The Defiling of Dinah

Read through the Bible: Genesis 34-35

In today’s reading, I kept thinking about how sometimes people will read a passage of the Bible and then take that to mean that it is the right way to behave. “Abraham lied, so it must be okay for us.” “Jacob had two wives so that must be okay.”

When we’re trying to understand the meaning of a passage, we have to consider all of the scriptures from beginning to end. In this story about the defiling of Dinah, I don’t think that God is saying that Jacob’s sons should have lied to Shechem and Hamor or that Simeon and Levi should have killed all of the males of their city.

In fact the Bible specifically addressed their sin in Jacob’s blessings over his sons as told in Genesis 49.

“Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords. Let my soul come not into their council; O my glory, be not joined to their company. For in their anger they killed men, and in their willfulness they hamstrung oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.” Genesis 49:5-7 ESV

Additionally, the Bible specifically tells us –

See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 ESV

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Romans 12:19 ESV

Let’s pray,

Father, we are surrounded by a culture that glorifies wicked, evil, selfish people. Let us be imitators of Christ and not imitators of the world. Father. Help us to overcome evil with good. May we look more like Jesus and less like the world.

Help us to trust that You are a just God who is faithful to carry out the proper justice at the proper time. Let us not envy the evil, but recognize that they are suffering for their sin even now in their hearts.

Let us not be surprised at the terrible trials that we are facing in this dark world. May we not suffer as a murderer or thief or evildoer. Rather, may we suffer for the gospel, righteousness, and holiness.

To the glory and praise of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

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