Genesis 49:3-7: Bad company.

“‘Reuben, you are my firstborn,
    my might, the first sign of my strength,
    excelling in honour, excelling in power.
Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,
    for you went up onto your father’s bed,
    onto my couch and defiled it.

‘Simeon and Levi are brothers –
    their swords are weapons of violence.
Let me not enter their council,
    let me not join their assembly,
for they have killed men in their anger
    and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
Cursed be their anger, so fierce,
    and their fury, so cruel!
I will scatter them in Jacob
    and disperse them in Israel.” NIV

 

In Jacob’s words we have some of the earliest prophetic material in the Old Testament. Primarily, Jacob was speaking about the future of the tribes which would grow from his sons. In reading about ‘’Simeon and Levi’’ I recall the words of Psalm 1:1:

‘’Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.’’

 Bad company can corrupt, and although we should love everyone, and forgive all those who have hurt us, there are some people we shouldn’t get too close to, or allow them near us, because they will pose a danger. We can end up like the good apple in a bowl of rotten fruit. Certain forms of contact will lead to contamination. May God give us the wisdom to sniff out the peril, and the resolute courage to say:

‘’Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly…’’

 When you think it was their dad distancing himself from them, that’s quite something.

Simeon and Levi’s anger erupted into the massacre of the Shechemites (34:25-31). God arranged it that the two tribes would not be able to ‘assemble’. The tribe of Simeon was eventually absorbed into the tribe of Judah (Joshua 19:1,9), and the tribe of Levi was given forty-eight towns to live in across Israel. So they were scattered ‘’in Jacob’’ and dispersed ‘’in Israel’’.