When Shechem…saw Dinah, he took her and he raped her (Genesis 34).
- an outrageous thing
- a thing that should not be done
- Dinah had been defiled
- their sister had been defiled
- he treated our sister like a prostitute
Shechem never admits to his wrongdoing. We don’t even know if he told his father Hamor what he had done. Dinah was being kept in the city away from her family, so she didn’t tell her father Jacob. Somehow, however, Jacob found out and his response is curious: he did nothing about it (v. 5). Even as Shechem and Hamor address Jacob’s family, it’s Diana’s brothers who reply deceitfully, so either Jacob has left the meeting or he is still sitting there silently.
Levi and Simeon have the same mother as Dinah. Their reaction to their sister’s defilement is extreme—they kill every male in Shechem’s hometown!
Since Shechem hadn’t even mentioned his crime to his father, it’s possible that the rape of Dinah has been kept a secret from the rest of the citizens of his city. Perhaps if the other city leaders had found out, Shechem alone would have been punished, instead of the whole city being wiped out.
Jacob’s silence and inaction to this injustice prompted an overreaction by his sons.
When a leader’s response is inappropriate to injustice, the followers’ response is likely to become even more so. Injustices must be dealt with in a God-honoring way: quickly and appropriately.
A mark of a godly leader is his appropriate and timely reaction to injustices.
This is part 50 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.