears that the Canaanites will take revenge and kill him and his entire household.
Simeon and Levi were rightly angry about the Dinah incident. But they should not have taken personal revenge. Zeal should be accompanied by patience, faith and godly justice. They should have waited for the Lord to take action. Instead now they have sinned grievously and made bitter enemies.
This is not just a family matter. This family was the church. The church is often attacked from the inside by sinful people or by enemies outside. Satan opposes and attacks the church whenever he can. In Genesis 34 he stirs up the people in Shechem to destroy the church. Here we can see an example of the enmity between the woman’s seed and serpent’s seed as prophesied in Genesis 3:15. This enmity is a permanent factor in history.
Key text: Genesis 34:9-10 “And make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to yourselves. 10 So you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you. Dwell and trade in it, and acquire possessions for yourselves in it.”
Question: There are several dangers for the church in the above key text. What are they?