Day 145: Faith, Worry and Mercy

Genesis 34:24-31

All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor, and to Shechem his son; and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. It happened on the third day, when they were sore, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword, came upon the unsuspecting city, and killed all the males. They killed Hamor and Shechem, his son, with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away. Jacob’s sons came on the dead, and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks, their herds, their donkeys, that which was in the city, that which was in the field, and all their wealth. They took captive all their little ones and their wives, and took as plunder everything that was in the house. Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have troubled me, to make me odious to the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I am few in number. They will gather themselves together against me and strike me, and I will be destroyed, I and my house.”

They said, “Should he deal with our sister as with a prostitute?”

So we see that Simeon and Levi avenged their sister by killing off all of the men in the whole city. Although God was able to make a good thing out of this, I don’t believe that Simeon and Levi were acting according to God’s will. If they had, I believe that they would have talked to their father about it first. Jacob, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to have grown in his faith enough to trust in God either.

Jacob was more worried about being destroyed by the people of the land than he was about the sin of his sons against God. God had promised Jacob that he would be protected and grow into a great nation. Jacob still had nothing to fear. This is how a lack of faith produces trouble in our lives. We go through needless stress because we fail to believe in what God has said to us. What Jacob was doing was good, old fashioned worry. Worry is a sin too.

We are to fear God and not fear mankind. This is a very common Bible theme and it appears in all ages. God is the only one to be feared because He has more power than any man does. If we suffer for God, then God will see it and will be our avenger. If we worry about man when God has promised to help us, it shows that we don’t really believe what God says. This is not something that pleases God and we should be concerned about pleasing God because He loves us and will discipline us if we don’t.

Notice that God did not condone this massacre. God also didn’t condone the craftiness of the Hivites. It would have been right for God to destroy all of the people who did these things. He did destroy the men of the city, but he spared Simeon and Levi. It is not for us to judge who God spares and who he allows to die. We are not better than God and we are not capable of judging Him as sinful humans. This is not about God being fair. The only fair thing for God to do would be to kill every sinner. A righteous God has the right to have mercy on whoever He wants.