In this heart wrenching account of poor, pitiful Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter, I again find myself with so many questions and desperately wondering, is He to be found, even in the midst of this horrific scene? But as we press in, we see Him; He’s there, clearly revealed in glaring contrast against the images of our fallen and shattered world.
When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force… 7 Now the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved, and they were very angry because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done, (34:2,7).
It was clear to Jacob’s sons what had happened to their sister was loathsome, horrific and intolerable, “for such a thing ought not to be done.”
Evidently, this was not the position of the Hivites. “He [Shechem] was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her,” (34:3). Apparently, in Shechem’s mind, his deep attraction to Dinah granted him the right to “lay with her by force.” How could such a disgraceful thing be deemed a man’s right?
As we remember the role women held in the surrounding cultures in Israel’s day, we see an even more despicable picture of the times. Women were treated as property, really no better than livestock, to be treated as their owners saw fit.
Why then, did Jacob’s sons find Shechem’s behavior so objectionable? How had they come to form this mindset of women as having value, and being worthy of respect and honor? It is clear from the passage they distinguished themselves from the surrounding nations, “because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel.” Rape was disgraceful in Israel, because their father had taught them what he had learned from the God of Israel; His Mindset was the prevailing truth.
Consider His Mindset
His Mindset Goes Against the Human Norm: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:9).
His Mindset Determines Right and Wrong: “Then God spoke all these words, saying…” (Exodus 20:1-17: The Ten Commandments).
His Mindset Bestows Value: “‘I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’” (Hosea 2:23).
His Mindset Governs Justice: “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord,” (Romans 12:19).
How do we respond to His Mindset?
- Commit to follow His commands no matter the pressure of political correctness and popular opinion.
- But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men,” (Acts 5:29).
- Seek direction and clarity in His Word on all matters of morality.
- How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word, (Psalm 119:9).
- Accept our value bestowed on us as His beloved. It is His opinion, His Mindset, that holds weight; He tells us we are His beloved. Let us quench the accusatory lies of the enemy that foster doubt in His love with the truth of His Word.
- “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people’, And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved,’” (Romans 9:25).
- When we are wronged and tempted to take revenge, let us not act out our anger in vengeance. While Dinah’s brothers understood His Mindset towards Dinah, they failed to seek and understand His Mindset of justice. He is the only One qualified to impartially judge and take holy action. Let us faithfully trust His Mindset.
- “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe,” (Deuteronomy 10:17).
- For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God, (Hebrews 10:30-31)
May we grow in His truth to understand His Mindset, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we would wholeheartedly obey what He has revealed as right in His Word.
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin, (James 4:17).