Summary: In the midst of the penalty (for avenging the violation against his sister Dinah), Levi and his descendants (the Levites) rediscover God’s purposes


A. Read Genesis 34:1-4, 11-17, 25-26

B. Read Genesis 49:5-7


A. Dinah Was Battered – Her Purity Forcibly Taken From Her By Foreign Prince

B. Covenant Symbol (Circumcision) Was Battered – Abused By Jacob’s Sons

C. Males Of The City Were Battered – Terrible Slaughter


A. Genesis 49:5-7 - God’s Curse Upon Simeon and Levi

B. Indeed, Levi & His Descendants Were Scattered

1. Would never be landowners - would never possess territory like the others

2. Was this end for them? They didn’t matter any more? No – still mattered!


A. They Would Be The “Levites”

1. Special assistants to the priests - Wholly consecrated to the Lord

2. Special guardians of the temple work – full time job

3. No territorial possessions – Yahweh would be their inheritance

4. Forty-eight cities assigned to them to live in (along with commoners)

a. 9 in Judah / 3 in Naphtali / 4 in each of the other tribes

b. six of which would be “cities of refuge”

5. Truly scattered among the other tribes

a. scattering was a punishment

b. scattering also had a larger purpose - strategic – to keep alive among the tribes the knowledge of and service of God

c. Levi’s descendants were scattered to find what mattered

B. You May Feel Battered & Scattered, But Your Life Still Matters

1. Sin has its natural consequences

2. But as bad as the scattering hurts – doesn’t mean God has given up on you

3. In the midst of the penalty, rediscover God’s purposes

4. In the midst of the pain, rediscover God’s plan

5. When you feel scattered to the utter-most, rediscover what matter’s most

C. For Descendants Of Levi Repentance Must Have Happened

1. Levi or descendants repented & said, whatever our punishment – we want to draw closer to you – don’t leave us – we need you oh God

2. Read Psalm 51:3-13

D. God Turned A Negative Into A Positive

1. First, the devil has a way of turning everything positive into a negative

2. Devil twists positive character qualities for evil – for instance…

a. positive quality of alertness – can become the negative trait of jumpiness, quick criticism, presumptuous inquisitiveness

b. positive quality of being analytical – can become the negative trait of pickiness, fussiness, pettiness, over-attention to detail

c. positive quality of confidence – can become the negative trait of conceited, cocky, overbearing

d. positive quality of enthusiasm – can become the negative trait of fanatical, aggressive

e. positive quality of forgiving – can become the negative trait of irresponsible leniency, permissiveness, weakness

f. positive quality of humility – can become the negative quality of extreme self-criticism, or lack of confidence

g. the positive quality of resourcefulness – can become the negative trait of over-independence, manipulating, scheming calculation

3. I think Levi, at his core, was a good, decent, honorable guy

4. Positive qualities of Levi – Decisive, Courageous, Resourceful

5. Any positive quality, devil can twist and turn into a negative trait

a. decisive – turned to inflexibility, ruthless

b. courage – turned to recklessness, brazenness

c. resourceful – manipulative, scheming calculation

6. Yet each of those traits important for temple work

7. God turned negative into positive - Levi’s wild zeal against the defiler of Dinah was the forerunner of the Levites’ zeal to guard the ark the temple and the law – God tapped into that zeal – re-directed

8. Abusers of the circumcision became keepers of the circumcision

9. The energy that got you into trouble – God wants to harness & re-direct

a. Ephesians 4:28 – steal no more, but labor with hands…

b. Micah 4:3 – swords to plowshares; spears to pruning hooks

E. Levites

1. Temple Work - Not a punishment to take on temple duties – but a privilege

2. No higher privilege - Looking back, “While we wish we had never done the terrible things – we wouldn’t trade where God has brought us”


A. Don’t Throw In The Towel – God Hasn’t

B. Battered & Scattered, But You Still Matter!

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