Jacob’s Family (3)
And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter:
now his sons were with his cattle in the field; and Jacob held
his peace until they were come.
Read Genesis 34:1-24
Much sorrow was brought into Jacob’s family. There was no turning back,
and Shechem knew it. Verse three tells us that his soul clave unto Dinah and
he spake unto her heart. This expression is often used in the Old Testament
to express guilt and shame. Shechem recognized his guilt and observed the
shame Dinah experienced, so he began to speak up. He declared his longing
to have Dinah and came up with a practical solution. He did not want to
dwell on how he wronged her, but he tried to take action. He was a leader
and looked to the future. Had he been more subdued, he might have experienced
a sense of his guilt. To be subdued requires silence as well as prayerfully
listening to God.
Shechem was a man of action. He quickly received his father’s commitment
to his marriage, and Dinah was willing to be his wife. But he still needed
permission from Dinah’s family to marry her. No requirement would be too
great; his desire for Dinah knew no bounds. However, Jacob remained silent.
This was a missed opportunity! Why did Jacob remain silent? Perhaps
it was due to his own marital status. In verse one of our Scripture passage,
we read a small but important detail, namely, that Dinah was the daughter
of Leah. The Bible thus makes a link between this narrative and Jacob’s family
life. Jacob’s own marriage was riddled with jealousy and passion. Could
it be that her situation was a reminder of his own marital inconsistencies?
What we do know is that when his daughter returned home, Jacob remained
silent. So we see that sin continued to work its destruction. If possible, it
will ruin everything!
Thought: A wrong and silent attitude in your own marriage often influences
the marriage of your children.
Psalter 22: 1,2 (based on Psalm 13)
How long wilt Thou forget me, O Lord, Thou God of grace?
How long shall fears beset me While darkness hides Thy face?
How long shall griefs distress me And turn my day to night?
How long shall foes oppress me And triumph in their might?
O Lord my God, behold me, And hear my earnest cries;
Lest sleep of death enfold me, Enlighten Thou my eyes;
Lest now my foe insulting Should boast of his success,
And enemies exulting, Rejoice in my distress.