There are times when we face difficulties because of someone else's behavior. There are times when a person's desire for something will cause them to take something from you that isn't theirs. This can be something as simple as stealing property from you or more complex such as stealing your dignity. If you have ever had anything stolen from you, you know that you feel defiled because your privacy has been disregarded. Today, I am looking at a tragedy that happened to Jacob's daughter, Dinah; please read Genesis 34:1-12.
Reading these verses, I understand how devastating this was for Dinah. As one who had been victimized as a child, I also understand that this is something that not only affects the victim but it affects the entire family. We see this in these verses; however, tomorrow we will read further and see how greatly it affected Dinah's brothers. The problem with what Shechem did was that he was only thinking of his desires at that moment. He behaved in a way to please his desires and then later wanted marry Dinah. James warns us of this very thing in James 1:14-15 (NLT), "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death." Shechem couldn't blame his actions on Dinah's beauty or on the fact that she was alone. Shechem's actions came from his own desires that he allowed to take over.
Unfortunately, his actions didn't affect just him; they hurt Dinah and her family. In this culture, Dinah was defiled and now would probably never marry. This was such a horrible thing to do! But we need to be careful as well, because when we allow our desires to take first place in our thoughts, we will hurt others around us as well. We will take something that doesn't belong to us because we are only thinking of ourselves. What is worst of all, when we are pleasing our desires, we are also putting our desires in God's place in our hearts. We have stolen the place that God not only deserves but belongs to Him. This is why sin gives birth to death. Let us keep God in first place in our hearts, which not only brings Him the praise that is His, but it also keeps us from pleasing our human desires.
Has pleasing your own desires stolen God's place in your heart?
This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.