Today's reading: Genesis 34:5-31; Proverbs 20:22; Romans 12:17-19
When someone wrongs us, our gut instinct, driven by our sinful nature, tells us to get even. But two wrongs never equal a right. In other words, someone's wrong behavior toward us doesn't justify a similar response from us. God tells us in His Word to "repay no one evil for evil" (Romans 12:17), and that He will administer justice in His timing (Proverbs 20:22).
Jacob's sons were justified in being angry over what had happened to Dinah, but after learning of the offense, they failed to respond in the way they knew to be right. Instead, they allowed their anger to grow into rage, which then turned their thoughts and hearts to full blown hatred and revenge. It's a tragic chapter in the life story of Jacob's family.
This account is quite revealing about the influence that unchecked anger and resentment can have on our thinking and actions. Jacob's sons are indignant about Shechem violating the law of Israel (God's Law). Yet they then cheaply use that very Law as a pretense to lie to Hamor and Shechem and murder hundreds of innocent people. They shamefully and blatantly violated God's Law, and in so doing destroyed their witness for God and the reputation and standing of their family.
What's one lesson about anger and/or revenge that stood out to you from this account? How do you control the desire to get even with someone when they hurt you or your family? Is it your practice to turn angry situations over to God? Why is this important? Tami
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