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I stepped out briefly of the home and . . .
by theburningbushboy Solanke
7/28/2015 / Teen Issues
This is a story of a promising girl from a well-to-do family whose glorious future was snatched away from her. She grew up in the midst of 12 brothers and you would be right to say she was loved by all in the family.
I really do not know her age when the tragic incident occurred, but she was very much a single girl. I mean she was not yet married when her life took an unfortunate turn. Whatever her age, her experience has remained a lesson good enough for all.
She was what we call Daddy's Pet or Daddy's girl and her brothers were her watchdogs. You know how it is with brothers having a single sister in the family - "I love my sister and I will protect her from any man posing as a potential husband."
Every true brother will have this attitude towards his sister and since I am also a brother, I do not blame brothers for this. What else should our sisters expect from us?
Let me leave you with the imagination of how this girl would be so much loved in the family that had everything at their beck and call.
Her father was indeed wealthy and of course, she came from a family swimming in God's promises. Her father was third in generation to the well-known father of faith and I know you are beginning to suspect something. Who says you are not smart!
If her father was the grandson of Abraham, then I am sure you know I am talking about Jacob's daughter Dinah. Oh! You mean you didn't know Jacob had a daughter? I wouldn't blame you. We grew up knowing of his twelve sons of whom Joseph was the most prominent. Dinah could also have had some prominence, but for the unfortunate incident that truncated her chance.
History revealed to us that God remembered Rachel, Jacob's intended wife, who became the second wife due to family culture and tradition, after Leah gave birth to Dinah. (Gen. 30:21-22) In the Yoruba (A tribe in Nigeria) culture and tradition, we would say it was the birth of Dinah that paved the way for Rachel's pregnancy and subsequently, the birth of Joseph.
Dinah may not have anything to do with the opening of Rachel's womb, but if Jacob was to be a Yoruba man, he would so much cherish Dinah for coming to open the womb of his beloved wife, Rachel. You can imagine how much love Jacob would bestow on Dinah.
Anyway, the next place you will read of Dinah in the Bible would be in Genesis 34. From this chapter we have an account of her ordeal and from here this article takes its roots.
In trying to come up with an expository on this all important chapter, for you will never see any other chapter that gives full details of Dinah, except in Gen. 46:15 where she was only mentioned as a passing figure, different options surfaced.
Should I allow Dinah to tell her own story or should I do it on her behalf? Her father and brothers, especially Simeon and Levi, were also noticeable figures in this chapter. Should I give them the space to express their minds?
I didn't, however, consider much of Shechem, the culprit and his accomplice father, King Hamor, because the dead don't tell stories. You don't think I should call them back from their graves to share their own views, do you? Airing their side of the story may just re-colour the entire picture. What if they were not guilty as charged and condemned? Hmm!
Brethren, maybe I should just give everyone the opportunity to speak out. Although none of them is alive today, yet this story, in which they all featured, is still teaching lessons of morals, marriage, self-discipline, courage, family pride and how not to dillydally with sensitive issues.
On this note, you will allow me to permit Dinah, the main cast and the only lady in this story to open up the curtains. As the Lord grants the grace, other casts may come up in subsequent editions.
I sign out!
I am simply called Dinah and I grew up among many brothers. As you must have rightly imagined, my brothers were over protective. They would not allow me visit places at will; thereby making me to miss things my age mates enjoyed. Each time I had to step out of the house, I did so with at least two of my brothers as my bodyguards.
Not only did I have my brothers keeping watch over me as the only girl in the family, I had a nurse attached to me by my wealthy father. The nurse, call her a maid if you so wish, was there to take care of feminine issues that my brothers may find embarrassing to attend to. I was indeed loved, but I felt caged!
Reading through my story from Gen. 34, you will recall that the first verse says, "And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, WENT OUT to see the daughters of the land." The Bible said that I went out as though I had never been out of the house or as though there was anything special about stepping out. Anyway, the truth is that my going or stepping out meant more than just stepping out of the house. When the Bible said I went out, it meant that I left the inside for the outside.
I left more than the four corners of my house; I actually went out of everything built round me to serve as protection.
I went out of my father's instruction to avoid any form of relationship or friendship with the daughters of the land. Many times, Jacob, my father, had warned me to see myself as a special child; the beloved daughter of the Lord, but I neither understood him nor his instruction.
