Ron Williams, the founder of Hephzibah House, the private boarding home for troubled girls has a few interesting ideas about young women who are molested or raped.
Survivors of Hephzibah House (HH) will tell you about the cruel things that Ron Williams had to say, many of which are not captured in this sermon.
He spoke openly about the options available to young women who no longer had sexual purity, whether it was forcibly taken from them or whether they were too young to understand what was happening to them as they were being molested by an adult. These women have little value because they have poor character, otherwise they would have never been violated.
Girls who have been molested have an inherent sexual character that entices men, and Ron Williams believes that the Old Testament references to the “strange woman” applies to all women who are violated sexually. They are responsible and culpable for enticing good men to sexually abuse them – the first cause in the sin. Once they are violated and their purity gone, they have very limited opportunities for service, and they become something less than the rest of the human race. Ron Williams treated them that way and programmed these young women at Hephzibah House to believe that they were the dregs of humanity, deserving of abuse. At least during the 1980s, this is why the residents there were starved and beaten.
Williams showed great disdain for these young women. He openly told the girls in residence at HH that when the book of James talked about man's works done without faith as filthy rags, this was also a reference to God's great disdain for soiled menstrual rags. According to Williams, there was nothing more disgusting to God than a woman's menstrual cycle. Women who were holy and acceptable to God were supposed to marry young and spend most of their years without menstrual periods through pregnancy and nursing to suppress the menstrual cycle so that God would find them of value. Perhaps that is why the girls at HH report that they stopped menstruating the day that they walked through the door (a little bovine hormone in the powdered milk they were forced to drink, perhaps?) and only menstruated when the home was under threat of investigation for abuse.
In this sermon, transcribed below, Williams speaks of men as predators who hunt women like they hunt wild game. Williams was a predator of a different variety. He profiteered from Hephzibah House and used these girls who provided him with “Girl Power,” an expression that he used frequently when he put them to hard labor – labor like that of tilling a field awash with human sewage, standing behind girls whom he used like work horses as he mocked them. He didn't hunt these girls like a predator in search of prey – their parents brought them to him to serve as slaves where the girls atoned for sins for which they could never be forgiven. Somehow, these girls could never be made new creations in Christ. They were indelibly marked as Strange Women.
Williams tended his flock of throw away girls which brought in a great deal of wealth for him. He received donations of food which he kept for his family and fed girls soup made of dog food. The girls were required to inventory and dust the stored food while they dropped in weight, having to hold themselves up by their hands so that they wouldn't fall into the commode. Churches sent their money to Williams to care for these girls. Women who volunteered at the home who were not “Strange Women” were not treated much better than the girls themselves and did what they could to survive the conditions there.
This sermon which does not describe all of Williams' thoughts on the subject of the “strange women” that he oversaw at HH as reported by the survivors, but it is a start. Please read my response to this sermon HERE.
Posted in honor and memory of Danni Moss who worked courageously to expose abuse of women within Christianity and and, specifically, the abuses at HH. And much gratitude to the two Canadian friends who labored to transcribe this difficult and long sermon, because it matters to them, too. May the deeds of wickedness in the name of Christianity be exposed openly for what they are.
How To Raise A Strange Woman
(An unwritten doctrine held by some Independent Fundamental Baptists concerning
sexually abused girls: They become human garbage and things to be used,
to be dispensed with in whatever way is convenient to those who have charge over them.)
A Sermon by Ron Williams
of Hephzibah House
Audio available HERE.
~ Subtitles added for readability ~
During these moments together, we'd like to discuss how to raise a strange woman. Now, when you think of that word strange, that doesn't mean that this particular woman is bizarre, or eccentric in some way, or has some strange habit that sets her apart. But rather, in scripture, a strange woman is looked upon as one with wrong kinds of morals. She had wrong moral values. And in fact, sometimes the strange woman in Scripture is looked upon as being an immoral woman, as a very sensual woman.
And is often the case, when someone ends up doing something that is characteristically wrong in their life, it did not happen overnight. Often there are steps leading toward those things that we do in our lives. And if you examine the situation closely, you can see things in the background that predicated that later behavior.
And we're going to take a look at that in this story, and we're going to take a look.... Now, I don't know about you but one of my favorite characters of the bible is Jacob. Ya`aqob [Transcription note: Stated dramatically, with an accent-like emphasis]. The old heel grabber, the poacher, the conniver, the sneak. You could call him by many adjectives, couldn't you? And yet, Jacob was a righteous man.
And I guess I like Jacob because when I look at his life and his pilgrimage, I see so much of myself. And the reason I say that is because Jacob had a lot of flesh in his life that he had to overcome. He was a righteous man, and his pilgrimage was filled with lots of hills and valleys. But ultimately, he came to be called Israel. Prince with God. One who wins with God. But we're not going to look at that portion of the story. So much as this portion right here.
Now you'll remember the background of this story. Jacob had run away from home, not in the sense of being rebellious, but in the sense that he fled for his life. He had stolen the birthright from his brother Esau. Esau of course was his rather “hair-suit” brother. He was hairy all over like a garment. And that's a rather interesting story in and of itself.
But then he went on to not only steal the birthright, he stole the blessing from his father by conniving and sneaking. He lived up to his name, and in that sense, he conspired with his mother Rebbeca to do so. And when Esau found out what his brother had done, he started writing his brother's obituary. (Laughs.) Now, in other words, he's saying, “As soon as my dad dies, you're dead meat.” No, now he didn't say that to Jacob, but he must have said it to somebody, or at least he must have looked that way, because Momma Rebbecah said , “Jake. Jacob. You had better run for your life. Now we've got some relatives over in Paddan Aram, that's the land between the rivers. And I want you to run over there. You better get away from home, because your brother Esau, he's got murder in his eye.” And so Jacob took mom's advice and ran for his life.
On the way, a rather interesting incident happened at Bethel. “Beth El – the house of God” [Transcription note: Stated dramatically, with an accent-like emphasis]. I don't know if you've followed this story in your own Bible reading, but I believe personally, this is where Jacob came to know God on a personal basis, there at Bethel. As he saw this ladder from earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending on that ladder. It's a type of Christ as we learn from the Gospel of John in the New Testament. But, there I believe he came to a personal knowledge of God.
He ultimately ends up here with Uncle Laban in Paddan Aram – Aram Naharaim. [Transcription note: Stated dramatically, with an accent-like emphasis]. The land between the rivers. He meets his own kin – his own kinfolk.
And he's a single man, and he *uh* is of marriageable age, so he – as he begins to serve his uncle Laban, because he had to do something. He couldn't just sit around on his hands; he couldn't just visit there, you know, and be a leach and eat their groceries and not do something. So he decides that he's going to serve his uncle Laban, work for him there as he lives there.
And Uncle Laban says, “Well yet, you shouldn't serve me for nothing. I'll give you something as you serve here, and work with the animals, and so forth.” And as he saw that Uncle Laban had some daughters, he began to think, “You know, I'm of marriageable age, and maybe this *uh* may be providential here.”
