SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Remember Jacob had decided not to go live with his brother, Esau, who had invited him to live in his land.
- We read that Dinah (one of Jacob’s daughters) was raped by one of the men in the area Jacob decided to settle in. Jacob was understandably hurt and angry over this but waited until his sons came back home to do anything.
- Schechem (the man who had defiled Jacob’s daughter) was so bold as to ask Jacob for her hand in marriage. But two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, had a plan to avenge their sister. They told Schechem and his father Hamor (the ruler of the area) the only way they would allow their sisters to marry their men was if they circumcised every male in the city. Surprisingly they agreed to this.
- Simeon and Levi wait until all the men in the city are laid up in pain from being freshly circumcised and go into the city and kill every man and rescue their sister from the house of Schechem. Talk about a seriously well thought out and rather disturbing rescue plan.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- The take away from this chapter is rather harsh. Think about what got Jacob and his family into all this trouble to start with: God told Jacob to go back to his family and trust him for protection. Jacob’s brother Esau even forgave all of Jacob’s past offenses against him and invited him home, but Jacob refused and set out to live with other people. If Jacob had trusted and obeyed God then none of this would have happened. Often times we get ourselves into trouble and then cry out to God and ask him why bad things are happening to us. Maybe a lot of the troubles in our lives are the result of us not really obeying God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Can you think of times when you experienced trouble in your own life but it was due to your disobedience to God? Maybe there's something you're going through right now? Take some time to pray, asking God to help you to always obey him the first time.