One Man's Sin - Choosing Our Own Way
Read Genesis 34
Dinah was daughter of Leah and Jacob. When they were in the land of Sier, Shecham son of Hamor the Hivite took a liking to Dinah. He longed for her, took her, laid with her and violated her. Genesis 34:3 says "His soul was strongly attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young woman and spoke kindly to the young woman."
Shecham told his father "Get me this young woman as a wife." Kind of backwards, isn't it? He already had sex with her and now he seeks to marry her.
When Dinah's brothers found out, they were angry. Genesis 34:7 says "And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, a thing which ought not to be done."
Next we see Hamor coming to ask for Dinah's hand in marriage. He says he'll pay any dowry amount so his son can have Dinah as a wife. Notice, how Jacob's old character comes through his sons response. Genesis 34:13 says "But the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father, and spoke deceitfully, because he had defiled Dinah their sister." They went on to say that all the men of the city must be circumcised for it is an abomination to marry the uncircumcised. Hamor agrees.
Later while all the men of the city still in pain, Simeon and Levi came and slaughtered all the men. They rescued Dinah, plundered the city and took all the women and children captive. Jacob's response was "I shall be destroyed, my household and I." But his sons said "Should he treat our sister like a harlot?" Dinah's brothers cared more for her dignity than her own father did.
Even in those days it was inappropriate to have sex before marriage. Had Shecham proposed to Dinah first, would Simeon and Levi have objected?
Choosing Our Own Way
Choosing our own way over God's way has its consequences. Unfortunately for Hamor and his men it was severe. One man's mistake cost the entire city of men their lives. Thinking about consequences of an action before carrying out is a very wise thing to do. By assessing the end of a matter first, we might conclude it is not a rational decision to make. That thought process might save us from unintentional negative consequences.
Lord thank you for your word giving us clear guidance for our life. Help us to choose your way instead of our own way that we might live godly lives until you return. In Jesus' name Amen.
In God's Grace, Elizabeth Marks