Order, Words, & Voices 08.21.22

Order, Words, & Voices

08.21.22

Order

Pre Worship Music

Opening Song Cornerstone & Holy Holy Holy Christian

Prayer Rick

Reading Genesis 34:1-29 Nikki & Dona

Song Seek Ye FIrst Christian

Message Vengeful Forgetfulness Rick

Song Seek Ye First Christian

Howdy/Community Steve

Closing Peace Rick

Benediction Rick

Post Worship Music

Words and Voices

Music [10 slides]

Cornerstone

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name

(REPEAT)

Christ alone cornerstone

Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love

Through the storm He is Lord

Lord of all

When darkness seems to hide His face

I rest on His unchanging grace

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil

My anchor holds within the veil

Christ alone cornerstone

Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love

Through the storm He is Lord

Lord of all

When He shall come with trumpet sound

Oh may I then in Him be found

Dressed in His righteousness alone

Faultless stand before the throne

Christ alone cornerstone

Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love

Through the storm He is Lord

Lord of all

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, Holy, Holy

Lord God Almighty

Early in the morning

Our song shall rise to Thee

Holy holy holy

Merciful and mighty

God in three persons

Blessed Trinity

Holy holy holy

All the saints adore Thee

Casting down their golden crowns

Around the glassy sea

Cherubim and seraphim

Falling down before Thee

Which wert and art

And evermore shalt be

Holy holy holy

Though the darkness hide Thee

Though the eye of sinful man

Thy glory may not see

Only Thou art holy

There is none beside Thee

Perfect in power

In love and purity

Holy holy holy

Lord God Almighty

All Thy works shall praise Thy name

In earth and sky and sea

Holy holy holy

Merciful and mighty

God in three persons

Blessed Trinity

Prayer [5 Slides Midway through]

God, you have chosen to be the friend of sinners, you have chosen to be our friend. Lord, we are grateful that your life, death, and resurrection cleanses us from our sins. May you plant peace in our hearts where sin once ruled. Father, may that peace bring forth a harvest of love, holiness, and truth.

[Slides Begin] [Join me as we voice the Lord’s Prayer]

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done

On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses, 

As we learn to forgive the trespasses of others.

And, God, lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

Amen.

Reading [No Slides]

[Nikki] Hamor who was the prince of the region, had a son name Shechem who took Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, and laid with her by force. Afterwards, he went to his father, Hamor, and begged, “Get me Dinah to be my wife.” Hamor went out to speak to Jacob, around the same time as Dinah’s brothers were coming in from the field. When the brothers heard they were indignant and angry, because Shechem had committed an outrage in Israel by lying with Dinah.

[Dona} Hamor said to Jacob, “My son Shechem loves your daughter with all his heart; please let them get married. As a result, your sons will marry our daughters and our sons will marry your daughters. You will live among us, and the land shall be open to you; live and trade in it and get property in it. Let me find favor with you, and whatever you say to me I will give. Put the marriage present and gift as high as you like, and I will give whatever you ask me; only give me your sister to be my wife.”

[Nikki] Jacob’s sons were angry because Shechem had defiled their sister Dinah. The sons said to Hamor,  “We cannot give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. You will have to become as we are and every male among you will have to be circumcised. Then your sons will marry our daughters, and our sons will marry your daughters, we will live among you and become one people. If you will not do this we will leave with our daughters.”

[Dona] Hamor and Shechem said yes and did not delay getting circumcised. Then they  spoke all to the men of their city, saying, “These people are friendly with us; let them live in the land and trade in it, for the land is large enough for them; let us take their daughters in marriage, and let us give them our daughters.” 

[Nikki] Hamor and Shechem continued persuading their contemporaries, “If we do this they will agree to live among us, to become one people – we just have to all be circumcised like the sons of Jacob. Their livestock, property, and all their animals be ours. Only let us agree with them, and they will live among us.” And all who went out of the city gate heeded Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.

[Dona] Before the men were healed and pain free from the circumcision, Dinah’s brothers, Simeon and Levi, took their swords and came against the city and killed all the males. They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away. Then the other sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, they took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. All their wealth, all their children and their wives, all that was in the houses,.

Genesis 34:1-29

Music [1 Slide]

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

And His righteousness

And all these things

Shall be added unto you

Allelu alleluia

Message – Vengeful Forgetfulness [10 Slides]

Genesis 34:1-29

A couple of weeks ago I said to a fellow pastor, “I am so ready to be done with Jacob!” I was tired of his manipulative self-centeredness, but even more, I was tired of the damage left in the wake of his life. Basically, looking back, I was tired of the honest realistic account of this human who reveals to us our own humanness, and our own human mess. It reveals that nothing is new.  

