Playing with Fire

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Today's reading: Genesis 34:1-4

Jacob's daughter, Dinah, takes leave of her family to mingle with and "see the women of the land" (vs. 1). Although the text of Genesis 34 doesn't specifically tell us why Dinah decided to seek out these women (to socialize, seek friendships, discover current fashions or trends), her actions placed her in an unsafe situation--physically and spiritually. And the choice to engage and interact with the ungodly culture around her, resulted in personal tragedy and, as we'll see in tomorrow's reading, the senseless killing of many people.

When I was growing up my dad and mom would frequently tell my brother and me "If you play with fire, you're going to get burned." They were reminding and cautioning us to be selective about who we were hanging out with and mindful of where we went and the situations in which we placed ourselves. The pull of the world is strong. Even when we don't intend to do anything wrong, putting ourselves in a risky situation is unwise--because we aren't always as strong as we think we are, and even if we don't give in to temptation, bad things can happen to us.

How much thought do you give to the places you go and the people you choose to hang out with? Do you think about possible temptations and the risks or dangerous circumstances you might encounter? Based on this account, why is this important? Tami

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3 Comments

It's always important that, while carrying out our God-given mission to engage the culture around us, we act with wisdom and caution, always being obedient to the Holy Spirit's guidance, in knowing where and how to do so.

That being said, respectfully, I'm very concerned by how you've interpreted this account.

According to your opening paragraph, it's Dinah's fault that she was raped because she left the household. That's not a case of me oversimplifying. It's the conclusion of what you said, "the choice...resulted in personal tragedy."

I'm certainly not suggesting that Dinah was 100% innocent--we frankly don't have enough details in the account to make any suppositions as to her intent or mindset--but, your statements here not only implicate Dinah to the exclusion of Shechem, whom you never mention in your interpretation, but they also make light of what he did to her, as rape is and was far more serious than "personal tragedy."

I would certainly hope that this is a case of poorly chosen words rather than the victim blaming it looks like. Again, we can't make a judgement on Dinah's actions or thoughts because we're not given that information. She may very well have done things, knowingly or unknowingly, that contributed to the situation. But, the wording here goes beyond that to outright assigning the blame to her, with no mention of her violator, which is a grievous oversight.

Brian,

Appreciate your comment. I was in no way trying to put the blame of rape on Dinah. Was just trying to make the point that we need to be mindful of and careful about where we go because there will be times when we unknowingly or unthinkingly put ourselves in a risky or bad situation. I say this from experience. Growing up I foolishly went places not thinking about possible consequences. Thankfully, none of those situations ended in sexual assault, but a few could have. I in no way condone a man forcing himself on a woman, and in my mind, Shechem is responsible for the horrible rape of Dinah.

Tami


May I add a comment to this discussion,Tami?

Yes, Dinah should have been careful where she was going. She was a young girl.
But her father, Jacob was not careful either!
He disobeyed the Lord God.
God told Jacob to go to Bethel not 30 miles from it!
Am I am aware that my obedience could harm others too?

I enjoyed both comments from you,Tami and Brian!!

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on May 3, 2017 3:25 AM.

Family Reunion was the previous entry in this blog.

Striking Back is the next entry in this blog.

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