Posts Tagged ‘Sex’

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

Advertisements

Too often when Julie and I watch a movie, I am forced to turn it off or over because of the coarse nature of the movie, particularly relating to the sex scenes. It is taken for granted that sex is a necessary part of most movies. I disagree! I don’t need to watch simulated sex between two people in my living room! I notice that although I make an active choice to turn the channel over or turn the movie off, that there is something inside me that would like to entertain watching a little bit longer. I know it would be wrong, but the desire is there. Jesus is not afraid to confront the big issues of men’s lives, like sex and our thought lives. He verbalizes what we know to be true…

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28 (NASB))

I notice when Jesus confronts me, He goes for the heart. He addresses the core issues that I face in my thought life.

All around me I see that adultery causes such devastation and hurt in a marriage, and so often leads to the end of a marriage, and as a Christian man I agree that I don’t want to be involved in adultery, yet I am amazed at what I am capable of tolerating in my life unless I actively choose to deal with it. I need to be vigilant in this important area.

Jesus tells His disciples at the outset of ministry that purity is essential. He uses language that is forceful and exaggerated to get his point across to a group of fishermen who may well have been used to coarse jokes and lack of boundaries concerning women. He says in Matthew 5:29-30 (NASB) “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

OK, so how gross is this picture? Sure, He’s not being literal but don’t water this down! This is important! Decide ahead of time not to feed lust! Jesus is saying that what we focus on determines our actions. Jokes, movies, and magazines can give our senses permission to feed lust.

Jesus is using what we call graphic hyperbole (obvious and intentional exaggeration) to get His point across. Obviously, Jesus is not advocating self mutilation to deal with lust. That would not actually solve the problem of a man’s thoughts anyway. So what is He saying to me and you? He is saying “Deal with the cause! Focus your attention on other things that don’t feed lust. Take whatever action is necessary so that you don’t stumble in this area. Don’t indulge sinful patterns of thinking. Such thinking inevitably chooses inappropriate behaviour which can lead to the devastating consequences of adultery.

So does this mean if I think of a woman in the wrong way, then I’ll go to hell? Jesus is associating such behaviour and thinking as sin and all sin is deserving of hell and continuing to feed lust is behaviour that belongs to someone who does not have a personal relationship with Christ in the first place.

Jesus isn’t saying sex is sinful or wrong. The Bible speaks about marriage from the beginning and encourages Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” so God invites them to have sex. How do I commit adultery? I mean I know how, but what I’m getting at is that our definition is too restricted. According to Jesus it happens as I look at a woman with lust in my heart, not just the act having sex with someone elses wife. Sex outside marriage is obviously wrong and lustful thoughts, according to Jesus, are already tainted by the sin of adultery!

James 1:14-15 (NASB) says “… each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”  

So how do I win the battle over lust? I do whatever is necessary! It might mean staying away from certain places, or certain people. It might mean refusing certain social functions where I know the conversations will be suggestive. It might mean excusing myself and showing others by example that I don’t approve of suggestive jokes and conversations that lead to lust.

It will be determined by what I focus on. Philippians 4:8 (NASB) says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  

2 Cor. 10:5 says “we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”

Jesus says what the heart focuses on determines how I will live.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 (NASB) makes God’s perspective crystal clear.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.”  

One final thing – I need to admit to God what happens in my heart when I go wrong, and repent when I find myself drawn into the area of lust.

God bless you Church as you put Galatians 5:16 (NIV) into practise and as you “… live by the Spirit, … you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”