02 Sep What Hope Does God Give to Assault Victims? (Genesis 34)
– All right. We have been in the book of Genesis for a number of months. And if you’re new, we like to go through books of the Bible. We just take every chapter, every verse, and we assume that whatever is in the Bible would be God’s assignment for us to learn from and to invest in for that week. And this week, we find ourselves in Genesis chapter 34. And honestly, this is the sermon I’ve been dreading the most for the entire series. Knowing this one is coming for me emotionally is complicated and difficult. We’re gonna answer this question. What hope does God give to assault victims? I love teaching the Bible. I’ve been teaching the Bible pretty much every week for about 26 years. This is my least favorite chapter, I believe, that I have ever taught in the entire Bible. The first time I taught it, I was a very young man. And as soon as I was done teaching, I threw up. That’s emotionally how much this chapter troubles and bothers me. And I look forward to the second coming of Jesus when this world is completely healed and everyone and everything is completely healed and justice comes for all true victims, Until then, chapters like Genesis 34 remind us very painfully what sin has done to tragically infect and effect all of human life. And so I would just encourage you to be praying for me. And we’re gonna get into this section of God’s word. It could be a day of great deliverance for some of you. For some, it’ll be a day of disorientation. For some, it’ll be a day of difficulty. And whatever God would have for you, if it doesn’t apply directly to you, let me say that this chapter applies to someone that you know and love. It applies to someone that you know and love. And so father, I pray right now that you would send the holy spirit to lead and guide our time together. And my leadership of these people that are such a wonderful, loving, and dear church family. God, I thank you that I have the honor of leading and feeding here at Trinity Church. And God, this is a church family that is very easy to love and very easy to lead, and I care for them very deeply. So God, I’m asking that you would give me the right words to say, that you would give them ears to hear and hearts to receive. And Lord, when all is said and done, we pray for hope, help and healing. And we pray for that process to begin for some people today. We ask for it in Jesus’ good name. Amen. Well, what we’re looking at, or what we have been looking at in Genesis is a generational case study in marriage and family. And so Abraham and Sarah had a generation and now, we’re looking at their grandkids, quite frankly. And we’re looking at their grandson, Jacob, and he is a guy who’s had a complicated life. He’s just returned home after 20 years away and being used and abused by his uncle and father-in-law, Laban. And it’s a complicated, dysfunctional, broken family. There’s actually four wives. There are 11 sons, one son still coming, and that will comprise the 12 tribes of Israel, and one daughter whose name is Dinah. And today, the story features Dinah in a tragic and painful way. And we’re gonna see perhaps the darkest day of her entire life, where this young woman encounters evil men. And we’ll jump into the story in Genesis 34:1-2. “Now Dinah, the daughter of Leah, whom she had born to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land.” Let me make this very clear. She’s doing nothing wrong. She’s a young woman, young woman rather going out with a young woman. They’re not doing anything wrong. They’re just away from home spending some social time together. “And when Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land,” this is important. He’s powerful and he’s wealthy, that makes him dangerous. If he’s ungodly and evil, he saw her, he seized her, that would be against her will, lay with her by force and humiliated her. Let me set the story here. They are in Shechem because that’s where her father moved their family. That’s not where God
told them to move. Previously, in Genesis, God told Jacob, move your family, your household to Bethel. He didn’t make it there. He stopped short in Shechem. This is not dissimilar to earlier in Genesis, where Lot moved his family just outside of a place called Sodom, and then moved his family into Sodom. It was a catastrophic leadership failure and error by the father. For those of us who are husbands and fathers, we are head of household. This just reminds us that we need to seek God’s will for exactly where He wants our family. The country you live in matters. The city or state you live in matters. The neighborhood you choose matters. The school we choose matters. The church you choose really, really, really, really, really matters. And if you put your family in the wrong place, you could be putting your family in harm’s way. And what the father does, he puts them in Shechem, and God said to go to Bethel. Had he done, the father, what God the Father had commanded him, his daughter wouldn’t even be in the place that this assault is going to happen. So first and foremost, men, husbands and fathers, and I wanna submit this as well to you, young men. It just impresses upon my heart. When you’re a young man, just a rabbit trail that comes to mind, when you’re a young man, you tend to feel very safe and secure. Most men don’t walk around feeling unsafe or insecure. And oftentimes then where we choose to live or to marry or to raise a family is a place that we feel comfortable, but then the question is do the women and children? Is it a place that they feel safe? Is it a place that their safety is insured? For men, we must choose a place that God has called us in a place that’ll be safe for our wife and our children. Jacob fails at this. He has 11 sons and only one daughter, her name is Dinah. At this point, we don’t know her exact age. She’s probably teens or twenties, a young woman. To me, this is particularly devastating, ’cause I’ve got two daughters. One is in her teens and one is in her twenties. This would be like my girls. She’s of that age. And this is tragically an age when a lot of young women have horrific things done to them. Exactly what is done to her is very difficult to even state. And in Genesis 34:2, various English translations will take this original Hebrew word and there’s a variety of ways in which they interpret it. I’ll read those to you in a moment, but let me just start by saying for some of you, these words are gonna be triggering and they’re gonna remind you of trauma. And I’m sorry for that. And what God is doing here, God is using the strongest language to depict and describe the most evil action. And sometimes we need to use strong words so that we strongly convey how evil something is. But various English translations will say that what happened to her is the quote, she was raped, humiliated, that he lay with her by