Selecting Marriage Partners
Well, I want to suggest that as Jacob thought about marriage, he had the wrong basis for marriage. And I, over these many years of ministry, have noticed that most young people have the wrong basis for marriage. And what I mean by that is *uh* their basis for marriage is not God's best but rather what appeals to my senses, what appeals to my flesh, what appeals to my feelings and emotions. Does he or she or she ring my bell? Does he or she look cute? Is this the kind of person that gives me this certain ineffable, sublime itch that I can't scratch? Do I have certain vibrations when I'm in this person's presence? And all of these indescribable, emotional, sensual-type things that really are more accurately described as being hormones, and glands, and flesh, and lower nature.
Well, Jacob had that same kind of a wrong basis for marriage. Frankly when you young hearts are looking for a marriage partner, you ought to ask some more significant and substantial questions than, “Who rings my bell?” Such as, “Is there a compatibility between the two families?” You know, when you marry, you're not just joining two individuals. You're joining two families. You need to keep that in mind. Because if God blesses your union with children, then there's going to be grandparents on each side and so forth, and – and really, everybody ought to be heading in the same direction. So if there's vast and radical and dramatic differences between the families, just because these two individuals agree, may I say, there's going to be complications down the road when the children come along and when the grandchildren come along.
So, is there a compatibility – is there a basic compatibility between these two families. Are they – Not only are they both believers, both families, but do they see things from the Scriptures in basically the same way? And then, I think that you ought to ask another basic question, and that is, “Can I better serve the Lord with this person than I can without them?”
Again, the primary criteria ought not to be my flesh. Because emotions and feelings change. They are transient. And if you are interested because of externals or fleshly attributes, may I say that they change with time. We – If you don't believe in the second law of thermodyamics, look in the mirror some day. (Laughs.) You will find that over a process of time, you will look different than you did on your wedding day. May I assure you, that will happen with the process of time. I look far different than I did on my wedding day, and my wife will energetically agree with you.
So, “Can I better serve the Lord with this person than without them?” In other words, spiritual considerations ought to be primary instead of fleshly ones. Because if you once allow feelings and flesh to become involved, may I say, I want to warn you about this, then once you allow that to happen, you will no longer listen to logic, or principle, or reason. I have found out many times over the years in the ministry, that once a young person allows their feelings to come to the surface and start governing the situation, you might as well talk to a box of rocks than to talk to that person about logic, and reason, and Bible principle. Because they will not listen once their feelings become involved. So, before your feelings become involved, you ought to have these guidelines in the background guiding you. Are the two families compatible here? Are the spiritual consideration involved in this situation primary, or are my flesh and feelings coming to the surface?
Now lets talk about this individual himself or herself. How do they treat their parents? Because as I've instructed you young ladies on more than one occasion, a young man will lie to you. Believe me, young men are not always what they appear to be. And a feminine heart can be deceived.
What happened to Eve in the garden? She was deceived. Adam was not deceived. He willfully chose to rebel against God. But Adam, even though he willfuly did this, he didn't do the same thing that Eve did. Eve was deceived. And you have a feminine heart, too, and you can be deceived. And a young man might look very attractive, to you and sound, Oh, so nice, and, Oh, so sensitive. And you might seem to be so compatible with him. And, Oh, you just never had these kinds of feelings before...
Believe me, you'd better ask a far more basic question, and that is, “How does he treat his mother?” Because that's the truth. What he says to you may not be the truth. How he acts in your presence may not be reality. That may be just an act that he's putting on for the benefit of trying to win your favor. But how he treats his mother and how he treats his sister is reality. That's the facts. That's the honest part of the whole picture. So in other words, you need to know this individual well enough to know how they treat their parents. And for you young men, you need to know, “How does she treats her daddy, and how does she treat her brothers?” Because if, uh, every day of the week is nag my daddy miserable day, then guess what you're going to experience, young man? (Laughs.) So if, again, the truth – the reality of the situation is “How does that person live in their home?” That's the honest part of the picture.
And then, uh, even more important, I suppose, than any of those considerations is, “What do my parents say?” I hope that every single young heart here gets this indelibly etched in stone: “I will not marry anybody unless my parents give their enthusiastic consent.”
Now notice the adjective I used. (Laughs.) “My parents give the enthusiastic consent because frankly, some parents will say, “Oh well! Alright!” thinking that you're going to do what you're going to do, regardless of what they say – And against their better judgment, may well give their permission, but it's not their best judgment. It's not what they really want. And if you really want God's will in your life, then you're going to use God's authority figure in your life, namely your parents.
God providentially gave you the family you have. That's not happen stance. That's not the luck of the draw. That's not the way the cookie crumbles, as all these little proverbs go. But God providentially gave you the family you have, or that parent substitute as some of you are adopted and fostered and so forth. But whoever God gave you as your parent or your parent substitute is the one that ought to have the final say over whom you marry, and when, and under what circumstances.
Because if you do this on your own then you've got no one to blame but yourself for the tears and the heartache that may follow. So, “Have you got that etched in stone?” I hope you do – that, “I will not marry anybody without my parents' enthusiastic consent as to the person, the timing and the circumstances.”
The Unfortunate Picture of, Our Hero, Jacob
But as we look at our hero in this story, Jacob, he did not have these considerations. In fact, Jacob is a picture, often, of a man who's run by his lower nature. Even though he's a righteous man, he allowed his lower nature to control his life on too many occasions, and here's another example.
So, you know the Bible says, doesn't it, that the prudent foreseeth the evil and hideth himself. But the foolish pass on and are punished. They just let happen what's going to happen. And then, boom! They have these big prices to pay for their foolish behavior. They say, “Well, how did this happen to me?” Well, didn't look ahead and anticipate what was going to happen and then plan for it like the prudent does. You know, probably, you single hearts here this morning – you know many of you are going to end up married some day, so you better make plans on how to do it in a right way. Well, Jacob didn't do that. Instead, he only followed his flesh and his desires instead of looking for godly character, so I'd suggest that you'd start making that kind of a list right now. What kinds of character qualities are important to you?
If you parents here, if you've got a single son or daughter, may I suggest that you don't allow dating around, because again, that is a prescription for disaster, that's a prescription for allowing lower natures and feelings to come to the surface of the situation. And again, if parents allow that, then they've got no one to blame but themselves for what will take place between two young people.
Jacob Selects a Wife
As Jacob looked at the possibilities here in Laban's household, he had a choice, didn't he? He looked at the oldest daugther, and her name was Leah. She was, uh, you might call her the 'Plain Jane.' You wouldn't pick her out of a crowd. She was very average looking – normal looking – like most of the people that God creates.
Now Rachel on the other hand, Wowww! Whew! Man! Whoo! She was bea-uuu-tiful and well favored. In other words, she was, as the young people say, “She was a knockout.”
Well, as Jacob looked between not having prepared himself, not having planned for this situation, not having not put spiritual considerations first, not asking the question, “Would God want me to marry this young lady or that one?” Not asking any of those questions, he allowed his lower nature to come to the surface. Wooo! [Transcription note: In a mocking tone] And he started looking at Rachel through eyes of flesh.
