This story is a very unpleasant one but it does teach us about the depravity of man. When we talk about mankind being totally depraved we do not mean that they are as bad as they can be or that they are always at their worse. What Shechem did was bad but he sought to marry Dinah because he loved her. Jacob’s sons far surpassed the evil of Shechem and did so with no remorse. When we say people are totally depraved it means that there a person can do nothing to earn salvation. You can’t earn the grace of God at all. For in the heart of humans comes things like what Shechem did and the murderous anger of Simeon and Levi. The root of all kinds of sin lies in the heart of man and it is only by the grace of God that any are saved. It is by the work of the Holy Spirit who reaches into the heart of man and changes the soul. We must be careful as we judge the actions of these sinful men that we do not become arrogant for we were born with the seeds of the same sin in our hearts. It is only by the mercy and gracious restraining hand of God that we have not acted in the same way. We ought to give thanks to God for the wrongs that we have not committed. And if we have committed wrong then we must flee to God. We ought not to point a finger at someone else. We ought to follow the example of King David when he was confronted for his similar action: “I have sinned against the LORD.” We need to make Psalm 51 our personal cry out to God. PRAYER Have mercy on us, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out our transgressions. Wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from our sin! For we know our transgressions, and our sin is ever before us. Against you, you only, have we sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Purge us with hyssop, and we shall be clean; wash us, and we shall be whiter than snow. Let us hear joy and gladness. Hide your face from our sins and blot out all our iniquities. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. AMEN!