force. She was ravished, violated and defiled. It says a young woman who’s going out with her friends, an unbelieving godless, powerful, wealthy young man sees her and he attacks her, he violates her, he assaults her, he abuses her, he traumatizes her. This is both a sin and a crime, that ultimately she needs to pray to God and call the police. Both things need to happen. Now, that being said, what we’re dealing with here is a real victim of real trauma. And I wanna be careful with this. I wanna say a few things. Number one, be careful of improper diagnoses of either abuse or trauma. Many of you who are young, you’ve been raised with far more psychology than theology. You know way more about your personality than you do God’s attributes, because you’ve been raised in a world where you and not God are the center. So the result is that some of you who are young, you feel very comfortable making harms your diagnoses. And you hear this all the time. Well, they’re are narcissist. No, they’re selfish. Every human being is selfish. Just because they’re selfish doesn’t mean that they’re a narcissist. In fact, by calling them a narcissist, you may be the narcissist,
right? So at the end of the day, there are certain clinical categories that require a professional to diagnose. And most of us are not professionals, so we’re not in the position to diagnose. In the same way, I would encourage you not to run around making medical decisions for people if you’re not a doctor. And so we need to be careful that we’re not just diagnosing ourself or diagnosing someone else. In addition, we need to be careful that we are not taking poor counsel. There are some wonderful, godly spirit filled, I would call them integrationist counselors, that’ll take the best of the sciences and the social sciences, general revelation and the special revelation of God’s word, and have wise input. But they are a minority population in the counseling world. Just as there are some good attorneys, there’s some really bad attorneys. There’s some good counselors. There’s some really bad counselors. And we live in a world where because of poor or improper diagnosis, almost anyone that disagrees with you is called abusive. And anything that they would say that you would disagree with is trauma. And that’s not true. If you don’t identify by the God-given pronoun that he assigned to you at birth and somebody mislabel you with a different pronoun, that is not abuse, you are not a trauma victim and you should not be triggered. You’re an adult. You’re an adult, which means sometimes things happen and people say things that you don’t like or agree with. That being said, with Dinah, true or false, we’ve got a real victim of real abuse and real trauma. Absolutely. And that’s what frustrates me. When everyone has trauma, then there’s no such thing as real trauma. When everyone is a victim, we have robbed the true victims of the dignity of the pain that they have been through. And so this misdiagnosis and this culture of woke victims where everyone is a victim, it devalues the true pain and suffering of real injustice. The other thing I would say that we need to be careful of is immediately presuming guilty until proven innocent, because there are people who will weaponize abuse and they will do so to destroy someone with false charges. There’s an entire movement of Me Too. And basically, it’s slogan was, in essence, believe the victims. If somebody says something happened, it happened. Well, that’s very, very dangerous because if you hate someone and you wanna destroy them, all you’ve gotta do is falsely accuse them. If you keep reading the story of Genesis, there is a young man who is accused of rape, convicted of rape, imprison for rape, and his name is Joseph, and he did nothing. She was not the victim, he was. The married woman said, “I wanna sleep with you.” He said, “I love God and I love your husband. I can’t do such a thing.” She basically told him, “well, you either commit adultery with me or I’m going to accuse you of rape.” And off to prison, he goes. That being said, when we’re dealing with trauma, when we’re dealing with abuse, particularly of a sexual nature, we need to be very careful that we’re not misdiagnosing, that we’re not self-diagnosing, that we’re not allowing a woke progressive agenda to rob victims of true justice and compassion. And we need to be careful that we don’t weaponize false accusations. But in this instance, let me be exceedingly clear. This woman is entirely a victim. What was done to her is damnable. It is despicable. It is deplorable. It is inexcusable. It is damaging. It is capital T trauma. And so what is trauma? I’ll quote from a book that my wife, Grace, and I wrote some years ago, three categories, it’s any type of sexual behavior or contact. Number two, in which consent is not freely given or obtained. And number three, it’s accomplished through force intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception, or abuse of authority. Tragically, what happens to Dinah happens all the time. We don’t know exactly how widespread this crisis is. It is considered by many to be the most under reported
crime, because sometimes it happens when a child is young and they don’t fully understand what is happening. Sometimes drugs or alcohol are involved, which still doesn’t make it right. But then the people who are participating, I should say, they don’t fully remember all the details most clearly. Sometimes it’s done, you know, in darkness and you’re not sure who did what. Sometimes as well a victim will experience something called disassociation, and that is that the trauma is so overwhelming that the mind can no longer process what the body is enduring. And it’s almost like they separate for a bit. And the mind isn’t fully able to then recall the details of what happened. Sometimes as well people are in families or homes where it was abuse conducted by a family member, so there’s a lot of pressure not to report, which is horrific and wrong. And they would say various statistics that upwards of one in four women has or will tragically experience sexual assault in their lifetime. And the number for men varies, but some estimates would say as high as one in six man. Particularly as we have more men trending toward homosexuality or gender spectrum. Let me say that what this man does to this woman is also what men do to men, ’cause men like this have no conscience, they have no boundaries. And for men, this tends to be something that would be under reported for obvious reasons, of shame and embarrassment. So we don’t know exactly how widespread the problem is, but if this is you and you’re hearing this and/or it’s someone that you love, think of it in this way. Here at Trinity Church, we’ve got three services and we have kids ministry. That would mean that the number of people who are perhaps assault victims in our church would be the same