A Mother’s Warning
Growing up in a single parent home, most of the time it was just me and my sister. When we got into Middle and High School, we had to walk to school and back home. One of the instructions that mother gave to us every morning was that when we were done with school, go straight home; don’t go anywhere else.
Now when I was a teenager, I didn’t understand why my mom would make such a command. I now recognize why she was so adamant about us going straight home. She understood that there were many things in this world that could cause me and my sister great harm.
The Dangers of the World
In Genesis 34:1-4, we learn what happens when we stray away from home. The Bible is not clear as why Israel’s daughter Dinah went to go into the Canaanite city. Perhaps she was bored and didn’t see the harm of seeing the sights. As we learn from the Scripture however, her naivete resulted in her being raped.
Now I want it to be clear. I am not saying that it was Dinah’s fault that she was raped. What I am saying is that it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into before proceeding and be prepared for anything. Dinah wasn’t prepared and she suffered for it.
A Double Insult
Now this same man who raped Dinah was not satisfied with just violating her, he now wanted to marry her! We learn about the family’s response to this incident in Genesis 34:7-11; and as you can imagine they were very angry. It wasn’t enough that this Canaanite violated their sister, now this man had the nerve to ask for her hand in marriage and establish an alliance between the Canaanites and Israel; it was a double insult.
If you recall when Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, he commanded the servant to not find Isaac a wife among the Canaanites. Later on, Jacob was sent away to find a wife from among his distant relatives so that he wouldn’t marry a woman of Canaanite origins. Why this avoidance of the Canaanites?
The Lord warned His people not associate themselves with the Canaanites. They were a people that lived their lives contrary to God’s will and would try to lure them away from God also if they had the chance. The Dinah incident clearly shows this. While Israel’s family were in complete disgust, no where in the chapter does it show that any of the Canaanites had any remorse for what happened. This was a people so morally bankrupt that they actually condoned rape!
What About Us?
Nothing has changed that much since the days of Dinah’s rape. This world is still as morally bankrupt as ever. What can the faith follower in Christ do; are we to keep ourselves isolated from the world in order to prevent it from contaminating us with its bankruptcy? Of course not!
At one time, we too were as morally bankrupt as the rest of the world. But then God showed His grace upon us and sent His Son Jesus to pay the moral debt that we owed. Now that we are in the clear, the immorality of the world can’t infect us again!
Nevertheless, we still live in this world and we are instructed to show our spiritual debt-free state to those that are still in it so that they too may be as we are. Yet we must learn not to make the same mistake Dinah did; we mustn’t be naive and believe that everyone will accept the truth that we share. There will be those who will reject our message and even cause us great harm.
Jesus Himself warned us to be innocent as doves but be as shrewd as a serpents. A snake is always aware of its surroundings, looking for it next meal or watching for those who would make it a meal. Let’s press on in this world in the name of Christ being fully aware of the dangers that are in this world.