And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. ~Genesis 34:30
A few days ago, I purchased a clip-on air freshener for my car with the idea that it would add a pleasant fragrance to my car interior. However, the extreme hot temperatures we have had combined with the interior air conditioning produced a musty smell instead. Needless to say, I removed the smelly clip-on! None of us enjoy anything that has a bad odor or that stinks. The word “stink” also describes someone who is of ill-repute. Jacob told Simeon and Levi, “Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land.” Let us see the consequences of a bad testimony.
We see the destination.
“And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.” Jacob was commanded to go back home. Instead, out of an unfounded fear for his personal safety, he kept going, pitched his tent, and bought a parcel of land in Shechem. Even though he made an altar there, he positioned himself and his family too closely among the Canaanites in the land. A decline in our testimony for the Lord begins with going where we are not supposed to go and settling our roots away from God’s will for our life.
We see the defilement.
Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, wandered out to see the daughters of Canaan. She went out unsupervised and out of her own curiosity to adapt to the lifestyle of these women. It was not long until young Shechem met her, pursued after her as a suitor, and took advantage of her. Word got back quickly to Jacob’s family what Shechem did. Even though part of the blame was to be shouldered by Dinah, Jacob should have taken responsibility for what happened because of his decision to settle his roots in that area. A disregard for our testimony among the lost means we eventually tolerate behavior that we would have otherwise called sinful and prohibitive. Dinah’s defilement was a continued downward spiral in the testimony of Jacob’s family.
We see the deceit.
Jacob’s sons were filled with wrath because of what happened to Dinah. They wanted to retaliate for what Shechem did. Shechem asked for the hand of Dinah in marriage. The sons of Jacob appealed to the covetous desires of the men of Shechem and duped them to be circumcised. They led the men of Shechem to believe that circumcision would lead to more intermingling and integration of the Hebrews and Canaanites. The sin of hypocrisy is when we lead people to believe that we are genuine and truthful believers. It is putting a mask over our face and play-acting as if we have their best interests at heart.
We see the disaster.
While the men of Shechem were incapacitated, Simeon and Levi took swords and killed every male in the city. The other brothers seized upon the moment to spoil the city and take the herds, wealth, land, and women and children as slaves. In effect, an unsuspecting city was overtaken by murder and acquisition. When Jacob realized what had happened, he said, “Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land.” Their testimony for God was ruined, and they were looked upon as being no different than the surrounding pagans. Your testimony for Christ is too valuable to ruin! Be careful where you pitch your tent and of becoming like the people around you.
Have a godly God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Haggai 1-2