Now you might say, ‘Whoa, don’t be so hard on Jacob. He’s probably just a teenager with zits, you know, he doesn’t have any experience and, you know, he’s immature, he’s not well-seasoned, he doesn’t know any better and, you know, here he is and he’s away from home, you can’t blame the poor guy, he doesn’t have any experience like he ought to have.’
Well, that’s not quite accurate. On this occasion he should have known better, because on this occasion he’d already been receiving social security cheques for twelve years.
He was 77 years old. (Audience laughs) And when he finally did marry he was 84 years old, and then he had 12 kids. Don’t use the argument that he was an inexperienced, wet behind the ears teenager, because that’s not true. Here’s this older man, I mean he’d lived life for 77 years when he started looking over the field here – now, that’s an interesting thing, isn’t it? Here’s a man at age 77 who got in trouble because he didn’t plan ahead and he didn’t have counsel from his parents. See how powerful feelings and emotions can be? Even for an older man. So it sounds like it’s wise to have help in doing this no matter what age you are.
Now when God helped him – because God did step in to try to help his servant. Jacob was, remember he probably got born again there at Beth El, he knew God in a personal way, so now he’s got a personal relationship with the god of heaven, he’s a justified man.
God often steps in in our lives to try to help us. And sometimes when God steps in we don’t recognise his hand of help. Sometimes when God steps in we consider it some kind of a freakish accident or something, or a cruel twist of fate. When in fact it was the hand of God that tried to help us the in the first place!
Well as you know the story, we won’t take time to read the whole text, Jacob agrees with Laban to serve him for seven years for Rachel, the youngest sister. At the end of the seven years, he comes forward and he says, ‘Well I’ve been here seven years now, and it’s time for me (rubbing palms) and its time for me to have my wife, Rachel’, and so Laban, true to his word, arranges for this wedding to take place, and they did it according to the customs of the day.
Now you have to understand that in those days, girls didn’t walk around like they do today. They had loose flowing clothes on, you really couldn’t make out a girl’s figure, all you could usually see was her hands, and her feet, and her eyeballs. That’s about all you could see of this girl. So, during the wedding, Laban surreptitiously, deceitfully, hard-heartedly, switched one daughter for another. Instead of giving him Rachel, as they had agreed, he snuck Leah in to the picture. Well, they had the wedding, and they said the equivalent of ‘I do, I do, I take this woman to be my wife, I take this man to be my husband’ – they said the equivalent of these things, and of course by then night had fallen, and they went into their nuptial tent and spent the night together. And again remember, all he could see was just her eyeballs and her hands and her feet, that’s all he could see, and I’m sure you know during the night there was just whispered conversations and those kinds of things.
And I could just hear Jacob that next morning as the sun started breaking over the eastern sky, over the hills of Moab, ‘Ah, Rachel honey, there’s certainly going to be a beautiful life for the two of us toge--- AHHHH!’ (audience laughs)
Now I want to suggest that this has got to be one of the most shocking moments in human history. Because as our text tells us in chapter 29 and verse 25, “and it came to pass that in the morning, behold, it was Leah!” (laughs) and it’s a wonder that old man didn’t have a heart attack at age 84 to suddenly realize he’s looking at Leah instead what he had imagined was Rachel all along.
‘Boy,’ you might say, ‘what a dirty trick! Boy, that Laban, boy, he, that was terrible, that was wicked, that was evil!’
Yes, it was. And Laban shouldn’t have done that. I mean that was really deceitful, wasn’t it? That was an act of duplicity. I mean you hear stories about what some people do to some other people and you shake your head sometimes and this has got to take the cake. This is really an underhanded, dirty deal. But now wait a minute, let’s step back a minute. Let’s pause and reflect.
For believers, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’. (Audience member: Amen) I hope you accept that. For a believer, everything, EVERYTHING, is providential. That’s why Paul, writing later in the New Testament, Romans chapter 8 verse 28 says “all things work together for good”.
‘You mean, even me having Leah instead of Rachel? ‘ ‘That’s right. That’s right Jacob. Even you, having Leah instead of Rachel.’ Now, Laban meant it for evil, just like Joseph’s brothers meant it for evil by selling him as a slave to Ishmaelite slave traders. But God meant it for good! (Audience member: Amen) and as a result of Joseph being sold as a slave into Egypt he later was used as a type of Christ, a deliverer for the whole nation of Israel. (Audience member: Yes) So what men meant for evil, god can turn around for good. Even though wrath of man shall praise him. (Audience member: Yes)
So for a believer, for a justified soul, there is no such thing as ‘luck’. It’s providence! And God uses even these so called cruel twists of fate to accomplish his perfect will.
So that’s why I say, I believe God helped him out here. I don’t believe this was accidental. I believe that God wanted Jacob to have Leah in the first place! Now you’re welcome to disagree, you don’t have to agree with me, but I firmly believe that, I believe God wanted him to have Leah and not Rachel! Here’s this servant looking at flesh and feelings and emotional are involved here, when in fact he wanted him to have the more spiritual of these two sisters and that was clearly Leah. Now let me prove that if I may.
Rachel's Poor Character Results in Few Children
As we look at Rachel we learn some things about her that are rather uncomfortable. For one thing, as we learn later on in chapter 31 and verse 19, she was an idolater. When she finally left home, when Jacob decided to go back to Palestine, she stole her father’s idols, her father’s teraphim. Because she was an idolater, she had her dad’s gods, these false gods. And she was a liar. When her dad came searching through the camp looking for his teraphim she lied to her father. So she was not only an idolater, she was a liar.
Then, she wasn’t very close to God, when they were married in chapter 30 in verse 1, you’ll notice this text, “and when Rachel noticed that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister and said unto Jacob ‘Give me children or else I die’”. She was treating Jacob as if he was God, as if he had something to say about whether or not they had children. She wasn’t very close to God because had she been close to God - when a believer has a crisis in their life what’s the first thing they do? They go to God in prayer. Right? Anyone who’s close to the Lord, when they have a need in their life, the first thing they do, they go to the Lord in prayer. But that’s not what Rachel did. Why? Because she wasn’t very close to God, that’s why. (Audience member: Yes) Instead she goes to Jacob and accuses him of being the problem.
Now, as our text has already told us, Rachel had beauty, but she had the fewest children. If you consider having children as a part of God’s blessing, and I do, as you compare these two sisters, Leah had the most blessings, she had the most children. Rachel did finally end by having two children but may I say, beauty can be a curse if you don’t have character with it. Beauty can be a curse with no character. And then, she was superstitious. Later on in our story, chapter 30 in about verse 14, Rachel used this superstitious thing of using special herbs and weeds to try to gain her fertility. Again instead of going to the Lord she used superstition.
And then, I would have think about this as well. She gave her husband a concubine. I’d like to ask you married ladies here a question. How many of you would have the freedom to give your husband a concubine? Hands please. (laughs) I don’t see any hands! Mostly when I ask ladies that kind of a thing, ‘NO WAY’ and of course not. That’d be wicked.
