Used By God (Dinah)
It’s not too often you hear about women being used by God. This is mostly because people seem to overlook women in the bible and anyone who is not the main person, they are overlooked while reading the bible. I bet you are even thinking, who is Dinah? Dinah was the daughter of Jacob. The very fact that it talks about her and gives her name is a clue when reading the bible that God preserves this woman’s name for a reason. Her story is being preserved for a reason and we are about to find out that reason right now.
Flip up to Genesis 34. When I’m reading this, here is what I see, Dinah was raped. It says that a guy named Shechem. The Bible calls this guy the prince of the land (V.2). So not just anyone, this is a prince and his father must be a king. We learn also down in verse 14 that Shechem is uncircumcised.
What is Circumcision?
Circumcision is a cutting of the flesh of the male private part. This was a rule that God gave his people to do for anyone who will be part of the House of God. We see this happen throughout the bible and in the new testament we see jewish leaders actually boast in their circumcision. Today circumcision is common in america. CDC found through a study that almost 60% of Americans get circumcised. The reason is because it decreases the chances of males getting infections and cancer. So 5000 years ago, God is creating his chosen people and he says, “hey I need y’all to be circumcised”. God knew about cancer and the infections of the body. He was watching out for his people. He didn’t want them to get sick and die. Reading the bible from far off and without the scientific understanding of why God wanted this to be done, it could look really weird, but understanding that this was done to protect the House of God, we can see that God is a Loving Heavenly Father even in the old testament.
Back to Shechem…
So this prince and his people were not part of the House of God. This guy had no value system. It says he “Seized Her… Lay With Her… Humiliated Her”. Shechem Raped Dinah!!! This act damaged Dinah emotionally, socially, physically, spiritually. It would to anyone. Just because it’s the old testament, doesn’t mean that the women are any different from the women in the 21st century. The spiritual damage is a big one, it wasn’t just anyone who raped her, it was a non believer who raped her. So with this background is it easy to understand when Shechem and his father came to try to make peace with Jacob and his sons, the sons deceived them and told them to become circumcised. They used the circumcision against them and killed them on the 3rd day when the pain of the circumcision was sore. Apparently it makes it hard to fight or something when that area of the body is in pain.
Jacob wasn’t very happy about his sons killing the prince and this king. He got scared and told them, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household” V. 30
The deceitful act of the sons not only affected them, but the whole household of Jacob. Think about that. When we are about to do something wrong, ask yourself, “How will this affect those around me?”. It’s easy to get caught up in the anger and act upon this anger, but sometimes it is better to turn a blind eye and walk away from the wrong doing. In the New Testament Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-45. The practice of hating your enemies was big in the old testament, but Jesus came along in the new testament and said to love your enemies and that really helped us see the Heart of God.
We see in verse 31 that the anger was from the fact that this prince made their sister look like a prostitute. If you notice in this whole chapter, God is silent. God never says anything about this act. He seems to just be silent. But at the end of this story after everything takes place, Jacob is afraid that these other nations are going to come and attack him and destroy his whole household and that is when God starts talking, when Jacob starts to worry.
This is a sad story of a woman getting raped and justice being brought to the prince and his household. But God used this story to push Jacob out of the place where he was and to bring him the place that God promised to give Abraham. It was time for God to show Jacob the land and to rename Jacob and call him Israel. We see this happening in Chapter 35, but he used something painful and horrible to draw Jacob out of that place. We also see that Jacob starts to come back to God. A revival happened out of this painful event. Jacob tells his household to “put away the foreign gods… purify yourselves and change your garments”. Then he starts talking about going to Bethel to make an altar to God and worship him, but this happened because of his distress, ch. 35 v. 3.
Sometimes unexpected things happened. Death, divorce, rape and so many other things just crazy stuff like COVID19. I found throughout my own personal life God seems to use this time in our lives to pull us back up to him. He uses what the devil meant for evil and uses it for his glory. When the disciples saw Jesus on the cross, they were lost and confused. This is the one that was going to set Israel free. He was going to be the one. Jesus does unexplained miracles, but here he is dying on the cross, why? They didn’t understand, Jesus was going to set them free, but from sin and death and that he was going to defeat death, by dying.
Dinah’s story is a reminder to each one of us that as we walk with God bad things happen, but we can rest assured that God has a plan and justice will be served, but God is going to use all the pain and hurt to make something amazing come from it. In Dinah’s case, he made a revival happen. In your case, he can do even more!