Posted by: Robin Foster | November 18, 2008

They did what!!!!!

In preparing to preach this Sunday, I turned in my Bible to the next chapter I needed to cover in the book of Genesis. It is chapter 34. This is the chapter that deals with the rape of Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, and the subsequent act of murderous revenge taken by the sons of Jacob. It also shows Jacob’s apparent indifference to the fact that his own daughter was raped. After doing my preliminary read of the pericope, I began to ask several questions about the text. One was how would anyone allow a story like this to be put in a book that would reveal a major blemish of their ancestry? Luckily, I have been using James Montgomery Boice’s commentary on Genesis among others. He had the same question and answered it like this:

Human writers would have suppressed these events, just as commentators sometimes seem compelled to suppressed them today. The only way these vents could have come to be included is that the ultimate author of this book (and of all other canonical books) is God, who speaks the truth regardless of how it reflects on people.

As we study this chapter we find the words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to be true: “All scripture is [indeed] God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (italics mine)

This story must be preached because it shows that in the midst of human weakness, evil, and frailty God’s redemptive plan proceeds forward. Christ is at the center of this story, because the hope of Jacob lies not in his dealings, nor in his sons revenge, but in the “ultimate Son of Jacob” (Kent Hughes, Genesis, 4:17) who bore the resulting wrath from the sins committed here. Yes, this chapter must be preached truthfully, honestly, and ever so carefully.


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