09 April 2012
April 9, 2012
"Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah."
Genesis 30:21, NLT
"As far as we know, Dinah was the only daughter of Jacob and Leah. She had ten older brothers and two younger ones. When Dinah was probably a teenager, she and her family moved to Shechem. Jacob, her father, bought a piece of land outside of town where they pitched their tents. Jacob was actually procrastinating about fulfilling a promise to God to return to Bethel and worship. Jacob's delay proved disastrous for his family.
Apparently no one really paid much attention to Dinah until she went out for a walk one day in the city of Shechem. During her visit to town, she was raped by Shechem, the son of the ruler of the city. Violated and shamed, Dinah found herself in the center of a family crisis. Shechem asked his father to arrange a marriage with Dinah. But in Jacob’s and his sons' eyes, Dinah had been damaged and their family had been insulted. Jacob failed to provide any fatherly leadership in this situation, and his sons took matters into their own hands. The results were treacherous and bloody.
In all of this, the victim was overlooked. Dinah was neither comforted nor consulted. Instead, she was treated with almost as much disrespect by her family as she was originally by Shechem. Dinah's brothers profited from the massacre of Shechem. Jacob was angry at his sons for their actions, but he hadn't given them any direction. Meanwhile, Dinah slipped back into oblivion and was never mentioned again. Her story reminds us of the tragedies which occur when family members are careless with each other. Someone ends up paying a high price.
You probably know someone who can identify closely with Dinah. Perhaps you have experienced that same anonymity as a victim who was unnoticed or forgotten. Remember several glimmers of hope: Even when everyone else forgets, God doesn't; when no one seems to notice, God does; when no one seems to care, God does; when you feel all alone, you aren't. And one of the first lessons God will teach you as you depend on him is that there are others who also care and are willing to help. Begin to speak to God today in prayer about your past.
Do you ever wonder how often each day you pass by people who are convinced they are worthless? "