Devotional & Reflection
Gen 34 :
34 v1 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the
women of the land. 2When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that
area, saw her, he took her and violated her. 3His heart was drawn to Dinah
daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. 4And
Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me this girl as my wife.”
The heart is set out for evil in the total absence of God. In the narrative in Gen 34, God was absent. There is no mention of God in this passage. To make the absence and silence more deafening, this narrative is juxtaposed between the mention and the presence of God at the end of the preceding chapter (Gen 33:20) and at the beginning of the following chapter, Gen 35.
Here in Gen 34, “Shechem” is an example of a heart set out in forced or imposing "love" - more like unrequited love and illicit lust rather than genuine love (Gen 34:8). What happens with a heart like that? "Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her (Dinah), he took her and violated her"(Gen 34:2).
The same cycle of sin was repeated - that of seeing, taking and eating and violating God's ways as in the case of Adam & Eve (Gen 3:6), sons of God (Gen 6:2), and the Egyptians seeing and taking Sarai (Gen 12:14-15). The absence of God was also evident when Dinah's brothers set their hearts out for revenge in a deceitful way (Gen 34:13).
Shechem, the city (see Gen 33:18-20), would later be symbolic of the absence of God. Joseph was almost killed by his brothers when he went looking for them at Shechem and Dothan (Gen 37:12-14). “Shechem” may also represent the defilement of believers just as Shechem defiled Dinah, daughter of Israel.
When we work in the world, there are “Shechem”s in our paths. The absence of God in our lives tempts us to take the same paths of defilement when we suffer a lapse in our faithfulness. We become like the “Shechem”s of the world. We end up seeing and taking - violating God's commands. Alternatively, “Shechem” may see and take from us, figuratively speaking. What do we do? Revenge? Either way, in the absence of God, our hearts will be set on achieving something unprofitable (as seen from a divine perspective).
where your treasure is,
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