Now I understand, in this day and age that we’re discussing, this was common. When you couldn’t bear a child it was common, it was legal, to give your husband your servant girl, your handmaid, and then if she would bare a child that child would be reckoned to you. You would be the legal parent, even though you wouldn’t be the biological parent. But what is often accepted is not always morally right, I believe you’d agree with that. So here’s a girl who was willing to give her own husband a concubine in order to gain the children that she so desperately wanted, and unfortunately, Leah would follow her example, but Rachel did it first. And then Leah did, unfortunately, follow her example.
Leah's Good and Quiet Character Results in Many Children
Now if you think of those things concerning Rachel, now let’s look at Leah, and examine some portions of her character. I believe that Leah had character that Rachel didn’t. As our text tells us, she was tender-eyed. Some have said that the eyes are the window to the soul. And there is, in fact, a case, I believe, that can be made, that character can be revealed by a person’s eyes, for good or bad by the way: I believe Jezebel painted her eyes with good reason. You look at the Jezebels of this world, they often have painted eyes. I hope you young ladies remember that because Jezebels paint their eyes. (Audience member: Yep) That’s a sign of bad character.
But when you look at Leah, you saw this shame-faced, modest, humble, girl, a quiet girl, because her eyes betrayed that she was of a more humble character. She had a more godly character. She was quiet.
As you look at the book of Proverbs we discover that the strange woman is not quiet. ‘Where’s the strange woman? Oh, just be quiet and listen.’ That’s all you have to do. If you wonder where the strange woman is in any crowd just be quiet and listen for a moment. Because she’ll usually sound louder than the other women. She’s loud. The strange woman is loud, and stubborn, by the way. Loud and stubborn.
Now, again if you consider some of the things that happen in life providential and I do, who produced Judah? Rachel? Or Leah? Or one of the other two handmaids? It was Leah. Leah was the mother of Judah, and as you’ll remember in your Bible, Judah produced Christ. The tribe of Judah produced our Lord Jesus Christ, and David, by the way. She was also the mother of Levi, the priestly line.
By the way, she had the most children. (laughs) She had seven children, which interestingly enough is the same number of children that was in our Lord’s family. Our Lord Jesus Christ came from a family of at least seven children. That’d be of particular interest to those of you who have a Roman Catholic background because you were taught, if you were in the Roman church for any length of time at all, that Mary didn’t have any children except for the Lord Jesus, but the scriptures seem to indicate otherwise. There were seven children there, and Leah had seven children just like the family of our Lord and not only so; she prayed.
Chapter 30 and verse 17: “God hearkened onto Leah and she conceived and bare Jacob the sixth son”. She was a praying woman. That tells me she had a relationship with God. You don’t pray to someone that you don’t know. Leah knew god and she prayed to him.
But you know what impresses me most about Leah? And I think you ladies would agree with this. She loved a man who did not love her. Now I wanna tell you, that is character. And had she lived in the twentieth century, her contemporaries would say ‘forget it, just go jump in a lake’, and she’d leave the relationship. Twentieth century woman would do that kind of thing, but not Leah. She loved a man who did not love her.
Some men believe that they’ve made a mistake by having the wrong wife. You can’t conclude that by reading this story. Again, what did God do? God gave his hero Leah. That’s who he wanted him to have all along! God in so many words was saying, ‘I want you to have Leah, not that girl over there called Rachel, I want you to have her sister, Leah. No, she’s not as beautiful. No, she’s not as well-favoured. But she’s got the character I want you to have in your life. I want you to marry Leah’, and he used a wicked reprobate uncle named Laban to bring that all about.
But when God tried to help him, he refused.
Leah's Children Have Better Character
Another interesting note about Leah is you can see some elements of her character in her children. As the children started coming along, the first one, chapter 29 in verse 32 was called Reuben, which means ‘see, a son.’ You know, she’s pretty happy, ah! Little baby Reuben came bouncing along. And then number two, Simeon, chapter 29 verse 33, which means ‘hearing’. ’Cause Leah was painfully aware that her husband loved her sister more than he loved her, and so when she named Simeon I’m sure what what she’s saying is now God’s gonna hear me, ’cause she named him Simeon, ‘God heard me’.
Then verse 34 of chapter 29, Levi comes along which means ‘joined’ or ‘attached’ – ‘maybe now my husband will be joined to me, now that I’ve given him three sons, maybe now he’ll be attached to me’, then I see in verse 35 of chapter 29 when Judah comes along, his name means ‘praise’. It’s almost as if Leah had said, ‘well, maybe he’ll never love me, but my hope is in the Lord, and I’m gonna praise God anyway.’ So when Judah came along, ‘the Lord is my hope, not my man, so I’m gonna praise God’, so she named him Judah.
Then in verse 17, Issachar comes along, chapter 30, ‘there is reward – there is reward for praising God, there’s reward for serving him’. Verse 19 and 20 of chapter 30, Zebulun comes along: ‘dwelling’. ‘Maybe now my husband will dwell with me, after six sons’, or seven sons, six sons in this case. Then verse 21 of chapter 30, Dinah comes along and ominously Dinah means ‘judged’, kind of a cryptic expression for what we’re gonna see coming later.
Wrong Basis and Actions in Marriage
Well, we not only see the wrong basis in marriage for our hero Jacob, but we also see the wrong actions in marriage. You see, I don’t care who you are: me, you, the person next door; when we violate Bible principle, then the law of sewing and reaping comes into effect. (Audience member: right) Whatever we sew, Galatians 6, we’re going to reap (Audience member: that’s right), and I don’t care who you are, if you’re the king of Babylon, or the poorest pauper on planet Earth, or anyone in between: if we violate God’s principles, we are going to reap a crop. God’s plan for marriage is monogamy.
Monogamy. That’s a Latin word which basically means one wife. Monogamous relationship, one wife, you should be a one wife kind of man. Jacob began monogamous. He ended up with Leah. He was very disappointed (laughs) but he had Leah now.
But he went on, and I won’t take time to read the passages, but he went on to demand Rachel in addition to Leah. ’Cause he was really angry with uncle Laban: ‘How could you have done this to me,’ and Laban explains, ‘Well it’s not our practice in this part of the country to do that, we always like to have the oldest daughter married first, so (laughs) didn’t think you’d mind (laughs).’ ‘WELL I DO MIND’ and they were goin’ at it tooth and toenail there, and so, ‘Well, all right, serve you another seven years for Rachel,’ so he became polygamous. Why? To satisfy God’s laws? No. To please the Lord? No. he became polygamous to please his flesh. He wasn’t satisfied with Leah, Leah wasn’t good enough for him, he had to have Rachel too.
