And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. On the third day, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. Genesis 34:24-25
Simeon and Levi were the two brothers who were concerned about their sister’s honor. They sought retribution against the prince of Shechem, the one who assaulted their sister, because he did not admit his sin. But the brothers acted unjustly and not just against the perpetrator but his people.
They made a covenant with them under false pretenses, requiring circumcision to be a part of the agreement, and then went into the city to kill them in their weakened condition. They broke their covenant vow. To make matters even worse, after the slaughter, the other sons of Jacob joined them in taking the wealth, women, and children for themselves. God did not order any of this nor did He condone it.
It is human nature to go too far to right a wrong. Revenge is never rational. It usually exceeds the original offense. A vengeful heart relishes the scheming and thirsts for a moment to strike and do greater damage than what was done to them. In retaliation mode, no one thinks clearly. Rarely is anyone prayerful. Waiting on God is not a desired option. The need to see immediate justice blinds wounded souls to wiser options.
God is clear. Vengeance is mine, He says. His eyes see what mine can’t. When I leave justice in God’s hands, I relinquish control. Paul says it this way in The Message.
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12:19-21
God loves His children, of which I am one. He defends me, even if that defense and judgment are deferred according to His wisdom. While I wait, I can rest in the love, power, and authority of God. This righteous, ruling God is my Abba Daddy. If I have been wronged, or someone I love has been wronged, prayerfulness to discern the next steps are critical for my blessing and the greater good of my enemies.
I can’t guess what my responses should be. Please speak, Jesus. Amen