He often tried to make me see that my family had a special relationship with God; a sort of a covenant that none of my family members must marry to people from other lands. I can't recall the number of times he echoed and re-echoed this in my ears; but this kind of restriction made no sense to me, though I managed to comply.
On this fateful day, the house was quiet. My brothers had all gone to the field with their flock and if I could remember, my parents were out visiting a family friend.
I was, therefore, left alone with my nurse, who at that moment could not win the battle against sleep. Having had so much house chores to do, she laid and slept like a new born baby.
Left alone, I was bored! There was no DSTV or iPhone to keep me alive and so my thoughts ran wild. I started wandering and traveling to places in my heart. I thought of how it would look like to consider the many invitations I had received from the daughters of the land. I asked within, "Is this not a divine opportunity to satisfy my long curiosity?"
As the time went by, the conviction to give it a trial became stronger and without anybody around to check me, I dressed up and took the backdoor to the streets I had always longed to visit. I went out, not just of the house, but out of my father's cover. I stepped out of his instruction; stepped out of his protective reach; stepped out of his care and love. I went out and indeed, I stepped out of glory!
Knowing that I had a short time before my parents return or for my nurse to wake up, I told myself I was just going to make the outing very brief. I simply wanted to see the daughters of the land and nothing more. I didn't plan to stay out for long - it was meant to be a dash; before anyone would notice, I would be back. This was my plan, but now I know better to say to you that if the same plan is coming to your heart, take my advice and expunge it immediately. It is a subtle plan to take you off grace territory.
As I said, I only wanted to see the girls of the land. I didn't plan to interact with them; no plan of staying with anyone of them. All I wanted was to, probably, stay at a corner in the street and observe their way of life. Within ten minutes or so, I should be done and back home.
I was raised up to be an honourable girl and that was why it didn't occur to me to see or visit the men of the land. I had no boyfriend or dating mate. I wasn't in any way interested in guys. My singular interest was just to observe; look at the way the ladies of my age handle situations; the way they dress, talk and relate.
I wanted to know if, by fluke, the ladies from these different culture and beliefs have the same thing in common with me. I wanted to know if there was something I could pick up from these city girls that could enhance my person or beauty, but my curiosity ended up in killing the cat!
A dash to the other side to observe the lifestyle of people of my age and sex turned out sour as you already know. What happened? "And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, SAW her, he TOOK her, and LAY WITH her and DEFILED her". Gen. 34:2.
It didn't take me long to get to the heart of the city where we have businesses and other activities running. As intended before leaving home, I stood in a corner to observe things. As I watched and noted the different styles of life put up by the daughters of the land, I didn't realise that someone else was having a field day watching me.
Before I go on, let me quickly refresh your memory that my family was merely sojourning on the land as visitors or you can call us strangers in the land. We were not the original land owners. We met these people there and obviously, their way of life was different from ours.
As I studied the original daughters of the land, it didn't take me much time to notice that they looked and sounded more sophisticated. They were so different to ladies from my local domain. I was lost in trying to measure up with the differences that I didn't realise I was being noticed and marked for what would later put an end to my aspirations in life.
So who was watching? Shechem, the son of King Hamor, the owner and paramount ruler of the land had suddenly taken interest in me. Within seconds that it would take you to read through Gen. 34:2, Shechem had carried out four different major actions all affecting me. He saw me, took me, laid with me and defiled me. Within a verse, he accomplished it all. How he managed to solve and dissolve me so quickly had never stopped to baffle me.
While I was looking elsewhere, distracted in a sense, not to have noticed him, he was busy analyzing me inside out. He must have taken his time to look deep into my life. He probably knew I had stepped out of grace, alone without my brothers and out of the cover provided by my father. If I had known that stepping out would make me so naked, maybe I should have stayed back home.
Honestly, I became so transparent to Shechem and seeing no protective measure around me, he proceeded to take me. He took me so cheaply, because I had already appeared to him vulnerable.
He reached out for me without any consultation. He didn't discuss anything with me and for the first time in my life, I realized, with bitterness that not all men are gentlemen. He grabbed me as a trap would rejoice to catch its prey and Lord; I wonder if he had set his eyes on me before now. What a true example of lust (not love) at first sight!
It beats me to think that the next thing a man would do after seeing a woman was to grab her, but then I realised that the devil could not move to the next stage of lying with someone until he had first seen and grabbed the person.
