We have examined how to identify toxic relationships. God willing we will examine the cost of such friendships in our lives.
Loose ends and shifting standards are evident in today’s Christianity. Whether it is pressures from the LGBT community, abortions, sexual perversions, addictions, pornography etc. The Truth remains the Truth no matter how many denominations or governments endorse it, the we know God’s stand concerning them. Try the world may, to make them look morally right and appealing the Word of God has judged them already. Sin is sin and not negotiable before the Living God.
God’s Word is above any humanistic theories, governments, neither is it subject to public opinions, debate or voting system or politically-right parties or broken human philosophies.
Do I hear an AMEN?
The Word of God is above our self indulgences, self gratifications or self will. It is us that should conform to Biblical standards through God’s help.
How does this apply to our friendships and personal lives?
The world is toxic and friendship with the world is an enmity with God
Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14, James 4:4,Proverbs 22:24 Proverbs 14:17, Proverbs 13:20, Genesis 34:1-31
*Does it matter if we embrace worldly standards about issues that concern our faith, family, career, parenting, marriage etc.?
*Does it matter to God if we dress, act, speak or carry ourselves in the way the world does?
In today’s Bible Study, Dinah the only daughter between Jacob and Leah made a decision to “see the daughters of the land”.
This is common among us girls. We want to know what other girls are doing. We want to explore. We want to compare. We are curious. We want to discover something “new”. We want to associate. We want to belong and be part of a community. Daughters of Eve!
Is there something wrong with that?
Go ahead and read Genesis 34:1-31 again.
Perhaps she thought she was missing out on something. Perhaps it was the culture, dressing food, religion, we can’t tell but the something about the way and manner of these people in this strange land piqued her interest.
Many of us including myself have gone to “see”. We want to see if there’s something new, interesting and captivating. Many of us love the shiny objects dangled in our faces.
In today’s modern world, we are only a tap away from “seeing” through our phones, tablets or laptops. God help us!
Can you now see through Dinah’s eyes?
Notice how each of us can relate to her story?
Shiny objects are of no eternal value and the world has no good thing to offer.
During her adventure, someone saw her, the prince of the land. She was vulnerable. No one went along with her. She was an easy target. She was different. Attractive. You can mistake for other girls in that place.
Lesson 1: Something happens every time we step away from God’s presence. We lose our once thriving relationship with God like Solomon 1 Kings 11:1. We expose ourselves unduly to the enemy like Dinah. We may lose everything like the Prodigal son Luke 15:11-24
The consequence of her decision we know well, defilement.
Do you perceive it was somewhat consensual?
The Bible never mentioned she tried to resist his charm, seduction and eventually she lost her virtue. No mention was made of screams or struggle to break free from his web
She had forgotten whose daughter she was.
She was carried away with his admiration.
She let his sweet words get hold of her.
Watch Shechem’s nature. List 3 characters he possesses?
What can make a believer lose the divine covering?
Can you identify areas where you have stepped out of God’s covering?
Lesson 2: God watches over His children. He is mindful of us so much so He has given His angels charge over us. Some experience tough times when we side step. He wants us to continue in obedience and enjoy all these precious promises He has given us.
Dinah’s brothers Simeon and Levi would have none of his arrogance and nonsense. Messing up their only sister and having the boldness to come ask for her hand in marriage.
The generation before had always taken special care with marriage related issues. Genesis 24: 3-4, Genesis 26:34-35 Genesis 28:8-9, Genesis 27:46
Were the brothers wrong in getting angry?
Why was their father angry with their response?
Does God care about who we mingle with?
Is God interested in a believer’s marriage?
Lesson 3: Friendship is a choice and you have the power to choose who you become friends with. Our friendship circle has a strong influence over our lives, life or death.
Lesson 4: Jesus is more than enough; the world has nothing to offer us. I know that feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out). For those of us who love the thrills of an adventure, wild hearted, free spirited and experimental in nature, we can identify with her story.
Lesson 5: The scripture likens it to adultery mingling our relationship with God and the world. We cannot serve two masters at a time. That is confusion! Luke 16:13
Lesson 6: Toxic friendships can sever your relationship with God. Solomon started well 1Kings 3:3 until his love for strange women over took him 1Kings 11:1. He lost a huge portion of the kingdom due to his insatiable lust for women.
What have you gone out to the world to see? Is it worth while?
Write a few more lessons God is teaching you today. Whether it is in your parenting, wifehood or even career.