You love those who hate you! This was the accusation Joab leveled at David after the big battle where David’s son Absalom was killed. David was absolutely devastated by Absalom’s death, so instead of celebrating the victory of his "enemy," David returned home, weeping over the loss of his child. Apparently, Joab didn’t like that:
2 SAMUEL 18
Outside of Jesus’s cry of abandonment on the cross, this chapter contains, perhaps, the most heart-wrenching cry in the Bible: "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!" (vs 33) Sure, at first you might think any father would be devastated over the loss of a child. But this wasn’t your average child. Absalom wasn’t a good boy. In fact, when he was killed, he had one goal in mind: to murder his father.
1 SAMUEL 30
I love seeing these glimpses of God’s heart flash through in the life of David. From this chapter: "Along the way [David's men] found an Egyptian man in a field and brought him to David. They gave him some bread to eat and water to drink. They also gave him part of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins, for he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for three days and nights. Before long his strength returned. 'To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?' David asked him. 'I am an Egyptian—the slave of an Amalekite,' he replied. 'My master abandoned me three days ago because I was sick. We were on our way back from raiding the Kerethites in the Negev, the territory of Judah, and the land of Caleb, and we had just burned Ziklag.'" (vs 11-14)
1 SAMUEL 24
In this chapter, we see a beautiful picture of God shining through David, the one who was later called "the man after God’s own heart." David has been on the run from Saul for a very long time. Then, suddenly, in a reversal of fortune, Saul enters a cave where David and his men are hiding. David could have easily ambushed Saul; instead, he cut off the corner of his robe. (And even that got to his conscience later on.)
1 SAMUEL 14
It’s a little disheartening to see what happened to Saul the further he traveled from the Lord’s plans. He began his kingship as a virtuous man, one who wouldn’t make a decree to destroy those who had spoken against him. But, not too far down the road, he bound his army under an oath, saying, "Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!" (vs 24) He had obviously had a change of heart regarding revenge.
"An eye for an eye" doesn't normally smack of grace,
but it would have been exceedingly merciful
compared to the revenge exacted by Dinah's brothers:
an entire community destroyed
because one person was brutally assaulted.
why they didn't choose
a different response—
I wonder why they had to choose at all.
What was Jacob doing in Shechem?
He promised Esau a rendezvous in Seir;
instead, he traveled in the opposite direction.
He promised God an altar and a tithe at Bethel;
instead, he built that altar in a heathen place.
It's so easy to only ask
when the Big Tragedy hits.
What if Jacob had kept his word?
What if he'd taken his family in the opposite direction?
What if he hadn't built his house in a dangerous and foreign land?
What if Genesis 34 tragedies
are always preceded by
Genesis 33 choices?
It's easy to say
Dinah shouldn't have been raped
Dinah's brothers shouldn't have retaliated
but I say
Dinah shouldn't have been there in the first place.
Blood feuds have been around for as long as there have been sinful human beings on this planet. According to the Wikipedia article on feuds, a blood feud is "a feud with a cycle of retaliatory violence, with the relatives of someone who has been killed or otherwise wronged or dishonored seeking vengeance by killing or otherwise physically punishing the culprits or their relatives."