This week Pastor Gene takes us to the account of Dinah, an often skipped over story in Genesis.
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good morning welcome if you're new here among us my name is gene and i serve here at c3 church as your lead pastor let me ask you a question do you get along with your family your in-laws nobody's saying yes so this is going to go off well then i was afraid someone's going to be like yeah we're going great now it's not going to be funny anymore do they drive you crazy do you like family gatherings or do you loathe them don't say yes i'll ruin my joke i heard a story about a married couple that really didn't like family gatherings problematic always arguments the wife did not like her mother-in-law because her mother-in-law did not like her always criticizing everything every single thing she did the way she dressed the way she dressed the kids the way she cooked the way she fed her husband or didn't feed her husband always a problem well this past easter they got into this huge argument now the husband doesn't want to let it go they're arguing about it at home now and the wife is saying the husband i just i hate it when your mother argues with me every time she gets historical husband says don't you mean hysterical she says no historical every time we argue she brings up every single thing i've ever done wrong and holds it against me yeah we've talked about family we saw sometimes in the bible people take revenge sometimes they don't sometimes people hold on to things and sometimes people know when to let them go maybe that's not your mother-in-law we saw the first sibling rivalry cain and abel that did not go very well last week we talked about jacob and esau went a little bit better at the end we saw that jacob went from being jacob to israel the one who holds on to the heel to the one who holds on to god we saw in genesis 35 isaac dies today we're going to see that this family is kind of a messed up family if you haven't noticed that already now if you know the word well you know that i skipped something i told you for better context and connectivity we'll be skipping around we're not going straight through all the chapters we're not going to skip anything but we're going to jump around a little bit so the stories make a little bit more sense but there chapter 35 i skipped a whole chapter i jumped right over one i left something important now and that's what most people do unfortunately normally when looking at the story jump right from jacob and esau to joseph they skip some stuff and that's the rest of the story that we're going to be looking at today sadly the two stories we're going to look at today are literally omitted from the story so if you've done this as we have in the past this bible summary program the story they literally redact these two stories from it without any mention at all so this week we'll see a preview into the joseph account some of you are familiar with we're going to concentrate on that next week but there are two stories that many don't know that make up a very important part of the rest of the story these bookend the initiation of the joseph account and they have a very purposeful placement here we'll see that these two stories are both about revenge and they end in different ways and have different purposes to let you know the character of the people that are going to appear in the rest of the story so we're going to look at dina or dinah and i'm going to say something right here we're not saying it right i've told you guys this i played some hebrew for you we're not saying it right there's nothing worse than a bunch of americans arguing about how to pronounce hebrew names that's kind of silly we look stupid so don't bother as long as we know who we're talking about it's okay i play around a lot with languages and i know i'm not getting it right so let's not pretend to be hebrews then we're going to look at judah and tamar so genesis 34 genesis 38 told you we're skipping around i want to make a note we have some genealogies in between i skipped over that a little bit but i told you here in chapter 36 is probably where job fits in if we're doing it in chronological order jacob and esau esau has the other name edom remember means red so we have the [ __ ] and job is an edomite king he's a king over that area in esau's line we got the rest of job's story from the greek old testament that is the bible of the early church and we saw some cool stuff his identity is in that version of job and the resurrection it's kind of neat just a couple of things among many not actually in the hebrew last week we looked at leia and rachel we talked about mandrakes nobody knew what they were i told you about this deal that she made for the mandrakes and then i focused on rachel because i was talking about god's provision versus our human effort there's a theme that runs through our human effort ishmael as a product of abraham's human effort isaac is the child of the promise we saw jacob and the bark that he puts in the watering trough the human effort but god enlarges his flocks same thing here rachel suspects that she's going to use the mandrakes to try to get pregnant but god gives her the children first joseph then on her deathbed benjamin later and i went that way but if you know the word or maybe you're good at math you probably noticed i didn't get to 12. 12 tribes of israel 12 sons of israel i didn't quite get there if you were counting so to summarize first we have leia leia has ruben simeon levi and judah we're going to talk about judah today says god basically feels sorry for her it's not the one that jacob wanted then rachel does something like sarah does with the slave wife gives jacob bilhan we get dan and naphtali well then leia's not getting pregnant so she does the same kind of thing gives jacob zilpah here you have gad and asher and now the mandrake deal so what happens rachel wants some figures maybe she's going to get pregnant if she takes them he gets mad at her but eventually they make the deal reuben got the mandrakes the oldest son now leia can be with jacob and that union produces three children one of them is a girl issachar zublin and dina or dinah so we're going to look at her story today so what we have here in genesis 34 is after the encounter jacob and esau it ends well they go their separate ways well jacob and family land