number that are sitting in this service. Just to give you yourself. So if you’re feeling like, oh my gosh, they’re talking about a painful experience in my life. Well, you are not a small percentage of the population, tragically and unfortunately. Last thing that I would really encourage is for all of the men to search our hearts. Is there anything in our hearts that are thinking that there is anything that this man did that is excusable or defensible? As I preach this, there are gonna be men who think that if they can take advantage of someone because of a position at work or an authority or someone who is younger or maybe they can take advantage of a young woman in some form or fashion that justifies the behavior, it doesn’t. It’s inexcusable. It’s deplorable. It’s despicable. And if you’re a husband, it doesn’t excuse you. In my lifetime, they finally entered a category of marital rape as a crime. Prior to that, there wasn’t, in most occasions, a legal category. Before a woman is your wife, she’s God’s daughter. And you don’t get to do whatever you want. You need to ask the Father what the boundaries are and you need to ask her how she would like to be treated. She encounters here a truly evil man. Had to be very confusing for her. She grew up in a home where her mother and father did not love each other, but they slept with each other. And they had her, as well as her brothers. It said earlier in Genesis that a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife. That word cleave in the original Hebrew, it means to pursue intently and passionately. My wife, Grace and I, this month, we celebrate 30 years. We’ve celebrated 30 years of faithful Christian marriage. And I love her with all my heart. And I’ll tell you, Grace for me is like gravity. I’ve said, you meet women you can live with. And then you meet one you can’t live without. That’s my girl. Ever since I met Grace, it’s just gravitational force. I am drawn toward her. I pursue her. Like, if she’s in the laundry room, I’m in the laundry room. I’ll just say this too. If she’s not in the laundry room, I am not in the laundry room. I never go to Costco, but if Grace is going to Costco, I’m going to Costco. I like Grace, I follow her around. I really enjoy her. Leah grew up in a home where her father was not desirous of,
attracted to or pursuant of her mother. She never saw her dad walking toward her mother. Never saw them snuggling. Never saw them flirting. Never saw them holding hands and being goofy. All of a sudden, a guy shows up and he’s interested in her and he’s pursuing her to destroy her. So confusing for a young woman. Well, here’s what happens. Her dad is a lamb. He’s a passive man. He’s an inactive man. Genesis 34:3-12, “and his soul,” that’s Shechem, “was drawn to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. It says he loved. That means he thought he loved the young woman. And let me say in light of what he just did, he may say that he loved her, he may think that he loves her, he doesn’t love her, he doesn’t know God, he doesn’t have access to true love. “He loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her.” So he assaults her and then he flatters her. So confusing to her. “So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, ‘get me this girl for my wife.'” Okay. Every father just emotionally processed that. I raped your daughter and I’d like to have her for the rest of my life. Now, Jacob, that’s the father, heard that he, that is Shechem, had defiled, we’re gonna come back to that word at the end of the sermon, his daughter, Dinah. But his sons were with his livestock in the field. Remember, she’s got 11 brothers, some full brothers, some half brothers. So Jacob held his peace until they came. What did Jacob say? Nothing. What did Jacob do? Nothing. What did Jacob plan? Nothing. He sat on the couch. And Hamor, the father of Shechem, went out to speak to Jacob with him. You’ll see that evil men have a plan and evil men take initiation. And if good men don’t have a plan and don’t respond, more damage and sus. The sons of Jacob would come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, word gets to the brothers, and the men were indignant and very angry. That’s not a bad thing. It depends on what you do with it, because he had done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter. And here’s the big line. All men highlight this. For such a thing must not be done. But Hamor spoke with him saying, “the soul of my son, Shechem,” it’s not thinking about the woman, he’s thinking about his son, “longs for your daughter. Please give her to him to be his wife. Make marriages with us.” In fact, my son enjoyed assaulting your daughter so much. He’d like to have her every day for the rest of his life. And the rest of the men would like the rest of the women. Can we have all of the women? Give your daughters to us and take our daughters as yourselves. We’ll assault your women. You’ll assault our women. You shall dwell with us. You can be with us and you can be like us. And these are unbelievers who operate just like the world in which we live. Tolerance, diversity, no sexual guardrails or boundaries. Friends, just see where a culture and decline goes to. We live in a stupid day when everyone says that we’re good and everyone should do whatever they want. And there’s a lot of injustice. Well, if there’s a lot of injustice, it must mean that we’re not good and we shouldn’t all do what we want. And the land shall be open to you, dwell and trade in it and get property in it. Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “let me find favor in your eyes.” Be nice to me. Gotta be kidding me. There was no favor in your eyes for the daughter. “And whatever you say to me, I will give. Ask me for as great a bride-price and gift as you will.” How much for your daughter? I’d like to buy your daughter. And how much for the other women? These men treat women like property and livestock. There’s no value. “And I will give whatever you say to me. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.” So here’s Leah, she grows up in a very broken family system. Four different women, 12 different children, 11 sons, one daughter, she’s the only girl. She grew up seeing her mother and father hate one another. We read this previously. It said in Genesis 29:31, that Leah was hated. And in Genesis 29:33, she says, “I am hated.” Leah
