Thursday, December 07, 2006

Negotiating Your Own Demise

In this season of shopping and holidays, I hear God saying that His people must be careful not to become so involved with the “season” that we sacrifice and risk our very integrity. God kept telling me to warn the people – “Do not negotiate your own demise.” I prayed and meditated on the word, and the Lord took me to the account in Genesis, chapter 34.

The story is about Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob. In the story, Shechem (a Hivite and prince) sees Dinah, kidnaps her and rapes her. He then held her captive and seems to fall in love with her. Hamor decides to seek out Jacob and have a talk with him. He tells Jacob his son is in love with Dinah and begs that he give her in marriage. While this talk is going on, Jacob’s sons hear what has happened to their sister, and naturally they are very angry. They begin to seek revenge on her behalf. Shechem basically tells David that he will give anything in order to marry Dinah, but there is a problem in the plan, because God’s people were instructed not to intermarry with those He had not chosen. Deceitfully, Dinah’s brothers bring up this point and tell Shechem that in order for the two people to dwell amongst one another, all males must be circumcised.

Hamor and Shechem proceeded to instruct all the people of the land to follow this decision, an all men were circumcised. On the third day, while everyone was sore, Simeon and Levi took their swords and killed all the men in the land. They also took back Dinah, their sister. The other brothers then came into the city to kill anyone left behind and seize the belongings of the people.

We see in the passage an example of a person who wants something so much, that he goes against his own beliefs and decides to do ANYTHING for that he desires. Never are the results considered. Shechem makes an emotional decision and begs the graces of the party with power for two reasons: he has a lustful desire, and he needs to cover the wrong he’s done.

Especially in this season, many of us are affected by the same driving forces. We claim to celebrate the birth of our Savior, though we are well aware that many of us have allowed commercialism, tradition and paganism to drive and define the season, even in our own homes. Atop of that, we often try so hard to appease our desires and the desires of others, that we beg the very world that established those practices for the desires we need to fulfill.

What do I mean? Little Johnny, though he has Christian parents who “celebrate Christ’s birth” at Christmas time, still tell him stories of Santa Claus. In order to cover their lies, they feel compelled to buy Johnny lots of gifts to place under the tree. However, Little Johnny’s parents are already behind on the bills. So, they go to the world, known as a national bank, and beg for a line of credit they really don’t need. Yet, they will do anything, even sign a contract for a 12.9% interest rate. In the end, what glory was brought to the Father? What lesson has Johnny really learned? What gift did Christ receive.

In this season, people of God, don’t contribute to nor negotiate your own demise. In whatever manner you choose to celebrate, and in whatever you chose to do, simply be honest with yourself and with God. Then be obedient to His instruction concerning the matter. Think about it…

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