7. The Twelve Tribes – Simeon

By John Thiel

The tribulation that the one hundred and forty four thousand come out of is a very present responsibility. The timing of washing robes is very urgent right now.

It is now that we must wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is now that we must overcome pride, passion, and spiritual slothfulness. It is now that we must awake and make determined effort for symmetry of character. Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. We are in a most trying position, waiting, watching for our Lord’s appearing. The world is in darkness. But ye, brethren, says Paul, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. It is ever God’s purpose to bring light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, and rest out of weariness for the waiting, longing soul. {5T 215.4}

In this work of washing our robes and in this trying time, the world is in darkness. The world drifts along. There is much more peace for the worldling. They are not aware of what we are aware of.  We will often have darkness, sorrow and weariness. How will this work of purification take place? What kind of activity is exercised? Washing our robes.  Character cannot be passed onto anyone else. We are going to meet the time of crisis.

The day is coming, and it is close upon us, when every phase of character will be revealed by special temptation. Those who remain true to principle, who exercise faith to the end, will be those who have proved true under test and trial during the previous hours of their probation, and have formed characters after the likeness of Christ. It will be those who have cultivated close acquaintance with Christ who, through His wisdom and grace, are partakers of the divine nature. But no human being can give to another, heart devotion and noble qualities of mind, and supply his deficiencies with moral power. Let no one put off the day of preparation, lest the call be made, Go forth to meet the bridegroom, and you be found as were the foolish virgins, with no oil in your vessels with your lamps. {TMK 350.4}

Every phase of character will be revealed by special temptation. We are going to look at overcoming passion. The experience of Simeon letting lose his passion is almost justifiable, but was still wrong. Lets now look at the legacy of Simeon. Here was a case of Leah not being loved as Rachel was.

 

Genesis 29:33. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.

Her festering suffering that she wasn’t loved as Rachel came through. It was like a festering sore inside of her. Simeon was born under that circumstance. Here is this legacy again that triggers things off, the character that he reveals in time of temptation. When temptation came, what was the revelation of his character?

Genesis 34:1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.

34:2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.

34:3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.

34:4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.

34:13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:

34:14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that [were] a reproach unto us:

34:15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we [be], that every male of you be circumcised;

34:16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.

34:17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.

34:18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son.

34:19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he [was] more honourable than all the house of his father.

34:24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.

34:25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.

34:26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out.

 

Jacob their father complains about this cruel act.

Genesis 34:30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

Simeon felt justified. Here we have a provocation and a response in rescuing his sister.

The treacherous cruelty of Simeon and Levi was not unprovoked; yet in their course toward the Shechemites they committed a grievous sin. They had carefully concealed from Jacob their intentions, and the tidings of their revenge filled him with horror. Heartsick at the deceit and violence of his sons, he only said, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land: . . . and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. But the grief and abhorrence with which he regarded their bloody deed is shown by the words in which, nearly fifty years later, he referred to it, as he lay upon his deathbed in Egypt: Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. Genesis 49:5-7. {PP 204.3}

This action of cruelty became entrenched in Simeon. Remember Josephs experience.

Genesis 37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

In the cruel treatment of their brother, Simeon had been the instigator and chief actor, and it was for this reason that the choice fell upon him. PP 226

What would happen as the result of this kind of legacy in Simeon?

Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

He could not rule his anger. What would be the consequence? A city with no walls. This is not safe. Notice a prophecy;

Genesis 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.

6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.

7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

 

They would be divided and scattered. The insecurity takes place because of wrath.

 

In the settlement of Canaan this tribe had only a small portion of Judah’s lot, and such families as afterward became powerful formed different colonies and settled in territory outside the borders of the Holy Land. Levi also received no inheritance except forty-eight cities scattered in different parts of the land. In the case of this tribe, however, their fidelity of Jehovah when the other tribes apostatized, secured their appointment to the sacred service of the sanctuary, and thus the curse was changed into a blessing. {PP 235.6}

Moses in his blessing made no reference to Simeon. Observe their vulnerability when Balaam cursed Israel. The only way to curse them was to let Moabite women into their camp. As a result of that, they fell. Look at the vulnerability of Simeon’s tribe.

