The Dinah Story
Gateway Church did a series titled “Stories”, which compromised of various sermons on biblical characters and things that we, as Christians, can learn from their experiences. I decided to re-read the Old Testament. As I was reading Genesis 34: “Dinah and the Shechemites”, the story began to unfold before my eyes.
Genesis 34: 1-12 NIV
1 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. 3 His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. 4 And Shechem said to his father Hamor, "Get me this girl as my wife." 5 When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he kept quiet about it until they came home. 6 Then Shechem's father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. 7 Now Jacob's sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter--a thing that should not be done. 8 But Hamor said to them, "My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. 9 Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You can settle among us; the land is open to you. Live in it, trade in it, and acquire property in it." 11 Then Shechem said to Dinah's father and brothers, "Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12 Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I'll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the girl as my wife."
Dinah was the young daughter of Leah and Jacob (later renamed Israel by God) and she was the only girl with 11 brothers. At this point in Genesis, Benjamin was not born. As if she needs anymore brothers
Can you imagine having 11 brothers, 10 of which are older than you? You have no freedom, no privacy and you definitely don’t have any female companionship. She had so many brothers and no sisters. I’m pretty sure hunting, farming, fighting and smelling like the herd was not her forte. Don’t expect Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun and Joseph to have girl talk and mani, pedis with Dinah. Well maybe Joseph, since he has a way with the ladies.
1 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land.
Seeing that she was young, alone and desperate, she went to seek friends in the land. Being that she is desperate for friends, I believed Dinah compromised her values and morals to gain acceptance with to the ladies in the land. She wanted to fit in; she didn’t want to be new girl anymore.
Dinah confused being alone with being lonely. That is dangerous. Just because you are alone doesn’t not mean you are lonely. When you start to believe that you are lonely, that’s when the enemy starts to attack. When you believe you are lonely, you start to become desperate. When you are desperate, you are willing to do pretty much anything to get your desires fulfilled. The enemy will bring things, people and situations your way to tempt you and make you compromise your faith and values. It is important that as a Christian, we rely only on Christ for companion when times look dark.
Many of us are like Dinah. We come from a good home, well off in life and once we get to college, our eyes open up. Freshman year in college is like you entered a new world that you never could imagine. No parents asking for your whereabouts. No curfews. No limitations. No monitoring. Endless moves to be made. Hundreds, thousands of people your age, both male and females, in one zip code. So this is what they call “freedom”!? You are basically your own person. You call the shots.
You went to college thinking you are all that, but you soon found out it’s a whole new ballgame. The upperclassmen girls look like models on the cover of Elle magazine and you look like your mom still shops for you. Desperate to be like them, you conform and you change and put on a false persona to fit in with the crowd.
“Bad company corrupts good character”. She had good intentions, but the way she went about it was wrong. She learned their ways and their style of doing things. She probably took on their mannerisms, maybe started to dress like them and had began to speak like them. Zeal without knowledge is dangerous. Now Dinah had assimilated into the land. If you saw her, you would automatically assume she was a resident of that land.
Now little Dinah is grown. She has forgotten her family values and the God she serves. She is now hanging with people who don't have the promise of the Lord in their families. Some of us are guilty of that. Before college, we used to go church with our families, most likely it was by force, but nonetheless we went. Now we are in college, we have every excuse in the book on why we can’t go to church.
"I have to study".
We all know, you aren’t gonna study. Who studies before 10 pm?
Yea, you’re tired because you were having it up the night before.
We slowly see ourselves forgetting our Christian values and conforming to this world.
2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. 3 His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. 4 And Shechem said to his father Hamor, "Get me this girl as my wife."
*** I don’t believe she was raped. Earlier translations state "humbled her", which translated to "violated her" and many people assumed it was meant as rape***
So Dinah is with her new friends and she is in a place that she has no business being at. There, she crosses paths with Shechem, the ruler's son. Shechem is the big man in the land. His father the ruler, if anything he is next to rule or already have some sort of established power in among the land (verse 19 the young man, who was the most honored of all his father's household). Dinah caught the attention of the ruler's son!? Can we say "jackpot" (cha-ching)? Being that she is young, naive and living a false reality, she probably was feeling herself a little bit too much.
