And you may live among us; the land is open to you! Settle here and trade with us. And feel free to buy property in the area. – Genesis 34:10
Shechem’s son Hamor raped Jacob’s daughter Dinah. After he’d done this terrible deed, Hamor allegedly fell in love with her and wanted her as his wife. Thus he and his father went to Jacob to try to reason with them into giving her as wife unto Hamor. As part of Shechem’s deal he offered the Hebrews the opportunity to settle in the land and to feel free to trade with them and buy property. Eventually the sons of Jacob deceived the men of Shechem to circumcise themselves in order to give and take daughters in marriage. The sons of Jacob then attacked the people of Shechem and killed all the men.
In the very beginning of time, the adversary approached Eve with the proposition that she could be like God if she ate of the tree of death’s fruit. What she didn’t know or had forgotten was that God created her in his image and thus had all that she would ever need. Although she did not have the knowledge of good and evil, she had a relationship with the one who did and need only inquire of him what she didn’t know. When she followed the adversary’s deception, she sold herself short and entered the world of sin and death.
Later in time, the same adversary approached Jacob and tried to deceive him into wrecking God’s plan through the defilement of his daughter by a Canaanite man. The rapist’s father tried to persuade Jacob to settle and buy land that had already been given to him by God. Shechem didn’t know that God had given his land to Jacob and his progeny, but Jacob did! He held true to God’s promise that the land of Canaan belonged to him and his descendants. Had Jacob allied himself with Shechem, he would have given up his promised life as did Adam and Eve. What horrible future would have ensued? How would Jacob’s potential disobedience to God have affected mankind, as did Adam’s rebellion? We know that Adam’s rebellion cost all humanity in that we are born into sin and apart from God.
Fortunately for us all the son of the son of Abraham believed God’s promise, held to it, and trusted God to follow through on it. Hence, the Son of God, Jesus, came to be the Savior as the Seed of Abraham through whom the nations of the world would be blessed and are, if they accept his gift of salvation. What has God promised you? What has he said to you to do? Don’t abandon the vision and promise that God gave you, or you will sell yourself short and end up living out the consequences of that decision. God is true to his word and will honor his promises when we follow him in obedience. Why? Obedience brings blessing; it’s a truth found throughout the Bible that stands the test of time and men’s trust.
Father, thank you for giving me your Word and promising me eternal life with you through your Son. I’ve often found myself wanting to retreat in the face of danger or uncertainty, but you’ve renewed my faith and strengthened my resolve to stay true to you and to obey you despite what the enemy sets before me. He tries to either shake my faith through trying of my spirit or entice me to rebel through the trappings of this world. However, today, I stand solid on your Scriptures that tell me that you will NEVER leave me or abandon me, you ARE faithful and just, you LOVE me enough to have your Son die for me, you CARE for me and tell me to put my cares on you, you DELIVER me from the snare of the fowler, and you CHOSE me to be your son. For all this I am ever grateful and will not abandon the LORD who loved me and gave himself for me to save me while I was yet a sinner. Strengthen me today LORD and help me with what unbelief may lurk somewhere in the shadows or recesses of me. May only your will be done, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.