Upon his return to Canaan, Jacob’s family is immediately impacted by tragedy. His daughter is savagely raped by Shechem, a pagan man who lived in that area. While studying this passage I was truly overcome by mixed emotions. I was devastated for Jacob, a father whose daughter was violated. I can’t even begin to imagine what he must have felt hearing that kind of news. I was enraged like Dinah’s brothers who wanted to defend their sister’s honor and avenge her. I was confused by the strange proposition and “deal” that was made between the two families. I was surprised at the length Shechem’s men were willing to go so that he could marry a foreign girl. I was initially sort of glad but then appalled at the actions of Simeon and Levi, who so viciously deceived and destroyed Shechem’s men. Then I was confused at Jacob’s response to his son’s actions. He seems more concerned about getting attacked by other nations because of what his sons have done, rather than addressing the sin of their actions. This is a crazy account to say the least.
The big question is: what do we take away from this? What is God showing us through this passage? One glaring thing that I see in this account is how it is void of any mention of God. When Jacob learns of his daughter’s defilement he doesn’t seek The Lord. There is no mention of prayer, crying out to The Lord for his daughter, or for comfort, peace, strength, wisdom or any number of things Jacob and his family needed from God during this time. They seemingly responded out of rage, emotion, and human understanding rather than the way God would have had them respond.
We are all tempted to live our lives in this way, completely void of God. This is especially true in times when we have been sinned against and vengeance seems like the most justifiable option. Dealing with a situation like this is never easy, especially when we try to go through it without God. If you’re struggling with this in your life today, turn to The Lord first and seek Him. It is only through the power of Christ, not on our own power, that we can walk through the deepest valleys of life.
By: Matt Mofield