In Case You Missed It -- Genesis 34-35, Psalm 21
Certainly Genesis 34 is the sort of thing you would expect to see in a TV drama. Rape, revenge, family honor, and plot twists are all the rage in our Netflix queue, but this story happens to real people. A woman is raped, and a whole group of people pay the ultimate penalty for the sins of their kinsman. This is not easy reading in absence of God’s clear thoughts on these matters. The ancient world, like ours, is characterized by evil and brutality. We have reason to fear when we do evil. In fact, after Simeon and Levi avenge Dinah’s honor, Jacob fears that the Canaanite peoples will unite and devastate his much smaller family (Genesis 34:30). God, however, protects Jacob and Abraham’s descendants. After admonishing his family to put off all foreign idols, it turns out that the Canaanite people have no intention of attacking Jacob and family. This is part of the unique promise God gives to the descendants of Abraham: if they will make Yahweh alone their God, He will be with them, protect them, and bless them. Despite this, the evil of the Canaanites infiltrates this small family; sexual immorality continues to reign in their midst as Reuben has sex with his father’s concubine. Both the father and the son are guilty of immorality, and thus the early stages of an ongoing pattern are established, even for those blessed by God. They become like the nations around them instead of living like the unique people of God. Even the chosen family has some incredible ongoing family drama, yet God is still their God, and He continues to bring to fruition His great promises to Abraham. Praise God, who shows such kindness.