in shechem they buy a piece of land for a hundred pieces of silver there's hamor and shechem shechem's like a prince of the land and he sees dina hanging out with her friends so he decides to have his way with her forcibly it's a bad thing but then he begins to fall in love with her he wants her as a bride tries to convince her to marry him it's not working it says to his dad spoiled kid get that bride from me i want that woman so they go to jacob and sons and try to talk to him about it in the meantime they've found out what shechem did to dina and they're not happy well hamor gives his sales pitch first then shechem it goes like this let's just be one big happy family now we can kind of get over that we'll exchange wives and stuff like that and we'll give you our daughters for brides you give us dina so shechem shuts up so they're thinking about it but jacob's sons come up with something they say you know what we can't do it because you're not circumcised like us but if you all the men in this town get circumcised we'll do it be like us so they take this proposal to the towns people and they say what we got to do but it's going to be a good deal because we'll be proper as one prosperous one big happy family it's all going to work out apparently they're pretty good sales people so they decide to do it i'm not that good i don't think i could convince everybody to do that in a whole town you see if you're like me you don't remember that procedure it was done when i was an infant i have no idea how painful that was but i can imagine how painful it is probably probably going to take more than a frozen bag of peas in a football game to get over it so that's what i hear people do to get over other similar procedures but it doesn't work so in the bible three days later sure enough they're still incapacitated they're healing up so two of jacob's son simeon and levi dina's full brothers so start paying attention to which ones are the half brothers and the full brothers and how they respond or react to different things they decide to go into the town and kill all the men everybody hey morshekam kill them all they take revenge then the other sons come through and pillage the whole place jacob's like what did you do you made me odious you made me stink among these people there are more of them than us i guess still after killing them all but he's worried about it it's no good and so staying topical we're going to jump over genesis 49 we see these blessings that the fathers are bestowing well this is kind of like a deathbed blessing just long story short as a result this is what he says jacob of simeon and levi remember jacob israel same guy genesis 49 5. simeon and levi are two of a kind their weapons are instruments of violence may i never join in their meetings may i never be a party to their plans for in their anger they murdered men and they crippled hamstrung oxen just for sport a curse on their anger for it is fierce a curse on their wrath for it is cruel i will scatter them among the descendants of jacob i will disperse them throughout israel i want to make a little note here like a good tour guide i'm going to point out something interesting they're not the only ones if we go back to genesis 35 again jacob's wife rachel dies so does his father isaac in that section then here's what his eldest son reuben the man drake guy does genesis 35 21 then jacob traveled on and camped beyond migdel eater while he was living there reuben had intercourse with bilhah his father's concubine and jacob soon heard about it i told you this was a messed up family so genesis 49 this is what he says to reuben reuben you are my firstborn my strength the child of my vigorous youth you are first in rank and first in power but if you know about the word but everything after that word is what they really mean to say forget about what's before it you are as unruly as a flood and you will be first no longer for you went to bed with my wife you'd filed my marriage couch so if we go back because of simeon and levi what they did now they have to get out of shechem they have to get out of town so they flee to bethel remember that means house of god bethel but god protects them he strikes fear in the hearts of their would-be pursuers or attackers now in between these accounts you have the brothers who continue to behave badly and they take it out on joseph so the joseph account we're going to look at that next week and that's going to be 37 and then we're going to jump again 39 through about 50-ish joseph does something which causes his brothers to become jealous so they take it out on him similar to cain and abel and i want you to notice a theme joseph is second youngest not the youngest youngest benjamin but there's a theme here throughout the bible if you're noticing it since cain and abel of the younger brother being favored over the older kind of interesting so then like they do in the movies there's these like cut scenes they cut away the different things the joseph account starts something bad happens to him and then they cut to this other story i'm gonna put these things together for you there's judah the fourth son so he moves to a place called adullum maybe you remember that we're gonna learn about adullum more when we get to david but anyway if you're picking that up it's good you know the word well he makes friends with a guy named hira and then does something interesting he marries a canaanite woman that's weird because that's the reason that probably laser was sent to get the bride for isaac they didn't want him marrying any canaanite women just their own kinsmen same thing with jacob that's how rebecca got him sent there to uncle laban's house but here judah marries a canaanite woman we don't know her name we know though that he has three sons er onan and sheila something kind of interesting happens er takes a bride named tamar palm tree that's what it means i don't know what the significance is i'll get back to you on that tamar's palm tree well it just says that er is wicked in the lord's sight so he strikes him dead don't be wicked that's the lesson there moral of the story well then that leaves onan up at bat what do you mean well if you're familiar with the law of moses deuteronomy 25 5 for example it says that if an older brother dies doesn't have a child the next youngest brother has to step in and do the deed produce an