Scripture is straightforward about the ugly underbelly of human nature. Left to our own devices, the human heart is a wicked thing. And because it is, history bears witness to dreadful events like the slaughter at Shechem.
It’s a jagged-edged story. The warning is hard to miss: Don’t settle for Shechem when the blessing is in Bethel. The command God gave Jacob was clear. “I want you to leave here and go back to the land where you were born” (Genesis 31:13). The itinerary was singular – journey to Bethel.
Shechem was only twenty miles from Bethel. Jacob was within eyeshot of his goal. Jacob and his nomadic clan, weary from travel, decided to pitch their tents. They met some Shechemites. They made a few friends. They bought land. Jacob lived to regret each choice. What about you? Make it your aim to obey God. Blessing follows obedience.