Text: Genesis 34-36
What does it say?
Jacob’s sons were treacherous! Dinah the daughter of Leah laid with Schechem the son of Hamor the Hivite who coerced her. Hamor and Schechem came to Jacob to ask for Dinah’s hand in marriage, suggesting that the sons of Jacob take their daughters as wives. Jacob sons agreed but with treachery in their hearts because they suggested that Hamor, Schechem and all the men of the city be circumcised like Jacob’s sons. On the third day, while the Hivites were in pain, Jacob’s sons killed every male in the city, took back their sister, looted the city, the fields, the wealth, took their little ones and their wives. This worried Jacob because he could no longer have favor among the people of the land; therefore, he moved with his sons to Bethel, the place where he meet God when he fled from Esau’s anger. Jacob worshiped the God whom he meet at Bethel and walked with him during the time he was working for Laban. The Lord changed his name to Israel and told him that he would be a nation; and that a company of nations and kings would come from him. He also promised him and his descendants the land which he gave to Abraham and Isaac his fathers. Debrah the mother of two of his sons died on the journey to Bethel. Rachel also died while giving birth to his twelfth son Benjamin. After this, Isaac died and the two brothers, Jacob and Esau buried him; therefore , the sons of Jacob are named and the descendants of Esau are named. After the death of Isaac, Jacob and Esau separated. The descendants of Esau became the Edomites and the descendants of Jacob the Israelites.
What does it mean?
Two wrongs do not make a right but God will use evil for good. What Schechem did was wrong but what the sons of Jacob did was even more wrong. They lied, murdered, pillaged and enslaved many for the wrong done to their sister. Was it wrong that Schechem forced Dinah to have sex with him? Absolutely! However, it was Schechem whom they needed to deal with and not an entire city and not the innocent. Murdering many men because of the wrong done by one man treacherous. Taking the wealth that belongs to those men and there children. Taking their children and their wives, likely as slaves, is just unspeakable treachery and I think that the law agrees. Exodus 22:16-17 (NASB) “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.” God uses man’s evil to bring about good. This caused Jacob to depend on the Lord and move his family to Bethel where he worshiped the Lord and he taught his children to worship the Lord.
What Shall I do?
Jesus said in Luke 6:27-31 (NASB) “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Should men take the law into there own hands? Jesus Christ was marred more than any man. Jesus’ arrest, suffering and death by crucifixion was the worst wrong ever committed. While on the cross Jesus said, Luke 23:34 (NASB) “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” I shall not follow the sons of Jacob but I shall follow Jesus Christ. Anger is such an easy response but the noble way is to love ones enemies.