tricked Jacob into the marriage. She’s not an entirely a victim. Dinah is entirely a victim, But Leah, she had a sister named Rachel. Jacob showed up. He loved Rachel, not Leah. He made an agreement with her father for seven years, I will labor and then I want to marry Rachel. He worked for seven years. And on the wedding day, doors of the church open, there’s Rachel, white dress, veil, gown. There’s his dream girl. She walks down the aisle. They exchange vows. He says, I do. They go on the honeymoon. I don’t know if it’s dark or what happened. The sisters swap places based upon the plot by their father. Jacob wakes up the next day. He’s married to Leah, not Rachel. And he hates her because she tricked him. He has to work another seven years to marry her sister. Jacob didn’t choose Leah. Jacob didn’t love Leah. Jacob didn’t marry Leah. Now, because they are believers, he could have forgiven her and dug up the root of bitterness in their marriage and family, but he doesn’t. This bitterness from their honeymoon continues throughout all of their life. Some of you are married and you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s something from your dating years or your honeymoon that is still a root of bitterness in your relationship. They never forgave and dug that up. They never worked out their marital differences. The result is now Leah has a daughter, but it seems like Jacob doesn’t love his daughter because he doesn’t love her mother. Leah manipulated, controlled Jacob so that he would marry… Some women still do this. They try to trick men into marriage in various ways. But then when they get the man, he doesn’t love her. And then the rest of life is painful. And then they have children and that broken, dysfunctional, toxic relationship, it then negatively impacts the children, in this case, particularly the daughter. And then we see Hamor and Shechem, father and son, and this is generational predator training. The father doesn’t show up and say, I am so sorry for the behavior of my son. What he has done is inexcusable and needs to be dealt with. He shows up and he says, my son’s a great guy. And he really enjoyed assaulting your daughter. How much can we buy her for? He’d like to do this for the rest of her life. And while we’re at it, the other men met Dinah and saw the other women that are part of your extended family and household. How much to buy all of the women? This is like trafficking. There are some men who are just evil. If you grew up in a naive Christian household or you were a bit sheltered… And let me just say this. We wanna raise our daughters to be wise, not naive. If they’re safe at your house, but as soon as they leave your house, they don’t understand how men are, they’re in danger. There are some men, true or false, gentlemen, there are some men who are pure evil. They are dangerous. And sometimes they are trained for generations. I grew up next to an airport in my neighborhood, it was the Green River Killer in Ted Bundy. That was my neighborhood. I grew up walking distance to a couple of strip clubs, open prostitution and hourly rate massage parlors. I know what evil men are like and do. I lied about my age in high school as a non-Christian. Falsified my birth certificate. And one of my first jobs was as a longshoreman. I joined a longshoreman’s union as a teenager. and I won’t even repeat the things that grown men would say to me as a young man as we’re unloading railroad cars or holes of ships. But if you are a man, you have tragically met those men who encourage their sons and younger men, hey, what did you do this weekend? Good job, son. That’s my boy. That’s the kind of husband and father that Hamor is. He abuses his own wife. He raises his sons to abuse women, and he champions him for it. Good job, son. That’s my boy. And let me say this. These men look for two kinds of women. No father, weak father. No father, weak father. Jacob is a weak father. So then Jacob, what he really needs to do here, he needs to lead. Men,
you’re always needed, but there’s gonna come a day when you’re really needed. Previously in his life, Jacob has been a lamb. Doesn’t do conflict. He’s fearful, anxious. Doesn’t like to get in arguments. Not a big fighter. Ran from his brother for 20 years. Got pushed around by his uncle for 20 years. Got pushed around by his wives. Finally, he started to lead a little bit, but here he reverts back to about old pattern of fear and passivity. He’s inactive. He’s a lamb. He doesn’t comfort his daughter. He doesn’t rebuke her offender. He doesn’t lead the sons. What does he say? Nothing. What does he do? Nothing. I’ll never forget. I shared this story some years ago. I was meeting with a father and a daughter and her story was tragically quite similar to Dinah’s. And she realized that her father knew that she was dating bad guys, going into dangerous situations in harm’s way. Doesn’t excuse anything that was done to her. But then her father wasn’t a defender protector. And then once she was treated like Dinah, she told her father, and he really didn’t say or do anything. He was a lamb. So she wanted to meet with him and she became a Christian and she wanted to unburden and tell him how she felt. So I’ll never forget the meeting. I was a young pastor many years ago. And with tears in her eyes and sobbing very heavily and breathing very laboredly, she explained in horrific detail what had happened to her. And then she got very emotional and angry. She told her father how disappointed she was in him and how angry she was with him. And I’ll never forget. He looked at me seeking to get compassion from me. And he looked at me and said, “I don’t know why she’s so angry. I didn’t do anything.” And I responded intensely, but I said, “and that’s the problem.” This is back to Genesis 3. Satan shows up and Adam says and does nothing. He’s a passive and active coward. For some men, their sin is commission. That’s Shechem. For other men, their sin is omission. That’s Jacob. For some men, it’s what they do. For most men, it’s what we don’t do. Let tell you this. If you don’t have fight in your soul for your daughter, there’s something broken in your soul. Now, the brothers are gonna get very angry. Their response is right, but then their precedence, as you will see, is… I’ll just let you judge in a moment. The Bible says in Ephesians, in your anger do not sin. At this point, the father is manifesting no anger. The father, heart of God, is anger. So then the lions come. The father is the lamb, the brothers are the lions. Genesis 34:13-31, “the sons of Jacob answered Shechem.” You’ll notice now, the dad won’t say anything, so who’s gonna step in? The brothers. This is a broken family system. I’ve got three sons. And if something happens and they feel like they need to lead the family, then there’s something profoundly wrong with me. “The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father, Hamor, deceitfully.” Jacob is a guy who tricked his father. Now, his sons are gonna trick him. “Because he had defiled their sister, Dinah.” Again, we’re gonna revisit that word, defiled, at the end. “They said to them, ‘we cannot do this thing to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised.” You’re an unbeliever. You’re godless. You worship a different religion. “For that would be a disgrace to us. Only on this one condition will we agree with you, that you will become as we are by every male among you being circumcised.” This is like today saying, would you guys be willing to say the sinner’s prayer and get baptized and join our religion? “Then we will give our daughters to you.” Even the thought of that as a father. “And we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people.” We’ll be with you and we’ll be like you. “But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will be gone.” Speaking of their sister, Dinah, “their words pleased Hamor and Hamor’s son, Shechem. And the young man did not delay,” they’re very excited to get these