And because Laban gave each of his daughters servant girls when they married, he ended up having these two concubines, so he ended up having four wives by the time it was all said and done. God’s plan is what? Monogamy. The plan of the flesh, or this world, is polygamy, which is another Latin word which means many wives. Now may I say you cannot serve two masters, nor can you have two wives. (laughs)
Leah was an insecure woman. She was an insecure wife because as she would see her husband Jacob look at Rachel she would see his eyes light up. He liked what he saw when he looked at Rachel. And she won her husband, Jacob, the wrong way. She did it with duplicity, she did it with deceit. And there are young woman that win their husbands today in a wrong way, are there not?
A Woman's Poor Conduct Attracts a Man of Poor Character
And you young women know this to be true. If you were to start dressing wrong, if you were to start leaving buttons unbuttoned, and wearing form-fitting clothing, and hiking up your hemlines and exposing parts of your body, I’ll guarantee you, you will attract attention. No question about it! You will have attention from men of this world. Absolutely you will. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself a question? What have you got?
Those men who are paying attention to you because of the way you have conducted yourself and the way you’ve exposed your body and the way you’ve acted in a wrong way; what you have you got? You’ve got a young man with wrong character, that’s what you’ve got. You’ve got a young man who’s attracted by flesh and is run by his lower nature. Because a man who is looking for a godly wife is going to be repulsed by that kind of behaviour. And may I say if you can win a husband by flesh and acting and living in a wrong way, what’s gonna happen when someone else comes along who looks even better than you? May I say, you’ve got a pretty bad situation.
So if you win some guy with your body, what do you have? You’ve got a jerk. You’ve got a creep, that’s what you’ve got, someone who’s very fleshly, very carnal, in fact he could even be kind of a bestial type person. So any girl who wins a man with her body or by lowering her moral standards, that girl is going to be insecure in her marriage. And Leah was insecure. Because she won her husband in an unscrupulous way through duplicity and deceit. So she won him in a wrong way.
She should have actually disobeyed Laban, and she saw his interest was in fleshly, carnal areas, and Rachel’s beauty, so she tried to compensate by doing anything she could to get his affection, and her method was having children, and she was fertile... as a fertile, I mean she had lots of children. Boy, the children started coming along, boy, she had seven children just like that.
I want you to turn, if you would to chapter 30, beginning at verse 14 where we see an example of what happens in a marriage where we have wrong actions in a marriage because you just can’t have polygamy and have this succeed. This is not Gods plan.
Jacob's Spiritual Low Point at Shechem
Beginning of verse 14
“And Ruben went in the days of wheat harvest and found mandrakes in the field and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, ‘Give me I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.’ And she said unto her,” and you can just hear the pent up anger and bitterness in this response “’is it a small matter that though has taken my husband and wouldst though take away my son’s mandrakes also.’ And Rachel said, ‘therefor he shall lie with thee tonight for thy son’s mandrakes.’ And Jacob came out of the field in the evening and Leah went out to meet him and said ‘thou must come in unto me for surely I’ve hired thee with my son’s mandrakes’ and he lay with her and he erected there an altar and called it ‘El Elohe Israel’.'
I want to suggest to us, that Jacob at this point in his career was on a very low spiritual plain when he arrived a Shechem. Now why do you say that? Well, because if you’ll remember in your memory when he stopped at Bethel and saw that ladder going from earth to heaven and the angels ascending and descending on that ladder and he established that personal relationship with God. Among other things on that occasion, he promised “I’m going to return to this spot, Bethel, the house of God” and he’s going to come back here and as it were pay his vows. So now as we read this story we see him ending up at Shechem and out first question really ought to be “well now Jacob, why are you here at Shechem? You’re supposed to be back at Bethel, the house of God. That’s where you belong. You’re not supposed to be here a Shechem.”
The Principle of Compromise
Now according to a principal that we could call “the principal of compromise” Jacob could answer that question. He could say “well, I may not be at Bethel. But at Shechem I’m only one day away. I’m close. I may not be exactly where I’m supposed to be, but I’m close. I’m only one day away.”
Now let’s consider that principal for a moment.
I don’t know about you, but flying is not my favourite thing to do. At first I was a white knuckle flyer, but I’ve gotten over that. Then I was a ‘fill the bag’ flyer, you know I.. Flying is not my favourite thing. I really get kind of claustrophobic when I’m cooped up in that airplane for hours and hours and hours. And then my small diminutive, frame [Ron Williams is a large man] in those tiny little seats built for midgets, it’s just not a good equation for me, ok.
And when you’re flying in this plane often the captain comes on and he says, “This is your captain speaking” and he says all these things [about] flying back from Europe he says “there’s the mountains of Iceland”. You know, we flew by Iceland, we saw the mountains there of Iceland, and that was interesting. But I’m so glad when that captain comes on that he does not say “we are flying approximately 75 feet above the ground, and I’m trying to see how close I can fly to the ground and still fly.” No quite to the contrary I’m so glad he says “we’re flying about 30 thousand feet above the ground.” Because, you know, there’s radio towers sticking up, and there’s mountains, and there’s hills and there’s buildings, and the Empire State building, and, you know, the Sears Tower, and all these big edifices that would interrupt our flight… if we were flying at 75 feet above the ground. So I’m so glad when he said “we are flying 30 thousand feet” we’re not trying to see how close to the ground we can be and still be flying.
Now do you get it? The principle of compromise can be very dangerous indeed. You don’t see how close you can get to the world and still have one foot in God’s camp.
The Significance of Shechem
Yes, he’s a Shechem. Only one day away from Bethel, but that’s the principle of compromise. He should have been at Bethel, and not at Shechem. He could have said “well I’m within the bounds of obedience, I’m close.” But God wants us to stay as far away as we can from the world.
Now why Shechem? Well Shechem, as we look at our bible atlas and some other helps. Shechem was on a trade route between east and west. And so there was a lot of commerce going on there in the Bible world and these days of the Bible. A lot of things going on there, the coming and going of lots of different people, and so it was a rather interesting place. It was a place of this world, no question about it.
And as our text tells us, he built booths here in Sukkoth. He was supposed to have a tent and an altar testimony, and that’s what Abraham had. Abraham had a tent and an altar testimony. A tent meaning he was not putting his roots down, he went all over the place. He was a pilgrim just passing through. And an altar, he worshipped the God of heaven, not the Idols of the Canaanites. Abraham taught his spiritual children and his physical children “you should have a tent and an altar testimony. You’re just a pilgrim passing through, and you worship the God of heaven.” That’s what Jacob should have had; he should have had a tent and an altar testimony. But he built booths here. He put his roots down.
Now does that tell you something? It’s possible for a believer to put his roots down in this world. Frankly, there are some believers who could not honestly pray “Lord Jesus, come quickly, because lord, you know I deserve a vacation, and could you please come after my vacation. Now lord you know I need that motor home I’ve got to have it, and I… If you come right now I wouldn’t be able to enjoy that. And Lord I deserve a raise, so please Lord, come after my raise if you would please.” There are some believers who quite honestly could not say “Lord Jesus, come quickly” because they put their roots down.
