“When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock so he kept quiet about it until they came home. Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. Now Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had done a disgraceful think in Israel by lying with Jacobs daughter—-a thing that should not be done. But Hamor said to them, ‘My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. Intermarry with us; give us our daughters and take our daughters for yourselves.’” (Exodus34:5–9)
Rape, the forced, sexual violation of a woman, is one of the most graphic examples of the misuse of God’s gift of sexuality. The consequences of Shechem’s violation of Dinah brought death and destruction on he men of he city even though Shechem wanted to marry Dinah after his sexual experience with her.
Dinah’s brothers justified deceit, plundering, and murder because of what had happened to her. The sexual sin created destructive effects for many people unrelated to the actual sexual crime. In all ages rape is “a thing that should not be done.” To add even more of an insult to God’s gift of sexuality, Shechem showed no remorse or repentance for the despicable act that he committed against Dinah, as did Hamor his father.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Shechem as did his father Hamor made no claims of repentance for the act that was committed, much less remorse. These heinous acts still occur today, and while many are sent to prison for their actions of violence and disrespect for a woman’s body, there is rarely one who holds themselves accountable for their actions. Usually, a lawyer is obtained and blame is put upon the woman who was violated. These acts are perverse and the one who commits these attacks, needs to be held accountable and placed into prison. Forgiveness is a possibility, especially by God-fearing women, but not without the one committing the act to repent of their sin first. All this we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Can’t follow the stars? Follow the One who made them!”
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. I wait for the lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” (Psalm 130:1-8)
Did you notice the psalmist made a statement into a question? “If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?” Well He knows everything we have ever done, ever thought bout doing, and this requires a confession of our sin, beloved. There is no redemption without sincere desire to be accountable for your actions, and to honestly accept your punishment for them. Then, and only then, is forgiveness a possibility. If one is not sorry for their destructive actions, how can they possibly be forgiven for those actions? Our God is a loving, compassionate God, but He is a God that will discipline us when we live outside of His will for us. Understand?
“Prayer, Repentance”: (Psalm38:1-22)
Repentance for sin is the escape route from divine punishment. David was sick and sought healing. He was not in grief fro his circumstances but for his sin. The vivid description of physical suffering and oppression from without demonstrates that sin intensifies the pain of outer circumstances. David had removed himself from God’s protective presence. Only he could pray for restoration to the Lord’s presence. Sin produced anger in Cain (Genesis 4:5) and terror in Saul (1st Samuel 28:5-6) but repentance in David. True repentance leads to faith (verse 15). In Psalm 39:1-13 we see the other side to Psalm 38 appearing. David could repent freely from sin because his heart was inclined to avoid sin at all cost. Silence produced only anguish before God. He could not refrain from prayer. Make sense?
Second Thought of the Day:
“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than ll the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—-do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish’” (Luke 13:1-5)
None is excused from repenting. God does not categorize sinners and seek more repayment through suffering and sacrifice from some than from others. All have sinned (Romans3:23). All must respond to God with repentance.
Outer circumstances do not indicate that God is rewarding or punishing an individual. Repentance is a prayer that we all must pray. Those who repent know they are once again right with God. Those who do not repent know they are not right with God and will suffer their separation from God, until they repent.