women, “to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most honored of all his father’s house.” They’re gonna cut the head off the snake in this family. “So Hamor and his son, Shechem, came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying.” This is a whole culture of predatorial sick behavior. Okay. Let me say this. If you live in America, you can’t judge them because you live in the same place. “These men are at peace with us. Let them dwell in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as wives, let us give them our daughters. Only on this condition, will the men agree to dwell with us to become one.” We’ll get their women. We’ll get their money. We’ll get their blessing. All we gotta do is pretend to join their religion. This is faking faith. “When every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. Will not their livestock, their property, and all the beasts be ours?” We’ll get the women and the wealth. “Only let us agree with them, and they will dwell with us.” And all who went out of the gate of the city listened to Hamor and his son, Shechem.” Every man in that culture is a sick man. Not one man had a conscience to say this doesn’t sound right. “And every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. On the third day, when they were sore,” apparently, the third days are the bad day, “two of the sons of Jacobs, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers,” her two biological brothers, “took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed every single male,” adult male, in the city. “They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys and whatever was in the city and in the field. All their wealth, all their little ones,” children, “all the wives,” taking the women and the children, “all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered.” Jacob finally speaks. I’ll try not to manifest anger, but that’s what I feel. Jacob didn’t say anything about his daughter, but he’s gonna talk about his own potential suffering. He’s not gonna talk about her suffering with his potential suffering. “Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘you have brought trouble on me.'” I know my daughter got abused, but it’s about me. What about me? “By making me stink to the inhabitants of the land.” Oh, my reputation is now bad. The Canaanites and the Perizzites, and what I would say is those are godless demonic pagans. Why do you even care? Just let them comment online and move forward. “My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me,” who? “I shall be destroyed.” Lot of me and I. Both I or/and my household. But they said, God here gives the final word and God through Moses gives the final word to the brothers. Here’s the question. Should he treat our sister like a prostitute? Hamor and Shechem. My son really liked assaulting your daughter. He’d like to do that for the rest of his life. And while you’re at it, we’d like all the other women. We’d also like all of your wealth. So let’s make a deal where we both get wealthy and we both trade the women. No honor for women and children, none whatsoever. Dad, very selfishly is trying to do what causes him the least discomfort, risk and pain. Let me say this. As a man, there are going to be times that you need to put yourself in harm’s way. And if you’re unwilling, you are not a man. The Bible says in 1 Peter that men are stronger. That is to protect women and children. That is to protect women and children. And let me say this. Evil men have a plan and they take initiative. And if good men don’t have a plan and respond, then evil men rule everything and ruin everyone. That evil does not stop itself. That it must be stopped. If you’re a man, there needs to be something in you that is willing to fight and is willing
to die for women and children, especially your own daughter. Like, I’ll be honest. I’m very emotionally troubled and disoriented. Trauma and abuse comes to your daughter. And your first thought is, how can I make this as painless and easy as possible for me as her father? Every man in this story fails. Every man in this story fails. This is why we have feminism, this is why we have women who hate men, ’cause all they’ve known is men who have failed. Doesn’t mean it’s right, but it means I understand. The reason that Simeon and Levi act violently is this is their biological sister. Dad never loved our mom. Apparently, dad doesn’t love our sister, but we do. So they take action. The problem is, well, first and foremost, it is curious that anatomically the punishment did fit the crime. I find that curious. And this is one reason why God had his men circumcised starting with their grandfather Abraham, because that part of the anatomy tends to be one that gets men into particular trouble. So it needs to be consecrated under the Lord. All the wives said, amen. But this is not justice. This is unjust vengeance. This is the problem with human beings responding. We tend to have the punishment exceed the crime. Now, be careful with us, ’cause today we would call the police and that day you were the police. If they dealt with Shechem for assaulting their sister, I would say that’s justice. If they did something to the father who was seeking to multiply this crime, that seems like we could make a case for justice. Murdering every man in a whole city when they haven’t yet done something but they might, well, that’s a bit over the line. Plundering all of their goods and taking the women and children, that’s unjust vengeance. Now, I’m sure it didn’t feel like it to them. This is the problem in the vigilante culture. And this is the world that we live in. We live in this stupid world that is let’s get rid of police officers, everybody’s good and they’ll figure it out. And you realize, no, we just do Genesis 34 everyday. And someone does something, and then unjust vengeance, the next person does more. And then it just continues to escalate until we’re all dead. That’s why God says vengeance is mine. Everyone in hell, the punishment will fit the crime perfectly. But here, it’s unjust vengeance. At the end of his life, Jacob in Genesis 49 is on his deathbed and he gives a fatherly blessing over all of his sons, except for these two. He says you’re violent men, I can’t bless you. But how many of you men understand and identify with their anger?
