What happens to Dinah is a terrible thing but Jacob gets put in a difficult position, he wants to be an upright and honourable man to the local communities but Simeon and Levi make him look completely the opposite. They lie and deceive and in their lies I expect Jacob saw some of his old self and it’s possible that part of him didn’t want to see that in his children. It probably isn’t what they did that angered Jacob (although it may well have been), it was that they lied and deceived their enemies. Everything God had worked to get out of Jacob he saw had been passed down and he wouldn’t want his children to go through the same process that had taken him years to go through.
They didn’t just punish the perpetrator, they condemned all the men of the city for the actions of just one man. How often are our reactions to one person then transferred onto others? Do we think that all people from a people-group, nation, belief, political leaning are a certain way because of the actions of a small minority.
I believe Jacob wanted reconciliation, he was carrying Abraham’s blessing of ‘blessing those who bless you’ and Shechem was remorseful and wanting to do right by his actions but retaliation overtook Dinah’s brothers and they wanted revenge. So instead of being a blessing, they became a curse. We often have the same choices to make. We can either bless those around us, or choose to follow our natural desires which can so often be to curse (in one way or another). Sometimes to bless is to do what is totally the opposite of what you’d expect (and in some cases want) to do. In this case, I don’t know how I’d have reacted and think I may have wanted to do what the brothers did, but that doesn’t mean I should.
Making the God decision is usually the tough one because it goes against our programmed way of thinking through growing up in a fallen world, but when we pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done”, we have a part to play in that. It’s us who bring God’s Kingdom through our actions and through our words, we can change the world through them.
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Father God, please help me to make the right decisions and to bless those around me, to forgive especially if I’ve been asked for forgiveness and to live in a way I know will honour you and bring your Kingdom to Earth. Amen