Numbers 1:23 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Simeon, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred

The tribe of Simeon was over fifty thousand. Now the terrible incident happens.

Numbers 25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

2And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

3And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

4And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.

5And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

 

Numbers 25:9. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

More than half of the original numbers were destroyed. Simeon was so vulnerable, his tribe suffered the most. They lost a large number. At the number of Israel, they were the smallest.

Next in age to Reuben were Simeon and Levi. They had been united in their cruelty toward the Shechemites, and they had also been the most guilty in the selling of Joseph. Concerning them it was declared–   I will divide them in Jacob,    And scatter them in Israel. At the numbering of Israel, just before their entrance to Canaan, Simeon was the smallest tribe. Moses, in his last blessing, made no reference to Simeon. In the settlement of Canaan this tribe had only a small portion of Judah’s lot, and such families as afterward became powerful formed different colonies and settled in territory outside the borders of the Holy Land. PP 235

Genesis 42:6 And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.

7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.

Notice how Joseph dealt with his brethren. Now they were going through a test.

Genesis 42:17 And he put them all together into ward three days. (jail)

42:24. And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.

42:36. And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.

Simeon is the cruelest. Although a person can be so cruel, God can work through their lives. If people have difficulty of character, God makes sure it’s purified.

The three days in the Egyptian prison were days of bitter sorrow as the brothers reflected upon their past sins. Unless Benjamin could be produced their conviction as spies appeared certain, and they had little hope of gaining their father’s consent to Benjamin’s absence. On the third day Joseph caused the brothers to be brought before him. He dared not detain them longer. Patriarchs & Prophets page 225-226.

Already his father and the families with him might be suffering for food. This do, and live, he said; for I fear God; if ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: but bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. This proposition they agreed to accept, though expressing little hope that their father would let Benjamin return with them. Joseph had communicated with them through an interpreter, and having no thought that the governor understood them, they conversed freely with one another in his presence. They accused themselves in regard to their treatment of Joseph: We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. Reuben, who had formed the plan for delivering him at Dothan, added, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. Joseph, listening, could not control his emotions, and he went out and wept. On his return he commanded that Simeon be bound before them and again committed to prison. In the cruel treatment of their brother, Simeon had been the instigator and chief actor, and it was for this reason that the choice fell upon him. Patriarchs & Prophets page 225-226.

This is how God is trying to save those that have terrible characteristics by bringing about temptation to make them think about their situation. For those of this tribe who respond to Gods method, we can see there is hope. Do the people of the tribe of Simeon have a chance?

Revelation 7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand.

They are there. Even though they were the smallest in number, they were very vulnerable. They could still be saved. How? What must happen for those of such a nature to be among the one hundred and forty four thousand?

 

So long as we are in the world, we shall meet with adverse influences. There will be provocation’s to test the temper; and it is by meeting these in a right spirit that the Christian graces are developed. If Christ dwells in us, we shall be patient, kind, and forbearing, cheerful amid frets and irritations. Day by day and year by year we shall conquer self, and grow into a noble heroism. This is our allotted task; but it cannot be accomplished without help from Jesus, resolute decision, unwavering purpose, continual watchfulness, and unceasing prayer. Each one has a personal battle to fight. Not even God can make our characters noble or our lives useful, unless we become co-workers with Him. Those who decline the struggle lose the strength and joy of victory. MH page 487

Don’t be like Dan & Ephraim. Have an unwavering purpose.  No magic, no Holy Spirit power will suddenly take over us. It is working together with God. If people like Simeon can be saved then so can I.  Let’s keep gaining encouragement.

Amen.

Posted on September 5, 2009, in The Twelve Tribes of the 144,000 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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