– Okay. I think their anger is right. And I think their father should have led and he should have devised a plan to harness that anger for justice and not unjust violence. Let me ask the men. Thus far in the story, we’ve seen Jacob, the lamb, we’ve seen Simeon and Levi, the lions. If you were going to air, how many of you men would air in the realm of Jacob? You’re too much of a lamb. I would ask you to raise your hand, but probably feels like a violent act to you so I won’t ask you to do that. I don’t know that’s aggressive. How many of you guys, Simeon and Levi, like if I’m gonna make a mistake, it’s gonna be acting? Okay. Me? Before I got saved, I’m all Simeon and Levi. Now, that I get saved, here’s what I know. Jesus Christ is the perfect man and He’s a lion and a lamb. It says in Revelation, Jesus is a lion and a Lamb. There are times that He is very strong and intense to defend and then there are times He is very loving and kind to comfort. Stone grace, this is we’re talking about it. Jesus is always fighting with religious bullies, not women and children. He’s having head on collisions with religious bullies and He’s having tea parties with women and children. That’s Jesus. Women and children see Him as very tender, very tender. I mean, kids run to Him. He’s the safest person they’ve ever met. Hurting, broken, traumatized women, like the woman at the well, they love Him because He’s safe for
them. He’s a lamb. But boy, if you’re gonna hurt women or children, He’s a lion. Every man has gotta learn how to be a lion and a lamb. When to be a lion and a lamb, we’re gonna deal with this at real men. Meets every Wednesday, starting September 14th. I’m gonna do a nine week lecture, act like a man. We’re gonna tell you why God made men and how to be a lion and a lamb. And our tagline is we build men up to bless women and children. Sometimes when you say we build men up, a lot of guys are like, I’m gonna be Simeon or Levi. That’s not what we’re asking. We’re gonna build you up to be like Jesus. And in this story, no men are blessing women and children. Hamor is a perverted father who raises a criminal son. Shechem assaults a beautiful, sweet, innocent young woman. The father doesn’t take any action, doesn’t provide any comfort. And then the brothers go take captive women and children. No one is blessing women and children. This is what happens when men are not properly fathered and spiritually fathered. They don’t bless women and children. And here’s the problem. Nobody’s talking to Dinah. Nobody’s speaking for Dinah. We attack the men, but we don’t help the woman. She needs help. She needs help and she doesn’t get it. 1 Timothy 5:2 says that we should treat younger women as sisters. If you’ve got a wife, she’s your spiritual sister. If you’ve got a friend, she’s your spiritual sister. This woman needs help. So let me talk about that. And then I’m gonna invite my wife, Grace, up to share a bit of her story bravely. So far, what Dinah has experienced is disgrace. And what disgrace is? It’s one way violence. The only thing that can heal disgrace is grace, and grace is one way love, one way love. So from this man, she gets disgrace. From the Lord Jesus, she needs to get love, which is one way grace. Some years ago, I was a young pastor. I was in my mid-twenties and there was a young woman. She had a friend who was a new Christian. I started a little Bible study that was a college ministry and kinda morphed into a late night church service for young people and a bunch got saved and I wasn’t ready to be a pastor. And I was trying my best and a bunch of broken traumatized people show up, and overwhelming to say the least, but I was trying. And this young woman got saved and she was part of our church. And her friend was very, very worried about her. And she said, she’s making some very dangerous decisions. She’s putting herself in harm’s way. She’s going out with really bad guys. Horrible things have happened to her and they’re still happening to her, and I’m worried about her. So we met with her friend and she was there and another woman was there. And I asked this young woman, I said, “are you doing these things that this woman is saying you’re doing?” She said, “yeah, I’m putting myself in harm’s way. And some bad things have happened to me and some bad things are still happening to me.” And I was like, asked her, I said, “why are you doing that?” She said and I quote, I’ll never forget, she said, “I’m a dirty girl so I do dirty things.” I just started crying. I said, “who told you that?” She said, “my grandpa used to tell me that.” And it dawned on me in Christianity, here’s what we tell everybody. If you sin, Jesus died in rose and He will forgive your sin. That’s true. But what about not just the center, but the victim? What do we tell the victim? ‘Cause at the end of the day, we need to forgive and be forgiven. But if we still feel dirty, back to the word in Genesis 34, defiled, are we still dirty, are we defiled, are we unclean? There’s about a dozen words in the Bible that explain what sin does to us, especially sin committed against us. Dirty, unclean, defiled. This is why Grace and I have been working with assault victims for years. And when they tell us their tragic tale of trauma, almost always the first thing they tell us is, and then as soon as it happened, I went and took a shower. They’re looking for cleansing because they’ve been defiled. And what they’re looking for
is not just at the level of the body, but ultimately also at the level of the soul. And what happens is that places become defiled. According to the Bible, this is in the notes. I don’t have time to cover it in detail, but that’s why you’re like, I can’t go to my parent’s house. I can’t go back to that place. I can’t even go to that neighborhood. I can never go to that bar again. Places become defiled. Things become defiled. Hebrew said keep the marriage bed pure. You know, like they committed adultery in my bed. I’m throwing the bed out. It’s unclean. And then people as well feel dirty and defiled. And your identity is what you live out of. And your identity is defined in one of three ways. What you’ve done, what they’ve done, or what He’s done. That’s life. What you’ve done, what they’ve done, what He’s done. So if they tried to defile you, Jesus comes to cleanse you. This is a biblical doctrine called expiation. It means to make clean. And what happens is when someone is sinned against and they feel defiled and unclean, we saw in Genesis 3, that when sin comes, the response is shame and hiding. We see it with a fig leaf. You can’t know me, ’cause intimacy literally means in to me see. It’s like, you can’t know me, you can’t see me. And Jesus not only died for our sin, He also died for our shame. There’s this pregnant line in Hebrews, He endured the cross scorning its shame. So Jesus dies not just for our sin, but also for our shame. Until our shame is lifted, until our defilement is cleansed, here are some fig leaves that victims tend to wear. The good person. I’m good. I’m successful. I’m not emotional. I’m high performance. Just give me a job description. You can