Morning by Morning

"The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward." Isaiah 50:4-5

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Rape of Dinah

Christ Jesus, who is the Word of God, tells us the stories of the Torah; but why, I ask myself, would he tell us stories like the story of the rape of Dinah in Genesis 34? Jacob and his sons have camped near the city of Shechem. Shechem, the foremost son of Hamor, sees Dinah the daughter of Jacob, seizes her and rapes her. His soul is knit to her, and he desires her as a wife; but he is holding her captive in his house. Jacob tells his sons and they make the circumcision of Shechem and the men of his city the bride price. On the third day when the men of the city are sore Simeon and Levi slay Shechem and all the men of the city and plunder them, including all their wives and little ones.

At best it’s a nasty story. Eventually Jacob and his sons settle in Egypt. On his death bed Jacob prophesies, “Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords. Let my soul come not into their council; O my glory, be not joined to their company. For in their anger they killed men, and in their willfulness they hamstrung oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel” [Genesis 49:5-7]

First, both the rape of Dinah and the slaughter of Shechem are reprehensible. 

Second, we see similar dynamics at work in the world today. 

Third, and most important, Christ Jesus is not afraid to speak about such things; he does not shirk when it comes to talking about reality. 

Fourth, in Psalm 105 the Psalmist lays down an important principle, “When they were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, saying, "Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!” [Psalm 105:12-15]. There are some complex moral issues in the story that should keep us entertained, nevertheless, the principle holds  true. God’s protection is on his people, “Touch not my anointed ones.”

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