Genesis 34:5, The Need For Encouragement After Tragedy

How do we deal with tragedy, and injustice? One biblical account, in this regard, has much to inform us for all the wrong reasons. When Jacob learned that his daughter, Dinah, had been assaulted, and violated, we read of no formal response, nor resulting action. He did not, presumably, comfort his daughter. He did not search out his sons to inform then about what had transpired (they were away – tending to Jacob’s livestock). He did not seek out his daughter’s defiler, nor family. He did not seek to draw attention to the crime that had taken place. Jacob did not even move away from the region, or territory initially, to attempt to protect his family from further injury. In all, Jacob acted as though nothing had ever happened.

Inaction seems impossible to accept in this instance, but that is exactly what occurred. The point being, we cannot turn a blind eye to those who have been mistreated, or abused, especially family members. Certainly, violence is not justified as a response, but silence is not the ideal response either. Those who have been hurt need to heal, and a critical piece in the healing process is knowing they are not alone – that they are loved. I wonder if Dinah felt love, or encouragement, from Jacob from that deplorable day forward. Family should help care for each other. We cannot prevent all tragedy or injustice, but we can, and should, console each other through the tragedy and injustice. 

Genesis 34:5 “When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he did nothing about it until they came home.”(NIV)

Kevin Orr (1/12/2019)

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