count on me. I know I’ve had some problems, but I pulled it all together. I’m doing great. And you’re not. You’re performing and you’re pretending. The tough person is, yeah, I got hurt, but I’ll never get hurt again. These are the people, they’re prickly, they’re defensive. They are communicating to the world, don’t even try to hurt me. Number three. Some people turn it into a lifestyle of partying and self-medicating. I’m doing great. Yeah, I’ve had a lot of trauma, but I’m having so much fun and pour me another shot. Let’s take a photo, group photo, put it on social media. I’m doing great. And you’re not, right? That self is a fig leaf. For some people, they become very religious. Lots of verses, lots of legalism, lots of control, lots of judgment. And every time you talk to them, you don’t actually get to know them, you only get to know their verses. They weaponize the Bible. How are you doing? I’m more than a conquer in Christ. Yeah, I know. How are you doing? Man, that happened to you, I’m sorry. God works out all things for the good of those who love me called Courtney’s purpose. Lik, fig leaf, fig leaf, fig leaf, fig leaf, verse, verse, verse, verse, verse. God doesn’t give us His word to hide our problems but to heal our problems. And then some, they use this to deconstruct their faith. Well, if God was good, that would’ve never happened. I deconstruct God. It was a leader. It was someone who said they were a believer. I’m gonna deconstruct Christianity. I’m gonna deconstruct the church. There’s a whole generation that is just bitter and broken, and they’re deconstructing everything regarding God. The answer is if you remove God and his people, does that heal you? It does not. So the answer is to bring yourself and your sin and your shame to Jesus, who not only forgives you for the sins you’ve committed, He cleanses you for the sins that have been committed against you. 1 John 1:7-9, if we walk in the light. Okay, here’s what really happened, be honest. He is in the light. God meets us in honesty and reality, not in denial. We have fellowship with one another. You invite some people in that are safe to walk that path with you. And the blood of Jesus, His son, cleanses us from all sin. If we confess our sins, just name it, rape, assault, abuse, betrayal, trauma. It’s a horrible name, but confess it and name it. Agree with God. And I’m sorry. God
knows I’m sorry. I mean, I’m a husband of 30 years. I’m a pastor of 26 years. I’m a dad to two incredible young women. I don’t mean to say it quickly or lightly. I don’t. I am sorry. And so much of my ministry is to raise up better men, so this happens less often. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and what? Cleanse us. From what? All the unrighteousness. Jesus died for our sin and shame. He rose to cleanse us. He’s coming again to judge the living and the dead and to bring perfect justice and to bring it in to all of this kind of horrific, evil and trauma. And until then, we show that Jesus makes us cleaner, not just forgiven, you’re clean. We show this in baptism. We’re gonna have a baptism coming up, September 10th and 11th. We cleanse things with water. We show that in baptism, Jesus makes us clean. And on a wedding day, what color does a Christian bride wear? White. What if she’s done some things she shouldn’t have done? She wears white. What if some things have been done to her that should not have been done? She wears white. Well, why does she wear white? ‘Cause Jesus makes her clean. This is the Book of Genesis. It’s the book of beginnings. Revelation is the book of conclusions. It ends with a wedding. Jesus is like a groom. His church is like a bride and the bride is wearing white. If you belong to Jesus, you get to wear white, ’cause he sees you as clean because he has made you clean. That being said, I’m gonna bring up my best friend, Grace, and she’s gonna share a bit of her story. So Grace and I met at… Thank you, sweetie pie, for coming to help today. We met at 17 and had our first date as high school students. And set that right there if you want, sweetie pie. And on our first date, there was a guy who was stalking you and tried to run me over with his motorcycle. And I didn’t know, I was not yet a Christian, I dealt with him. So then we started dating. And then I got saved at 19 reading the Bible that you gave me as a gift, so thank you for that. And then we got married at 21 by our pastor who is an incredible man of God. And then we were married about, was it 15, 16 years? At that point, we’d been doing ministry for a long time. And we had five kids. You’d just given birth to our fifth, our youngest. And there was distance. We loved each other, but we weren’t as close as either of us would’ve wanted to have been. And I didn’t really understand why, neither did you. And there was one night you were, I think, folding laundry, the kids are in bed, we’re sitting on the couch, and I just felt inclined to ask you, tell me a little more about this season and this relationship before I met you, and you started telling the story and you can take it from there.
– Yeah. I just started answering your question very plainly, like, well, these are some of the things that happened and this was my relationship for two and a half years. And you just start crying. And I said, “what’s going on?” You’re like, “you were assaulted.” I said, “no, I wasn’t. That wasn’t assault. That was just, you know, it’s just the way it was.” And you’re like, “no, that was assault. I said, “well, that’s how I deserve to be treated.” And you’re like, “no, that’s not how any woman deserves to be treated.” And so it was this moment of shock for both of us. I think, I had suppressed that, thinking that somehow that’s what I had deserved as a human being to be treated harshly and abusively. And so I just, you know, I thought the gospel was absolutely true. God loves the world, but what happened to me was not forgivable. It wasn’t. I wasn’t able to come clean from that, but everybody else could.
– There’s grace for everyone except for Grace.
– Yeah. And so, yeah, I just didn’t understand my name at all, unfortunately, but it was a huge pivot for us because it began a process of healing for me and for us. And it really unlocked the things that had been so hard in our marriage that we didn’t understand and we were stuck in and we felt like we were in a cul-de-sac and couldn’t unpack. And so with that opening up, it was like I was opened up for surgery. Okay, what’s the next step? And really it was, I consider abuse and trauma and attack from the enemy on our identity. And the only way to stop that attack is start the healing process with the Lord and to remember that our identity is in Him when He created us in Genesis in His image and likeness. And I no longer believed to that, that any part of me could be created in His image and likeness. And so when we start that healing process, that’s when we start to dispel the lies and realize who we really are in Christ as believers and the lies that the enemy keeps trying to convince us of slowly and over time, which he had done very effectively in my life.
