The Problem of Lust

31 October 2021 PM – Genesis 34 – Gen2021 – Scott Childs
Introduction: At our last youth activity, I challenged the young people from (James 1:14-15) “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” I pointed out that we each have our OWN lust that is unique to us. Some have a lust to win at any cost. Others have a lust peer acceptance. Some have a lust for power. Young women often have a lust for attention. Many men have a lust for sexual pleasure or pornography. Wives often have a lust to control their husbands. Children have a lust for independence. We each have our OWN personal lust; many times, we have more than one lust that constantly pulls us in the direction of sin.
            As we unroll the scroll of Genesis once again, we will find in Genesis 34 a major problem with lust.
Transition: We are going to examine the lusts of four individuals or groups so that we can learn how to flee from similar lusts.
  1. Dinah lusted for pleasure and acceptance (v.1)
a.         She went out alone seeking worldly pleasures.
1)         Worldly social events are no place for an unprotected young woman (or for a young man for that matter).
2)         Either her father Jacob foolishly put no restraints on her or she rebelliously ignored them.
3)         Young people may not listen to the clear warnings of their parents, but it is tragic when they have no clear warnings to haunt them. It is so easy for parents to become slack or timid about warning and protecting their children from the dangers of the world, the flesh and the devil.
4)         We must set strict biblical boundaries for our children (e.g., what they can do, where they can go, what they can say, the kind of friends they can choose, exactly how they must never touch the opposite gender or be touched). If we are not clear with our children, when under pressure of lust, they will have no clear words to guide them. Solomon wrote, (Proverbs 4:14) “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.” (Proverbs 4:15) “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” (Proverbs 4:20) “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.” (Proverbs 4:23) “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:26) “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
b.         She lusted for peer acceptance by ungodly friends.
1)         Whether Dinah was naive or rebellious, she chose ungodly friends that led her astray.
2)         While befriending the ungodly teen girls of Shalem, they introduced her to the ungodly young men of that city.
3)         She was lusting for pleasure and acceptance among her peers. She likely got involved in sinful pleasures that she knew would displease her parents, but she did not flee.
4)         Young people, if you determine, with God’s help, that you will NEVER do anything in secret that you would not do in the presence of your parents, it will save you many heartaches. (2 Timothy 2:22) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2.        Shechem lusted for sensuality (v.2-4)
a.         Shechem’s lust led him to sin.
1)         Shechem was an ungodly young man from Shalem.
a)         He saw Dinah. She may have been pretty. She may also have dressed immodestly as her ungodly girlfriends.
b)         He took her, possibly by force, but more likely by his sweet words. The context seems to imply that she did not protest.
c)         He lay with her.
d)         He defiled her by robbing her of her virginity.
2)         Sadly, this kind of sin is very common among young people today, even among young teens. The Bible calls it fornication. (1 Thessalonians 4:3) “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” God wants every young person to keep pure until marriage and to stay faithful to that spouse until death.
b.         Shechem desired to marry Dinah
1)         He did things backwards. He should have sought to marry her without first defiling her.
2)         Someone wisely put it this way, “Love can wait to give, but lust can’t wait to get.”
3)         His lust led him into sexual sin.
3.        Jacob’s sons lusted for revenge.
a.         Dinah’s brothers deceived Shechem (v.13)
1)         After hearing that Shechem defiled their sister, their lust for revenge caused them to devise a plot.
2)         God tells us that they spoke deceitfully. They did not truly want the men of Shalem to be circumcised and join them.
b.         Simeon and Levi murdered all the men (v.25)
1)         The painful operation of circumcision left all the men of Shalem weak and helpless for several days.
2)         The brother’s lust for revenge led Simeon and Levi to commit murder. They did not just kill Shechem who had defiled their sister. They killed all the men of Shalem.
3)         Their act was totally dishonest and unjust.
4)         When we yield to lust of any kind, it always brings forth sin. Though Shechem’s sin was wrong, their anger was evil. These young men were now murderers.
5)         When angered by wrongs committed against us, we must remember God’s words to the Roman believers, (Romans 12:19) “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
4.        The Canaanites lusted for possessions (v.20-23)
a.         Shechem lusted to marry Dinah
1)         He wanted that young woman whom he had defiled to be his wife.
2)         Desiring to marry is not wrong, but as we said earlier, he went about it backwards.
b.         The men of Shalem lusted for possessions
1)         They wanted to intermarry with Jacob’s family (v.21).
2)         They wanted, through intermarriage, to get Jacob’s cattle, substance and beasts (v.23).
3)         They coveted the possessions of Jacob. Coveting is simply the lust for something God has not given you. Jesus warned, (Luke 12:15) “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
4)         In the New Testament, God often lists covetousness among wicked sins like adultery, fornication, murder, theft, blasphemy, drunkenness (Lu 7:21-22; Ro 1:29; 1Co 5:10-11; 6:10). (Ephesians 5:3) “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
5)         We live in a very covetous world. The primary goal of most advertisement is to get you to lust for things you do not need. Pornography lures men to lust after women that do not belong to them. Gambling lures people to lust for riches. Paul charged young Timothy, (1 Timothy 6:7-8) “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:10-11) “For the love of money is the root of all evil… But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Conclusion: As Jesus’ half-brother pointed out in James 1:14-15, every one of us is tempted when we are drawn away by our own lust. Dinah lusted for pleasure and peer acceptance. Shechem lusted for sensuality. Jacob’s sons lusted for revenge. The men of Shalem lusted for possessions. What lusts are luring you into sin? What are you doing to protect yourself? What are you doing to protect your children? Will you promise God that you will never do anything in secret that you would not do in the presence of your parents or your spouse? Fearful precaution is 90% of winning the battle with lust. (Romans 13:14) “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Song: Yield Not to Temptation – 364