Posts Tagged ‘Conscience’

Seared conscience 2.png

Seared Conscience © by Ross Cochrane

Genesis 34:5-6 – CAUTERISED

“Soon Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter, Dinah. But since his sons were out in the fields herding his livestock, he said nothing until they returned” (Genesis 34:5 NLT). 

How did Jacob hear about his daughter being raped by a pedophile? Perhaps it was community gossip, or from some of Dinah’s friends. Genesis 34:5 describes rape and pedophilia as Defilement (Genesis 34:5,3,27), and normally Judgment would be expected for the perpetrator for perverting the act of sex designed for marriage. Later, this would be defined in the Mosaic law.

Jacob doesn’t say or do anything until he sees his sons. Has he delegated his responsibility as a father to Dinah’s brothers?

I raise this because later, when Joseph, his favorite son is missing, assumed killed, Jacob is distraught. Is Jacob less concerned about his daughter being raped by a Paedophile and held captive in his home? He doesn’t go immediately and insist on her return but wants to wait and involve his sons.

JACOB, if only …

Is it because Dinah is the child of his least loved wife, Leah? Leah is the mother of many of Jacob’s sons but not the wife of his heart. In her loneliness, God answers her prayer for children including a daughter (Genesis 30:21). Leah calls her Dinah.

It seems neither Leah nor Dinah is loved by Jacob, and they are therefore vulnerable to the weeping wounds of such loss as he all too often neglects them for Rachel.

In my ministry, I meet many people who experience times when they feel unwanted, excluded, unloved, or even neglected. Times when they feel misjudged or overlooked; times when they know an aching emptiness as they see those they care for or love withdraw, reject and ignore them.

Does this story of rape, pedophilia and child marriage have its starting place with a lonely young girl, who feels unloved by her father, running away from home to her neighborhood friends for some support? Jacob, if only …

Jacob may have done nothing, but Hamor, the father of the pedophile, instigates action to alleviate any animosity that may result from his son’s actions. He considers Child Marriage to be the answer and custom dictates that marriage, even child marriage, be negotiated by parents. Unbelievable!

HAMOR, if only …

“Hamor, Shechem’s father, came to discuss the matter with Jacob” (Genesis 34:6 NLT). Notice, there is no record of Hamor rebuking or disciplining his son for rape, pedophilia or kidnapping. There are no consequences in a court of law. There is no record of Hamor apologizing for his son’s actions. There is no talk of immorality, evil, shame, remorse or even asking humbly for forgiveness for this crime.

Were women in Canaanite culture treated like sexual objects so often that rape was accepted? Were there leaders so corrupt that no-one was willing to recognize and do something about a culture of rape, pedophilia, and kidnapping? Was it accepted that a man of power, a prince, could have sex with anyone he wanted? For that matter, had sex outside of marriage, as in our times, become the normal cultural practice where even children are sexualised? Hamor, if only…

Jacob is no better. Even now Jacob seems to keep his peace and does nothing. Jacob’s attitude and actions are in stark contrast to the response of his sons (see next post).

Genesis 34 is so much a mirror of the culture in which I live and Ephesians 4:18-19 (NLT) does not water down describing those who ignore God’s purposes for our world. It speaks of those whose “minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.” 

1 Timothy 4:1-2 (AMP) speaks of people whose “… consciences are seared (cauterized)”. Isaiah 5:20 (NLT) says, “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark,…” 

Genesis 34 is, therefore, an invitation to recognize evil for what it is, not to cauterize my conscience by being conformed to a culture of sexual deviancy. Lord, help me to speak and take appropriate action when needed.

Pastor Ross

WHEN THE WOLF HOWLS

Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 55

“Why is it that Joab is so anxious to have Absalom back in Jerusalem?” asked Hushai as they were walking on the second day. Ahithophel and Hushai were among those who accompanied Joab to retrieve Absalom and his family from Geshur.

“Perhaps to ease his own conscience.” said Ahithophel.

“What do you mean?”

“Joab is also guilty of murder. You would have only been a child when it happened but I remember it well.”

Yes, Ahithophel remembered it well. It had been a time of great excitement. David had just been anointed as king. Abner was the commander of Saul’s army. Saul was dead but Abner had taken Saul’s son, Ish-bosheth, and made him king of Israel. The tribe of Judah had followed David and this division had inevitably led to war.

“Joab had gone out to meet Abner in battle. The battle was fiercely fought but finally, Abner’s army had begun to be pushed back. Asahel, Joab’s younger brother, had been in a position to take Abner himself and, disobeying Joab’s orders, had headed out after him.

Joab tried to warn Asahel. He knew Abner to be a seasoned warrior, but he was too late.”

As fleet-footed as a wild gazelle, Asahel had gained on Abner with each strong step. Joab had not been able to keep up with him and Asahel had refused to give up the pursuit.