– My mine too. So in my failure was the distance that I felt. We both felt lonely and distant. And I took that as personal rejection, which opened up a seat of bitterness in me. And that was selfishness ’cause I wasn’t thinking maybe something has happened to Grace that causes her to not be as close to me. Instead of a hurt that you were carrying, I thought it was a rejection toward me. And so that was my selfishness, and that was my failure as your husband. And Satan use both of those. Your misunderstanding of your identity and my sense of rejection to really cause a lot of damage in our marriage.
– Yeah, he’s really good at stealing, killing and destroying. And that’s what he was trying to do for us. And we wouldn’t be able to stand here today if it wasn’t for the healing that God has done in our marriage and in doing ministry. And so for me, I really had to start that grieving process. I’d lost a lot of years not doing what God fully had wanted for me. And He still was amazing in my life, but he had more. And so when I started that process, I was grieving. I went to counseling, I had to go through several counselors to find one that was a Christian biblical integrative counselor that really knew the scripture, but wasn’t gonna use it to do more harm in a religious way. I needed to be involved in healthy community. There were a couple people that I talked to about it, not everybody until now. And so it was a very important process for me to go through, and being in community helped dispel the shame as well, because there’s a lot of shame, especially being public like this that comes along. But for anyone that’s the shame is what the enemy wants to use to keep you from healing. And so for me, it was that reading good books, praying. I learned how to pray very differently. I learned how to trust God in new ways. It was a long process for me. And I had to walk through it with my husband and kids.
– Yeah. And we started a lot of study on trauma. And I mean, this was now like 15 years ago, so there’s been a lot of progress and development thus far. More resources available, which is a tremendous blessing and a gift. But it’s a journey that we had to go on together. I didn’t have that as part of my experience. So I was trying to figure out how your brain was rehardwired and the trauma and how you were processing and all of that. And so looking at this, even now as a mother, I mean, looking at it through Leah’s eyes, how do you see this story of Dinah?
– Yeah. I mean, that’s really hard actually. It kinda opened up a new perspective to my story because I can’t imagine allowing my daughter to go through that. And so I had to forgive my parents and walk through that with them. That was hard. And I think, Leah, that had to be so painful for her, you know, to not see her husband respond in love toward their daughter like he hadn’t toward her. And to just grieve with Dinah, we don’t know what she did to handle it with Dinah. But if you have a child that’s gone through this, please get them help. Help resource them, grieve with them. Don’t just quote verses at them, give them hope, and help them find a good Christian biblical counselor that can process this with them. There is hope, but not if we don’t do anything and we stay silent, and it just shames your child even more to not talk about it. And so it’s really important if you are a mom of one of these kids to love them through this and support them through it.
– So we’ll put it realfaith.com on social media, just a list of resources that you would recommend. A resource doesn’t fix anything, but it starts a process of learning.
– Yeah, resources and counselors aren’t magic. You still have to do the work, and it’s hard work. And I wanna encourage you if that’s you, maybe you started that process and you couldn’t anymore, or you haven’t started that process. You’re just now realizing, oh my gosh, I think, there’s something, don’t quit the healing process. It’s really a lifelong process that the Lord will do in us, but there’s chunks of it that are so hard and it’s easy to give up, but God has more for you. And so these aren’t magic. You still have to do the work alongside these and the counselor, but they’re things that are helpful. So Christian biblical counselor that integrates and prays with you and just walks the journey. “Mending the Soul” is a Christian resource actually written by someone at Phoenix Seminary. It’s a great resource that goes deep, so beware. “Understanding the Wounded Heart” is not a trauma book, but it’s something for understanding the wounded heart. So any wound. And it walks you through how to pray with the Lord, how to dig deeper and really get through the healing process of any wounds. And then another one that I don’t have here, but, again, we’ll post them, is by Greg Jantz called “Healing the Scars of Childhood Abuse”. And then there’s some websites as well that we’ll send out on the resource list. And then God’s timing is perfect, right? And we know that, but when He shows up, it always blows me away. But this Wednesday, we have a women’s event called Rooted Gathering, and we’ve been planning this for months. And it just so happens at this sermon is right before, but we actually have a trauma counselor coming in to do one of the breakout sessions. We’re gonna talk about identity in Christ. What that means, what that looks like, how you do that versus the three breakout sessions of brokenness, fear and never enough. Those are identities that the enemy wants to put on us. And so we’re gonna be talking through that, so register for that this Wednesday 4:30 to 8:30.
– I sure love you.
– Thank you for preaching this. People need to see this that the Lord can heal this.
– I’m super proud of you. It’s an honor to be your husband. I thank you that you’re the strongest one in the marriage and your strength has carried the whole family. We’re gonna give you a chance to worship, just meet with the Lord, communion prayer team in the back. Why don’t you just pray for them, best friend? And thank you for being here with me and thank you for being brave.
– Dear Lord, we know this is heavy, but Lord, we also know that you can heal. You’re actually the only one that can heal at the soul level. So Lord, I pray that as women are hearing this in the room and online, wherever they are, that you would just do a deep work in their lives that you would give them courage to start this healing process or courage to continue it if they stopped. Lord, that they wouldn’t be afraid of digging deeper because you have freedom for them on the other side. It’s worth the hard work and it’s worth the deepening of their relationship with you and the process. So Lord, I just pray healing over this whole room and over all these women, no matter what their wounds are and that you would just show up and love them and surround them and that we would be a community that loves them well. In Jesus name, Amen.