About Me

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Blue Ridge Area of Virginia
Alicha McHugh is author of "Daughter of the Promise" first in her: Numbered Among the Stars series (available on Amazon.com). She is a homemaker to her husband of 15 years, homeschooler to their children. Writing, enjoying tea and creaming Raw Honey are three of her current pursuits. Grabbing time to read is always high on her list of priorities! If you'd like to contact her, she'd love to hear from you! Just email: alichamchugh@gmail.com

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A word on Dinah’s defilement...

A word on Dinah’s defilement: For obvious reasons, from the beginning of my story I needed to establish for myself whether Dinah was raped or Dinah was a willing partner in her own “non-virginal” status. What I found…there are as many scholars who believe she was raped as those who believe the sexual relationship between Dinah and Shechem was consensual. The phrase “took her by force” is not as definitive in Hebrew as it is in translation. So I looked to the biblical account for clues, words the Holy Spirit used to describe both Dinah and Shechem.

There is, I believe, a definite attitude of the heart described in Genesis 34:1: “Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land.” Some might say, well it’s just a phrase saying where she was going or that she was going out with friends. I have a hard time dismissing the relevance of a phrase the Holy Spirit went out of his way to put down. For one, Shechem’s name clearly shows Dinah’s general location. More significantly, (And I don't know if this is an original thought or something I gleaned from a resource) it reminded me of Lot’s perusal of the land and the telling phrase “pitched his tent toward Sodom”. At the very least it shows a bent in the mind/heart towards that which is perhaps unhelpful. I AM NOT saying the bible is saying stay away from unbelievers or any such nonsense. I am talking of heart attitude and motivation (which, of course we don’t know for certain because we don’t read minds) Think of it from my side…I’m looking for clues, any clues that will lead me to discover one way or the other if the relationship between the two was mutual or not! This is a very small clue, but one I’m comfortable sticking to.

Then you look at the pains the Holy Spirit takes to describe Shechem’s attitude towards Dinah and her family, it definitely leads one to consider the possibility that there was true love that exists, at the very least, on Shechem’s part, and given how I see her home situation, I would be amazed to find Dinah did not, at least in part, return similar affection. The Holy Spirit says Shechem "delighted" in Dinah, Shechem "loved" Dinah. He was willing to be circumcised so that he might wed her (regardless of the other advantages of a union between them).

Also, from a psychological perspective and an actual statistic, something I think is found in the scriptural account of the definite rape of King David’s daughter, Tamar, by his son, Amnon, a rape is 9 out of 10 times motivated by the desire to feel power over an individual, to be in control. It’s not about sexual desire, it’s the lust for control fed by the physical. And what was the Amnon’s response after raping his sister: 2 Samuel 13:15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.” He actually had her put her out of his house after the act.

My last point is that Shechem is deemed, by the Holy Spirit, honorable. Some text I read believed the phrase ‘most honorable of his house’ can be interpreted, ‘most honorable of the land’. That would include the sons of Jacob. The Holy Spirit's dub of the word 'honorable' upon Shechem seems to me a statement of the person and his actions horizontally towards men not a vertical position in relationship to God, contrasted in God's declaring Lot, who had intercourse with two of his daughters, righteous. I am thinking as a human, but consider this, we understand the phrase, "Honor among thieves" But "Honorable Rapist" It's an oxymoron.

In closing, these are not biblical absolutes I’m willing to fight to the death over. These are speculative assertions that, in my opinion, are as equally supported as they are dismissed. But, I will say, this is what captures my wonder as I go to the bible and enjoy the freedom to imagine, while staying within the context and boundaries defined by the Word of God! What an amazing God, who would tickle our thoughts as He transforms our soul through the washing of his word!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"God Reigns. Let the Earth Rejoice!"

The beauty and fascination of such a phrase as "God Reigns. Let the Earth Rejoice!" is multifaceted and though I know I will not exhaust it's meaning or intent I wanted to jot down a couple of things.

First, it's a phrase that puts things in proper perspective. In relating to the issues and sorrows which God has promised will be our lot in life it's that ray of sunlight through the clouds. Not just of illumination but the reminder that the sun still reigns in our heavens despite the storm clouds rumbling near the surface. God doesn't stop being God because we are having a difficult time of it.

Secondly, the phrase is a reminder to US not, as some would take it, an assertion the the Lord's authority (not that that would be wrong as he alone is deserving). I realized this this morning as I was thinking about the incredible COMFORT I find in these words. If all we had were these words, as true and worthy as they are...I would despair. But God, in his goodness, has given me a little understanding over the years of his infinite care and love concerning...ME. ME! And who am I? A drama teacher at BJU once compared me to Jane Eyre. Little did he know I had played her for a competition piece in high school. The words "Poor, obscure, plain and little." came to me at once...but I didn't use them. I pretended I didn't know anything about it and gave him a half smile.

The truth, that I was so afraid of then that I know and even embrace now, is..the words she used to describe herself, describe me perfectly. Likely it's a two-fold freedom, starting with: HE LOVES ME. He placed worth upon me when made me his own, sinful, sorry and pathetic are more accurate to describe myself. He died in such a horrible way, setting his face like flint to to the cross, that we would KNOW how great his love for us is! And with the power to take his life back up he showed us how worthy he is of our following him where ever he may lead. Secondly...To such a God I have plenty of company being "Poor, obscure, plain and little." And yet he set his attentions on us and redeemed us. What a hero. What a God!

When I write this phrase at the end of a note "God Reigns. Let the Earth Rejoice!" I am writing those words rising from a mountain of knowledge of the character and care of/from the one I'm praising. The summit is simply the culmination of that minimal understand, which by his grace grows with every passing trial. And I do mean passing.

"As Long as You are Glorified" By Soverign Grace Ministries/ Come Weary Saints

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night

Bridge So quiet my restless heart, quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart in You

This is such a powerful song. It speaks to my heart about heart submission, true reality (of who God is and the saints of Hebrews 11/12 and the enduring hope of Ps 107.