Genesis 34: Jacob’s sons pay retribution for the rape of their sister Dinah.
Lessons for Living Today:
The tsunami of retribution kills many innocent people. In this story Jacob’s sons were justifiably angry over the rape of their sister. The lengths they went to destroy not just the perpetrator but the whole community was unjustifiable. The Bible contains the life stories of many with skeletons in the closet. It is not just sweet stories of happy ever after families. They were real people who faced real challenges and often made poor choices. God did not give up on them and it gives me courage that He will not give up on me.
The life-stories of the Bible show us humanity has always had a strong bent toward retribution. “Don’t mess with me or I will make you sorry.” While that may seem like a solution to the problems we face, in the end the tsunami of hatred that ensues is never worth it. We are paying the price in our physical bodies for our seething emotion of desiring retribution. “I’ll get even with you!” And the tsunami of destruction to the family, the community and our nation is tearing us apart. Is there an answer, a way to deal with our anger and the desire to “get even?”
Jesus “died” in his desire to show us a better way. We all deal with sin in our lives and depend totally upon His way of forgiveness. Do we expect that He will forgive us when we refuse to forgive others? I am not saying there should be no consequences when a person commits a heinous crime. I am saying that we are each responsible for our reaction and forgiveness is the only way for us to ever have peace in our hearts. Unless we have peace in our hearts we will never have peace in our communities, our nation, or our world.
God’s Question: Do you have someone you need to forgive?
God’s Promise: Forgiveness is the key to peace.
My Prayer to God:
I praise You for Jesus’ sacrifice so I can be forgiven.
I am sorry I often live like I am the judge.
Thank You for reminding me to be all about forgiveness.
Help me to love others on Your behalf.