What caused the defiling of Dinah? How can God’s people learn from this experience to prepare for the end times?
Understanding the cause of the crime against Dinah requires us to review the actions of Jacob prior to it. At the time before he departed from Laban, Jacob perceived that Laban no longer regarded him with the same favor he did before. Even Laban’s sons held him in contempt. In a private meeting with his wives, Jacob gave Leah and Rachel a review of their current situation and tells them that Lord commanded him to return to the land of his fathers and his family. The wives of Jacob concur with his assessment of their current state of affairs and assent with his decision to bring them out of Haran.
A time is coming when God’s people will no longer enjoy the world’s favor. Many will speak against them as the sons of Laban did against Jacob. In these times, the Lord will counsel His people, through His prophets, to return to faith of their fathers. It is only by walking in the pure faith of God that His people will understand their need to return to Him; and they will.
Prior to his return to his family, Jacob experienced a terrible trial. Fear overcame him and he poured out his soul unto the Lord, praying for his deliverance and the deliverance of his family. In his solitude, Jacob wrestled with a Man until the coming of the dawn. Prior to the coming of Jesus, God’s people will experience a time of struggle similar to Jacob’s. In their own lives, they will understand their need to war against their sins. They will understand their need to prevail against that which separates them from God. They will seek the blessing of the Lord and will not stop wrestling with the Lord until it is obtained.
The Lord will hearken to those who do this, because they will understand their powerlessness to overcome their adversary. With all their might and the power of heaven at their aid, they will war against their sinful natures until they have prevailed. They will see in those days that God is with them in their struggles and they will be blessed with the promise of deliverance; and the victory over their sins will be a victory they will never forget.
Jacob received the deliverance he struggled with God to receive, for Esau embraced and kissed his estranged brother at their reunion. The Lord moved upon the heart of this slighted twin of Jacob and the way for reconciliation was made. But Jacob did not avail himself of this path he struggled with God for. He refused to allow Esau and his men to escort his family home. He even refused Esau’s offer to leave his men among them to protect him in their journey. Among the reasons Jacob did not avail himself of this aid was because he wanted to come into the land of his family at a pace comfortable for him.
As Jacob erred in this choice, so will many of God’s people err by seeking to have their salvation come at a pace comfortable for them. They will ignore the way prepared for them, even the prophets whom the Lord will send, to help them in it. This will be done all for the sake of having their salvation on their terms and not God’s. Moreover, God’s people have not kept their eyes on the true destination of their journey. As Jacob chose to dwell in other lands but the one God commanded him to, God’s people will seek to dwell in every earthly land rather than the Promised Land of Heaven. They will believe that their Promised Land is on Earth and not in the courts of heaven. Jacob paid a heavy price for making such a choice. He never saw his parents alive again. Indeed, the Scriptures only note the one time Jacob saw his father was at his burial.
Many have yet to learn that there is no safety in the kingdoms of the earth. As such, we should not seek their peace. Behold, the days approach when the world will be as hostile to God’s people as the sons of Laban were to Jacob. We must not set our hearts on an earthly kingdom of heaven. We must seek a better country, as all who serve the Lord will do.
Now we can understand why Dinah was among the Shechemites. Her father had received the command to return home and he initially acted on this command. He prayed for it and struggled for it. The Lord was with him and delivered him from the wrath of Esau. But Jacob failed to obey the Lord’s command to return to the land of his fathers and his family, where Dinah would have dwelled in safety. Now she was among strangers in a strange land.
As such, she desired to associate with the daughters of this land. Dinah’s “going out” to intermingle with these women symbolizes the faithful among God’s people associating with those of other faiths. In contrast to God’s people living peacefully with those of other faiths while keeping their faith pure (the ideal situation), this particular intermingling points to a time where the faith of God’s people will be corrupted by the influence of these daughters. These are the daughters that God did not want her to associate with.
Our continuous beholding of these influences eventually conditions us to view these faiths with greater favor and can even move us to adopt portions of their faith as a part of ours. While our intermingling among these faith seems harmless in the beginning, it will lead to consequences even greater than these.
Shechem, upon seeing Dinah, took her and defiled her. The leaders of our sinful world, upon seeing a pure faith before them, will seek to defile the followers of God as they are defiled. The world will seek to forcefully unite itself with the faith of God’s people. But they must not allow themselves to bring their faith among theirs. They must maintain their independence from these daughters, lest their faith be defiled as Dinah was defiled.
Note the order of events here: Dinah had gone out from the safety of God’s people to intermingle among the daughters of the land. Though there seemed to be no harm in this, it ultimately made her vulnerable to their influence. Shechem assaulted Dinah at the very moment he saw her among his people. When God’s people “go out” of their faith, they make themselves vulnerable to the influence of other faiths. While many seek to merely influence us, others will seek to forcefully unite their faith with the faith of God’s people. This has happened among God’s people before and it will happen again in the last days.