heir so his line will continue sounds weird to us but it's not to them so this is probably the development of that tradition going on here before the law of moses so judah demands it step in do the deed onan doesn't want to have a child with her so he uses a form of birth control and gets it named after himself an onanism he goes gardening with tamar but instead of planting the seed in the garden he spills the seed outside the garden if you get what i mean it's the best thing i can do kids in the room you know how would you do it so you get where i'm going because you're laughing he does this and god strikes him dead him too now here's the thing a lot of people will point to this passage of scripture and say that's why christians aren't allowed to use birth control they don't know the word well because the stated reason if you keep reading the text it says he strikes him dead for not producing an heir for his dead brother that's the reason he dies not for using birth control just so you know so don't be legalistic we don't do that kind of thing here well there's another son and judah wants to keep him safe figures i don't know it's tamar woman everybody dies when they're with her so like let's just sheila no he's not old enough that's the stated reason sends tamar away okay in the course of time it just says that this nameless wife of judah dies and so judah and hira decide to go on a little trip to supervise some sheep shearing they go to timna someone tells tamar about it now remember tamar is his daughter-in-law so tamar decides to remove her widow's garments remember she has two dead husbands now so she's supposed to be mourning or grieving maybe that's going to be a year takes it off puts on a veil to disguise herself and waits outside a town called the name that's on the way to timna she knows judah's going to pass by so she sits beside the side of the road waiting and sure enough judah thinks she's a prostitute what else would she be well he propositions her not knowing that it's his daughter-in-law she says what are you going to give me says a young goat what else okay but i don't have it with me well you got to give me security you got to put up some kind of security what do you want she says give me that seal its cord and the walking staff in your hand now this is probably an identification seal like you'd stamp on wax someone would know it was you on an envelope or a scroll or a letter back then think about revelation like that but this would be his identification marker so everybody knows it's him they go gardening if you get what i mean then some time goes by she starts showing not like onan well somebody tells judah about it and says she's played the role of a prostitute he says burn her that's the prescription in the law so to the people who say you can't use birth control because it's in the old testament it says it right here you say oh great then have you been promiscuous because we'll have to burn you right so it's not a buffet people we can't just all of it or none of it that's what it says trust me all right so she sends word to judah and says this these things belong to the man who got me pregnant so then it says this genesis 38 26 judah recognized them and immediately said she is more righteous than i am because i didn't arrange for her to marry my son sheila and judah never slept with tamar again doesn't say because i slept with my daughter-in-law and that was weird anyway withheld the sun so this is these are the sins here that are occurring so we have these stories of revenge the first takes life now the other makes life kind of the opposites one act of revenge the first dina leads to loss of life and inheritance for simeon and levi now we'll see the other leads to a birth and inheritance if we keep reading about tamar she has twins it's kind of an interesting yucky account again a lot of yucky stories she's giving birth and the hand comes out first so they tie a scarlet thread around it but then the hand pulls back and then his brother bursts out so they name him perez now you're gonna see pierez perez i don't know you're going to see this name come up a lot in the bible and it's not always associated with him it just means burst out things first chronicles 13 where aza grabs the ark he gets struck dead perez struck dead the lord burst out against him you'll see it again the philistines i think chapter 14 perez god bursts out against the philistines but it doesn't have anything to do he just bursts out of the womb that's what goes on there then they named the other son zera which is kind of like red light of dawn i told you these names have meanings remember how out of death comes new life we saw this cain and abel hubbell breath abel he dies but then there's seth which means given here er and onan are replaced by perez and zara another theme they have connections these stories and commonalities deceit whether it's for circumcision or the prostitute this deceit causes loss of inheritance again for simeon and levi but in tamar it has the opposite effect by judah keeping the seed of sheila from tamar he ends up becoming the seed of someone very important did you know that jesus is from the line of this man judah interesting judah aside from his deceit will see is unlike his brothers regarding joseph and then benjamin and think about it he did have the humility to admit his wrongdoing regarding tamar so conversely genesis 49 this is what jacob says about him before he dies judah your brothers will praise you you will grasp your enemies by the neck all your relatives will bow before you judah my son is a young lion that has finished eating his prey like a lion he crouches and lies down like a lioness who dares rouse him the scepter will not depart from judah nor the ruler's staff from his descendants until the coming of the one to whom it belongs the one whom all nations will honor he ties his foal to a grapevine the cult of his donkey to a choice vine he washes his clothes in wine his robes in the blood of grapes his eyes are darker than wine and his teeth whiter than milk jesus is from judah's line and this death bed blessing now we see is prophecy beautiful jesus is from judah's line and is referred to as the lion of judah in revelation 5 5. we've been looking at genealogies most people skip them but they're important there's hidden stories and these genealogies and these blessings prophecy