“Just as Joab caught sight of them from a distance, he watched as Abner thrust the butt of his spear through his brothers slender frame. Joab was full of rage. He tore his clothes and roared in anguish and grief, but his brother Asahel was dead.”

The picture of his brother’s death had been as vivid in Joab’s mind as if it had just happened. For him, the war was over and a personal pursuit of Abner had begun. Rage had encompassed him.

Many men lay dead around him on that day, but to Joab, their lives had been somehow commingled with the death of his brother. From that moment on, it was between Abner and Joab.

“Joab had one thought only. Abner deserves to pay the price for the death of Asahel!”

The sun was setting as they had come to more rugged terrain, and they saw the silhouetted images of Abner’s men taking their stand on top of the hill of Ammah.

Abner had called out, “Joab, this has become more than a battle. If we continue this, it will only end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop? We are brothers fighting against brothers.” The words had only served to further enrage him.

One of the commanders brought him to his senses, however. He said, “Sir, Abner’s men are well placed for a battle. Our own men will be at a significant disadvantage. To continue will be military suicide. Many of our men will die.” He had reluctantly ordered the trumpet sound and his men had returned.

He took Asahel’s body and buried it in their father’s tomb at Bethlehem. Taking Asahel’s dagger in his hands, he swore revenge. It would take a long time, but he was determined.”

Pastor Ross

P.S.

I hope you are enjoying When the Wolf Howls, my book about Absalom.

I am also pleased to announce my first e-Book for you! Available on Amazon.com for around $7.00 about a man called Job.

Above the Storm

Above the Storm is an exploration of the ancient book of Job for the creative mind.

This is my first e-book, available on Amazon.com. What can I say? I have loved every part of the years I have spent in the exploration of Job. I have been inspired, enriched and changed by the journey and I know you will too. I invite you to buy it and be surprised afresh by the rich Words of Life from the ancient Book of Job, as you read Above the Storm

Part 3 – Genesis 19:1-38 – TWO WRONGS AND A RIGHTEOUS MAN

One Way3.jpg

“One Way” © Picture created Ross Cochrane

Sodom and Sydney have much in common. When a mob of men from their “gay mardi gras” demand to sexually abuse Lots guests (two angels in human form) in Genesis 19:7-8, Lot goes out to them and says “Please, my brothers, don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can DO WITH THEM AS YOU WISH. BUT PLEASE, LEAVE THESE MEN ALONE, FOR THEY ARE MY GUESTS AND ARE UNDER MY PROTECTION.”

I am disgusted and revolted by these men but equally by what Lot says as he offers up his daughters. What! Does he think that his daughters will be safe in the hands of this mob because they’re homosexuals? My mother used to say “TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT!”

HOMOSEXUALITY, RAPE, DRUNKENNESS, INCEST, DISOBEDIENCE! We find it all in this passage. Who deserves judgment? THEY ALL DO! Lot included!

Yet 2 Peter 2:8 says “Lot was a RIGHTEOUS MAN who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day”.

He still has a CONSCIENCE and it is working overtime. He is TORMENTED by what he sees and hears, but I still flinch at the word “RIGHTEOUS” being used of Lot, because it sounds as if he should ACT ON HIS BELIEFS and put the “TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT” principle into action.

What does it mean when it says that Lot is RIGHTEOUS? One thing is obvious. It doesn’t mean he is PERFECT. It seems both Lot and Abraham have some skewed ideas about women.

LOT IS A RIGHTEOUS MAN but he fails in the FATHERHOOD department, big time. There are times when he GETS THINGS WRONG, really wrong. ME TOO! When I am faced with wickedness, what do I do? Sometimes the decisions aren’t all that easy, and whatever I choose to do seems to be the wrong thing. Romans 3:10 is right when it says that by ourselves “NO ONE IS RIGHTEOUS-not even one…”

Righteousness is not based on some RELIGIOUS, SELF RIGHTEOUS, SANCTIMONIOUS, HOLIER THAN THOU, COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIAN LIFE.  

So how can I be MADE TO BE RIGHTEOUS? Romans 3:22-25 tells me clearly. Listen to this! This gives me a whole lot of HOPE...

“We are made RIGHT WITH GOD (righteous) by PLACING OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. And this is true for EVERYONE who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we ALL FALL SHORT of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, DECLARES THAT WE ARE RIGHTEOUS. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are MADE RIGHT WITH GOD when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. …God did this to demonstrate HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, for He Himself is fair and just, and He DECLARES SINNERS TO BE RIGHT in His sight when they BELIEVE IN JESUS.”

The invitation is to ask that all important question that Lot should have asked himself long before opening the door. WILL MY CIRCUMSTANCES DRIVE MY DECISION-MAKING OR MY BELIEFS?

Pastor Ross