Then he piously erects an altar here, but you know Canaanites aren’t too impressed with our altars when we’re living away from how we ought to live. They have this unequal relationship with this Pagan community, and he knew it was wrong to live that close to Canaanites. He’d grown up in a home where they were taught, “stay away from the Canaanites. Whatever you do, stay away from the Canaanites. I know they’re everywhere, but stay away from ‘em. We live in their country, yes, but you don’t have to be a Canaanite.”
But he settled right down amidst these Canaanites. In fact his brother Esau had brought disgrace to the family, his brother Esau had brought shame to the family. You know what Esau did? Esau was kind of a knuckle dragger personality. He was not only hirsute, hairy all over, that was a picture of his character too. He was kind of this “urhhh, woman, ha ha ha ha”, he had this caveman approach to women and as he looked at the Canaanites he enjoyed the women that he saw. And not only did he consort with Canaanites, he married a couple of them. And that brought such shame and disgrace on his family his mama contemplated suicide.
That is how adversely he affected his own family. So Jacob new, of all people, Jacob new how this would affect his life and his family but instead he settles right down here amongst these Canaanites. He should have kept his family away from Canaanites. He should have kept his family away from the world. But instead he puts a booth here.
A Charge to Fathers, Family Protectors
Daddy, you and I are God’s protector of our families against evil influences. And if we allow our children to consort with the Philistines and the Amorites and the Egyptians and the Canaanites of this world we are failing as God’s protector of our family. If you have a television in your home you are not protecting your family against evil influences. You are not fulfilling that role of being God’s protector, because every moment you turn that on you’ve got evil, Canaanite influences coming into your home and your family and you are failing as God’s protector.
If I allow my children to be influenced by anyone who doesn’t reinforce Bible values, I am not being God’s protector of my family. And that’s what Jacob did here, he could say “well I’m just one day away, I’m close. This is the way most people live.”
I hope you friends understand that the way most people live is wrong. Yes, there is a broad highway and most people are on it, I understand that, but the remnant, that small group of God fearing, God honouring people who want to please him are not on that broad highway. They go through a straight and a narrow gate. And they follow a very narrow path that is very closely circumscribed by the principles of scripture. And the people on that broad highway will laugh at you if you’re a part of that remnant. They’ll look at you with disdain. They’ll talk about you in patronizing tones. They’ll condescend when they speak about you. They’ll criticize you, they’ll complain about you, but get used to it. That’s the way the prophets of God had to live, that’s the way God’s remnants have always had to live. They’ve never been in the majority, and won’t be by the way, until the millennium, but things change rather drastically then.
And when a man stops his spiritual pilgrimage for a brief spiritual vacation, which is I guess how we could say Jacob has handled his life here. He not only endangers himself, but he endangers those who are under his care. And may I say that those who are under his care are even more vulnerable than himself.
Jacob is here a Shechem on a spiritual vacation and his family went with him. Now you might say, because you’re a charitable soul “Well, I’ll bet Jacob came to his senses just like that, and I’ll bet he realized the error of his ways, and I’ll be he got back on the straight and narrow way, I’ll bet this didn’t last long.”
I wish that were true. Sadly Jacob let ten years pass from the time he came to Palestine until he went to Bethel. Do you know why? Now listen friend, it’s never convenient to do right. Never is. It’s never convenient to do right. It’s always easy to do wrong. We’ve got the purpose in our hearts to do right, against my flesh, against my feelings, against majority opinion. And so for ten years our hero Jacob stays at Shechem on spiritual vacation. And that leads us to the next tragic event in this story. And for that portion of this story I direct your attention to chapter 34 where we will read the next 5 verses.
Dinah's Preventable Defilement
Chapter 34 verses 1 through 5.
“And Dinah the daughter of Leah which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the country, saw her, He took her and lay with her and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob and he loved the damsel and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying ‘Get me this damsel to wife’. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter, and now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.”
I imagine that on this occasion Dinah was in her mid-teens somewhere. Fourteen, fifteen years of age. Something like that. And she had learned her lessons well; she had learned how to be insecure from her mother. She had learned how to emphasize flesh and to appeal to men by flesh from her father, never mind character.
All this unfortunate incident could have been saved if he had just obeyed God when Dinah was just a four or five year old girl. All this could have been saved, it all could have been prevented. But Dinah, for her part, had responsibility too, she was culpable she had her responsibility.
Far Country Disease
She violated the principle of Titus chapter 2 and verse 5. Now I understand that Titus had not yet been written, but for our benefit the principal of Titus 2:5 is that we should love out homes.
Can I ask you young hearts a question? Is your home boring to you? Are you contented with your home? Because may I say, if you’re not contented with your home then you’re not going to be contented anywhere.
The prodigal son thought a long time about the far country didn’t he? No doubt he reasoned in his heart and his mind, “any place has got to be more exciting than this place. Boy my home is Dullsville. Square city. I mean, my parents are so old fashioned they squeak.” And he thought and thought and he… The more he thought about his home and other places like this far country, he developed the far country disease, and he go discontented. And if you start thinking that someplace else is better than your home, you’re gonna get the far country disease, and you’re gonna get the same kind of mind set that Dinah apparently got here.
Frankly your home ought to be the biggest magnet in your life. You have to love to be in your home, when you’re away from your home you ought to miss it. Boy I wanna be with my mom and dad more than I want to be with anyone else in this world, I want to be with my brothers and sisters, I want to be with my family. God gave me my family, I don’t know about these Canaanites out here, but God gave me my family and I’m content with them and I love them and I want to be in their company. But Dinah didn’t have that mindset.
Young people should love their homes more than any place else in this world. But many today would agree with Dinah, “my homes dull, it’s boring.” May I say, if there’s a person or a place you would rather be than at home you’re already disloyal, you’re already on a wrong path, and you’re just waiting for a chance to express that wrong path and that wrong desire. You’ve already got that far country disease.
But Dinah developed this curiosity because as bad as Jacob was on this occasion in his life, as much as he’d been on spiritual vacation for ten years. There was still apparently a distinctive difference here because she went out, as our text tells us, she went out to see the daughters of the land because she noticed they’re different than we are. We look different than our neighbours do and that ought to be the testimony of a believing home.
She was curious, and you’ll see especially if you’re a young woman, but this is true of young men and young women, but when you put yourself away from the protection of your home and your parents you put yourself in a very vulnerable position and you put yourself in the tender mercies of the devil and the people of this world. And watch out, what’s going to happen. Chastity and purity goes hand in hand, in Titus chapter 2, with staying at home.
Now according to the Jewish historian Josephus, there was a feast or a festival in Shechem, and as our text tells us here she went out to see, that’s the idea of learning their manners, learning their customs, learning their fashions, in other words Dinah was not a separatist. See a person that’s content with God, content with family, content with home, content with what they’ve been taught is not going to go out curiosity seeking how do the Pagans of this world live. Because that’s dangerous. But rather she would have been content to stay at home, she would have been content to be a separated person.
