Topic: Marred by adventure
Text: Genesis 34:1-29
Key verse: But when the local prince, Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, saw Dinah, he seized her and raped her.
In the main text of our series in Jeremiah 18:4 , we read: “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” The vessel was in the Potter’s hand, at the time it was marred. Being a Christian does not exempt us from life issues. As long as we are in the world, we are exposed to dangerous people, unwholesome situations and natural disasters. God’s promises for our protection and defence are true and effective but sometimes we walk into trouble.
Due to our temperaments, some of us are quite outgoing, adventurous and love to explore new places. This is not an evil trait at all, but every child of God needs to bring all such decisions to God for counsel and guidance. Even when you seek to go out for evangelistic activities, your decision should be led by God’s spirit, who is all knowing.
Dinah set out for adventure, she wanted to socialize or network with the people of the land. Her desire was not all together evil , since she desired to connect with them on a friendship level. But ,she walked out of her comfort zone, into the territory of people of different values and beliefs. She put herself in harm’s way, by going out without physical protection. Her decision was based on a faulty assumption of the character and values of the people of that land. She trusted them to know and do what was right. Alas she was wrong!
Many times as Christians, we relate with people based on our own moral standards, beliefs and values. Its okay to be yourself and be guided by your standards but its presumptuous to expect exactly the same standards from everyone you meet in the society. Whether in school, at work or business, people’s character reveals the values they have been raised with. And their choices reflect the beliefs they consider important and agree with.
Be careful how you walk. In Psalms chapter 1, we read about the kind of people not to be with, because such associations will almost always have a negative impact on our lives.
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.”
Today, we live in a time where people are dragged into all kinds of associations, groups and networks. While there are benefits of association , you also need to choose wisely where to belong. Some of them leave you vulnerable, and expose you to all kinds of offensive information, unprofitable debates and idle chatter.
Dinah’s adventure turned sour, because she encountered a person who loved her, but did not have the discipline to relate with her in an appropriate manner. He took advantage of her and hurt her in his lack of self control. He raped her! Much as he regretted his action, and wanted to fix things, he had already put a scar on her that left her Marred!
Taking advantage of anyone to meet your own needs or craving is evil and cannot be excused ! People take advantage of others in the corporate environment, family setting and in marriage. Whatever the circumstance, forcing anyone to do something against his/her will is a form of abuse.
Dinah suffered abuse, she was shamed. Her hopes and dreams of a beautiful glamorous wedding ceremony, with her friends and family admiring her flawless wedding dress and veil, symbolic of her purity, was dashed.
The pain she must have felt was more emotional than physical. The torment an abused person goes through varies with individuals. The guilt, the fear, the loss of sleep, the torture of continuously reliving the event and the fact that your pleas fell on deaf ears, leaves the person scarred emotionally.
Dinah’s case even got more complicated, as the anger of her brothers left more people hurt,wounded, and killed as they avenged their sister’s assault.
This is one of the tragic stories you read about in the scriptures. I don’t know if Dinah was ever healed, if she later had children or if her story ended positively. But l know it can end well and better for anyone reading this devotional who has experienced any kind of physical abuse that left you broken and marred.
You may have experienced some kind of healing , but the scar though not physical makes you feel you are less than normal. Maybe you feel that God’s best for you in marriage can never come again.
Probably, your experience is a secret between you and God but the event has left you with a very bad attitude and your behavior stinks.
You have taken up your weapon to revenge yourself by wounding everyone you come across who looks like your abuser. These posture will not give you closure or permanent healing.
That you have a scar does not disqualify you from living a normal life. Imagine you have a domestic accident while cooking, and it leaves you with a scar on the hand, will that scar prevent you from completing your education or training, pursuing your career or doing all the things you ever dreamed about? Am sure your answer is No.
While l agree that the impact of a domestic accident is not the same with an abuse, you will agree with me, that both experiences require healing. There is a healer, who can heal all wounds, his name is Jesus!
Do you want to be healed? There is healing for emotional wounds, there are trained professionals who know how to handle your case. They rely on God, the scriptures and mental health practice to care for you till you are totally healed.
The Potter has not left his place, as long as you remain in his hands, he knows what to do. He will give you a makeover, that will cover any scars, and present you to your world, as a brand new vessel.
You don\’t have to continue to suffer in silence, you don’t have to live with guilt all the days of your life, because you made a wrong decision. Today is a new day, you can have a fresh start.
I invite you to return to the Potter’s house, ask for forgiveness for your wrong decision that put you in harms way. Tell the Potter how you feel about it, how it made you feel and what you found most painful.
Take the pain to the cross, where Jesus suffered for us, taking our pain too, even though he had no fault. Leave the pain there and exchange it with his peace and Joy.
Forgive the person who hurt you, you didn’t deserve it, but it happened, it was a mistake, it should never have happened. Please forgive the offender. You will experience real peace as you release the person who caused you this pain.
Now ask the Potter, in his wisdom to make another vessel out of your life. A new and better one without any scar. And even if there is a physical scar, ask him to take away the pain you feel anytime you see the scar. Remember, even after the resurrection of Jesus, he still had the scars of the nails that pierced his hands.
The scars of Jesus, validated his testimony! Your own scars will validate your testimony too.
You may have gone through the fire, and you are saying in your heart now, “People will always see me as Marred”. Believe me, when the Potter, the one whose name is Jehovah works on you, you can never be the same again. The three Hebrew boys who came out of the fire, didn’t have the smell of being burnt, nor the scar!
If you have read this to the end, please take any scar, physical or emotional you have had, from any kind of abuse to God, and receive total and permanent healing. Its your time for a new beginning!
I’m standing with you in prayer for a new beginning, God is waiting on you, there’s so much you can do for the kingdom, no one can take your place from you, except you allow it. The world is waiting for you, you are a masterpiece! Arise and be healed in Jesus name. Amen.
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