Let’s just start by saying this: Genesis 34 is a tough chapter when it comes to picking a favorite verse. From beginning to end, it’s pretty much about the worst in man. Every time I read it, my very first thought is about Shechem and how positively spoiled and entitled he must have been. He took what he wanted from Dinah, demanded more of his father, and essentially figured everyone owed him whatever he set his eyes on. He ruined Dinah’s life and thought little of it other than he still wanted more.
Then Dinah’s brothers grew angry. They lied, they connived, they didn’t consult God… and the result was horrific.
Genesis 34:25 (GW)–Two days later, while the men were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and boldly attacked the city. They killed every man…
Simeon and Levi did wrong. They sought out personal vengeance rather than go to God first and find out what to do. There’s no denying that.
But what if Shechem had kept his desires in check? What if he’d not been (apparently) taught that he was owed whatever he wanted? What chills my blood about this particular chapter of the Bible is what we’re doing to our kids today. We’re bringing them up like Shechem. As a society, we’ve told them they all win. They all deserve to succeed. They all deserve whatever they want. We have a culture and, now, a government that plays into that. I’m deleting as I go, reigning in some comments about things I see every day, about how personal debt across the nation is out of control because we want what we want and we want it right now. There are so many other symptoms.
But when, unlike Simeon and Levi, do we go to God? When do we ask God what He desires for us? His desire is our best, not just the latest greatest thing. Would we even recognize His best if we saw it?
Lord Jesus, my heart is heavy today. Help us to look to you first, to ask what you desire of us. To seek your face and not just your hand. We need you.