But, last week we saw the impact of Jacob’s life, but this was a look at a life in the midst of being transformed and changed by God, Jacob by no means became perfect, but his selfishness became a little less selfish and the manipulation became a little less manipulative. The time taken in the old testament to tell the story of Jacob gives us an honest realistic account of  humans and the human mess revealing the process of transformation that is the same process for us – if we, too, are willing to allow God to do the work, if we are to allow Jesus, the evangelist of transformation, to do the work of salvation in our lives.

This week, we are still looking at Jacob, but we see him in a very different stage of life. He is still the husband to two wives, sisters and competitors for his affection, each struggling through her own battle with jealousy; two servants, each of which also are the mothers of some of Jacob’s children – a role neither asked for but were pimped out Leah and Rachel, their masters. And, the addition of twelve or thirteen children (he either has a newborn at this time or one on the way) who surely brought Jacob to regret many of own youthful transgressions.  Jacob has 11 or 12 sons at this point, who range in age of a thirty year time span. And, what may be his real shock of life, he now has a teen age daughter named Dinah, as in around a sixteen year old. Imagine, she was done with puberty, she had her driver’s license, and she was ready to conquer the world, but still she was constantly under the overly watchful eye of parents who had learn how to keep a watchful eye from their parents and grandparents not to mention the watchful eye of these brothers. All of who felt that Dinah should remain at home and in no way interact with the world. And so the story begins.

[Slide] “Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the region… (Genesis 34:1)

The New Living Bible may give us a better look at this significant opening statement.

[Slide] “One day Dinah, Leah’s daughter, went out to visit some of the neighborhood girls… (Genesis 34:1, TLB)

She was going to the mall to hang out, to see what was going on. To see the life that she wasn’t experiencing under the thumb of this football team of older, controlling, brothers.

This is a pretty accurate filter for us to use as we begin an understanding of this story. Dinah was getting out of the house for a while in order to see what was going on with the other teen girls. She wanted to live a little, like all the other girls were living. So, she went out to see what she was missing. 

And she saw the world, and she saw the one guy that everyone wanted to see. She saw the son of King Hamor, she saw Shecham, probably the most eligible single guy within miles. Dinah had probably seen Shechem before, as her father, Jacob, would graze his cattle on the land of Hamor, Shechem’s father. 

Jacob and Hamor tolerated a relationship with each other because it was a mutually beneficial relationship- mutual to both men. Neither probably cared for each other but they could use each other, and each sought to milk the relationship for all that was possible and even more in the future. 

So, Jacob’s relationship with Hamor caused this whole story to be very complicated, fiscally risky, and actually life threatening. 

[Slide] “Shechem, son of King Hamor the Hivite, saw Dinah, he took her and raped her.” (Genesis 34:2 TLB)

[Slide] “Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the King of the land, saw Dinah, he took her and lay with her and raped her.” (Genesis 34:2 NASB)

[Slide] “Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, King of the region, saw Dinah, he seized her and lay with her by force.” (Genesis 34:2 NRSU)

While this moment is described as rape. With the nuanced help of historical experts and the recently enlightened thought we have gained through the Me Too movement, we can see this as more than just a rape. Rape, in the writers during the Old Testament times, would frequently use the word rape, even when the act was not a violent act. Often times it was a consensual act on the part of the victim. However, it was used to express a sexual act that should not have taken place, an act that could doom the future of the participants, especially the female. While this engagement between Dinah and and Shechem may have been consensual, it was still an act violating Dinah. If nothing else, the fact that Shechem was a man of political power, and that his father held the fate of Jacob’s business in his hands, it would be easy to understand how a teenage girl could easily be considered a victim of such a uneven power dynamic. 

The odd thing in this story is that Shechem is truly in love with Dinah, and that DInah does not express a desire, nor does she seek a way, to return to the home of her father, mother, and brothers. 

There are two different possibilities of what is going on in the mind of Dinah at this point:

  • She recognizes the cultural thought that since she had sex outside of marriage she has been truly defiled, she is now forever unclean. No one will marry her and no one will accept her, even her family. She had no choice but to stick with Shecham. 
  • She truly shares the love for Shechem that he has for her. She hopes to spend the rest of her life with him.

Hamor and Jacob speak about their 2 children marrying, but Jacob is distracted by what his sons will do when they come in from the fields and hear the news of Shecham and Dinah. Then, Jacob becomes silent and the story no longer is truly about Dinah. The story becomes about the mob mentality that comes on the back of Dinah’s brothers’ pent up rage at the injustices of their own lives. From this point, until Dinah’s brother kill Sheceam, his father, and their community, Dinah is silent, nothing else is said about her, she is just used so the bothers can execute their vengeance, fully forgetting the why and who of their rage. It is not until the brothers force her to return home that we hear anything about her again.

