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  • Renée Coventry

Stepping into Your Prophetic Destiny, Pt. 15: Family Matters - More Than You Suspect

If there's proof that the flesh refuses to quietly go when we step into God's call on our life, it is Jacob's reaction to what I have termed the "Dinah Debacle," in Genesis 34. Putting it bluntly, Shechem, son of Hamor, rapes Jacob's daughter, Dinah. Today, we do not find rapists falling over themselves to marry their victims, but that's precisely what Shechem does, even getting his father's assistance.

Now there are no words to describe what happened next. We are told in verse five that Jacob justified staying silent about Dinah's rape because his sons were out in the field. Perhaps had he refused to remain quiet, things would have gone differently. However, when the boys return home, it states that they were "grieved and angry," an emotion not attributed to Jacob, and his sons, like their father before them, deal deceitfully with Hamor and Shechem. The boys trick the city's men into circumcision and then murder them and plunder the entire town.

What is incredibly sad in this story is that Jacob refuses, once again, to take responsibility. He attempts to circumnavigate the issue by involving his other children. He doesn't even think to take the matter before the Lord with whom he has entered into covenant. No, Jacob is silent – at least until the damage has been done.

One of the most critical aspects of stepping into your prophetic destiny is learning how to lead your family during the good times and bad. Jacob spectacularly dropped this ball, and his daughter was the victim not only of Shechem but of her own father's unwillingness to confront the issue. If you do not deal with your character flaws, you may end up facing them in your children, which is precisely what Jacob's sons' duplicity was – a reflection of their father. Problems in the home reflect its leadership – ouch! I know what that is for me and, I'm guessing, for you, as well. Self-indictment.

God requires us to take personal responsibility for those things that He places into our care, and first and foremost, that is our family. What's the Scriptural basis for this? Genesis 18:17-19 records,

"And the LORD said, 'Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him."

God knew that Abraham had the basics down; God could trust Abraham's family to him. He was going to lead them first and foremost. They were Abraham's priority. When you get things out of order by putting God's promise of your destiny before God's desires for your family hinders that promise from coming to pass. God could only bring His purposes for Abraham to pass because Abraham was trustworthy regarding his family. We see this emphasized by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians when he first addresses their relationship to God, then their spouse, followed by their children, and then trailed by relationship to their employer. God will not bless anything when we have gotten it out of order, whether it's putting our children before God or our work before family relationships.

And that is one of the most horrifying things about Jacob's reaction. His daughter is raped, and he does nothing. When the deed is done, he blames his sons, claiming, "You have brought trouble on me, making me odious to the inhabitants" (vs.30). He has made it all about him and his reputation. Meanwhile, Dinah's defiled and hurting, and his sons are justifying their actions, "Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute!" (Vs. 31). The problem wasn't with Jacob's children; it was with himself and his inability or, shall we say, unwillingness to rule his household.

Look, Jacob is back in the land of promise, and Hamor discusses with him the prospect of intermarrying and Jacob owning land IF Jacob will give his daughter up to Shechem. Jacob may have been thinking that God allowed this so that he could obtain the land God promised. Remember, several lessons ago, I mentioned that God is calling your entire family, not just you. But make no mistake, God never does anything out of order, and God would never allow Jacob to receive the promise at Dinah's expense.

Today, the enemy is seeking to sway us from the covenant promises of God for our homes and nation at the expense of our children. We, as people of God, cannot allow that to happen. Our homes and the family altar are our first lines of defense. We must have things in order if we are to step into all that God has destined for us. God abhors child sacrifice in all forms, particularly when it's done in His Name. Let's be a people of integrity who are willing to confront the rape of our children at the Word of the Lord and to do so with boldness! How we do that is tomorrow's topic.

Let's Pray:

Heavenly Father, forgive me for getting things out of whack and putting my calling ahead of those that matter – my family. I have sought Your prophetic blessing, all while abandoning my primary calling to be a leader of integrity within my family. Today, I repent. Today, I determine to keep things in their proper place. I will keep You first, prioritize my relationship with my spouse and children, and then work, knowing that I can trust You to provide. Teach me how to balance every relationship You've entrusted to my care Your way. When I get things out of order, remind me and bring my life back into divine order. I want to honor You, Lord. I want my family to glorify You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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