Have you ever been out with your friends and you notice a guy checking you? Imagine if it was the most popular guy on campus. Out of all the girls they could have chosen from, they pick little ol’ you. Makes you feel like you are in first place. You too will be elated that you caught their attention.
Shechem and Dinah had coitus (shoutout to all Big Bang Theory fans) or sex as it is commonly called. So after he compromised her purity, "his heart was drawn to Dinah" (can we say "soul tie"?) and "he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her". Then Shechem decided he wanted to marry Dinah.
8 But Hamor said to them, "My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife
So let me get this straight. In verse 2, he slept with her. Next in verse 3, he fell in love with her. Then in verse 4, he decided he wanted to make Dinah his wife. Lastly, he and his father asked for Dinah hand in marriage.
After he slept with her, he realized he loved her. Wow! So he tested the water to see if she appealed to him. She was originally his lady of the night (verse 31), but he miraculously had a change of heart. He decided he wanted to marry her. Mmmm…Interesting.
Do you see that? The world is so backwards! We, as Christians, are different. We don't conform to this world.
A man is supposed to push you towards Christ, on your knees, not to the bed and on your back. A man of God loves you and is drawn to you first. Next, he desires for you to be his wife. With that, he asks to be your husband. Then once you two are married, having sex is ordained by God.
7 Now Jacob's sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter--a thing that should not be done. 8 But Hamor said to them, "My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife.
Have you ever messed up and instead of making the situation better, you just sinned some more? Dinah compromised her purity by sleeping with Shechem, then to cover up her mistakes and the "disgrace" she brought on her family, Shechem asked to marry her! Stop trying to beat the dead horse! You sinned, now repent with all your heart and move on. Many of us are with people we have no business being with. Instead of moving on in life, we stay and we justify it.
"We been through so much together!" ... "They were my first real love"..."We have history"..." I love them!"
Dinah was a child trying to become a woman. She got caught up in the limelight and now she was dealing with some grown up situations. All she wanted were some friends, but now she was dealing with becoming a wife!
9 Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You can settle among us; the land is open to you. Live in it, trade in it, and acquire property in it." 11 Then Shechem said to Dinah's father and brothers, "Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12 Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I'll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the girl as my wife."
Jacob and his family represented the kingdom of God, while Hamor, Shechem and their nation represented nonbelievers. Jacob’s family was under a convent with God. God promised to prosper them and they served God. All the males were circumcised.
14 They said to them, "We can't do such a thing; we can't give our sister to a man who is not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us. 15 We will give our consent to you on one condition only: that you become like us by circumcising all your males.
However, Hamor’s family didn’t believe in God and were not under his favor. The union between Dinah and Shechem would have created an avenue for Hamor’s family to marry and communion with Jacob’s family.
16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We'll settle among you and become one people with you. 17 But if you will not agree to be circumcised, we'll take our sister and go."
Dinah compromised her purity to a nonbeliever and a man she was not married to. To do damage control, the Shechem’s family tried to hide it with a marriage. They were only making matters worse. By giving Dinah to Shechem, they were allowing others to follow their lead of marrying one another.
20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city to speak to their fellow townsmen. 21 "These men are friendly toward us," they said. "Let them live in our land and trade in it; the land has plenty of room for them. We can marry their daughters and they can marry ours. 22 But the men will consent to live with us as one people only on the condition that our males be circumcised, as they themselves are. 23 Won't their livestock, their property and all their other animals become ours? So let us give our consent to them, and they will settle among us."
Hamor and his people were only getting circumcised to receive the blessing the Lord had giving Jacob’s family and to marry Dinah and the other Israelite women. Remember, the Israelite men were circumcised as a reminder of the convent of God’s promise to them. Hamor and his men were only getting circumcised to receive the favor Jacob’s family had, not to serve God or to abide in his ways.
A lot of Christians nowadays try to force nonbelievers into Christianity and/or Nonbelievers come into Christianity to deceive a certain Christian they are fond of. For what!? In order to marry them in the future! Everyone must carry their own cross and accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior on their own will. Not for any hidden agenda! You can fake your salvation, but for so long. You can’t pursue God when your heart is not pure and genuine.
Like my African mother always says
But thank God for forgiveness and repentance! Just because you sinned, doesn't mean we should dig a bigger hole for ourselves. God has and will forgive us, so that we can start afresh with a clean slate.