And as you see your family taking a stand for God and not living the way most of this world lives, you ought to praise God you’ve got a family like that. You ought to count your blessings every day if you’ve got parents like that. Because I’ll guarantee you most of the parents of this world won’t take that kind of a stand. But Dinah didn’t, as she went out to see the daughters of the land, she should have known that we live in a world filled with sin. And believe me, we do.
The Predatory Nature of Men
You see, and may I speak now to you feminine hearts, Egyptians and Canaanites consider women as game. I’m a hunter and I like to hunt when I can, we hunt game we, you know, try and *boom* blow them away so we can put them on the table and eat them. Now if you’re an animal rights activists I’m not trying to offend you, but I mean, it’s… I look on animals as a think like crops, you harvest them and use them. I mean, that’s, I think that’s God’s teaching. But Egyptians and Canaanites look at women that way. You’re game, to be stalked and hunted, and the mindset of the modern Egyptian and Canaanite is of being a predator.
And if you’ve ever heard of the concept of ‘predatory sex’ that’s exactly what I’m describing right now. That’s typically like the playboy philosophy of today. You see men consider you as fair game, if you’re out from under you’re authority especially. Because if you’ve left the authority of your mama and your dad or whoever’s over you in authority they can say “well, I’ve got a chance here, because she’s already rebelled against her authority.” So it’s open season on girls.
Genesis chapter 12, we won’t take time to turn there but in verses 14 and 15, what did the Egyptian Pharaoh think when he saw Sara and Abram? “Oh what a cute couple, and how Godly this is”? No, when he saw Sara he says “get me that woman.” That’s what the Egyptian Pharaoh thought, that’s how Egyptian’s think. In chapter 20 in verses 1 and 2 Abimelech said the same thing to Sara, who by the way was advanced in years by now, see Sara’s an unusual woman. Men were very attracted to her when she was well over 100 years old. But Abimelech was another Canaanite king, and he wasn’t thinking “awe what a wonder, Godly testimony they have” he said “Awe I want that woman!” And later when Isaac and Rebekah moved into the land of the Canaanites, another Abimelech was on the throne. He said the same thing, “I want that woman”.
Predators, that’s what the men of this world are. And girls if you don’t believe that get a job sometime cleaning men’s washrooms. No, don’t do that. Because it is so vile, it turns your stomach, but on those men’s washroom walls you’ll see what the Canaanites of this world think. If you don’t believe what the men of this world think, just turn on a CB radio sometime as you’re going down a road. No, don’t do that either, please. Would you just believe your father? Would you just believe those who love you when they tell you that the men of this world are like this man, this Shechamite? That they consider you as fair game? If you knew what the average man of this world was thinking you’d carry a weapon.
In the news accounts all the time we read about girls, like Dinah, who’ve left their mom and dad, they’ve left their home, they go out to see what’s going on and end up being victims of some predator. So girls, may I plead with you, stay under the protection of your mom and dad. Stay under the protection of those that God has placed over you. That’s the safest place in this world to be, if you’re under God’s authority you’re as safe as God wants you to be. Dinah here was like a moth flying around a flame. You ever see a moth flying around a flame? It’s like that little moth is empty headed, propeller brained moth, you know.
“Oh? How pretty mmm zap!” A moth will fly right into a flame, and zzz their gone. That’s the way Dinah was here. Empty headed, propeller brained, like a fish biting at a bait, “oh look at that worm. Boy that looks good.” until their hooked. No doubt Dinah reasoned, “You know, as I look around here mom and dad are too strict on me. I never get to do anything. Oh they get to do everything. My mom and dad are too strict on my, they’re too old fashioned. Boy, look at that neat stuff going on around here. Well I’ve never seen anything like this before. Boy this is really exciting and interesting.” until she suddenly lost control of the situation. And by the way, if you’re a Dinah in this kind of a situation, the devil will put in your path peers, friends so-called, who will encourage you.
“You know, your parents are too strict. And the rules they put, ahh, those rules are just unbelievable. What your parents believe and what they expect.” Fools make a mockery of sin. You’ve got a fool for a friend. Anyone who starts criticizing your home, starts criticizing you parents, starts criticizing their rules, is not your friend. They’re poison. Please understand this, if someone starts criticizing your God given family that is not a friend. That’s someone being used of the devil in your life.
Men of this world are mostly like Hamor. Now he was a prince, he was a Shechemite prince, but he was a slave to his lust. He was a slave to his lower nature. What was the result of a wrong marriage, and a wrong family, and a mom and a dad who were on spiritual vacation? As our text tells us, it can be expressed in one word.
Defiled Young Women and the Dishonor of Womanhood
Many, many young people I’ve worked with over these years have ended up getting these kinds of scars, because like Dinah they believed a lie, they thought home was dull and not very exciting until they suddenly lost control of a situation. And you know this word “defiled” that is used in our text here is a very interesting word. It’s the very same word that is used of the desecration of the holy of holies.
So dishonor of womanhood and violation of the holy of holies are regarded with the same feelings and described with the same word. You won’t have to turn there but back in Deuteronomy 32 verses 13 through 19, we learned that purity for a woman was very important in Israel and in this text, Deuteronomy 13 through 19, a man accuses his wife of being immoral, “she wasn’t pure when I married her” and then her parents would produce the stained sheets from their wedding bed as evidence of her purity when she married. If those bed sheets could not be produced she was to be put to death. That’s the idea that Israel had about purity.
And so as I look at the modern notion of dating around, it’s like playing Russian Roulette, and especially allowing young people alone in cars and riding around together with no chaperone. I mean that’s absolute insanity. Well don’t you trust young people? Not an inch. Who of us can say I trust my flesh? May I say that’s a very short sighted and empty headed statement. None of us can trust our flesh and especially some hedonistic young person, who’s got these glands working overtime, this stage of their life.
May I say in this story, Dinah was unchaperoned. She wasn’t with her brothers, and she wasn’t with her daddy, she was all by herself and that’s how she lost control of this situation. This was an offense, not only against this girl, but it was also an offense against this girl’s father. Paul will later point this out in his Thessalonian epistles. You see you’re, if you’re trying to rob a young woman of her purity your problem is not her puritanical parents, your problem is a holy God. That’s your problem. In fact in Deuteronomy 22 verses 28 and 29, if a young man were to take a girls purity, he had to marry her and he had no right to ever separate from her and he had to pay a fine to the girl’s father.
You know, another thing that bothers me about this story with Dinah is that the text doesn’t tell us that she cried out. I hope girls, that if any jerk ever puts his hands on you, you will scream your tonsils out, I mean I hope he goes deaf from the decibels in addition to the black and blue bruises he’s gonna receive from the weapon you carry in your purse, et cetera.
Dinah's Damning Silence
But Dinah, now maybe she did, but the text is silent and I understand this is an argument from silence, but we don’t see Dinah here screaming. We don’t see her crying out. That bothers me.
Even in nature we see a picture of what ought to happen, there’s a fur bearing animal is Siberia called an ermine. I’ve never seen an ermine, except on some ladies shoulders, I’ve seen people wearing ermine. But I understand that this ermine is very fastidious about its coat of fur. And people who realize this, who hunt ermine, will sometimes take a bucket of manure, kind of a strange thing to take hunting, but they’ll locate this ermines hole or den and while the ermine is gone, doing whatever ermine do, they dob manure all around the hole. Then they turn the dogs loose.
