“On the third day, when they [Hivites] were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males” (Genesis 34:25)
Yes, I know the above portion of scripture is quite an interesting selection to write about, but as I read this the other day, God’s Holy Spirit–as He faithfully does–spoke clearly to me through one particular phrase: “while it felt secure.”
To put the verse in context, Jacob’s sons act the way they do in retribution for the wrong done to their sister Dinah. Hamor’s son Shechem defiled Dinah and then after the fact requested she be his wife. After, as the Bible states, Shechem “humiliated” Dinah, he then had the gall to go to her family and ask for her hand in marriage. And not only that, he asked for permission for all the Hivite bachelors to have the opportunity to pursue the daughters of Jacob.
In response to this bold request, Jacob’s sons–obviously having learned the art of deception from their father–concocted a little plan. They told Hamor he and his fellow bachelors could only have Dinah and the other daughters if they were circumcised. Totally not true. But Hamor, Shechem, and all the other men fell for it.
So while the Hivite men were sore from circumcision, Jacob’s sons took advantage of their weakness. Just when the Hivites thought they were secure, they were far from it; they were in grave danger. Their feeling of security led to their ultimate destruction.
Now feeling secure is not a bad thing. We all want to feel secure. Feeling secure brings about a peaceful confidence. Many spend their lives seeking security–in health, in relationships, at work, at home. Yet even though security in the latter provides a great feeling, in reality, true security is not attainable by human means. Actually, trying to obtain security through human means often leads to disappointment–and maybe even to our downfall.
Nothing and no one on earth is ever truly secure. In fact, sometimes it is when we feel most secure we are the most in danger. First Corinthians 10:12 warns us to “let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” Proverbs 16:18 cautions, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 11:2 also declares “When pride comes, then comes disgrace….”
Last year, while I felt secure, I was indeed heading down a slippery slope. I thought I was secure in my job, my friendships, my family, my home, my health. I wasn’t altogether thrilled with how my life was going, but I felt valuable and secure because the earthly treasures I held dear were within my reach and supposedly in my control as well. I had plans for my future, and I assumed nothing would prevent those plans from coming to fruition. I thought my future secure. Yet I was wrong–wrong in the worst way. I had placed my security in earthly treasures, so I wasn’t secure at all. Placing my security on the temporal only resulted in my security being temporary. My heart and mind were focused on the now, not the eternal. In hindsight, rather than being secure, I had actually already gone over the cliff and was living as if the simple selfish branch I was grasping would keep me from falling.
Then the branch broke. My security was shattered. Now I do not necessarily believe what happened was God’s doing, but I do believe He allowed it for His ultimate glory. In the span of a few months, I had to say goodbye to friends, to my job, to my human plans, and even had to say goodbye to my supposed health.
I was no longer secure in my own strength. I was broken.
Yet praise be to Jesus I didn’t fall to my utter destruction. My human security may have shattered, but through God’s grace, I did not. Why? I landed on a sure foundation–a secure foundation. I landed on Jesus! “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God” (Psalm 18:31). Yes! “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22). As God’s beloved daughter, Jesus is my chief cornerstone. Hallelujah! He is your chief cornerstone, too! Even more, ” he who believes on Him [Jesus] will by no means be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6).
By no means be put to shame. Other versions replace “shame” with “disappointed.” What does this mean? Does it mean life will be easy? Nope. Jesus Himself says in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). Does it mean we will never get persecuted or ridiculed? No again. The Bible promises we as believers will be misunderstood and persecuted for our beliefs (Matthew 5:11) . Does it mean we will never have to say good bye to family, friends, jobs, homes, health? Not in the least. “For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls…” (1 Peter 1:24)
What I believe it does mean is that even amidst the crazy uncertainty of this world, our security is in Christ. In Christ alone. He will never disappoint those who place their trust in Him. No matter what happens on this earth, our hope must remain in Him. He promises to “keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him” (Isaiah 26:3). Furthermore, with every mention of trouble, Jesus reminds us our future is indeed secure in Him. When he says we will have trouble, He continues with “but take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When we are persecuted, He calls us blessed and promises our “reward is great in heaven”(Matthew 5:12). After reminding us that life and people are fleeting and temporal, He encourages us with “but the word of the Lord remains forever”(1 Peter 1:25). Or as Jesus Himself reminds us, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
His Words will never pass away. Never. Jobs may be lost. Family members may pass on. Friends may betray you. Sickness may come. Your world in general may be turned upside down. Yet regardless of the ups and downs and twists and turns of our journey on this earth, in Him–in Jesus–we are secure. F0r “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Jesus never changes. Never. And as long as we place our trust in Him, we will always be secure. Always. Regardless of what may happen on this earth.
Our true security is not found in temporal things; our true security is eternal. It is knowing “[with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose” Romans 8:28 AMP