|@February 2, 2024
|M’Cheyne Plan 2024
Genesis 34:14–16 (ESV) 14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. 15 Only on this condition will we agree with you—that you will become as we are by every male among you being circumcised. 16 Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people.
Jacob’s sons were enraged at the rape of their sister, Dinah, by Shechem. Rather than deny the request of Shechem’s father, Hamor, that Dinah become Shechem’s wife, they devise a plan to have them circumcised and then attack them while they were sore and compromised. Through their deceit and the twisting the covenant sign of circumcision, Jacob’s sons proved that they could act just as wickedly toward outsiders as Shechem in his rape of Dinah. In this we see a clear example of the man’s continuous penchant for depravity.
Mark 5:3–4 (ESV) 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. … 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him.
The man that lived among the tombs was incredibly strong and could not be bound with chains. And yet, at his meeting Jesus, the man fell down before Him. The unclean spirit driving the man’s earthly strength cowered before the God and Creator of the universe. Jesus possesses an authority and omnipotence that nothing can match.
Job 1:20–21 (ESV) 20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Four servants had just come to give Job the details of how everything he had was gone: oxen, donkeys, sheep, servants, house, children. Everything. Gone. To this news, Job arose, tore his clothes, shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshiped. His response to losing absolutely everything was to worship and bless the name of the LORD. He grieved the loss, but no earthly possession or relationship had primarily place in his heart. This position belonged solely to the Lord, as his reaction unquestionably reveals. The conviction this engenders is crushing, that my life would be one of such fervent devotion.
Romans 5:6–8 (ESV) 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ not only died for the ungodly, He did so while we were still weak, while we were still sinners. The love of Christ is not like our own, rarely to die for another and only if it be for a good person. But it was for the weak that Christ came to save. The humble realize this to be every soul while the proud fail to become so aware.
Carson on Genesis 34
…it is clear that the promised line is not chosen because of its intrinsic superiority; implicitly, this chapter argues for the primacy of grace. Apparently the crisis at Shechem is what brings the family back to Bethel (Gen. 35:1, 5), which brings closure to Jacob’s movements and, more importantly, reminds the reader that “the house of God” is more important than all merely human habitation.
Similar to the reflection on Romans 5, God works with the sinful and wayward. It is the only population from which He can choose. But His glory is magnified in the amazing work he does through them.
- J. I. Packer et. al, The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016)
- D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: Volumes 1 & 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006; hosted on thegospelcoalition.org)
- Faithlife Study Bible (Lexham Press, 2016)
- Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
- CSB Study Bible Notes (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017)