Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30)

Saturday, October 10, 2020

2020.10.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 34

Read Genesis 34

Questions from the Scripture text: Whose daughter does Genesis 34:1 say Dinah is? Whom did she go out to see? Who saw her (Genesis 34:2)? What three ways is he described here? What three things does he do with her? What three further things does Genesis 34:3 mention about him toward her? To whom does he speak in Genesis 34:4? What does he ask? Who hears about Dinah’s defiling in Genesis 34:5? Why does he remain silent? Who comes to whom in Genesis 34:6? To do what? Who come in Genesis 34:7? How do they feel? What does verse 7 say is a disgraceful thing? What does Hamor say about Shechem in Genesis 34:8? What does he ask? For what else does he ask in Genesis 34:9-10? What does Shechem add in Genesis 34:11-12—what is he willing to do for what? Who answer in Genesis 34:13? What is the nature of their answer? What do they say that they cannot do (Genesis 34:14)? And why? What do they suggest is the one thing that needs to be changed for the two to become as one people (Genesis 34:15-16)? What leverage do they threaten if the Hivites do not get circumcised? Where do Hamor and Shechem go in Genesis 34:20? With whom do they speak? What do they tell them (Genesis 34:21-23)? What is the response (Genesis 34:24)? Who do what, when, in Genesis 34:25? What makes them able to do this? Whom do they kill in Genesis 34:26? What do they do? Who else come in Genesis 34:27? And what do they do? What seven things are specifically mentioned in Genesis 34:28-29? Who talks to whom in Genesis 34:30? Whom does he say they have troubled? Whom does he say is few in number? Against whom does he say they will gather? Whom does he say they will kill? Whom does he say they will destroy? What do they ask in Genesis 34:31?

What a grievous display Jacob and his family make of themselves in this passage. 

Dinah’s “the daughter of Leah,” but she wants to see “the daughters of the land.” What is the fashion of the day? What do they enjoy? How do they do things? Don’t look now, Israelite girl, but prince Shechem likes you—all the girls would kill to be in your place! 

Hamor is receptive toward his son (Genesis 34:4) and diligent in taking action (Genesis 34:6), and humble in manner of address (Genesis 34:8). He is well spoken (Genesis 34:9-10) and a good leader (Genesis 34:20-24).

But Jacob is none of these things. His fatherhood of Dinah in Genesis 34:1 sounds like merely a matter of genetics. He declines to speak (Genesis 34:5) not out of wisdom but leaving that entirely to his sons (Genesis 34:13). And even when the episode is over, he seems to care little for what has happened to the men of Shechem, or to his sons (morally), or to his daughter—in Genesis 34:30, he is obsessed almost entirely with his own plight and disadvantage!

The Lord tells us what to think of Shechem in Genesis 34:19, “he was more honorable than all the household of his father.” He may not know what “ought not to be done” (Genesis 34:7), but he is sincere as a Hivite can be in the love and affection (not violence) of Genesis 34:2-4Genesis 34:8Genesis 34:11-12Genesis 34:19.

And what the Lord tells us about Shechem is the opposite of what He tells us about the sons of Jacob. They are all wicked deceivers (Genesis 34:13) and expert and ruthless plunderers (Genesis 34:27-29), and two of them are even conscienceless murderers (Genesis 34:25-26, cf. Genesis 49:5–7)!

What a dreadful display of Dinah, and Jacob, and the sons of Israel! Sometimes the divine origins of Scripture are obvious. What people or religion would describe themselves this way in their origin story?

There are some portions of Scripture that shock us with how bad the church can be. In them the Lord does with us as He did with Ezekiel saying, “Do you this? I will show you yet more abominations than these!” And, He gives us a tour of the wickedness of the people.

When we think about it with respect to ourselves, we are amazed at what we are outside of Christ. We are humbled, so that we would not to think of any difference between us and the wicked as coming from ourselves. We are warned, so that we would not take lightly the potential for our remaining sin to spiral out of control. 

But we are especially to think about such passages with respect to our God. Behold His mercy, that He would set His love upon such wicked ones as these. Behold His patience, that He would bear with both individual believers and entire churches—here, the entire church in the world at the time!—and continue His saving work in history and the world. Behold His power, that He would overcome such sin in His people. With what marvelous grace the Lord works in and bears with His church!

Where are you taking your sin lightly? Upon whom are you in danger of looking down and despising? In what struggle with sin are you most encouraged by God’s patience and mercy shown here?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace!”


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