“Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. And he was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, ‘Get me this young girl for a wife.’ But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor, with deceit, and spoke to them, because he had defiled Dinah their sister …, ‘Only on this condition will we consent to you: if you will become like us, in that every male of you be circumcised.’ And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came upon the city unawares, and killed every male. Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘You have brought trouble on me, by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me and I shall be destroyed, I and my household.’ But they said, ‘Should he treat our sister as a harlot?’” (Genesis 32:1-4,13,15,24,25,30,31).
Everybody Makes Mistakes It is true that all people make mistakes, or sin. This truth is captured in the famous proverb expressed by the 18 th century English poet, Alexander Pope, when he said, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” The Bible confirms it in Paul’s statement, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). On the other hand, “everybody makes mistakes” might often be expressed as a means of relieving guilt for mistakes made. As such, it is an excellent illustration of the fallacy of “moral equivalency,” which treats all sins as if they were equal. They are not. Yes, everybody makes mistakes, but, first, not everybody exacerbates their mistakes by continuing them. Christians are not distinctive by virtue of the fact that they are perfect, while everybody else is imperfect. Instead, they are distinguished by the fact that, when they do make mistakes, or sin, they repent of them and strive for improvement. They do not continue to wallow in the mire of sin and console themselves with the thought that at least everybody else is in the mire with them. Rather, they get up and clean themselves off by the blood of Christ and try to do better the next time. Second, not all sins are equal. Some have more serious, even irreparable, consequences and, thus, require a heart which can contemplate those consequences but still be indifferent to the hurt they cause others. It would be ridiculous for the murderer to say, “At least I don’t litter.” Victims of littering usually survive; victims of murder do not. Jesus said to Pilate, “… He who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin.” (Jn. 19:11). When Jacob’s sons responded to the rebuke of their father for the murder of the Shechemites by saying, “Should he treat our sister as a harlot?” they were attempting to justify themselves by an appeal to moral equivalency. Shechem’s sexual crime, as bad as it was, did not warrant murdering and pillaging a whole city. Even though all mistakes, or sins, do not rise to the same level of seriousness, all sins require the same remedy: the blood of Christ, which is made available to them for their cleansing, as they repent of their sins. So, the solution to the sin in a person’s life is not to excuse, ignore, or minimize it by implying that he is no worse than anybody else, but to repent of sin and stop it.
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“Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. And he was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, ‘Get me this young girl for a wife.’ But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor, with deceit, and spoke to them, because he had defiled Dinah their sister …, ‘Only on this condition will we consent to you: if you will become like us, in that every male of you be circumcised.’ And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came upon the city unawares, and killed every male. Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘You have brought trouble on me, by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me and I shall be destroyed, I and my household.’ But they said, ‘Should he treat our sister as a harlot?’” (Genesis 32:1-4,13,15,24,25,30,31).
Everybody Makes Mistakes It is true that all people make mistakes, or sin. This truth is captured in the famous proverb expressed by the 18 th century English poet, Alexander Pope, when he said, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” The Bible confirms it in Paul’s statement, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). On the other hand, “everybody makes mistakes” might often be expressed as a means of relieving guilt for mistakes made. As such, it is an excellent illustration of the fallacy of “moral equivalency,” which treats all sins as if they were equal. They are not. Yes, everybody makes mistakes, but, first, not everybody exacerbates their mistakes by continuing them. Christians are not distinctive by virtue of the fact that they are perfect, while everybody else is imperfect. Instead, they are distinguished by the fact that, when they do make mistakes, or sin, they repent of them and strive for improvement. They do not continue to wallow in the mire of sin and console themselves with the thought that at least everybody else is in the mire with them. Rather, they get up and clean themselves off by the blood of Christ and try to do better the next time. Second, not all sins are equal. Some have more serious, even irreparable, consequences and, thus, require a heart which can contemplate those consequences but still be indifferent to the hurt they cause others. It would be ridiculous for the murderer to say, “At least I don’t litter.” Victims of littering usually survive; victims of murder do not. Jesus said to Pilate, “… He who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin.” (Jn. 19:11). When Jacob’s sons responded to the rebuke of their father for the murder of the Shechemites by saying, “Should he treat our sister as a harlot?” they were attempting to justify themselves by an appeal to moral equivalency. Shechem’s sexual crime, as bad as it was, did not warrant murdering and pillaging a whole city. Even though all mistakes, or sins, do not rise to the same level of seriousness, all sins require the same remedy: the blood of Christ, which is made available to them for their cleansing, as they repent of their sins. So, the solution to the sin in a person’s life is not to excuse, ignore, or minimize it by implying that he is no worse than anybody else, but to repent of sin and stop it.
HOME HOME MEDITATIONS MEDITATIONS HYMN HYMN SCRIPTURE SCRIPTURE