Despite their hearing of this news, the leaders of God’s people have remained as silent as Jacob when he learned that Shechem defiled his daughter. They will remain silent when the times call for leadership and action. This course will have dangerous consequences, for it will prepare the way for the antichrist to rise among them. We can get a glimpse of this through the actions of the sons of Jacob.
The sons of Jacob had returned to their family after tending to the livestock in the field. They were working diligently as many among God’s people do today in like manner. But when they learned that their sister had been defiled, their hearts were filled with grief for their sister and anger at the crime that had been committed against her. The Scriptures make it plain that the defiling of Dinah was a thing that ought not to be done. In addition to the natural implications of this statement, we can see that the faith of God’s people ought not to be defiled by the world or by other faiths.
We have seen the consequences again and again of God’s people uniting their faith with the ungodly. It will be at this time that the antichrist will act and his ascension to power will be facilitated, in part, by the leaders of God’s people. The coming violation of their faith (the forced merging of their faith with the faiths/legal power of the world) should have been promptly addressed by the undershepherds of God’s people. As Dinah should have been taken from the land of Shechem, the people of God should have been brought out of this abomination at the first notice of these things. But this they have not done and will not do. The leaders of God’s people will choose to hear the pleas of the world to unite with them as Jacob chose to hear the pleas of unity from Hamor and Shechem.
Whereas Hamor pled that Jacob and his family unite with their people, Shechem pledged to offer the family material wealth for their daughter’s hand. Here, we see a two-pronged attack against God’s people; Hamor’s plea being a spiritual one and Shechem’s being a material one that appealed to their natural desire for gain. Hamor sought to unify the two peoples and their faiths, thus compromising their faith with the world. Shechem sought to unify the two through economic enticement. This will be same strategy that the world uses against God’s people. In the name of peace, they will seek to unify with God’s people by spiritual appeals and economic incentives.
It will be at this time that the spirit of the antichrist will speak through the leaders of God’s people as it did through the sons of Jacob. They deceived Hamor and Shechem into believing that they would unite with their people only if they were circumcised. If they didn’t, they would take Dinah and depart. This offer pleased Hamor and Shechem and they went forth to their people to gain their consent to do this thing. The spirit of the antichrist will work in the same manner, deceitfully promising them to be one people if they accept their faith. The leaders of the world will believe this deception and encourage their people to assent to this proposal, using natural incentives to encourage them. They will not know that a trap has been laid for them until it is too late to escape it.
Like the men of Shechem, the world will be totally unprepared for the time of trouble. As the vengeful Simeon and Levi slew the men of Shechem and spoiled their city (note that Levi is the father of the Levites, in whom the priesthood was entrusted), the antichrist will move upon the world in a feigned vengeance for the wrongs committed against God’s people. Instead of gleaning the supposed benefits of joining this power, they will forcibly lose their faiths as Dinah’s virginity was forcibly taken from her.
As the sons of Jacob spoiled the city of Shechem, the antichrist will spoil the pagan faiths of the world, taking what it desires to be a part of it. Anything that it does not desire will be destroyed. This course of religious intolerance will draw the sharpest rebukes from the leaders of God’s people. Not only will this power destroy the pagan faiths of the world, it will assimilate the practices it deems worth preserving. This is blatant apostasy. When called by the leaders of God’s people to account for this abuse of power, the antichrist will answer these leaders in a manner similar to the reply of Simeon and Levi to their father Jacob. He will question the leaders of His people as to why they allowed these things to happen to their people and their faith.
In this question, many of God’s leaders around the world stand rebuked. The antichristian kingdom did not begin with an assault upon religious liberty or a gross act of violence. It began with inaction, a failure by God’s leaders to regard this rebellion seriously. They had the means to return their people to their faith. But they did not avail themselves of these means.
It is worth noting that through the example of Esau, we know that there will be many, who once forsook the blessing, ready to aid their once-estranged brethren. These prodigal children will return to their God before many of His own people and He will send them to help many of His people return to Him. The Lord will even send prophets from these people to guide them in the straight and narrow way. But despite all these things, many among God’s people will still not return to their God. They want the kingdom to come at their pace and without the aid of God’s prophets. Like Jacob before them, they will look to other lands to dwell in rather than the one the Lord appointed for them. Their quest for an earthly paradise will lead to their own undoing, for they will be as deceived as the men of Shechem were by the sons of Jacob. Only when it is too late will they understand the trap that was laid for them. But before the world is deceived, God’s people must remember He whom they made an oath to. They must return to the faith He appointed them, turning not to the left or the right. They must return to their faith. They must return to the land of God’s family. God’s people must return home.