It takes a little wandering from home, before one walks into the sight of the devil and the next thing he does, is to take/grab. Trust the devil - he won't miss such an opportunity; such as I gave Shechem.
The moment he took me, he went straight ahead to forcefully undress me. He ripped off the clothing I had on me from my father's kingdom to ensure I stood naked before him. He made sure he actually saw all he had imagined me to be in his mind. Yes! With his mind, he must have seen certain things in me which made him to reach out to grab and lay with me.
Shechem saw me, took me and lied with me! He actually poured himself and his nature into me. Without my consent, he emptied his content inside of me and I, automatically, became corrupted. With his mind and person now poured into me, I was no longer pure; no longer purebred. I was no longer an Israelite indeed in whom there was no guile. Corruption had mixed with purity and the outcome could only be a mixed or confused breed of life.
You shouldn't be surprised that the fourth thing I suffered in the hands of Shechem was what the Bible called defilement. A seemingly innocent journey to visit the daughters of the land ended in defilement. Did you get that?
I was defiled, desecrated, abused, despoiled, dishonoured, ruined, destroyed and damaged. The story of my life, which promised to be fulfilling, ended up a catastrophe. Looking for a tragic story? You are already reading one!
What do you do to a corrupt computer file that cannot be treated? Such a file is erased! Shechem ensured he took advantage of me and removed my file (de-filed) from Israel's files of noble children. I was initially numbered among the saints, but my wandering resulted in my file being erased.
My file among God's purebred was removed and deleted. Should you look for my file among those who kept God's purpose from the start to the end of their lives, Dinah Jacob-Israel's file stood missing since that terrible day. I was de-registered on that fateful day.
Why did my parents go out? Why did my nurse sleep off? Why didn't my brothers come back home in time from the field? Instead of seeking to blame others for my silly actions, the right thing to do is to ask, "Why did I listen to that voice that told me I could go and make it back home before anyone would notice?"
I obeyed the voice when I could have ignored it. I went out, but I never came back home the same. In fact, everybody, including the entire town, noticed that I went out. Till today, the record is still being read I went out to visit the daughters of the land, but the enemy saw me, took me, laid with me and de-filed me.
Let me at this juncture relate my story to that of Judas Iscariot who was numbered with the twelve disciples of Jesus, but because of the love of money, he was de-filed. He obtained part of the ministry, but he was deceived and his file was substituted with that of Matthias. (Acts 1:17-20,26). So much for myself and Judas!
If I should ask, are you also still numbered among the saints of God or have you equally been de-filed? Has sin pulled out your file from the records of God's loyal children? Who or what saw you and laid with you, hence contaminating the godly seed in you? You were pure in spirit, mind and body, until you decided to step out and since then, has your file not been declared missing?
I hate sin! It de-files! Sin deregisters a sinner's name from God's Book of life. It may register your name in other seemingly important books on earth, but on the other side of eternity, it (sin) removes the sinner's name from the list of people set for eternal peace.
Nevertheless, if de-filed, the opportunity you have that I didn't have is that someone later came up on the scene of life and I learnt He has the power to treat and restore files corrupted by sin. With Him, defiled lives stand a chance of being restored. He is the Potter and though the clay ends up something else outside His purpose, as long as the clay stays in His hands, He simply re-makes the clay into another thing; something more glorious. (Jeremiah 18:1-4).
This man, Jesus Christ, is known to put men like Shechem to shame. He has restored the glory of many of which men like Shechem and his father, Hamor, thought they had marred forever. Jesus is known to start lives afresh. He does this easily, because He is The Creator. He is known to heal wounds; to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.
He comforts those who mourn and gives beauty for ashes. He gives the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for spirit of heaviness. I didn't meet this wonderful Saviour when my entire life and dream collapsed, but since I was told He walks about in your days and that He is very much available to whoever calls on Him, I strongly advise that you make good use of this opportunity.
If I could approach Jesus to change my situation, you know I wouldn't wait a second, but, fortunately for you, while all has ended with me, it hasn't with you.
It is best you call on Jesus now for a divine intervention and restoration while you put off, till subsequent editions, what others in this story may have to say. It's now over to you!
Burning Bush Boy (Moses Ayodeji Solanke) is a Snr Editor with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and also a Christian Writer/Blogger - www.theburningbushboy.wordpress.com. He has great passion for enhancing the Christendom with media tools. He is married with three children. Email:[email protected]
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