On their own, long before checking on their sister, long before they even remember to rescue her from Shecham’s house, they jumped into mob mentality. And, in the midst of the calculated mob mentality, they put aside everything good and devise a plan of deceit and manipulation to not only punish Shechem, but to brutally kill Shechem and all of his family and community. 

And in the midst of all of this, they forget their hurting sister. They forget that she too is human and has a voice. They forget that she needs them more than she needs their acts of misplaced retaliation. 

In the midst of their vengeance, they forgot the reason for their vengeance. It was no longer about her, their sister, but more about themselves.

That is what happens when we become consumed in a state of vengeance without first seeking the facts. When someone has hurt us, or those close to us, the pain, if we permit it, grows to become a monster that just wants to lash out at the first opportunity. When vegeance takes the place of healing and purpose we lose our ability to see anything but the rage of retribution.

  • [Slide] Vengeance leads us to forget who we are. The brothers of Dinah used their precious identifier of circumcision, a sacrificial mark that that identified their God and served as a reminder of the glue that held them to a promise. But the brothers they allowed this to mark of God’s Fatherhood to be cheapened and meaningless. They not only forgot their sister, but they forgot their God.
  • [Slide] Vengeance leads us to turn our backs on loved ones in order to hold on to our anger and rage. Regardless of Dinah’s thought threads, she was a young teenager, now left alone, confused and facing a future of misfortune. She was facing life as an outcast, the brothers, in her view, were taking away her only hope.
  • [Slide] Vengeance is selfish – it is a selfish act in response to a pain that is seldom our pain to confront.  There is no redemption in vengeance, there is no gain in vengeance, only destruction. The acts of Dinah’s brothers diverted even Jacob’s attention from his daughter to, instead, the actions of her brothers.
  • [Slide] Vengeance is the an unholy rush to not be held accountable to the promises of God, to the teachings of Jesus. God says Love God and Love others. Jesus said, I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

(Matthew 5:44)

[Slide] Jesus also said, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment,” (Matthew 5:21-22)

[Slide] And, Jesus put this into practice when, as he hung on the cross as an innocent man, hanging in our place, he looked upon those who had screamed for his execution, and said to God, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

I entered the hospital room of an elderly lady who had only recently found out that cancer had spread throughout her body and was now feasting on her brain. A handful of relatives were in the room as the family had been notified there was not long until she would be non-responsive. As I approached her bed I asked what she was thinking about at this moment. She responded that she was thinking about heaven. As we began to speculate on the subject a relative interrupted to loudly share her disgust with the healthcare system, particularly the inconveniences that were caused. I knew this relative and had heard her complaints before but this time there seemed to be an added element of venom and hatred in her voice and her posture. Suddenly, the room was filled with the vengeful voice of this very vocal woman and suddenly the idea of talking about heaven was a far away concept – at a time when it was a very near reality. We never got to talk about the peace and comfort of eternity, instead, we were infected with the hostile voice of this loved one – one who had been forgotten in this moment. The moment had been stolen. The one in pain, the one who needed the moment most was denied the precious opportunity and it was never given back to her.

God calls us to love, not to make the pain of others our opportunity to enact vengeance.

God calls us to love, just as Jesus did as he hung on the cross for each of us.

God calls us to peace, just as he exampled throughout his earthly life.

God does not call us to hatred, God does not call us to hang onto our own hurt or the hurt of others, grasping the resentment and bitterness. 

God calls us to abundance, a fullness of life, not a life shackled and hindered by anger and vengeance.

Music  [1 slide]

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

And His righteousness

And all these things

Shall be added unto you

Allelu alleluia

Community/Howdy [2 Slides]

  • Howdy…. [No slides] In Person Wave

Community Announcements

  • [Slide] Next Sunday, Unfair…, Genesis 39:1-20
  • [Slide] Miserable Endings, Wednesday Lunch and Bible Study, Wednesday @ noon, schedule at gfnorman.com, bring your own lunch. Elijah I Kings 17-19

Closing Peace [1Slide]

May the Peace of the Lord go with you. And also with you.

Benediction [1 Slide]

“Depart now in the fellowship of God the Father and as you go, remember: By the goodness of God you were born into this world. And by the grace of God you have been kept you even until this very hour. And by the love of God, fully revealed in the face of Jesus, you have been redeemed and you are being redeemed. So go in peace.” 

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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