And the Dogs find this ermine, AHHH, and they see these dogs coming and they’d make a bee line for their hole. And when they get to the hole they *sniff* “something’s wrong around here” and they see how their hole has been polluted by this manure, and you know what that ermine will do? That ermine will die at the hand of those dogs rather than soil her coat. Would that many young feminine hearts would do the same. That they’d be willing to scratch some jerks eye balls out rather than lose her purity, because here’s an animal in nature who’s willing to die rather than lose its purity.
But Hamor is like many men of today, they have a moral indifference. Notice in this text he has no excuse for what he did, no apology, he offers a transaction. He’s not interested in their morals, he’s not interested in their law of God, he’s not interested in her young age or her childhood or her future or her purity, he’s interested in his lust. No matter what he says, a young man who talks to you, he’s not acting in a biblical, loving, Godly way if he’s willing to put his hands on you. That is not love, that is Hamor like behaviour, that is a Shechemite type behaviour.
The Troubling Response of the Family
And another thing that bothers me about this story is Jacob’s silence. Jacob was silent when he learned that his own daughter was raped. Because he… It gives you an idea of the low spiritual tone of his life at this point. I read about a man one time, there was a police call at his home for a fight going on, and he sat there and he watched television; while this fight was going on.
These sons come on the scene, verses 6 and 7, Jacob’s sons, and they realize this wasn’t God’s perfect plan. And you know I don’t see anything wrong with brothers trying to protect their sisters, in fact, I… I kinda like that idea. I kinda like the idea of brothers saying “hey boy, you better keep your hands off my sister. I’ll rearrange your face.” And there’s something in my nature that likes that idea, idea. I like that. Now you can call that carnal, or whatever you want to call it, but I like the idea of a girl being protected. In fact, Proverbs 6 tells us that jealousy is the rage of a man.
The Genesis of the Strange Woman
But how did all of this happen? How did this girl end up acting like a strange woman?
Well may I say, it didn’t happen overnight, and in fact her parents were part of the whole picture. Several years before this occasion Jacob finally agreed with the lord on who he should have loved. “He did?” Yeah he did. “When did he do it?” Well unfortunately he did it when it was too late. “Well what do you mean?”
Well as you finish out the book of Genesis in chapter 49 verse 31 he says “now boys when you bury my body, don’t bury me down there by Bethlehem, where Rachel is, don’t bury me there.”
“Where do you want to be buried, dad?”
“Bury me by Leah. The girl I should have had all along. Bury me by Leah.” Isn’t that sad? After it was too late he finally agreed with God. And he was buried with Leah, Genesis 49 verse 31.
Dads, let’s not wait for tragedy. Let’s love our wives and our children now. Let’s provide security for them right now. I hope you daughters in this audience know what it’s like to be hugged by your daddy. I hope he just squeezes the breath out of you. I hope you look forward to your daddy’s bear hugs. “Oh, dad.” You are really doing, I think, a Godly thing when you do. Meet those security needs of that young daughter in your life. And another thing I think we can learn from this story is that there is no greater blow that a man can give to his wife than to withdraw his love from her, and that’s what Jacob did to Leah. He withdrew his love from her. He loved another instead of her, he took her for granted, he let love grow cold, and love was a man’s responsibility in the home.
And there is another argument from silence in this story, I realize this is not what you would call a significant argument. We’re never told in scripture that Dinah was happily married and live happily ever after. We are not told anything like those fairy tales that we hear about, or this world tries to tell us that somehow they work out just right. In fact she goes off the pages of scripture with one word “defiled”.
Probably like Tamar, Tamar lived destitute the rest of her life after she was defiled.
I stand before you as one who has scars. I know what it’s like to have scars from a foolish, empty headed, rebellious, willful youth. And perhaps some of you can say, “I know what it’s like to have scars”. And so be careful young heart when you get discontented, because that’s the devil’s playground. And if he can get you discounted enough he’s going to get you in a position like Dinah and you’re going to end up with scars. Some sins of our youth can permanently affect our lives, even if they are forgiven. And praise God my sins are forgiven. But as David said, “my sins are ever before me. I’ll never forget my wicked, evil days and I’m ashamed of them but I never forget them.”
Proper Discipline of Children is Complicated by Wrong Marriages
Proper and Godly disciplining of children is greatly complicated by wrong marriages. Jacob found that out. And Canaanites don’t care much for my altar if I live like they do. If I smoke, and swear, and drink, and dress like they do and go to places they do and do the things I do. They are not very impressed with my altar. If you are going to do things like that, then please don’t mention the name of the Lord.
And Dinah in this story made friends with the world like Lot did. Like Esau did. Her heart was basically disloyal to her family, or she wouldn’t have done what she did. And her dad failed as her protector by allowing her that freedom. So there a dual responsibility here that was violated. And Jacob was a weak and poor father, he ended up blaming his sons for his sin. But he was in a place where he ought not have been. God used his circumstances to chastise him and God did call him back to Bethel, praise the lord, and that’s the hope of this story.
Yes there’s scars, there’s defilement, there’s heart ache, there’s tears. But God called him back to Bethel. And his listening to God saved him from being another Lot. Where he lost everything. But Jacob failed as a protector. He allowed fraternization with this world; he allowed idolatry in his own house. And that’s because he in his own life emphasized the flesh instead of the spirit. And this produced a daughter who did the very same thing and she ended up acting like a strange woman.
Summary and Prayer
He hadn’t met Leah’s needs and he tempted her to be fleshly and the same thing happened to their daughter Dinah. But praise God, we serve a God of hope. And praise God none of these stories have to end in tragedy. If we don’t learn from Bible principle, we are then going to end up making the same stupid mistakes our forebearers did before us. I trust you will be like the prudent who foresee the evil and hide yourself. And be not like the foolish who just go along life trail unthinking, unknowing, uncaring until the scars accumulate on your soul. Lets pray together.
Heavenly Father, we thank thee for this story as a very sober story and the warnings that it gives us as family members. God help the daddies here today to be the protector that they ought to be, to cleanse their homes of those things that would bring Canaanite influences in to their family, to prohibit wrong relationships, to cleanse their home of idols as Jacob did before he went back to Bethel. God help the mothers represented here to be that Godly wife and mother that thoust called them to be, to have security in God if not in their husband. God help the youngsters who are listening to this message to find their comfort and their solace in their home, to find their fulfillment in their family, not in the Canaanites of this land. God help us all to be God pleasing people. Lord for those who are unsaved, those who don’t know Christ, I pray that before they can properly understand these principles that they first repent of their sin and that they trust Christ to save them, that they also can appreciate the wisdom and the practicality of Bible principles. Lord whatever our need, bring us now to our altar of prayer, and as we come, we pray that though would meet with us. We pray in Christ’s name, Amen.