stories of the people in them in fact at the beginning of the new testament the very beginning matthew 1 1. we see a very important genealogy and i hope that today you're going to start recognizing certain things right at the very beginning the new testament starts by giving us jesus's family tree must be important right this is a record of the ancestors of jesus the messiah a descendant of david and of abraham abraham was the father of isaac isaac was the father of jacob jacob was the father of judah and his brothers judah was the father of oh look at that perez and zara and who else jumps in there whose mother was tamar there it is perez the product of judah and tamar and this will all lead to jesus now this is interesting there are a few things that if we keep reading we'll notice one is that there are four women in jesus genealogy and they're all undesirables think about it for a second how did tamar make it in there you're going to just put the men through there you don't have to mention who they were but matthew does that's weird the other ones rahab rahab makes it in there we're going to learn about her rahab's a prostitute think about that for a second a prostitute and also one who played a prostitute slept with her father-in-law knowingly in jesus's sacred family tree how can that be scripture ruth you have to know a little more to get ruth and why that's a bad thing we're gonna look at the story of ruth look at what's not totally obvious she's a moabite the israelites are not supposed to intermarry with moabites but right here in jesus genealogy it's admitting to a wrongdoing remember how i told you how the moabites came about do you remember a lot slept with two of his daughters one of them produced the moabites moab and that's in genus jesus genealogy unbelievable then there's bathsheba she made it in there too but it doesn't name her it says uriah's wife implicating her and david for their adultery david's also a murderer when uriah won't go away he sends him away puts him on the front lines of the battle and gets him killed an adulterer and a murderer and tamar this is remarkable remarkable in jesus's sacred genealogy for undesirable women sinful people adulteresses prostitutes murderers unbelievable but this speaks of redemption the gospel is about the redemption of the undesirables jesus came for the sinners for the sick for the lost not those who are well jesus died so that no matter what you or i have done we all get to be a part of this family just as they did everyone is welcome in this crazy family no matter what you've done or where you've come from i want to make a note here hopefully this will add a little flavor to the text but it's extremely important especially that you understand this in this day and age it's worth mentioning that this family is blind to race color sex or circumstance blind like ruth no matter where you've come from from what circumstance you were born into you are welcome in this family galatians 3 26 for you are all children of god through faith in jesus christ and all who have been united with christ and baptism have put on christ like putting on new clothes there is no longer jew or gentile slave or free male or female for you are all one in christ jesus and now that you belong to christ you are true children of abraham you are his heirs and god's promise to abraham belongs to you many of you probably heard verse 28. i'm big on it but now knowing the rest of the story isn't it nice to understand what the surrounding verses mean it's nice to go beyond the verse of the day isn't it there's so much richness to this text did you know that jesus calls us his brothers and sisters for example matthew 12 mark 3 parallel accounts there he's teaching people in his house his disciples are among them they notice his mother brothers are outside the house they mentioned it to them and jesus asks who is my mother and who are my brothers and he pointed to his disciples and said look these are my mother and brother anyone who does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother hebrews 2 10 god for whom and through whom everything was made chose to bring many children into glory and it was only right that you make jesus through his suffering a perfect leader fit to bring them into their salvation so now jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same father that is why jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters that's you jesus is not ashamed of us no matter where we've come from no matter what we've done no matter what our history jesus doesn't get historical on us like an earthly family member would no matter what you've done maybe you can relate to rahab if you've done similar things it doesn't matter maybe you can relate to bathsheba the adulteress or david the adulterer or the murderer okay or tamar who lied and deceived or the others before who did that jacob the deceiver isaac the deceiver abraham the deceiver they were all deceitful no matter how messed up you think it is their history didn't stop them from getting into the family they're in jesus's genealogy and neither does yours you are all welcome in this family this is not like your worldly one we are not of the world we are of the word who says that through christ you are holy righteous and redeemed there is no sin too great for christ's blood to cover you're redeemed you have a new family and you don't have to go back to that old place this family is not like an earthly one we're not a family of the flesh we're a family of the faith we're not here to shame you to remind you of your mistakes we're not here to hold it against you and we don't want you to hold on to it either we're here to build you up so you can move forward and hold on to the word of life amen shining with the radiance of christ to those around you with the joyful hope of sharing in christ's glory shining like stars forever let me pray for you lord i thank you for this church the body of christ that is the people in it's not the building i pray that you fill them with your holy spirit that they surrender all to you anything holding them back that when they go out it's not just sunday to sunday christianity it's every day christianity every hour christianity every minute christianity and we shine brightly to those around us with the love of christ so that many come to you we ask these things in jesus name amen