I hope that you have a great week. I look forward to seeing you at our Wednesday night gathering.
Here are the notes from Sunday’s sermon:
The text for this sermon comes from Genesis 34. The title of this sermon is The Repercussions of Making Bad Decisions.
When a person makes a bad decision, it does more than just affect them. It affects everyone around them. When you decide to pursue sin instead of pursue Christ, the effects can be devastating to those who are near you.
The Bible talks a lot about generational sins. A father sins and then passes that sin on to their children and they pass it to their children.
Children learn more by what you do than by what you say.
By the time we get to Genesis 34, it is obvious to Jacob’s family that he is out of place. He is not where God told him to go. God told Jacob to go to Bethel and Jacob ends up in Shechem. Reuben was the firstborn son. Joseph was the 11th son. Dinah was born before Joseph. So, by the time Joseph is born, Reuben is about 12 years old. Joseph’s brothers are well into the manhood stage by the time we get to Genesis 34. It didn’t take long for the kids to understand that Jacob was not following God and neither was Rachael or Leah. As the man goes, so goes his family.
The city of Shechem is in Canaan. Why is this a big deal? Canaan is cursed.
Back when Noah had learned how to make wine, Noah drank too much and passed out, in his tent, naked. His son, Ham, saw his father in this state and thought it hilarious. So, Ham went and told his brothers. When Noah learned of this, God through Noah cursed Canaan. This is how far this goes. Canaan was Ham’s son. God through Noah cursed Noah’s grandson. Not only is the kid cursed, but so is everything the kid does or touches. The land that he settles – cursed. Other tribes that come out of the family of Ham and Canaan – cursed. Amorites, Hittites, and all of the other tribes that God uses Joshua to wipe off the face of the planet.
A Jewish woman enters the beginning stages of womanhood at the age of 12 because it was believed that girls matured into women faster than boys became men.
Dinah wants to fit in. Her father has settled their family here. If she is going to be a woman in this land, then she wants to see how other women act and what they wear and the places they go so that she can be like them…and nobody stopped her. Why would they? No one in her family was following God.
The Canaanites worship Baalim which can be shortened to Baal and Ashtaroth. The Canaanites believe that these gods control the sun, wind and rain that determine whether or not their crops would produce little or much. The revitalization process for the agricultural land involved a sacred marriage that involves sexual activities between the men who represented Baal and the temple prostitutes who represented Ashtaroth. It was believed that the more temple prostitutes that became pregnant, then Baal would allow the rains to fall to the earth so that there would be an abundant harvest of grains and fruits.
The Canaanites believed that the temple prostitutes were sacred and important. Shechem takes Dinah and treats her as a temple prostitute even though she is not one. Shechem has shamed and humiliated Dinah.
The Bible does not say that Dinah seduced Shechem. Being that she wanted to be like other women and fit in, she may have tried to dress similar to other women. Whatever she was wearing does not give Shechem the right to defile her.
This perverted act produces wrath in her brothers.
Wrath thirsts for revenge.
The brothers of Dinah lied to Hamor and Shechem and then took their anger out on them by enacting revenge. The brothers killed all the men in the city. They then pirated or plundered the city – they took animals, wealth, children and the dead men’s wives.
Revenge has consequences.
The chapter ends with a question.
I believe that it hits Jacob that if he had just obeyed God and went to Bethel when God told him to go to Bethel, this situation would probably have never happened.
We want to point our finger at Jacob and say, “If you would have just obeyed God, you wouldn’t be where you are at right now.”
We want to say that to Jacob.
We don’t want to say that to ourselves.
When we are willfully disobedient and we are not yet ready to repent, we like to say things like, “God is a God of second chances.”
I agree. God is a God of second chances.
But what does a second chance look like?
- Adam’s second chance – he got kicked out of the garden
- Paul’s second chance – Jesus knocked him off his horse and appeared to him
- Jonah’s second chance – Jonah was in the stomach of a whale
- David’s second chance – His baby died
You have no control over what your second chance looks like because a second chance is not just a second chance. It’s a WAKE UP CALL! God gives you a second chance because He loves you!
It is God’s way of getting your attention.
What does God have to do for you to fully surrender to Jesus?