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Genesis 34:1-31 - Homilies By R.a. Redford

Good out of evil.

The whole of this miserable story has its place in the development of the kingdom of God. No alliance can be true and safe which is not upon the foundation of the Divine covenants. Circumcision without faith is a mere carnal ordinance, working evil. The sin of Shechem was avenged, but it was avenged by the commission of a greater sin by Simeon and Levi. It was not thus that the kingdom of God was to be spread. "Ye have troubled me," Jacob said. And so have all worldly agencies and methods troubled the true Church. It is better to suffer at the hands of the wicked than to make compromising alliance with them. The worldly Church has filled the world with misery. Abuse of Divine things has been the source of innumerable evils, not only among the people of God, but even in the sphere of men's secular life. But notwithstanding the sin of Simeon and Levi, their prompt execution of the Divine judgment upon the sin of Shechem must have produced a wholesome fear in the country, and connected that fear with moral purity. The sins of unchastity and violation of family rights were monstrously prevalent among the heathen people of Canaan, and it was doubtless ordered that this outbreak of human passion should bear witness for God as the God of purity and the God of households, who blesses the life which is free from the defilement of sensual indulgence, and in which the bonds of relationship and virtuous marriages and the sanctities of home are deeply reverenced. We read afterwards ( Genesis 35:5 ), "the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them."— R .

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